Modifying a Utility Trailer

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Modifying a Utility Trailer

Postby GloriB » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:56 am

I'm not sure how to ask this question but I have your typical utility trailer 5x8' with the side rails and it came with a treated 2x4 lumber deck. I took the 2x4's off and there is about a 2-3/4" lip all around the trailer. How can I fix things so that the bottom of my teardrop comes to the top of the lip/rail? I thought about welding square tubing all around to bring up the floor but I think that would make it too heavy. The more I think about how to do this, the more confused I get! :?

I have been reading so many posts on this forum and I can't get over how helpful everyone is. This is a great place to hang out!
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Re: Modifying a Utility Trailer

Postby working on it » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:45 am

GloriB wrote:I'm not sure how to ask this question but I have your typical utility trailer 5x8' with the side rails and it came with a treated 2x4 lumber deck. I took the 2x4's off and there is about a 2-3/4" lip all around the trailer. How can I fix things so that the bottom of my teardrop comes to the top of the lip/rail?....
  • I would re-use the treated lumber you took off, by turning two onto their sides, and bolting them to the 2.75" lip. Then, I'd place two more on top of them, also on their sides, and screw them to the first two, using large flathead wood screws (I prefer Spax), giving you a side piece 3.5" high, .75" above the 2.75" lip. You could trim pieces to fit the ends of the 5' wide trailer, in the same manner, then, you could use joist hanger brackets (Simpson Strongties) to create a similar crossbeam structure, and fill in with a .75" plywood sheet (actually usually 23/32", leaving room on top for flooring tiles, if so chosen). By using the treated lumber along the sides and end rails, then covered with undercoating, you wouldn't have to worry about water rotting the wood/steel interface, and any treated wood "fumes" would be sealed away.
  • Spax flathead screw.JPG
    Spax flathead screw.JPG (40.81 KiB) Viewed 273 times
    long and strong, easy to use with included bit
  • joist hanger.JPG
    joist hanger.JPG (39.77 KiB) Viewed 273 times
    I use Simpson SD screws to attach these
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
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  • 148599125895148106
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working on it
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Re: Modifying a Utility Trailer

Postby M C Toyer » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:32 pm

GloriB wrote: I have your typical utility trailer 5x8' with the side rails and it came with a treated 2x4 lumber deck. I took the 2x4's off and there is about a 2-3/4" lip all around the trailer. !


GloriB - What do you plan to do with the side rails?
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Re: Modifying a Utility Trailer

Postby GloriB » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:42 am

M C Toyer wrote:
GloriB wrote: I have your typical utility trailer 5x8' with the side rails and it came with a treated 2x4 lumber deck. I took the 2x4's off and there is about a 2-3/4" lip all around the trailer. !


GloriB - What do you plan to do with the side rails?


I'm not sure. I might only cut off part of the rails where the doors are. Still playing with ideas.
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Re: Modifying a Utility Trailer

Postby M C Toyer » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:59 pm

GloriB wrote:I'm not sure. I might only cut off part of the rails where the doors are. Still playing with ideas.


I was just curious if you planned to incorporate the rails into your front and side walls. If so it would be best for your outer skin to overlap the rails and the trailer frame and floor, both for appearance and waterproofing.

The side rails do provide some stiffening to the trailer frame because they form a truss so your front and side walls should compensates for the loss if removed.

If your trailer fenders are welded to the frame and/or side rails you will need to make sure the joint between the outer skin and fender is properly flashed and sealed. If the fenders can be easily removed, whether welded or bolted, then reattached to the outer skin it will simplify construction and waterproofing.
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