I have a question. Recently I bought a metal frame / axel that serves as the
base for a trailer. All I have to do is put on a floor and sides.
I plan to use plywood for the floor and sides, with 2x4's for bracing the
sides and corners. I plan to paint everything, top and bottom prior to
bolting it to the trailer. When not in use the trailer will sit outside. No
room in the carport :( .
My question: Since I plan on painting, do I need to go to the extra expense
of purchasing pressure treated lumber, or will standard lumber hold up fine
since it will be painted?
I'd appreciate any suggestions, especially from those who have done
Robert / N4IXT
In the industrial neighborhood near the port and rail heads, a couple of
the hardwood dealers have what they call 'utility truck decking', for the
floors of trucks, trailers, rail cars, etc. Cheap hardwood, meant to stand
up to the abuse that such floors get. Usually some variant of oak, or
something with similar characteristics. I'd at least make a few calls.
The 'new PT' doesn't seem to have the same surface hardness as the old,
copper arsenic green kind. At least the kind I've seen. And the fastener
requirements are different, for corrosion control. In some cases, what
works with the 'new PT' isn't completely understood quite yet.
If the wooden portions will be in contact with the bottom of the trailer,
unless you're hanging it up, go PT on them. Leaving them outside in the
rain will collect water between the bed and the sides, rotting them out. PT
ply makes good sense for the same reason. Anything you leave in the bed
becomes a source for hidden water in that case. Where drainage is
guaranteed, regular is dandy.
I lucked out with my "anything" hauler. Was up servicing a site one day
when they took down the old microwave reflector. Bottom of my trailer is
6x8 of well-braced aluminum. Thing fit within a half inch all around.
Given the current price of PT SYP vs plain old SYP, I
would use the PT wood and be done with it. SYP is hard
enough to stand up to "most" abuse and will last a good
If you elect to go with PT wood, wait at least six months
or more to paint. The PT treatment really jambs the moisture
in the wood and it needs time to dry out before the paint
Plywood is quick but will not hold up over time.
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