Alternative to plywood

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  #1  
Old 05-21-13, 05:45 PM
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Alternative to plywood

I think, it's a good place to ask.
I have a home made utility trailer I bought from a guy who built it. Strong thing, but it's fairly old, and plywood he used for floor and sidewalls is all rotten and needs to be replaced.
Now, it is very humid in here and ANY wood will not last long. Also, I am not patient enough to paint things.
My question is: what will be a good, strong alternative to plywood or any wood, for the box, for that matter? Frame is solid metal bars that will last long long time.
I was considering cement board, but am not sure, how well it can withstand hammering from rocks, gravel, and other so much useful stuff property owners haul in trailers.
I don't want to go with metal sheets for reasons obvious.
Anything that I can buy at HomeD, 100% waterproof, dent proof, chip proof, and crack proof? Trailer is not that large, off the top of my head, pieces will be like 6 x 4, maybe 6 by 5.
 
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Old 05-21-13, 06:16 PM
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Just use pressure treated 5/4 decking boards. Mine was down over 5 years ago and it's still fine.
Lowes and HD sell self tapping hardened screw for attaching deck boards to steel angle iron.
The tip looks like a drill bit.

Tile board would be useless it has 0 strengh and it's brittle.
 

Last edited by joecaption1; 05-21-13 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 05-21-13, 06:22 PM
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Trex is a good alternative too.
However, I don't think Trex comes in sheet goods..... just planking.
 
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Old 05-21-13, 06:26 PM
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If you've got a few G's laying around, go with PVC or a solid composite deck plank.

Azek comes in sheets like plywood. even in 3/8" or 1/2" if you want it as light as possible. But it costs a small fortune and isn't stocked at Lowes or HD.

Otherwise get PT plywood for the floor and something nice looking for the sides.
 
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Old 05-21-13, 08:06 PM
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Interesting. Never realized pressure board is lifetime rot guarantee.

Too thick though. 1 inch. The rest is about same.
Thanks for tip on cement board. I knew it was not the brightest idea.

I am pretty positive, this WAS PT plywood.



 
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Old 05-21-13, 08:30 PM
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I would use 2x treated for the floor, and 5/4 decking for the sides. If it is too thick put it on the outside of the framing. (except the floor) They do make treated plywood, but it always seems to delaminate. Although I have it on my flat snowmobile trailer and that has lasted almost 20 years.

Your last option is expanded metal, but get ready for some sticker shock!
 
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Old 05-21-13, 09:29 PM
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I didn't even think about putting boards outside onto the frame. That might work with 1 inch board, as going inside 1 inch will steal a lot of useful space, and it's not a large trailer. Steel angle is welded out, so it might work!

2x means treated twice, or 2 layers?

Tolyn Ironhand

I would use 2x treated for the floor,


It will be hauling wet dirt and sitting outside in the rain, plenty of that.
 
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Old 05-22-13, 06:17 AM
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2x = 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, etc.

My only objection to putting the wood on the outside of the frame is if you happen to overload the trailer that puts extra stress on the sides with only the fasteners to hold the wood. Would PT 1xs [3/4" thick] boards be too thick for the sides?
 
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Old 05-22-13, 08:14 AM
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I guess I'll follow the country wide standard and do 3/4 PT plywood inside.As it is now. That trailer is quite old anyway. Hence the rot.
I just don't want to spend time painting something with 3 layers of oil paint, I pretty much despise painting.
That's why I was fishing for something that you just cut>bolt>use. If it will last 15 years as is, I'll be awright, will be time to move into retirement community then anyway.

Just off topic. Anyone knows, how much weight can 8 leaf springs carry? That's what I have as axle springs on that trailer. He told me he took axle off a motor home. As I can fit 2 yards of dirt inside the box, but that's closing on 4 000 lbs when wet.
 
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Old 05-22-13, 03:19 PM
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How many lugs are on the hubs? Also, what is the rating on the tires?

Yes, 2x = "two by", as in 2x4, 2x6, etc.
 
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Old 05-22-13, 04:28 PM
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Which axle from a motor home?
Front I-beam, tag or a big honkin' rear axle with the differential???
What size wheels?

The limiting factor will likely be the tires.
Many folks use car tires which cost quite a bit less than proper trailer tires but have a lower weight rating.
How about pics of the wheels, hubs and axles?

I have a trailer with both 2x6 deck boards and 3/4" PT plywood.
I like the 2x6 floor but it is a PITA when hauling gravel or dirt in that it is difficult to clean.
 
 

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