Fixing up trailer to make it look professional...any ideas?

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  #1  
Old 03-17-14, 12:59 PM
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Fixing up trailer to make it look professional...any ideas?

Hello everybody,

I am a college student starting my own junk removal business. I just purchased an old trailer that needs some revamping to look professional.

Unfortunately, it was the only one I could buy at the time for the price and size.


I want to either put plywood on the sides ( where you can see the openings ) so trash doesn't fly out, or build sides to be higher, or paint it and leave it as is but maybe add one or two signs to each side to advertise my business.


Does anybody have ideas on how to make this nicer or what I should do?


Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-17-14, 02:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

First you need to decide exactly what you want to do and how much you want to spend. I'm not crazy about using plywood as the PT boards the trailer currently has would last longer. You could add boards in between to make the load more secure. Paint always dresses things up. That said, your customers aren't going to critique your trailer as long as it doesn't look like it's ready to fall apart.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 02:35 PM
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What Marksr said. But FWIW, you could paint the wood a dark green or black. The metal frame should be scrapped and primed then painted black. Put lots of reflectors on it, both back front and sides. Replace any broken or split wood. That corner post looks like its tied together with rope.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 02:40 PM
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If you don't want the weight of filling in the openings with lumber you can use heavy fencing to help enclose the gaps. If you want a snazzy display to advertise your business you can have exterior vinyl banners printed and attach to the side of your trailer.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 04:17 PM
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Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it!

I just had a quick question, what do you mean by using fencing to fill in the gaps?

I will probably use wood to fill it in then paint it but wanted to ask before I do.

Either way, thank you for your help
 
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Old 03-18-14, 05:31 PM
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The only drawback I see to the trailer is the suspension. It looks as if you have small tires and wheels, which may or may not be able to handle the weight and the shifting of the load. What do you plan on pulling this puppy with? How is the terrain where you will be collecting? Your profile is incomplete so we can't tell where you are. Can you back a trailer? Remember short wheel base trailers are a booger to control in backing.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 03:07 AM
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what do you mean by using fencing to fill in the gaps?
I'm pretty sure PD meant fencing wire, you can buy small rolls at most hardware and big box stores. That would prevent most stuff from coming thru with out the added weight of more lumber.

If you were going to stain/paint a house/deck lumber in that condition I'd recommend a good cleaning first! Basically washing it down with a bleach/water solution, rinse well and paint/stain when dry. That will allow your coating to adhere better and make it harder for any mildew to grow thru the paint. Not sure it will make a big difference on a trailer used to haul junk, especially if you use a dark color.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 04:46 AM
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I was actually thinking of almost any kind of fencing you can find from hardware cloth up to heavier gauge stuff used for animal pens. Even plastic barrier net fencing would help keep things from falling through the gaps. I think it is important to not add weight. I'm very concerned about the weight on the trailer already. It appears home made and as Chandler pointed out you have very tiny wheels which are generally used only under the lightest duty trailers. The several hundred pounds in the wood already cuts into your load capacity and I've seen too many of those little trailers burn up the wheel bearings or pop tires to try pushing the limit.
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-14, 09:48 AM
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That looks like an old snowmobile trailer frame with a pretty good wood body built onto it.

Usually, those have #1000 axles or 2K for the pair. Doing what you're talking about needs something in the 3K x 2 or 3.5K x 2 range, but you can still work with what you have for a start. I would be really careful with the undercarriage to not overload it. Watch the tires for squatting with full pressure and the axle tube flexing, as well as the camber of the tires tipping in at the top.

With that in mind a possibility for dressing up would be using 1 x 4 x 1/2 filler wood between the boards you have. Then alternate white and red on the boards and paint on your advertisements along with some red and amber reflectors already mentioned. The latter are usually DOT regulated so check on the placements and color for them.

You really make a nice little trailer out of it. You have a nice piece to start out with. As you get a little more money, you can upgrade the undercarriage pretty easy with bolt-ons. That will probably take about 300 - 400 dollars for a nice heavy setup, keeping in mind to stay in the capacity of everything else.
 
  #10  
Old 03-23-14, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for the ideas As of right now, I am just using it to haul trash bags and furniture nothing crazy. I am using a Ford f150 supercab to haul it so far no problems that I can see or hear with using the f150 when its full.

The information on the trailer is very helpful because I always wondered how much can I fill this up with and how to tell if the trailer needs work or some upgraded parts to keep it going with the weight.

I live in Ohio so the terrain isn't bad but I do put some miles on the trailer with driving to jobs and then the landfill.

My ultimate goal is to use this for the rest of the year then next year get a better one, but budget wise this is a starter trailer for now.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 06:18 PM
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Since I do not know about trailers, their suspensions or what they can handle I was worried about that because I can't tell how good it looks or what it can hold.

Is their anything I can do about the tires and size for now until I get a better trailer?

So far, its been great to have and use.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 04:02 AM
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What size and condition are the tires and how many studs are on each wheel.?
The weight carrying capacity is printed on the sidewall of the tire........what is the tire's capacity?

A few clear pictures of the undercarriage showing the springs and wheels might help.
 
  #13  
Old 03-25-14, 08:44 PM
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I use trailers a LOT, and usually have the smaller fixer upper type ones. I have had a couple just like yours, though mine were old pop up camper frames that were modded into haulers. The first thing I do is to move the axle from the top of the leaf springs to the bottom. That will raise the trailer up more and make it easier to manage. Note that it does change the way the tires sit on the ground since I think most axles have a slight curve to them. That being said, I have pulled mine many, many miles with no troubles, and with some heavy loads on them as well. During the summers, I will often cut a load of firewood every day after work, so the trailer is being hauled around 70 to 100 miles a day. You must have either a 4 or 5 lug hub. You can buy a new tire and wheel from Wally for somewhere around $50.00 each or so. I'd guess you have 12" wheels? If so, I think that you can buy tires for a small car that will go right on the wheels. I actually had, still have, a set of snow tires from an old Honda car on my trailer. There isn't much to them now, but I got about 6 years out of a used set of tires. If you have the short, fat tires, I would recommend getting the thinner, taller tires and wheels instead. I love my little trailers and have hauled more firewood and building materials than most people could imagine hauling on them. If mine wasn't covered by 3 feet of snow, I'd take some pictures for you. If this thread is still active by the end of the week, I'll dig it out and show you what I did with mine.

Some may not agree with the axle move and car tires, but this is what I do, and 25+ years of hauling these small trailers around has shown that it works!
 
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Old 03-27-14, 05:18 PM
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Well after typing a long response it was erased so I will try again. Thank you all for your input. Every day I have off I am trying to take a look at the trailer to see how it can be improved and make sure it is safe/secure. The tires do need replaced so as soon as I find out how to lift it up I will be looking to replace those. Here are a couple pictures of the trailer tires and below. So far it is been good but I want to continue to make sure it stays safe and around for a year or so. I am going to be looking for tires, any suggestions on what I can use?
 
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Old 03-28-14, 05:14 AM
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The tire store should be able to direct you to which tires would be best ..... or were you looking for used tires? Most any jack [bottle, screw, floor] will jack it up. Since you're young and stout you may be able to lift it up and slide something under it to hold it up. I'd go ahead and spray some PB Blaster on the lugs now.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 06:51 AM
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I don't know how the rules in Ohio are as far as DOT goes, but in NY where I live they are getting real strict on trailers and how they are used.

If you are going into this as a commercial venture (advertising on the vehicle) we get watched closer than the casual user does even though the casual user poses more of a danger in my opinion. One of the things that gets a lot of attention is homemade trailers or trailers that look homemade. The troopers will pull these over real quick and want to see the weight ratings for the trailer. Factory trailers have engineers that rate the GVWR for factory built trailers. Homemade and modified don't have this and I have heard that in some cases proof is needed that the modifications do not alter the weight ratings. Tires are another attention point on trailers. Here they have to be trailer rated tires and the weight ratings have to be proper for the GVWR of the trailer. In fact, in NY it is now illegal for tire shops to mount passenger car/light truck tires on trailer wheels.

Also, once you start hauling in a commercial venture be ready, at least in NY, to be stopped and scaled. I don't haul commercial (no signs) but get scaled at least once per summer with loads. Last year twice. Once with a load of brush and the second time with a load of busted up concrete. The brush load was fine, the concrete had me worried. Came in 10# under weight.

Good luck with your venture.

Edit, just noticed, are those lock ring wheels on there?????
 
  #17  
Old 03-28-14, 08:26 AM
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Ohh the dreaded State troopers thought. I always wondered how they would be if I got pulled over with this trailer since I do not know their standards/DOT rules. I will check into it and see what I can find. If it is a major difference maybe I will hold off on putting signs on it until I have everything in order.

So far, I have been in luck and they haven't pulled me over or anything. I am learning a lot from doing this and from all of your help so I appreciate it.

I will check out the tire store and see what they say. Probably, I will get new tires depending on pricing just to be sure they last.
 
  #18  
Old 03-28-14, 11:04 AM
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The tires you have on there right now would fail most DOT inspections due to the cracking. Some state inspections as well.
 
  #19  
Old 03-28-14, 01:22 PM
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I am replacing them asap before driving it again as I see they are very bad.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 03:09 PM
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The limiting factor on most trailers is the weight carrying capacity of the tires.
Regardless of the weight carrying ability of the springs and suspension you could get a ticket if you exceed the tire weight capacity.

If you compare weight capacity of the tires you buy you could try to find the heaviest capacity in your size.
 
  #21  
Old 03-28-14, 03:55 PM
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Great, thanks for letting me know I just found some that range from 3000- 3800 max capacity that I am going to check out prices. The trailer is 2100 pounds empty and since I am just carry trash I should be great if I get some to cover 1000 plus pounds over the empty weight.
 
  #22  
Old 04-25-14, 04:24 PM
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I am just replying to add a suggestion. You mentioned wanting to wall it off with plywood. Have you considered cutting and attaching sheetmetal to the existing wood? Provided the wood is in good shape that is. Would be wise to use screws with wide heads or use washers to keep metal from tearing around the screws and coming loose. I wouldn't use nails, screws will be much much more secure.

This would wall it off, help with wind catching things inside of it, give you a paintable clean surface, it is lightweight(much lighter than plywood), and you can get it pretty cheap. This would also give you more surface area for not only advertising, but for things like reflectors mentioned below.
 
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