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Old 05-13-2013   #1
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Trailer Repair


I have a raft trailer that the flooring is totally rotted out and needs to be replaced. My first inclination was to just replace it with similar beefy plywood (stuff you use for subflooring), but wanted to check to see if there is a better way to do it. Would planks like 1 x 6's be better? Do they make special tounge and groove planks specific for trailers? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Old 05-13-2013   #2
G.J., CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 44
When my plywood floor became mushy I switched it out with 2 x 8's with 1/2" gaps in between them. The boards are installed with self tapping screws and it has a little fake grass for raft protection. The trailer has held up really well over all of the washboard road that it has been on.

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Old 05-13-2013   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
I did a similar repair to my trailer a few years back. The original boards were low grade untreated 2x6 pine and had rotted out. I did have to grind out a couple of small welds and remove a piece of steel angle to get at them.

I replaced mine with pressure treated 2x6 boards, pre finished all 4 sides with penetrating deck/fence finsh. Synthetic decking like trex would have been my first choice, but the span between supports (about 40") was way too long for trex.

Plywood will not stand up to the weather well without a well maintained paint finish, so I would be looking for something else. In my case the whole steel frame was built around the 2x thickness, so it seemed to make sense to stay with 2x material.
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Old 05-13-2013   #4
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 32
I've had a raft trailer for 10 years or so which was a conversion from a tilt down snowmobile trailer. The plywood got a little weak two years ago so i replaced it with treated plywood which was the original type used. It's covered with indoor/outdoor carpet but stored outside 365 day a year. The ply is expensive ($35 or so per sheet) but never experienced any rot. I think if you use sub floor ply untreated it would last for several years but probably not as long as treated. It's a lot lighter than 2x decking and would function fine. Just more frequent replacing....depends on how often you enjoy upgrading the trailer....

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Old 05-13-2013   #5
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
I used TimberTech composite decking. No rot ever. Drains well, doesn't get slippery when wet. But not cheap.

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Old 05-14-2013   #6
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
That composite is nice, but heavy.

If you have a beefy axle, you can do whatever. If you have wimpy axle be weight conscious and do treated 3/4 ply, or painted 3/4 knowing your'll replace it more often.

If you can find salvaged redwood decking, it will be light as well as somewhat rot proof. space them for drainage as another poster said.


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