trailer re-decking hardware question - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-02-2018   #1
 
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 147
trailer re-decking hardware question

I'm re-decking my Triton XT snowmobile trailer and having a bit of trouble. I put in new 1/2" exterior plywood with several coats of a deck stain. The hardware I removed from the previous owner re-decking was 1 1/2" self tapping screws, about size 12 with a fairly course thread.

'm using a similar screw for the new deck but all I could find was a finer thread. I'm having trouble getting the screws to hold, about 2/3 are not holding in the frame. I'm setting them in new locations so I'm not hitting the old holes. The frame on the Triton is fairly thin box aluminum.

Anyone have success with different hardware or a technique to get the screws to hold?

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Old 07-02-2018   #2
 
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glenwierd, Co.
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Self tapping screws will usely tear right through aluminum when you try to tighten the substrate down. Unless you can find that sweet spot before you strip out the hole. I would use carriage bolts through the top with a big washer and lock washer or nylock nut on the bottom.
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Old 07-02-2018   #3
Never enough free time
 
Red Lodge, Montana
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if you are set on using self tappers instead of drilling all of the way through and bolting, you could (1)order coarser thread screws online (2) use longer screws so you have time to stop the driver before they bottom and finish them by hand or (3) do both

I don't personally like carriage bolts because they are a PITA to tighten/loosen once the plywood around the head gets soft.

If it were my trailer, I would either bolt the plywood on with a fender washer under the head or else I would bolt wooden runners onto the frame members and then attach the plywood decking with exterior wood screws. I think the second would probably be the cheapest and fastest...except of course for self tappers which is what started the conversation...
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Old 07-02-2018   #4
 
Edwards, Colorado
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Thanks for the comments, I see I'm on the wrong track with the self tappers. Bolting some runners alongside the frame and then screwing into the wood is a great idea.
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Old 07-03-2018   #5
Beater
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Elevator bolts + lock washers + nuts through metal cross bars
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Old 07-03-2018   #6
 
Salida, Colorado
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I found these in a mtn buzz post several years ago. They are cheap and they work.

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-387.htm

Caveat: My trailer frame is steel. I have had no issues and I can see how over-torquing would be easy if working with aluminum. But I can also see a careful installer can make it work. Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2018   #7
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoStep View Post
I found these in a mtn buzz post several years ago. They are cheap and they work.

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-387.htm

Caveat: My trailer frame is steel. I have had no issues and I can see how over-torquing would be easy if working with aluminum. But I can also see a careful installer can make it work. Good luck.

"Warning: A self-tapping screw in thin material is inherently weaker than a bolt with a nut on it. If the steel you are fastening to is too thin or there is a lot of force working on the screw, we recommend a fastener with a nut. On Airstreams, do not use these to attach the aluminum wall U channel to the ends of the chassis outriggers. You must use bolts and nuts in that location."

From the page linked above.

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