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Is that teardrop home built or manufactured? It looks different than any I've seen on my searches so far. I'd love a teardrop, but need longer than queen bed length wall to wall.
 

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I have done some searching and some reading, and got some of my questions answered but not a key one about hinges and not a definitive one about decking, so I was hoping for some more help?

I recently purchased my first raft, which came with this trailer:


Sorry, I don't have a better pick of it uncovered. I need to redo the top plywood deck, and am looking to do it in the next couple weeks. The trailer is going to be stored indoors with the boat inflated and assembled most of the time. The trailer has a solid wall running down the middle, splitting the storage space in two. The top is four sections of plywood with hinges in the middle of the trailer, so they open from the side. The first issue is the hinges are mounted from the inside and bottom of the plywood, which is great for keeping the top surface flat and not having to worry about rubbing or damaging the raft bottom. The issue is, if you open one side all the way and flop over on top of the other side, the hinges bind and crack the plywood.

Does someone make a hinge that would still mount flush underneath, but would allow it to open all the way? If not, I am going to put a chain, cable, or rope of some kind mounted underneath that will catch at like 110 degrees, but would rather have a hinge.

Second, how thick and what kind of plywood should I purchase? I am in Denver, and would like to be able to pick up locally.

Should I go with pressure treated or something I can get sanded really smooth like a maple toped plywood and then seal it really well?

I also need to get at the trailer with a wire brush and hit a rust spot or two and then repaint. Grey rustoleum?

Thank you for the help!
 

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Jared
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I think I'd ditch the center hinge system and hinge it on one side. You could hinge 4 sections, 2 that open on the right and 2 on the left. Then you wouldn't lose access and you could make it so there was no seem in the middle of the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
What about something like this?
HealthSmart Brass Expandable Door Hinge Pair-640-2006-0000 at The Home Depot
Note - I'm also voting to ditch the center hinge system. Unless you put a spacer of some sort between the 2 doors, you'll never be able to have both of them open at the same time. I'm picturing two (maybe 3) of these hinges on each outside edge with the doors swinging outwards.
 

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You could forego the hinges altogether. The company I work for has a similar trailer and we remove the boards to access the trailer space (or lift from one side if we just need quick access). You may need a support beam down the middle. We have a piece of angled steel that rests between supports on either side and oriented like a v. This brace comes out to aid in loading the trailer with dry boxes and other gear. I believe the boards are either 1/2" or 3/4", made to be outdoors, but nothing super fancy and then we primed and painted them to seal them up a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
You could forego the hinges altogether. The company I work for has a similar trailer and we remove the boards to access the trailer space (or lift from one side if we just need quick access). You may need a support beam down the middle. We have a piece of angled steel that rests between supports on either side and oriented like a v. This brace comes out to aid in loading the trailer with dry boxes and other gear. I believe the boards are either 1/2" or 3/4", made to be outdoors, but nothing super fancy and then we primed and painted them to seal them up a little more.
Since I assume you have access to said trailer, picture please!
 

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Thank you for the suggestions. I think changing up the placement of the hinges may be my best option.

I think I am going to go with marine grade plywood and coat with spar urethane/varathane. Does that seem appropriate? How many coats should I do?

The trailer currently has 1/2" on it. I think I am going to go to 3/4". Will be using the trailer as a gear hauler for elk camp, and might as well have the added strength for standing on, etc.
 

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Since I assume you have access to said trailer, picture please!

I would like pictures too. Curious how they are held in place. I don't think I will be going in that direction, but you never know. The issue would be my wife getting into the trailer and having to lift the boards, etc.
 

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I would like pictures too. Curious how they are held in place. I don't think I will be going in that direction, but you never know. The issue would be my wife getting into the trailer and having to lift the boards, etc.
As I was writing the last post, I kept thinking I wish I had pictures. Unfortunately I don't have access to the trailer right now, but I might have a picture at home. I'll check later.

The boards are held down by the rafts strapped to the trailer during transport and by the straps alone during shuttle. Each board has 4 rope handles for lifting (won't hurt the boats) and we run the straps through them when securing for shuttle. They're easier to move with 2 people, but one can do it by lifting and sliding the boards around on the trailer…typically one side at a time.
 

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I'm using 3/4" C/D exterior Plywood painted with Rustoleum, It's held up well for over 5 years but I'll repaint it this year because it's getting thin in some spots. The boat slides well but it's not too slippery to walk on when wet.
I'd hinge it on one side if it's possible, It's nice being able to have access to the trailer with the boat loaded on top.
 
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