Nov 20

How To: Replace a Trailer Floor

We’re baaaaack! We’ve been busy entertaining guests, traveling, and being involved in just about everything in seems. Finally, we’ve stopped to sit down and start updating you on the recent happenings. In this post, you will learn how to replace a trailer floor! So, here goes!


We love deals!  There’s something special about both getting a deal on something as well as having the skills to fix it up to be as good as new.  We’ve saved lots of money doing this and can take pride in something that we’ve fixed/built.  Here is my latest adventure of how I was able to replace a trailer floor that I scored on a sweet deal!

About a year ago I bought this trailer off our local classified ads here in Sidney.  To get an idea of why I bought this trailer you have to look at the local prices for similar products.  Although its a little rougher than a brand new trailer from Cabela’s that goes for $1200, I bought my trailer for $400!  That’s $800 off the original price (for the mathematically challenged).

Since I’ve purchased the trailer, I’ve used it on a number of projects such as: The Backyard Path and The Patio project.  I’ve also had the pleasure of letting a number of buddies borrow the trailer for whatever they are working on at the time.  For someone that likes to save a buck, I get just as much enjoyment when I can help someone else save some scrilla!

The top two pictures are the “before” pictures while the next two pictures are the “after.”  As you can see, when you replace a trailer floor, it can make a big difference to both the usability as well as help with the aesthetics.

So here we go; How to Replace a Trailer Floor:

Step 1: DEMO

The initial step of almost every DIY projects is going to be the demolition of the “before” problem.  On this particular trailer, I had to cut the boards about half way down to be able to put them out from the metal covers on each end of the trailer.  Once you make that cut you should be able to remove one half of each board.  As for the other side, I had to use a drill to remove the bolts the help hold the boards down.

Step 2:  Clean and Prep the Surfaces

While I had all the boards off the trailer I was able to scrape all the rust of the frame of the trailer.  Once the rust is cleaned off I went ahead and sprayed Rustoleum spray paint on any areas I felt needed some additional protection.

Step 3: Cut Insertion Point for Boards

Here is a picture of the metal lip that helps keep the boards on the trailer.  This presented a problem when trying to insert the new boards.  As you will recall earlier, I was able to cut the old boards in half and remove them that way.  Obviously, I can’t cut my new boards to get them in those lips on either side.

When I was doing my research on how exactly I was going to tackle this step, I came across a few different ideas.  The first one was to use multiple boards to help pry or bend the board so I could put one side in the metal gap and then bend the next side far enough to fit in the other.  The next one is quite similar, but instead of using boards I actually used a jack.  Seems a little dangerous and just not that logical to me.  For me I chose to use a grinder to cut the metal to fit a board in.

Plus, you look way cooler when you have sparks flying all over the place and your wife is watching you thinking at any moment that you are going to catch on fire.  If you’ve never had the pleasure to use a grinder you should.  It’s one of those tools that I thought to myself, “I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m a little bit intimidated, I should probably not be doing this, but I feel like a MAN!!”

Step 4: Insert Boards and Push to the End

After you get all your grunting and beating of the chest done with the grinder, I ended up with that slot for the boards to go in.  To replace a trailer floor,  I used 9-2X8s and 1-2X6.  When I cut the metal I cut it at a length just a little bit wider than the 2X8 as that was my widest board that I would have to fit in.  As you can see below, fits like a beaut!

Because the fit was quite snug I had to use a sledge hammer to help push the boards to the end.  When the hitting got difficult, I used a scrap piece of lumber from the original trailer floor to pound against.  No point in getting my brand new wood all busted up before I even used it.  Sidenote: The lumber for this project cost me roughly $140.  Even with replacing the floor, I’m still way ahead in the trailer value business.

PS: Sledgehammers are also one of those tools that makes you feel a bit more manly!  Try it sometime or cut wood with an axe.  My buddy Andrew and I used to build some killer fires at his house using logs that we split with an axe…the old fashion way!!  Same general concept; hit things with pieces of large heavy metal.  OH YEAH!

Step 5(forgot pictures): Drill New Bolt Holes and Tighten them Down

For my boards, I used a 1/4 inch bolt that was 2 inches long.  They were pretty cheap.  I think the whole bag of nuts and bolts was $7.  This part was a little too much for one person, so I had to enlist the help of Kel.  She would tighten the bolt from the top while I held the nut underneath.  It worked pretty well, but that is why there no pictures of this step.

Step 6: Grab a Beverage and Think to Yourself: that’s how to Replace a Trailer Floor.

And here is the finished product!  Looking as good as new!  The project to replace the trailer floor took roughly 4-5 hours total. The trailer is all fixed up so it can work for another 10 years.

~Until the next DIY project~


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