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DIY Trailer

650 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cbramsey5898
I am going to buy a flat trailer that used to be an 8'x20' travel trailer - someone took the top off leaving only a flat surface, intending to do something else with it but never had the time. It has two axles - there is no weight rating on the title. I am guessing that the weight rating will be at least 3,000 pounds. Does that make sense? I want to build a box trailer on it and use it 2/3 of it to live in and 1/3 to haul toys. Has anyone on this forum ever done something like this from scratch? I would like to use metal studs for the walls, to lighten up the load. I want to use a 2x6 stud so that I can stuff it with insulation. Any suggestions for other materials? I know it is not light, but wall board is fire resistant - will something like that hold up in a trailer? Any suggestions are appreciated. I have basic carpentry skills but concered about the mobile aspect of it. If it were being built on a fixed foundation on land, I would not be posting here.
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I am pretty sure the wallboard will crack on the road. usually 1/4" (or metric equivalent) plywood is used for wall coverings.
for fire protection, perhaps a sheet of aluminum on the "toy" side. that will really just depend on how big a fire, as to how long it will hold up, burn-time.
as for steel studs, my concern would be the joints, under road travel. perhaps the wall-covering will hold the joints together.

i am fortunate that the aluminum frame outer walls of my camper are in good shape, so i can build off of them.

as for transit weight, you need to know what actual axles are rated for. mine, a 25' 5th wheel, has 3500 pound axels, giving me a total weight limit of 7000 pounds. so at no time, should this trailer be loaded with more than that, including all framing, walls, cabinetry, etc... and the balance needs to be considered. to much weight forward or rear of the axles can lead to loss of control on the road.

this would be my best thoughts on the matter.
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Best of luck with your DIY project. Typically, RV manufacturers use a product called luan which is typically 1/4 inch thick or so with a veneer of wallpaper (my guess as to what the stuff is called) for the interior wall surface.

Here is a photo of what the interior wall of my 5th wheel looks like.
Brown Rectangle Wood Beige Grey

Home Depot Floor Underlayment

The luan typically is in 4鈥 x 8鈥 sheets. Best of luck.
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