Lots of travel lately so the going is slow. Finally got the rear wall rebuilt. It had some significant water damage in the right corner which affected several cross pieces so I removed the entire rear wall and essentially replaced all the wood. The front and rear walls were lined with a heavy fiberboard that served as a backing for the aluminum skin. I ended up tossing the rear fiberboard as it was rotted along with the wood. I added new plywood to replace the fiberboard as a reinforcement for the skin. I am repurposing the 5/8" treated plywood that was used on the rollout beds.
Damage was extensive and extended into most of the cross members.
Closeup of damaged corner.
All rebuilt and ready for skin. The bottom plywood panels were added to replace the fiberboard.
Skin re-installed over new frame and corner trim pieces fit perfectly. These will get lots of caulk later.
The fiberboard in the front wall looked worse than it was. It had lots of water stains but very little actual damage. I couldn't stand to look at the unsightly stains so I simply painted the fiberboard with two coats of Kilz. Simply a cosmetic issue.
Front wall before:
Front wall after painting:
I decided after completing the end walls that I would start the painting of the shell and top. This involved dropping the roof, putting the new tires and wheels on the new Dexter axle, and taking the trailer down off all the support blocks. I then pulled the trailer out of the garage and turned it around in order to start removing the pin stripes on the side that I had not previously done. That will be my workload for the next few days. One thing to note on this effort was the installation of the new wheels on the Dexter axle. I had always used spring axles with lug nuts and this was the first time I had used lug bolts. Dexter sends a set of bolts with a little dab of Loctite. This plus the paint in the threads on the flange make the first install a hard one. It was bad enough trying to hit the holes with the bolts but turning them was a major chore. I ended up using a cheater bar on my socket wrench while chocking the tire with both of my feet. Those bolts will not come loose like the nuts on the HF trailers.
New tires installed and ready to roll (at least far enough to turn it around and back in the garage for painting)