Trailer rust repair -- floor to side joint
The wife just agreed that building a camping trailer to replace our wide & low pop-up is a good idea, and I have a '93 Buick Roadmaster that's going to the chopping block to provide some seed money. Hunt is on now for a M416!
I have done plenty of welding on a jeep frame, bumpers, skid plates, etc but not much sheet metal work. I want the trailer to be water tight for stream crossings, and it looks like the most common rust is the floor where it meets the tub sides. If there are through-holes there, how are they best repaired? The two ideas that come to mind are (1) cut out and weld a 1" wide strip along the entire perimeter of the floor, or (2) throw a piece of angle iron inside to tie the sides and floor together better? Either way, a lot of welding...this "90 degree sheet metal fix" is one I haven't noodled out yet.
Thanks for any suggestions, it'll help drive my decision on what passes as an "acceptable" starting point on the trailer condition.
Bantam and military trailers in Pennsylvania come in two varieties.
Both are high priced and could escalete in money fast.
I would find a good frame and build a water proof steel box for on it.
you can get M116 frames for a couple hundred dollars and they are built strong.
or check this guy in Ohio and have one built to your needs.
Check steelsoldiers.com classified section for others.
Agreed, I'm looking as far away as NC and NH as I have jeepin buddies all over the east coast. I'd like to find the best one I can that's not restored...I have a good sandblasting place local here that'll do the tub and frame for about $100, and can paint it myself.
I have found a few with penny-size rust holes along the floor/wall seams and asking for ideas on the best way to fix that. I can weld, just haven't done sheet metal work and not sure how to tackle it.
Have one in NC that my buddy is going to look at this weekend for me, if it's as good as it looks I'll buy it and start a build. It has a rust spot in the middle of the floor, but not along the edges. The one in the middle I'm not worried about, just cut it out and weld a patch in.
Chris - th ebest place to buy them IMHO is from the WWII re-enactment fellas...they are very knowledgeable, helpful and generally keep their stuff in good shape. You would pay dearly for a restored one...but only 300-600 for a "good" condition one. I got mine off here.
Check them out here - there are a couple up for sale on there now.
Also - www.steelsoldiers.com is a good place.
If you can weld, You can do the sheet metal too.
Take your time and start in an inconspicous spot, when you get to the end you will have mastered it.
Thanks guys. Good tips on the g503 site. I'm not afraid of welding but quite frankly would rather start with something that's in decent shape this time around. I purchased an 79 CJ-5 for $250 a few years back and got what I paid for! I learned how to weld on that one -- but bought a new tub for it. The frame welding went great, took a ton of time but was great practice.
I'll keep looking...so far I'm seeing $600-800 for "halfway decent" with some rust in the tub, and $1200+ for a restored one. I looked fairly seriously about a year ago and the prices were in the same ballpark, but seems like there are deals out there from time to time.
At first might seem like crap, But consider gluing a angle piece right over the rusted corner. Of course correctly prep the surface and all.
That is providing there is interior room to fit your build out. Any sheetmetal shop can bend the angle strips...
I picked up a trailer a few weeks ago and found a few holes in the lower inside corner of the tub. I made some 1"x1" 16ga angle in our shop and plan on cutting out the bad section, stitch in the new sheet metal and then a little bondo. Should be a pretty easy fix.