Trailer bed -- cheap practical alternatives to bedliner

My trailer's steel bed is moderately rusty. Applying bedliner costs hundreds of bucks at Rhino. Plus a couple of hours wire brushing. So I am thinking of cheaper alternatives.

How about this:

1) Make sure that the trailer is dry

2) Apply heavy oil, like 80W90 gear oil, to the floor of the bed, very liberally

3) Make cutouts in two sheets of exterior 3/4" plywood to allow for wheel wells, and put them inside side by side so that they meet in the middle. Optionally glue them in that middle seam using epoxy and fiberglass tape (I did that before). Apply anti-rotting compound like Cuprinol.

That ought to cost about 30 bucks, or whatever is the cost of plywood, and should work out okay.

Any opinions?

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29345
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plywood,

Make a big temporary tank out of poly sheeting and strip the rust electrolytically - works wonders especially as it hoykes it out of nooks and cranies as well as obvious surface rust:

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AWEM

Reply to
Andrew Mawson

Steel trailer beds are easier to skid things on, which is both good and bad. If I were you, I'd scrub off the rust (yuk!) and then paint the bed with good quality red primer, which will last for many years. Then I'd consider lining the bed with wood. But I might consider a stouter antiwetting agent than your gear oil (are you aware that gear oil and motor oil have different viscosity scales so that 90 wt gear oil is about the same as 30 wt motor oil?), some marine product like float-coat (flote-kote? don't know how it's spelled). That stuff is generally rolled on, and is basically very heavy hydrocarbons which stick for a long long time compared to any liquid oils.

Grant

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Nobody has yet determined the optimum amperage per unit surface area, but surely for a piece like this, with such large square footage, you'd need several hundred amps of current to do any real rust conversion in a day or two. Andrew, I'm guessing that you have never yourself tried anything of this scale. I know it's possible to submerge a trailer - heck, you could use a small pond - but the issues of what to use for the anode material and the current source are nontrivial problems. Regular steel strip would quickly rust up and slow the process if you used that as your sacrificial anode.

GWE

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Look for "Herculiner", a DIY roll on truck bed coating that is available at most any auto store and I think Depot and Lowe's as well. It's about $100 for the gallon kit which is probably enough to do the inside of your trailer bed. I've seen a few reviews on it that were all positive.

Pete C.

Reply to
Pete C.

There has been discussion here before about POR15 (paint over rust) paint. I haven't used it, though. Randy

Reply to
Randy Replogle

Sorry, this is not practical.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29345

That sounds like a good, practical idea. I just read its application instructions, I think that it is straightforward. I will have to clean the bed with a wire brush on a grinder.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29345

Grant, thanks, I think that I will look into the Herculiner idea at first.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29345

tractor supply has rubber "stall mats"

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i've got a rubber mat in the back of my p/u. i like it. absorbs shock from dropped stones, etc. prevents the bed from getting scratched up by gravel, etc. grippy surface to prevent stuff sliding around. the grippy-ness of it is sometimes a drawback, like when you're trying to drag/slide something heavy out... but generally i think it's better to be grippy than slippy. i like it better than plywood. it's loose so i can take it out and wash out the bed and easily put it back in. the mat i have has internal nylon plys, the mat from tractor supply i think doesn't. i tried to price rubber mat from mcmaster/carr (i think w/ plys) but it was OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. tractor supply mat is much cheaper/reasonable.

Reply to
William Wixon

costs

area, but surely

Not that area, but I did once have to make a very long thin tank up to do an extended shaft. There is a reference on the web to someone doing something at least as big as Iggys trailer, but a quick search didn't show it to me!

If you give a lower current than optimum it will just take longer. The anode can be any old rusty steel, but stainless is not recommended as the electrolyte apparently can form some environmentally unpleasant compounds. I don't believe the current issue is a show stopper in any way - 12v at 20 or 30 or 40 amps is dead easy to souce with ex computer supplies. My experience is that the gunge on the anode doesn't seem to slow things up.

AWEM

Reply to
Andrew Mawson

Buy the coating and DIY. Wally World sells it for about 30 bucks a gallon.

Reply to
Steve W.

I have used it to clean vehicle chassis, I used a welder and re-bar as electrodes. For smaller items I use a simple battery charger and a horse trough.

Take a look at -

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Reply to
Steve W.

On Wed, 07 Feb 2007 10:56:30 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm, Ignoramus29345 quickly quoth:

I'd rather smell puke than hypoid gear lube, bubba.

How about a third? Scuff it, clean it, and apply a metal primer. Reapply as necessary after use. I like metal surfaces for hauling.

- Inside every older person is a younger person wondering WTF happened. ---

Reply to
Larry Jaques

And before applying the stuff, knock off the flaky rust and then apply some "Rust Converter" [also available at Wally World].

The "Rust Converter" will both stop the rusting and act as a primer.

The "roll-on bedliner" will adhere better that way.

Reply to
RAM³

Oil is a mess.

Knock off loose rust with a good cup brush in an angle grinder -- order a couple of brushes from Tom Gardner. I'd advise spiral-wound brushes but I'll defer to Tom here. All you need do is knock off loose rust. Don't worry about that which is able to resist the brush.

Next, find some stuff called "Rust Mort", made by SEM, part number

69504.

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This will convert remaining rust to a tough, black, tightly-adherent substance that takes paint very well. It is very easy to use; something the size of a trailer bed is no problem at all.

This is not the same as the milky stuff called Extend and verious other names. One key difference is that Rust Mort works. Follow the directons. Then paint it with your cold galvanize stuff, and then put in a plywood deck if you like.

Reply to
Don Foreman

OK. After reading a lot about bedliners, spray etc, I like this option.

My plan, for now, is as follows.

  1. Wait for warmer weather.

  1. Go through the bed with a 6" knotted cup brush and 7" grinder.

  2. Blow out the rust with compressor.

  1. Apply "Rust Mort" according to instructions.

  2. Apply McMaster cold galvanizing primer.

  1. Make plywood "decking" that fits around wheel wells, is treated from rust. Set on top of primer.

The cost will be approximately $100.

That would work very well, if I need to change plywood every few years, that's fine.

The alternative to this is DIY spray bedliner. For that, I still need to do steps 1-5 above.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29345

That sounds like a good plan!

Reply to
RAM³

I've done a few hundred hours of electrolytic derusting, and I'm certain that corrosion on the anode slows things down. To wit: I took an old railroad track plate and soldered a wire to it. I wirebrushed it until it looked burnished although still not exactly bare metal. I started the current and got nice bubbling from my workpiece and I noted the ammeter reading, about 3/4 scale. The next morning my anode (the track plate) was quite rusty and the bubbling had stopped entirely. The ammeter showed only a trickle of current was getting through. I pulled out the anode and wirebrushed it again and put it back in, and with no other changes the current went right back up to where it had been and the workpiece started bubbling nicely again.

GWE

Reply to
Grant Erwin

I'm sure with ya there!

Double row knotted cup brush while you're at it.

Really, really, really, wear a dust mask. Or you get black boogeritis.

I always thought the cold galvanizing had to be on bare steel. How does the zinc work if it isn't in electrical contact with the iron?

Grant

Reply to
Grant Erwin

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