Sealing a trailer deck

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Folsom_Prison, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Folsom_Prison

    Folsom_Prison Brew Crew

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    Got my 20 foot speedloader almost a few months ago. They used number one grade lumber. The last month and a half it’s got hot and has sat outside to dry out. The fresh wood smell has worn off and started to fade. Brand new trailer and I’m not gonna rip the floor out to do this but I’d like to seal it with something good to try and make it last. Any recommendations? My first hand has always been wrenching, welding ect not wood projects.
     
  2. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    Helmsman Spar Urethane. You'll have to refinish it every few years, at least clean and add a new layer, like ANY sealer or paint. I've only used the oil based varnish and would avoid anything water based.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  3. cougar_ml

    cougar_ml

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    My uncle who has multiple semi trailers uses linseed oil, thinned out with diesel fuel because he's a cheap SOB. Most people recommend paint thinner as it's thinner than the diesel and evaporates off faster.
    Tung oil also works. Just make sure the oil you use is a pure oil, a lot of oil finishes have urethane or other additives designed to make the oil harden in the surface layer, not allow it to sink in.

    Best to be done when it's hot outside, and the trailer is nice and dry. First coat is thinned linseed or tung oil, then after that you do a couple of straight oil coats. The thinner helps it penetrate deeper, then the additional coats help soak in and protect.

    You don't really want to use most deck sealants like Thompson's that use silicone in them, because to do a new layer you have to strip the wood completely, and it is more of a surface coating, it doesn't seal deep enough for the weight of equipment. Using an oil like linseed oil every few years to reseal it, all you really need to do is a quick pressure wash to get the crap off of it, then spray on more sealant (I use cheap pump sprayers and just soak everything, doing it over an area where any oil overspray won't matter like gravel or grass, not over concrete or asphalt as it will stain it)
     
  4. cougar_ml

    cougar_ml

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    Spar urethane is great for furniture and other outdoor wood, but not really meant to hold up to the use that a trailer deck is expected to deal with. My issue with it is it primarily soaks into the upper layers of the wood then hardens, it doesn't really soak in that far. Then to refinish the old layer has to be removed, either chemical strippers or a lot of sanding, in order to do another good layer.

    It will work, but not my first choice.
     
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  5. NoStress

    NoStress

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    I would treat it first to make it last longer. That is all you need but water will still soak in along with oil and dirt.

    For a black finish.
    https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/wolman/woodlife-creocoat/

    You can also paint, stain or put other products on this after you treat it or leave it as is. A pump up sprayer works well to get the underside and cracks between the boards. You need to wear goggles and gloves.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Wolman-...elow-Ground-Wood-Preservative-1902A/204746309

    Once you have something in the wood fibers to prevent rot you can put something you like on it. I like Behr products. The advantage of just treating it is that it is easy to do and renew and not as slick to walk on. If you put something on that makes the water bead up then it will be slick to walk on when wet and super slick if has snow on it. You can get sand from a paint store to scatter on top before what ever you put on dries.

    https://www.behr.com/consumer/produ...t|bp&msclkid=29627045cde51362ba502f4cac3b0e92
     
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  6. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I have seen everything tried. Oil based paints, latex (did really poor IMO) waste engine oil. (Works but stays slick imo) but linseed oil is about the cheapest for the best results.
     
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  7. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr CLM

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    You want an oil based product. Is the decking pressure treated?
     
  8. DaveD

    DaveD Ex-Mod Moderator Millennium Member

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    Sikken's on pressure treated would work well. If it is PT I would wait a year.
     
  9. papershoot

    papershoot

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    I am in the same boat. I bought a new utility trailer last month for a UTV. The trailer manufacturer was selling them as fast as they were built, so the new treated boards were wet inside. I discussed board treatment with the sales guys. I mentioned putting diesel oil on the wood, and they said the smell never goes away. I'll use an oil based stain like I do for my deck and tree house and maybe follow up with some linseed oil later. I will wait until the spring to stain it because it takes months for the treated wood to dry out on the inside. I don't like using any product that seals like paint or urethane on exterior wood. A little pigment should help reduce the UV damage from the sun. I am using Cabot's deck stain from Lowe's.
    My trailer's boards are secured with self tapping screws to the metal braces. To replace the boards, the screws have to be cut out, which would be a PITA. The company charges ~$300 to replace the boards on my 12' trailer.
     
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  10. DrewBone

    DrewBone

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    Whatever you do don't apply anything that will seal the wood so well that it becomes slippery. Smooth wood surfaces are no bueno; they have a habit of forming puddles, and if allowed to remain will then attract green algae and mold if left in the shade, and you'll be the one who slips on your arse because of it.

    As a welder/fabricator I've built many flatbed truck bodies with wooden decks from scratch, and I've also replaced the decks on quite a few used flatbeds and the decks of heavy equipment trailers, and the lumber used is always heavy oak planks, and these planks are always left untreated in their natural rough cut state, which provides a surface that any load placed upon it will meet resistance with, especially common wooden pallets. These wooden decks last for many years before needing replacement, and when they do it's likely due to something like a poorly designed shipping craddle being crushed under the weight of a heavy weldment that allowed a protruding part of the load to go through the deck, etc.

    I trully understand the desire to have your trailer remain in as prestine a condition as possible, but you have to decide whether you want it to look pretty - or be a functional workhorse for you. If it were my trailer, and even though I'm as anal as they come about maintaining the condition of the things that I own, I'd leave the wood untreated, and when it eventually came time to replace it I'd forgo the "treated wood" and use the proper wood - and just stop worrying about it altogether.
     
  11. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Yup...nothing much slicker than smooth shiny wood with that green slime when it's wet. Zero friction. If they could bottle it and sell it as gun lube, they'd make a fortune.
     
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  12. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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    Is the wood pressure treated?
     
  13. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    That's why you thin it 50/50 for the first coat or two, so it soaks in.
     
  14. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Anti-Federalist CLM

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    They used Yellawood on my trailer and it lives in the garage. I don't plan on treating it with anything. I agree with the oil responses however.
     
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  15. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    ANY product you use will need to be re-applied every year or two depending on use. That's just a fact if you want constant protection.

    It's false that you have to strip spar varnish before re-coating. Power wash it and dry, sand if you'd like. The new coat of varnish will melt into the old coat and bond. Varnish will hold up to UV light and weather better than anything else mentioned here so far.
     
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  16. Desert Kraut

    Desert Kraut

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    I use Thompson's water seal and stain on my utility trailer floor. It has held up to the extreme heat here in Vegas for 3 years now. I will probably retreat it this fall just to prolong it's life. I agree. Anything with linseed oil in it.
     
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  17. fieldhand1

    fieldhand1

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    i have used waste motor oil for years. thin with diesel an spray on with a pump up sprayer or roll it on.
     
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  18. Folsom_Prison

    Folsom_Prison Brew Crew

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    I think so, kinda smelled like it but it’s not that real yellow crap you can buy at Home Depot.
     
  19. inthebubble

    inthebubble

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    Used motor oil for sure
     
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  20. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    Warning: Some people are allergic to urethane when it comes into contact with your skin. I found this out the hard way and I'm not allergic to very many things and have worked with a lot of chemicals.

    The only other thing I'm allergic to is Brazil nuts.
     
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