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Dads old trailer tent

Trailer Restoration

As you can see from the "before" photos, this trailer last moved sometime around 1984. It has lived ever since in my Dad's open sided shed where I found it when clearing out a load of rubbish. I thought that a wooden trailer would be a useful item to have access to and so decided to bring it back to life with a bit of TLC.

After quickly realising that the tyres had "bought the farm", I found replacements at my local trailer supply shop. Stupidly, for some reason new tyres on their own are only slightly cheaper than new metal rims with tyres already fitted. Seriously, it was only a few pounds more!

After Restoration

Annoyingly I forgot to take photos during the restoration, but here is the trailer now. In all, it took about a week of evenings and one weekend to bring it back to life.

The first stage was to strip the trailer down to the frame. The wooden sides actually looked OK. The wood screws holding them to the frame on the other hand needed replacing as they had rusted. I then completely sanded down the metal frame and repainted it with black rust treatment paint. After carefully removing the old stickers from the wooden panels, I varnished them with boat varnish to make sure they would be properly water proof again.

The lights and indicators were working, but I wasn't happy that they were reliable. Also, the plastic light fittings had started to become brittle and so bought a couple of replacements from the same shop I got the wheels from. I got lucky with the wiring, after removing the old stuff, I found a light board left by my house's previous owner. The wire was plenty long enough and so was "re-purposed".

The tarpaulin is actually the original. The elastic strap was shot and so was I replaced it with the help of Ebay :) As it was originally a trailer tent, the base wasn't strong enough for random loads. After thing and rethinking possible welding of new struts, I realised a much simpler solution was to use a thick sheet of marine ply I had lying around (again thanks to houses previous owner). Cut to width and length and laid over the original floor, this additional sheet effectively spreads the load. All in, I probably spent in the area of £50-£60 and now have a fully working trailer. Not bad hey!


Project by or assisted by David Booth