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Parking stock trailer in the rain

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  • Parking stock trailer in the rain

    First-time trailer owner here 🙋🏼*♀️

    I just purchased a 2011 Featherlite trailer, a 2HBP slant load stock trailer. All aluminum with WOOD FLOORS and mats. I live in Central FL, and our rainy season has just begun.

    I got a really great deal (a steal, honestly) on this trailer, because some of the wood floor has rotted out after being left under a tree for 6 months. My handy husband is going to replace all the floors with new planks, then we’re going to have it serviced. Great!

    What do I do with the trailer when it comes home to prevent any damage to the wood floors going forward?! We’re going to treat the heck out of the new wood before putting the mats back on, of course.
    How should I park/store this trailer? We don’t currently have a setup that allows us to park the trailer in a garage or other similar covered structure. So what happens with stock trailers when it rains and the major humidity sets in? Doesn’t rain water get inside the trailer due to the openness? Am I going to spend my life pulling mats out and drying wood after every rain? Cover with a tarp? Does the water just not creep in?? Looking for some tips and guidance on caring for my new toy.

  • #2
    It's quite concerning to me that a 2011 model wood floor rotted through in 8 years. That doesn't seem right and has me wanting to run outside and double check my 2015 model one more time!

    I don't have a good answer, but I have the same problem with my stock trailer. I live in a super humid area that has also experienced an atypically wet weather pattern for over a year now. I park my trailer outside. I try to pull the bedding into the center when parked, because it is mostly the edges that get wet. I don't pull my mats up. I don't cover the trailer with a tarp or proper canvas trailer cover because I've heard moisture gets trapped that way, which is even worse.

    Yeah... going outside to check my floor now... it was fine at last check, but you have me wondering...
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I wouldn’t panic, Texarkana! This poor trailer was parked under (against?) a tree with the branches literally poking into the back of the trailer. So the entire back edge of the wood (where the step-down is) has rotted there where I’m guessing water pooled.

      The rest of the wood wood looks fine, but I’m goimg
      to replace it all at once for the peace of mind.

      Comment


      • #4
        If your trailer has plexi glass inserts for the stock slants, you could insert them to keep water out. I have both a ‘99 Featherlite stock trailer and a ‘06 Elite stock combo LQ trailer that I have had no issues with, although they both have aluminum floors. The Featherlite does not have inserts and the floor is in excellent shape. The Elite does have inserts, that I leave in unless hauling a horse. That floor is also in excellent shape. Both floors are original.

        I would use pressure treated lumber to replace the floor, see if there is any type of sealant you could use on the new floor, and be careful as to where you park it. I am also religious about cleaning out once I get where I am going, especially if there is urine involved. I also always use bedding to help absorb urine.

        Is there any chance the rot rot may have also been caused by the previous owner not cleaning the trailer out like they should?

        You can install the channels for plexi glass and the plexi glass aftermarket. You could call Featherlite for the channels, or fabricate them yourself. You should be able to buy the plexi glass locally.
        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

        Comment


        • #5
          It also may help to crank up the front of the trailer (with wheels chocked) so that the floor will drain while parked.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mine is not a stock, but I either fold the mats in half towards the front of the trailer (exposing the floor in the back half where the poop/pee is), or pull them entirely.

            Comment


            • #7
              treat the wood before installing with a water sealer such as Thompson's Water Seal

              Comment


              • #8
                You can always use a tarp and bungee cords to cover far enough down to cover the open slats. There are fitted trailer covers, but they aren't cheap!

                And when you park it, make sure that its not perfectly level - adjust the jack so there is a slight tilt to the trailer, so if water does get in, it will run off, not stand and pool.
                ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also make sure its parked on gravel, patio bricks, etc. and NOT grass.
                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                    It's quite concerning to me that a 2011 model wood floor rotted through in 8 years. That doesn't seem right and has me wanting to run outside and double check my 2015 model one more time!

                    ...
                    ^^^ That's nuthin' . We replaced the floor in my 4-horse stock trailer which sits out all the time in southern Middle Tennessee weather. That means a lot of rain, a lot of heat, a lot of humidity. I only used the trailer a few times (after the new floor) to carry a horse to the vet.

                    My trailer is double-floored with the bottom floor being the same type of tongue &a groove planking the trailer came with. It only took five years for those floors to rot out

                    DH had to put new floors in, yet again, so I could carry one of the horses to the clinic.

                    we have too much high wind to just put up some aluminum roof with cheap poles that stick in the ground and we don't have the money it would cost to have a contractor build an overhang off the side of the workshop.

                    Soooooo --- DH spent a couple hundred dollars on a tarp to cover the whole trailer, down to the fenders. It has been doing its job but I have not looked in the trailer this year to see if the tarp is still keeping the rain out (hoping it didn't spring a leak). I'm almost afraid to look in there by this time of the year ---- there's probably a collection of Black Widows, and an assortment of the viper snakes our area is famous for ---------

                    Anyway, OP, try covering your trailer with a big enough tarp that it goes down to the fenders. But I'm saying right now it's is a major PITA to get on/off. Maybe yours won't be as you have a two horse but it's still going to be awkward to manhandle. At least it should do the job until you can build something to house it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Don't get Thompson's water sealant. I bought some and it's terrible. I had to apply mineral spirits because it left the floor all sticky. I inadvertently found an old bottle of it and the old stuff is great. Totally different product than the new stuff.

                      I added aluminum j channel around my windows and bought polycarbonate shelf liner for windows. Mine slide right in. $60 for rails, $55 for the polycarbonate, $20 for frp board. The shelf liner comes in different sizes. I bought 16 inch and it fits my windows perfectly.

                      The frp board covers the back door. You could just use frp board instead of polycarbonate if you wanted cheaper windows. I didn't want to deal with cutting polycarbonate for the back window.

                      I attached Velcro to the frp board, slide it in the bottom rail, the Velcro attaches to the metal bars to support the top. I could have added snaps on top but I didn't want to add more holes in the trailer. The Velcro has held well, even with 30 mph winds.

                      It's completely waterproof. No leaks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by clanter View Post
                        treat the wood before installing with a water sealer such as Thompson's Water Seal
                        Dont use Thompsons. Its the crappiest product and you'll have to keep redoing it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As others have said, you should use pressure treated lumber for the floor (and in the gate/ramp, if there is any between the panels, although that is probably just a ramp issue). Good PT wood lasts forever, but when I last replaced the plywood sheet in my old trail et (PT wood treated floor), I used PT plywood and THEN applied the gold standard: Spar Urethane (or any marine spar varnish). But ramps are notorious for rotting out because of the run off. Even though my trailer was 20+ years old when I sold it and I had replaced the ramp twice, the PT wood floor was still in great shape because it had rarely been stored on grass (bad), I always cleaned it out every use, every time and I kept it closed up except when in use.

                          Two of those things you can do with a stock trailer, and the plexiglass panels are OK, but the idea of taking them out for every use (if you are in Florida, there is almost no time you want them in) seems like some serious annoyance. If it were mine, I would probably replace the floor with PT wood (maybe use Spar on the last 12" towards the back since that is the stress point for most trailers+moisture), try parking it slightly raised and evaluate how much water really comes in and then evaluate from there.
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post



                            My trailer is double-floored with the bottom floor being the same type of tongue &a groove planking the trailer came with. It only took five years for those floors to rot out

                            DH had to put new floors in, yet again, so I could carry one of the horses to the clinic.


                            This still seems so bizarre to me. My trailer sat out in middle TN, too, for a good few years before I moved to an equally humid area two years ago. Now I get to deal with humidity, rain, AND road salt. While water gets in my trailer, it still doesn't seem like enough that wood could "rot out" to the point of needing replaced in such a short period of time. The volume of water that gets in isn't that significant; it dampens the mats and any bedding it touches, but dries out quickly as soon as the rain stops.

                            I'm actually scheduling a floor inspection as a result of this thread; I'm due anyway. I lifted my mats yesterday, poked around with a flathead screwdriver, banged on the boards with a hammer. Things seem okay, but I'm really wondering now what constitutes "rotted out."
                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Texarkana View Post



                              This still seems so bizarre to me. My trailer sat out in middle TN, too, for a good few years before I moved to an equally humid area two years ago. Now I get to deal with humidity, rain, AND road salt. While water gets in my trailer, it still doesn't seem like enough that wood could "rot out" to the point of needing replaced in such a short period of time. The volume of water that gets in isn't that significant; it dampens the mats and any bedding it touches, but dries out quickly as soon as the rain stops.

                              I'm actually scheduling a floor inspection as a result of this thread; I'm due anyway. I lifted my mats yesterday, poked around with a flathead screwdriver, banged on the boards with a hammer. Things seem okay, but I'm really wondering now what constitutes "rotted out."
                              When DH had to replace the floors this last time, which was around 2-1/2 years ago, my 20-something well seasoned, well traveled trail horse refused to get on the trailer -- refused --- like a green horse.

                              He finally did get on to go to the vet but it took 15 minutes and it was under duress ---- this from a horse that I can throw the rope over his neck and say "get up in there."

                              DH gave me one of his condescending looks and eye roll when I demanded he check the floors. Sure enough there was rot starting along the edges of the wood and at the back where the rain can also blow in . When the wind blows the rain sideways around here, it will blow right into the trailer. It the trailer is sitting level the water won't run out.

                              DH put the new floors in, my sweetie pie horse spent a good ten minutes snorting & sniffing. Finally satisfied he walked right up on the trailer and that was the end of him refusing to get on, lollol

                              Truth be told the center of the wood was still good but the horse didn't think so, and since I'm anal about that stuff anyway, poor DH had to rip out floor boards that didn't have more than 100 miles on them, if that, lollol

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by 4horses View Post
                                The frp board covers the back door. You could just use frp board instead of polycarbonate if you wanted cheaper windows. I didn't want to deal with cutting polycarbonate for the back window.

                                I attached Velcro to the frp board, slide it in the bottom rail, the Velcro attaches to the metal bars to support the top. I could have added snaps on top but I didn't want to add more holes in the trailer. The Velcro has held well, even with 30 mph winds.

                                It's completely waterproof. No leaks.
                                What does “frp” stand for?

                                Your setup sounds awesome! Do you have any pictures you could share?

                                I really want to do the plexiglass, or similar, since I don’t haul very often and don’t plan on increasing my frequency for another year+

                                And Texarkana...my rot is pretty darn obvious!
                                Hopefully the pic comes through.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wow! That IS obvious!

                                  I don't mean to sound so doubtful. This thread is scaring me to death as the owner of a stock trailer that sits out in the weather and I'm just trying to wrap my head around everything. I'm now terrified I'll pull my mats up in the near future and see that!
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My stock trailer sits outside here in Eastern Ontario.... Rain. Snow. Heat.
                                    The floors have been replaced twice in 20 years. Pressure treated lumber.
                                    It is used 1-2 times a week from May to November then it sits...uncovered.. all winter.

                                    I have lighter-weight rubber mats and make sure the floor is picked clean and swept thoroughly and the mats are left flipped back, off the floor after every use.

                                    I think the key to keeping your floors in good condition - no matter what kind of trailer - is to keep the floors spotless and roll up the mats after every use.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Polyurethane the new wood with marine grade urethane. I did this when I bought my stock side trailer new. It has been outside, uncovered here in humid land for at least 12 years - the floor is perfect, no issues under the mats.

                                      I never put bedding in there & I do always sweep out any stray poo after I use it, but that's it.

                                      Don't cover your trailer, it just traps more moisture under there.
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        This is frp board:
                                        https://www.lowes.com/pd/48-in-x-8-f...nel/1000174771

                                        You can cut it by hand with these:
                                        https://www.lowes.com/pd/craftsman-2...xoCtp4QAvD_BwE

                                        This is what I bought for windows:
                                        https://www.homedepot.com/p/LEXAN-16...​​​​

                                        polyurethane helps protect the floor but if you have a steel trailer eventually it will rust out from excessive rainfall. Keeping the rain out of your trailer and keeping the outside well painted is going to go a long way towards preserving your investment.

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