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Installing Mats Onto Walls of Trailers

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    Installing Mats Onto Walls of Trailers

    Has anyone done this? My 10 year old steel trailer just got a major overhaul. It was sandblasted, holes patched and a new paint job...looks brand new again! The man who did this was going to install mats, as the one thing I regret not having done when I bought it, was to have mats lining the walls. He decided against doing so as he didn't think I would appreciate having tons of screws sticking through the outside trailer walls! He said most trailers have a lining such as plywood between the mats and the trailer wall.
    Has anyone installed mats themselves? How did you go about doing so? Just curious as to whether or not I can do it myself or if I have to have someone do it. I have an idea in my head as to how I can do it, but need to look inside the trailer tomorrow to see if what I am thinking will work.
    Lori T for product updates on the lines I rep

    We have rubber on the trailer walls, but did put up the plywood first. Our rubber is not terribly thick, 1/4 or 3/8 inch thick. Just to pad a kick. We got it from a trailer dealer, by the "running foot" so lengths were LONG. One piece from front to back, 18ft each side. Also did across the front, both sides of the center gate and rear door. Mat is about 3ft high.

    We never would have used stall mats for the padding because of the heavy weight added to trailer.

    Our rubber matting is screwed to the plywood, with top edge glued down to prevent gapping places to snag on.

    Has stayed in the trailer for MANY years, well worth the work and cost of putting it up. This is a stock trailer, so addition of plywood lining and rubber matting, sure has cut down on noise of trailer ride for the horses.


      I was thinking of doing this when I did my last trailer overhaul, and couldn't figure out how to do it.

      What I ended up doing is buying a gallon of the rubberized paint you use in truck beds and painting all of the walls up to about two feet. It worked great, was easy, and cost about $40!


        Either plywood and wood screws or industrial adhesive / rubber cement then black caulk the top edge... disclaimer; ventilation/eye protection/respirator


          Original Poster

          Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
          I was thinking of doing this when I did my last trailer overhaul, and couldn't figure out how to do it.

          What I ended up doing is buying a gallon of the rubberized paint you use in truck beds and painting all of the walls up to about two feet. It worked great, was easy, and cost about $40!

          That seems brilliant! My draft cross will paw if he is traveling alone. Do you think that would hold up to him striking it with his front leg? That is the main thing...the wall next to him was terrible marred and rusty due to his pawing.
          Lori T

 for product updates on the lines I rep


            That's exactly the problem I was having. I kept getting the walls scratched, and then they would rust. I filled in all of the crevaces between the wall and floor with caulking and painted the walls.

            It's worked great so far. I don't really have horses that paw, but I was still getting the scratches. No scratches. I suppose you could put on a double coat.

            Give it a try. It's WAY cheaper and easier than trying to tack something on.


              We have puckboard on the walls of our trailer - which already had a layer of plywood.
              Equine Web Design | Kingsgate Stud home of Legal Jousting (IRE) (pentioned)


                So I began removing the rubber wall mats from a horse trailer I'm DIY-ing. Thought it would be as simple as unscrewing the old rotting plywood and I was wrong. The plywood was factory installed with factory bolts so the bolt is welded into the trailer. I got the plywood off with other creative measures and a crow bar since it is rotting. My current plan is to but the new plywood and have them cut it basically to the sizes i need and rent a sawzall for 4 hours and cut notches out of the plywood around these existing bolts I can't remove without a hardcore metal grinder -not that handy- my question is will self tapping metal/wood screws and my ryobi drill be able to then bolt the new plywood through the trailer wall??? Idk the drill is strong enough and if drilling through the exterior trailer wall is a good idea but other than in industrial glue I'm not sure how I would re-adhere the plywood so I can reattach the salvaged rubber mats and have a functional trailer. Thoughts??? Also don't want there to be sharp screw ends sticking out on the outside walls if I were able to drill through the wall. Are there any recommendations on screw cap or covers?


                  Like K-2, we put puckboard up - lighter than rubber mats and not curvy. Works extremely well.

                  For the non-hockey minded, puck board is used around hockey arenas...tough as heck.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    For those of you that have done a re-matting yourselves, what price range would you say the rubber matting to do it with is? We are looking to buy a trailer and depending on the price we may just mat ourselves instead of looking exclusively for something that already has mats installed.


                      Thanks to Foxtrot we know where puck board is used and how it's named, but what is it ?

                      Puck board is high density polyethylene (plastic) that has been formed into sheets. It is often used for the boards in hockey rinks, thus the name "puck" board.

                      I think it would hold up to pawing, but not protect a trailer wall from a kick (dent) since it has little shock absorbing properties.
                      Equus makus brokus but happy


                        Would like to bump this, looking at a trailer tomorrow that is just bare aluminum walls inside. I have this (maybe irrational?) fear of a horse kicking a leg through. Should I affix plywood, then a rubberized coating? If so, how do I affix the plywood and what thickness of plywood is necessary? Or is just a couple coats of a rubberized coating enough?


                          We bought a new Featherlite aluminum stock many, many years ago and bolted rubber mats to the walls using stainless bolts with some kind of plastic washer attached. We had heard of horses kicking through aluminum trailer walls and didn't want to take that chance, hence the rubber mats.

                          The mats have needed zero maintenance in (probably) more than 15 years.

                          We do have big trucks (1 ton and over), and don't trailer more than 3 average sized horses at a time, so weren't worried about the extra weight.

                          Now that the spray/paint on rubber coating is available I'd probably go with that instead. In fact, I'd likely skip the plywood and just add enough rubber coating until i felt that the walls were likely strong enough,


                            Thanks kande04 ! That's what I was thinking, like 4 or more coats of the rubber coating.


                              Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
                              Would like to bump this, looking at a trailer tomorrow that is just bare aluminum walls inside. I have this (maybe irrational?) fear of a horse kicking a leg through. Should I affix plywood, then a rubberized coating? If so, how do I affix the plywood and what thickness of plywood is necessary? Or is just a couple coats of a rubberized coating enough?
                              1. Get two sheets of 1/2" plyboard.
                              2. Cut the plyboard to fit the wall, then lay the cut plyboard down in a workspace to have a rubber surface attached
                              3. Buy two sections of thin rubber dog kennel matting (it comes on a roll so you can purchase the lengths you need), and cut it to fit your two plyboard sheets.
                              4. Purchase some flooring glue (used to glue vinyl flooring to a house's plywood subfloor)
                              5. Liberally coat one plyboard on one side with the glue, then place one of the sections of rubber dog kennel matting on top of the glue. Do that to the second plyboard and attach the 2nd section of matting. Leave both lengths of plyboard with matting to dry. It should take several hours for the glue to dry.
                              6. Purchase 20 carriage bolts long enough to go through the plyboard/rubber mat and your trailer wall with room for a nut. Extra length bolts will require you to hacksaw the excess off once the bolts are in place on your trailer, so try to get as close to the right length you need without shorting yourself.
                              7. With your now dried glued plyboard and matting, lay the plyboard down, raised up about 2-3" off whatever surface it is placed. With a power drill you want to drill 4 to 5 evenly spaced holes just big enough to comfortably run your bolts through. Drill your holes down 3" from the top edge of the plywood right through the matting. Then drill out 4 to 5 evenly spaced holes along the bottom, at least 3" up from the edge. Be careful that the centermost hole on the bottom is in the center of the wheelwell between the tires so that you can reach the bolt to place the nut on it.
                              8. Place the plyboard upright along the trailer wall where it will sit. Put a 1" shim under the plyboard to hold it up off the floor as you don't want it sitting directly on the floor.
                              9. With a black ink marker that is small enough to fit through the drilled hole, mark the top center hole position onto the trailer wall. Remove the plyboard, and drill a hole at the marked spot through the trailer skin. Replace the plyboard in position, and thread a carriage bolt through both plyboard and trailer holes so that the nut to the outside of the trailer. Go outside the trailer, thread a nut onto the bolt, and snug down just enough to hold the plyboard, but don't overtighten.
                              10. Drill through each top bolt hole in the plyboard and thread a bolt through. Snug down each bolt at a time.
                              11. Drill through each bottom bolt hole hole, through the trailer skin, run a bolt through the each hole as it is drilled, and snug down.
                              12 With a hacksaw remove any excess bolt lengths that extend beyond the nut on the exterior of your trailer.

                              You are now finished and have a durable, sturdy kick wall interior that will protect your horse and your trailer.


                                Glad this thread got bumped, as mine needs new kick wall mats too, and I was wondering what the heck I could do. I really like the rubberized "paint" idea.


                                  GTD, That is a nice, clear explanation of doing the job! Thank you.