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What is the best and most cost-effective material for a trailer?

Monument
Junior Contributor

What is the best and most cost-effective material for a trailer?

Hi everyone,

 

I am buying the trailer in the attached picture. As you can see there is no surface on either side of the central channel. I need advice as to what material will easily bear weight 100kg+ and be able to withstand weather. I wish to achieve a balance between budget and effectiveness. 

 

All help would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers.

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Hi @Monument,

 

I'd suggest using 2440 x 1220 x 18mm AA Grade Mixed Hardwood Marine Plywood. I'd also recommend coating it with exterior varnish for protection. Alternatively, you could use Carter Holt Harvey FORMrite 2400 x 1200mm 17mm F14 Formply for a more budget-friendly solution. You'd need to make sure that any exposed edges are well painted as they are not weatherproof.

 

A word of caution, be a bit careful adding additional weight to a trailer. If you're installing these sheets so you can walk a bike up and onto the trailer, that should be fine. However, you'll likely be tempted to use the platforms to load items onto, perhaps if you're going away on holiday. Weight distribution is critical on a trailer and especially a thin trailer like this bike carrier. If weight isn't distributed as per the designer's specifications, it will quickly send the trailer into a fishtail.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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r23on
Valued Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

hi @Monument 

Before adding any additional material to the trailer the first question I will ask is what is the maximum weight the trailer can carry.? You will need to keep in mind what ever material you use and the weight of that material will reduce the maximum carrying capacity. This trailer looks like an extremely lightweight and designed for one thing, to carry a bike. If you can add more weight without reducing the trailers performance I would look at aluminium checker plate which can be cut to size from the local aluminium supplier and at a guess will be a bit lighter than formply, no sealer required. Also the local supplier can tell you the weight per square metre of the checker plate which you can compare weights of other materials 

anchoring the material to the trailed will become a whole new ball game. what are your thought on anchoring the material to the trailer?

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Monument
Junior Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Thank you for your response - it is very much appreciated. The load capacity of the trailer is 300kgs. The Bike weighs approx 200kg. In addition to providing a surface area on bothe sides of the central channel I was intending to fix a lockable galvanised toolbox with dimensions approx 1000L x 360W x 390H. This is not essential but desirable.

 

In terms of anchoring that is a matter that I am not knowledgeable about. I would also be anchoring a wheel chock at the end of the channel. I am interested in your suggestion of the Alu checker plate on either side of the channel.

 

Any info of the best anchoring methods for the relevant material would be much appreciated. 

 

Cheers. 

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Monument
Junior Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Thanks Mitchell. If you could refer to my reply to the response below - if you have any applicable info please let me know. Thank you for your help.

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Hi @Monument,

 

I'd presume wielding the checker plate to the frame would be a solution. For timber, you could use U-bolts that fix around the frame which would be preferable to bolting into it. Since this appears to be an ultralight frame, any holes you drill into it could compromise its structural integrity.

 

For more specific information on altering the trailer, it might be perhaps best to contact the manufacturer.

 

Mitchell

 

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Monument
Junior Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Unfortunately the trailer is made in France. A local business just assembles and sells them. I don't have any welding experience so will have to think about that.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Hi @Monument

 

It's great that you've received fantastic advice from @r23on and @MitchellMc. I recommend considering the U-bolt assembly method if welding is not an option. However, it is critical that you get the balance right, any uneven addition to the trailer's center of gravity could cause undesirable results while using it. 

 

Let me tag our experienced members @TedBear and @royq for their thoughts on modifying your bike trailer.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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TedBear
Valued Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Hi @Monument , I lean toward @r23on's thoughts on this. 

I would be considering aluminium expanded mesh as floor for many reasons: it is light and strong, will allow air through (reduced drag), allow water through (won't get heavy in rain), won't rust.  But you would need to get it cut to size and create a frame for it out of aluminium channel. Consider getting the floor made by a supplier, it may be cost effective and be the right strength. Not knowing where you are, if you paste the following into a search box it will show you suppliers around Australia:-

aluminium expanded mesh trailer floor. Australia

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r23on
Valued Contributor

Re: Advice needed - Best cost effective material for Trailer

Hi @Monument 

I was reading @TedBear comments interesting concept did not give any thoughts to that method. Depending on the strength and wall thickness of the trailer frame and depending on the method  you chose there are a number of solution to anchor the material to frame work.

You have 200Kg to play with.

Possible solutions :-

What is the trailer made of?

1. weld brackets to the frame and mount the tool box to the brackets

2. as suggested by @MitchellMc formply or AA marine ply

3. as  suggested by @TedBear expanded mesh

4. checker plate as suggested by myself

5. C channel cut to length mounted horizontal from frame to centre channel and mount the box on them.

Mounting the selected material :-

for the Aluminium checker plate / expanded mesh

1. Weld if the frame is Aluminium would be good.

2. U-clamps

3. I would use rivet nuts if the frame wall is suitable, then the floor is bolted to the frame via the nuts. The tool box bolted to floor

If the nuts are well spaced there will not be any structural problems. 

For the ply:-

1. U-clamps

2. Rivet nuts and bolt the material to frame, but be warned if the nuts are not install correctly they will spin when the bolt is tightened.

As a point of interest rivet nut are used in many heavy industrial situation not just sheet metal.

If you are keen enough and want to calculate the weight of the Aluminium plate here is a site for the weight calculation

https://westberg.com.au/metal-weight-calculator/ 

Also a video of how the nut rivet works

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D3oA_AvWh8 

Bunnings is a supplier of the Kingcrome version 

The chock is not an issue that is an easy solution and can be dealt with later

If you use the checker plate and the rivet nuts there will be a couple of steps you will need to follow of which I will go into if you chose that method.

Hope this helps with your selection of material

Just an update here is another site Action Aluminium Catalog with all the calculation and weight factors for your interest 

https://www.actionaluminium.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/AA-A4-2020-Catalogue_FULL_101019-EMAIL... 

 

 

 

 

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