NOTE: Please read comments down below. This isn’t a good option for making trailer sides, but I do have some alternatives to choose from.
The name of this game was weight. Or perhaps I should say, lack of weight.
That’s what I was after with this go round. I’ve built trailer sides before and I’ll admit that I succumbed to the temptation of creating what I like to call “tank” sides. I used half inch plywood and pressure treated 2x4s as a full frame. The sides almost weighed more than the trailer. You should have seen me a few days ago trying to get the things off. I almost pulled my back out – and that was all for a small 5’x8′ trailer!
Before heading out to purchase any lumber this time, I sat down to decide exactly what I wanted to build sides for. I came to a few conclusions:
1. The sides I need will be used primarily for moving light cargo. No mulch or gravel. Only plastic totes filled with household items.
2. They must be rigid, but light.
3. They must be able to disassemble relatively easily, fold down into flat pieces and be strapped down.
4. They must hold up to at least 70mph winds, or otherwise known as highway driving.
I think I found a solution. There’s a board out there called “Luan.” I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s the stuff cheap doors are made out of. It’s also used as backing for a variety of products. I remember it as being really strong and really light. I think I tried to break it in two once with little luck. It just splintered, but hung on. I thought this type of wood would create the perfect trailer sides for the use I was after. Also, I decided to steer clear from anything pressure treated and use regular pine. Well, I did use 2×2 pressure treated wood for the rails, but it’s light.
I started the project this afternoon and within a few hours, I was pretty much done. All I need to do is paint all the wood with some nice black protective Rust-Oleum paint and I should be good to go. There are a few things I would like to show you though – in the way of pictures. I want you to look at the details of how I am planning to keep this whole thing together. By not using heavy lumber, I had to come up ways to keep the unit strong against those high winds. I’ll do my best to describe what I did under each picture.
By the way, the zip ties you see were temporarily holding the sides in place as I was doing the building.