Restoring the Trailer Frame and Floor

Giving new life to a 12′ 1967 Golden Falcon.

The floor was in pretty good shape with only the back portion being a concern. At some point, the back window was leaking pretty heavily and it ruined the subfloor. The window was fixed (sloppy does not even come CLOSE to describing HOW the window was fixed, but it did not leak anymore.) After much discussion, we thought it would be *easiest* to replace the back portion of the floor by lifting the box up and rolling the trailer frame out.

And there you have it! Using scrap wood, the corners were lifted a little at a time until the whole box was able to clear the wheel wells. We attached 2×4’s to each corner as support legs and rolled out the floor/trailer.

Next came the task of attacking the floor. We flipped it upside down on a table and Wade pulled out 8 million staples from the underside. The floor, from the ground up, consisted of a coated cardboard layer, a grid 2″x2″ frame with insulation, and the plywood subfloor…with paper from linoleum still attached.

You can really see the damage on the back part of the floor here. The plan was to replace some of the grid wood that was damaged, add some more support, and replace just this section of plywood.

While Wade worked on the floor, I started on the trailer frame. Rather than investing in a sandblaster, we found a simple attachment for a power washer that turns it into a wet sandblaster. We’ve talked about getting a sandblaster for other uses, but the biggest issue seems to be having a powerful enough compressor to run it. We are not going to use it enough to justify spending what it would take to get a pro model, so this solution worked for what we needed. It does have it’s limitations…like you MUST use DRY, filtered sand (we used filtered pool sand), it still clogs even with filtered dry sand, it uses a TON of sand, the sand comes out sporadically and not consistently…

I will spare you any pictures nut you will be COVERED in sand when you are through!
BEFORE

AFTER

We live in the hot and humid south. The morning after sandblasting, there was a nice coat of orange rust. I brushed the frame with a stiff brush and applied this magical stuff called Corroseal. It converted the rust to a metal primer. It was seriously AMAZING stuff! From reading reviews, the biggest thing was to be very generous with the application. It has the consistency of watered down glue, and sort of smells like it.

This was only one coat. If it needs more, it stays this light purpleish color.
This was the 3rd coat.

In the morning, there was some small pinholes of rust. Again, we live in the hot HUMID south. Another coat would have probably been warranted at this point, but I was too anxious to paint!

There was nothing really special about painting. We used “farm implement” paint from TSC. I figured that would hold up just as well as anything! The frame got 3 coats.

We finished up the floor and put it back on the trailer frame.

Repaired wood
New foam insulation

Rather than lining the bottom (road facing) with cardboard, or even tar paper, we opted to use a very thin sheet of aluminum. This would protect the underside from road debris and also keep out critters!

And sometimes…you get the whole thing stapled on and realize you forgot to cut out the wheel well.
Wheel wells getting stapled back down after being painted.

The last part before putting the box back on was to get the paper from the linoleum off of the subfloor. Lesson learned here…spend the money to just buy 2 new sheets of plywood! It is not worth losing your sanity trying to scrap off 50+ year old linoleum glue!!!

It threatened to rain several times so we would put the tarp on…then take it off. It never rained. We left the tarp off…and it POURED the next morning. After the single downpour, the sun came out and with a fan blowing, it dried nicely.

The very last thing before bolting the floor back to the frame and lower the box back onto it, was giving it a good coat of Kilz for its mildew resistant quality.

We Bought a Vintage Trailer

During the middle of a pandemic…one of us found ourselves without a job. We have always talked about restoring a vintage trailer…well…okay…maybe it was just me that talked about it.

After doing some searching, it seems there is a current market for restoring vintage trailers. We’ve had our fair share of construction projects…how hard could it be to restore a trailer? I mean really. There is less than 200 sq ft of space, surely it cannot be that hard!

[insert eye roll here]

Lesson #1. Getting your hands on a hunk of rolling junk is almost like day trading. We would find a trailer on marketplace, make an offer, and it would be gone! Our very first purchase, ended up being for two travel trailers, but not this one. This little lady we found just after picking up the other two.

When we went to pick her up, the young, sweet couple was moving and trying to get rid of “stuff” so they did not have to move as much. We took our trailer thinking we would load her on it. The problem is, we have a regular utility trailer with sides. The Golden Falcon would not clear the sides of the trailer. We left her that night and contemplated what to do. By morning, we figured we would just take back roads home (it was only 60 miles) and go very slowly.

We had zero issues.

Lesson #2. Keep straps, rope and duck tape in your call at all times. And spare trailer lights if you plan on day trading trailers.

The inside looked decent. There were a few rotten spots, but nothing that could not be fixed! All of the windows were intact with only the door window being broken.

We don’t know much about these things, but figured we could learn as we go!

*We think that this particular Golden Falcon was manufactured in Canada.