I thought I would provide an anniversary update on the Harbor Freight trailer build from a year ago. Blog posts on the build are in my archive.
Last year I used an Olympia brand deck sealer to protect the wood from the elements. Here is proof of how well the product works after a year outdoors.
Not very good. Cracks in the wood were expected, being as it’s pine and that much of has been unprotected over time. The pressure treated plywood bedding received an additional two coats of the deck treatment over the wood frame, but it still looks like this will be its last year.
The plan is to light sand the wood and apply a marine polyurethane. This should buy me another year of use. I may decide to lay another sheet of plywood atop the current one. There is a need to stiffen-up the the gate end of the horizontal staves. I’m also thinking about building a platform that goes over the top, so I can add a tarp over the trailer and not worry about it collapsing under the weight of rain and snow. The tarp would minimize UV damage. I was aware of the paint fading to pink before I bought the trailer kit. In the future, probably when the wood is no longer strong enough and safe enough to use, I may consider touching up rust areas and repainting the frame. Maybe. It’s a work horse, not a thoroughbred being shown off at the races.
All in all, I can’t complain much. I have into this half of what a commercial made trailer this size would have cost me. This build met my needs where others would not have. The only problem I’ve had with it since its inception is the bad right tail light which cost me an upgraded pair from Lowe’s, and running ground wires from each light receptacle to a common ground point on the hitch receptacle: both were done this week to make state inspection. Not bad at all.
-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA