Category Archives: Trailers

Other small trailers not RV

1988 12 ft Flatdeck Trailer P8

The finishing touches !

Yup home stretch..  finish the deck just need to paint the tailgate. Here’s what we have so far..

What’s with the landscape ties you ask?  The 3 ” of extra lift means the axles clear the lift table.. Yes it’s hiding under there.

Pardon the wide angle shots. That’s how I can get the trailer in the photo.  One more…

Impressive !  Too bad I’m selling it soon. but I have no need for this size of trailer, nor the space to park it.  On to the tailgate… It’s all painted now AND the trailer is listed for sale. May take awhile for the right buyer..  Meanwhile I’ve remounted the tailgate.

Just a bit fancy, but following the theme for the trailer.  It’s easier the spray paint the mesh, and I had a can of aluminum.

Nice big grab handles.  The trailer is still 3 ” off the ground because of the lift table. It will be interesting to see how a 36″ ramp works for angle once the trailer is sitting properly on the ground.

And lastly a look at my latches and the shackles to keep the hinge pin from popping out when you use just a handle on one side.  And of coarse you would do that.  now we can say DONE ! Here’s a final video:

It’s staying inside for now because winter is once again happening.  Plus we are waiting for a buyer.

And one week later…  SOLD


Many trailer projects #3

Yes There’s more !

We will now be in my new garage… bigger better. and newer.

#17:  Triple E Surfside. Fall of 2022.  Once again I’ve got my hands on a small fiberglass trailer, another Surf Side. This time it cost me a bit to buy it but it was road worthy and in good condition… just not up to my standards.

Read the post and you will get the whole story.  Safe to say a complete make over.  I prefer these to a Boler because the fiberglass shell wraps right under the trailer.  Anyway six months later and this was what I sold.

Yup a Subaru no problem.. all the way back to Prince George.  Small fiberglass trailers are hard to find now for a price that allows for the work.

#18:  Ponoka Trailer.  Or called the 12 ft flat deck.  July 2023.  I thought this would be a great winter project.

It’s currently in the shop !  Not finished but very close. Took two months off this winter because I can.  But I’m back at it… Should be done by mid March.  check out the post to see how I’m transforming this trailer.  Ok I’ll give you a peek..

This photo is from a few weeks ago.  If I had room and a use for this one I would keep it.  I’ve rebuilt the axles and brakes, modified the frame, new paint, new wheels, has a 5500 lb winch in an aluminum box, new deck and LED lights.

Finally….#19:  Jayco Tent Trailer.  But now the tent and the body are GONE.  Got this in Oct 2023..  But its being saved for next winter.

I only kept the frame, and it’s a good one. I towed it home an hours drive.. no worries.  I did start posts for this with the ideas I have… Check it out and stay tuned for more.  So I said many many trailers..  19 to be exact ( as of now) …


Many trailer projects #2

Oh ya there’s more we have only started.

#6:  Old Tilt trailer.  Nov 2018:   There was a pause on the Acorn trailer till the winter of 2018.  And what do you know a friend gives me an old tilt trailer.  So I quickly made it nice and new again.

Boy I’m turning them out… Sold it quickly too.  Modified the frame, new wheels, new lights and new deck.  And I painted it an interesting color.

#7:  Side by side trailer.  March 2019.  The Acorn trailer is now gone and this winter I traded my quad for a side by side. It does not fit in my 4×8 trailer.  So I found this one made from a double jet ski trailer.

It was nice and wide but a tad short . So I added that mesh part and ramps at the back.  Everything else was good to go.  I think I only used it for one season.

#8:  Scooby Trailer.  June 2019. As was the case often I got a free trailer.  I had a ten foot camper that did not fit my truck.. Sooo this 18 ft travel trailer frame was perfect to make what we call a “scooby”. Long story behind the name so lets just say we built the trailer to hold the camper.

And look a quad fits the front.  I used this rig for one fall camping.  The camper was in amazing condition.  Post for that.. Frontier . I sold it the next spring.

#9:  18 ft Flat deck.  June 2019.   Another free travel trailer !  This one was in the flood so the travel part was toast.  There was a free place at the land fill for flooded RV’s so that’s where the body went.  So let’s build a nice flat deck.

And I did just that.  We could fit two ATV’s on it.  I did a dumb thing when I sold it…Trusted the buyer to pay only half and I transferred it to him…  Never saw the rest of the money.  This was one of my best builds new tires, paint, new deck, heavily modified the frame. And LED lights all around.

#10:  June 2020.  No post for this one.  new Southland ATV trailer.  I thought I would treat myself to a new trailer for my ATV.  But I’m including it here because I improved it just a bit… I built a custom box for the front.  To hold the spare wheel and my tie downs.

Perfect for what I needed and I used it to move to Alberta.

#11:  Old K mart trailer.  Sept 2020.  Just a cheap project to keep busy.

This is one of those folding trailers so one can stand it up for storing. I only spent a few weeks on it and sold it right away.  New wheels, new paint, new deck.

#12 & 13:  No post for these. Oct 2020. I was looking for more small trailers to fix up when this two for one came up.  Only one registration though.  One was a tilt deck for snowmobiles, the other an old funky utility trailer.

Here’s the tilt trailer that I traded to a friend ( with the registration) for the horse trailer that was handy for the move..Later.

This is the old utility came with me to Alberta and I made a boat trailer.

#14:  Surf Side Trailer.  Nov 2020.  Free !  Abandoned and needed to be moved from my friends campground.  Even though I said I wasn’t going to do another fiberglass trailer I just could not say no to this one.  Very rough and FULL of stuff.

I’m thinking someone painted it green to hide it in the bush..  Another “frame off” restore, but this time I knew what I was doing.  Four months later and you would never know how rough it was.

It sold just as we were packing to move.  A tidy sum of money made on this one.  Check out the link for the posts.  I now had a reputation for restoring these trailers.

#15:  The Horse Trailer. March 2021.  No post for this..  but I do have photos.

I bought this about ten years go at a bailiff auction for very cheap. It was then sold to a friend that needed it.  In March I traded him back for the sled trailer. He had replaced the tires, and then I rewired the lights and got the brakes to work too.  My entire shop fit in this trailer for the move to Alberta.  I sold it later that year for a nice profit.

#16:  Dumping Trailer. No post. Aug 2021.  What the heck.. I’ll include it here because it was so nice.  The house we bought here in Alberta needed major yard clean up.  I was using the utility trailer but what a pain.  I decided to find a dumping trailer.. Nope so I bought a new one.  5×10 ..5000 lb and had everything you needed for dump runs.

So many trips to the local landfill they recognized me each time.  Lots of highway miles too.  once the yard work was done in the new house I put it up for sale.

Lets start a new page because there is MORE !

Page 3

Many many trailer projects!

Ideas come to me in the morning

And this one poped up in my head.  How many trailers have I worked on , rebuilt, modified or just built from scratch ?  Lots…  I’ve lost count !  But as I get close to finishing the  Ponoka Trailer  I’m reflecting back, and we will find out just how many .  I’m not going to include all the RV trailers we’ve had, but I will include the four small fiberglass trailers.  I also wont include the many boat trailers ( they were holding boats) because I did nothing to them.  I was going to start with my Dad’s second utility trailer.  Second because he had one before this one since the 1950’s.  That one still stuck around on my brothers property for many years. The last I saw it was a few years back, and it was rough.

Here’s a photo from 2019. There was talk of doing something cool with it.  You know family heirloom and all.  The real rubber tires still held air from 70 years ago. Yup there’s a lot of history with this trailer. I learned to back up trailers with this one when I was sixteen. I’m not sure what has become of it now.  So let’s talk about Dad trailer number two…  He bought this trailer in Kamloops brand new in 1982. From a company that made wood stoves. It’s all steel !   I still have it and use it. I’m including it because I have worked on it… a lot.

Here’s a photo from 2001 when I used it to move my Daughter back from Victoria. This is when Dad transferred it to me.  Oh the trips and things that this trailer has hauled.  Hundreds of kilometers in two provinces.  I’ve rebuilt it once ,repainted it twice, three sets of new wheels, and I added a mesh ramp that could be swapped for the tailgate.

EPSON DSC picture

This was it’s first new paint job in 2001..  now that I own it.  Bottom part went from rust red to black.

This is was a rebuild and second time for paint in 2020. It looks like this now. And came with us ( loaded) on the move to Alberta.  I used a special epoxy paint on the frame and deck.. Now lets talk about trailers I did not keep.  And count them too…

#1:  No post on this one.  July 2013.. This was a free old Kaplan tent trailer that had seen better days.

I made a utility trailer out of it.. I don’t have any photos of it as a utility trailer.. BUT my Brother still has it and uses it.

#2: 16 ft Trailer.   April 2014..  And it’s only ten years ago !  My first tandem trailer project.

Made from an old travel trailer.  It was handy and I used it for a year or two.  New deck, tires, railings, lights and paint.   Someone offered me good money for it so off it went.

#3: Small Tilt Trailer.  Aug 2016.. Can’t remember where I got this trailer from.  But i fixed it up and sold it.

It was perfect for the Lawn tractors I was repairing.  Hence the hand winch.  But I stopped fixing the tractors.

#4:  1973 Boler.  Sept 2017.. This was a sad little trailer sitting in the yard of a friend. He was into cars and car shows. And a Boler was a popular way to go. This was too much work for him.  My Daughter really wanted one so I wanted to make a nice one for her.  Here’s the before photo..

This trailer needed a frame.  And I had just got given an old Coleman tent trailer…. So that was the steel needed to build a whole new frame.  And I leaned all about working on these small fiberglass trailers.  This is the result…

Thousands of miles was put on it while my daughter had it. Read the post (in green) and you will see all the work in restoring one of these.

#5:  Acorn / Scamp Trailer.  June 2018..  I no sooner sent the Boler off to it’s new home .. And this one came up for cheap.  I was soon to see why..  Also it was a long drive with my friend’s flat deck trailer. I’m crazy but I was up for it.

The floor was missing ! yup you heard right.  Check out the post to see how I fixed that.  New axles, paint, windows and other parts.  Here’s the after..

Sold it with the interior not finished.  Bye Bye..  I figured that was it for those little fiberglass trailers…  but wait…  there’s more .  time to start a new page for this post..

Many trailers page 2;


1988 12 ft Flatdeck Trailer P7

Time for the Axles

But first proof I know what I’m doing when wiring a trailer!

I’m also taking the time to make covers for the front side of the tail lights.  That’s what the old galvanized chimney cap is for.  Those are now done and I’ll take a photo when they are finished.  The big thing done today ( with the help of my Son) was getting the axles under the trailer.

I made some brass shims for the eyes of the springs, and got them bolted up.  All new parts! good for another 30 years. Putting the brakes back on is the next step.  But first these covers finish the tail lights nicely and keep the wiring out of sight and protected.

There is likely different ways I could have done the lights but here it is and screws can be removed to fix any wiring issues.  Onward to the brakes…

Them’s the BRAKES !

Remember I spent a lot of time cleaning and painting the parts for the bakes.  And I have the special tools for brakes too.  And just like that we are done.

Well I should not forget a bit of cursing and groaning getting the springs on.  Now to hook up the wires and the drums go back on.   And it’s all done..  Brakes checked and working good. Hubs rolling nice with the correct amount of tightness.

Wow.. looks better than new, the way I hoped it would.  Just a few little details to do before the deck.

Like the nice slide latches for the tailgate. I drilled and tapped for the stainless steel screws.

And this nifty holder for the 7 pin plug.  Keeps the end clean.  Jack is on, new chains too..  Ready for decking…  I’m starting at the front on the 12″ extension.  I can stand in the space there to install them..

Looking good !  Buying 50 carriage bolts with washers and nuts is costly, but I’m not using self tapping screws.   It’s a pain drilling through the 4×2 hollow frame, but after braking a few drill bits I figured it out.

Here we are almost finished.  There’s 48 holes and 48 bolts.

Time for one more page..  The finishing touches .

Page 8


1988 12 ft flat deck Trailer P6

Painting and Electrical :

Ok.. I’ve had lots of time to think of the order of things needing to be done. Of coarse the last of the welding needs to be done before any paint happens.  Today I made the mount for holding the spare tire.

The spare rests on the checker plate and against the front of the right side fender. Oh and I believe the spare should always go on the passenger side to avoid unnecessary road rash.   Then I made a bit of an improvement to the winch and box at the front of the trailer… Explained in this new video…

I mistakenly said the battery will be in the aluminum box.. Nope it has it’s own place in front of the box.  And with that done ,and the underside of the fenders coated with under coating it’s on to some painting.  I’m starting on the front of the trailer, and working my way back.  There is more complicated things to paint at the front.

And there we have some done.  It’s not as dark red as I had hoped.. But I’m okay with it.  All righty… I have the whole trailer painted now.  And it looks great ! And RED !

There’s so much still to do..  wiring, axles and decking.  But It’s fun putting things back together.  You know you try things and fit things… but now I get to permanently attach things.  Like the box with the winch.  Which is where I started first.

All bolted in place ! Worked out as planed, with the winch line centered between the two uprights.  I’m satisfied with the sturdiness of the mount now.

Ad to that a strong place to hook up to if you use the snatch block.  A battery charger was added inside the box with a 110 plug on the outside. This idea can from my Southland dump trailer that I loved so much.   I now turn my attention to the wiring.  The first thing is to have a look at the seven pin junction box that I use on my trailers that have brakes.  The ones I like come from amazon and are made in China.  That’s ok but the color coding is weird.

However you can test the plug to see which is which.  You can’t change the wires at the plug end so you just need to use the correct terminal in the box.  Easy to do .  I made a diagram to remind me.

I will be testing everything from the plug when I’m done.  Today a new action camera arrived to replace my Gopro that’s getting old.  So I made a video to test that out..

That turned out good..  And so is the wiring !  All in loom and tucked away from danger.

All done except for the trailer brakes.  Cant hook those up till the axles are back under the trailer.  Soon !  Below photo shows my tail light set up.

That’s aluminum sheet from a road sign sanded to a satin finish.  The wiring is tested and passes of coarse..   Time for a new page for the axles..

Page 7  Axles:

1988 12 ft flat deck Trailer P5

Did I say this trailer was easy ?

No way !  Lot’s of work to do even before the paint goes on.  And so I want to flip the trailer but not before I do all the topside prep. There are some rust holes in the fenders.  I’m going to add some metal to that problem.

There’s a few places on the fender walls like this.  So I’m going to use the old side rails to put a second layer of metal along here.

These should work !  Just cut the angle off.   And tack them in place …after cleaning !

I’m trying to not get overly fussy with the trailer.  But rust holes look bad..  Just a bit more cleaning rust and sanding things smooth..

Flippin Crazy !

It got a bit scary..    My Son was helping me this morning.  I had snatch blocks, chains and straps..  I wish I took some photos ..but the camera was the last thing on my mind.  We got one side of the trailer about four feet off the ground.. And that was scary.  The gantry could handle the weight and so could the winch..  But pulling from one side looked like the gantry frame was going to bend sideways.  Even anchored to my big shelf , which it was pulling away from the wall.  We called it a no go !   And put it back down.  Back to having on the lift table ..and I will just crawl under to do the work.. Way way safer.

So I took the gantry apart ( it was in the way)  and set to work on the wind gate / tailgate.  I have it all planed out …so just a mater of putting it together.  And hours of cutting and welding later.. even next day.   Boom.. got it done..  Now I’m figuring out the hinges.

Darn thing is heavy !  But I want it to hold lots of weight..  And rather than fold flat on the deck , I’m opting for being able to remove it.  So I came up with these hinges.

About as heavy duty as I could make them..  Just lift the tailgate up and out.  The latch half way up will not allow the gate to bounce out.

Hopefully this works good.  I’m putting handles on the gate to help lift it..  Here’s an update video:

The latches for the tailgate arrived today.  They are going to work great !

I’m not going to weld them in place …I’m going to drill and tap holes and use bolts.  I was just testing the paint … good thing I didn’t go too far down, need to weld a bit of angle here for these latches.

This gives a peek at the future !  Red & Black with a bit of silver is the color scheme.  I’ve taken a bit of a break from the trailer for a few weeks to deal with some things… like a new gas fireplace.  And Christmas is getting closer too, and all the stuff for that.  soon I’ll feel I have the time to get back out to the shop.  A bit more welding on the hitch and some more cleaning and it will be paint time.

Feb 2024 :

Well those few weeks turned into a few months.  This happens with me in the winter.  I just want to do very little and stay in the house. I also needed to finish the fireplace so I would feel free to move on to other things.  The trailer was not going anywhere !  just patiently waiting for me.  So here I am … all raring to go again.  But first the garage needs some cleaning up.  now’s also a good time to start a new page as I finish the trailer.  New year new page…

Page 6 :

1988 12 ft flat deck Trailer P4

Yes the work continues on the top side !

First I need to finish the rail in the front.

Done !  And it turned out very nice.

Got to love it when a plan works out.  I now have 13 ft- 4″ of deck space.   Also the box sits there nicely and the lid has room to open.

Now to figure out the tail lights…  I made the decision to go simple.  No fancy angles, just a good size square with room for the lights.

The two lights are designed to flush mount so I’m using a piece of 1/8 ” aluminum sheet.  Seen on top of the fender.  It’s now time to clean up the top side of rust and loose stuff before I flip the trailer.

One more thing is… I needed to raise the legs of the gantry so that it’s ten feet high.  Hard to flip an eight foot wide trailer with an eight foot high lift.  It’s simple math !  Also I need to temporary mount the winch on the gantry cross beam.

Here’s the new improved legs.  And the winch is mounted up and working great.

Ten feet wide and nine feet high.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll get brave and see if it can lift the trailer.  Yes ! but just barely.  I’m going to remove the axles now to lighten the load.  I took one of the rusted hanger bolts out, and sure enough we have serious wear issues.

Compare old and new !  Ya ! not much left of the old bushing..  And the bolt has seen better times too.   It gets worse..  New bushings won’t help.

All that play just hammered the eye of the spring.  Going to get interesting ! I’ll have to get some brass shim material to fix this.  I’ve ordered a new bolts, bushings, shackles and two equalizers because everything is toast !

I discovered that years ago I bought an air hammer !  And never used it …till now.  Made short work out of the frozen bolts.  So now the axles are free and I have set them aside for cleaning and painting.  Just don’t know where to start?  The frame needs cleaning and the brake parts too.  I’ll do the brakes next.  So many little rusty parts !

One thing for sure ..these brakes were not in working order.  It looks like they had the left and right front brakes reversed.  And not only were they backed off , but the adjusters were also rusted stuck.  In the  next photo you can see two clean ones and a rusty one.

Got the brake parts cleaned up .  Made a new update video…

Rather than leave my axle and brake parts all over.. I decided to complete the cleaning.  Gather all the parts in a box and clean and paint the drums.

Here’s a clean drum next to a not cleaned one.  It’s important to polish the inner surfaces of these drums. Both the surface for the magnet and the brake shoes.

And this is the finished drums.  Painted with Por15  rust paint.  I’ve used this product many times and it’s tough.  These will not rust again !  Same goes for the axles.  They get a good cleaning and a Por15 paint job too.

This paint may be tough but it does not like the sun.. Which makes it perfect for axles and springs.. you know stuff that hides underneath the trailer.  It takes a good 24 hrs to cure, and I don’t want to make dust.  So one at a time… When the axles are done then I can put them aside and concentrate on the frame.  Let’s start a new page…

12 ft trailer page 5:

1994 Jayco Tent Trailer

Well more like whats left of it !

The story goes that a strong wind ripped the roof and tent off. The fella I bought it from took the the rest.. I got the body and some lights.

But I only want the frame.  The frame is 8 ft long and 6 ft 3 ” wide. The hitch is another 46 “.  Very light ..  I towed it home like this about 80 kms.  Those darn 8 inch wheels survived the trip.. I hate those..  They are not staying  !  I’ll go with 12 ” better on the highway.

When I got home I noticed the back of the trailer was coming apart!  Well I’ll just finish that job..  I don’t know why but I saved all the lights.

Some wire too… always need wire ..right !  And then I made a pile out of the Jayco..  Because like I said  .. I only want the frame.

Some of the wood was rotten in the walls, and a lot of the screws were not holding anything. Hence the pile.  One thing is for sure… it will no longer be a Jayco tent trailer.  Even though that’s what the registration says.  Okay now we have a trailer frame & wheels !

Oh ya with torsion suspension too !

Hopefully not wore out yet.  So there we have it…

What should we make of it ?

I’m kinda favoring a little tear drop style trailer.  It’s the perfect frame for that.

Hmmm..  That would be fun.  Well I’ve got time to think about it.  Yes.. and so I set to work designing this :

This would be a “Foamy”  build.  Construction foam board with a fiberglass finish.   Just a bed and some storage inside.  Rear outdoor kitchen .  Lots of teardrop trailers use this setup…

Update:  Dec 2023..

Got a good deal on some trailer goodies..  All of it new !

Don’t need all of these things for this trailer… but those wheels would look sweet.. And a wheeled jack would be a good thing for this project too.  This will be next winters project..  2024-2025.

Change of plans…  I’m not going to be planning for next winter.  There is a few things I’m not happy about the frame. I would like the hubs to be 5 bolt, and the wheels to be a few inches wider.  SO ! I’ve decided to change and build a utility trailer.  I have most of what I need and far less work.   So Let’s get a new page going for that shall we…

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1988 12 ft flat deck Trailer P3

Time to get at -er !

I put the trailer aside until I picked up the gantry from my friend.  I will need that to flip the heavy frame without help.

Here’s the gantry pieces in amongst some of my stuff.  The jeeps are in the way for a bit, then I will set this up.

Meanwhile the trailer has been enjoying this space, and providing a place to store the new metal.

Update:   Now the jeeps are out of the way I was able to put the  trailer in the shop.

Notice that I parked it in the middle over top of the lift table.  Hoping the lift will lift it after I remove the ton of metal.. and maybe the wheels ?

Let the transformation begin !

Step number one is to remove unwanted things like the the four side lights.  Also the wheels, jack and extra bits of steel.  I did have marks where the extended front would go … but mother nature didn’t like them.  That’s ok I remember the measurements, and they may change.

How about that lift table .. brought the trailer up to a comfortable height for working.  Then I started cutting off the extra bits of metal.  Next I moved some of the hitch pieces to extend the deck and mount the aluminum box with the winch inside.

That’s the winch plate that will be inside the box.  I had to re- think my locations for things, and that will shorten the length of the deck extension by a few inches.  Seems most of the work I do to trailers is to the hitch area.  But if you don’t use that triangle wisely’s a waste of space.  You will see how I do it .  I was waiting for an extension cord for my new welder so it can reach the front of the trailer.  While waiting I tackled the dents in the fenders.  They are not prefect but much better.

Here’s two new pieces of angle to hold the extra deck boards.  Because of the location of the box and the need for a separate  battery box the deck extension is less that the hoped for 20 inches. This afternoon I got the extension cord and was able to use the new welder.  WOW does soooo much better with the 240 volts.

That’s where the box goes with room to open the lid.  And the front area is getting less and less.

A place for the battery and my wiring junction box  is next and I need to replace the hitch too.  I made a very “scookum”  battery holder.

The angle iron is for the electrical box.  A new coupler is self explanatory !  All these things need to be done before flipping the trailer over.  Once it’s upside down More welds can be done easier. I started tacking the side rails in place.

The rear post is taller to hold the tailgate closed.   Got both sides done now.  Just need to put a top rail across the front.

What I had envisioned is taking place.. and turning out great.  Adding little touches like these “tie downs”.

Another few days of work and I’ll be setting up the gantry to flip the trailer over.   I still need to figure out the tail light mount.   And now it’s time for a new page in this post…  as the work continues.

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