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Aluminum diamond plate for harbor freight trailer

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So i've searched but haven't found what I'm looking for. I just bought a 4' x 8' foldable harbor freight trailer;

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90154

IMG_0285.jpg

(not mine pictured but same model, mine has 12" wheels)... Instead of a piece of plywood that I'll have to treat and eventually replace I'm leaning towards aluminum diamond plate to cover it with, (plus it will look sweeeet). The trailer supports are every 2' x 4'. So the diamond plate would have to be thick enough to support a load over that area. Another option would be to split those and put more supports under there so it's every 2' x 2'.

I've found one place on SF craigslist, (local would be better than dealing with shipping), called Trillion Aluminum Profiles that sells 4' x 8' sheets for;

1/16" for $120

1/8" for $220

So I'm wondering which thickness I need and if these are good prices?

Thanks

Jeff

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I would say first, what will be on the trailer?

Will the weight be evenly distributed, or points of load?

Where does the load end up, over the supports or in between?

Our Starcraft camper has 1/16" or thinner(not sure) ADP over 1/2" plywood, which if the plywood is pressure treated it should last pretty long. This may be an alternative idea to consider.

What I would do(if $ allowed) is prob go with 3/16 or 1/4"

If not than maybe add some supports and use the 1/8" or the plywood underneath

I will say, the plywood eliminates the clanky sound that just steel or aluminum makes but I have the same concern as you about just how long it will last

there is a supplier near me (in NJ) that carries surplus and discounted materials but I think there price for the ADP is similar to the qoute you got. Sometimes they have surplus materials for a lot less(used stuff).

Hope this helps, Brian.

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I have the same trailer with 1/4" Al Diamond plate and I do not think I would go any thinner. Especially if you plan to put 2 bikes an gear on the trailer. The downside is each plate cost as much as the trailer.

Throw some removable wheel chocks, e-track, tie down extensions and you will have a nice trailer that folds out of the way in your garage.

Advantages:

-Looks really nice

-Trailer still folds (if you use to thick of plywood it may not have enough space at the hinge to fold properly)

Disadvantages:

-Cost

Regards,

Eric

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>I would say first, what will be on the trailer?

One or two dirt bikes, and occasionally transporting home improvement stuff

>Will the weight be evenly distributed, or points of load?

Yes ideally, and points of load will be centered on the trailer

>Where does the load end up, over the supports or in between?

Good question. I guess the big picture is I wouldn't want to have to think about where the supports are. I would really want to be able to walk around on it and jump around and not be able to tell where the supports are, just like a 3/4" piece of plywood. If it's weak in any areas that's what I'd like to avoid.

Thanks Brian, those are good ideas...

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Something to think about with diamond treadplate....it looks nice, but it does oxidize (get dull and turn white) over time, and when it gets wet, it's slicker than frozen snot. Multiply by a factor of ten the slipperiness if you have any mud on your footwear.

If your major stopping point is the lifespan of the plywood, get treated plywood from the get-go and forget it. No need to re-treat, stain or paint, install and go.

My brother in law decked that exact same trailer in 3/4" treated CDX 11 years ago, and it sits outside in the elements year round, and it's annual 'maintenance' might be a rinsing with the garden hose if the hose is handy and he remembers.

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I wouldn't mess with that diamond plate stuff for fear of safety when it is wet and grimy out. You would think with it being so close the ground that you would be ok but I have seen people slip and dump a bike on themselves when tired 👍

We had ours for 3+ years hauling 3 bikes around all over the place and I was very surprised it held up so well until we recently got rid of it.

We got thick plywood and treated it with some grey garage type paint at the hardware store and put a few bags of some gripping granules they sell. I never even touched up the trailer after our initial install.

Obviously if you bang the wood and scrape it the edges will flake away and if you see wood you could juse touch it up. Ours was still holding our marine eyelets fine with large washers on each side to help spread the weight impact.

We also had no warping of the boards no matter what time of year after the initial paint/install.

I weigh 300+ pounds with gear on and could easily load bikes and step where I wanted to without fear of the floor creaking or giving way.

We have had 3 dirtbikes or 2 streetbikes on the trailer and it did the job fine.

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Great info I was looking for diamond plate and low and behold a ThumperTalk thread :banana: I should have looked hear first 🙂

Wood it will be !

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Are you planning on using it in Fold-up mode?

No I've got an old snowmobile trailer converted to carry bikes . It currently has rotten wood decking and I'm looking to replace it. the last wood was just standard painted ply wood . I was looking for something lighter and better looking .

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I'm late to the party but I would say just get a piece of 3/4" pressure treated plywood. I've had a piece on my 4' x 8' utility trailer for 3+ years and it looks as good as new. The only maintenance I do is a scrub down every spring with some simple green.

A couple things I would suggest that have worked for me is using galvanized nuts and bolts (the treatment in the wood supposedly eats regular bolts???), and after putting the plywood down, let it dry out for about a month and then put some deck sealer on pretty thick and sprinkle it with sand while it's still wet. This method has given me a good non-slippery surface in all conditions for my trailer.

Good Luck.

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I have 3/4 plywood on mine, untreated. I bought it that way and when it gets beat up I'll replace it. Works fine, and it looks ok, but it's stored inside my garage.

Good idea about the sealer with the grip granules sprinkled over it. I'll do that when I replace it.

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