Our naked trailer

It would only be appropriate to make our first post about the trailer. However this post won’t be a simple recounting of going out and buying a trailer full of smiling pictures of us holding our license plate and blah blah blah. It will be a post about the first mistake.

We set out on the three hour trip to Richmond, Virginia to pick up the trailer for which we’ve been waiting for three weeks. Before that we felt a little stuck in the process, our planning was done and now we needed our foundation so we could get our hands dirty and oh boy did we. A nice man named Earnie built our trailer custom for what we needed. He owns and runs Commonwealth Trailers in Sandston, VA. The funny thing is that we knew nothing about trailers and much less about building on one. So we got the basics: 6’ 10’’ x 16’, no deck, electric breaks with a release, etc. Finally we hear word of our trailer and Earnie asks if we would like it painted. We assume that Earnie is wondering what color we would want the trailer to be so we write off the question and say, no. BIG MISTAKE. If you are an amateur like us you are not aware that the paint not only turns the steal a fun color of your choice, but serves the very IMPORTANT function of keeping rust off of the trailer.

Here are a few pictures of our lovely trailer as we scrape and dissolve surface rust. At first we tried scrubbing the rust with a steel brush which was extremely inefficient. In our attempt to make the process faster we used “Kaboom” and that worked a little better. Ultimately it was a rust removing agent, “Krud Kutter” that saved us time. After many failed attempts of getting rust off we found that diluting the mixture 50/50 and rubbing it on with a rag ate the rust in about 30 minutes. Next our rust-free trailer was ready for primer.

We sanded our trailer with the use of an orbital sander and our hands, so as to get in all the tough spots. Next, the primer, liberally applied with the use of both rollers and brushes. there were many trips made to Lowes as we figure what worked best and was most efficient technique and tool for the job. We used white Rustoleum primer and paint. We also found that the two inch foam rollers applied paint most evenly.

After 2 days of sunrise to sunset cleaning, sanding, priming, and painting. Our trailer is looking sexy dressed in red. We figured brushing on bright red all day might make a tedious task more fun. A few beers, sunshine and friends helped too. Despite our intermittent cursing we decided to look at the bright side and saw the work as an opportunity to get to know every nook and cranny of our trailer. We told Earnie that we were painting our trailer and he said “painting sux”. We agree, and hope that the next client realizes what they are saying no too. Lesson one… sometimes paying a couple hundred dollars more can save you sanity, but leave your further removed from your project. Next time we figure we’ll try to weld the trailer ourselves.

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