DIY With the Doctor: Rehab A Horse Trailer

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Hi Everyone! Ever want to rehab your horse trailer, but don't have the money to take it to a professional? Never fear! You can DIY! This past April I took the leap and sold our fancy three-horse rear-tack, mid-tack, living-quarters horse trailer and downsized to our 2002 two-horse w/dressing room tag-along. Why? Because I my career prevents me from enjoying foxhunting as much as I would like and paying for that fancy horse trailer was not cool if it wasn't being used to make it worth it. BUT! Our little tag-along was not in good shape, so let's talk about what we can do about getting it back on the road in presentable condition. 

1. Pressure wash, pressure wash, and pressure wash it again. What a huge difference that will make to any horse trailer. This one is steel, so getting all the green off with a heavy duty nozzle is key. Be careful around the decals...they can come off easily with too much pressure. 

2. Can't afford a new paint job? No problem. Rustoleum to the rescue! For $5.88 a can at Lowe's, you can buy Satin in the color you need and spray paint your trailer yourself. Take a look at the difference in the before and after pics of ours. Huge difference. Check out youtube for how to get rid of rust using toothbrushes, palm sanders, etc. That's what I did and it worked great. I used about 20 cans of paint and could use about 10 more. Use a box fan to ventilate even when outside. The fumes are terrible.

3. Caulking. Caulk around areas that need to be resealed. Cheap and easy. Use a rubber glove to go over the bead to avoid getting it all over your hands. 

4. New flooring. So fun! I bought a 6x9' pre-cut sheet of flooring from Lowe's. Using the old carpet from the dressing room as a guide, I cut the new floor with scissors and installed in on plywood using Liquid Nails. I spread the LN using rubber gloves. What a mess. 

5. New plywood for the horse area in the back. Use treated plywood for the back. Cut to size and install using self-tapping metal screws. 

6. Install new padding. You can make these yourself with particle board, padding, vinyl, or use foam like I did. If the foam doesn't old up, I'll make board with foam on it. I wanted to try this first. Install with self-tapping screws. 

I have about one week after the initial demo of all the old material in the trailer. It was completely rotted as you can see in the old pics. Now as good as new! Ready for foxhunting! Tally Ho!

Laura Pettler

211 South Main Street, Monroe, NC 28112