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Old 08-18-2009, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Plywood trailer decking

I searched and seems everyone has this in an enclosed trailer only.

I have about 13 sheets of 3/4" plywood that are just in the way. I also have a 16' trailer that needs a new deck put on it. I figure laying it down 2 thick overlapping in different directions should be the same as the 2x6's that are on there now.

Any possable issues with this? lack of space for water to run off?

If I seal the edges real good then the top/bottom will it hold up?

I was going to use stainless fasteners to hold it down.

Cost is going to be the paint/sealant and the SS fasteners.

Figure Ill use about 6 pieces total
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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after time it will give you a great fred flintstone braking effect..dont do it. glued layers of thin wood vers real wood planks...get some planks and save the plywood for something else.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Water will just pool on the surface. It's okay for a short fix but there is a reason decks are not built with OSB - it will hold too much water. Plus a 2x6 is MUCH stronger than plywood laminated together. Use the sheets for something else.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd build a fort if I had that much plywood laying around.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm finishing a Utility trailer with a plywood deck (1 5' X 10' sheet of 3/4" marine grade) and using a marine epoxy to seal the board on all sides with a single sheet of woven fiberglass on the top surface...and sealing all of the holes as I install the stainless deck screws

I've talked to a couple others using this and they have had great results for long term durablity, even at the coast in the NW (read: WET)

plus it just looks like a nice peice of finished wood since the fiberglass and epoxy dries clear

Last edited by Maytag; 08-18-2009 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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utility trailers dont hold cars or trucks..
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm finishing a Utility trailer with a plywood deck (1 5' X 10' sheet of 3/4" marine grade) and using a marine epoxy to seal the board on all sides with a single sheet of woven fiberglass on the top surface...and sealing all of the holes as I install the stainless deck screws

I've talked to a couple others using this and they have had great results for long term durablity, even at the coast in the NW (read: WET)

plus it just looks like a nice peice of finished wood since the fiberglass and epoxy dries clear
Seems like a lot of work for a utility trailer. I've got a 4'X8' utility trailer and I've got one piece of plywood on there. I slapped some exterior paint on it and called it good. It's had quite a bit of use and it still looks new at 2 years. When it goes out I'll buy another piece and call it good. For a trailer like this I wouldn't put much time or money into something that I use for helping people move and making dump runs.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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utility trailers dont hold cars or trucks..
no... but they do haul tractors and brick and steel for building other things, and can get a lot of heavy use

this way I don't have to worry about it failing anytime soon...I'd rather build it right once, than wrong many times
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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while that is true..It doesnt work for a car trailer. Brick and other building stuff spreads its load over a wider surface area..Planks are stronger..They will hold up to the beating of truck tires wich have its load spread across the contact patch of the tires or in the event that you break a knuckle, wheelstuds or even rear axle, having the load spread across just the end of the axle..Going down the interstate with bumps and whatnot would be not the best for two sheets of plywoood.

The plywood sheet will be stronger than the little buggers can hold but its not gonna support more than a car trailer can hold.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojim View Post
Water will just pool on the surface. It's okay for a short fix but there is a reason decks are not built with OSB - it will hold too much water. Plus a 2x6 is MUCH stronger than plywood laminated together. Use the sheets for something else.
Im using plywood NOT OSB.

I am also planning on using 2 thicknesses of the 3/4 inch. wouldnt the laminant sheets of wood be stronger then one single thickness.

I priced out pressure treated 2x6's WOW bit spendy for my budget right now

regular DF 2x6's arnt too bad.

EDIT: looked up what PACE uses as there flooring on an enclosed auto trailer.


"3/4" Plywood Floor for strength and durability "

Now my question is how do I seal the plywood for outdoor use.

havent priced out the low moisture 2x6's
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Last edited by B-rock; 08-19-2009 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I think the plywood will be plenty strong, but I think you need to tell us what type of plywood it is. I would prime and paint both sides of the wood before you assemble it and then calk the top layer between the seams and then top coat it again after it is put together. I would also use a roundover bit in the router on the top layer so you have a place to lay a bead of caulking into. When putting the final top coats of paint on I would get some good dry sand and lightly toss it on the deck when the paint is still tacky and when dry put another coat over it.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The best way to seal the plywood in my opinion would be to coat it with fiberglass resin, making sure to soak the edges really well. I did the floor in my old boat this way and never had any issues.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You can't compare an internal plywood floor to one exposed to the elements. You don't need to use PT wood. My trailer uses old 2x6 barn lumber. You can always use some old motor oil on the surface to treat it too. Then again - it's your trailer. You can sink the extra money on the plywood you have in order to prep it or treat it - or you can just use the money to buy planks and not have to worry about it.

Personally I would not trust the weight of a vehicle sitting on 4 sheets of plywood - let alone 2. Here is something to think about: if you stack 2-4 sheets of plywood flat and support the end of the 8' and support the ends of an 8' section of 2x6 and another 2x6PT - then stand/bounce in the middle - which one would hold up better? I know your supports are closer than 8' - but it still will illustrate a point about which is stronger. I can use one of my 2x6's as a ramp if I needed to - I couldn't do that with plywood.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Have any of you guys who say plywood is weak ever worked with 1 1/8" plywood or ever glued 2 pieces of 3/4" ply together. If you haven't than you are talking out your ass. I have and say 2 pcs of 3/4" plywood would be plenty strong for any trailer use with trucks on it.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Have any of you guys who say plywood is weak ever worked with 1 1/8" plywood or ever glued 2 pieces of 3/4" ply together. If you haven't than you are talking out your ass. I have and say 2 pcs of 3/4" plywood would be plenty strong for any trailer use with trucks on it.

X2. Stronger then 2x6's in general for sure (depending on the plywood used of course). Obviously, make sure it's well supported underneath, but that is true with any wood used.

Just seal it real good with something.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I use a race trailer to haul my bronco, it's got a 3/4" plywood floor, no problems, floor supports are on 16" centers. Unless the plywood has to make a really long span I wouldn't worry a bit if it was doubled up. I do think it's going to be tough keeping it from delaminating, the glue in plywood doesn't seem to like water much, I think sealing it will be key. You could use marine or pressure treated plywood but that won't help if your trying to use what you've got.
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