Continuing the work on the enclosed trailer, I found that the peel and stick tiles that I used 16 years ago really did stick. Talk about a pain getting them off the plywood flooring! I had to take a wide putty knife, a little bit of heat and a whole lot of muscle work to finally clear all of them off. Very few of them came up in one piece and then there was the glue residue left behind. The only thing that I found that would remove it was lacquer thinner. I tried acetone, mineral spirits and alcohol but none of those did as good a job as the lacquer thinner. Bad news is that I went through about 3 gallons of the stuff and in one instance I messed up a bit and absorbed way too much of it through my hands. It actually made me sick to my stomach. After that I made sure I wore plastic gloves but those would only last a short time and had to be replaced a few times to continue the work. After wiping the floor down multiple times, I finally got it to the point where it is only slightly sticky – I never could get it completely cleaned off. But I did find out after testing a small area that the new coat of porch paint will cover it up and be just fine. And a plus was that I found out that the porch paint that was already tinted darker wasn’t nearly dark enough for me – so back to the store to have it re-tinted.
I worked on the side door next. It basically amounted to removing the work/storage table and pulling the old piece of paneling out. I then took measurements from that panel and transferred them to a piece of vinyl pebble surface paneling that can never rot. I will remount the work table and put some new door seals in place – as soon as I find something suitable. I tried some stuff made for windows in the past and it was a bear to get off plus it had broken down and allowed the previous panel to get wet and rot out at the bottom.
My next challenge was doing something with the interior walls – I finally decided that I wanted to carpet the bottom half to limit the damage that just seems to happen and paint the upper part of the walls. The bottom 4 feet of the trailer walls will be covered with carpeting that matches the floor carpet. I found aluminum trim strips from eTrailer.com that add a nice touch to the top of the carpeting on the walls. I decided to also leave the ceiling in it’s original white although I did some cleaning of it with a water/bleach solution to remove the dirt and mold that had accumulated. I finished coating the upper part of the interior walls with two coats of interior paint with an eggshell finish. I went with a very light beige color instead of white and it looks pretty good. One mistake that I made in my haste was getting some of the paint on the ceiling edging. That is not going to come off easily so I may end going back and painting the edging too just to get a nice even line with trailer ceiling. There’s my OCD coming out that I try to keep hidden. Some of the silicone caulking needs to be replaced along the trim too.
At the front of the trailer I have positioned the one old cabinet that I retained along with building a foundation platform for the two tool box chests to bring them level with the cabinet. I originally said that I was going to keep two of the floor cabinets but I came across a Craftsman bottom tool box that was damaged for a good price and it matches the one that I bought for the trailer years ago. The weight of the tool box is probably a third of the cabinet so off to the dump went the cabinet. Anyway this gives me about 7 feet of top bench space with the old cabinet and the tool boxes lined up and I am looking at 3/4 finished plywood for the making the top. I think I will have the store cut about 3-4 inches off of one side of the plywood and use that as a backsplash. Above this will be a piece of pegboard that can be used to store some tools and parts.
I have to pull out the old carpeting but that should only take a few minutes. I may trim that up some and save it as a work mat for outside. The trailer floor will be covered with gray porch paint and then the new carpet will be installed. The carpet will cover the front 20 feet of the trailer leaving about 8 feet at the rear with just a paint coating and the 4×2 aluminum plates that I have for the tires to rest on. As of yet I have not decided whether I will cover the wheel boxes with carpet or just repaint them.
Back to the front, the one cabinet that I kept will contain the breaker box for the trailer along with providing a place for the air compressor. I need to come up with a new way to keep the two drawers closed but I think some clips that are used on RV cabinets might work. I also have some 110v wiring to change adding some lighting and outlets above the work bench. Another addition as I have about 20 inches of room along the side of the cabinets is building a two-story box that will house the jack and the jackstands on top of it.
It’s not perfect by any measure but so far I think it is going to be a lot better than it was. In addition, I have probably already shed about 300-400 pounds of weight just getting the old cabinets out. That will help fuel mileage and takes some wear and tear off of the trailer tires.