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Old 06-04-2016, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Reskin outside of enclosed trailer

Hello,
i have just acquired a well taken care of mechanically 1998 goose-neck Hallmark enclosed trailer. The trailer was well maintained mechanically and was nice till parked about 4 years ago and now the exterior panels are severely weathered and decals are all but baked on and cracked.
I would like to reskin the trailer and add some modern twists to the exterior. Currently the panels are screwed on but would like to go seamless with black aluminum.
If however you good folks can tell me how to successfully remove the decals and restore the severely weathered aluminum i may consider leaving the white on.
My question for you good folks is how hard will it be to remove the panels as they are in fact screwed on. I have read some horror stories here on adhesives so i'm asking ahead of time. Thanks guys and this is one heck of a forum could read for hours.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
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Also if anyone knows of another forum that is more specific to this subject please suggest away, always eager to learn more. Thx.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:41 PM   #3
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If you do peel off the siding consider framing for a bail-out door. The door next to the driver's door of the car you put in there. If you drive a car in/out you will certainly appreciate one. It's soo much easier to get in/out of the car when there is a large door right there that the car door can open up through.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob86ZZ4,
I race off-road so cars so climbing in and out of the window is common place for me but will DEFINITELY take a hard look at it. Hat's off to you on your build and may ask a question from time to time is that's alright by you, Thx.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:36 PM   #5
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if you do a bail out door as bob suggests consider a removable fender (so you can clear the car door) - Look at InTech Trailers and ATC Trailers for some nice design features.

IMO even if you get those details off & you polish the trailer you'll always have ghosting.

Most trailer places will be able to provide you quotes on material (and labor if you choose) for re-skinning.....its not an uncommon thing to reskin a trailer....my buddy with a 24' enclosed got some quotes and we were surprised at how low the quotes were.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:34 PM   #6
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As to materials only, the local trailer joint will likely soak you for the aluminum. Find a circle track shop for the aluminum panels, it will be far cheaper. Those guys are cheap and used to riveting a whole new body on the race car every weekend. Only difference in the standard panel the circle track guys use is 48" wide, and you will want the 49" wide panels to get the proper overlap at the seams. But the same suppliers have both sizes, if the circle track guy doesn't have them, he can order them on his next stocking order.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:15 PM   #7
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I contacted Wrisco Industries today in Atlanta georgia and they can take care of all my new sheet metal needs as far as exterior colors. i'm only about 2 hours below Atlanta so no biggie to go and pick up when time comes to do it. Now to find a place that sales new top and bottom exterior horizontal moldings. Would like to find someone that has several options to choose from, i like the radius top moldings on the newer trailers but L-shaped will work as well. this will be a screwless conversion so adhesive research will come in to play for sure, thx guys!
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #8
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If you reskin use 3M's VHB tape one inch wide. Get it right the first time as once it's stuck, it's stuck. On your old trailer I wouldn't reskin, just scuff the old crap off. Leave some tooth for enamel paint and give it a squirt.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:17 AM   #9
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I agree with cafspecdel. If the trailer skin is in good shape, a paint job is going to have a lot tougher finish than the hair thin paint hey put on the aluminum. Dollar and sense wise is probably a wash too.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:52 PM   #10
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We used the 3M tape on our project. It is pricey, but very easy to use compared to liquid adhesives. Three years in nothing is lifting. The only trick to a good application is a good clean surface to adhere to. My advice is to stick it right to the bare metal in the wall structure once you get it clean and free of any rust. If you paint the posts first, you are only sticking to the paint, so the result only has the adhesion of the paint to the metal, not the strength of the tape. caf is correct, once you stick it down, it is stuck. The trick is lay out all your tape on the trailer side first, and just peel back a bit of the backing and leave it hanging out where you can grab it. Then just carefully hang the panel on those few exposed spots, then pull the backing out one and a time and smooth as you go.

We went the paint route on one trailer. More work than you think, there are a LOT of square feet compared prepping/painting a car. Looked good across the parking lot, but up close you can always tell it's a repaint. Reskinning is still more work, but worth the effort if you think the trailer is worth the investment. If the trailer is fairly specialized to your purposes, may be worth it. If it is just a square box and nothing special options wise, you may be farther ahead to invest the money in a newer trailer instead. Check racingjunk.
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