putting door in box trailer (van)

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by leaping leon, May 9, 2005.

  1. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    We are getting a box trailer (a tractor-trailer box, 53' if we can find one) for storage at our new farm. There's only one reasonable place to put it, and this placement puts the back and side doors away from the house, and further away from the cleared area with nice smooth dirt, which will make it difficult to move heavier things into storage.

    Those of you who are familiar with box trailers, could you tell me how difficult it would be to put a door in the front of the trailer? We don't plan on ever moving it after we get it down there, if that makes a difference, but it will need to be water-tight and securable.

    Or do trailers with a door in front exist? This would be over the hitch. Or maybe in the very front of the trailer?
     
  2. diehard47

    diehard47 Well-Known Member

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    Have u considered gettin a shipping container. They come in different sizes and can be unloaded and set with the door end at the position u desire.
     

  3. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, actually we had. But we are subject to minor flooding, or maybe I should call it "ponding" of water when it rains hard and/or often...so a container would have to be put up on some kind of support...the trailer frame brings it up high enough to keep contents dry without the extra work and time to build a foundation or something...besides, if we have to build a foundation or support, the county might decide it needs a permit, and I'm going to avoid permits whenever possible. It should be possible to declare the trailer as "totalled" or in "cold storage" to avoid need for tag renewals and insurance.

    But after the hurricanes last year, I'm planning to tie it down like we do mobile homes: don't want it to blow over!
     
  4. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    It shouldnt be hard to put a door in a "Standard" trailer , most are aluminium , the only real problem is if they used insulation when they built it , thats nasty stuff when you saw it , they are built like a stud wall only out of aluminium and plywood ,instead of wood and sheetrock, if you go thru the front you will not weaken the structure , :)
     
  5. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Hip_Shot_Hanna . By the way, I really like your screen name!

    Any suggestions as to what tools to use? I've done a fair amount of woodwork, but am new to metal work. I'm guessing there's a special blade that will fit on my scroll saw?

    We may be doing this without electricity, come to think of it, since we want to get this in before we move (unless we rent a generator). Maybe we could start the cuts with our cordless drill (which is our only cordless power tool) and continue with some sort of handsaw? I'll talk to dh and see what he thinks...the generator idea seems enticing, especially since we're seeing a new type of mosquito that the size of a small wasp (fortunately they're dumb and easy to kill, but they also have dull "beaks": ouch!)

    (By the way, I've owned several houses over the years, while dh was in the Air Force fixing jets, living in apartments and barracks, and we've only been married three years...so I know more about the around the house stuff, and if we buy a jet engine sometime in the future, dh will take care of that...but seriously, if I win the lottery big time, I'd love to have an F5....Yeeeehaaaaw!)
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    You are doing this due to the fact that you cannot turn the trailer around, is that correct? A small track loader should be able to place the trailer where ever you want it and in any orientation. You should be able to hire someone to set it where you desire cheaper than installing the door.
     
  7. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    IF its an Alloy trailer buy a new fine toothed panel saw and throw it away whren you have done, Alloy is soft a panel saw will cut it ,use some oil on the blade to stop cloging ,
    IF its glass reinforced plastic (GRP) a panel saw will also cut it ,but use a hose continuously to get rid of the dust , ( dont breath it it's NASTY )
    fiting a door Is easy , buy one with a frame ,cut a hole in the traler the same size as the outside of the frame ,then sandwich the hole with 2 by 4 inside and 1 by 4 planks the outside,the bought door frame must fit inside the 2 by 4 frame you are making ( bolt them together sandwiching the alloy of the trailer between them ,use some sealer to keep the rain out ) then fit the purchased door frame inside the 2 by 4 frame you have made , Bingo
     
  8. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a little clearer , cut the hole in the trailer and put the bought frame in the hole ( cut it to fit a little tight ), then cut 2 by 4 to fit around it inside the trailer ,tight up to the bought frame, ,and 1 by 4 around the hole / purchased frame outside the trailer covering the edge of the bought frame, (the bought frame should be flush with the outside alloy panels )that will sandwich the alloy between the wood frame's you have made, drill thru the wood , alloy, wood sandwich ,and bolt the 2 by 4 and the1 by 4 together, seal the joints on the outside first , then screw the bought frame to the 2by4 and hang the door,
     
  9. jkillen

    jkillen Well-Known Member

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    You could use a sawzall.
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm with Agmantoo & the others, figure out a way to get this thing sitting the other direction, will be cheaper/quicker in the long run. By far. Extra holes always, always leak.

    Me, I'd get 2 loads of gravel, level it, & plop a container on that. High enough for 'ponding', much easier to get in & out if it is lower to the ground, can be dropped off either direction, and a much more lasting shed than an old complete trailer. Currently trailers are kinda frowned upon as you elude to, while containers are accepted as portable storage in many areas...

    Of course, I'm here & you are there, you gotta do what works for you. :)

    --->Paul