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Old 09-13-2015, 08:40 AM   #1
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Weather tight plywood box design ideas?

Hi everyone. This is only tangentially aligned with Jayco trailers, but I'm interested in crowd sourcing some brainstorm ideas.

The need: an Inlaw of mine comes camping with us all the time. She and her offspring in a tent. We in our TT. She drives a sedan, 2009 chev Malibu. I watch her unload/reload and often volunteer to help in those efforts.

This woman needs an "explorer trailer."

In the most basic sense: a plywood box built upon a flatbed trailer, that will store her hard camping gear, provide space for a cooler, a 20# LP bottle, and finally transport for bicycles.

I'm scouring Craigslist for used utility trailers in the $250 - $400 range.

She needs the storage of camp stoves, mess kits, lanterns, etc. these will live in the box. So, I'm needing to build it weather tight.

My first question to the group: what wood sealing approach would you all take?

1,000 pound GVWR on the trailer according to Chevy manual.
I'm still checking the manual for tongue max.

$750 +\- max budget.

Thanks in advance
Craig
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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Marine grade plywood with a layer of good caulk between all joints as they are screwed together. Then run a bead of caulk along all the seams and joints when done. That will likely be more watertight than many RVs.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:19 AM   #3
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If it were me I'd go with something along this route - 78" Tag-Along Trailer - 600 Lb. Capacity

However that may not be big enough. You could buy a larger harbor freight trailer and look for a used cartop carrier to put all the dry stuff in, then make a rack for the cooler and propane tank. If not a cartop carrier a truck bed toolbox or any weatherproof plastic box. It could all be well under budget, completely waterproof, and durable. Actually sounds like a fun project. Anyways, I know that isn't exactly what you asked for but its just my .02.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thanks NC. I was also pondering some sort of wood sealants, or maybe a layer of resin? I can't wait to see how much a marine grade sheet of 1/2" or 3/4" will cost.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:20 AM   #5
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How about something along this line.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm open taking an open mind approach to this project. . Any and all ideas are welcome.

I'm thinking the darn bikes are going to be a controlling factor... Both in size and budget. The super nice trays and roof mounted systems can fetch my entire budget if bought new. Craigslist is my friend.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbailey View Post
I can't wait to see how much a marine grade sheet of 1/2" or 3/4" will cost.
It will definitely be more expensive than subfloor-grade plywood, but you know how RV owners abhor delamination!
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:37 AM   #8
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Well in the seafood industry I and others have made a plywood truck body using regular exterior plywood and 2x4`s for frame for the back of a pickup to haul seafood around in and they lasted for several years. Don`t see why it would not work on a small flatbed as well, we just caulk the joints good and paint the body. This might work into your budget requirements.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:00 PM   #9
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Excellent! There is nothing more severe than the marine environment. Thanks for the experience.

Wisdom is what you get from reading the textbook. Experience is what you get from not.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:53 PM   #10
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Craig,

If you had to guess, what size storage box is needed? My intial thought was a rooftop carrier as well. Or a full size p/u bed tool box.

If you could find a trailer similar to the HF 4x8, maybe mount the box in the center, front to rear, with a bike on each side?

Does the budget include a hitch for the Malibu?

Another option to seal the wood (depends on just how big the box is) is to use the resin for fiberglass (no fiber), and coat the box with it. May be a little more now, but should last a long time without much need for upkeep.

So another crazy thought that may keep the cost down a little for now (upgrade when more money allows). What about building a nice frame, but using a truck bed liner for the sides if you can get one (or two) for free? Hard part would be making/keeping it water tight....

Or is there a large enough Rubbermaid tote (or two) that would be big enough, and stay within the budget???
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