Trailer overhaul – Exterior part 2

(Get some background on our trailer project here. Don’t forget to check out the first exterior post and interior.)

Once the new walls were in place, Aaron removed the old insulation and used aluminum foil tape to seal the paneling seems. This will also help keep water from damaging the interior.


Then the framing got a coat of Kilz primer. 002trailerexterior2

Then he cut foam insulation to fit between all of the panels and sealed it in with more aluminum foil tape.

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This whole project sounds really easy, but it is incredibly tedious.


Exterior metal
The tongue and the bumper were showing quite a bit of wear… particularly the bumper, which we lost half of somewhere between Ikea and home. These got a good sanding, a coat of primer and then a coat of paint.005trailerexterior2 006trailerexterior2 007trailerexterior2 008trailerexterior2

The new jack also went from black to white before being installed. 009trailerexterior2 010trailerexterior2


Metal skin
Tackling the new metal skin for the trailer was something we both dreaded from the get go. The metal skin came in sections (basically two for each of the four sides of the trailer.) It was shipped in a tube so we had to lay it out in the back of the tunnel and weigh it down in an effort to remove the bend. It was only slightly successful. When it came time to attach the metal, I held a piece in place while Aaron traced the shape on the backside. Then we cut it, held it up and stapled it into place. The bend fought us, but we got the lower piece attached. The second (upper piece) didn’t play nice. Because of the bend and the sheer size of the piece, it was nearly impossible for me to hold it (along with some clamps) while Aaron stapled it in place. After it and the bottom piece popped off TWICE, we called in reinforcements.

Thankfully my brother was in town and willing to lend a hand. Between the three of us, we were able to get the skin attached over the course of a weekend. Once the metal was up, Aaron used metal snips to cut out each window and the door. 012trailerexterior2 013trailerexterior2

And that is how the trailer sat while we negotiated and purchased the firehouse. When it came time to move it, we tossed in the door and a few windows to give it some extra stability. Then we woke up really early on a Sunday morning and pulled it the few miles to the firehouse, hoping that we wouldn’t pass a cop along the way considering it wasn’t exactly road worthy.

Since then it has waited patiently for us to find the time to finish it. We checked on it every few months, holding our breath as we unzipped the cover. It looks like it was mostly unscathed by the lack of attention. Aaron has a large list of mini projects to wrap this project up. So we’re getting back into real time blogging as he marches toward the finish line!

  1. That is a monumental amount of work. I’m not sure exactly what you paid for when you bought it, but I’m sure it’ll be loved by you guys for years to come. Go Team Glamping!

    1. True. It wasn’t that much, maybe a couple of grand. That’s pretty low considering the shape we thought it was in. Obviously it’s ballooned quite a bit, and, frankly, I don’t want to know what our investment is at this point. I’m taking solace in the fact that we bought almost everything we need (including things like plates and pots) several years ago. So now it’s just a matter of assembly.

  2. I wondered how/if you were going to insulate the exterior walls. This makes it look effortless but as you say, I’m sure it was a TON of work. I’m so impressed that you are doing this all yourselves!

    1. Yeah, I didn’t envy him on this job…

  3. Looking to redo a vintage trailer ourselves and curious where you found the exterior metal?

    1. We bought it from a company in California, but Aaron doesn’t remember which one. Part of our problem was finding the right pattern of metal. The Trailblazer was a bit of a unique trailer in that regard. If you’re not working on a Trailblazer, you should be able to find some metal options in patterns that are more readily available through a quick Google search. Good luck with your project!

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