DIY Beef-Up Your Bug-Out-Trailer

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I like today’s DIY because it’s a simple improvement project that enhances your current flat trailer. By simply adding plywood walls to the trailer you accomplish three important points:

  1. You become more discreet about whatever you are hauling in the trailer;
  2. You protect that contents from the elements, and
  3. You can decide to further customize the trailer with simple welds or wood construction.

This kind of project is an easy do-it-over-the-weekend with your children or like-minded friends. How would you add to this project?

To visit today’s DIY, Click HERE.

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22 Responses to DIY Beef-Up Your Bug-Out-Trailer

  1. hardy December 12, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    also a great way to take along some extra building materials for improvized shelter….

    • David December 12, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Great thought, Hardy! Thanks for sharing.

      -David

  2. prepdog December 13, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    The one problem that I have is that poly tarps can wear quickly in 60 mph winds, especially at corners or sharp edges. So far, I haven’t found a solution to the problem, so using a tarp is the only solution I know of. but if you have to travel very far in bad weather, you may start having problems. Once a hole wears in the tarp, it can go fast.

    Another addition that I find helpful is to attach deck cleats to the metal uprights on the trailer. Deck cleats make it easy to use bungee cords, ratcheting straps or rope in a lot of configuration. Deck cleats cost about $4 or so at West Marine, and take a lot of abuse. $25 adds a lot of flexibility to your options.

    • David December 13, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Great point, Prepdog! Thanks for those tips!

      -David

    • DJL December 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      I haven’t tried this, so take it with a grain of salt, but to protect the tarp you could try covering the plywood edges with with foam pipe insulation or the “pool noodles”. The round soft foam should cause much less wear and tear than the hard edges of the plywood.

      • David December 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

        Foam pipe insulation or pool noodles are a creative solution. Thanks for the insight, DJL!

        -David

    • Vicky D December 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      @ prepdog To cover your trailer, try using material meant to be used for baby rubber pants, available at fabric stores (probably largers ones, like Joannes – see their website). The material is the type used for some pet kennel covers to make it water resistant. One side is rubberized/waterproof and one side is soft or heavier material. Add an extra layer of this tough material at the corners and grommets for tie downs and you’re set to cover your trailer.

      Another option is a painter’s drop (material, not plastic). Add grommets if there aren’t any, and tie it down – strong material, will last pretty well. Of course, the better you tie it down the less it will flap and rub. You might even try to spray it with waterproofing used for boots/leather. That will help repell water if you’re caught in the weather.

      Perhaps someone else has experience with these, correct me if I’m wrong…

      Good luck!

      • David December 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

        Excellent suggestion, Vicky! Thanks for the comment!

        -David

    • Bill December 16, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      Go to your local hardware store and get some of that round pipe insulation. They are about 4′long in different sizes. They have a split down the length that you open to put on the pipe. Instead of pipe place it over the eadges of plywood and use a stapler to secure it. Hope this helps…

      • David December 17, 2012 at 8:59 am #

        Excellent direction, Bill! Thanks for the comment!

        -David

  3. Dan December 13, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    With some 2×4 framing and another sheet of plywood, a second level could be added for smaller items.

    • David December 13, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Thanks for the input, Dan. Great suggestion!

      -David

  4. Melissa Wilson December 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I so love all your articles, ty for sharing the important things we all should be thinking about

    • David December 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      You are absolutely welcome, Melissa! Thank you for the feedback!

      -David

  5. Al December 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Make sure you have a spare tire for the trailer too.

    • David December 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Spare tires are a must! Thanks for the comment, Al!

      -David

  6. Fubar57 December 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Try using a couple pair of heavy duty hinges to attach the 3 sides. Just a sturdy and will make it foldable for easier storage and handling.

    • David December 14, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Great tip Fubar57! Thanks!

      -David

  7. Gerald January 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Bug Out Trailers are and should be in anybodies preparedness plan. Adding a quality shelter that can actually protect you and your family is key. Exposure is to the elements is where the most danger exist. I have solutions for you DIYrs. And the great thing about this is you can go camping and fine tune your Bug Out skills.

    Thanks

    • David March 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Gerald.

      Please feel free to email me information about your product as I’d prefer to do a write-up for our Blog on your solutions, rather than simply feature your site’s link in a comment.

      -David

  8. Rick January 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I’ve worked on the idea because I have a trailer like this except without the ramp. I, basically, built a box with 2 x 4′s along all of the edges and door hinges (the kind with knock-out pins) holding it together. A piece of rubber along each mating surface makes it watertight. I was even able to make it 8′ high with a couple of slide-out panels for shelves.

    I’m thinking about—and doing some drawings– on how to make a large box that just sits on the trailer and is secured down. The trailer is 4 x 8, but it would be 6W x 8 L x 8 H. AND it would be a ‘break-down” like an erector set because of the hinges.

    • David January 24, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Great idea, Rick! Thanks for sharing & we’ll be happy to share your results with our visitors if you’ll email us photos when you’ve completed the project!

      -David

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