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Unread 12-28-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
MoparToYou
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Best wood protectant for trailer decking?

I have a new trailer with wood decking that is pressure treated 2x8 planks. The wood decking looks fine now, but I want it to stay that way indefinitely. The trailer has to be parked outside beside the garage where the water from the eves of the house drips on the trailer, so it gets wet every time it storms, and stays wet most of the winter due to snow melting on the roof and dripping on the trailer. This is the fourth trailer I've owned, and all of the others had the planking start to shrink and warp a small amount, even though they were also made of pressure treated wood. I want this trailer to stay nice if it is possible.

What is the best preservative / protectant for this kind of wood? What about good old fashioned linseed oil that they use on log cabins?

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Unread 12-29-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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I would pressure wash it real good getting all the stains and old mildew off and then let it dry inside or under a tarp for a couple of days. When completely dry i would apply a few coats of Thompson's Water Seal. Linseed oil would also work. Your cheapest route would be to coat it good with some spent motor oil. Never tried this method but I've heard of people getting good results from it. It has to be dilluted with some type of thinner or deisel fuel so it will be thin enough to penetrate. Once the motor oil soaks in it will act as a repellent and it gives the wood a nice looking antique finish aswell.
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Unread 12-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #3
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I wouldn't pressure wash it.

And, those hardware store sealants just coat the surface. Motor oil works ok.

Where is creosote when we need it?

BTW, the mud that accumulates on the bottom of the planks is your best protection. Don't wash it off.
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Unread 12-29-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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Or you could coat it with bedliner....

And by the way ^^ if you think leaving soggy wet mud on the bottom of any trailer is a good idea then think again. All it does is act as a sponge when it comes in contact with any moisture.
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Last edited by Rural-Assault; 12-29-2008 at 02:53 PM..
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Unread 12-29-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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We will have to stay away from that soggy North Carolina mud. Here we have rock hard waterproof clay.
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Unread 12-29-2008, 07:41 PM   #6
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Anyone use this stuff? http://www.opwdecks.com/twpwoodsealers.htm

I've used the Thompsons wood sealer on our house deck and on previous trailers, and although it is better than nothing at all, I wasn't all that impressed with it.

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Unread 01-03-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Here's another vote for used motor oil. I tried thompsons and wasn't too pleased. I wish I would have used the motor oil from when the trailer was new. Only bad part is crawling on the deck sometimes results in dirty pants...
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Unread 01-04-2009, 12:04 AM   #8
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I painted mine black with an outdoor house paint. Then I sparayed the bottom with a rubberized under coating. It's too soon to tell how it will hold up in the long run. It looks good though.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 04:44 AM   #9
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It will never last indefinitely. Wood decks are supposed to be replaced every so often depending on how you use it. I've seen people use wood sealer, diluted motor oil, bedliner, you name it. The bottom is going to be where the trouble lies.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 07:37 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, I'm old enough to have outlived a couple of wood trailer decks.

If you park em in the weeds or on the grass where humidity is high, mold and moss grows on the bottom and they will rot from the bottom. Otherwise, the problem is the deck. And, the more roughed up they get, the more oil you can pour on them and the better they will seal. I have put a little bit of everything on wood trailer decks over the years, and creosote is the absolute best thing ever. Too bad the environinnies have banned it. I would suspect that pine tar or asphalt sealer would be good, but I've never used either. But, if you need a good place to put your used motor oil, the base of fence posts and your trailer deck are two good uses. If you hate your neighbors, mixing it in with your tiki torch fluid is also a good use. Or you could do the right thing and dispose of it responsibly. I wouldn't know about that though.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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I would just leave it alone. Replace deck planks as necessary; how often can that be?

My second choice would be treating with used motor oil - thinned a little with kerosene or diesel. That's how the old man kept wood fencing protected years ago.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #12
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I have used ATF as the deck-protectant .. works the same as motor-oil except that it is already a bit thinner and can work its way through the wood ..
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Unread 01-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #13
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What ever you decide to treat it with I wouldn't do it while the wood is still new, it won't absorb very well. I talked to a person who works on decks for a living, and you'd want to wait almost a year befor you stain or seal the wood.
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Unread 01-17-2009, 03:31 AM   #14
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I ended up using Penafin Green Label wood preservative, that is specifically formulated for pressure treated wood. It is actually Brazilian Rosewood Oil.

Here is a before picture:

And here is an after picture:


I had ordered the Penafin and expected it to show up within a few days, so backed the trailer in the garage and started installing the recessed swiveling D-rings, and then the e-track. I had expected the Penafin to show up by the time I got around to the e-track install, but it was still in shipping. I wanted the wood under the e-tracks treated before putting the e-track down, so used some Thompson's wood treatment just in the 5" wide area under the e-track. That gave me the chance to compare the Thompson's wood treatment to the Penafin wood treatment that I later used on the rest of the trailer. The Thompson's wood treatment is like applying water compared to the Penafin wood treatment. It is very thin, and the wood really doesn't look like much of anything has been done to it when you are done. The Thompson's wood treatment dryed to touch within minutes, and the Penafin wood treatment took just over 12 hours to dry to the touch, because it is a much more oil based product instead of water based. The Penafin, in comparison, leaves a deep soft rich wood tone that at least looks like it is going to do a much better job of protecting the wood. Penafin claims 99% UV protection for a minimum of 5 years.

I decided not to use the used motor oil as a wood protectant. I often times have to get down on one knee to thread the tie down straps around an axle when tieing down the Jeep, and I couldn't see myself kneeling down on oil soaked wood, and then getting in the leather interior of my tow truck with the same oily pants on. Plus I was concerned about the oil soaked wood being a dust magnet on dirt roads.

Just thought I would pass on what I discovered with these two wood treatments.

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Unread 01-17-2009, 07:47 PM   #15
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Looks great!

I see some small bolts through the D-ring flanges. Is that all that attaches them? What do you put on the back side? Steel stock? How far do you spread the load out?
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