Hi all, I'm in the market for my first trailer so I've been calling around getting quotes and talking to dealers about their recommended maintenance, etc. I've always ridden at show barns where the grooms dealt with the trailers and us owners never really thought about them so I've got a lot to learn.
Well today I had a Platinum dealer tell me that if I bought a trailer with marine grade aluminum floors (Platinum, 4Star, Elite, C&C) I would never need to pull the mats to clean under them. Obviously he's a salesman and it's his job to make his product sound good, but that really set off my BS detector so I've come here to ask for some more unbiased opinions. Is there any difference in the recommended cleaning and maintenance (in a hypothetical brand new trailer straight from the dealer with no special sealant/coating) for marine grade aluminum versus extruded aluminum trailer floors?
Posted 2017-09-20 12:22 PM (#170670 - in reply to #170664) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Location: western PA
All trailers, regardless of construction materials, need routine maintenence. Pulling the mats and washing the floors is a necessity. How often is based on your usage and the flooring materials. Not all aluminum trailers have "marine grade aluminum" flooring . Not all aluminum is "marine grade". Aluminum will corrode over time when damaged by urine. Aluminum can be coated which will reduce the acidic reactions, but an inspection and power washing should be routinely accomplished. This could be as often as monthly or seasonally, depending on the materilal and and type of usage. Aluminum trailers are not maintenance free.
Posted 2017-09-20 2:38 PM (#170671 - in reply to #170655) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Platinum has a 5000 series marine grade aluminum floor which is resistant to urine and all that comes with hauling livestock, but I still clean our trailer when we get home, and pull our mats a few times a year and suggest that our customers do too. Platinum builds a quality trailer with quality materials but it also has to be cared for like all trailers do.
An additional benefit of 5000 series aluminum is that it does not weaken when welded compared to a softer 6000 series aluminum.
Take care of it and it will outlast the others and continue to look great for years to come.
Posted 2017-09-20 6:17 PM (#170673 - in reply to #170670) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Thanks for the replies!
Looking at the Elite Trailers owner's manual (Platinum and 4 Star don't have cleaning instructions online that I could find), they recommend pulling the mats and power washing every 3 months. If I'm using a trailer for ~30 minutes 3x a week, would you follow that recommendation or clean it at a different frequency?
Posted 2017-09-21 12:46 AM (#170674 - in reply to #170655) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Location: Calgary, Canada
The cleaning frequency is directly related to how often your horses pee in the trailer.
If you leave your aluminum floor un-coated and your horse pees in the trailer, then you will want to clean your aluminum floor frequently.
If your horses NEVER pee in the the trailer, then you can go months between cleanings.
Cleaning should consist of removing all bedding, washing the mats, removing the mats, washing the aluminum floor, drying the floor and replacing the dried mats.
Coating of the floor will mean that you will have to clean LESS often, but you should still clean a coated floor a number of times a year depending the urine frequency.
An aluminum trailer is NOT maintenance free ... to protect your investment, you need to keep the floor clean to prevent corrosion of the aluminum!
Posted 2017-09-21 9:11 AM (#170679 - in reply to #170674) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Just for what it is worth- coating the aluminum floor is not recommended by everyone. There have been some issues caused by a floor coating that did not adhere completely to the aluminum, but went undetected. Old school says just clean the bare aluminum as needed based on usage, and amount of urine.
Posted 2017-09-22 8:38 AM (#170685 - in reply to #170655) Subject: RE: Marine Grade Aluminum Floor Cleaning?
Pulling mats is a pain but a necessary evil. I have had trailers with the Suncoat, WERM floors and just mats. Preparation is key for adhesion of any coating and if not done properly you can have failure.
While power washing the floor with Suncoat I saw that it was rippling when I moved the pressure washer. This movement meant it wasn't adhered to the aluminum floor. I pulled the whole suncoat floor out in 15min (again confirms no adhesion). Urine must have seeped under the coating and was trapped without my knowledge of what was happening. The floor was so bad that I had to replace it. If this trailer had mats and I was regularly cleaning the trailer, I would have noticed if any damage was happening.
My existing trailer has WERM floors. It appears to be a thicker coating than the Suncoat and to date, I do not see any rippling when I regularly power wash.
All of my trailers I do regular cleaning, but pulling mats (in my opinion) is a pain. It isn't the pulling, but the waiting for them to dry and the trailer to dry before they go back in. My bumper pull has mats, I would like to put the WERM Floor in but I am concerned that it wouldn't be prepped well as it is not new and I would get a failure. Any new trailer that I purchase would have a floor coating and so far I have been very impressed with the WERM floor. my 2 cents.
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