Sub Floor Part 3 – Wheel Wells

326 In this post will will look at one of the most tedious and difficult parts of the build to date: The Wheel Wells. Our trailer came without fenders. We used the 2′ x 4′ leftover pieces from our road guard build to make the pieces and I joined them to wooden framing and sealed with goop and aluminum tape. I also used Medium L Angles every few inches to reinforce the inner edge of the curve. Why was it so difficult? Mostly because I had no clue where to start or stop; never built wheel wells before. After considerable research and skull sweat I came up with a design that is very sturdy and leaves enough clearance to mount commercially shaped halfmoon fenders inside, if it becomes necessary.
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Like the rest of the house, the wheel wells will lift off the trailer after being detached, which might involve some grinding, but the glue used in well-to-trailer connections is only “Flashmate™” silicon gel, meaning it will cut. The hard part will be removing the bolts, which will probably break and leave me to grind the heads loose.382
We realize that welding would have been superior but at the time we lacked funds and tools to do the job that way. What we ended up with should suffice. It is more then heavy enough to stop smaller debris, and should a larger hunk of debris lodge in there, damage should be easy to repair. Remember we are not planning to move our house very much. I tested it with hard strokes from a wooden mallet and found it quite solid after the angles were installed and the polyurethane glue cured.  Later when we installed insulation, I took extra care to seal it from the inside again and then applied spray foam underneath with solid core foam on top.
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Above we see the Medium L angle supports. Everywhere glue was applied to metal, it was first roughed up and scratched for more grip. The screw holes were drilled out first, cutting new holes through the angle at a 45º angle closer to the seam, and carefully driven home to force the angle down to meet and press firmly against the top of the wheel well. Too little drive and the angle sits awkwardly and not flush, too much drive and the screws force the angle down too far and disrupt the water seal on the seam.  It took a little trial and error and carefully fitting each support to the background, I also numbered them so as not to confuse placement.  In the end I used three screws per angle and plenty of polyurethane glue (which yes, does stick to metal) The glue adds some strength, but mainly serves as a seal and gasket. As long as the screws hold it firmly, the glue will wont break so the piece wont move or rattle. Every edge is sealed with Flashmate™, and every surface scored and glued. As I said, firm blows from a wooden mallet produce a really solid “Thunk” sound, and not a rattle to be heard. These puppies are SOLID!


One thought on “Sub Floor Part 3 – Wheel Wells

  1. Pingback: Subfloor Road Guard | The Roots of our Tiny Life

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