Trailer floor covering serves two purposes – to protect the trailer floor and to prevent the load being damaged in transit. What type is best for your trailer?
Generally, trailer flooring should be light, practical and durable. It also has to be applicable to your needs; wood and rubber are generally more versatile and sustainable than aluminium, steel or synthetic, yet aluminium checker plate just looks the part on a bike trailer.
What Are The Options?
The floor covering you choose will be determined by the way you use the trailer and how much money you’re prepared to spend.
If your trailer only comes out for the occasional furniture delivery or monthly trip to the local tip, a strip of matting or vinyl should be enough. For minimal outlay you can usually pick up off-cut carpet or vinyl flooring, trim it to size then replace it after a few years if necessary.
On the other hand, precious cargo such as a horse, bike or car will require more ‘accommodating’ materials.
- Aluminium diamond or checker plate can be cut to size by the supplier, then drilled and bolted in place. It looks great, resists weather damage, corrosion and slippage, is easy to clean and provides the perfect flooring for bikes or your treasured vintage racer. If you’re inclined to work on the vehicle while it’s trailered, then checker plate will be the least likely surface to be damaged by grease. It’s also possibly the most expensive option.
- Rubber matting provides cushioned, anti-slip flooring that is soft yet hard-wearing. It won’t move around in the trailer, yet allows air to circulate and deters water collection, which will in turn help prevent rust forming at the bottom of the tray.
- Rubber ‘vent’ matting has a large, open design for drainage, often with raised ‘pimples’ on the underside that allow debris and water to run straight through. It’s easy to clean – just lift out and hose it down, though grease and oil will be harder to remove from the rubber.
- Polyvinyl matting can be bought in flexible sheets then trimmed to size and set in place using glue and seaming tape. It reduces the likelihood of rust and rot if it covers the entire floor area, but is expensive and susceptible to weathering.
- It’s best to use either rubber or wooden floor covering in a horse float, as these materials will reduce heat and provide a softer, quieter ride.
Of course, you might decide that your trailer floor is adequate as it is, but it’s good to know there are plenty of options available if you need floor coverings for a particular purpose.
If you need to replace the entire floor of the trailer instead of just topping it with new floor coverings, take a look at our how-to guide.