Painted or Gal?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 07:44
ThreadID: 9440 Views:1729 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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We are about to order a camper trailer to replace our early model. I am in a bit of dilemma re: what finish to get...painted or galvanised.

I know we will be seeing the drawbar sand/stone blasted through driving (western roads) and know that it can be repainted. I don't know how well gal will stand up to it and if cold gal will be a suitable 'touch up'.

I do intend on having a stoneguard fixed as well.

Anyone with experiences or knowledge that will help?
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Reply By: Member - Eskimo - Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:02

Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:02
Go hot dip if you can afford it
at least the rest of the trailer will be well protected.
If you dont like the colour you can always paint it....but dont forget to use a good base coat first. Cold gal over hot will be ok and probably the best "touch up" Wow! am I cute
If yer ain't fishing, Yer ain't livin
Richard
AnswerID: 41517

Reply By: Member - Ross - Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:32

Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:32
Galvanised by a country mile ... only way to go. Most non-galvanised seem to be powder coated which looks very flash when new but won't go the distance. I've seen brand spankers on display with rust forming in untreated areas.

Hot dip galvanising also stands up to sand/stone blasting much better as it's both a very durable finish and also self healing. Cold galv paint is also fine for touch-ups and areas where bits like the hitch etc have been welded on after dipping.

There is a school of thought that the steel can be weakened by the process however the bath temperature is only about 450 deg and research has established embrittlement is restricted to areas where the steel is highly cold worked such as bends through a very small radius. This should not be a problem with the fabrication of trailers as it is not a normal requirement.

After 6 months or so the galvanising dulls off to a matt grey anyway, but as stated above it can be painted if you want to ... but why bother.

CheersFidei defensor

Rosco
AnswerID: 41518

Reply By: Member - JohnR - Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:52

Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 08:52
Bundy, not being experienced in the area of galvanised steel in outback areas, but in a farming situtaion I would say GALVANISED every time.

I know sometimes it may be a overkill to galvanise products or look to be but it will mean the steel stays till it cracks and breaks up, and then cold gal is effective in my mind as a corrosive inhibiter. Make sure the galvanising is after the welding of the structure. Look for drilling of the hollow frame to make sure it is galvanised inside the tubes too and not just welded galvanised tube. The hot zinc bath can explode tubes and destroy some steels but that would be before the point of purchase.

The zinc coating may appear soft in comparison but it does not chip off in the same way as paint does. Where it scratches it is just partially pushed aside and the cover seems to remain intact to provide the inhibiter against corrosion. Stone and sand blasting the same. It takes constant contact with quite corrosive materials, like acids to remove the zinc coat of galvanising and any patches like that can then get the cold coating touch up you mention. Keep off the battery acid concentrations though for your longevity.

It can withstand extended contact with normal soil conditions, and even some pretty corrosive ones (salty, acid or alkaline soils). I would still provide some maintenance in the form of washing to keep its appearance as you no doubt will. Regards

JohnR - Not enough of the right travelling, some here..... some over there.......
AnswerID: 41520

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 10:11

Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 10:11
While on the topic, how about spray gal

We've used it to touch up trailers around town, and it is becoming very popular with boat trailers.

And amazing to watch, it's basicly a wire of zinc and a wire of alum (i think) that get sprayed out at a ridiculous heat and then form on the metal surface. I imagine that this would be a tedious method to do a whole trailer, but it could be an option for wear areas or for touch up, we've had the tops of the guards done on our big 8 x 5 trailer (work trailer) as that is where you stand to load and unload most often, not even looking like wearing thru. We've then had the whole job powder coated (a college parent did the work and runs a sandblasting/powdercoating outfit and really helped us out), so far I have been very happy, a few trips to Fraser have presented no problems unlike before this treatment where the cancer set in alomost straight away
AnswerID: 41523

Reply By: Clarry - Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 17:23

Friday, Jan 02, 2004 at 17:23
Hot Galv would be the best.... I have just finished renovating my camper for sale - looking to move up market to a KK probably. I have painted the underside of my current trailer a few times...used bituminous paint....the underside of all campers gets a complete blasting with rocks.....have just seen a used KK that has hardly anything other than rust on the underside. Even galv will take a flogging. Suggest
you look at extra stone protection flaps for the underside parts (especially brakes and power harnesses etc) as well as the trad front guard (an absolute must). My builder fitted a front stone guard, but after one trip I made it higher, wider and hinged for swing up. Some things you have to do ! Bye the way, what sort of camper are you getting ? Having checked out a few, I'm interested (darian@picknowl.com.au). Chrz."This is a situation, up with which, we should no longer put ! (W. Churchill, on plans to reduce 4WD access in some parks).
AnswerID: 41573

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 13:27

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 13:27
Bundy, I have to agree with everyone else. Hot dip gal will provide the max protection and should never need "touching up".

You could always have it painted as well and then touch up the paint to keep it looking "pretty". However, bear in mind that hot dipping will not provide as "clean" a finish since the liquid metal can leave lumps, bumps and dags.

BTW, the stone guard is not for protection of the trailer. It's to stop stones, thrown back by the vehicle, from bouncing off the hard surfaces of the trailer and hitting the rear of the vehicle, especially the rear window.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
AnswerID: 41944

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