Body Prep

Vintage trailers were all painted with oil based paint because that's all they had. You'll want to repaint your trailer with the same. If your trailer doesn't have any dents or imperfections you can just sand it with a 180 grit scuff pad by hand and it will be ready for paint.

This trailer needed alot of help so I'll take you through the process and it will cover every area you might encounter on your trailer. I began preparing the body for paint. It required sanding and dent repair.
I sanded it with an air file using 80 grit to sand off the dripped paint that was left on it after the previous owner had painted it with a brush.
If you don't have an air file, you can use a sanding block. A 10" piece of 2x2 works great.

Air File.

First you have to wipe the entire trailer down with a grease and wax remover, ensuring that ALL grease and wax is removed from it which will keep the new paint from sticking. And we know it has wax on it because we just polished the windows on it.
I like Prep-All as shown in the photo. This is available at any auto body supply store.
As you sand the skin, you can mark the areas with a pencil that need to be filled with bondo (auto body filler) for smoothing it out.
Next, you can fill all the dents that need to be filled with bondo. Follow the directions on the can for proper mixing and apply with a putty knife. Surface should be scuffed with at least 80 grit sand paper prior to application to give the bondo something to cling to. Since I sanded the entire trailer, no extra sanding was required.
Bondo can be purchased at any auto body supply store.
When the bondo is mixed with the hardener or catalyst, it will get warm. After it is applied it begins to cool and harden. While it is still warm and not quite dry, you can use a "Cheese Grader" (which is a coarse wood rasp blade) to shape the bondo. This will save you many hours in sanding (no kidding). There is about a 3 minute window where it can be worked with, so don't mix too much at a time.
Then using your air file or sanding block, smooth out the bondo with 80 grit sand paper. It's important to use a flat surface to keep the finish as flat as possible. You can create grooves and patterns in the bondo to re-create the original shape of the trailer skin. Then it should be sanded with a 180 grit to take out the scratches left by the 80 grit. I sanded the entire trailer with 180 because I had sanded it with 80 grit to get out the paint drips.
My trailer was pretty rough on the outside, so I went a step further and I applied a coat of sandable primer to the entire body and sanded that off. Sandable primer will work like bondo on very small scratches.
Before painting, all the window openings had to be masked off to keep paint from getting on the interior. I simply apply duct tape around each hole overlapping the skin by about 1/4 of an inch. The window only overlaps the skin by about 3/8 of an inch, so you have to be careful that all the surface gets painted that will 'show' after the windows are reinstalled. As shown in the photo to the left, I trimmed the excess duct tape with a utility knife.
After the duct tape was applied I went inside and simply pressed news paper to the sticky side of the duct tape.
Additional body prep information.
I used paint stripper to take the paint off the tongue. Then it was sanded to the original factory finish.
I had to weld angle iron to the tongue so that I could attach the propane bottle to it. I don't know how it was originally attached.
The wheels had to be cleaned aggressively. I had some clean hub caps from another trailer that I used.
I attempted to strip the paint from the door in hopes that I could make it shiny. But to no avail as there where too many imperfections.
In this photo, water had gotten behind the aluminum skin and caused the wood to swell pushing the skin apart at the seem. So I placed a 2x4 along the edge and forced the edge back together by wedging another 2x4 between it and the shop wall. Then it was stapled back in place. If you don't have a pneumatic stapler, you can use finish nails.
It came out real nice.

Hope these tip's are helpful. They are offered without warrantee for entertainment purposes only.
Make $50K Renting Your RV at We Make Happy Campers! Get Lucky!
Sell Your Newer RV at Only $4.77 to List
Sell Your Vintage RV at Free to List

Copyright 1-1-2020 ASGweb, LLC All rights reserved
Information deemed reliable though not guaranteed. For entertainment purposes. Use at your own risk.