Truck Cap to Trailer Cover

Author: Dave
Date: 08.28.22 - 12:08pm

So years ago I created a wood frame and used a tarp as a trailer cover.

It lasted 7 years which was impressive with the massive snow loads we get here. Finally a knot in the wood let loose and it broke. I enjoyed having it to help protect the trailer wood and for a dry space I could occasionally store or transport stuff with.

I didnt get to fixing it last summer so it got one full year of weathering more on the trailer wood and it does make a difference. This year I had an extra aluminum truck cap and made some time to modify it to fit the trailer.

While I was being careful with my dimensions, it had to be a tight fit and the screw rails on the sides took me over measurement. I really wanted to keep them, and I really wanted the cap to sit inside the metal frame on top, so I ended up having to take the additional step of taking one of the wood sides off, cutting the steel supports half through, bending, and re-welding.

Extra half days labor, but it will be fine and wont matter to the trailer and it ensures the cap will sit secure. Oghh well, not a perfect execution but not a big deal either.

In the end I added 1 inch to both inside width and length. I also added some internal side rails to give it a larger surface to sit on as well as cross slats.

The reinforced cross slats will make it bullet proof in terms of snow load, but even more importantly make installation/removal much easier. With these I can now I can just set it on from the side and slide it across without having to worry about it falling into the bed.

One slight challenge I am having is the bottom rails are not perfectly flat since they were joined from several pieces and some of the screw on trim is a bit bent. For this winter I will just add some shims to take up the gaps, I really want it to be well supported for the snow load. Next year I will crawl in and trace out the variations to bed rail to get it properly seated. Currently there is up to 3/8 of a gap over a 4' long middle span.

In terms of securing it down, I mounted 2 D ring hooks per side and have some ratchet straps going over the top width wise. The mounts coincide with the roof supports are and made it so the strap will actually cross over the rib at a slight angle. This way I can be sure the strap is not pulling on the thin sheet metal only.

The original cap was built in 1994 (28 years old!). Short of a tree falling on it, this trailer cover should easily last another 30 years!

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