Wooden truck bed trailer is a good option for truck owners who are searching for a replacement for their metal bed. Our truck bed was completely rusted, and after doing some research we found that a wooden truck bed trailer is a good option. So to get it done we have followed some simple DIY method and ended with a beautiful wooden truck bed trailer.
Complete DIY Process:
If you are searching for the DIY process, then continue reading this blog, as you will get all the detailed process below. Tools and new gadgets like taillight, we purchased everything from Amazon at a cheaper price. You can also buy things that you will need for this DIY. Below is the complete process.
01.Truck Preparation; Removing the Truck Bed From the Cab:
First, you will need to prepare your truck for the DIY. If you have any existing truck bed, remove it first. To know how to remove follow up the below process.
Equipment you might need:
- Impact wrench
- Ratchet straps, ropes or chains
- Six to seven pieces of wood logs
- Long car jacks
- Jack stands
- Pneumatic hoists or crane
- Small hydraulic jacks
- Scaffolding pipes
Step 01 – Start removing from the bumper:
What I did was, I simply slide down under the truck bed and unplugged the electricals attached to the bumper area; LED bulbs from both sides of the bumper.
Step 02 – Find the Bolts:
Most pickup bumpers were generally hooked to the hitch from both sides. Each side is tightened to the hitch using four nuts and bolts along with a washer setup.
Step 03 – Unbolt the Hitch:
after removing the bolts from both sides of the hitch. You can see another bolt hooked through the hitch and the bed. You can find those or can see through the hole in the hitch.
Step 04 – Remove the Number Plate:
Next, remove the four bolts that are connected between the number plate and the hitch from the back of the truck bed, but before that, you should remove the license plate. By this, the bumper will easily slide out and you will see the hitch exposed and sticking out under the bed.
Step 05 – Remove the taillights and trans cooler:
Moving forward, the next step is to remove the taillights which will come out and then drop the auxiliary trans cooler.
Step 06 – Undo the Bolts:
Take down the tailgate and remove the taillights by undoing the bolts from the side of the walls.
Step 07 – Bed Frame Removal:
Next, remove the bolts that go through the frame to the bed and then use a manual car jack or hydraulic car jack to lift and bed up a little bit, and then slide the hitch out of the frame. There are eight bolts that hold the bed down to the truck or to the frame. Also two back and one of them goes through the frame to the bed. There are a couple of bolts in the front and couple in the back, to remove which you will have to slide down under the truck.
Step 08 – Relocate the trans cooler:
The auxiliary trans cooler that is still connected is right above the drive shaft. So, you can wait till you pull the bed off to bolt that unbolts it because it is right above the drive shaft. Then when you pull the bed up off the truck, you can put it on top of the gas tank
Step 09 – Overlook:
Make sure that you unclip and unplug all the wiring from under the truck bed.
Step 10 – Replace the filler neck:
The filler neck on the side kind of pops in through the hole; which you might have to undo it from the neck if you can’t get it high enough. Then it’s time to remove the actual truck bed.
Step 11 – Build a four-pillar scaffolding:
After undoing all bolts, auxiliary trans cooler, gas tank, etc, the bed already ready to come out. But for that, you need to build a four-pillar scaffolding.
Step 12 – Scaffolding on the ground outdoors:
First, build scaffolding on the ground outdoors. The scaffolding will be 8×8 feet in dimension. It will have one side open from where you will reverse drive in the truck bed under the scaffolding.
Step 13 – Connecting the pillar:
Place their steel pipes on the ground which will connect to the erect pipes that go on the four corners of the scaffolding. The four corner pillar will have connectors to join the cross member pipes. The lower part will have three pipes with one side open through which you will reverse drive the truck bed under the scaffolding. The upper part will have four pipes connecting the pillar from all four sides. We will also get the pellets underneath it after pulling the truck out.
Step 14 – If the truck bed doesn’t have any tie downs(optional):
For older pickup models the truck bed doesn’t have any tie downs like one they have in newer beds. For older models, you have to have six ratchet straps for each side of the bed except the cab that will pull the bed up using the top cross membrane of the scaffolding as the support to hang.
Step 15 – Drive your pickup:
Next, drive your pickup to the scaffolding area and reverse drive slowly such that the bed is right under the scaffolding.
Step 16 – Hooked to the tie-downs:
Next, bring six ratchet straps or any rope strong enough to lift up the bed. For older models, you will have to hook it up under the bed to the scaffolding and slowly pull up the bed. For newer model with tie-downs, you could use four ratchet straps each hooked to the tie-downs and you can just pull up the bed slowly from each end one by one all by yourself.
Step 17 – Chains to pull off the bed:
You could also use some chains to pull off the bed and keep some rags in between the bed and cab so that it doesn’t scratch the cab. Next, after pulling the bed high enough using ratchet straps or chains, you should pretty much get a floating bed and you can just drive out the truck leaving the bed behind hanging from the scaffolding.
Step 18 – Let it rest:
Now that you have removed the truck bed, you can just let it rest on a few stacks of pallets.
02. Fixing the truck:
As the bed is detached from the truck its good time fix the truck. We have repainted get new wheels and tires. And also an Android head unit installed. To protect the truck from future rusting and to repair the existing rust we repainted the truck.
To repair a rusted part of the truck bed you need to have few tools in your toolbox. You can buy them all from a local hardware store.
- Breathing mask or respirator
- Electric drill with sanding disc attachment
- Protective goggles
- Hammer (Ball-peen works best)
- Paint primer
- Rust-resistant primer – I recommend
- Dual action sander (80-150 grit)
- Metal grinder (120 grit sandpaper)
- Rust removing acid – I recommend
Step 01- Remove dirt:
Before start painting prepares your truck. There should not be any dirt or dust in it. Wash the truck with a pressure wash and let it dry.
Step 02 – Sand off the Paint:
The job is not just to remove the paint but to get down to the rust. The best way is to use sandpaper of 80 to 150 grit to rub off the paint. Sand off both the front and back of the spot to make sure you have got it down to the bare metal.
Step 03 – Apply Rust Primer:
Now paint the surrounding of the rust hole with rust primer. It creates a protective coating that seals the metal from further moisture to prevent further damage. You can also use rust converter which will convert the rust into a coating that will protect the metal.
Step 04 – Mix the Body Filler:
Prepare the body filler paste as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you add too much hardener the paste will harden too quickly. Place the zinc metal mesh or the fiberglass cloth which came with the kit on the rust hole and then apply the body filler to the hole.
Step 05 – Paint the Truck:
After cleaning and drying the surface, begin painting. You will have to do it in a few coatings. Each time you have to apply a thin coat and then dry it out to apply the second coat. After you are done with three coats of paint, the sand of the surface with finer sandpaper 400 grit, but this time with water.
03. Build the wooden Deck:
As the complete bed is of wood. First, you have to make a frame of wood. Start from the four sides of the bed or can say the boundary of the truck bed.
- Circular saw
- 4-by-4 inch lumber
- 2-by-6 inch lumber
- Lag bolts and nuts
- Wrench set
- Small square
- Drill and drill bit
Step 01 – Make a rough plan:
Measure the metal bed which you have taken out. The measurements of that bed will help you to make a wooden bed of the same size. Use those measurements and start cutting the wood.
Step 02 – Fix the frame:
The frame is made of two parallel pressure treated which run long ways on top of the frame. Fix the frame with large bolts through the beams and into holes by drilling in the frame. The bolts have washers on both ends and thread lockers. Fix the bolts tightly, otherwise, it will vibrate a lot.
Step 03 – Glue the Cross Beams:
Once the main side beams are attached, the hardest work of carpentry is done. The two long beams we have taken are the 4*6s measurement, and these are crossed by 6 4*4s. To get stronger joints, you may need to apply some pressure. Glue the cross beams and lag screwed together.
Step 04 – Fixing Tail Light:
If you are following our measurements then the new bed will be longer than the old metal bed. So the old bumper came off. We replaced it with a pressure treated of 6*6 then we attached under the last 4*4 with lag screws and glue. This step can be more hectic than others.
While we are fixing this we did a lot of trial and error. Because it gives an error to get third-party universal tail lights to fix with the wire harness.
Step 05 – New things Installation:
We got two new tail lights and a new license plate light. All the things we buy from Amazon. While wiring the circuit goes through the instructions carefully. What I did was, I used wire nuts to hook everything up and test real quick. After it worked, I went back and hooked everything up with butt connectors and heat shrink tubing and wrapped it all with electrical tape to get it waterproof.
Step 06 – Place Polyurethane Decking:
All the main works finish here, now place the decking of your choice on top. We used regular board decking. Those regular deckings were just sealed with polyurethane. Those we just laid and screwed down, after that, we give some nice edge trim . after this the DIY project of the wooden trailer is complete.
Painting the Wooden Bed (optional):
This is completely upon you if you want to paint it or not.
- Paint Brush
- Color paint
- Sealer paint
Step 01 – Prime the Wooden Truck Bed Trailer :
Before painting prime the wooden bed: it helps paint achieve a uniform and good look. Apply the first coat of primer on the wood. Let it dry completely before applying the next coat. We suggest to use an oil-based primer is it will last long.
Step 02 – Painting the bed:
To paint you need a good quality paint color and brush. Load the paintbrush with paint color and start painting in a manner. In a good interval of time apply three to four coats of the color. The color choice is up to you.
Step 03 – Sealer Coat:
At last, apply up to three coats of sealer or topcoat of polyurethane. It may take some time to dry completely. Repeat the steps until the desired consistency is achieved.
To keep your truck bed free from scrapes, scuffs, and roughness. You can install rubber flooring on your wooden truck bed. Rubber liner available in markets is thick, contoured rubber mats. Choose a high-quality rubber compound that won’t crack in extreme temperatures or fade when exposed to the sun. The installation of the rubber liner is very simple. Additionally, a rubber truck bed mat made from a reliable manufacturer will last from 5-10 years, however, the cut-out rubber mat will normally last for 3 – 4 years. The weight, type, and frequency of hauling cargo on the truck bed will affect the longevity of the mat.
Right after the damaged truck bed, the truck owner looks for some better replacements. In our suggestion, a wooden truck bed is the most durable and cheapest. To get it simply done, you can follow our simple DIY process.
Does the wooden bed last long?
If you are choosing a wooden bed instead of a metal one, then there is no worry for rusting. As wood last for so many years, depending upon the owners use it will last.
Does wiring need any mechanic?
You can wire on your own. Just follow the manual instructions and you can easily wire the taillights on your own.