After some issues on the road, I needed to redo the fenders on my teardrop. I started by buying two new fenders. My original design and the fenders screwed into the steel frame of the trailer underneath using steel brackets.
That meant the fenders were cantilevered out from the trailer. It also relied on sheet-metal screws to support them. Neither of these was good.
Instead, I had always intended to mount the fenders to the wall of the trailer using some spacers. I even left a section of solid plywood in the area to provide a solid mounting location.
I couldn’t mount the fenders to the wall until the outside of the trailer was finished.
I made the spacers out of a 2″ rod of black acetal plastic. This is the generic name for a plastic known by a number of names including Delrin from Dupont. Acetal plastic is not inherently UV stable, but the blacking in the rod I chose adds some UV stabilization. The spacers are tucked away and shouldn’t get to much UV except when the trailer is outside and the sun is directly overhead.
Making the spacers was simple, but I forgot to take pictures. 🙁 Acetal (and most other) plastic can be cut using wood working tools. I used the miter saw with a stop to make eight blanks all the same length. I made a jig to hold the blanks centered under the drill press to drill a center hole. Think 1.5″ thick washers.
Why plastic? The side of the trailer is aluminum. The fenders and bolts are steel. I did not want any metal-to-metal contact that could cause galvanic corrosion.
Attaching the Fenders
I started by marking and drilling holes in the new fenders. Nothing complex. I just used a couple of squares and rules and a tape measure.
Once the holes were drilled, I placed the fender against the side of the trailer supported by blocks and aligned with marks. I transferred the holes to the trailer wall using a marker. Once marked, I carefully drilled the holes making sure not to penetrate the interior wall of the trailer.
I enlarged the start of the hole to make sure the bold would not touch the aluminum.
Installing the Anchors
I’ve used E-Z Lok anchors for a few projects. They allow you to install bolts in wood. While, you can tap hardwood for large course threads, the walls are plywood and I wanted to use 1/4″ bolts.
To install the inserts, you drill the right size hole and then drive them in using a bold with a pair of jammed nuts.
Once the anchors were installed, I bolted the fenders up to check everything.
Tail Light Mounts and Painting
I welded up some proper tail light mounts and painted the fenders. Unfortunately, I failed to take any pictures during that process. Things got a bit rushed since I needed the trailer for my Padre Island photo workshop.
Once everything was painted, I mounted them again, this time using some blue removable loctite 242. Because these anchors are in plywood, I didn’t want to over torque them.