Now that the walls and floor have been painted it is time to get the shelving installed so that I can start loading everything into the trailer.
The shelves on the front wall of the trailer ended up being the strongest shelves because I used 3 vertical supports closer together than normal, all bolted directly into the steel frame of the trailer, Since these shelves would hold up considerably more weight than originally intended, I decided they would be the perfect location to store both of my DPV’s.
Since the DPV’s take up so much room, I had to drop those shelves down lower than I had anticipated which meant that I could no longer have the workbench in the nose of the trailer that I wanted.
All of my tanks are secured to the wall using the Super Quick Fist rubber clamps which I love. They hold the tanks securely and do not allow any movement at all. I also used the same clamps to mount the four DPV batteries to the front wall directly under the DPV’s so they are handy, and secure.
I have installed the hanging rod and moved over all 4 of my wetsuits, both of my BCD’s, hood, vest-hood, pocket shorts, multiple pairs of fins, etc. Now it is all safely stored out of the sunlight.
I found a set of 4 super bright LED floodlights that I will use to light up the area around the trailer for night dives. I have mounted 2 on the back of the trailer, and 2 more on the right side of the trailer. These floodlights each put out 1,500 lumens but only draw 1.6 amps of power on a 12 volt system. They have an anodized aluminum housing and are waterproof and shock resistant so they should hold up nicely on the outside of the trailer.
So that I will be able to use the lights whether the trailer is hooked up to the Suburban or not I have decided to install a deep-cycle marine battery onboard the trailer that these lights will draw their power from. When I am not diving the trailer will be plugged into 110 volt to recharge the battery.
I am installing a 12 volt 3-speed Fan-Tastic Vents reversible powered roof vent which automatically opens the vent and turns on the fan when the temperature inside the trailer reaches a pre-determined level which I set. It will be covered with a MaxxAir rain cover so that it can be operated without worry in any weather conditions. I used this exact same setup previously on my food truck and I loved it, they really keep the heat down inside and keep the air moving throughout the vehicle. This will make sure that my equipment and tanks to not overheat inside the trailer on our hot Hawaii summer days, and also make it cooler for me working on equipment or kitting up in the trailer for a dive.
To save power I also am converting all of the lighting on the outside of the trailer over to LED marker lights, tail lights, etc., as well as installing 12 volt fluorescent ceiling lights inside the trailer. They will use less power than halogen versions, and they are a lot brighter. I have also added about two dozen LED amber marker lights running down the length of the trailer on top and bottom, so that it matches the look of my Suburban that I will be pulling it with.
I decided I would wait to install the shelving until after I painted the walls and floor to protect the wood paneling from getting damaged from all the water and sand that will surely find its way onto them.
I went to the Home Depot to see what paint would be best for my particular application. I wanted to paint the inside of the trailer bright white so that it would reflect the lighting as much as I could to make it easier to see inside on night dives.
For safety I added a non-slip sand to the porch paint that I will be using on the floor to give a little more traction when it is wet, and am using a semi-gloss for the walls. All of it has to have two coats of primer/sealant on the bare wood before I can start applying the paint, then two coats of each paint. I am still deciding on painting the ceiling. It is bare aluminum now and Im not sure how this paint will adhere to it, so I may just wait on it for now.
I will also be adding a rubber mat made for restaurant floors to the center isle area of the floor to help with drainage. I happened to have one left over from one of my restaurants that was not being used, so why not put it to good use. This will also protect the floor from being damaged by tanks being dropped onto it.
Because of the application they are recommending I wait a full week for it to fully cure before I start using it, so I will wait to install the shelving for now to give it a little time to cure. Before I can start on the floor I have to wait until the walls have their finish coat of paint on them. Once the primer/sealant is applied to the floor, it can’t be walked on until the paint is on and dried. So unfortunately I can’t do all the primer at once, then go back and do all the paint at once like I had hoped to be able to do to save time and make it easier on me.
I want to get the hanging rod installed as soon as possible so I can get all of my wetsuits out of the sun. Right now they are on a garment rack at the back of the trailer waiting to go inside, but I can’t leave them out in the sun for long. Sunlight is the natural enemy of Neoprene.
I am still trying to decide if I want to mount the Rescue Cans on the inside or outside of the trailer. They are something that need to be available quickly when they are needed, so I am considering mounting them on the outside. They are not that expensive so if they happen to get stolen I can replace them and reconsider their location.
I ordered four 3″ round vents to help with ventilation in there. I will be installing a 12v powered roof vent to exhaust the hot air out of the trailer, but I needed intake vents on the sides to bring fresh air in with. I also ordered two 18″ fluorescent ceiling lights that I will figure out how to get installed when it all comes in this week.
Until then I will just have to sit back and watch as the primer and paint slowly dries.
I received the roof rack to mount my two kayaks on the trailer from Rack n Road on Thursday expecting to be able to have it installed on the dive trailer over the weekend, however they dropped the ball on this order.
One of the clamps necessary to install the roof rack was not included in the box. Apparently they shipped me one that had already been opened by someone else because the plastic parts bag inside the box had already been torn open, luckily all of the parts were still inside the bag.
Without the last bracket piece I am not able to get the roof rack installed, which has really put me behind in getting this trailer built. I need to have everything ready to go in just over one week because the trailer will be used to provide emergency equipment support for an event. During that time I also have multiple First Aid & CPR classes that I have to teach for two different companies, which further limits my free time to devote to building the dive trailer.
I was planning on custom building the inside of the trailer with marine-grade plywood, however with my time constraints now I am limited with my options. I have decided to switch over to a wire shelving system for the inside of the trailer instead. This will save me a lot of time as I will not have to custom build everything from scratch. The wire shelving will also allow better air flow for drying of the equipment.
The system I have decided to use is made by Closet Maid and is designed for closet organization in the home. They have a lot of different options available including wire shelves, wire drawers, wire hanging baskets, etc., and different shelf sizes to better fit my needs for a more custom look in the trailer.
This will also be quite a bit cheaper than custom building the inside with marine-grade plywood, not to mention a lot lighter saving me weight on the trailer that I can use for more gear inside.
I figured out a way to have a “Bathroom and Changing Room” by using a shower curtain rod and closing the curtain when it is needed. This will allow me to have the portable chemical camping toilet in the trailer for emergencies. There isn’t always a restroom available at a dive site.
This new layout is giving me a lot more room. I will start installing the wire shelving tomorrow.
I have been trying to figure out what to do with all of my dive gear instead of having it all cluttering up the back of my Suburban.
I finally decided that I will convert my 5’x8′ enclosed cargo trailer into a dive trailer to store and transport everything all at once.
It has been sitting in my driveway for almost a year since it was used last, so I might as well put it to use.
I just ordered a new Thule roof rack so that I can move the two kayaks and their racks off of the roof of my Suburban and mount them on top of the trailer, that should be in by the weekend hopefully. I also ordered 12 “Super Quick Fist Clamps” to mount scuba tanks standing up against the wall.
I am designing the inside of the trailer now to make the most of the space available. I will have a hanging rack for wetsuits, storage for my First Aid Kit, Trauma Kit, Oxygen Kit, AED, extra oxygen tanks, multiple sets of fins, 2 DPV’s with spare batteries and a built-in charging station, dive weights, assorted dive accessories, kayak accessories, and spare parts that I have been accumulating. I am also hoping to be able to fit a portable chemical toilet for emergencies and a rinse station for rinsing gear off before it is hung up to dry.
I already installed 4 dome lights inside the trailer for night dives and I will be adding additional lighting outside the trailer to light up a work/staging area.
I know I am forgetting about something, but right now I can’t think of anything else that I need to add to the trailer. I hope that I can think of everything before I get started on the construction of the inside so I don’t have to start over again.
If anyone has any suggestions for what needs to be included in a dive trailer, I’m all ears. This is my first attempt at building one.
Since my current scuba tanks will be due for their annual VIP inspections soon as well as their 5 year hydro inspections, I decided it would be a good time to purchase some new ones.
I added four new 80 cf aluminum tanks to my equipment inventory this week. Two black tanks that I purchased from Island Divers Hawaii’s new Schofield Barracks dive shop, and two bright yellow tanks that I ordered from Scuba.com. All four tanks have Pro Valves on them so that I am able to use wither yoke or DIN regulators, giving me more options for later upgrades if I decide to.
I will be using the new black tanks for regular air, and the new yellow tanks will be dedicated to Nitrox fills. I will be using my old tanks as spares for now until I decide what to do with them.
The tanks from Scuba.com were the most expensive because I had to pay full price, along with the high shipping costs to Hawaii. They cost me $276 for both of them, plus another $195 for shipping.
I was able to get both of the black tanks from Island Divers Hawaii for $239 with my 30% employee discount because I am a DMC with them. Normally they are $215 each plus tax so I saved a mint by getting them from Island Divers Hawaii. They even threw in the first fill on each of them for free.