How to Install Shelves in a Enclosed Trailer

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Enclosed trailers come in a variety of construction styles, some of which have supporting stud-type beams in the walls, and some of which have a hollow and not particularly supportive wall structure. Installing shelves in these trailers is a matter of either screwing the brackets to stud material, bolting them in from the outside or using anchors to mount the brackets. In all cases, the installation of shelving in an enclosed trailer contributes to a more comfortable environment because of the increased availability of storage and freeing up living space within the trailer.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Wood screws, various sizes
  • Carpenter's level
  • Wood screws, 2-inch
  • Drywall anchors
  • Bolts, 3-inch
  • Plastic washers
  • Wingnuts
  • Pass the stud finder over the surface of the wall where the shelf will be installed. Mark the location of any studs by noting each of their sides, giving the picture of the size of the entire stud. Transfer that distance to the underside of the shelf board and mark positions on the shelf board that are evenly spaced and the same distance apart.

  • Space the brackets on the underside of the shelf board along the markings of the stud locations. Space the brackets evenly if there are no studs in the wall. Mark the screw holes of the brackets on the underside of the shelf. Remove the brackets. Drill holes at each marking. Attach the brackets to the shelf with wood screws do not go through the shelf board completely.

  • Position the shelf against the wall. Set a carpenter's level on top of it and adjust the shelf to make it level. Mark the locations of the bracket holes against the wall, lining them up with the studs if there are any. Remove the shelf and drill through the holes.

  • Set drywall anchors in the holes if there are no studs. Replace the shelf in position and set 2-inch wood screws in the holes of the brackets. Tighten them in place into the studs or drywall anchors.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the walls of the trailer are extremely thin, the shelves can be attached using bolts, plastic washers to keep out the water, and wingnuts. Pass bolts through plastic washers, through the brackets and through the wall instead of screws. Set another plastic washer over them from the outside and fasten them tightly in place with wingnuts.

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