MDO siding for a utility trailer?

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
325
California redwood coast
I'm going down a rabbit hole now in my utility trailer search. When talking to the folks at Iron Eagle Trailers outside of Portland, Oregon about their steel sided trailer, the person suggested I consider their utility trailer with the same frame but MDO siding as a way to make it more weather resistant. I'd heard very little of this and thought it was a cheaper (in a negative sense) approach to trailer building as I've seen many trailers with adhoc plywood siding before. The person on company phone, however, said they can hold out better than steel siding especially with regards to rust, plus the frames get painted before the siding goes on, so a plus there.

Here's from their website's FAQ: "MDO stands for Medium Density Overlay. It is high quality exterior plywood that has a composite overlay on both sides. MDO is the material the highway department uses to make traffic signs. It is also the stuff that U-Haul rental trailers have as siding. We prime and paint the paneling with oil-based paint before we install it into the trailer. The result is an extremely durable, rust-free and lightweight siding that will last for decades. "

Anybody have experience with MDO, especially with trailers? This company will even use it for tandem axle utility trailers.

Just an FYI, I'm exploring their Magnum (steel) and Voyager (MDO) trailers, most likely with the 5200# axle: https://ironeagletrailers.com/ironeagle/
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,301
Unity/Bangor, Maine
No experience with this product, but I will say my open deck snowmobile trailer had marine grade plywood that lasted for well over 10 years + with little to no treatment or protection and it was exposed to sun, rain, snow, salt, etc. I probably could have got a few more years out of it if I had actually taken the time to protect it with a varnish or polyurethane every year or so.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,834
Northern NH
MDO is beefy stuff. I expect you would get lot of years off of it. My Unimog cargo body bed has a European version of MDO that is thicker than US MDO. The surface was tore up from dragging stuff over it when it was a military vehicle but underneath the bed its like new.. To fix the top side I had some epoxy around the house so I mixed it up with graphite powder used below waterline on some boats and recoated the top of the deck which filled in a lot of the scratches and tears. The graphite acts as a UV protector for the epoxy and makes things slide across it easier. I then scuffed it and top coated it with bed liner. The bed liner gives it grip but if i drag something across it the graphite keeps it from tearing into the deck.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
325
California redwood coast
MDO is beefy stuff. I expect you would get lot of years off of it. My Unimog cargo body bed has a European version of MDO that is thicker than US MDO. The surface was tore up from dragging stuff over it when it was a military vehicle but underneath the bed its like new.. To fix the top side I had some epoxy around the house so I mixed it up with graphite powder used below waterline on some boats and recoated the top of the deck which filled in a lot of the scratches and tears. The graphite acts as a UV protector for the epoxy and makes things slide across it easier. I then scuffed it and top coated it with bed liner. The bed liner gives it grip but if i drag something across it the graphite keeps it from tearing into the deck.
I had to Google what a unimog is. Sounds gnarly. Probably a whole thread in itself.

I'll take your reply as an endorsement of mdo for utility trailer siding.