Not long ago, we decided to have a little fun with our blog by sharing a few little-known facts about the history of thoroughbred horses in light of the Kentucky Derby.  As it turns out, the 2012 race for the Triple Crown has been one for the history books as a 3-year old colt named I’ll Have Another and 25-yeard old jockey Mario Gutierrez  prepare for the Belmont Stakes having won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.  If they finish first on June 9th they will become the 12th team in history to win the Triple Crown and the first in 34 years.

Horse-racing updates aside, we would again like to delve into the archives and provide a little insight into something that we at Phoenix Coach Works know very well.

Whether we are building a new 2 horse van or 4 horse trailer or repairing and remodeling an existing trailer into let’s say…an enclosed toy hauler RV, it’s safe to say with over 60 years of combined experience among our staff, we know a thing or two about bonding, fastening and repairing metal.

While there are many ways that metals can be bonded, fastened and repaired (such as riveting, brazing and soldering) one such method reigns supreme…welding.  Knowing how to weld both properly and safely can provide job security in any market not to mention produce quality products and services to those in need.

A lot of people know how to weld and a lot of people do it well.  But what most people DON’T know…is how welding works and the history behind its succession.  For that reason, we would like to offer this brief expose on welding.

To fully understand why welding reigns supreme, we need to understand all methods of bonding metal.  Riveting is merely joining two pieces of metal by pressing fasteners into holes drilled through both while brazing and soldering introduce a bonding agent with a lower melting point that acts as an adhesive between the bonded surfaces.  Welding on the other hand, is the physical bonding of two pieces of metal ultimately creating a solid seam.

The origins of welding are found as far back as the Bronze Age when metal would be forged using heat and pressure.  Forge welding occurs when a blacksmith heats two pieces of metal just shy of melting and pounds them together using a hammer and anvil.  Forge welding has many limitations in that only soft metals can be forged and the process is very labor intensive.  Fortunately this ancient technique has not gone the way of the dinosaur as it is still used in places without electricity.

Forge welding dominated for hundreds of years before the tools for simpler yet stronger welding techniques were put into place thanks to the industrial revolution.  Using electricity, welders discovered they could bind metals much more efficiently using less physical exertion.  This technique became known as arc welding.

Using electricity to alter metallic properties and more easily bond metals has allowed for stronger fusions and more precise techniques.  As welding has evolved a great deal beyond the forge technique of the past and even the arc method of today, welders can now work in extreme conditions including underwater and outer space.  Modern welding methods include MIG, TIG, resistance, electron beam and plasma welding and are explained in detail using diagrams on

As always this presentation would not be complete without a safety reminder.

While welding may be interesting and even cool it can also be dangerous and is most definitely hot (welding generates temperatures up to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit/5,538 degrees Celsius).  A welder should always wear heat resistant gloves and a protective welding mask.  Proper ventilation is also important as welders may be exposed to harmful substances such as lead, mercury and carbon monoxide.  If ever you are near a person welding, resist the urge to watch without proper protection.  Watching a weld without protection can result in what’s known as arc eye, a painful inflammation of the cornea that feels like you have sand in your eye.

As with any topic, there is much more to learn if you wish to do so.  Welding is an important part of most industrial jobs and is something we use every day at Phoenix Coach Works.  In our opinion good welding is important but great welding is an art.  Here at Phoenix we approach every job, whether it’s a custom build or a simple repair, as our canvas and we are the Van Goghs, Rembrandts, Picassos and Michelangelos of our industry.

So if you notice some rust on the fenders, a crack in the frame or any type of damage to the structure of your trailer or vehicle, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and we will safety and efficiently get you back on the road.

We take absolute pride in everything we do and treat every job as if it’s a precious piece of art.  If we didn’t, we’d be out of work and you’d be out of luck.

Upon reading our blog, discovering our services and contacting our office for consultation you may find yourself wondering how we came to be known as Phoenix Coach Works.

Our name is a tribute to Phoenixville Pennsylvania, an old steel-mill town 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia where we began our company 28 years ago.  Though we have since moved to our current location in Pottstown, Pa, the name Phoenix Coach Works still  conveys relevance to the type of services we provide.

A Phoenix is a mythological bird with vibrant plumage and a tail of gold.  Every 500 years the Phoenix builds a nest where it wildly bursts into flames and crumbles to ash.  From these ashes a new Phoenix will emerge to soar the heavens for another 500 years.  Due to its perpetual life-cycle, the Phoenix has come to represent immortality, rebirth and renewal.

That is precisely what Phoenix Coach Works provides for our customers.  We build our custom trailers using the highest quality standards and perform a variety of other services that will renew your vessel.  Our sole purpose in business is to ensure that the trailers we build and service remain on the road for years to come.

Tow-vehicles can really take a beating while on the road so if you currently own a 4-horse trailer, 2-horse van, utility trailer or toy hauler that is need of repair or restoration, let Phoenix Coach Works immortalize your rig.  And while your unit is being pampered by our experienced staff, make it a true Phoenix with a custom design.

Just storm your brain and create a wish-list for your trailer.  Anything you’ve ever dreamt would make towing and traveling easier, just let us know and we can help resolve your concerns.  If safety is your top priority, you’ve come to the right place.  Our staff has over 60 combined years of experience in the industry and if there’s something to raise a brow about, we’ve probably seen it before.

Regardless of your needs, Phoenix Coach Works has the ability to satisfy them.  We have been going strong now for 28 years and look forward to 28 more.  Even in the face of a depressed economy we will thrive and continue to provide the highest standard of quality service available in the industry.

So if you’re looking to purchase a new 2-horse van, toy hauler or enclosed trailer or simply need repair work to bring your existing trailer back into operating condition, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and schedule a consultation.

We do what we do so you can do what you love.

Following a little bit of fun last week with our thoroughbred expose, it’s time to get back to business. In past months our blogs have ranged from traveling checklists to trailer tire selection and maintenance.  At this point it almost feels as if we’ve discussed nearly every possible topic related to towing horse trailers, toy haulers and RVs.  However, as with everything we do, our dedicated staff is committed to consistently providing a quality product for our visitors and customers each week.

It’s probably safe to assume that many of you are familiar with big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot.  If so, it’s likely that you have seen someone loading their vehicle with a much heavier burden than what it’s designed to carry; to the extent of shattered leaf-springs, blown-out tires or front wheels lifting off the ground.

If laughter truly is the best medicine, then hang around the contractor’s area long enough and it’s almost certain you will see someone overloading their compact SUV or hybrid crossover.  You will be healed…repeatedly.

So why are all these folks over loading their vehicles?  Maybe no one ever told them that too much weight in the trunk or bed can greatly affect the way their car handles (i.e. braking and steering) not to mention causing unnecessary wear to the drive-train, suspension and tires.  Maybe they think that a few extra bags of concrete over the axle of their tilt-bed trailer won’t make that much of a difference.  Or maybe they just don’t care.  Whatever the reason, let this anecdote serve as a warning: DO NOT OVERLOAD YOUR VEHICLE.

Vehicles are built to withstand certain load extremes set by the manufacturer and ignoring these regulations can land you in serious trouble.  You can be fined for hauling more weight than what your vehicle is rated and potential repairs would only add insult to injury.  That is why we have included a link to the Online Towing Guide that outlines a variety of popular vehicles and the towing capacity that they are rated for.

If you tow a trailer or use your truck or SUV for light duty hauling, do yourself a favor and find it on this list.  Doing so will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.  You can avoid costly and unnecessary damages to your vehicle and you won’t have to take off  work to plead your case at the local courthouse.

That goes without saying that you will keep everyone who rides in your vehicle safe.  And as we remind our readers each and every week, safety is the most important part of hauling and towing.   Once you have that covered, your mind will be at ease and you can enjoy the rest of the trip.

As always, if you have any questions regarding towing guidelines, custom trailer construction, trailer repair or trailer maintenance please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works for more information.

Be safe and enjoy the ride!

Each week as we’re plowing through blog posts, providing what we hope is useful information to our customers and visitors, we remind them [you] that we provide a wide range of services that stretch far beyond custom trailer design and construction.  This week we would like to shine light on these services and elaborate on the fact that we are truly a full service company.

Although we typically stress our involvement with horse trailers, toy haulers and RVs, we also provide our services for 53’ semi-trailers, boats, cars and aircraft part painting.

We offer the following services:

Painting:  Phoenix Coach Works’ exterior services include collision work such as FRP and fiberglass repair as well as custom paint and vinyl striping.  We are happy to work on individual units or entire fleets with very short down times.

Fabrication:  Our facility is equipped to handle every possible challenge that a custom trailer may present.  We have the tools you need as we can cut and bend any size sheet metal and schedule 40 pipe (up to 2 ½”).  Our past projects include fold-down and roll-out ramps, unique tool box installations, interior walls and aluminum cages both with and without doors.

Installations:  At Phoenix Coach Works, we are happy to help in any way we can.  If you are having trouble finding or installing an item, please allow us to simplify the process and do the leg-work for you.

We offer installation of the following: climate control units, A/C units, camera systems, AC electrical wiring, windows/doors, generators, pressurized and gravity fed water tanks, underbody fuel tanks, in-bed fuel transfer tanks, towing air bags, hitches, electric brake box, axles, hydraulic jack and charge lines between truck and trailer.

Truck Customization:  If you just want to make your truck appear a little flashier as you’re cruising down the interstate, Phoenix is where it’s at.  We install running boards (lighted and unlighted, painted to match), nerf boards, visors, bug shields, LED accent lights, mud flaps, auxiliary lighting and bed rails; anything to make your ride stand out among the rest.

Vehicle Service and Repair:  Besides run-of-the-mill service and repairs such as tires, wheels and brakes (both hydraulic and electric), we also provide a variety of specialized services including: wiring repair, frame repair, air suspension service and aluminum, steel and stainless steel welding.  Not mention we provide Pennsylvania State Inspection.

We really hope this brief overview has given our visitors a better idea of what we mean when we say that if you have ANY problem or question at all regarding your trailer to please contact our offices for a consultation.  And please remember that although we welcome fleet work into our facility with open arms there’s no job too small here at Phoenix Coach Works.

We treat every job as if it’s our most important…because it is.

There may be snow on the ground for many Americans in the coming weeks. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up your equestrian gear until spring. This time of year is bustling with events for owners and riders with horses competing in the winter circuit, taking place in sunny Florida. If you’re making the drive south to compete in upcoming activities, you definitely want to travel in safety and style.

First of all, before you take off you’ll want to have your horse trailer thoroughly checked. You’ll want to check your tires, lights, wheel bearings and braking system—among other standard check-ups (gas, oil, license, etc.). This will ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, without any unscheduled road hazards, police checks or side trips to an unknown garage. Phoenix can help you out either starting off to your shows or when you’re about to head home; we offer fast, reliable systems checks to get you on your way with total confidence.

But the security of your travel isn’t the only thing you might want to think about. How about how your horse RV or trailer is looking these days? Has it been washed from top to bottom in awhile? Showing up with a worn-looking horse trailer is no way to kick off your competition season. Start things out right by presenting your champions in their best light: in a freshly cleaned horse trailer. Phoenix offers trailer acid-wash cleaning to get even the worst buildup of grime and dirt off your hitch—so you’ll make an entrance looking your best. On the other hand, traveling for the circuit can also take its toll. If you’re looking to get cleaned up after the fact, we can get your rig in good condition to bring back home.

Please don’t hesitate to ask about our trailer maintenance services and pricing for preparing your horse trailer in terms of both safety and style.

After 25 years in the business of building, servicing, and repairing custom trailers and RV’s, we know that regular RV maintenance is more than a good idea, it will extend the life of your trailer for years to come. It will also save you a lot of money! It is much easier to do regular maintenance on your RV or fix problems when they are still minor in nature, than it is to repair your trailer or RV after a major breakdown or malfunction.

It is important to have a partner in RV repair that you can trust, and Phoenix Coach Works is just that. We treat our customers like we would want to be treated, and our customer’s loyalty shows us just how much they appreciate it.

“Having had repairs done with Joe and the Team at Phoenix Coach Works for some twenty years now, it was only natural that I would purchase my first new 16 horse semi trailer from Phoenix Coach. I can always count on Phoenix Coach to do an excellent job and in an expedited manner…”

– Keith & Joy Cooper

No matter what brand, make, or model RV, horse trailer, enclosed trailer, or toy hauler you may have, we can help you with regular RV maintenance and repairs. We also offer custom trailer paint services, fabrication services, and customizations. We can even paint and service your car, truck, and airplane!

Basically, if you can think of a vehicle or type of service, we can probably help. If you have any questions just call us or fill out the contact form and we will get right back to you.

There is no way to avoid it, especially when you live in the north. The moisture from rain and snow is its best friend. It slowly creeps on your trailer and begins to spread, corroding everything in its path. It’s your trailer’s worst nightmare. Rust!

Once you have rust there is no way to get rid of it, but a professional who specializes in trailer repairs can help you remove rust to stop it from spreading. At Phoenix Coach Works we can sand, sandblast or cut out the rust depending on the severity of it and return your trailer to like new conditions.

Often, when caught early, a good sanding and repainting is the most economic choice and will keep the rust from spreading for quite a while. We will take a look at your trailer and recommend the best course of action for you and your pocketbook. We treat others as we would want to be treated, a philosophy that has kept our customers coming back consistently for their trailer repair services for over 25 years.

In these tough economic times it may not be possible to replace your aging equipment, but we can help you refurbish what you have at a fraction of the price and extend the life of your trailers. If you have rust on your trailer (or even your car and truck, we can help you with those too), don’t delay. The quicker you bring it into Phoenix Coach Works, the easier it will be for us to remove it and keep the rust from spreading and further deteriorating the value of your trailer.

Is your toy hauler, enclosed trailer, horse van, or even your truck in need of repairs and a much needed paint job? Phoenix Coach Works can help! In addition to building trailers from scratch, we also have a full service trailer repair shop. If you bought your trailer or RV from a manufacturer other than Phoenix Coach Works, we can still provide you with repairs and painting services. In fact, some of our clients have commented that after repairs with us, their trailers turn out better than they were brand new.

Whether your roof is leaking, you want a new coat of paint including striping, or you just want to upgrade some of the features of your trailer, Phoenix Coach Works will provide you with the highest quality service and the quickest turnaround time that you can find. And we guarantee your satisfaction! We treat every client just like they were our family member. Many of our clients start out with us for our RV repair services and then when it comes time to buy a new enclosed trailer, they come back to us for our exceptional work and customer service.

There is no trailer service repair too big or too small for Phoenix Coach Works. We even perform PA State Inspections! Call us today for a free trailer repair quote. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

If you have been outside lately you know that summertime is officially here, and that means motorcycle events are abounding. Sturgis bike rally is one of the largest motorcycle events in the country and is just a couple of months away. With all of the festivities surrounding the event and beautiful sites to see on the ride out there, attending this event could make for a fantastic summer vacation!

This year is the 70th Anniversary of the Sturgis Bike Rally held in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. At the event there will be exhibitors selling everything you could want or need to dress up you and your bike, as well as a number of entertainers such as ZZ Top, Motley Crue, and many more!

If you are going out to Sturgis, make sure to leave plenty of time before or after the event to take in the sites surrounding Sturgis. Some you may want to see include Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Butte State Park, the Badlands, and Devil’s Tower.

If you are planning to attend motorcycle events such as the Sturgis Bike Rally this summer you will want to make sure that your toy hauler or enclosed camper trailer is in optimal condition so you can enjoy the festivities without any worries or problems while you are on the road.  For the highest quality RV services, make Phoenix Coachworks your one stop RV and trailer repair shop. Whether you are looking to convert a cargo trailer to create a toy hauler camper, or are in need of RV fabrication services, painting, or any other RV repairs, Phoenix Coachworks will get you on the road to your favorite motorcycle events.

We will be in Sturgis for the bike rally, exhibiting our smallest toy hauler RV. Come by to check it out. We look forward to seeing you in Sturgis!

For over twenty years now Phoenix Coach Works has been providing RV service and repair to our loyal customer base. In fact, many of the customers that purchase our custom built horse vans/trailers, and toy hauler RV’s have come to us for years of RV trailer repair. No matter what brand or model of RV you have, we can service it!

Here is a sampling of some of the many RV services we provide:

• RV Painting Services – Whether you are looking for a custom RV paint job, or RV striping, our RV painting always meets with rave reviews.

• RV Collision Repair – At Phoenix Coach Works we provide Collision Repair on Trucks, Vans, and Trailers.

• RV and Trailer Fabrication – We can add a new roll out ramp, a fold down ramp, toolboxes, interior walls, and much more!

• RV Custom Installations – You name it, we can install it on your trailer or RV: A/C units, Cameras, Windows, Doors, Generators, Pressurized or Gravity Fed Water Tanks, and Much More

Bottom Line: If you are in need of any type of RV Service or RV Repair, we can take care of your needs. Consider Phoenix Coach Works your one stop RV/trailer shop.