Touring - touring with a kid trailer?
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06-25-06, 03:49 PM
Does anyone have any experience converting a kid-trailer to a hauling/touring trailer? They're pretty cheap...and I imagine you could make them more structurally sound with a few cheap rods and brackets.
The model im looking at is one of those inStep rigs with the plastic covering
06-25-06, 08:56 PM
I have used an instep trailer for the last two years. I had very low expectations but it was $150 vs a much higher quality burley trailer for $400. I am a cheap-skate and decided that I would spend the $150 and upgrade if I used it enough to wear it out. I had some concerns about the hitch design but although I still consider it the weak point of the trailer it has caused me no problems so far. I have no problem recomending it for any endevor. I have never used mine for touring but I have hauled 50lb+ loads on many occasions without difficulty. The only weak point that I have noted is that headwinds are more acutely felt due to the large profile. I have not noticed crosswinds to be a problem. If money were no object (rarely the case) I would recomend the burley nomad. Everything about the Burley is higher quality than the instep but as of yet I havn't had a single problem with my instep.
I've been using, and am very happy with, a Burley Flat-Bed (http://www.burley.com/products/trailers/default5891.html?p=Flatbed&i=7) trailer for almost a year. They cost just over 2 bills, and well wort it IMO. I've had up to 120 pounds on it (although it is rated for 100) and had no problems. Cross winds have not been a problem. The hitch locks the trailer to the frame where the chain stay and rear stay meet. It allows the frame to lean freely, and when it's unloaded you don't even notice it.
06-26-06, 11:59 PM
i saw some guy with a bike that had an extended rear wheel and in between the rear wheel and the frame was his pannier type thing. the whole bie was like 8 feet long.
06-27-06, 07:51 AM
I've seen those too -- found the site:
They're called the Xtracycle a "sport utility bicycle"
Come with all sortsa funky accessories...I think one of them are foot pads so people can actually sit on the rear rack thingy
06-27-06, 07:51 AM
Has anyone made their own bike trailers?
I picked up a Cannonade kids trailer at a thrift store for $10 and converted it to a touring trailer. I removed the fiberglass tub so all that was left was the axel and frame. Using some 1" X 1/8" aluminum angle and pop rivets I made an adaptor frame for a plastic storage box from Wal-Mart and used bungee cord to attach the plastic box to the frame. The plastic box has a lid so everything inside stays nice and dry and the bungee cords allow quick and easy removal of the plastic box from the trailer frame. This allows carrying the plastic box around the campsite and leaving the trailer attached to the bike. The trailer has quick pins holding the wheels to the axels so I normally remove one of the wheels and place it in the storage box to help prevent theft.
06-28-06, 10:49 AM
sounds pretty useful (and cheap) - any pics scott?
06-29-06, 11:33 PM
There are a few issues with a child trailer. Whether or not they are a problem depends on you.
1. Many (most?) child trailers have a top frame. Not an issue for grocery, but it may be one if you want to carry large or bulky items. I can easily carry a bicycle in a Nomad or flatbed trailer, but it's rather hard to do on a child trailer.
2. A 2-children trailer and the Burley Flatbed ar 32 or 33 inches wide so they don't come through many residential doors. A single-child trailer or the Burley Nomad are about 25" wide so it's easy to bring in the full trailer via the kitchen door. One of the nice things about buying grocery by bike is that I ride the bike or trailer right by the fridge and unpack it right there. No more bag carrying!
If you like bike paths, clearance is a bit tight in spots... although it's sometimes a problem with panniers too. Another aspect is that when the asphalt is bad, it's not always easy to find the perfect path for all four wheels. Handling a bike with panniers is easier in that regard.
3. When empty, a child carrier and especially a 2-children carrier still have a wide area that catches wind, whereas a cargo trailer usually has a lesser area. Not a problem for short errands, but I really felt the empty trailer when I rode 40 or 50 km in a headwind to get a full load of flowers from a relative.
Because of the parachute effect, I never was even tempted to tour with the 2-children trailer, but I might use a cargo trailer this summer.
12-19-06, 07:00 PM
Any recent experience using a kid trailer for touring? I've been thinking, perhaps there might be one advantage not mentioned.....
Car clearance. I've noticed cars giving me a lot wider berth while pulling a kid trailer for errands, and groceries vs the minimum when I use bags or panniers for local stuff. Thus far, I've been doing weekend tours but am planning a longer tour in May. I'm willing to put up with the parachute effect, and can pull the gear for doth my wife and myself with her using a bag set. She rides a recumbent trike and I ride a more standard DF bike. I'm thinking the psychological factor of the drivers thinking we have kids in the trailer may well be an additional safety factor! Thoughts?
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