Touring - homeaid trailer
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04-26-08, 08:53 PM
has any one out there made the own trailer for touring and if so was it worth it not to buy a bob trailer or something similer. i have a welder and some good light steel tubing at hand and lots of old bike parts to get started im just afraid after trial and error i would have been better off spending my time looking for a good used trailer. that being said im looking for a good used trailer haha
04-26-08, 10:29 PM
Look in the Utility forum. There is a sticky thread for homebuilt trailers.
I really like astronomerroyal's trailers (http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p=5621067&postcount=59).
I honestly believe, having built a utility trailer, that you would be better buying instead of building. There are some significant unknowns that you may run into and much comes back to how the trailer will handle behind the bike, and solving the inevitable hitch issues.
BoB has been making trailers a long time now, and whatever problems (except for their rather limited stated maximum speed downhill) have been ironed out. I have never heard on any of the forums of the basic BoB failing except for some wheel issues. The integrity of the construction cannot, I think, be disputed.
The Burley-type trailers are another option, and while the extra wheel and width might become a liability along roads that have, for example, rumble strips, or narrow shoulders, there have been a few people who toured with them.
The resale value is another consideration. There are some "homebuilt" trailers that come up from time to time on eBay in Australia, and they are almost unsellable. No-one ever has a problem selling a well-used BoB, and only slighly more problems selling Burley-type trailers.
The www.crazyguyonabike.com (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com) site will likely turn up people who have toured with both, and maybe have built their own.
As a note, I am someone who prefers panniers to trailers.
Are you dead set on touring with a trailer? They can be a good idea if you need to carry a really oversized load (say you're touring with your kids and want to keep the weight off their bikes), but otherwise they're usually overkill. People buy them 'cuz they're neat and wind up taking fifteen pounds of trailer and twenty extra pounds of gear up every hill. Most serial bike tourists tour with panniers, not trailers.
If you're certain you need a trailer but want to minimize the resulting hassle, buy a Bob trailer. I see them often on Craigslist (people also buy them 'cuz they're neat but then never use them). They weigh a lot less than the others (mine is about ten pounds). You feel a lot less like you're dragging around something big and clumsy than you do with a two-wheeled trailer. They are really elegantly engineered and will be difficult to match or surpass in a one-off home build for overall functionality.
However, overall functionality is overrated, and building trailers is fun. If you're still moved to build one, then that's how it'll have to be!
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