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  1. #1
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    Safe/Considerate Maximum Age/Weight/Height of Child in Trailer on Long Distance Tour

    Please could any members give me their thoughs on the maximum age, height and weight a child should be before considering towing them on a 900 mile tour across europe?

    my fiance's son is 6, and not very tall, although most trailers hold upto 45 kg's. but does anyone hae experience of towing 6 year olds over long distance, break down to 40 miles per day?

    any feedback gladly appreciated.

    X

  2. #2
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    It depends on the disposition of the child, but I'd think the typical 6 year old would be very disinterested in sitting in a trailer all day. I haven't done any touring with a kid, though, so stop reading here if you're looking for anything more than speculation!

    You could probably get three or four days of cooperation based on novelty, but spending a month (roughly) confined to a trailer is probably not going to fly well. There's simply very little for them to do in that setting, and little room to move.

    I guess 40 miles could be accomplished in three, easy hours, so if you planned in lots of stops, stretches, play and activity time, you might be able to get away with it.

    I don't think my 6 year old would go along with such a plan easily, though! She likes riding in the trailer, but I do think that's only because she doesn't have to ride it far nor daily. I don't know though.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    I'm guessing most 6 year olds will be bored to tears after the first hour or so. Have you considered using a tagalong or tandem instead of a trailer? Also, I wouldn't count on being able to ride 40 mile days or completing a 900 mile tour if you don't already do quite a bit of riding together.

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    With a 6 y.o. you probably should be considering a trail-a-bike or a tandem with shortie cranks for the stoker. He/she'll be bored senseless after a day or two in a trailer. 40 mi as a stoker should be doable for a 6 y.o. kid (if you're doing most of the pulling).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    I also think the kid would be very bored in a trailer for that amount of time. I plan on touring with my son when he is closer to 4 and this is what I plan to use. I will also likely put an internally geared hub on it so he can actually help out on the bigger hills too.

    http://www.weehoobicycletrailer.com/

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    thank you for responses

    thanks to all of you for the replies.

    yes i understand he will probably get bored, although on a 900 mile trip through 6 european countries, there will certainly be things to look at! (even in a trailer)
    however, ultimately a trailer will get boring no matter what the scenery, particularly day after day, so some kind of trailer-bike will be best. the only thing concerning me then would be if he just wants to sit as a dead weight or isnt sitting properly or just doesnt wanna take part and is constantly uncomfortable, that would/could disrupt the amount of travel time and then the daily mileage would suffer. having said that, there is no reason why i couldnt make it 30 miles per day with big breaks in between, plenty of rest time and play time between say, each ten miles of cycling. that way it would be more fun for him i reckon. in fact, i think even in a trailer this would work good. ultimately money and time will way up whether or not we get a trailer or a trailer-bike.

    having said all of this, the idea of taking a 6 year old on a tour is not attractive right now!! (im sure that will change closer to the time though......

    thanks again!

  7. #7
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    weehoo looks great. gonna look into it for sure. thanks for post.

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    interesting response. we will certainly have smaller, 200-300 mile practice run first to make sure it works out before we hit europe (then there's no turning back!!)

    practice run for sure!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leds777 View Post
    the only thing concerning me then would be if he just wants to sit as a dead weight or isnt sitting properly or just doesnt wanna take part and is constantly uncomfortable, that would/could disrupt the amount of travel time and then the daily mileage would suffer.
    The WeeHoo iGo is nice for the kid who might get tired. Recumbent riding position and the seat has a back, sides, and harness so the kid won't fall off if they fall asleep. It's a lot easier to pull than a Burley Solo and with a little fiddling you can stack a decent amount of cargo between the seat back and the rear rack stays.

  10. #10
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianr2600 View Post
    The WeeHoo iGo is nice for the kid who might get tired. Recumbent riding position and the seat has a back, sides, and harness so the kid won't fall off if they fall asleep. It's a lot easier to pull than a Burley Solo and with a little fiddling you can stack a decent amount of cargo between the seat back and the rear rack stays.
    I've seen a WeeHoo in real life, but never used one. So you can judge what this comment is worth:

    There are three disadvantages of a WeeHoo over a trailer:

    * If the bike falls over, so does the WeeHoo trailer (the WeeHoo trailer is much closer to the ground than regular trail-a-bikes).
    * Only 1 kid
    * No rain/wind protection.

    The advantages:
    * Still works for very small children.
    * Still allows for kids to fall asleep.
    * Kids can pedal if/when they want to.

    This last point is very important for (1) keeping the kids from getting bored and (2) making it up big hills. I can very much tell the difference between pulling a trailer with my son than pulling a trail-a-bike with my daughter pedaling.

    If I didn't already own trailers and trail-a-bikes, I'd get a Wee Hoo.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Last edited by cplager; 11-29-12 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Added third disadvantage.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    The poor kid would get really bored at 6 in a trailer all day. Put him to work and get some miles out of him. We have had both of our kids touring for week tours since they were 6 riding a Burley Trail a bike. Our current setup is a tandem with my 12 year old as stoker and my 7 year old in the TAB behind us. He did his second week-long tour this past summer. We do week-long family tours that average 40 - 45 miles a day and maybe a longest day at 0- - 55 miles max. We do stop a lot with kids, sometimes after just a mile or two, but these are great trips. I remember my youngest on his first trip, 3rd day out we had dinner at 7:00 and after he ate he quietly went into the tent and went to sleep for 10 hours! That NEVER happens at home... We always tour with other families with kids too so they have playmates and really, they have soo much fun that they never complain about the mileage!

  12. #12
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    In my experience, you are underestimating a 6-year old capabilities. They can contribute to hills, as long as they have some sort of gearing on the TAB (fixed gear is only good in a 2 - 3 MPH range). My little one probably asks me 50-75 times a day "what gear should I be in Dad?" They will get really bored in a trailer and will just want to play vid games. Make then pedal and they will not get bored, but do plan to stop a lot and let them have some say so when you stop. They may not pedal all of the time, but you can ask them to power up in the hills and mine always jump at the challenge! The burst may not last more than a few minutes but it is also very helpful and I let them know I appreciate it. I started both of my kids touring this way at 6 years old and now my oldest had done 6 tours and youngest has done two. You just have to let them have some control of when to stop so they do not learn to hate touring. My kids like it so much now, they are already asking to help plan our tour next summer!

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