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Old 03-01-10, 12:22 PM   #1
RomeRider
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Tour With a Child Trailer?

We may be purchasing a child bike trailer in order to get my 18 month old out for fun. I'm wondering about the possibility of using the child trailer for a 2-3 day tour with my 14 year old son. Does anyone else do that kind of thing? I can't afford to buy multiple trailers. We need to bring a tent, sleeping bags, and food.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:27 PM   #2
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Which trailer? My Trek solo trailer that is rated to carry 100 pounds, whether it is a kid or gear.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:32 PM   #3
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It will be something used from Craigs list and rated for 100 lbs.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:40 PM   #4
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Go for it. I've seen ppl on tour using child trailers from WM and doing ok. If it's good enough for a child, it should be good enough for camping gear. Just make sure you've got spare tubes to fit the wheels, and take a close look at the way it attaches to the bike for weak links there.
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Old 03-01-10, 01:40 PM   #5
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Go for it. I've seen ppl on tour using child trailers from WM and doing ok. If it's good enough for a child, it should be good enough for camping gear. Just make sure you've got spare tubes to fit the wheels, and take a close look at the way it attaches to the bike for weak links there.
I have a Bell child trailer that attached to the rear triangle via a clamp. I have had over 200 pounds in the trailer with no problems... just took it easy. Granted, it was for a short distance. I probably have around 1500 miles on the trailer. It's been well worth the $50 I paid for it at a garage sale.

The best hitch, in my opinion, that would fit on my trailer was the Burley round style hitch. I bought the forged hitch for $20 and the flex connector for round bar for $12. This is a much better set up than the original clamp style.

Most likely, if your trailer has round tubes, the flex connector for roundbar will work. If your trailer has square tubes, the flex connector for square bar should work.
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Old 03-01-10, 04:07 PM   #6
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Take the trailer. Motorists might give you a wider berth if they think you are towing a kid behind you.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:31 AM   #7
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I'll go for it. My son wants to do a 2 or 3 day self contained bike tour. That's all the encouragement I need to do it.
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Old 03-02-10, 01:50 PM   #8
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We used one for the Katy Trail trip last October... pulled it across Missouri, we did!

Just be careful with it... not being a single track vehicle anymore will do weird things to your bike's handling.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:25 PM   #9
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gorshkov
Take the trailer. Motorists might give you a wider berth if they think you are towing a kid behind you.
This is probably true, but I'd still try to pick a route with goood road shoulders. We have seen several people pulling "kid's trailers" doing some pretty serious touring. I don't have any experience using my trailer for touring, but it gets a weeks worth of groceries home just fine. The one thing you might check is how easy (or difficult) it is to air up your trailer tires. I have a Bike Friday trailer that a friend gave me, and discovered there is not enough room to get my regular frame pump over the valve. Pulling a trailer with a flat tire probably is not much fun. You will also get a good idea of how well it will work for you after you have pulled you 18 month around for awhile. Enjoy!
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Old 03-03-10, 02:57 PM   #10
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I've done an overnight that way, it worked great. I tour with panniers usually, but for family stuff it is convenient to throw everything in the trailer.

The canvas top on the child carrier produces a significant amount of drag as your speed increases but that would be fine for touring, should mainly be noticeable on downhills. I've been waiting for my youngest to grow out of it, then plan on taking the canvas off and making it into a cargo carrier.
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Old 03-06-10, 12:21 PM   #11
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During my tours, I have seen several riders using both the single-wheeled touring trailer and the child carriers. Most everyone using the single-wheeled trailer liked them, their only complaint was having to disconnect sometimes for stairs etc. Child carrier comments were about shoulderless roadways, headwind drag (a big one), and because they had more room, taking too much stuff with them (weight). I would caution anyone using trailers not to get carried away when ripping down steep long grades.....I have seen a couple of bad accidents from cyclists losing control and spilling everything, including themselves, all over the highway. Fortunately, no vehicles were coming.
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Old 03-08-10, 04:16 PM   #12
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LOL check out my blog. pedaltheglobe.com My buddy and I attempted this on the Southern Tour last year. While its possible as we proved it does cause you more work. We used a 2-wheeled child trailer from walmart. After thinking about it we were adding 100% more rolling resistance. From now on I am using panniers. If you absolutely feel the need to use a trailer then I recommend a 1 wheeled bob trailer. That way you are only adding 50% more rolling resistance. Another thing you want to consider is making sure the trailer you purchase is aerodynamic. It makes a big difference. Our cheap Walmart trailer was nearly flat on the front and caused a ton of wind drag.


http://pedaltheglobe.com/

p.s. We wrecked twice due to our trailer as you will see in the blog. Once my friend was making a turn and it caught on a median and the other time I caught it on a highway construction cone. Probably the only highlight of using the walmart trailer was all the laughs we got from people. Put a smile on my face :>

Also, we got pulled over by cops on busy roads for pulling the trailer. They thought kids were in it and we could have been endangering them.

Last edited by PedaltheGlobe; 03-09-10 at 03:53 AM.
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