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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 01-03-07, 03:09 PM   #1
CliftonGK1
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Hauling Dogs

My g/f and I are adopting a beagle mix puppy (14 wks old, but not typical puppy-hyper) and I'd like to get her used to riding in a trailer while she's still young. She's going to be about 40-45 pounds when she's all grown up.
What are decent pet trailers for use with an old hardtail mtb? I've seen the Croozer (available at REI) and the Burley Tail Wagon (which I can't find a local dealer for.) Are there other pet-specific trailers?
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Old 01-03-07, 03:57 PM   #2
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i'll be attaching my dog's kennel crate to a trailer. the plans from the trailer were emailed to me by...http://www.carryfreedom.com/bamboo.html...

most child/pet trailers are a little too small for my german shepherds. besides i wanted a flexible design so i could throw more than one crate on the trailer (don't want to leave one dog behind while the other gets all the fun)

and another use is to get them to vet visits
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Old 01-03-07, 04:05 PM   #3
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We will be getting a kennel crate for her... Maybe I just need to look at flatbed trailers that can hold the crate.
The Croozer is freakin' hefty at 31 pounds. I can probably get a flatbed or low-side trailer for less and have greater versatility from it. The more I think about it, a flatbed is probably the way to go so that I can put her crate, my climbing gear, and a pop-up sunshade / water / etc. for a trip to Marymoor park so she can be outside while I climb.
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Old 01-03-07, 04:56 PM   #4
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I found a couple of used Burley D'Lite trailers (can't remember if that's how they spelled that) on Craigslist for pretty cheap. In my case, that's one per dog. I have two, and the smaller one is about 55lbs himself, and I couldn't fit both of them in one trailer together at the same time.

I modified the trailers slightly by detaching and re-attaching the fabric that forms the child seat (sort of a divider from top to bottom the width of the trailer, two thirds of the way back, held in place by bolts that are holding the whole frame together). I re-attached it further back (just used different frame bolts) so it forms more of a back wall than a seat, giving the dog more room.

Then I flipped each trailer over, wove a nylon strap with buckle around the frame, shoelace style (crossing over forming 4-5 large Xes between the front end and back end to add extra support. Finally I slid an old election lawn sign (coroplast? something like that, search these forums for the stuff to get other neat uses) in between the bottom fabric and the straps, just to help distribute the dog's weight and prevent toenails and weight from puncturing holes in the floor. The lawn signs do shift around a little, so I might duct tape them in place or something.

I have two nice, light trailers that I would hazard a guess could carry more than the 150lbs each that they are rated for (though haven't tested that theory).

As far as a dog-retention system, I have two:

For the larger dog, I have an old leash hooked up to the frame of the trailer and clip it to the harness he wears when out biking with me. It's long enough that he can lie down comfortably, but not jump out. No cover on the trailer because he's too tall sitting upright, and slightly big for lying down the whole time. His head comes well over the top bar of the trailer, getting all the great double-takes as we bike around.

For the smaller (but still > beagle) sized dog, the screen that covers the trailer and snaps in place seems to work best. He can stand up, sit down, move around (active little bugger) all without falling/hopping out. The one weakness is the possibility of working his way out the back by pushing aside my altered seat/wall, but except for a head poking out every once in a while, that hasn't been an issue yet, so I haven't given it much thought.

If you choose to go this route, my only regret is that one of the trailers is not the more recent prototype (of the last few years) that has a couple of quick-release wheels and the frame folds down pretty well for storage. Even the towing tongue folds up. The older style is the same exact size, but a beast to store when not in use.
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Old 01-03-07, 10:15 PM   #5
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A well trained dog does not need a retention system. I met a woman in Jackson Hole, Wyoming who had come from Key West pulling her dog in a trailer. No retention system, "Just training" she said. For the puppy, yes, until trained.
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Old 01-03-07, 10:24 PM   #6
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Given that I'd like to haul more than just the dog, I'm thinking that the Burley Flatbed will be a good option. It rides flat, the bed area is large enough for the crate we'll be getting (plus there are tie-down points) and I can use it to haul groceries and other such assorted junk when I'm not carting the puppy out to play at the park.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:47 AM   #7
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A couple weeks ago I saw a fairly large Golden Retriever in a BOB trailer. Made my day.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:27 AM   #8
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I use a In Step Quick & Lite to haul my 60 lbs dog to work every day. It is cheaper than most of the stuff out there. It is very light, has an amazing radius but the canvas is flimsy, especially for a dog. I reinforced mine with duct tape and so far so good. I'll probably look into replacing the canvas with a plastic some time down the line. Still a good bang for your buck.
I trained my dog not to jump out unless I tell him to do so. This is very important, since you really don't want your dog getting out, especially in traffic. I also trained him to "kennel up", so he jumps in the trailer on command. My secret? Good dog cookies, encouragement and of course, having adopted a mutt, which are known to be smarter than most.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizem310
I use a In Step Quick & Lite to haul my 60 lbs dog to work every day. It is cheaper than most of the stuff out there. It is very light, has an amazing radius but the canvas is flimsy, especially for a dog. I reinforced mine with duct tape and so far so good. I'll probably look into replacing the canvas with a plastic some time down the line. Still a good bang for your buck.
I trained my dog not to jump out unless I tell him to do so. This is very important, since you really don't want your dog getting out, especially in traffic. I also trained him to "kennel up", so he jumps in the trailer on command. My secret? Good dog cookies, encouragement and of course, having adopted a mutt, which are known to be smarter than most.
Have you looked at replacing the canvas with a heavier gauge cordura? If you're handy with a sewing machine, Seattle Fabrics has everything you'd need for outdoor projects. (I'm getting stuff from them to make my own courier bag and commuter backpack, as well as some ultralight camping gear.) With some cordura, vinyl window plastic and sunblocking mesh, you could make an awesome super-strong top conversion for that trailer.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Have you looked at replacing the canvas with a heavier gauge cordura? If you're handy with a sewing machine, Seattle Fabrics has everything you'd need for outdoor projects. (I'm getting stuff from them to make my own courier bag and commuter backpack, as well as some ultralight camping gear.) With some cordura, vinyl window plastic and sunblocking mesh, you could make an awesome super-strong top conversion for that trailer.
I don't have a sewing machine, so I tried to sew the rip by hand, but it only held for 15 minutes! Maybe I should put Smokey on a diet!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:02 PM   #11
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Where's 2ManyBikes?
Maybe he should chime in, since his avatar's got the corgie riding shotgun...
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Old 02-01-07, 10:30 AM   #12
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Hauling Dogs

Has anyone tried to put a kennel on a burly flatbed? Does it seem secure?

The dilemma is whether to get a dog specific trailer with littler other functionality or a functional trailer (ie the flatbed) with a kennel. I would however hate for my dog and her kennel to slide off the trailer in traffice.
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Old 02-01-07, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voshchev
Has anyone tried to put a kennel on a burly flatbed? Does it seem secure?

The dilemma is whether to get a dog specific trailer with littler other functionality or a functional trailer (ie the flatbed) with a kennel. I would however hate for my dog and her kennel to slide off the trailer in traffice.
The Burley Flatbed has tie-down points on it. Use those to secure the kennel crate to the trailer and it won't go anywhere. I'm looking into the same setup for the summer, when my new puppy is settled down a bit and adjusts to being around bicycles.
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Old 02-01-07, 03:07 PM   #14
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I tow a heavily loaded Rubbermaid bin secured only by bungee cords stretched over the top when I get groceries and it has never moved an inch. Assuming that the footprint of your kennel is smaller than the dimensions betweens the tubing on the trailer, the kennel will sink down below the level of the tubes as the floor (the reinforced vinyl or whatever it is) of the Flatbed flexes down. If it's bigger and will be sitting on top of the tubes, you will want to anchor the kennel more securely (easily done with some nylon straps).
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Old 02-02-07, 09:52 PM   #15
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Or just train the dog to stay in a basket type trailer. It works. I and several members of my family met a lady with a dog in her bike trailer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She said she was from Key West and on her way to Alaska. She had trained the dog to stay in the trailer. I might have doubted her but later my sister, who was not with us in Jackson Hole, said she had seen the lady pedalling north with her dog in the Red Rock Desert, several hundred miles south of Jackson Hole.
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Old 02-03-07, 01:54 AM   #16
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I may have to come up with something as well. I've talked my wife into doing a tour with me this summer, but she insists that we bring the dog. She's a small dog, and I thought I might just get a child trailer, and put her in there. I see these all over EBay.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:18 AM   #17
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I have tried a number of solutions to haul my 77lb labrador around.

I first tried a BOB Ibex trailer (single wheel with spring suspension). Put a big rubbermaid tub on it for the dog.

A couple of problems.

She shifted around alot, which made the bike weave around. It was somewhat unstable to stop/park the bike. I think these problems could have been overcome with a little more training.
The worst problem was that she would start to whine. I couldn't really "comfort" her (read: rap her on the head to teach her to keep quiet) when she was back there, so she would just keep on whining. She is an endurance athlete extraordinaire when it comes to whining, and she can do it for hours. It actually wouldn't bother me all that much if I were riding alone, but in a group ride, it was a deal-breaker.

Thinking the weaving/instability of the single wheel trailer was the main reason for the whining, I then tried a standard 2 wheeled, 2 child carrier type trailer, I don't remember the brand. Although this was a little wider than ideal, I think it would have worked OK, but still the whining problem persisted.

I then tried a Burley flatbed and put a large wire dog crate on it. Would have worked fine, except for the whining.

I then got a Chariot sidecarrier http://www.chariotcarriers.com/html_...idecarrier.htm
(which also required me to get a new bike since it doesn't fit most road bikes). This worked well, since I could easily reach over and comfort the puppy when she started to whine. She is a quick learner and didn't take long to learn to ride very nicely in this. I did make a few modifications to the sidecar, mainly putting a piece of plywood for her to sit/stand/lie on, instead of the hammock type seat that it comes with. She actually seemed to enjoy the week long, 400 mile trip in this.

There were a couple of problems still, however. First, the sidecar is designed for a maximum of 50 - 60 lbs and the arm that connects the sidecar to the bike would work slightly loose after a days ride. I did reinforce this with some mega zip ties, but still was not entirely satisfied. Never actually had a problem with it, but not as secure as I would like it to be.

The only other issue was the width of the bike/sidecar combination. It's actually about the width of the standard 2 child trailers, but still feels quite wide.

I just ordered a long haul cargo bike from human powered machines, http://www.catoregon.org/hpm/longhaul.htm

(not to be confused with the Surly long haul trucker bike http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/surly-lht.html ),

I'm hoping that this will solve all of these issues. The dog will be close enough to comfort if needed. The rack is designed for up to a 200lb load. Its footprint is similar to a standard tandem bike, no wider that a normal bike, so riding along a road will not block the road any more than a standard bike. Hopefully this will be arriving in the next few weeks.
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Old 02-03-07, 08:04 PM   #18
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Hey, thanks!

I second the request; this advice is great! I have two cats and was planning to go car-free again, figuring I could rent a car for their [rare] vet visits, etc. However, five days before my car was due to be picked up, I heard this funny noise outside my window...

It turned out to be a starving, malnourished, pest-and-disease-ridden puppy. Naturally after the vet visits, the carpet spots, the sopping towels, and the 3 am trips outside to urge him to "Go potty for Mommy!", I couldn't give him up. I'd been racking my brain for ways to transport him on (or behind) my bike. I think he's going to max out at 40-50 lbs, so he could ride in most child trailers (yes?).

This info was very helpful; any other suggestions would be great, too!
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Old 02-03-07, 08:12 PM   #19
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Hoofer, I just want to confirm my reading of your post, if we ignore the whining, a two wheeled trailer was the way to go? Mounting point - seat post or axle?

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Old 02-04-07, 07:36 AM   #20
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For those who have trained their dogs to ride in trailers, how did you do it?
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Old 02-04-07, 09:28 AM   #21
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Actually, for a smaller dog - say 35 lbs or less, I'd go with the Bob ibex. I really like having the the narrow profile and single tire track. It just feels more manueverable and less exposed when riding in traffic.

The standard 2 wheeled 2 child carrier that I had tried, like most of these that I see, used a hammock type soft seat, which would have needed to be changed to a more solid platform to make it really usable.

The Burley flatbed does have a slick and secure attachment to the rear traingle of the bike. I think this is the same one they use on all their trailers. Since some of the Burley models have a plastic base, and would be a lot lighter than the flatbed + wire crate, I would go with a one of those for a larger dog.
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Old 02-04-07, 02:38 PM   #22
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my dogs dogster account - burly converted trailer
In the link above, if you scroll down, you should see a pic of my dog in a burly child carrier. You can find them used for around $50-200.
I ripped the seat out, but left the seatbelt. The floor is very thin plywood reinforced with aluminum strapping. The floor added about 2-3 lbs, and the whole trailer is around 25 lbs. We have a harness clipped to the seat belt to keep him in place.
My dog is pretty calm, so it didn't take any training. I just told him to hop in, and we were rolling. However, if it is an issue, I'd say just set up a trailer, and let the dog start using it as a bed without pulling it. Give the dog some treats in there, and once the dog likes it, start moving it around.
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Old 04-21-07, 09:23 AM   #23
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Bicycles + Tiny dogs.

Hi,


Today I had to take my 2.1kg (4.6lb) dog to the vet. He's old and slow'ish. How do you take a dog like that on a bike with out making him uncomfortable? My vet is about 5km from my house. I was thinking a courier bag filled with blankets. Wear the bag at my side partly open so my pooch can see the way. Then I thought he might jump out, so put his body harness on him and a short leash tied to my arm, to act as a last defense. Then bike slowly, nice and easy. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-21-07, 09:25 AM   #24
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I'd personally go with a pet carrier on my rack, but if you have neither, hell if I know.
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Old 04-21-07, 09:32 AM   #25
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This sounds like a job for a basket (a la Dorthy & Toto).
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