I have decided that I want to get a trailer for the bike to haul groceries whenever I can. The trouble I am having is how to get one. I live in Canada, so its rare to find trailers up here but I have come up with 3 options that are open to me.
1) I could build one myself. There are many good plans that dont need welding. But I would have a problem getting a hitch for it.
2) I could buckle down and just buy one. Off of evilbay because of the huge price difference between that and buying one at the LBS
3) I could buy or find a used one and make it work for what I want to do with it.
What are your suggestions? Keeping in mind that where I live its starting to get cold already, and we have snowy weather 6 months of the year... So if I were to build one, it wouldnt be usable until next spring.
If you are going the build it route, you can get a kit from Wike (Canadian company, based in Guelph) that has the hitch and wheels. Or you can buy one from Wike. My friend helped me build my trailer, plans are here: http://drumbent.com/trailer.html
I looked at the wike kits. They look good, but still... $129 for a couple wheels (which you could buy for a couple bucks or free) and a hitch (which you could find online somwhere for quite a bit less) Granted you get the little plastic corner thingys, but i wouldnt use them.
They're both targeted at the touring cyclists, are high-end and expensive, but most people swear they're the most reliable trailers you can get. One of these day I'll get one too This doesn't mean they can't be used for utility.
Incidentally, I've just built my first trailer just yesterday, based on child carrier I got cheap from Craig's List. As it is right now it was probably around $120 for the whole deal, including the box and the hardware (all from Home Depot). I'll spend some more on reflective tape, rear lights and come cargo nets.
I was given a cheap kids carrier trailer by my sister today. The problems I can foresee with this trailer are 1) the hitch is a really cheap way of doing it. 2) the base of the trailer is molded plastic. It isn't made for cargo or easy to put a flatbed on. Anyone have any ideas of what I can do?
Keep in mind that the two-kid trailers are rated at 100lbs or something, nothing to sneeze at. Look at my link above how I converted a kid carrier to a cargo trailer. Although if you just remove the seat you will be able to use it for cargo duties.
I actually ended up getting a Burly trailer EXACTLY like the one you picked up earlier. I am thinking of doing something similar to what you have done. My questions are 1) where did you get the box, and 2) where did you get the aluminum strapping?
I got both and all the other hardware from Home Depot. The only problem I had is that I tried to bend the aluminum at a straight angle so it started to crack (my metal working skills are minimal) so I reinforced the bends with steel L-brackets. Later I though that a few straps of webbing would hold it in place just as well as long as you can prevent side-to-side movement somehow: there is like 3 inches of space between the sides of the box and the frame.