Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-31-12, 11:39 PM   #1
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feasibility of this towing idea

Towing a pop-up camping trailer (the kind of trailer normally seen behind cars) behind a trike.

To add a bit of clarity to the picture, I'm thinking of a very small example of said pop-up, that weighs in around 1,000lbs, behind a Worksman PAV3. (The PAV3 has a combined rider and cargo weight limit of 550lbs, I weigh 150lbs and the trailer is likely to have a tongue weight in the 200-250lb range)

Why? Because I'm just a touch crazy. And I hate my legs. Watching the Youtube video of the couple on a tandem pulling an Airstream didn't help matters any.

I figure that I have three major issues with which to deal: steering, acceleration and braking.

As for braking, my thoughts are that placing the hitch forward of the rear axle centerline will reduce the tendency to jackknife under braking, and possibly cause the transverse twisting of the trailer to bear down on the rear wheels, making them more effective during braking.

For acceleration, the PAV3 has 20" wheels, so that's a help right off. I was figuring on either a NuVinci N360 or a Shimano Nexus 8, with 28/22 sprockets. A Rohloff Speedhub would be nice, but it's out of my price range. I'm coming from the derailleur world, and so I'm new to hubs, and I've been unable to find any information regarding the torque limit of either of these hubs. Does anyone know if either of these hubs is capable of the torque that would likely be seen from moving around a combined vehicle weight of around 1,250lbs?

And as for steering, well... I dunno. I'm hoping the steering will be relatively normal.

Anything else I'm missing?
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-12, 12:06 AM   #2
hopperja
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could install electric trailer brakes on the trailer, that would help a lot. Other than that, yes, you are crazy.
hopperja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-12, 12:17 AM   #3
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hadn't thought about aftermarket brakes... That is something I'll have to look into, thanks.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-12, 04:53 AM   #4
katcorot
Senior Member
 
katcorot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New Westminster, BC
Bikes: 2013 Surly Big Dummy, 2008 Giant Rincon, 1980's Raleigh Century, 1970's Apollo Deelite, Tall bike
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One concern for brakes with that kind of weight is over heating them. Which can cause brake fade, or sudden failure.
katcorot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-12, 01:35 PM   #5
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is something I would be concerned about if I were to rely merely on the trike's brakes, however, hopperja's suggestion of adding brakes to the trailer has had me searching, and the cheapest brakes I can find that would fit seem to be designed for trailers up to a full ton...
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-12, 03:33 PM   #6
kevbo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
They make micro popups for motorcycles. Google scooter schooner, for example.
kevbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 12:12 AM   #7
hopperja
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd never seen the Scooter Schooner before. From what I've found in a few minutes of googling, it weighs 275 pounds. That weight is feasible behind a bicycle and you wouldn't necessarily need any add on brakes (good disc brakes on the tow bike would probably be needed, though).

I've spent a fair amount of time towing around that amount of weight or even more. On flat ground, I can probably ride 10 to 12 mph consistently for 60 to 90 minutes. After that, I'd probably be considerably slower. On a trike, I'd probably also be slower. Any grade to ride up and that would slow me down a lot too.

Other options that would be lighter:

Tony's Trailers
Kamp Rite Bushtrekka
This one
Several on this page

If you really want to do it, more power to you. Good luck!

Last edited by hopperja; 02-02-12 at 12:20 AM.
hopperja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 02:04 AM   #8
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had seen the Bushtrekka, but not having bothered to look for it on Amazon, I hadn't found a place selling it, and assumed it would probably run in the thousands as similar (motorcycle) trailers do.

My original reasoning for going with a full automotive trailer was pricing: I see a few trailers now and then that are in reasonably good shape for <$1k, but this is very competitive.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 02:18 AM   #9
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997
Posts: 9,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katcorot View Post
One concern for brakes with that kind of weight is over heating them. Which can cause brake fade, or sudden failure.
In this application, I presume that disc brakes would be better then rim brakes, correct? Also are we talking an "old farts" trike or a Catrike or similar 'bent trike? If we're talking a 'bent trike wouldn't adding a Bionx kit improve things? Maybe even to the supplying the brakes on the trailer with power?
Digital_Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 02:39 AM   #10
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997
Posts: 9,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
I'd never seen the Scooter Schooner before. From what I've found in a few minutes of googling, it weighs 275 pounds. That weight is feasible behind a bicycle and you wouldn't necessarily need any add on brakes (good disc brakes on the tow bike would probably be needed, though).

I've spent a fair amount of time towing around that amount of weight or even more. On flat ground, I can probably ride 10 to 12 mph consistently for 60 to 90 minutes. After that, I'd probably be considerably slower. On a trike, I'd probably also be slower. Any grade to ride up and that would slow me down a lot too.

Other options that would be lighter:

Tony's Trailers
Kamp Rite Bushtrekka
This one
Several on this page

If you really want to do it, more power to you. Good luck!
All of those are impressive looking camper/trailers. I really liked the "chuck wagon" styled camper.
Digital_Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:36 AM   #11
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,434
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 656 Post(s)
Trailer jackknife, when trailer leads the towing vehicle, is an ugly thing..
was in a following van, watching some Coasties (USCG) let the trailered Zodiac
180 & pull them into the ditch on the far side of OR 30.
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 01:33 PM   #12
crackerdog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Bikes: xtracycle, electric recumbent, downtube folder and more
Posts: 982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How many feet do you plan on towing this monster? I use a trailer behind my pickup for trash hauling or yard waste and I would never think I could pull 1,000 pounds behind my bike for very far. Find a neighbor who has a utility trailer and load it with some weight and try to tow it even with a rope.
You are better off building a trailer for your needs, using motorcycle trailers as an example. You can use chloroplast plastic, bicycle wheels and honeycomb plywood to make it very light weight.
crackerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:20 PM   #13
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
In this application, I presume that disc brakes would be better then rim brakes, correct? Also are we talking an "old farts" trike or a Catrike or similar 'bent trike? If we're talking a 'bent trike wouldn't adding a Bionx kit improve things? Maybe even to the supplying the brakes on the trailer with power?
I think it would be considered an old farts trike. Scroll down this page to the PAV3 for a picture.

I'd like electric assist, but I'm not sure if I could handle the extra cost, and whether or not I'd be able to charge any given day.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:37 PM   #14
BHOFM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Bikes: Too many to count
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would think a tandem would be the way to go?

http://www.bicycle-riding-for-boomer...-tricycle.html
BHOFM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:40 PM   #15
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crackerdog View Post
How many feet do you plan on towing this monster?
7, maybe 8 million?

I've considered building my own, but my building skills and tools are quite limited.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:51 PM   #16
BHOFM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Bikes: Too many to count
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Check the Tear Drop campers?
BHOFM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 10:58 PM   #17
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
I would think a tandem would be the way to go?

http://www.bicycle-riding-for-boomer...-tricycle.html
For the extra weight/length to reduce the tendency to jackknife, or to conscript someone to help me pull the weight, or both? I don't have the latter, so it'll be just me.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 11:04 PM   #18
BHOFM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Bikes: Too many to count
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranko Kohime View Post
For the extra weight/length to reduce the tendency to jackknife, or to conscript someone to help me pull the weight, or both? I don't have the latter, so it'll be just me.
http://www.eharmony.com/







Sorry, a little rude I know!
BHOFM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-12, 11:21 PM   #19
ocsawdust
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: costa mesa ca
Bikes: 85 botteccia, 85 mcmahn tiatainium, 90 something trek clyde, early 70s schwinn tandem single speed, early 90s gary fisher aquila (the daily rider now!)
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
those links hopperja posted, wow! the bushtrekka is a good looking trailer. the dethleffs looks interesting as well, aloot of sail area there tho.
ocsawdust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 12:25 AM   #20
hopperja
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katcorot View Post
One concern for brakes with that kind of weight is over heating them. Which can cause brake fade, or sudden failure.
Both rim and disc brakes are theoretically susceptible to overheating. With rim brakes, the rim could heat up, thus heating up the air in the inner tube, causing it to expand, and possibly causing a blow-out. I've heard of this as a potential problem with rim brakes, but I've never heard of an actual case, so it could be urban legend. I suppose because the pads are made of rubber compounds of some kind, they could melt as well.

Disc brakes can overheat, causing the brake fluid to boil. This would result in greatly diminished braking capacity, but not catastrophic like a rim brake failure/blowout would. I've never heard of this happening on a bike, but have heard of it happening on a car. You could also use the biggest rotors available (8 in). The larger diameter will have more surface thus less heat buildup. Look at what downhill racers are using for their preferred set-up.

If brake failure was likely and you couldn't install any trailer brakes, then a set of rim brakes and disc brakes on each wheel, with perhaps even a drum/hub brake would be another (though possibly expensive) option.

You should also be concerned about the strength of the rim/hub/fork/rear triangle that is going to be subjected to extreme braking forces. I know when I have weight on my trailer and I apply the front brake (Hayes 9 hydros), I can see my fork blades (Surly fork) bend backwards.

That being said, I don't see any way either of these failures could really happen. If you are towing that kind of weight (I've towed ~500 pounds myself on my bike), then you are not going to let your speed get out of control on any downhills. You'll keep your speed slow and steady, so as to not cause any prolonged braking applications where the heat has a chance to build up. Alternating front and rear brakes can also help control heat build-up.

As far as hubs, I would think the Nuvinci would be the strongest of the ones your considering. I bet it's as strong or stronger than Rohloff hubs, though substantially more weight.

Last edited by hopperja; 02-03-12 at 12:30 AM.
hopperja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 12:31 AM   #21
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
http://www.eharmony.com/
Sorry, a little rude I know!
Hey, it made me laugh.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 12:38 AM   #22
Ranko Kohime
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ranko Kohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
Both rim and disc brakes are theoretically susceptible to overheating. With rim brakes, the rim could heat up, thus heating up the air in the inner tube, causing it to expand, and possibly causing a blow-out. I've heard of this as a potential problem with rim brakes, but I've never heard of an actual case, so it could be urban legend.
I don't know about blowing out the tubes by heating them up, but on my current Schwinn, the rims brakes are actually eating through the rims. Left long enough they will go completely through and cause a blowout.

If disks can be fitted to the trike I'm set on, and it's an affordable option, I will definitely do it.
Ranko Kohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 04:37 AM   #23
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997
Posts: 9,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranko Kohime View Post
I think it would be considered an old farts trike. Scroll down this page to the PAV3 for a picture.

I'd like electric assist, but I'm not sure if I could handle the extra cost, and whether or not I'd be able to charge any given day.
That's a nice looking trike. With the Bionx there is the option to have it use the braking force to charge the battery.
Digital_Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 10:44 AM   #24
ks1g
Because I thought I could
 
ks1g's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wash DC Metro
Bikes: November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
Posts: 969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, you are crazy and towing something that outweighs the tow "vehicle" by that much is going to last only until the 1st stop sign you encoutner. Any slight grade could be another ride-ender.

Are you THAT against pitching a tent or hammock? A Bob or Nomad-style trailer and lightweight backpacker-quality tent or hammock will cost MUCH less than any pop-up option, let alone the medical bills and insurance deductible from trying to pull the pop-up.
ks1g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 11:25 AM   #25
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Bikes: '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
Posts: 4,147
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Ok. so is your intent to really go touring, pulling a trailer designed to be pulled by a car

I am guessing that you don't have the bike yet, but that is not 100% clear

Politely put this is quixotic at best...... totally not feasible is more accurate.
Bluntly put: this is stupid and not feasible, don't do it is is dangerous.

First lets look at the bike
http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...html/pav3.html

Look good to excellent for an OFGAB (Old Fart Get around Bike), but I question that it is well suited to touring or longer distances. If you on anything but flat ground you will need some very low gearing.....might have to go rolhoff if it will work. Electric assist may help

This really looks like like round bike and square usage hole deal.

If you are dead set on that bike...get it and try to pull something around of even 500 lbs. You will make your decision very quickly

Then look at all the issues with towing heavy loads. If the trailer ways more than you and your bike or even similar uphill will be torture witout proper gearing and down hill or even stopping from 10 mph is going to be a real safety issue.

creative thinking is good, but this sound like drilling holes in the bottom of a boat to make it lighter so it floats higher.
__________________
'82 Nishiski commuter/utility
'83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
'89 Miyata 1400
Soma rush Fixie
06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
Electra cruiser (wife's bike)
squirtdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:52 PM.