Well, I'm a bit annoyed at myself.
I tried to put a floor into my child bicycle trailer in order to have a more sturdy surface to transport my dogs so they aren't constantly falling into each other. I failed.
STORY (You can skip this part and go straight to the issue after the End of Story)
I had a thin piece of plywood (3 layers, maybe 1/4 inch thick?). I built a cute little cushion for the rear rack of my bike, and the leftover looked like just enough to floor the trailer with- perfect! So I cut the 22x31 inch rectangle, and went outside with some tools.
I had planned to simply lay the plywood inside the trailer, but I didn't like it. The cockpit hangs between the two side frame pieces, but two flap come over the front and rear frame pices- so the plywood was measured to simply lay over the front and rear frame. But, I didn't like the way the fabric floor sagged underneath, and there wasn't really anything to keep the plywood from shifting around in there. It would likely sag in the middle too.
I flipped the trailer over and decided to screw it onto the bottom. There are three screws holding the fabric to the front and rear frame. The sides have one nut and bolt holding a strap which runs beneath the seating area, and there are also double straps looping the side frame bar also. So, I unscrewed the 6 screws in the front and back,a nd they are just long enough to go through the plywood and still catch into the frame tubes. YAY! But, without side support, I was worried the thin plywood would break pretty easily. So, I got some metal strip to reinforce it. That is a thin ribbon of metal with small and larger holes already in it. It was quite a major pain to install it, because the holes didn't quite line up right to simply put the screws through, and the ribbon couldn't be loose- the whole idea was for it to support the wood. So, after smashing my thumb pretty badly into the quick enough to cause no small amount of bleeding, I finally had metal ribbon going from side to side to the bolts, and from front to back at the middle screws.
Triumphantly I turned over my trailer and inspected the inside. The floor is designed to sag a bit to provide feet room to children riding, but the flatness now still looked great. I was pretty sure my puppies would appreciate the improvement. I start wheeling the finished trailer over to its parking space under the stairs and go to fold it....
END OF STORY
It won't fold anymore!
The plywood blocks the arms of the side panels from swiveling to let it fold down. Highly irritated for my lack of planning, I simply took the wheels off, shoved it under the railing and then locked it up. I suppose I need to cut little notches in the corners to let the metal move in that area, but I figure that will weaken the entire thing, essentially making those corner screws useless.
So- will cutting notches even solve the problem? Will the floor be weaker with them?
Should I try a different material altogether? Maybe some sort of metal sheeting would work, but be stronger and lighter?
Should I add more screws to secure the floor to the frame? This would mean drilling more holes into the frame tubing.
Do you have any other ideas?
Sierra Double Trailer front left.jpg
The attachment is an online picture of the Instep Sierra- the same as my Journey but sold with the stroller kit already. You can see the front panel folds over the frame tube and is secured to the tubing underneath with screws while the panel itself has straps that cinch down to hold it along the sides. The floor sags behind the front frame tube, and you can see the two side straps. The straps that bolt to the side frame tubes are hidden by the wheels, but they are just in front of the axles.
I'm still very annoyed, but after I cool off a bit I suppose I can go back down and get some actual photos of the situation.