Moved from Commuting.
I have an old Burley trailer: D'Lite from the 1994 era http://www.burley.com/shop/wpimages/...ghtheyears.pdf when my oldest was born. The specs say that it can carry up to 100 lbs... I still use it & it's over 19 yrs old. I have transported two kids easily along with 4 full-sized bags of groceries in the back or 8 bags of groceries without kids, Costco-loads, spinning wheel, stroller & picnic supplies, etc. Now I'm looking at it & wondering if I can load my electric lawn mower into it (see my other posted thread) to see if anyone has done it before. It also has a rain tarp which has been great for keeping snow & rain off the grocery bags. I have nothing bad to say about it (and nooo, I don't work for Burley :)) Look at garage sales or CL to find old ones that people want to get rid of & check out if the hitch will work with your style of bike.
As for parking it, I have to bring an extra lock to lock it to my bike and then lock my bike to the rack... which is tricky because I feel like I'm taking up too much room with a big ol' trailer (hence, my other post asking about utility bikes instead of using a trailer). But just wanted to throw those other considerations into the pot as you decide what kind of system would be best for grocery getting.
I use a kiddie trailer. Works great for me. I've towed all kinds of stuff with it, some very heavy loads, some very unwieldy loads.
My reconfigured MEC trailer carries a 100 litre tote which keeps things secure and dry in bad weather... we also have a Burley trailer and my Extrabike can carry a pretty sizeable load on it's own and pulls the trailer now that my Kuwahara Shasta lives with my nephew.
A lot of options out there, most people seem to use repurposed child trailers. Burley is one of the better ones out there, especially if you can find a used one. I don't use a trailer I can get a weeks worth of groceries for four adults in my 40+ litre panniers on my city bike, if I need to haul more I take my expedition bike which has 4 panniers for about 65 litres capacity, plus whatever can be strapped on the front and rear racks.
I like the rig that Sixty Fiver has though....
Other occasions were just from my not being mindful of the trailer in low speed turns though parking lots and around posts and curbs and such, mostly uneventful.
Now that I've had it a little while I am much more aware of my movements when I'm pulling it and I make sure to give extra space around turns and stuff. As for using it inside stores for shopping, yeah, I do feel a little strange sometimes. I think that people around me think I'm trying to steal stuff, but the reality is that probably no body cares and they're just curious about where I got this strange shopping cart...like something an old lady would use because they have no clue that I got to the store on my bike. But no one has ever given me flak about it yet.
But to get back to the OP about a recommendation; despite all these incidents, I do still really like the trailer. The benefits of being able to roll it around easily like your own personal shopping cart, the break-down size, the weight...for me, all outweigh the one negative that it's less stable than the usual "flat bed" type trailers. I had a bob for a while and I liked it for certain things (bike camping), but for more of a daily utility/commuter setup, the burly travoy is far better suited.
Thank you for the replies, pacificcyclist & urbanescapee. Urbanescapee, I really appreciate the details and information. It gives me hope to keep it and try it again. We've had it tip once and I thought my husband was going to fall into traffic, but similar to your situation, the Travoy landed on its side and dragged & my husband was able to remain upright. Another time I was going downhill pretty quickly and it seemed like it was fish-tailing (didn't tip over though). So again, thanks for the info... it gives me a lot to think about.
I use a homemade Y-Frame Big clone, hauled 50kg on it, no problem.
I use a Y frame large (20" wheel). For shopping I strap on a 40x60x40cm plastic box (glass bottle household recycling container). I could fit a much larger container on the flatbed. I havent made use of the flatbed mounting holes yet but the straps also hold bits inside the box.
The container is also good for transporting old bikes, the bike rests on top and can be tied down.
I havent made use of the flatbed mounting holes yet but the straps also hold bits inside the box.
The wheels are QR and the unit stores as flat. For security, I usually run a cable from one wheel to the main lock.
I have a old Burley kids trailer I bought used some years ago, I paid $50 for it. Mostly now I just use my Surly Big Dummy.
A Nordic Cab kid trailer here. As our kid still travels in the trailer, only the rear luggage compartment is available for groceries. It's surprisingly roomy though. If we know there will be a lot to haul, we can always take panniers too.