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Old 11-23-19, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 889

Bikes: 2017 Co-op ADV 1.1; ~1991 Novara Arriba; 1990 Fuji Palisade; mid-90's Moots Tandem; 1985 Performance Superbe

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Child Trailer Conversion to Flatbed

I had an old Pacific Cycles Instep kiddie trailer that had been in the sun too much and all the nylon was rotten. I stripped off the topworks and used Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage 48 in. x 16 in. Wire Shelf material for a flatbed, secured by stainless steel hose clamps. For the dimensions of my trailer, I was 1" short of getting by with just one 48" shelf; had to buy two of them.

Conversion to flatbed trailer.

I subsequently added reflectors and red rear LED light mountings.

I've been using it for loads that I can't handle in my baskets for the past year and it has worked well. The multiple connection options afforded by the grating makes securing diverse loads simple.

Some examples:

Grocery run mode with laundry basket secured by bungee cords.

Loose cargo secured by bungee cords, partially removed.

Pet hauling mode.

Dolly mode for long loads.


After about 2 years of operation I found that the shelving material failed as follows:

Fatigue failure on small diameter strand.

In retrospect I should have strapped down the large diameter material, which is what I've done for the repair:

Better to clamp to large diameter on shelving.

A good feature of the hose clamps is that it can all be rebuilt if needed.

Rebuild Note: After about 3 years of service, I could see that the aluminum frame was being damaged by a shelving member that I had not secured:

Rubbing damage where the old shelving was not secured to the frame.

In addition, the old shelving was pretty beat up due to times I'd loaded heavy objects without putting down some protection. I've now got a piece of 1/4" plywood cut to the size with some heavy twist ties that I use when I'm carrying heavy point loads. I decided to replace the shelving while I was fixing the rubbing damage.

Condition of old shelving material, due to moving point loads without using 1/4" plywood cover.

I installed a protective bracket to prevent the rubbing damage:

Joint protected by a bracket and now secured.

The big lessons learned so far are a) make connections as much as possible to the large diameter members of the shelving and b) use something to spread point loads.

Last edited by flangehead; 05-31-22 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Add pet hauling mode. Add post script. Add dolly mode. Add rebuild note.
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