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Old 05-13-08, 06:28 PM
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After this unsuccessful (yet instructive) experiment, I thought I'd share my experiences of "How not to build a trailer"....this is the "Model A"

Basically, a very unstable trailer. The wheels were steel-rimmed 27's with road tires. This placed the chassis pretty high, and with the "tuff box" strapped to it, made speeds greater than 15 mph rather precarious indeed...

Here is a closeup of the hitch and yolk assembly (sorry about the poor quality, but I had a bad experience with this setup so I didn't take a lot of snapshots):

I modified an axiom pannier-type rear rack with two plates (on both sides of the pannier tubes) to accept the yolk, which was bolted to the plates. The yolk had a female heim joint which bolted through the yolk, allowing swivelling. The heim joint was pinned to the aluminum tongue of the trailer. Aluminum tongues are bad, with this type of hitch. Not enough strength to take on the "up and down" movement caused by hills and sharp vertical angles (ie: the numerous hills of south-central Indiana, train track elevations, etc...) Later models were modified with steel tongues, which work great.

The long and short of it is that too much vibration was transmitted through the pannier tubes, creating a REALLY unstable riding experience. I suspect that the height of the tongue attachment was also a factor, tho I can't be sure. All I know is that at speeds of 20 mph, the thing would invariably create an insurmountable death wobble that caused the trailer to flip over. Fortunately, because of the independent swivel of the joint/tongue, this caused no adverse effects on the bike/rider. However, it did wound my pride a bit.

Moral of the story: Keep it low.

/edit: and don't attach your trailer to flimsy aluminum pannier tubes.

Last edited by bloompedal08; 05-13-08 at 06:35 PM.
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