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Trailer construction ideas, design

Old 10-29-20, 02:10 PM
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Trailer construction ideas, design

All,

After a 12 day trek with my Disk Trucker + panniers and dry sacks I am looking in to making a trailer. I met a fellow tourer on my travels that uses a trailer and spent 3 days with him on the trail. Between hauling gear the way I was and resupplying on the trip I think the trailer idea makes more sense. It is less load on the bike frame, lower center of gravity, and easier to balance on the bike. Weight is weight, I realize - especially going up hills. So no matter where the weight is it is something that has to be dealt with, however the extra wheels offer a big benefit to how the load is supported - more axles to distribute the weight over.

A few questions/topics -

1. I have seen a ton of creative ways of making hitches - from castor wheel frames to universal joints to simple eye bolts and pins. My first thought was to use a ball joint threaded rod end - the plain kind with a simple hole in the ball portion - and a pin sandwiched between two metal tabs. However, this might be too limited in the roll direction. The trailer the guy I rode with used a Burly hitch - the bar on the trailer up to the mounting bracket on the bike. That hitch uses a rubber part that flexes at the bike end of the hitch bar. I am not sure I like that style, but there might be some merit to the flexibility of the rubber - it would keep the vibration/shock transfer down from the trailer to the bike. I'd like to have something that won't rattle much and won't woller out with wear like a lawn tractor pin style hitch but also something that is quick to release with a pin as opposed to a bolt/nut.

2. Wheels. I am thinking 26" as it would roll easier over bumps. However, 20" is pretty common. BMX style wheels that are beefy and built for jumping ramps would probably be stronger than most other types of wheels. I remember in my BMX days about 15 years ago one of the big upgrades was Alex triple wall rims. The triple wall meaning 3 levels of structure in the direction of the spokes (and tall side walls where the brake pads would go). They were heavier, but guys that switched to them had a lot less rim problems. As to hubs - I am sure there is something out there that has a beefy axle/bearing set up. I am not sure what is more important - a beefy hub/bearing/axle assembly or a beefy rim. Both are important, I suppose. I would imagine there are some strong options in 26", but I doubt that category of rim would be as strong as the severe duty of the triple wall 20" BMX rims. My goal would be a wheel set that I don't have to worry about loading or hitting bumps with. I don't intend to be hauling 500lbs, but if I'm between 100-200 over a lot of miles I'd rather steer clear of the department store type kids 20" bike wheels/axles/hubs.

Another note on wheels is the trailer the guy had that I hung out with had an outside rail on each side with the wheel axles supported on both sides. This makes a whole lot of sense, as opposed to the axle only being held from the one side closest to the trailer frame. The rails on his design used all-thread rod so as where adjustable to different axle widths. I am not sure that I would want to plan on different axle widths, but the outside rail to support the axle from both sides, from a loading perspective (and.... damage control - the rails would act like a bumper/rub rail to protect the wheels and axles from damage) is a great idea.

3. Material. I know aluminum is lighter than steel, but it scares me a bit. I'd prefer to weld the frame together. Steel is way easier - and also easier to repair on-the-go if need-be. With regards to aluminum - is there an aluminum that is easier to stick weld? That is the only way I can weld aluminum - no mig or tig here, and it would be easy to stash a few aluminum rods for a fix on-the-go at a farm or service shop somewhere that had a DC stick machine. Otherwise, I think steel would be the least hassle. As to what grade - not sure. All the steel I've worked with has been A36 over the years, standard structural steel. I have a light flux core machine also, but with the stick I have a lot more flexibility (rod types/sizes, variable polarity, amperage, etc, etc). I suppose I could O/A a frame together also... but it would be a lot cheaper running stick as I'd have to get bigger bottles + the gas and maybe fitting adapters and that would be $300-500, vs maybe a box or two of a certain rod (have a bunch including Crown Alloys Royal 300's - 3/16" - for aluminum).

4. Size. Dealing with trails and people I don't think it is wise to go very wide. My bike with all the bags on it was too wide for my liking as it was. I'm thinking maybe of staying under 30", maybe 22-24" for the cargo box plus the wheels/framing outside of it? As far as length goes - I am going to set all my gear out and sort it to see what fits in that 22-24" width and see how long that gets. Figure that is a starting point for volume. Something that bothered me on my trek was resupplying and tossing all the bags on top without being able to get that stuff down inside the bags I had, for the most part. If I have more than enough space inside the trailer for all my gear then I have room for those resupply runs and getting that stuff inside the trailer. Yeah, adding weight isn't always a good thing - but by having the ability to resupply with a good amount of stuff that will open up how far I can go between resupply runs and ease up on stuff to get me by a period of sitting for a few days - water, food, fuel.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:51 AM
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I am working up a post-trip video on gear and the trip. So I laid out all my gear - I have not unpacked much at all from the trip. This is a good gauge to the space I want. Of course, with the bags there is a lot of dead space between that adds lot to the overall volume here - so the actual gear volume is a lot less. However, I'd rather have space and not need it than to not have space and end up tieing stuff on the outside.

Another thought is organization. With space available compartmentalizing is a reality. I can put my food and water in the middle over the axle, for example, and section off the front and back for other gear. That way the heavy stuff (water and canned foods) are closest to the axle and all together, unless I need to move weight for balancing then moving water bottles fore/aft is easy ballast.

From the split in the concrete to the rake handle is 4 feet. If I make the box inside dimensions 24" x 24" x 48" that will fit what you see here with room to spare. That is the stuff in the bags to boot, not split out of the bags. So volume-wise the dimensions here may have my gear taking up about 75% of it. If I add another foot and stretch the box to 5 feet/60" that would give me a ton more space. I am not sure that I want that much, but I will mull it over. At 4 feet looking at the layout of the gear I am sure that would give me plenty to work with, but the builder and packer in me says go bigger.

Maybe a design that allows me to stretch the trailer and add more space if needed is on order. That sounds like a better plan - in the summer time Id probably have less gear so it wouldnt make sense to only fill the trailer 1/4 full. Or at that point I could forego the trailer all together and go panniers only. Lotsa options.


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Old 10-30-20, 12:17 PM
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I'm interested to see what you end up with. Is it worth looking at some of the proven existing trailer styles/designs as a template? You know, not reinvent the wheel (pun intended)?
Here's the BOB; https://www.bobgear.com/yak-bike-trailer
At 17" wide and 64" long, it seems to hit your size needs.
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Old 10-30-20, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Is it worth looking at some of the proven existing trailer styles/designs as a template? You know, not reinvent the wheel (pun intended)?
Here's the BOB; https://www.bobgear.com/yak-bike-trailer
At 17" wide and 64" long, it seems to hit your size needs.
Thanks for the thought.

I have looked at a lot of bike trailers. What the commercial options tend to cater to is what is more normal/what the market will more largely accept. The BOB is quite popular as you note. However, it is a single wheel design and I want to try a dual wheel design. I also want a dry box design and not an open frame where dry bags (like I am using now) are set and strapped in. I'd like to be able to open the lid and access my stuff.

To that point - that is where compartmentalizing would really be nice. That and the idea of plenty of space inside so as to never need to strap things (generally speaking) to the outside of the trailer box. If the lid on top is what opens and I need to strap stuff to the top of it then to access the stuff inside the trailer it requires unstrapping and removing the stuff on top to open the trailer lid. I don't want that fiasco.

There will always be some gear on the bike - namely the handlebar bag. I never ride without the handlebar bag as that is where I put tools also. On shorter rides I pack everything in to it - spare tube, tools, first aid, snacks, etc. On longer rides/trips I spread the tools out between the hanldebar bag and panniers. With a trailer I would keep only routine stuff in the handlebar bag (allen wrench set, for example) then other tools/supplies in the trailer. If I had a flat, for example, I would want to be able to easily open the trailer lid to access the rest of the tools, pump, and tube. I think it might even be handy to mount some of that stuff in a box on the lid perhaps.

Maybe having multiple lids would be good. Maybe 3 sections - fore, mid, and aft - with their own lids.

I think no matter what I do I will make the trailer somewhat sectional so I can add to it. I am not sure how to do it just yet. I want the axle more in the middle and if I only add on to the front or rear then the axle position gets skewed. Adding to the front would make the most sense of the two, however the extra long portion ahead of the axle means as weight is added to the trailer the tongue will get heavier. That is the idea of the axle more in the middle - it is easier to get the balance right and keep the weight centered on the trailer.

I am sure some experimentation is on order for tongue weight vs tracking stability and ride stability on the bike, but with regards to bumper pull trailers on cars and pickups the rule of thumb is 10-15% gross trailer weight on the tongue. So if you have a 10,000lb trailer then 1000-1500lbs is your tongue weight. Gooseneck and 5th wheel trailers that % goes up to 25%. So for a 14,000lb 5th wheel, for example, 3500lbs is the pin weight. Of the two examples - bumper pull is the closest that equates to a bike trailer pulled with a hitch at the axle I would think. A hitch up by the seat post might equate more to a gooseneck/5th wheel set up, however being a 2 wheel cycle that leans in turns I am not sure how the weight distribution would actually work. And that is why my design would be an axle hitch design - not a seat post hitch. The pushing and pulling the trailer would do to the bike should be less at the axle than the seat post = better ride and easier to balance I'd say.
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Old 10-31-20, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
1. I have seen a ton of creative ways of making hitches - from castor wheel frames to universal joints to simple eye bolts and pins. My first thought was to use a ball joint threaded rod end - the plain kind with a simple hole in the ball portion - and a pin sandwiched between two metal tabs. However, this might be too limited in the roll direction. The trailer the guy I rode with used a Burly hitch - the bar on the trailer up to the mounting bracket on the bike. That hitch uses a rubber part that flexes at the bike end of the hitch bar. I am not sure I like that style, but there might be some merit to the flexibility of the rubber - it would keep the vibration/shock transfer down from the trailer to the bike. I'd like to have something that won't rattle much and won't woller out with wear like a lawn tractor pin style hitch but also something that is quick to release with a pin as opposed to a bolt/nut.
The Bikes At Work side mount/axle hitch looks pretty promising. This one uses the same plain rod end ball joint I was referring to. From the pictures on the site it appears to use a lock nut and is mounted in a round tube. My assumption is if the trailer rolled beyond a certain angle the ball joint frame (the threaded part and lollipop head) would rotate inside the tube. That would certainly overcome the roll issue with the give in how the ball joint is attached.

https://www.bikesatwork.com/store/pr...-trailer-hitch
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Old 11-02-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
The Bikes At Work side mount/axle hitch looks pretty promising. This one uses the same plain rod end ball joint I was referring to. From the pictures on the site it appears to use a lock nut and is mounted in a round tube. My assumption is if the trailer rolled beyond a certain angle the ball joint frame (the threaded part and lollipop head) would rotate inside the tube. That would certainly overcome the roll issue with the give in how the ball joint is attached.

https://www.bikesatwork.com/store/pr...-trailer-hitch
This is a hitch I made years ago. It's a bit crude but works OK, never had any problems. The part that goes on the bike was modified after the first ride to keep it aligned.




I used wheelchair hubs, 12mm axles and ball bearings are enough up to 50-60 kilos IMO.
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Old 11-02-20, 02:55 PM
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Old 11-02-20, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
This is a hitch I made years ago. It's a bit crude but works OK, never had any problems.
Thanks for the pictures.

It looks like the part I am looking for is called a "heim joint". Below is a link to an example. I will dig around and see if I can find less expensive option. I suppose at the start it doesn't necessarily need to be that, but I think it is a good solution. Stainless so the joint doesnt seize with rust (plus keep it lubricated).

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/FK-Ro...int,81626.html

I like the Bikes At Work framing with the aluminum C channel construction. The trailer in the following link is similar in design - C channel - and welded. I think that is what I want to do for the base. I like the front and rear C channel members, as opposed to the rectangular tubing of the Bikes At Work designs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/monkey...7617446793100/

The electrodes I have, and can get pretty easy, for aluminum are Crown Alloys Royal 300. I contacted Crown to find what grades the rods work best with and they are confident in them with any "weldable" aluminum (that is a weird term because aluminum is a weird metal - there are some aluminums that just plain cant be welded with any conventional process). That having been said - there is a place around here a buddy of mine gets alloys from. I will come up with a rough design then check with them and see what I can source and pricing. I know my buddy gets small quantities of bars, billets, and sheet/plate of various aluminums so I would think more structural stuff would be pretty easy to get. I'm thinking 6061-T6, but that will depend on pricing and if there is an adequate C channel extrusion in that grade. 6061-T6 is plenty weldable.

The other option is chromoly steel, though that would boost the weight a bit I think.

As for the cargo box - I am not real sure how to do that. I had the thought of using Coroplast. However, it would need angle alum or steel on the edges for strength and protection. At that rate it might work out to use sheet alum if I can get it for a decent price. With the flat C channel frame having a base for the box would be pretty easy. Bolting the box to the frame would make it easy to remove the box and turn it in to a deck/flatbed cargo trailer also.
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Old 11-04-20, 05:27 PM
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As far as aluminum goes - it looks like 6063 is going to be easier to source from the "architectural metals" category, as opposed to "structural".

I really like the frame construction technique - just the outside rectangle with the C channel - of this build:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/monkey...7617446793100/

However, I think the frame might actually be too beefy for what I am thinking.

If you think about the whole assembly - the box on frame - the frame is adding rigidity to the floor of the box. So both the frame and the box work together to distribute the load. The flat flanges of the C channel make for a convenient way of attaching the box to the frame, as well as the other structural members that take more concentrated loads - such as where the wheels (axles) attach and the hitch bar. Therefore, the thickness and, ultimately, weight of the frame material can be less. Sorta like a unibody car that doesn't have a body-on-frame like a truck or SUV.

The overall idea is to have a lighter weight trailer than would be achievable with a steel frame that is still durable enough to pack the miles. I am hoping the completed rolling weight of the trailer + gear is at most 200lbs. Figure 150lbs gear and a 50lb allowance for the complete trailer, just for rough numbers.

The Bikes At Work 64A comes in at about 38lbs. Size-wise that is similar. So I am hoping that the 50lb allowance for the trailer is realistic - adding a box and maybe thinning down the material around the frame/cross bars by having the box there.
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Old 11-27-20, 03:02 PM
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I had a suggestion elsewhere of using a box design where the box itself was the "frame" or "structure" in and of itself.

I think if the box was formed correctly, or if the box was assembled well (bolted, riveted, or welded to lock everything together well) that could very well work. However, the stress points and more structural areas - like the hitch draw bar connection and spots for the wheel/axle attachments - would need beefed up/reinforced in a way to distribute the forces to the "box".

That sounds like it would work. However, if I do that it will restrict the versatility of the trailer. If I build a frame that can stand alone/work by itself without the box then I can stretch that and have a more utilitarian flatbed style trailer. Whether or not I have sides or guard rails is a moot point in the idea phase here. I am just thinking through the possibilities and I like the idea of the stand-alone frame with the box on top so I can split them and use the frame without the box.
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Old 11-30-20, 06:18 PM
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My trailer is built that way - it's a CarryFreedom Y-frame clone with a big wooden crate strapped to the flatbed. Both the flatbed and crate floor are 3/8" plywood. 90% of the time I use the crate, but sometimes a flatbed is needed.


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Old 11-30-20, 08:55 PM
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Does anyone have any thoughts on axle position?

What I mean by this is how far forward or back the axle is with respect to the trailer dimensions.

Why I ask is the axle placement affects 2 things:
1. Trailer drifting/off-tracking to the inside of a turn - where an axle further rearward would increase the drifting/off-tracking (the trailer would swing further to the inside of the turn)
2. Trailer tail swing - where the rear of the trailer will swing past the tracking. If you think about the rear seats on a buss or jetliner taxiing - the further rearward you are the further "across" the tracking of the axle (sideways movement) you get.

When riding in densely populated areas with a lot of traffic on MUP's - what is better to design to? Having the trailer swing further inside the turn or have the rear of the trailer swing further?

Weight balance is another topic. An axle further back would typically mean higher tongue/hitch weight, but ballasting can be done to change the balance so this isn't that big of a concern to me. The axle position is - moving things around inside to get the balance right will never change the geometry of the tracking of the trailer behind the bike, only stability.
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Old 11-30-20, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts on axle position?

What I mean by this is how far forward or back the axle is with respect to the trailer dimensions.

Why I ask is the axle placement affects 2 things:
1. Trailer drifting/off-tracking to the inside of a turn - where an axle further rearward would increase the drifting/off-tracking (the trailer would swing further to the inside of the turn)
2. Trailer tail swing - where the rear of the trailer will swing past the tracking. If you think about the rear seats on a buss or jetliner taxiing - the further rearward you are the further "across" the tracking of the axle (sideways movement) you get.

When riding in densely populated areas with a lot of traffic on MUP's - what is better to design to? Having the trailer swing further inside the turn or have the rear of the trailer swing further?

Weight balance is another topic. An axle further back would typically mean higher tongue/hitch weight, but ballasting can be done to change the balance so this isn't that big of a concern to me. The axle position is - moving things around inside to get the balance right will never change the geometry of the tracking of the trailer behind the bike, only stability.
The axle needs to be behind the center of gravity, otherwise the trailer will sway from side to side. That means the bike must carry some of the trailer weight.
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Old 11-30-20, 10:16 PM
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People wanting something high strength, could use motor bike wheels. Of course this adds weight.
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Old 11-30-20, 10:21 PM
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Having springs is a good idea. Things will be less likely to break if you use springs.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:33 PM
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Food for thought...



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Old 12-19-20, 12:10 AM
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I helped a friend make one, his base and cross supports were fiberglass. strong and decently light, no rot or rust.
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Old 12-19-20, 02:44 AM
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If someone is making a trailer for long distance trips, where they camp along the way, they may want to make a trailer long enough to sleep in. You may even make one which is shorter for travelling, but folds out to bed length. You could have storage space under the bed.
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Old 02-25-21, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
If someone is making a trailer for long distance trips, where they camp along the way, they may want to make a trailer long enough to sleep in. You may even make one which is shorter for travelling, but folds out to bed length. You could have storage space under the bed.
I've been thinking along those lines. Not necessarily to be able to sleep "in the trailer", but to use the trailer as a platform for a pop up tent.

Kamp-Rite made a trailer version of one of their cot-tents a few years back. They had problems with the axle mounts/articulating suspension breaking which is what killed the production of them. Instead of a redesign they canned the whole concept.
https://newatlas.com/midget-bushtrek...trailer/22167/

I like the idea of being able to fold out a tent and bed. I could have used that on my trek last fall. I am not sure how to go about it, though. The Kamp-Rite tent cots are quite heavy for what they are, but I am not sure anything else comes close to that concept. If I make a fold-out platform on which to set up, say, a 1 person tent like a Hubba Hubba - then I have the set up/tear down time, maybe more, as if the tent were set up on the ground. So efficiency-wise I am not gaining anything. That would have to be part of the set up - an efficient means to set up/take down of the tent and gear to spend less time between riding and sleeping and sleeping and riding.

I wouldn't be opposed to experimenting with coroplast (think Paul Elkins). However, I am not sure of a way to make a structure that will collapse down. If I were making a "bike camper" that could be built and left set up that is one thing. That doesn't work with what I am trying to go after, however.
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Old 02-26-21, 05:31 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Food for thought...



Interesting concept.

I did think about some alternative materials for the box, namely coroplast. However, what I keep coming back to is the durability/ruggedness of the material - think wrecks and other mishaps here. Aluminum is likely to deflect a lot more than would coroplast or fabric.

My panniers are Ortliebs. I do have to say they have surprised me on durability. I did wreck on my trip. I was riding across a wood bridge that was wet with leaves. I went down very quick once I was on the wood I was down and sliding across it sideways. I was not moving very fast trying to be careful, but on to the wood and down I went. I didn't damage any panniers on the side I fell against, but I did put holes in my other dry sacks.
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Old 08-24-21, 09:35 AM
  #21  
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All,

I happened to acquire a 2nd, 3ord, 4th.... hand kid trailer last winter from a guy I worked with. It actually had never really been used - still has the mold nubs and seams on the tires.

I haven't been riding this season much. I did cycle commute earlier this year, but with the heat this summer I've only done a hand full of day trips. With that having been said - I have been experimenting with the trailer.

One major issue I found with this one is the pressure rating on the tires (16") is only 35psi. That is way too soft - I can feel the resistance of the trailer back there more than I'd like, even with what I would consider as a "light" load, compared to what I toured with last fall.

Another issue, that I am not sure is much of an issue in the bigger picture of "touring", is the width of the trailer. My riding partner doesn't like the trailer because when trying to ride next to each other down the trail the trailer gets too close to them. I have tried to be conscious about it and keep to the far side of a trail, but it is hard to do. Riding solo this wouldn't be an issue - but it gets back to my earlier concern about the overall width of the rig going down the trail when they get congested.

Another interesting aspect of this trailer is the "hitch" is a coupler on a spring. I am not sure if it is the trailer itself, and the weight/loading from it, or if it is the spring - but I can feel the surging of the trailer over bumps and rough terrain. It reminds me of pulling a 2 car gooseneck trailer with a 1 ton pickup years ago. The loaded trailer would make the truck surge forwards and backwards over bumpy roads.

Can anyone comment on the surging? Those of you that have rigid hitches - do you still notice said "surging"? Is hitch position - either side of the rear axle or seat post - a factor in "surging"? I am assuming having the hitch on the seat post would be more of an issue - there is more distance between both the hitch and trailer and hitch height above ground for the surging to have leverage against the bike's balance. Does that theory hold true in practice? Or is that over-thinking it?

The side-mount wheels (as opposed to being cradled/supported on both sides like on a traditional bike - with an outer rail on the trailer) don't sit well with me. They fit the simple design of this trailer, but from a serviceability and loading perspective - the side-mount wheels can become problematic with heavy loads and long miles.






Overall, the kid trailer isn't what I want but it is a good start. It gives me a lot more to experience so I can tweak with my own ideas.

I am thinking about some ideas for this one. One is to replace the fabric with a 550 cord "net" - just a weave pattern cord net. Another is to add vertical supports and an upper platform that I can mount a solar panel to.

As far as the wheels go - I may get some better tires that I can air up to 50psi or so to drop the rolling resistance. However, I don't like the wheels. The hubs are very loose. There is no way to set tension as the axles are fixed (not threaded) = no way to adjust cone/race tension. That loose'ness will only get worse over any heavy miles - worse until failure. I can easily make an outer rail then swap the wheels with some better ones, but the further I modify this trailer the more I enter in to the idea of just making my own and doing it all right the way I want it from the start. I'm trying to get by with this one without doing a whole lot of work to it At least work that I can't recover moving an idea over to another trailer later.
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Old 08-24-21, 12:25 PM
  #22  
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I have had some totes similar to the one on 10 Wheels trailer below. We used them as roof top boxes on a trip a few months ago (I sealed the lids with Gorilla Tape to ensure they would stay dry - and they did). In thinking through the trailer and "space" ideas I thought I would experiment a bit.

The 1 box does not give me the space I need in and of itself. However, if I combine that with my regular panniers then I have more than enough space. The next day trip I go on I will use the tote and trailer idea to see how it works. One thing that I am seeing already as being a challenge on the trailer set up I have here is how to stabilize/secure the box on the trailer. What I don't want to do is use a wood deck. I don't like the idea of using wood as it can soak up water and hold on to it. If I can find another panel material that would be rigid enough to support the underside of the tote that won't soak up water that would be great. In my trailer design idea I want to make it out of aluminum and use aluminum sheet metal to form the box/tote - so in that idea there would be no need to reinforce the bottom of a tote because there wouldn't be a plastic tote at all. Given that - and the question of how to secure the tote - straps around the top of the tote lid to the sides will only offer partial support. The reason being that I won't be able to get the straps tight enough (between the lack of rigidity in the trailer frame and the ability of the tote walls to collapse under much load). So then the idea of having some kind of lower bottom/side attachment to secure to the trailer frame comes to mind. It would be easy to say "just wrap a strap around the box and secure to that". However, the box tapers. It is narrower at the bottom than the top. With the vibration of going down the trail anything wrapped around and cinched up to the sides could drop and loosen then fall.

So I will mull over the conundrum of securing the box and try a few things on my next ride to see where things go. Maybe a combination of gorilla tape and 550 cord wrapped around the box down low would work - then use loops of 550 cord on the corners as the securement attachment point would work.

You can also see the springy hitch below that I mentioned in the previous post.





Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Converted a Kids InStep Trailer
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Old 08-24-21, 12:37 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Another issue, that I am not sure is much of an issue in the bigger picture of "touring", is the width of the trailer. My riding partner doesn't like the trailer because when trying to ride next to each other down the trail the trailer gets too close to them. I have tried to be conscious about it and keep to the far side of a trail, but it is hard to do. Riding solo this wouldn't be an issue - but it gets back to my earlier concern about the overall width of the rig going down the trail when they get congested.
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
4. Size. Dealing with trails and people I don't think it is wise to go very wide. My bike with all the bags on it was too wide for my liking as it was. I'm thinking maybe of staying under 30", maybe 22-24" for the cargo box plus the wheels/framing outside of it?
This kid trailer's deck frame is right at 24" wide with the wheels outside of that. I'm thinking that is plenty wide - on the verge of being too wide. Again, thinking of crowded trail conditions here.


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Old 08-25-21, 09:22 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
All,

One major issue I found with this one is the pressure rating on the tires (16") is only 35psi. That is way too soft - I can feel the resistance of the trailer back there more than I'd like, even with what I would consider as a "light" load, compared to what I toured with last fall.

Another issue, that I am not sure is much of an issue in the bigger picture of "touring", is the width of the trailer. My riding partner doesn't like the trailer because when trying to ride next to each other down the trail the trailer gets too close to them. I have tried to be conscious about it and keep to the far side of a trail, but it is hard to do. Riding solo this wouldn't be an issue - but it gets back to my earlier concern about the overall width of the rig going down the trail when they get congested.

Another interesting aspect of this trailer is the "hitch" is a coupler on a spring. I am not sure if it is the trailer itself, and the weight/loading from it, or if it is the spring - but I can feel the surging of the trailer over bumps and rough terrain. It reminds me of pulling a 2 car gooseneck trailer with a 1 ton pickup years ago. The loaded trailer would make the truck surge forwards and backwards over bumpy roads.

Can anyone comment on the surging? Those of you that have rigid hitches - do you still notice said "surging"? Is hitch position - either side of the rear axle or seat post - a factor in "surging"? I am assuming having the hitch on the seat post would be more of an issue - there is more distance between both the hitch and trailer and hitch height above ground for the surging to have leverage against the bike's balance. Does that theory hold true in practice? Or is that over-thinking it?

As far as the wheels go - I may get some better tires that I can air up to 50psi or so to drop the rolling resistance.
Schwalbe Marathon Green Guard tires are available in 16x1.75 50-70psi. Price in the US kinda eye watering but can be found either at Bike24 or BikeInn for cheap, just that shipping is around $20 a pair. But two pairs ship the same price and it makes sense always to have spares anyway.

And yeah, I’ve felt surging on my old Burley Nomad with a rigid hitch. Might have been that the trailer was over loaded, not sure. Nice thing about that model, it’s only 19” wide. So when once everything on mine was shot except for the wheel/axle tie rod assembly and tow arm, was able to transfer those to a lightweight wood frame made from poplar dowels and 1/4” maple plywood that I waterproofed with a couple coats of oil based ebony stain, one of aluminum paint, and finished with black polyurethane. Bolted a 35G Action Packer to the ply so no need for rails or any other external support.

Wike makes DIY flatbed trailers that can be built up to any dimensions within reason.
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