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Camping Trailer

Old 08-31-23, 01:44 AM
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Camping Trailer

Hi can anyone tell me where I can get plans or a tutorial on how to build a vardo style camping trailer for a bike please?
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Old 08-31-23, 02:14 AM
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build a vardo style camping trailer for a bike trailer - Google Search
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Old 08-31-23, 04:48 AM
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Design your own.

Take some pointers from others you see and make some drawings to guide you.

Be realistic with dimensions and draw to scale for the best guide. If you are artistic and just "draw" without scale it won't be nearly as easy to build to as you won't have a real-world scale from which to work off of.

A few key dimensions -
Trailer box/camper length (outside)
Trailer box/camper width (outside)
Trailer box/camper height (outside)

The above work in conjunction with what ever your framing is (which sits inside, where your outside dimensions are the "skin" over top of what frame you choose - or in the case of Coroplast dome/tube style construction - the walls/roof of the dome "frame", if you will, is the corrugated coroplast material itself.

I would make the "trailer frame" sturdy. This includes the camper floor, hitch, and especially how the wheels/axles attach.

Based on several other trailer designs, regardless of trailer purpose - camper, utility, kid carrier, pet carrier, canoe carrier, what have you - I would highly recommend a set up where the wheels are supported on both sides as if they are sitting in a conventional bike between fork/fame dropouts. Doing so will allow you to use conventional parts. If you have wheels that have a stub axle you will have a hard time finding replacement axles, for example. If you are traveling/touring and you have no replacements, or a limited amount of replacements, and you run through what you have - how are you going to replace them? Conventional axles will allow you more options to replace on the fly.

To add to it - cone/race hubs are very serviceable. If you have stub axles you will likely have cartridge bearings - which are non-serviceable, aside from lubing with something like Fluid Film, Triflow, or WD40.

Another tidbit on design - balance is important. You want the trailer wheels carrying the weight with a slight amount of tongue weight. A good starting point on tongue weight is 10-15% of the overall trailer weight where the trailer hitches to the bike. Especially if you use an axle mount hitch on the bike (offset, usually on the non-drive side) - a heavy hitch weight will make the bike lean. If you have light or negative hitch weight you will have some major handling issues that aren't safe.

One more handling issue to be aware of is how long the trailer is and if your weight is distributed along the whole length, or worse - concentrated at the front/rear. That mass will allow some "twisting" on the trailer axle which will shove the hitch side to side and you will definitely feel that in the bike, and possibly cause you some handling issues.

To avoid the above - if your weight is concentrated nearest the trailer axle, either on top of it, or slightly in front of it, that will help. What can also help is a long tongue. Think of it as a lever working in reverse. If your trailer mass is able to shove the hitch side to side then you add, say, another 12" to the distance of the trailer behind the bike - you added 12" more (longer lever) to the ability of the bike to dampen the force of the trailer. That extra length will also reduce the tongue weight - which allows you to move the weight on the "trailer" forward, there again reducing the ability of the trailer to shove the bike side to side.

The worst thing you can do is have a lot of weight BEHIND the trailer axle.

That is a balancing game because you can't have the trailer axle all the way at the rear of the trailer because a portion of all the weight of the trailer is going back to the bike. Having some length/weight behind the axle is important for balancing. That is where that 10-15% tongue weight scale comes in. If the bike is getting shoved around you have too much weight behind the axle.

I experienced the "bike being shoved side to side by the trailer" yesterday. The trailer set up is a good bit heavier than before as I changed out the box (utility trailer) with a sturdier one that is noticeably heavier. When I was on my commute I went around a corner on a sidewalk and one of the trailer wheels dropped off the concrete. When it was getting back up it rode the edge of the concrete for a second and that caused the hitch to swing and push the bike. I was mostly expecting it and was able to react so it didn't cause me that big of an issue, but the possibility is there for it to. That wasn't all an "improperly balanced trailer weight" issue, it was just "weight" and "obstacle" - with the same result - trailer weight wanting to swing in a way the bike shouldn't have been going.
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Old 09-04-23, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Design your own.

Take some pointers from others you see and make some drawings to guide you.

Be realistic with dimensions and draw to scale for the best guide. If you are artistic and just "draw" without scale it won't be nearly as easy to build to as you won't have a real-world scale from which to work off of.

A few key dimensions -
Trailer box/camper length (outside)
Trailer box/camper width (outside)
Trailer box/camper height (outside)

The above work in conjunction with what ever your framing is (which sits inside, where your outside dimensions are the "skin" over top of what frame you choose - or in the case of Coroplast dome/tube style construction - the walls/roof of the dome "frame", if you will, is the corrugated coroplast material itself.

I would make the "trailer frame" sturdy. This includes the camper floor, hitch, and especially how the wheels/axles attach.

Based on several other trailer designs, regardless of trailer purpose - camper, utility, kid carrier, pet carrier, canoe carrier, what have you - I would highly recommend a set up where the wheels are supported on both sides as if they are sitting in a conventional bike between fork/fame dropouts. Doing so will allow you to use conventional parts. If you have wheels that have a stub axle you will have a hard time finding replacement axles, for example. If you are traveling/touring and you have no replacements, or a limited amount of replacements, and you run through what you have - how are you going to replace them? Conventional axles will allow you more options to replace on the fly.

To add to it - cone/race hubs are very serviceable. If you have stub axles you will likely have cartridge bearings - which are non-serviceable, aside from lubing with something like Fluid Film, Triflow, or WD40.

Another tidbit on design - balance is important. You want the trailer wheels carrying the weight with a slight amount of tongue weight. A good starting point on tongue weight is 10-15% of the overall trailer weight where the trailer hitches to the bike. Especially if you use an axle mount hitch on the bike (offset, usually on the non-drive side) - a heavy hitch weight will make the bike lean. If you have light or negative hitch weight you will have some major handling issues that aren't safe.

One more handling issue to be aware of is how long the trailer is and if your weight is distributed along the whole length, or worse - concentrated at the front/rear. That mass will allow some "twisting" on the trailer axle which will shove the hitch side to side and you will definitely feel that in the bike, and possibly cause you some handling issues.

To avoid the above - if your weight is concentrated nearest the trailer axle, either on top of it, or slightly in front of it, that will help. What can also help is a long tongue. Think of it as a lever working in reverse. If your trailer mass is able to shove the hitch side to side then you add, say, another 12" to the distance of the trailer behind the bike - you added 12" more (longer lever) to the ability of the bike to dampen the force of the trailer. That extra length will also reduce the tongue weight - which allows you to move the weight on the "trailer" forward, there again reducing the ability of the trailer to shove the bike side to side.

The worst thing you can do is have a lot of weight BEHIND the trailer axle.

That is a balancing game because you can't have the trailer axle all the way at the rear of the trailer because a portion of all the weight of the trailer is going back to the bike. Having some length/weight behind the axle is important for balancing. That is where that 10-15% tongue weight scale comes in. If the bike is getting shoved around you have too much weight behind the axle.

I experienced the "bike being shoved side to side by the trailer" yesterday. The trailer set up is a good bit heavier than before as I changed out the box (utility trailer) with a sturdier one that is noticeably heavier. When I was on my commute I went around a corner on a sidewalk and one of the trailer wheels dropped off the concrete. When it was getting back up it rode the edge of the concrete for a second and that caused the hitch to swing and push the bike. I was mostly expecting it and was able to react so it didn't cause me that big of an issue, but the possibility is there for it to. That wasn't all an "improperly balanced trailer weight" issue, it was just "weight" and "obstacle" - with the same result - trailer weight wanting to swing in a way the bike shouldn't have been going.
many thanks thatís kind of you x
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