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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-31-08, 09:47 AM   #1
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building your own trailer?

Has anyone ever found any recipes online or built their own?

If so, what would be the easiest way to do it so that one can buy groceries, haul recyclables, or get a pizza, etc?
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Old 05-31-08, 10:05 AM   #2
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Build your own trailer stuff can be found here.
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Old 05-31-08, 10:32 AM   #3
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I built this one out of an air-tired dolly, which gives you some trailer suspension, from Home Depot, and bolted a large Contico container to it.

I have the means to cut and weld, which I realise many don't, but I had to cut off the brackets that hold the wheels, and weld them back on further up the frame, then cut off the handle, drilled a hole thru the frame and installed an "eye" bolt, which spins, so if the trailer tips over, and it can, as it's somewhat top heavy and narrow, it doesn't take you with it.

The hardest part is fashioning a trailer hitch frame, which I did by bending up some 1/2" conduit with a conduit bender, and welding on an L bracket with a clevis hitch pin that the "eye" bolt drops onto, then a washer, then held together with a clevis "hitch pin", all available at the same hardware store.

My rig is a hardtail, so I wouldn't know how to do this for a bike with rear suspension, but there are ready-made trailers that fasten to the underseat post.

I have a post rack that the batteries sit on, that the hitch frame is fastened to, plus part of the hitch is bolted to the mount holes already in most bike dropouts.

I've been using this rig for three years, as I've gone car-less. It hauls enormous amounts of stuff. I've had it full of ice, drinks, and other party stuff, plus a 120 lb nephew sitting on top for a 2 mile trip, with no trouble, but I do have electric assist, although with a low geared bike, it's still easy to do, just slower.

The Contico container is very tough, and is completely waterproof, even lockable.

I think it's esential to keep the hitch point in the same plane as the wheel axles, or the weight of the trailer will try to pull you over when making turns. My design has no affect on the way the bike handles, except that there's a big lump of weight you have to haul around.

Whole project cost about $90.

Last edited by wernmax; 06-08-08 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-31-08, 01:30 PM   #4
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I've almost finished building a small flatbed trailer out of scrap wood with a 16"x36" cargo area. All I need to do at this point is add bungee points and modify my hitch point to make it stronger. And take pictures. At the moment, it's strong enough for me to stand on with no creaks. (I weigh about 220)

Total materials: About 20 feet of 1x2, (measures 3/4"x 1 1/2") about 10 feet of 1 1/2" x 1/8" aluminum stock, 10' of 3/4" conduit, two 20" wheels, 4 Simpson "T" ties, some eye-bolts, and a whole mess of 1/4" x 20 TPI bolts. Total cost so far is $80.
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Old 05-31-08, 02:05 PM   #5
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Need to find a welder in town, but I like the Re-Cycle trailer idea. I have an old, useless frame that needs new life, so it works for me.
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Old 06-01-08, 04:21 AM   #6
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I still haven't seen any trailers that aren't better than slapping some plywood down on a used kiddie trailer which do not:

1) Require welding equipment, or
2) Cost more than $100 in materials.

I really do think that there's a big market niche for the first people who come up with a bolt-together cargo trailer kit that requires you to find your own bicycle wheels and bed but is otherwise ready to use. If you could get the price point down to $50 . . .
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Old 06-01-08, 09:56 AM   #7
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I posted this some time ago for everybody to use. This trailer
is easy to build with simple hand tools, a little salvaging and
a little time. The trailer I built from these plans is now 25yrs
old and still going strong. All it cost me was $25 in tires, tubes
and bolts/conduit at the time.

You can build one too!

"For those who want a "afforable" trailer consider a DIY trailer like this one. I built this trailer
many years ago using easily salvaged material that were found or I had on hand. I use it still
today when my Worksman PAV trike can't handle the load. If you elect to follow my mods to
the original plan it will have load capaicity of 300 lbs easy.

My mods.....
Frame... from plywood to white oak salvaged from a shipping skid.
Wheels...from 27" to 20" salvaged from a discarded kids bike (carrys more).
Neck.. from plywood to white oak salvaged from a shipping skid.
Bracing for neck (for added twist strength) diagonal from front edge of frame to 6"
behind hitch of 3/4" electrical conduit. Neck dimensions can be adjusted to fit properly.
Paint...what I had on hand in oil based enamel.
Hitch.. a piece of tire side wall or other cord reinforced rubber sheeting.
Safety... seat belt for kids and bike flag for idiot drivers.

This plan is so easy to build I built mine using simple hand tools for everything except
drilling the 4 holes in the metal conduit."
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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