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I want to build a BIG bike trailer.  RSS feed

 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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While watching Pauls' Portable RMHeater video I was inspired by the awesome bike trailers used. Has anyone here built one? Can someone put me in touch with someone who has? I can weld and fabricate, but I don't want to make a 'gen 1' trailer, preferring to hear what builders have learned works and what they would do differently next time.

My immediate need is to transport a load of up to 1000# of green waste from two weekly local farmer' markets. Terrain is totally flat. I use the green waste to feed the animals at my urban ranch. I currently use my truck and trailer but would rather ride.

Thanks for the help!
 
Clifford Gallington
Posts: 94
Location: Kansas
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Here is a trailer that I put together for my wife out of a kid hauler and a plastic tub used to mix cement from home depot.
I have not seen the video you are talking about but I am guessing it is a lot heavier duty than this trailer is, we have hauled about 75 pounds in it with no issues at all.
I do have plans to make a trailer for my bike out of a two wheeled garden cart that has heavy bicycle wheels and tires on it. I have not gotten around to doing it, have most of the parts together but just been busy doing other silly things.
I anticipate it will be capable of handling 250 pounds when I am done with it.
IMG_0255.JPG
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trailer hitch I fabed up for the bike
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the trailer side hitch I fabed up
 
greg patrick
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Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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Sweet trailer. I especially like the way you hitch it to your beefy rack.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3381
Location: woodland, washington
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for over 1000 pounds, think high spoke count. 48-spoke wheels aren't uncommon on tandems and cargo bikes.

hauling that much, you'll also probably want to consider brakes for the trailer, as I imagine a load that big would have a lot more mass than you and your bike.

you might have a look at this fellow's website for some inspiration or possibly consulting. when I lived in Seattle, he was responsible for several all bicycle moves that I witnessed. that is, a caravan of sofas, mattresses, desks, et cetera all being pulled by bikes.
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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Great info. That's exactly the kind of trailer I want, or perhaps even bigger.
 
Clifford Gallington
Posts: 94
Location: Kansas
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The Swiss Army Bike Trailer has a very good design, especially the hitch to the bike.
It can double as a hand cart when not attached to the bike.
It uses a ball type hitch similar to one on a vehicle.
Swiss Army Bike pictures
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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That kind of weight is beyond the limits of most bike tires, shoot that is pushing it for many motorcycle tires. You need to choose wheels and tires carefully.

Inertia is a problem, I would definitely want brakes on the trailer and possibly e hubs for uphill assist.

The other problem is weight distribution. The swiss style hitch puts the weight on the bike just like a rider--fairly balanced front and rear--but if one of the trailer tires hits a hole or bump it transmits a HUGE side load to the bike and makes you go splat (and then get run over by a half-ton trailer).

Many of the single sided hub mounts put all the weight on the rear only and minimal side loads (or you don't notice until the rear steps out completely) but stress the rear triangle on that side rather severely.

 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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All good points to consider. Brakes are a must but I'll go with V-brakes to save weight, cost and engineering. I'm looking at a three or four wheel configuration, which puts less load on each wheel and on the bike. As far as hill assist, I want to make it so my cart goat team can pull it alone, or with me pulling with them. Two goats and a bike should be able to handle 500-1000# easily over flat terrain.

I've pulled my kayak and all the gear behind my bike several times over rolling terrain twenty miles at 12mph with no problems, so I don't see pulling this rig six miles over completely flat terrain being a big problem. Thanks for the help and keep the ideas coming!
 
Jeremiah wales
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Greg, I have a two wheel trailer that is 30" wide and 6'6" long. but I do not want to haul more than 100 lbs on my trailer.
If you want to haul 1000 lbs of green material. What is the Cubic feet of that 1000 lbs of material. Seems like it would be at very least 8ft by 4 ft. and very high pile. Do you plan on one load , one trip with this weight? I dont see how it can be done.
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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I posted a tutorial over on FarmHack on how to build BIG (or small) bike trailers.

Heavy duty capacity, QUALITY-built, for under $20.

http://www.farmhack.net/tools/diy-farmbike-trailer
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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OK, here are some pics of what I want. The load will be the equivalent of four to six trash cans full of miscellaneous green waste. The weight will usually be around 500# but I want the trailer able to handle more. This will also be used as a goat cart pulled by two goats, possibly while I am also pulling with my bike. Also, I raced bikes for many many years so while I may go slow, I'll eventually get there.





 
Carl Knox
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Referring to the first picture of a three wheel trailer in the above post, why not put a seat and rider up front where the blue bucket is and make it a flatbed utility trike?
 
Jeremiah wales
Posts: 137
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Cracky McZap wrote:Referring to the first picture of a three wheel trailer in the above post, why not put a seat and rider up front where the blue bucket is and make it a flatbed utility trike?


That changes the purpose. This person wants to build a Big Heavy Duty trailer. Your idea would just make a trike. Load request was 500 lbs. Well put a 200lb person on there and add seat, add running gear. You limit your payload.
To change that trailer into a trike, you might as well start all over. you have to get pedals, chain, rear end. etc. Heck If you want a trike just buy one and add on to the back of it for a flatbed.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Greg Patrick : I don't know If you are familiar with Instructables.Com I expect there is at least a weeks worth of good plans, well laid, out one step at a time, with
pictures ! If you gain something from your search, you might share your result here were it is mostly unrecognized ! Try Instructables.com/Bike trailer it should get
you close !
For the good of the Craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! Your comments/questions solicited and welcome ! Big AL
 
Josh Berry
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Interesting I have been considering building a trailer for the exact same purpose. What I have come up with so far (in my brain) is a "trike" with a centre mounted hitch (in preference to cargo type basket at the rear) designed for carry 40/50% load then the rear trailer axel to support the other 50/60% of the load. I have carried some large loads behind bikes and would agree with the idea that if you tried to carry 400kg (1000lbs) behind a two wheel bike the inertia could simple push or pull you over if a large bump was encountered. I have visions of caring up to 5x 240ltr Sulo 240Ltr bins. With the above design I've been informed that for a well made 20/24" wheel it should carry 100kg each wheel. This broken down equates to 100kg for me an bike. 400kg for load. Will keep posted.
 
Jeremiah wales
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Great you want a big trailer that can haul a lot of stuff. Yes it is possible. But......... lets say you load it up with 500 lbs of stuff. How are you going to pull it. I can pull one of those for a block or so. But then its time to wake up. I have a trailer that entire trailer and load is 120 lbs. That is the maximum that I want to haul for several miles. I like to haul stuff in my trailer. But it can not weigh more than me and the bike that I am pulling it with.
Just my ideas and uses. We are talking a bike here..
 
Jeremiah wales
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New question..........
Where is the best place to put your hitch? Where does it distribute the weight best. Center of gravity. turning radius.
Seatpost?
On rear axle?
Behind rear axle?
high up above the rear wheel on a rack?
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
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- I don't know why I haven't shared a link to Atomiczombie.com - link below :

http://www.atomiczombie.com/DIY%20Plans.aspx

If you are into bicycles at all check out their tutorials

Also a link to :

http://www.instructables.com

Lots of bike and trailer plans

For the Craft! Big AL
 
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