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Where can I find trailer plans?

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Where can I find trailer plans?

Old 02-05-18, 08:28 PM
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Where can I find trailer plans?

In which forum is it best to ask for plans to build a trailer?
The one I want would be a simple rugged design.
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Old 02-05-18, 09:57 PM
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Utility cycling or commuting? I have seen some trailer discussion in other forums as well, including general, but utility, Commuting, and Touring would be your best bets.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:06 PM
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Or here under LCF.

I'm not sure you really need plans... plenty of trailers on the internet to get some ideas, then throw together something that works for your needs.

What are your building skills? Materials?

What weight range are you considering? Style? What to carry?

For general cycling, it is hard to beat the small kid's trailers and small cargo trailers.

Personally I prefer to support axles on both sides, but single sided wheels are also popular, and becoming more common with the kid's trailers.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:30 PM
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First off I won't have much of a budget.
It would be a cargo trailer.
No sides only a back and bottom.
I would use a tarp in case of rain.

I am pretty good with my hands.
My preferred building material is wood but
I used to bend electrical conduit.
If I can find a pipe bender pipe is fairly inexpensive.

To me the hardest parts to build would be
the wheel brackets and the bike attachment.

If I knew how to post pictures here
I could show you one that suits me perfectly,
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Old 02-05-18, 10:50 PM
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For internet photos, simply click on the photo icon, and paste in the link.

Or type it in manually, with [IMG] Photo Link [/IMG]

For photos from your hard drive, go to the "Advanced" editor, and click on the paper clip . The upload should be pretty straight forward.

It dumps the photo at the end of the post. It can be moved, but it isn't necessary.
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Old 02-05-18, 11:06 PM
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I have come to like some kind of fender guard between the tires and the load. Just so the load doesn't slip or fall into the wheels.

For wheel mounts, on my trailer, I took a piece of aluminum channel iron, cut it in half lengthwise to make a piece of heavy duty angle iron, and then milled slots and flat spots into the middle of it. Then welded to the bottom of the trailer frame. But, it did take tools not always available in a home shop. However, one could make the slots using a hacksaw and file, and bolt or pop rivet together. The flat milling is only needed due to the curved nature of my channel iron. I think the commercial trailers like the old Burley trailers use something similar, but for a round tubular frame, the brackets are curved. A flat/square frame could use similar brackets.

A trailer hitch is an issue that different people have found different solutions for as you need twisting and rotation.

For my heavy trailer, I designed a direct tow behind hitch, and used a 3/4" bolt ground to a peg, and a heme joint. But, it suffers a little due to not being able to twist a full 90 degrees (laying bike down), but the heme joint is loose enough where it bolts to the trailer that it hasn't been a problem.

Bike Friday uses a 1/4" air hose coupling for the connection to the bike, and rotation, and I believe air hose or something similar to give flex to the joint.

A lot of cheaper trailers use a spring as part of the coupling to give flex and torsion, but I find it is only good for light loads, and heavy loads tend to surge.

If you don't have welding access, you may choose to buy a commercial hitch.
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Old 02-06-18, 01:41 AM
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There have been several excellent threads about building trailers on this LCF forum. Scroll through the index to find them. (Of course you'll continue to get some more good answers right here on this thread!)
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Old 02-06-18, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
First off I won't have much of a budget.
It would be a cargo trailer.
No sides only a back and bottom.
I would use a tarp in case of rain.

I am pretty good with my hands.
My preferred building material is wood but
I used to bend electrical conduit.
If I can find a pipe bender pipe is fairly inexpensive.

To me the hardest parts to build would be
the wheel brackets and the bike attachment.

If I knew how to post pictures here
I could show you one that suits me perfectly,
I lack the skill to fabricate the metal parts. I bought a fairly inexpensive Origami trailer intended to carry a Bike-Friday-type suitcase, and adapted it with a simple plywood platform to make it also a dog trailer. Presumably you want something a bit more heavy duty, but maybe this will give you some ideas. I gave the plywood a couple of coats of marine spar varnish, but I don't expect it to last for years.

Posting pictures is pretty easy. As you are typing a post click on "Go Advanced" and "manage attachments" below the text window and browse and upload what you want from your computer. For pictures on the internet, right click on the picture and select 'properties', then cut and paste the URL into your post. Alternatively you could select "save picture as', save it to your computer, and upload as described. (Oops - already covered by others).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
trailing.jpg (49.0 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg
origami%20overunder.jpg (99.2 KB, 76 views)

Last edited by cooker; 02-06-18 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 02-06-18, 08:34 AM
  #9  
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http://https://rambobikes.com/wp-con...ike-cart-2.jpg
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
For internet photos, simply click on the photo icon, and paste in the link.

Or type it in manually, with [IMG] Photo Link [/IMG]

For photos from your hard drive, go to the "Advanced" editor, and click on the paper clip . The upload should be pretty straight forward.

It dumps the photo at the end of the post. It can be moved, but it isn't necessary.
Thanks brother biker.
I run an inexpensive tablet and so may not see all you describe but
knowing it is theoretically possible gives me hope.
The trailer I want is basic so I can suit it to various needs.
From off trail duty to a large load of groceries.

Aha I got it thanks to you.
That at least works on Net pictures.

As you can see this trailer is designed to attach to a rear rack.
I don't care how it attaches as long as it is solid.


Last edited by PdalPowr; 02-06-18 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 02-06-18, 12:18 PM
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I have been dealing with big lumber lately and I've decided it is better to carry it than transport by bike because of the stress on the brakes and drivetrain. I've been thinking of getting some 'swivel caster' wheels that pivot and attaching them to a short piece of 2x6, but I'm not sure what I would do going up and down hills except maybe chock the tires every few feet to keep them from accelerating too much.

If I was trying to build a tiny house/cottage CF, I would walk to get lumber a piece or two at a time and walk them to my lot. In the mean time, I would live in a tent. Good luck, btw, finding a lot where you can live in a tent while constructing a tiny house/cottage small enough to carry all the materials CF by hand in a reasonable span of weeks/months.
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Old 02-06-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have been dealing with big lumber lately and I've decided it is better to carry it than transport by bike because of the stress on the brakes and drivetrain. I've been thinking of getting some 'swivel caster' wheels that pivot and attaching them to a short piece of 2x6, but I'm not sure what I would do going up and down hills except maybe chock the tires every few feet to keep them from accelerating too much.

If I was trying to build a tiny house/cottage CF, I would walk to get lumber a piece or two at a time and walk them to my lot. In the mean time, I would live in a tent. Good luck, btw, finding a lot where you can live in a tent while constructing a tiny house/cottage small enough to carry all the materials CF by hand in a reasonable span of weeks/months.
Thanks for all the interesting perspectives and advice.
I will wait for a few more responses before deciding what to do.
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Old 02-06-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I lack the skill to fabricate the metal parts. I bought a fairly inexpensive Origami trailer intended to carry a Bike-Friday-type suitcase, and adapted it with a simple plywood platform to make it also a dog trailer. Presumably you want something a bit more heavy duty, but maybe this will give you some ideas. I gave the plywood a couple of coats of marine spar varnish, but I don't expect it to last for years.

Posting pictures is pretty easy. As you are typing a post click on "Go Advanced" and "manage attachments" below the text window and browse and upload what you want from your computer. For pictures on the internet, right click on the picture and select 'properties', then cut and paste the URL into your post. Alternatively you could select "save picture as', save it to your computer, and upload as described. (Oops - already covered by others).
Nice little trailer.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how long the plywood lasts if you give it another coat of marine varnish now and then. My trailer will carry light loads of twenty pounds usually but may have to carry two hundred pounds on a very rare occasion.
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Old 02-06-18, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have been dealing with big lumber lately and I've decided it is better to carry it than transport by bike because of the stress on the brakes and drivetrain. I've been thinking of getting some 'swivel caster' wheels that pivot and attaching them to a short piece of 2x6, but I'm not sure what I would do going up and down hills except maybe chock the tires every few feet to keep them from accelerating too much.

If I was trying to build a tiny house/cottage CF, I would walk to get lumber a piece or two at a time and walk them to my lot. In the mean time, I would live in a tent. Good luck, btw, finding a lot where you can live in a tent while constructing a tiny house/cottage small enough to carry all the materials CF by hand in a reasonable span of weeks/months.
Hmmm... For me, it is about 8 miles to the nearest lumber supply store, and 10 or so miles to the closest used building supply store. 16 or so miles to the other second hand building supply store (one-way).

Carrying stuff one piece at a time could get old very quickly.

That said, my last cargo run, I was passed by a couple of joggers, so one could potentially push a cart as fast as pulling a HEAVY trailer. Although, perhaps not. A brisk walking pace would still be 2 or 3 MPH, and one might easily drop down to 1 MPH walking.

I've tied long stuff flat on my bike trailer (with a flag, of course), and it works reasonably well. I had thought about building a bunk system for carrying metal. Use something like a golf caddy on the rear, and a bunk with a Lazy Susan on front. Just tie the load to the caddy in the rear, and the Lazy Susan in front, with the load providing the connection between the two.

Here's the Milling Table that came home at 400 to 500 pounds


The head came with a second load (well, the first load), in a regular Burley Trailer. Actually, the milling head was pushing the capacity of the Burley, and I think tore a hole in the bottom fabric that will need to be repaired before it goes out again.



And one of my longest loads. I've also, on occasion carried ladders.



The big trailer is welded aluminum. The bike, of course, is welded steel. I had intended to add a second layer to the trailer to keep stuff away from the wheels, but never quite got that part finished before pressing the trailer into use. I don't really know the weight limit on the trailer, but I peg my limit at about 500 lbs, considering that I have a couple of hills to go over on my way home. I'll try to increase that weight limit some this year, perhaps up to 1000 lbs or so.

As far as drivetrain wear... that is all part of LCF. I assume some things cause more wear than ordinary riding. However, it may not be as simple of equation, because a rider is limited to say 100W to 200W of continuous power. So 200W loaded vs 200W unloaded may well give the same wear on the bike, even with stopping.

I've posted a few close-ups in the past, but I can provide any close-up photos you need, given a few days.

Last edited by CliffordK; 02-06-18 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 02-06-18, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hmmm... For me, it is about 8 miles to the nearest lumber supply store, and 10 or so miles to the closest used building supply store. 16 or so miles to the other second hand building supply store (one-way).

Carrying stuff one piece at a time could get old very quickly.

That said, my last cargo run, I was passed by a couple of joggers, so one could potentially push a cart as fast as pulling a HEAVY trailer. Although, perhaps not. A brisk walking pace would still be 2 or 3 MPH, and one might easily drop down to 1 MPH walking.

I've tied long stuff flat on my bike trailer (with a flag, of course), and it works reasonably well. I had thought about building a bunk system for carrying metal. Use something like a golf caddy on the rear, and a bunk with a Lazy Susan on front. Just tie the load to the caddy in the rear, and the Lazy Susan in front, with the load providing the connection between the two.

Here's the Milling Table that came home at 400 to 500 pounds


The head came with a second load (well, the first load), in a regular Burley Trailer. Actually, the milling head was pushing the capacity of the Burley, and I think tore a hole in the bottom fabric that will need to be repaired before it goes out again.



And one of my longest loads. I've also, on occasion carried ladders.



The big trailer is welded aluminum. The bike, of course, is welded steel. I had intended to add a second layer to the trailer to keep stuff away from the wheels, but never quite got that part finished before pressing the trailer into use. I don't really know the weight limit on the trailer, but I peg my limit at about 500 lbs, considering that I have a couple of hills to go over on my way home. I'll try to increase that weight limit some this year, perhaps up to 1000 lbs or so.

As far as drivetrain wear... that is all part of LCF. I assume some things cause more wear than ordinary riding. However, it may not be as simple of equation, because a rider is limited to say 100W to 200W of continuous power. So 200W loaded vs 200W unloaded may well give the same wear on the bike, even with stopping.

I've posted a few close-ups in the past, but I can provide any close-up photos you need, given a few days.
That trailer is certainly heavy duty.Is that milling table anything like a planer?
I have a building supply store a two minute crawl from my home.
They are expensive so I only buy what is needed.
But it sure is nice having them right there.

I have tied long heavy loads of lumber onto the seat and handlebars of my bicycle.
This to not have to use my car. I walked that lumber close to a mile when
a guy zipped right through a stop sign. I had to drop the bike and run for cover.
I opened the car door so the driver and I could talk face to face.
He seemed to think everything was O.K. because he was my neighbor.

That is another reason I want to move to the country.
Stores may be very far for a bicycle but at least there are less neighbors.
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Old 02-06-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
That is another reason I want to move to the country.
Stores may be very far for a bicycle but at least there are less neighbors.
Fewer neighbors, but bigger pickups in the "country".

At least half of my miles are in the city, as that is where most of the stores are, and cheaper prices. But, I guess it depends on how far out one wishes to go.
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Old 02-06-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Fewer neighbors, but bigger pickups in the "country".

At least half of my miles are in the city, as that is where most of the stores are, and cheaper prices. But, I guess it depends on how far out one wishes to go.
That is it my biker friend.
But the trade off is worth it.
For the last eight years I lived eight months of the year in the country.
I am trying hard to pull the trigger and make that permanent.
It will be me,my bikes,my dog and hopefully a good looking woman.
Not necessarily in order of importance.
My bikes get almighty jealous.

Edited to add

I saw a guy outside a donut shop
that had what looked like a bike trailer
made from an eight foot aluminum ladder.
He wouldn't let me take pictures for some reason.
He was either on the run or slightly psychotic.
Too bad it was a neat trailer.

Last edited by PdalPowr; 02-06-18 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:10 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
I saw a guy outside a donut shop
that had what looked like a bike trailer
made from an eight foot aluminum ladder.
He wouldn't let me take pictures for some reason.
He was either on the run or slightly psychotic.
Too bad it was a neat trailer.
I've seen a few unique trailers on the road. Some use wheelchair wheels (potentially cheap, and indestructible tires). Some of the trailers look a little better built than others.

I found a golf caddy that will eventually get turned into a trailer. I've been hunting for solid rubber tires, and this one has them, and seems to be fairly sturdily made too.

For winter riding, I've been looking for a Pelican style case that is light and cheap. I think I'll eventually make a Bike Friday (Origami) style trailer with an extra large suitcase which should be fairly weatherproof. However, I snagged a cheaper hinged plastic case that fits perfectly inside of my Kid trailer, so it is working for now for the dry stuff.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I've seen a few unique trailers on the road. Some use wheelchair wheels (potentially cheap, and indestructible tires). Some of the trailers look a little better built than others.

I found a golf caddy that will eventually get turned into a trailer. I've been hunting for solid rubber tires, and this one has them, and seems to be fairly sturdily made too.

For winter riding, I've been looking for a Pelican style case that is light and cheap. I think I'll eventually make a Bike Friday (Origami) style trailer with an extra large suitcase which should be fairly weatherproof. However, I snagged a cheaper hinged plastic case that fits perfectly inside of my Kid trailer, so it is working for now for the dry stuff.
Pelican style and cheap may be hard to find but a good idea for a build.
The real pelicans are supposed to be so waterproof if your plane crashes
into the ocean you could float to shore on the Pelican.

You sound resourceful and innovative and
must get true satisfaction from your builds.

Right now I am trying to figure out what is easiest on the bike.
A trailer attached to the rear rack or on the rear axle.
I weight two hundred and seventy five pounds and
have already had to upgrade the rear wheel because of it.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
Right now I am trying to figure out what is easiest on the bike.
A trailer attached to the rear rack or on the rear axle.
I weight two hundred and seventy five pounds and
have already had to upgrade the rear wheel because of it.
In a sense, everything on your bike connects through the rear axle. Your chain pulls at the rear axle. Rear dropouts support the weight at the rear axle. Even your rack connects near the rear axle.

So, connecting close to the rear axle isn't a bad thing.

I don't like the idea of pulling excess weight on the QR skewer, but it shouldn't bother a bolt-on axle, at least for moderate loads.

Center connected loads may be a good idea, but the off-center axle connections don't seem to be a bad thing either.

Our local bike co-op prefers seatpost connections.


It has a few good things. First of all, one can naturally install handles for easily moving the trailer around. Second, they add a peg in front of the trailer to rest the trailer on when parked. I don't know why it doesn't rub on the ground... maybe it does on bumps.
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Old 02-07-18, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
So 200W loaded vs 200W unloaded may well give the same wear on the bike, even with stopping.
On flat ground, rolling resistance is the only friction if you're going constant speed. That all changes when you go up and down inclines. I would also worry about bumps. I don't trust tires, spokes, axles, bearings, joints, etc. to deal well with all that force. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

Interesting trailer pics, though, btw. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-07-18, 05:27 PM
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You have given me a lot to think about.
The seat post already carries two hundred and seventy five pounds but
does seem like a logical choice. I also happen to have a clamp that
would serve very well as the trailer attachment/hitch.
I also do have a bolt on rear axle.
Ah the agony of choice.
For the now I will succumb to it.
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Old 02-07-18, 05:33 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I don't like the idea of pulling excess weight on the QR skewer, but it shouldn't bother a bolt-on axle, at least for moderate loads.
Good point - the Origami trailer comes with a rear axle attachment and I have a quick release skewer so in a sense I am attached to that. However in my case it's a very light load compared to hauling lumber etc. Also there's a lot of horizontal compression applied by the screw on cap against the drops and cones so the trailer load is carried in part by the trailer mount being tightly sandwiched between flat metal pieces, not just being looped over the hollow axle.

Still, I'll take another look and see if it looks vulnerable to damage. At least my bike has a separate eyelet for fenders and rack so they're not right on the axle too.

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Old 02-09-18, 03:37 PM
  #23  
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there is a bike trailer group on facebook, too
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Old 02-11-18, 04:15 PM
  #24  
PdalPowr
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I do like the idea of a ladder section as the base for a trailer.
They are already designed to withstand a certain amount of abuse.
I do have a short ladder but the uprights are not parallel.
I imagine my L.B.S. would eventually have a couple of smaller wheels hanging around.
The rest will come with time.

Right now I am installing two schwalbé supremes on my hybrid.
After that it gets a tune-up,cleaning and greasing against the Spring rains soon to come.
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Old 05-03-18, 01:34 AM
  #25  
tonyantoniou
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Check out the web. You will find a lot of designs free which will suits best for your needs.
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