Cargo Trailer: Build or Buy?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Trailers' started by Bill555, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    I would kind of like to build one. But I don't really have any building skills. I've seen those DIY pages on the web.

    I don't know if I would be happy with a cheap one from ebay. Some of these would fit in my budget of 150 dollars.

    I would like it big enough to carry a regular sized cooler and a little extra room. And be able to safely carry a little over 100 lbs.

    Ideally it would have 700c wheels, but cost wise I kind of would like to use 26 inch wheels that I could find on craigslist.

    So my real question is what DIY design should I use? (for someone who doesn't have any real building skills) And if I go to the hardware store, what would I build this thing out of, that won't be unbelievably heavy?

  2. elbruceo

    elbruceo New Member

  3. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    My trailer was built using a Burley trailer base and scrap packing crate plywood and scrap aluminium and cheap $5 mistint paint from a paint shop.

    It wasn't difficult to build and you could simplify it in ways - i just like perfection so went with the rivited aluminium look, wheel arches and gas strutts for lifting the lid.

    Attached Files:

  4. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

  5. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Generally speaking, you cannot build anything as inexpensively as a Chinese factory can. If you want something special then it can make sense to DIY, but it'll rarely ever be cheaper. Sometimes you may just want to build it anyway and I understand that, but the easiest/most-effective way is to get a used child trailer somehow and convert that.

    Child trailers come up on Craigslist and Freecycle but they tend to go very quickly.

    What I've heard you can do is post a "wanted" ad on Craigslist offering a smaller amount (say $50) for a child trailer, and possibly more depending on what brands are offered you. Read up a bit first online to find the better brands, because these will have better components.
  6. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Build or buy? Well if you like challenges, and wish to spend a great deal of time running down materials, working out assembly issues, and generally wish to spend more time building then riding....choose build it. Otherwise watch Craigslist and buy one for about $50.
  7. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I've looked at craiglist in my area and found the higher load capacity ones are between 125 and 175 dollars. And technically these have a 100 lb capacity. I pack pretty heavy so I don't think this is a good idea.

    If I bought one like this

    and then just added a foot or two of cargo area to it. As it is, it only has enough room for one standard size cooler.

    The only thing I would be worried about is that it has a narrow stance. about 2 ft across, I don't have any experience with trailers, but won't it easily tip over? Especially how fast we ride.
  8. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

  9. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    mlcorson, I don't think that would fit my needs well. I need more load capacity. Price wise, I could probably swing the knock off version of that trailer.

    I need something with a lot of load capacity. I drink a LOT of beer. Everyone knows beer and cycling go good together. Actually, I'm just kidding, I try to eat healthy and stay away from fast food. When I pack a cooler for a weekend. I pack a lot of ice and bring water from home. I would guess my cooler ends up weighing 60 lbs.
  10. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    One thing that I would add is that you might not want 26" wheels.

    the clearance sounds nice but your load becomes unstable when it's that high in the air.

    I know because I tried and had to retreat.