should I build a pedicab trailer ???

Discussion in 'Bicycle Trailers' started by azbill, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    I am pulling my 2 granddaughters (3.5yrs + 5.5yrs) in a common 2 seater childrens trailer
    I have been pulling them in one for 4+ years...3 with an engine (well over 6000 miles)
    now they are getting bigger and I need suggestions or ideas on how to upsize their ride
    I take both to school mon-fri and return home with youngest (I live with them and babysit while mom n dad are working)
    should I think of a train type deal (2 trailers in tandem)?
    or maybe a scaled down pedicab ?

    any links to designs would be cool as i can pick stuff that'll work for my needs :)

    thanks for any help guys :):):)

  2. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    I'm not sure a tandem deal might be the way to go, as there's a weight penalty to be paid with two trailers. In my opinion, the pedicab idea has more merit, and would be the way I'd go. Here's another thought, though it might incur the same kind of weight penalty as a tandem trailer arrangement, but how about a building a sidecar for one child, while towing the trailer with the other riding in it?
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    You get to ride your grandkids to school everyday?

    Man, some guys have all the luck.

    When my girls outgrew my trailer I cut out all the fabric covering and the sling seats, etc. Stipped it right down to the frame. Laid some boards across the bottom to make a floor. (This is my cargo trailer today, by the way) For a new seat I used one of those fold up, fabric arm chairs for camping that you can get at Wal-mart for about 10 bucks.
    fastened it to the floor and used bungee cords to fasten the girls to the seat.

    It gets you a bit more room for growing children. They'll outgrow that, of course, but you might get another year out of it. And then you'll have a fine cargo trailer.
  4. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Maybe you could build a trailer for them. Build it to hold two adults, so the kids will fit easily. I'm sure with some utility wheels, metal frame, chairs, and more, you can have a nice trailer.
  5. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    I also recycled My kid-trailer, when the fabric gave out.

    pedi trailer.jpg pidi t.jpg <-----pics from CL

    this gallery page at shows some vague pedicab trailer pics

    Here's a fun link I found while googling. ;)

    I haven't found any plans..yet.

    I bet SimpleSimon could sketch up something cool for ya!

    RATRODER Guest

  7. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    thanks for the ideas guys :)

    copied a bunch of pics from organic engines...thanks dave :)

    nice plans from smallcarplans...thanks louis :)

    my first trailer is already my cargo hauler ( 4 5gallon jugs of water...that's 200 lbs !!!)

    they still fit this one...just with heavy coats it gets a little crowded...tryin to think ahead a little :)

    I am just grabbing all the pics I can, so I can take what works and mix 'em up into my own design
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  8. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    The parade trailer plans from small car plans are really about as good as the average craftsman can reasonably expect to get. Keep in mind, that trailer is itself fairly heavy for the size, being built with solid plywood panels.

    It would be pretty simple to sketch up something similar that would be substantially lighter, using web strapping for the seat bottoms and the backs (like a lawn chair uses), in either wood or steel EMT tubing, whichever would be preferred. If you have access to a welder or brazing equipment, EMT is the way to go. Obviously the hitch arrangement has to be different due to the vehicle pulling it. For that matter, building it with a folding tonneau top that drops behind the seat would be easy enough.

    Build it with 32 inches seat width, and it will accomodate two people quite readily. It will not, however, then fit through most standard doors. Better to aim for a finished width, wheels and all, of 30 inches max, seat height of 13 inches so that the CoG is at axle height.. Of course, you then run into limitations on seat width and wheel well width, but for use on paved roads and sidewalks 26 x 1.50 wheels are adequate.. So, you end up with an effective seat width in the neighborhood of 13 inches - shoulder width being greater, as one can put an outboard armrest above the wheels on each side.

    I'd be glad to draw such up, and run the calcs to insure material strengths are more than sufficient, if you'd like. I put up a sketch and explanation of a simple EMT tubing bender device I've used in the past a while back - if you can arc your tubes that actually strengthens the frame, done correctly. Steel is strongest in tension, and resists compression very well - a tube arced in such a way that the principal load is a tension load to the outside of the arc and a compressive load to the inside is substantially stronger than an identical sized straight tube side loaded.

    Let me know.
  9. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    sling seats ?

    thanks for the info SS :)
    if you wanna throw some sketches my way, any ideas are welcome
    visuals especially :cool2:
    I am having the hardest time thinking of the hitch...I want it low and off the back, not a seat post type...needs to be tiltable(for cornering), but no play like a pintle-type hitch

    all ideas welcome, I like brainstorming like this :idea::sweatdrop::idea:

    I was thinking some thing like this for seating...with seatbelts
    I like the canopy on the second...I live outside Phoenix (desert, 120+ in summer)

    Attached Files:

  10. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    Yes. That would be really cool. Has anyone done a motorized pedicab before??
  11. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    wouldn't be much different than a trike
    I want it as a trailer so I can do my solo thing now n then

    3 + 5 yr olds can try your sanity...I need my solo rides :):):)
  12. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    That recumbent pedicab is interesting. Gotta wonder how well it corners, though - steering is lean steer only, no pivot on that front wheel. The topper on that second one is as simple as it gets - bet it hasn't got a back panel - if it does it will act like a huge air brake - ouch.

    What type bike do you typically tow with, Bill? If it is a 26" upright, and you want a low hitch, then the rear frame off a donor bike from the seat tube back with the dropouts spread to fit outboard of your bikes with quick releases each side (on the axle stubs), and a self centering arched frame to the seat tube set up so it can pivot somewhat would be good. Wheel size of the trailer impacts everything else in the design - keep in mind that the pedicab trailer will want to act like the rear end of a delta trike in corners - inside wheel lift, tire scrub and all. Since a powered bike as tow vehicle can attain more speed than can most riders pedalling, smaller wheels on the pedicab means a lower CoG for it, and extreme care is a requirement.

    If getting the trailer indoors is not a concern, I'd go with a 3 foot finished width, and 26" wheels, with the seat height at 10-12 inches above ground. Thats enough width for two 15 inch bottoms, max.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  13. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    The Sensible Utility Vehicle, A.K.A the SUV.

    SUV.jpg SUVnaked.jpg See where it swivels, right behind the seat....

    IMO, for a trailer, I'd rather stay with 20" or even 16" wheels, just for overall wheel strength.
  14. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    thanks guys...
    I am thinking 20" wheels for the low COG
    am just gonna be pulling the most 200 lbs counting any cargo as well
  15. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    One two-seater trailer, up!

    Here you go. In the interests of ease of construction, as designed this is all 3/4 inch thin wall rectangular tubing. Seat width is 30 inches, seat height 16 inches, with the footrest frame at 4 inches. Wheel space is 2.25 inches wide, sized for 20 inch wheels. As pictured, the back rest is a seperate frame designed to hinge from the seat (just use a pair of ordinary door hinges) and to be adjustable for angle. I've drawn in a stop that allows the seat back frame to go all the way flat - which would give you a 30" x 36"L flatbed trailer.

    Make your seat cushions removable with snap buttons (any sewing shop has them) I'd use aluminum diamond plate on the footrest portion, and 1/2" AB marine plywood on the seat and back. Put an arm rest across the top od the wheel frame and down its front as a "fender", and use 1/8 or 1/4 plywood to make side panels to keep little hands out of spokes.

    Hitch not drawn, as I am uncertain of just what you want there.

    If you want a measured drawing, or a sketchup .skp file of this - even other views, let me know.

    Attached Files:

  16. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    very cool design :) tyvm !!!

    more detail is a generous offer :):):)

    I am not very good with sketchup...but I can look at any file you wanna send

    that is very close to what i was picturing...already seeing some marine-grade shade material/screening canopy for sunprotection
  17. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    It's a pleasure for me. Right now I can't afford to build anything, but I definitely know how, and I'm more than happy to help. As far as a canopy goes, have you ever looked at the legs on a folding table? Same principals applied to a canopy can give you one that can fold back against itself, then fold in half height-wise, and stow behind/under the seat. Like a retractable boat canopy, really.
  18. junkyard

    junkyard New Member

    for the bike hitch imagine bmx forks without the neck only twice as long that bolt onto the chainstays with u-bolts with a universal joint of sorts where the neck was going to the trailer....maybe 2 more tubes going up to the seatstays about mid way

    would be stable and give you free motion to turn and tilt

    if you have horizontal dropouts it would need to be removable so you could still remove the wheel but with reverse dropouts you might be able to weld it to the frame
  19. Accender

    Accender Member

    The plans look great.
    However I would never put such precious cargo on the road at 3' tall with no STEEL
    to suround them. I sudgest a Chevy Tahoe until they are 100 lbs or more.
    Those little gems are just to awsome to risk any mishaps.

    Just my two cents

    carry on

  20. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Risk avoidance today, responsibility avoidance tomorrow.

    No thanks. Life is entirely risk, from conception on.