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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The best laid plans ...

In this third instalment on self build trailers I'll be simply listing all the links I can find with some thumbnail pictures thrown in to make it look pretty. Most plans seem to be for flatbeds so you'll have to use your imagination if you want something like a box trailer or a vending trailer.
The charity Practical Action raise funds to build trailers for Nepalese villagers to carry produce to market and have more recently built bicycle towed ambulance trailers to take the sick to hospitals which are remote from the villages. The plans for the trailers and some pictures are here. Please donate to this charity. An ambulance bike & trailer costs just £150.

Inspired by the BOB Yak, Jon Marshall at designed and built this one wheeled trailer and has placed his comprehensive computer models and plans, along with photo's here. Though the skills needed to build this are beyond me. Jon says, on the website,  that he is happy to answer queries via email. is a great place to find plans and video's to help you DIY, but this boat trailer (pictured) is about the most whacky (and I  thought a canoe trailer was nut's!).
Carry Freedom who build and sell the excellent Y frame trailers pictured in my previous post also have available free plans for the "Bamboo trailer". Once again this design was originally meant to fill a need in Nepal but the remit went further, the trailer had to be buildable and repairable by locals using locally understood tools and materials. Though you could make one in PVC pipe or even aluminium tube.

Talking of Ally-Tube, is a page that does exactly what the name suggests. The site is a US one so the costings aren't really valid in the UK but it provides some good ideas for a lightweight trailer.
The International Bicycle Fund Cargo Trailer is designed for Africa and written instructions are on the site. To get the photos and plans you'll have to send a donation (suggested $5) to the IBF.

I hope you've enjoyed the penultimate part of my self-build mini-series. In the final instalment I'll be looking at connections from bikes to trailers. I'd particularly like your solutions to the vexed question of strength, stability security and light-weight . The perfect solution does not seem to exist. Your comments and emails please.

My final offering for this post is the electric push trailer, a monowheel trailer which powers your bike along at up to 30MPH or 20 miles range, though probably not both. Plans for this one are here and I've embedded the YouTube video below.

1 comment:

Joseph Dillon said...

I received this email and thought I'd publish it for the encouragement of other would be contributors. Thank-you Joseph.
Mike @ OLV.

Hello. I thought you might be interested to take a look at one of my home-made trailers which we use in our courier operations here in Norwich. There's a picture on the website here:
The metal for the body of the trailer came from discarded Royal Mail bike baskets, of all things. The rest is from scrap bike frames, mostly. One would need an angle grinder and a welder to construct such a thing, but those tools are available for about £60 in total. If you're interested I can dig out some pictures of the hitch mechanism (it's quite simple). The paint was obtained for free, at the dump/recycling centre (a good place to go if you're ever redecorating...)
All the best

--Joseph Dillon
Cycle Link
Environmentally-friendly courier and postal service