Picture of Bicycle cart from recycled camp cot
This is a bicycle cart that is built from a recycled camping cot, only requires hand tools for construction and is SUPER lightweight. I have not seen anything exactly like it on the web so I thought I would share it here.
I actually built this several years ago so I don’t have any ‘in-process’ photos, but I believe there is enough detail in the ‘as-built’ photos and narrative that you can knock this together quite easily. I had wanted to build something from old lawn furniture for some time, but couldn’t figure a good way to connect the pieces until I found that ¾” copper pipe fit perfectly inside the lightweight one inch tubing used in most aluminum furniture. My Eureka moment, so to speak.

First, the list of materials and tools:

An tubular aluminum camp cot – its important that the legs and bed frame are identical in
width and bend radius. Other aluminum furniture, such as a chaise lounge,
would work also.
Some flat aluminum – 1 1/2 to 4 inches in width – a good hardware store should have this
in their metal rack
Some one inch aluminum flat straps of lightweight thickness (easily bendable)
A length of ¾” copper pipe
10 foot length of aluminum conduit
No. 10 x 1 ½ inch bolts, nuts, washers
1/8 x ¼ inch pop rivets
A threaded rod – for the axle – diameter depends on wheel hub bearing diameter
Nuts, washers and lock washers for axle
Four U-bolts
Wheels – I got mine from Northern Tool (on web)

Pop rivet gun
Tubing cutter
Hack saw
Electric drill and various bits
hilldomain4 months ago

would a plywood base give more support to the threaded rod? it might also eliminate the need for all the cross bars- although it would add weight.

If you put the threaded rod through a piece of metal pipe in which it fits closely, it will have much more strength.
zippetydooda (author)  Yard Sale Dale2 years ago
Good idea. Thanks!
jawasan2 years ago
Very good ingenuity! I like.
johnny3h3 years ago
This is an EXCELLENT Instructable!  However, there is one point [probably not for the author who realizes this] I'd like to make [or the information/benefit of novices.  And it is important to consider this before bending the tongue/towbar.

In the introductory frame photo, the forward section of the tongue/towbar IS TOO SHORT!!!

As a result, with THIS particular combination of bicycle and the way the trailer is now attached, one can ONLY make LEFT TURNS!!!!!  IF the trailer tongue were attached on the RIGHT side of the rear wheel, then one could only make RIGHT turns!!!!!

I realize that this bike/trailer setup probably was just for making the picture, and that you probably use another bike for actual use of the trailer.  You also mention in the text the possibility of attaching the tongue to a luggage rack or other support.  As this would be above and behind the top of the rear wheel, the interference problem would not occur.

However, for the novices, IF the leading/forward section [as illustrated in the introductory photo] of the tongue/towbar were made long enough and attached slightly HIGHER on the seat poast, then full left and right turns could be made without any interference of the tongue with the rear wheel.

Again, this is an excellent instructable, which exhibits great ingenuity in the design and planning of the structure, the execution of the assembly, and excellent photodocumentation of the assembly process.
zippetydooda (author)  johnny3h3 years ago
Thanks and good comment. You are absolutely correct. I had the cart set up to hook to another bike that had a rear rack and I just hooked to that with a carbiner. There are lots better hitch arrangements that would work with this cart but as you can tell I'm into easy, simple and CHEAP!!!
BillBiker4 years ago
Very cool! You know you could possibly use the "Attach a triler hitch to a Pannier Rack" instructable and curve the tow bar a little to accommodate it? Just an idea, I still like this very much!