It's fairly lightweight, and as a neighbor put it, "looks bad as hell." (Not my line, but I agree!)
It took a few months to complete, working on and off. It was painted to match an old 10-speed that I restored for my wife, and has upholstered seats, covered wheels, and a trunk to carry lunch for the family.
This open-top design works well for the age of my child, but the techniques I used to make this could be applied to make a similar child trailer in almost any form, such as to accommodate a sleeping baby, or to included some kind of canopy, for example.
Thanks for taking a look . . . and as always, let me know what you think!
Step 1: Old Jogging Stroller
The rear wheels are attached to a flat piece of metal that is bolted to the stroller frame. This wheel assembly worked out perfectly for what I needed, as did the handlebars which were modified to use as the tow bar.
Step 2: Trailer Layout
I laid out the side profile on 1/4" plywood and cut out two matching pieces with a jigsaw. The bottom board that creates the base of the trailer is 16 1/2" wide and 30" long, and was made from 1/2" plywood.
I wanted the trailer to invoke thoughts of a classic race car. As I was drawing it out and working on the details, I was tempted to omit the curved trunk area to simplify the build, but I'm glad I didn't as I think this really makes the whole thing come together.
Step 3: Body Build
Everything was measured, cut, and custom fit as I went along, although there was quite a bit of trial and error involved. This same basic building method could be used to make any number of shapes or styles. The trick is to make sure everything is square, well-supported, and not overbuilt (so as to keep the weight down).
Step 4: Trunk Lid
I cut four individual curved pieces that matched the profile of the side of the pod with my scrollsaw, and used these to create a frame to which I attached a piece of 3/16" hardboard (like masonite). This was all held together with glue and lots of clamps.
Step 5: Tow Bar Anchors
The towing aspect of this project took a lot of work, and I studied many options before I settled on this one. I made two brackets from solid birch that were glued and screwed through the sidewall to additional support pieces made from 3/4" plywood on the inside of the pod.
Two long bolts extend through the brackets to securely fasten the tow bar.
Step 6: Hitch
The receiver end of the hitch (on the bike) is made from a piece of square tubing that was cut, drilled and shaped, before being bolted the rear axle of the bike.
A hitch pin was made with various pieces of hardware that I found around my garage. One of the main pieces of the hitch setup is a rubber grommet that fits into the eye bolt. I had to trim down the top lip of it a little bit with a utility knife so I could squeeze it into the eye, but it fits in there nice and snug. This grommet eliminates any play in the hitch, but is flexible enough to allow the trailer to pivot in all directions.
I'm curious to see how this hitch setup holds up over time. To be extra cautious I have a safety strap in place as a backup if anything happens to fail, which I cover in a later step.
Step 7: Wheels
Step 8: Trunk
A finger hole was drilled in the back of the trunk lid to open and close the trunk.
Step 9: Wheel Covers
Using power tools on non-flat surfaces is a little risky. If you ever do something like this, work slow and support the work piece as much as possible.
Step 10: Seat
A seat belt was made with 3/4" webbing and a plastic buckle. The seat bottom was screwed in place from the underside of the pod, and the seat back was screwed in place from inside the trunk area.
Step 11: Safety Strap
The holes in the webbing for the bolts were created by poking a soldering iron tip through the webbing into a hole drilled into a block of wood. Some zip ties were used to hold the webbing in place along the bar and keep it from flapping around.
Step 12: Rear Reflector
Step 13: Paint Body
I brush painted the interior brown and the trunk area black.
I wanted the exterior to be super durable, so I brush painted it with three coats of Rustoleum hunter green oil enamel. I waited for a couple of days for it to dry completely, and then sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. A final coat was applied with the spray can version of the same color. This gave it a nice, smooth finish.
Step 14: Paint Stripes
I waited 24 hours after the final green base coat before I taped for the stripes. I applied the tape-sealing coat of green, then three light coats of white spray paint, waiting about 10 minutes between each coat. I waited 20 minutes after the final coat before removing all the tape and newspaper.
Step 15: Finish Details
A few little blemishes here and there were touched up as I waited.