Introduction: Hiking Trailer From Trash
I love to walk in the rural areas, but I hate my backpack: like me, he's getting older and heavier!
So, I needed a hiking trailer. But I found out they are VERY expensive.
Forget about it. Better take a look in my garage, first.
Step 1: The Goods I Owned...
What I found:
- 2 metallic used broomsticks (one yellow, one red)
- 2 wheels from a golf bag cart
- several alluminum tubes
- rivets, screws, etc
- brown plastic fruit box
- brown zipties
- elastic baggage bands
- nylon strips (reclaimed from old school bag)
- carabiners from promotional keyrings
- black elastic band from a pair of leggings ;)
Step 2: ...and Those I Bought
For a better finishing, though, I needed to spend some change in hardware:
- 1m long, 4mm diameter, threaded rod and self-locking nuts
- 4 rubber caps
Step 3: Building the Structure
As the broomsticks had different colours, firstly I cut it in halves of the same length. Doing that prevented the problems that could arise from bending tubes. But I needed to connect the two pieces. I'll explain that in a moment.
I then measured the fruit box, and cut an alluminum tube in an adequate lenght to hold the wheels, the box and the broomsticks.
A piece of wood was inserted in the broomstick tube (for reinforcement) and a hole was made side-to-side, so the alluminum tube could be inserted. A metal screw was used to lock it in place, and a rubber cap completed the mounting.
The wheels were easy, as they possess a plastic wing screw, so it can be easily dismounted for transportation and/or cleansing.
Step 4: Connecting!
The next step was to find a way of connecting the broomstick parts, but with a small angle. For that I used two small (20 cm) pieces of alluminum tube, carefully bended by inserting two drills in it and forcing the center against a hard corner with my bare hands, in small steps, so it bendend smoothly.
But the diameters were very different. So I solved it using pieces of a dry ornamental cane I reclaimed from my wife's garden, thus forcing the pieces to be concentric. Then I drilled holes through the two tubes and used rivets to firmly secure it.
Step 5: Reinforcing
It was time to reinforce the structure. So I cutted two more pieces of alluminum tube and inserted threaded rods in them; drilled holes in the broomsticks and used the self-locking nuts to secure everything.
I can use the upper part of the sticks to store stuff, like money, but for now I just throw some spare zipties in there. Then a pair of rubber caps, and that part was finished.
Step 6: The Box
The box has two functions. It holds and protects whatever I put in it, and reinforce the structure.
But sometimes it may become necessary, for storage/transportation/other reasons, to dismount it, so I used those plastic ties. Two baggage elastic bands were added, to secure the backpack or other cargo.
Step 7: The Connection to a Belt
Now it's time to connect the sticks to my belt with carabiners. I used nylon strips reclaimed from my daughter's old school bag. A piece of the black rubber band reclaimed from my daughter's leggings was sewed in it to avoid rigidity, and a screw fixed the stuff to the broomstick, leaving enough free space for my hands, just in case i need to push or tow.
I also kept the padded strips: if needed, they will be used to reinforce the belt and transfer the load from the hips to the shoulders.
Step 8: Completed!
The trailer is now complete and ready to test outside.
It weights less than 2,5 Kg, and I've already tried it at home with a 20 Kg load: I barely felt it on my hips, and it rolled pleasantly.
I'm confident it will be strong enough for not-very-rough paths.
Next step: using another pair of wheels I own, build a second trailer for my wife, so we can both walk the Way of Saint James in style!