PVC Bike Trailer

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Introduction: PVC Bike Trailer

This is fashioned after the bamboo bike trailer, with the addition of a seatpost mount and PVC instead of bamboo. I used the instruction for the wheel mounts, something I need to modify in the future to accomodate heavier loads to relieve axel flex. The PVC is 1" and the trailer bed is 12" wire shelving left over from a home remodel. The wheels are 20" front wheels with bolt-on axel. These are about $24 a piece unless you run a bike shop..hint,hint. The seatpost mount is made by TRAIL-GATOR.com and sells for around $15. My total investment was around $60 for this brand new trailer.
I left the bed flat to acccomodate various uses. We have mounted our dog crate, two plastic crates for groceries, and an athletic bag so far. Maximum load weight tested so far around 50 lbs. The trailer itself is very lightweight.

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    Wondering what is included in the PDF instructions for premium members that isn't on this page? Does it include more detailed instructions like a cut sheet for pipe lengths and etc? Wanting to make for/with my 6 year old son.

    Hello, I'm not sure what you mean by 'premium' members? Unless you are just browsing and haven't joined the site? It's easy (and free!) to do. Then you will be able to see the step-by-step process. I don't have specific lengths for the pipes listed, that allows you to make the trailer to fit your size needs. One CAUTION, you said make it "for / with my 6 yr old son". When you read my full build process, please note that I only did minimal testing, and don't see this fit for human transport. I hauled groceries and my small 20 lb dog in his crate. The wheel assembly is the weak point, and I would NOT haul my child on this trailer.

    Thanks for replying! I did join the site and when I clicked the "PDF Download" button on the top, left below where it says "PVC Bike Trailer by Oddjobs in bikes it wants me to join the premium part of the site... see screen shot. Maybe it's just a PDF of what you posted with no additional instructions, but that is what I wanted to find out.

    Also this in not for my son to ride on, but for him to pull with his bike or kids four wheeler. He's obsessed with trailers!

    I am trying to work out the pivoting ball joint setup uscjones talks about before we buy one of the bike seat post mounts. The link to the seat mount he mentions doesn't seem to go to the right item anymore. Any additional information is welcomed. Thx

    oddjob.JPG

    updated link for the bamboo trailer, http://www.carryfreedom.com/project/12-the-bamboo-trailer/

    Thanks, gave me great ideas...another couple ideas.....I'll attempt a build with these improvements and post mine here when I'm finished.

    To simplify the seat post mount....maybe try going to McMaster Carr (or might be available at some hardware stores) and getting a properly-sized ball joint rod end (http://www.mcmaster.com/#rod-ends/=vn1053), bolt that with some washers through a threaded PVC end cap, and then using one of these: https://www.biketrailershop.com/burley-travoy-hit... ...this way you also get the 3 degrees of rotational freedom generally required by two-wheel trailers, improving your handling characteristics while riding. The towbar you linked to is meant to constrain the rotation of the tow vehicle in roll, so you lose the ability to bank your bike into turns. A 2-wheeled trailer needs to stay level while the bike banks, so roll independence would help.

    Also, you could get a huge strength increase by adding a second level of PVC tubing six inches or so above the first one, creating a truss structure for the wheels to bolt to, along with cross-members at the front and rear on the same level. You'd want a plate or other structural member running between your top and bottom tubes on the sides that you could bolt your wheel axles to. Maybe try using a single flat plate vertically on either side of the wheel, then a u-bolt assembly top and bottom on each plate to attach to the tubes, with a hole in the middle for the axle. This would have the added benefit of allowing you to adjust the front/back balance of the trailer, which can affect tracking, as well as lowering your platform to below the axles, which lowers your center of gravity and improves stability.

    ...Not sure if my explanation makes any sense in writing, but like I said, I'll build one and post my own. It'll be a bit heavier and more expensive, but I think it'll yield a significant increase in weight capacity and ride stability.

    For anyone wanting to build a bamboo trailer and not wanting to spend the money on bamboo, do as I did. Put an ad on Craigslist saying you will come and harvest someone's bamboo for them for part of it yourself. I got a 4' X 8' trailer full, with some of the pieces exceeding 12' long. All free. I used it to make a greenhouse.

    BUT, I like this trailer OddJob has made much better. It is much better crafted using PVC and shelf material and looks much neater. The Habitat Re-store Store always has pieces of wire shelf available in various lengths and very inexpensively. Look around while you are there and see what else you can find to use in your project. Good luck. I will build my trailer as a fishing cart similar to one I already have, large enough to hold two tackle boxes, two coolers, two beach chairs, my bridge net and eight rods. I'm going to use PVC I have left over from another project I did (a chicken coop.)

    very good design. for my use i would extend the length and maybe use metal pipes for larger load capacity though. just a thought

    That is pretty cool. I think that is a nice alternative to using a conventional rack and bags/crates. I like bike trailers. I rarely haul more than 50lb with mine, so a light-duty trailer should be a really nice thing to have. Another cool thing about trailers is that some stores will let you walk them inside as shopping buggies. When you shop, you know when to stop, and when you check out, you're ready to hook up and go.

    I have quite an interesting quesstion :D : does the pipe fit in - slide inside - the fittings or it needs a melting gun that does the welding and everything?

    How did you put your trailer together? Glue?

    Thanks

    Thanks Marosi. The pvc pipes do fit inside. Typically, the dimension of the pipe is the same length as the inserted portion. i.e. 1 1/2 " pipe would slide into the coupling / corner piece 1 1/2".

    The first thing to do with any pvc pipe project is to "dry fit" all the pieces together to get the proper fitting / angles. This is critical, as once it is glued there is no turning back! Make marks on all the joint spots so you can line it up correctly during the gluing process.

    There is a special glue that is used to secure the pipes together. It is a two step process. The first is a cleaner that leaves a "non slippery" surface for the glue to adhere to. It is usually purple in color. You spread the cleaner on the inside of the receiving pipe. Then spread it on the end of the pipe that will be inserted. Be careful not to drip or get the cleaner on parts not to be glued. It is basically like a dye, and will penetrate the pvc and not come off!

    Next apply the glue to the inside receiving portion and push together. The glue sets up EXTREMELY FAST! I mark with a marker on the pipes where they should line up before gluing so that my angles are correct.

    One last note. It is important to get a straight cut on the pvc for the best results. My technique is to measure to 4-5 points on the pipe, then join the points together with a continuous line (so it looks like a stripe going all the way around the pipe) and cut on the line. I usually just do a surface cut all the way around and then the saw will follow as you turn the pipe in one hand and saw with the other. Making a "cradle" to guide the pipe on it's path is also a good idea. I use a hacksaw rather than a wood saw, that has a small tooth size as the pvc is quite dense material wise.