If you have kids, especially more than one you know how difficult going on vacation can be. Gone are the days of just packing a carry on and heading out. The sheer amount of stuff you need to travel with kids is amazing. Getting through the airport requires the skills of a Sherpa. Here is an idea and build borne out of the need to cut down on the amount and size of the stuff we bring on vacation.
Step 1: The Idea
When it comes to choosing a stroller to bring along on vacation there are pros and cons to everything. Double strollers are great cause one person can push both kids but they are big and heavy and trying to push them around large crowds or indoors can be cumbersome. Single strollers are great cause they are light and nimble in crowd but each parent has to push one.
The night before a trip to Disney World my wife and i were toiling over what stroller to bring and the idea hit me, If I could design a way that I could attach the two umbrella strollers together it would give us a light weight option that would allow us the best of both worlds.
Step 2: Materials
You don't need a lot to accomplish this project you probably have what you need already. As far as tools go, below is what I used but there is always more that one way to accomplish the something. If you need any help trouble shooting please send me a message.
- 2x4 at least 8 inches
- 2 bolts 1/4 x 2 inches
- 1/4 Wing Nuts
- Speed Square
- Tape Measure
- 1/4 inch Drill Bit
- 3/4 inch Drill Bit
Step 3: Step 1: Design and Mark Up
This part can be a bit confusing but the steps below follow the progression of the pictures
One big consideration when designing these was, I wanted the strollers to be able to fold. The other important consideration was I wanted the strollers to be as close as possible but the connectors had to space the strollers out far enough so that when you made a turn, the wheels could swivel freely without hitting each other (see image). I found that 6 inches between the stroller frames was perfect . With that in mind the rest off the design fell into place:
8 Inches Overall Length then cut down the middle at 1 3/4 inches
Carry the 8 inch line down the side using the square
For the holes that hold the stroller frame make, make a mark in the middle of the side of the 2x4 at both ends and draw a line connecting the two. Then on the middle line you just drew, measure an inch in on each side and mark the spot where you will drill the holes.
You now have all the marks you need to start cutting....
Step 4: Step 2: Making the First Cuts
From the setup we just created you will be able to make both connectors needed. I used my bench top bandsaw for all the cuts but these could be done a variety of other ways as well.
The first cut to make will be down the 8 inch line to cut the piece down to the final 8 inches in total length.
The next cut you will make will be down the middle line to split the 2x4 in half
Step 5: Step 3: Drilling the Holes for the Stroller Frame
The stroller frames are 3/4 inch tubing with the final cuts made a 3/4 inch hole will hold them snugly. A drill press would have been ideal for this step and if i had one I would have drilled the holes before cut the 2x4 in half. Since i don't have one and wanted to make sure the hole were as straight as possible, I cut it in half before i drilled the holes and the made identical marks on both pieces.
I drilled 1/4 pilot holes as a guide then drilled out the pilot holes to 3/4.
Step 6: Step 4: Drilling the Holes for the Bolts
In the next step we are going to cut these down the middle again so they can be attached to the strollers but first we need to drill the holes for the bolts that will hold these on the strollers.
Turn each connector on its side (you should be looking at the side that does not have the 3/4 inch holes). You are going to want to make a line down the middle on each connector, so mark 7/8 of an inch on each end and connect them.
Once you have made a line down the middle you want to mark the holes for the bolts. This should be done 2 inches in from each side in order to avoid drilling through the frame hole and still give the wood enough strength. I made marks at the 2 and 6 inch lines.
Once you have made your marks drill out the holes with the 1/4 bit. Then hit both holes on one side with the countersink so the bolts sit down in the wood and allow you to tighten the wing nuts without the bolt spinning.
Step 7: Step 5: Last Cut
This last cut will split the connectors down the middle and allow them to be attached to the strollers. The line for the cut should already be there from when you made the initial marks for the 3/4 inch frame holes. Essentially what you are trying to do is cut the piece so the 3/4 holes are cut in half.
With the cut made you are ready to put them on the strollers. The two images above will give you a visual of how they should look when complete and how they will go together.
I had to grab some wing nuts from the store so i used regular nuts for the mock up.
Feel free to finish them up however you want. Sand, paint, stain etc...
Step 8: Attaching Them to the Strollers
With the strollers side by side grab one of the connector sides and fit the stroller frames in the grooves.
Grab the next connector piece and place it on top.
Slide the bolts in the holes and attach the nuts to the back side.
Repeat this for the second connector. For the best positioning I found one on the top near the handles and one on the bottom front near the wheels works best.
Step 9: Final Thoughts
I cant believe how well these worked. They were simple and quick to put on and allowed us to adapt the stroller to whatever situation we came upon. It was super light to travel with but allowed us an option for a double stroller. What was perhaps more unbelievable was the amount of attention we got because of them. People would stop and ask us where we got them, comment on how great of an idea it was and even take a picture to try and make them themselves. We will definitely be using these whenever we travel. I hope this help some of you out there and as always if you have any questions please send me a message.