Instructables

Bicycle trailer hitch and fishing rod holder combo

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Have multiple applications you want a single project to serve? Here is an example of a single project designed to accommodate two uses.

I had many sources for inspiration including one of the instructables' examples that uses a plastic bin, hose, spring and a quick connector. The first trailer I built went for minimal parts count using a piece of one half inch thick sheet of scrape plywood u-bolted to a seven sixteenths diameter axle and tires from a stroller. The hitch was made from a piece of bicycle tire wrapped around the rear basket handle and bolted onto the top and bottom of the end of a piece of conduit, that was u-bolted to the plywood. (see last picture below)

For the second trailer I also used a one half inch thick piece of plywood (three quarter inch next time) u-bolted to a one half inch axle and tires from a wood carrier cart, and a two inch caster wheel.

My original plan was to bolt the conduit to the metal frame running perpendicular to the axle (see first picture of last step) but I decided that I wanted only the trailer axle to carry 95% of the load. Put another way... I decided not to build a semi-trailer where a large portion of the load is carried by the rear tire of the bicycle. I used the half-inch plywood (new) to start with because it was handy, only needed a trim and was light.

The u-bolt arrangement permits the plywood to be leveled without bending the conduit permanently. The first piece I used had enough contact area together with a slight offset angle to keep it from slipping when the u-bolts were tight. I put a carriage bolt through the second piece of conduit (which had a straight end to fit through the PVC pipe) because it was too short to provide enough contact area with the plywood. Even though attached in a small area I expect the conduit will bend before the plywood will break, especially when I replace it with three quarter inch sheet. If the conduit bends or the plywood breaks from too much weight then I have not done my job in balancing or securing the load.





 
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bombmaker25 years ago
where could you possibly find a 10' piece of conduit for $1.49
i just bought one for like $2 something at home depot. they're not that expensive
jwarner773 years ago
I like the modification of using the quick release. Can you send me some more pictures of how that is all connected? Also, for what it's worth, you mentioned losing your fishing pole mount, but it seems to me you have two available holes on the caster mounting plate still. You could use a single u bolt and bolt on a single piece of pvc, vertically, to still hold your fishing pole. Don't forget to throw a cooler on your trailer to bring the fish home in! :) Anyway, I'd love to have some more pics of that whole junction with the quick release.
suspeckted5 years ago
I am totally new to this site but think it's great. I'm trying to create this hitch but am confused why you say this design doesn't allow for roll. Wouldn't the cut castor wheel allow for horizontal movement and the bearings of the plate allow for vertical movement? Thx
if the fishing pole could rotate withing the grip of the U-bolts, then the trailer would probably perform better while simultaneously turning and starting up or down a hill
roll means when you turn like balance
pmac935 years ago
where did you get the caster for $1.00?
i've seen them clearance at fred meyers before
Baller145 years ago
Its easier to strap a piece of PVC pipe with zipties to somewhere on the bike to hold a fighting pole...I've got one on my 4wheeler
I am trying to figure out how to adapt your excellent fishing pole holder into a forearm style crutches holder. Originally I was going to slip the ends of the crutches into a cut off plastic bottle and wire the bottle to the bottom of the bike rack supports. The crutches are only about 30" long. I thought I'd just bungie them to the top of the pannier rack where they touched it. Your device looks good. I've been making do so far with a "quiver" type arrangement with rubberbands and an old luggage strap but for a long trip thats pretty annoying. Do you have any thoughts for a better way to do this? I'm going on a 6 day tour Monday so it needs to be a quick weekend project or I'm back to the quiver carrier.
camp6ell6 years ago
you have the whole trailer weight supported by one little bolt through the fender eyelet, i think? seems like it might be a little weak, no?
watermelon (author)  camp6ell6 years ago
(Previous reply info added to the Instructable) I must have been thinking about the conduit/plywood attachment rather than the fender mount when I replied to your question the first time. Veuillez m'excuser. On this bike there are two one quarter inch fender mount eyelets instead of only one. If you do the math the total cross sectional area is only a hundredth shy of the axle cross sectional area. Most likely the dropout or frame will bend before both of these bolts break at the same time. I have never had any problem with the weight they can carry. If you only have one eyelet then you can always make an adapter plate and include the axle for support. In fact, due to the strength of this connection, I have a remote disconnect planned for an Instructable in the future. No point in having your loaded trailer pull you with it off of the cliff.
ah-ha - didn't know how the previous answer related! ok, i see, this makes more sense. i did see the two bolt arrangement, but figured it was just to make a bigger plate, didn't realize there was a double eyelet on the frame. definitely much better.
watermelon (author)  camp6ell6 years ago
Yeah, I must have been thinking of my own immediate concern for the possible weakness of the conduit/plywood junction, having long since dismissed any concern for the strength of the dropout eyehole bolts. With only one eyehole though I would definitely include the axle or some other type of clamp mechanism to the frame. You'll see shortly in an alternate configuration of the caster wheel how the thickness of the adaptor plate by accident is way overkill. One eighth thickness would have been lighter and still thick enough (same thickness as the dropout) to work. Normally I like to go overboard on material strength for things on which personal safety depends but in this case safety may depend on weakness. I may end up cutting a weak point as a break-a-way so that in the event of a mishap, such as a truck hitting the trailer, that the trailer will not take the bike and me bod with it.
Nice, but first off i need a river/lake/pond within biking distance for me to fish in ;-P nice instructable
watermelon (author)  !Andrew_Modder!6 years ago
Cool! Send me your address. I've got and extra shovel. ;D
lol. :-(.... :-P...
always wanted one of these, maybe illl build a little dog house on it and bring my dog if i get one again if i go bike riding :-)
watermelon (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
I was expecting a trailer to be a pain but even at 10 MPH and going up sidewalk ramps, etc. the connection to the frame very near the axle coupled with the tightness and freedom of the linkage makes it easy to control. In a few days I've got to pick up two 90 lb bags of cement but I think I'll do the three quarter inch plywood first.
veloboy6 years ago
Nice hitch - I like the way you used the castor - very low cost and simple. I've been looking for a cheap hitch for the hot tub trailer that I'm contemplating. I imagine one could fashion a quick release pin instead of the wing nut and bolt to get the trailer on and off faster?
watermelon (author)  veloboy6 years ago
Most likely. I slid a piece of inner tube over the conduit to tighten things up a bit which now makes it extremely difficult to remove the hex head bolt. This could probably be adjusted but that seems to be all that remains. Otherwise the trailer tails fine, even with a 110 degree turn at the stop light after pushing the pedestrian crosswalk light button. (trailer angle remained at less than 45 degrees.) I'm happy with it but may still use the tire instead of the PVC to provide for roll instead.