Introduction: Heavy Duty Bike Trailer
I am making a heavy duty bike trailer for hauling pallet boardwalk sections for my other project featured in Instructables, The Upcycled Nature Boardwalk. I wanted to make something that was durable for 200 lbs and able to go through the mud.
hand tools for mearsuring
drill pipe clamps
3/4 metal conduit wheelbarrow wheels
5 inch 1/2 bolt machine thread conduit bender
2 inch ball and hitch
Step 1: Building the Frame
Very simple, just 2x4s six feet long and 30 inches wide. It is very helpful to have a table with raised edges that are square. I prefer to use 2 1/2 inch long deck screw to hold it all together.
Step 2: Building the Wheels and Axle
I picked up some wheelbarrow wheels for this project given the weight I am insterested in hauling plus the muddy trails I will be on. I created an axle inspired by this You Tube video. I used 3/4 inch EMT electrical conduit with a five inch machine bolt through the wheel. I drilled a hole through the bolt and held the whole thing together with a cotter pin.
Step 3: Atttaching the Axle
i used pipe clamps and some rings that came with the wheel to make a snug grab of the axle to the underside of the frame. I put it to the back at first but later moved it to the center.
Step 4: Buiding the Hitch
I used more 3/4 inch EMT conduit to fashion the tow hitch. I also had to get a special tool for bending it to the shape I needed, and of course there are hundreds of how to videos for this trick. I watched this one. Not that tough really, and you feel like Robo Man bending metal, so it's fun.
Step 5: Building the Armature for the Hitch
I used a standard 2inch wide hitch that is coulpled with a two inch ball. I was inspired by Fatcamper's Instructable on this approach after looking at lots of DIY hitches. I want something that can handle the weight and not be too cumbersome to attach. I used 2x2 square PT lumber and a mahogany spacer to make my attachment. I used U rings to make the connection built abandoned it later for 1/2 screws. (NOT shown) . My bike is a cargo bike with a very long rack that allows for a pretty beefy ball as you see.
Step 6: Trying It Out
After the first test drive, it seemed like the EMT tubing could use a little stiffening so I added a cross brace, and ground down one edge of it to make a good connection with the round pipe
Step 7: Stronger Axle
The Metal conduit works great for the curved hitch, not so great for the axle which bent under heavy loads. So I installed 10 inch long 1/2 inch diameter bolts inside the the conduit and added more supports right up to the inside face of the wheel. Much stronger. I also bolted on the box from the old trailer temporarily for plant pick up from the local farm.
Step 8: Many Uses for My Trailer
I took my other bike down to the river, then took the kayak to a different part of the river and did some paddling.
I will stack the trailer again with pallets when I build them.
I also saw a commercially made trailer and decided to add removable brackets, which you can see in detail.
2x4s (about 10 eight footers) and two inch long screws were all I needed for the removable fencing. Very handy for trashcans, or perhaps something odder, like a bed? Stay tuned fans.