Vintage Style Bike Trailer




Introduction: Vintage Style Bike Trailer

About: Check out ThriftStore Hacker on YouTube! Where junk makes neat stuff! Follow me on TikTok @ThriftStoreHacker

This is an easy to make little trailer to pack up to 40 pounds of cargo around and has a neat vintage look.

Step 1: Materials and Tools.


2 Wheels. 10in pneumatic tires shown

Plywood panel. (the nicer the better) 4ft by 4ft panel or 2x8ft

Thin Board or plastic. Poster frame is a good place to source.

2x4 Board. 8ft long. For framing.


Caulking. Find a good flexible caulking to fill gaps and shape corners.

Paint. 2 or 3 colors.

Axle. Whatever size axle fits your wheel bearings.

Square steel tube. About 3ft for trailer mount

PVC pipe and fittings. For the trailer mount.


Cordless drill
Table or circular saw.
Duct Tape
Razor blade

Step 2: Cutting the Side Panels and Floor.

After drawing the side of the trailer on the board carefully and slowly cut the board. Flip it over when you are done and trace the other side out on the board for a perfect match. Keep your tracings and cuts close to each other and get as much out of the panel as you can.

The floor panel is 15 inches wide and the same length as the side panels (about 31 inches).

Paint the panels with a primer coat of the base color (white) and attach the floor together with 1 inch wood screws. Remember to pre-drill all the holes.

Cut a panel for the back leaving 1-1/2in gap from the top to put the brace and trailer mount in.

Step 3: Bracing With the 2x4

The bracing will hold most of the trailers load. If properly braced the body will not deform when the trailer is loaded.

Cut three 14in long pieces to place in the top and bottom of the front of the trailer. Tack them in with 3 screws in from the floor and side panel. Cut two long boards to brace the sides.

Step 4: The Poster Frame and Cutting the Door Panel.

Take the frame apart. Take the trim off and paint it with the accent color.

Cut a 15 inch by 36 inch panel out of the backing board of the frame.

Use a very sharp box cutter to score/cut the plastic panel. Make the plastic panel 14.75 inches by 36 inches.
Press VERY LIGHTLY with a fresh box cutter blade. Use a straight edge and make as many cuts as you need till the excess comes free. set this aside for now.

Paint the poster frame trim and let dry.

Step 5: Top Panel and Trim.

Paint your panel with a primer coat of paint. Painting primer coats helps with the finished product's quality. Gets corners and hard to reach spots painted before its an issue.

Drill holes in the trim panels every 6 to 8 inches. There is enough trim to do the whole panel. Slide the trim onto the sides of the panel and tack it down to the side panels, top and bottom braces.

Step 6: Wheels and Axle

Cut two 15in by 1inch pieces out of plywood. Cut one 15in by 2.5in piece.

Mark on the bottom of the trailer where you would like to place the axle. You want to have it as balanced as possible.

I used small pieces of 1/2in PVC pipe as spacers between the wheel bearings and the trailer body. Small hose clamps are used to hold the wheels on the axle.

Step 7: Cut Out the Door Hole and Plastic Bumper Panel.

Take the wheels off to make the trailer easier to work with.

Use the jigsaw and cut the hole out. Make the door size any size you wish.
I left about 1/2 in gap out from the end of where the trim fitted to.

Cut some of the leftover plastic panel from the door and make the front bumper panel. you can fit the front bumper panel under the trim but it is tricky. I placed mine over the top of the trim and cut it to fit around the edge of the inside of the trim edge.

Step 8: Fit the Door

Check and make sure the panel fits properly. Trim if needed. I painted the panel the same color as the rest of the trailer.

Step 9: A Little More Painting.

Tape off the line for the 2nd color of paint. A black circle was painted for a tiny window. After the paint has dried touch up as needed.

Step 10: The Door Latch and Safety Reflector.

A rubber band style tie down works great for a latch. Remove one of the hooks and screw into the side panel. Put a strip of reflective material on the back for safety. The tie down will be painted to match the trailer.

Step 11: Trailer Hookup.

To tackle the issue of trailer height and flexibility mount a 1in box steel tube on the front of the trailer. The tube is mounted to the braces.

See picture for breakdown of spring loaded dual axis trailer mount.

To raise and lower the height just add more PVC pipe to the bottom of the fitting on the bike rack.

Step 12: Power!!!!

Power is needed for the accessories. A 7 amp hour battery is a good source.

Cut holes for a switch and power port. Wire up with a fuse (see pic) and install just inside and under the door of the trailer. The 7 amp hour battery will run the speakers for hours and charge your phone a few times. Adding a solar panel and controller will let it charge back up whenever the sun is out.

Step 13: Good Things to Keep Handy in Your Trailer.

I keep a few things handy when riding around. Here is a list of good items to have.

-Required wrenches to remove the trailer mount.

-Tire repair kit or extra tubes.

-Reusable grocery bags X 3

-Phone Charging cable.


-Roll of tape

-Assorted Zip-ties

-4 bungee cords

-Crescent Wrench

-Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers.

-USB car adapter plug

-USB speakers

-Cheap AM/FM radio

-a small tarp to cover the bike and trailer in bad weather.

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    6 years ago

    You know, I was thinking maybe if the door came all the way down and had a second hinged piece that folds out, this has the potential as a camper. As you fold the second part out, it could drop canvas for sides, another board in the tray to slide out with drop down legs (like an ambulance stretcher?). Just brain storming, don't mind me. It's a great little trailer you've made and would mean no more wet groceries in winter or thawed out frozen goods in summer. Nice one

    ThriftStore Hacker
    ThriftStore Hacker

    Reply 6 years ago

    The slide out tray is an awesome idea. The door on the trailer is very basic and i think there are are better ways to make an install one.


    7 years ago on Step 13

    That is the coolest trailer I have seen in a long time. I advise trying to mount at axle rather than saddle height though, I find they can snake horribly when attached at the saddle.There are some really good hitches around on instructables and elsewhere. I really like the damper idea as well.

    ThriftStore Hacker
    ThriftStore Hacker

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I did encounter this problem. At high speed it had a bad wobble. Since i use the trailer with my electric trike (see my other instructables) i have made a different mount for it.

    Tater Zoid
    Tater Zoid

    7 years ago

    What a great build, I rarely see trailers created from scratch. Including a sound system is key, I just strap my Boom Box to my trailer but can see committing to a full time stereo in the future. Don't forget to add a flat tire repair kit to your survival list.

    ThriftStore Hacker
    ThriftStore Hacker

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! The best way to get portable tunes is to go to a thrift store. You can grab some speakers and small radio for under 5 bucks. Since there is 12v power in the trailer you could even install an old car stereo if you want lots of noise.