1,000 Lbs Dock/Beach Cart for Under $50




Introduction: 1,000 Lbs Dock/Beach Cart for Under $50

I had been looking for a bomb-proof dock/beach cart that could easily roll on grass or sand with a full cooler, entire SCUBA dive kit, and some other gear to boot.  I didn't want to spend much and didn't find anything on the market that fit the bill. So I made one.

Step 1: Find a Used Dolly on Craigslist With Inflatable Tires.

I paid $25.  Make sure the tires hold air and don't leak or worse: are flat.

Step 2: Go to Home Depot With $24.99. Find a Cooler in Your Garage.

You'll need: 4 U-bolts with washers, a large mortar/concrete mixing tub, two pieces of soft scrap  lumber from the bargain bin, some FLEXIBLE PVC pipe and 2 elbows (plus glue if you don't have it in the house).  Total cost: $24.99.  

You will also need a cooler but I assume you have one in the garage already (you won't be drilling any holes or damaging it in any way).

*lay your scrap lumber, already cut to 48" in length, lengthwise on the dolly's runners
*place the cooler you plan to use on top of the lumber, at the bottom of the dolly closest to/over the wheels (this will likely be the heaviest part of your loaded rig once it's filled with ice, salt, and beverages)
*place the mixing tub behind the cooler, centered on the dolly and flush/snug with the cooler (it MUST be snug to hold the cooler in place without the need for straps or similar)
*mark the location of where your tub needs to be attached (to keep it snug with your cooler) with masking tape or similar on both the TUB BOTTOM, the LUMBER, and the DOLLY FRAME (I used painter's tape)
*drill holes (2 for each U-bolt) through both the lumber and tub (measure twice - drill once - not all U-bolts are identical spacing)
*bolt the entire assembly together like a lumber sandwich: DOLLY + LUMBER + TUB (place washers inside the tub... plastic will become brittle after wear and tear in the sun and salt)

*the handle is simply a short length of FLEXIBLE PVC piping bent like a horseshoe with the gap closed by elbows and a straight length of pipe, glued shut with heavy duty PVC cement, and, then lashed onto the dolly frame/handle with heavy duty zip-ties doubled wrapped

Step 3:

Fill your cooler, place it in the cradle you created between tub and dolly bottom, and haul your gear out to the boat or the beach.

Step 4: Personalize Your Rig.

Add some custom art to your new rig.



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    16 Discussions

    How do the wheels do on the beach?

    Great idea for getting all my fishing stuff to the water

    Thanks. Built a mod of this for beach.

    A jockey wheel (Bethmwl says spinny wheel below LOL) is the way to go because it will take nearly all of the weight out of a long haul for the driver. I'm thinking of the front forks and wheel off of a little kiddie bike here. This could also be fitted with clamps so that it could be removed for the hand truck to used in the normal way. I have all of this stuff laying around here.  ;-)  

    Dolly available new Item #5410-049 $59.99 CAD at Home Hardware stores in Canada www.homehardware.ca .

    Looks like you got a good deal there for $25 looks to be in good shape and hardly used.

    The large tray is also available through Home hardware though I can't find it in the system atm.

    This reminds me of my dolly purchased from woodwards for $15 a few years ago, the handle can be pulled out and insert at 90 degree to the frame, it also has spinning casters on the frame so you can use it in horizontal position like yours, a very nice design similar to yours but no one sells it anymore...


    That is very cool but I have a question. What is the purpose of the wood? couldn't you just have attached everything directly to the dolly?

    1 reply

    The bottom of the tub is soft plastic and needs flat backing to be able to be bolted on without having the u-bolts rip through, and, the cooler is simply wedged in between the tub and dolly bottom, it needs a flat surface to gain some friction. I think.

    We have DEEP spongy St. Augustine grass in South Florida and any kind of cart/wheelbarrow usually has to be pulled anyway to get it through the rough. So it only tackled pulling, not pushing. You'd need a beefier/rigid handle to push it.

    Beach, smeach...I live in Louisiana...this is a perfect parade cart. Hello Mardi Gras!!!!!
    Thanks, I never would have envisioned this myself.
    It will tote the cooler as shown, plus chairs, food, really anything we need for a long day at parades and then roll our "haul" back to the car with ease.

    I love it! I need to make myself one for reenactments... they often involve walking very far from vehicle to campsite.

    I've been looking for a cheap base on wheels for a 200 lb generator but hadn't thought of converting a dolly. I could mount it directly onto the wood and add a third wheel . Nice graphics!