Fold-able Cart With Removable Wheels




Introduction: Fold-able Cart With Removable Wheels

When we go camping with the scouts, we haul a lot of gear. We often have to park a quarter mile or more from the site, and I wanted something larger than a typical wagon, but one that collapses with removable wheels.

The aluminum box is from Harbor Freight. It is a cargo carrier that slides into a 2 inch receiver hitch. It is about 49 inches by 23 inches.

The wheels, axle, handle and some components were scavenged from a three wheel jogger stroller.

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Step 1: Prepare the Box for the Cart

The first thing I did was remove the 2 inch square tube from the cargo carrier. It was easy, only two bolts, and the tube slid right out. I put the bolts back into the tube for safe keeping, I may replace them with push pins, and snap cotter pins if I use it as it was intended.

Step 2: Salvage the Axle

I cut the axle from the stroller, but it wasn't wide enough for the wheels to extend outside the box. I therefore had to cut it, and use a spacer. I was fortunate enough to find at the Home Depot, a piece of copper tubing that had the same inside diameter as the outside diameter of the axle housing. I drilled a couple of holes, and bolted them together at the length that I needed.

I fastened the axle housing to the box with a pair of u-bolts.

This particular brand of stroller held the wheel axles in place with a spring loaded snap pin (like you might find in some expandable tent poles, or perhaps an umbrella.) I kept the locking mechanism intact with the axle housing, and used a pop-rivet to hold it in place. The locking mechanism is circled, above.

The wheels just snap into place, and with a little pressure on the locking mechanism, snap pin release, and they will slide right out.

Step 3: Make a Folding Handle

I used the handle from the stroller, and the offset plastic connectors that was a part of it, to attach the handle so that it could lie flat within the box. If you look closely, you can see that the connector is bolted to the box, and the handle to the connector.

I drilled a couple of holes in the handle, and the side of the box so that I could attach the handle upper support with either a bolt, or rather, I chose to use a push pin with a snap lock, so that it is easily set up, and easily removed so that the handle can be folded down. When not in use, I store the snap locks in the holes of the box.

The bottom legs of the handle were too close together, so I heated the corners (where the handle is curved) with a propane torch, and took some of the curve out until the legs matched the width of the box. Heating the curve made it easier to change the angle of the bend, with less of a chance of putting a kink into it, or snapping it.

Step 4: Add a Support

I added an adjustable bicycle kick stand as a front support. It can be folded up during storage, or while being transported.

Step 5: Load Her Up, and Let's Go Camping!

I just threw this together to see how much stuff it'll handle.

It has three foldable chairs, a coleman stove, a 38 quart cooler, a 33 gallon container of sleeping bags and gear, a 8 man tent, and a duffle bag.

A 120 quart fisherman's cooler would fit, but if it is full, I wouldn't want to load much else on it because they are extremely heavy.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago


    Perhaps you can add a couple images of what the PVC connectors look like once cut. It sounds clever.


    4 years ago

    I like the concept however I made mine with 18”x2” flat free
    polyurethane wheels with 5/8” Bearings.
    I put a 1 ½” x ½” PVC connector in the 2” square housing for the
    receiver by shaving off the collar at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock on the right side
    and 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock on the left side with a table saw. I mounted these in
    the top front corner of the 2” housing by using plastic commode shims and
    hammering them in with the collar resting on the edge of the 2” receiver
    housing. Use 2 ea #10 x ½” S.S. screws
    on each end to hold it from slipping out.
    I made the axle out of 5/8” round metal rod which slips into the PVC
    fittings. Wheels are held in place with removable lock pins. The weight is supported by the
    bearings so the axle will not turn. By
    using this type of connection for the axle, you can always knock out the PVC
    connectors to use the cargo carrier for its original purpose by re-installing
    the receiver bar. With the plastic shims they can easily be replaced to make a
    cart out of it again.


    4 years ago

    The fold-able aspect is awesome so it doesn't take up so much space! Great idea!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you! :)

    Yes, and being able to easily remove the wheels is a huge benefit.

    We tried using a regular four wheel wagon, but the wheels and bracing for it made it take up too much space in either the trunk, or back of the suv. It was a little challenging to pack around it.