Knowing how to build a bike trailer can save time and money if you do a lot of outdoor bike activity. Bike trailers can be used for everything from children to groceries and can be made out of virtually any material. Many green and natural living authorities recommend building your own bike trailer. The cost can be as low as $20 and you can recycle materials that normally would have been discarded to landfills.
Things you'll need:
- Two bicycle wheels or stock car derby wheels
- Plywood cut to fit your trailer box design (5 pieces)
- Camping foam
- Axle and wheel attachment kit
- Gorilla glue
- Bike hitch
Plan to build your bike trailer. Before you start on any actual building you will need to plan out your bike trailer. Draw out the framework and measurements. You can purchase plywood from a local hardware store and have it cut to fit your design or you can cut recycled plywood to fit using a circular saw. You will also want to cut the camping foam at this stage to fit the floor of the bike trailer.
Build the trailer. Once you have measured everything, you can start construction. You should have five pieces of plywood. One will serve as the floor piece while the other four pieces will be the sides of the trailer. The ideal method of putting the main trailer together is to use Gorilla Glue or any wood glue first. Lay one side flat on the ground. Take another side piece and glue it to form a 90 degree angle. Repeat this for the other sides. Finally, place your fourth piece on top of the half box you have created. Your result will be an open box shape. Now just glue on the bottom of the trailer. Let the glue dry and secure the trailer sides and bottom with hammer and nails.
Attach the wheels. With the bike trailer built and in place it's time to attach the wheels. Two bicycle wheels will work perfectly for larger bike trailers. If you are going for a smaller trailer then stock car derby wheels are a nice option. You can purchase the axles and wheel attachment kits at any bike or hobby store. Attach the wheel axles with one to each side of the bike trailer. Most wheel axle kits are a simple hammer and nail design for securing them to the trailer so you should only need to hammer them in place. If the axle kit you purchased is not a hammer and nail secure attachment then follow the instructions that accompany your kit. Attach your wheels to the axles. Test the wheels on the bike trailer for security.
Attach the bike trailer to the bike. You will need to attach a hitch leading from the trailer to the bike itself. If you are unsure of what style of hitch you will need, ask a bike store professional. They will be able to steer you in the right direction. With the hitch attached to the trailer, simply attach the bike trailer to the bike itself.
With your bike trailer built, you are now ready to go. Test the trailer for weight restrictions by towing a few things at a time. Make sure you are accustomed to the feel of the extra weight because this may change some of your bike riding habits. This recycled bike trailer will make a world of difference for you if you are trying to go green by giving you the portability of items and the added bonus of bringing children along on your ride.