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Bicycle Trailer/Cot - What Materials?

  1. Feb 6, 2012 #1
    This is a future project, but I want to have everything once the weather warms up. Also, if this is in the wrong spot, please move it.

    The Plan: In the early summer I plan on going on a mini tour and would be camping along the way. I will use a tarp that's big enough to use as a pup tent and cover the bike and trailer. The trailer I'm planning on garage sale-ing and repurposing one meant for pulling children, with 20" wheels. I would do this by getting rid of the canvas sections to make it a flatbed then adding some kind of pipe or tubing to it to retain the cargo.

    The Fun Part: I have bad knees and want something taller than the normal camping cots, so I want to attach one to the top of the trailer sides This would fold open and half would be supported by the trailer, while the other half I would somehow add longer legs to get to the ground.

    The Problem: It needs to be done as cheaply as possible. (hence the child trailer, and I already have the cot) It also has to be as light as possible, since I am towing this behind a bicycle. So, I was thinking of just going with EMT conduit, as it's the lightest and cheapest. However, I'm pushing 300 pounds, so if I have to go to a much bigger size, or add a lot of bracing, I may be better off to go with something nominally heavier, but stronger. I live in a small city, that doesn't even have a steel yard. There is only a Menard's and a Lowe's, we don't even have a Home Depot anymore. Which means my access is very limited, and is why I was looking pipe or conduit and not tubing.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2012 #2
    you weigh almost 300 lbs? Are you cycling right now?
    I bike 200+ miles/week, and i'm telling you right now, it takes practice and training. Get a stationary bike, and put in an 8 hour day on it.
    That being said, good luck!

    Your plan sounds feasable; as an exercise in engineering (if that's your thing) draw up some sketches and, add measurements. This will also help you visualize the final product better!
    Depending on where you're camping, you may want to consider a sleeping bag instead of a cot. It's a lot lighter!

    would love to see a blog or something to follow your project!
  4. Feb 7, 2012 #3
    Yes, I'm almost 300 pounds, but please don't attack me about that. The trip and training for it is a goal to keep me motivated in losing the weight. I'm not doing any cycling right now as the weather is not cooperating for it. I used the term bicycle, just as a generic term. It's actually going to be pulled by a recumbent trike, with very low gears. Not going for speed, going for comfort. For the sleeping bag part, did you miss the fact that I have bad knees and getting off the ground is not a good option for me?
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  5. Feb 8, 2012 #4
    Just came up with a real quick sketch. The dimensions are very subject to change, since I don't have any of it yet. I can add more bracing if needed, and may forgo side outlet elbows in favor of bends. I would get rid of the tees, but don't have a welder. I thought about something like this:Notching the pipe, and drilling through top and bottom to use a long bolt, or threaded rod but figure the tees would be cheaper, and neater.

    *The link is not mine, but found through a Google search.

    Attached Files:

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