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Bikepacking The Bikebacking forum is for discussion that relates directly to bikepacking (also known as bicycle camping). Subject matter should involve the backpacking/camping/bike gear and trip planning as it relates to mountain biking and bicycle touring.


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  #1  
Old 10-24-2011, 11:08 AM
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crkmeup crkmeup is offline
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Homemade Trailers

I am working with a youth group and we are going to be using the winter to get ready for a bike camping outing(s). The first trip is an overnight 65 mile ride. We may be adding longer rides

I am concerned that putting the gear on the kid’s bikes will be dangerous and/or expensive.

I am looking at plans on the web to repurpose kid trailers and/or build them out of 1/2" or 3/4 EMT conduit. Seems we can carry backpacking gear on the trailers easily with little expense. (~$50 per trailer and one trailer for every two youth).

We are going on bike paths and rails to trails routes with some road riding. Most of the riding will also be "at grade" so no crazy hills/mountains.

I have pulled my kids around on the bike in a trailer and it was easy as long as I was not fighting the wind. This would have much less wind drag.

What does the group think? What am I missing?
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:43 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crkmeup
I am working with a youth group and we are going to be using the winter to get ready for a bike camping outing(s). The first trip is an overnight 65 mile ride. We may be adding longer rides

I am concerned that putting the gear on the kid’s bikes will be dangerous and/or expensive.

I am looking at plans on the web to repurpose kid trailers and/or build them out of 1/2" or 3/4 EMT conduit. Seems we can carry backpacking gear on the trailers easily with little expense. (~$50 per trailer and one trailer for every two youth).

We are going on bike paths and rails to trails routes with some road riding. Most of the riding will also be "at grade" so no crazy hills/mountains.

I have pulled my kids around on the bike in a trailer and it was easy as long as I was not fighting the wind. This would have much less wind drag.

What does the group think? What am I missing?

harbour freight trailer, plus a sheet or three of plywood and some 2x4s to make the frame will run you about 100-150 dollars depending on sale prices. you will have a bomb-proof trailer that will haul an amazing amount of material.

there's also a lot of resources for building your own teardrop type trailers out there too.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:00 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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I don't think you're talking about the same kind of trailer. Based on the conduit size mentioned, I think the OP means a trailer to be pulled by bike.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:58 PM
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crkmeup crkmeup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_load
I don't think you're talking about the same kind of trailer. Based on the conduit size mentioned, I think the OP means a trailer to be pulled by bike.


Yes, a bike trailer like a BoB or other touring trailers. Trying to carry the load safely and inexpensively.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:33 AM
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Doss Doss is offline
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For scouts I would suggest staying away from the trailers as just like with a backpack that is too big one tends to want to fill it up with stuff that is not needed.

Most of the information on this site is about getting pack weight down to something easily carried on your back so I would focus first at getting the kids 'kit' down to 40Lbs or so and then build some panniers and pick up some cheap racks for the bikes.

If the kids have not ridden with trailers very much they will forget about the extra width etc and be more likely to have an accident due to that than having gear on their bikes. If there is worry about damaging breakables on the bike you could always build some 10'' PVC tube type bear canisters to put breakables in and strap those to the top of their racks..

well that was rambley but I bring the fail at typing on my phone..
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:34 PM
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crkmeup crkmeup is offline
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The youth are experienced backpackers and we would be doing standard pack checks so gear amount would not be an issue. The extra width is a great point. I am no trailerw thinking the trailers should be no wide
r then their handlebars.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2011, 06:32 PM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doss
.............................
Most of the information on this site is about getting pack weight down to something easily carried on your back so I would focus first at getting the kids 'kit' down to 40Lbs or so and then build some panniers and pick up some cheap racks for the bikes.
.................................................. ......................................
well that was rambley but I bring the fail at typing on my phone..


I, too, was wondering why not go with racks and panniers - keep the weight down, and spread it over the bike - front and back...

Easier to handle and manouvre, and encourages them to think about what (and why..) they're packing..
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2011, 04:51 AM
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crkmeup crkmeup is offline
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Expense and time are the biggest factors. The cost of the homade trailer should be about $30 and take a day or two. Building racks and panniers along with getting the balace right seems more costly and complex. Pack weight and gear selection are stil a focus as we have an active backpacking schedule including a week long trip this sumer.

Also racks don't allow a quick switch for a youth who decides late they want attend.

Maybe I am also less experinced with panniers and racks so I don't see the options. What have people done that can bring the cost do own. I can't ask the parents to drop hundrads of dollars for a one or two time bike camping trip. They have already outfitted them with backpacking equipment. Rememer these will be rails to trails type trips.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:34 PM
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GWyble GWyble is offline
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A few years ago I bought an inexpensive bike trailer for about $70. The hitch bracket was included. This may be a less work intensive approach.
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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A trailer, IMO, can definitely be more modular to swap quickly from one bike to another.

I have used a BOB in the past on technical singletrack to haul trailbuilding supplies. I once used it to haul a cooler with our food/drinks for the day. That design for a trailer works well (single wheel, low attachment to the bike). With that design, it's not the extra width that's the bigger challenge to manage, but it's the extra length and the ground clearance on the back. Still, the trailer is burly enough that I had no problems banging the frame off stuff on tight corners or when going over a tall curb or log or whatever.

A two-wheeled kid trailer would be a bit different. Width would certainly be an issue to be managed. Those things can also tip in some situations if the attachment point to the bike is not designed well, and some of the cheaper models suck in that regard.

It might be worth looking at what bikepackers (the ones who do it off road on technical mountain bike trails) do. It's a pretty niche group right now, but it's pretty rare for those guys to use a rack or a trailer of any kind. Many of them have a frame bag that fits the main triangle of the bike in addition to one or two more smaller bags on the front end (think handlebar bags or feed bags) and a larger bag that fits underneath the saddle. They'll also tend to wear a daypack for a few items, too. This spreads the load all across the bike and is quite popular among that crowd.

Unfortunately, most of the bags are custom made and either require time and skill with a thread injector or a pretty significant expense from one of the cottage manufacturers.
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