So, finally got a project done! Trike Trailer

Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
I had many fits and starts trying to build my own trike using the AZ plans. Life, largely work, got in my way, and then I invested a lot of time in Scouting.

I resigned from Scouting, changed jobs, and holy cow! I have some free time.

So, I took an online course on welding to see if I could finally get my Princess Auto $100 FCAW welder and I to produce something that looked like a weld and not pumice. Should have done that years back. Esp. since it's getting harder to get gas for my Oxy Acet kit (the shops that sell it have the worst hours for hobbyist types)

I ended up changing my wire type to some highly regarded stuff, and it's like a whole diff. machine. So, since I needed a final project for the course, she who must be obeyed, reluctantly let me setup up half of my hand tool collection, drill press etc. on the deck. Grinding, drilling etc. all happen on the stone path, I'm just allowed to store the stuff there for a bit while I get this job done.

The trailer was my project as I did break down and buy a TerraTrike Gran Tourismo, but the itch to build is there... so, the plans are still at hand... and perhaps in the next year or so, I'll make something else.

I had a lot of EMT kicking around. Not the greatest to weld with, but the purpose it was purchased for is gone (it helped support a cover for a sailboat owned by the Scout group) and I decided it would be my donor material. Princess Auto also had some sales on for some 2 in. wide 1/8 mild steel and some cold rolled rod. I thought I was buying 5 foot lengths, but oops, I got 8 foot ones. Lots of sacrificial material!

So, after getting the FCAW welder "dialed" in (max amps, wire speed 8, turn it on - it's a really basic welder) This is the bottom of the frame with the corner uprights.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210530_180217-jpg.1878/

Top rails on:

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210531_213407-jpg.1879/

I made paper templates in Fusion360, printed, glued to the steel, then cut 'em out for the wheel mounts/axles.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_121959-jpg.1880/

DannyC has made comments about spatter... And how! These are the beginning welds of the axle stubs.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_134101-jpg.1881/

All done, extra long as I was still shopping for wheels for this - and finding bike parts was nigh impossible (pandemic has cleaned things out - even the bike recycle shop in town here won't sell parts, save to actually repair a bike... projects like this? nope.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_162732-jpg.1882/

Wheel mounts welded in place.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210620_172910-jpg.1883/

Princess Auto to the rescue again, solid wheels on sale ~$15 ea., 75 lbs load/wheel and they look cool, I think.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210620_175234-jpg.1884/

So, there was a longish pause - some work stuff, some family stuff, y'know, life. But I used the in between moments to think about the tow arm. Decided I wanted three positions.

Tow position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195214-jpg.1885/
Stow position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195254-jpg.1887/
Pull/push position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195328-jpg.1888/

The high tech, not laser cut, three position bracket. (Sharpie, cardboard, ruler, bit of EMT to test rotation's, a vice and a 4 lb hammer, electric drill and an angle grinder with cut off and flap wheels)
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195221-jpg.1886/

Remember I mentioned 8ft of 2 in. wide, 1/8th mild steel? Bracket time. well clamped vice, that 4 lb hammer, some angle grinder work, some drill work, bit of welding.. clamps to bike, pivots side to side, and up and down...
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_141305-jpg.1889/
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_151227-jpg.1890/
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_181213-jpg.1892/

And here I'm about to test ride with it attached (I'll paint, and put the floor/side board (recycled coroplast from a friend) in tomorrow, and then drop in the plastic tub that this was scaled for.
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_180430-jpg.1891/

If you want to see some video of it in action, my wife was kind enough to record some video for me so I could check it's behaviour. I'm pretty chuffed, it worked better on the first try than I'd expected! I posted them over in the Terra Trike Owner's group on Facebook, and it should be a public post at this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/terratrikeowners/permalink/10159457815751878/

DannyC - thanks for the phrase liquid metal glue gun... it's so apt!

DK
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
3,192
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
I had many fits and starts trying to build my own trike using the AZ plans. Life, largely work, got in my way, and then I invested a lot of time in Scouting.

I resigned from Scouting, changed jobs, and holy cow! I have some free time.

So, I took an online course on welding to see if I could finally get my Princess Auto $100 FCAW welder and I to produce something that looked like a weld and not pumice. Should have done that years back. Esp. since it's getting harder to get gas for my Oxy Acet kit (the shops that sell it have the worst hours for hobbyist types)

I ended up changing my wire type to some highly regarded stuff, and it's like a whole diff. machine. So, since I needed a final project for the course, she who must be obeyed, reluctantly let me setup up half of my hand tool collection, drill press etc. on the deck. Grinding, drilling etc. all happen on the stone path, I'm just allowed to store the stuff there for a bit while I get this job done.

The trailer was my project as I did break down and buy a TerraTrike Gran Tourismo, but the itch to build is there... so, the plans are still at hand... and perhaps in the next year or so, I'll make something else.

I had a lot of EMT kicking around. Not the greatest to weld with, but the purpose it was purchased for is gone (it helped support a cover for a sailboat owned by the Scout group) and I decided it would be my donor material. Princess Auto also had some sales on for some 2 in. wide 1/8 mild steel and some cold rolled rod. I thought I was buying 5 foot lengths, but oops, I got 8 foot ones. Lots of sacrificial material!

So, after getting the FCAW welder "dialed" in (max amps, wire speed 8, turn it on - it's a really basic welder) This is the bottom of the frame with the corner uprights.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210530_180217-jpg.1878/

Top rails on:

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210531_213407-jpg.1879/

I made paper templates in Fusion360, printed, glued to the steel, then cut 'em out for the wheel mounts/axles.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_121959-jpg.1880/

DannyC has made comments about spatter... And how! These are the beginning welds of the axle stubs.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_134101-jpg.1881/

All done, extra long as I was still shopping for wheels for this - and finding bike parts was nigh impossible (pandemic has cleaned things out - even the bike recycle shop in town here won't sell parts, save to actually repair a bike... projects like this? nope.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_162732-jpg.1882/

Wheel mounts welded in place.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210620_172910-jpg.1883/

Princess Auto to the rescue again, solid wheels on sale ~$15 ea., 75 lbs load/wheel and they look cool, I think.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210620_175234-jpg.1884/

So, there was a longish pause - some work stuff, some family stuff, y'know, life. But I used the in between moments to think about the tow arm. Decided I wanted three positions.

Tow position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195214-jpg.1885/
Stow position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195254-jpg.1887/
Pull/push position: https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195328-jpg.1888/

The high tech, not laser cut, three position bracket. (Sharpie, cardboard, ruler, bit of EMT to test rotation's, a vice and a 4 lb hammer, electric drill and an angle grinder with cut off and flap wheels)
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210725_195221-jpg.1886/

Remember I mentioned 8ft of 2 in. wide, 1/8th mild steel? Bracket time. well clamped vice, that 4 lb hammer, some angle grinder work, some drill work, bit of welding.. clamps to bike, pivots side to side, and up and down...
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_141305-jpg.1889/
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_151227-jpg.1890/
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_181213-jpg.1892/

And here I'm about to test ride with it attached (I'll paint, and put the floor/side board (recycled coroplast from a friend) in tomorrow, and then drop in the plastic tub that this was scaled for.
https://atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210730_180430-jpg.1891/

If you want to see some video of it in action, my wife was kind enough to record some video for me so I could check it's behaviour. I'm pretty chuffed, it worked better on the first try than I'd expected! I posted them over in the Terra Trike Owner's group on Facebook, and it should be a public post at this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/terratrikeowners/permalink/10159457815751878/

DannyC - thanks for the phrase liquid metal glue gun... it's so apt!

DK
Good to see you got it all done, congrats. :)
 
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
Just so that there's some wrap up - I prettied it up and got it ready for the road. The bin has 20 kg. of rock salt in it to see how the trailer behaved. woof - hit a bump and it wags. Smooth road, no issues. Going up hill? not bad. Going down hill? nearly generated an f-bomb. It wags the rear wheel. If there is ever a Trailer MII, I may seriously consider borrowing an idea from the guy who posts the JaYoe! vids. He got his hands on a trailer with hydraulic brakes, and he's able to quick connect/disconnect them.

However, sharp left and right turns do not scrub, or induce any desire by the trailer to tip, at least on level ground. I'll call this a decent success.

Pics are here:




 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
868
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
Looks good. I have never liked the idea of that one-sided hitch arrangement. Never tried it but never liked it. Any flexing has got to end up with some attempt at tail wagging and bumps to the right side wheel have got to try and induce that wagging as there could be plenty of leverage from that side.

I feel it was invented as a simple way of connecting a light trailer and load to a bicycle without modifying it and might be fine for that purpose. You don't see cars and trucks on the road with trailers attached off centre. My view is that anything more prententious requires something more pretentious and would ensure a central hitch..
 
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
Looks good. I have never liked the idea of that one-sided hitch arrangement. Never tried it but never liked it. Any flexing has got to end up with some attempt at tail wagging and bumps to the right side wheel have got to try and induce that wagging as there could be plenty of leverage from that side.

I feel it was invented as a simple way of connecting a light trailer and load to a bicycle without modifying it and might be fine for that purpose. You don't see cars and trucks on the road with trailers attached off centre. My view is that anything more prententious requires something more pretentious and would ensure a central hitch..
I am not fond of it either, but it does make the stowage easier. I gave thought to making a u shape clamp system, but was not sure about those small size ball end joints used on gas lifts etc. Maybe on a mark II trailer...
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,259
Location
Nottinghamshire England
The bin has 20 kg. of rock salt in it to see how the trailer behaved. woof - hit a bump and it wags. Smooth road, no issues. Going up hill? not bad. Going down hill? nearly generated an f-bomb. It wags the rear wheel
hard to tell from the pictures , however you need much more of that load infront of the wheels than behind ?

it also looks like the axles are bending/bent ? they may be causing ' steering ' ?

I have towed a trailer like that loaded with camping gear with no dramas ?



regards Paul
 
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
hard to tell from the pictures , however you need much more of that load infront of the wheels than behind ?

it also looks like the axles are bending/bent ? they may be causing ' steering ' ?

I have towed a trailer like that loaded with camping gear with no dramas ?



regards Paul
The load was - initially placed so that it was balance evenly across the axle point. I was testing after all. And yes the wheels are deliberately canted at a 5 degree angle - the thinking was to reduce bounce. There may be a bit of rotation due to frame issues, but the axle mounts are pretty square to the frame at the point of joining.

If I remake this, I will use square tube, and not EMT. Pobabaly go with less cant as well. Maybe only a degree each side. Empty it is not noticable, and does not bounce, but with load, we wag a wee bit on a bump.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,259
Location
Nottinghamshire England
Your trailer has the axle in the middle ? by the looks of it.

My commercial trailer has the axle towards the rear :-



You need quite a bit of weight on the towbar for the trailer to be stable when loaded and towed.

Paul

ps preparing for curry night :whistle:
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
3,192
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Your trailer has the axle in the middle ? by the looks of it.

My commercial trailer has the axle towards the rear :-



You need quite a bit of weight on the towbar for the trailer to be stable when loaded and towed.

Paul

ps preparing for curry night :whistle:
Mine too! It is so that your trailer is helping to keep your rear wheel firmly planted with "extra" traction when under load. ;)
 
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
More like axle tabs... they don't run the full width. As shown here:
https://www.atomiczombie.com/forum/media/20210613_162732-jpg.1882/

Can't post/paste images via my phone...

Yeah they are set back about .5 inch of the center line.

I borrowed that from a trailer I used to pull for Scouting events with a car, along with several ideas I viewed on the net.

I will try loading the front up more and retesting. But not for a few days. We are under a heat advisory, and I fall into the cateory of "Don't be stupid and try to exercise, or for that matter breathe in that"

Triking will wait for the temp and humidity to drop, and hopefully blow some more of the forest fire smoke from northern Ontario out of the Ottawa Valley.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
26
You might consider a solid axle if you redo. It should stabilize the trailer steering and will allow maximum trailer weight to be loaded. Good luck 👍
 
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
120
Location
Ottawa
You might consider a solid axle if you redo. It should stabilize the trailer steering and will allow maximum trailer weight to be loaded. Good luck 👍
Yup. I am fully preppared to need to add a beam across. But those axle stubs are pretty tough, and welded to the center tube they sit under.

The weak point is actually the cart wheels. They are max 75 pounds each. The ~24 inch span doesn't give that bit of EMT much flex. I suspect it would be a permanent bend if it budged under max load.

For my money capping my load to 100 maybe 120 pounds is fine. This was really not meant to move patio stones, just some groceries now and again as there is now a multiuse path between my house, Costco and Loblaws, or carry a cooler and some picnic supplies and a maybe Coleman 2 burner camp stove.

Though, unlike someone else on this forum who carried multiples, one pack of TP from Costco would fill my trailer. ;-)
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,259
Location
Nottinghamshire England
You might consider a solid axle if you redo. It should stabilize the trailer steering and will allow maximum trailer weight to be loaded. Good luck 👍
I think you need to explain this better ?

if you are talking about each wheel fastened to one end of a solid axle running in bearings ?

Then that is a bad idea , the wheels need to be able to rotate at different speeds when cornering , with a solid axle there will be really bad tyre scrub until the trailer tips over.

Paul
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,563
Location
Wakefield, UK
The stub axles will be more than adequate for any load anyone would want to pull any distance. As to nose weight, I'd suggest that is much more important to a two wheeled puller than a trike.
 
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