Trailer Modifications

By | March 19, 2010

piece of copper used as support

piece of copper used as support

This weather! Gorgeous!

I wanted to go down to Humber Bay Park yesterday, but I chickened out. Google tells me it’s only 3.1kms, easy peasy right? The bit that makes me nervous is making a left turn from Royal York onto the Queensway. And then riding on the Queensway…. eek. Maybe Monday. Need more courage.

Anyway – the trailer. And our recent mods. It’s a Bell trailer – low end. It’s got a basic square shaped frame on the bottom, with no cross supports to speak of. The fabric is getting a little saggy, and the only thing that holds the back cargo area together is Velcro. I wasn’t willing to test out the strength of that combination with a bag of milk, 10kg of flour and 5kg of rice plus all the other bulky but light items that I’d need to carry. The red plastic bin I used to keep in the trunk of the car is the perfect width, but when I tried to strap it in to the back it just wobbled all over the place – it was pivoting on the back frame. My dear husband disappeared into the garage for a few minutes and came out with this piece of copper and a few screws.

my shopping basket

my shopping basket

A few more screws (and some huge washers), and the basket is well secured to the frame. I picked up a luggage strap at the dollar store to use as a safety strap. It loops around the frame and down through the front of the basket where it cantilevers off the trailer frame. As an added bonus, the strap bisects the upper part of the cargo space in such a way as to support tall items and keep them from tipping out. The kids have also laid claim to the strap as a place to hang their helmets.

The drawback now is the ‘rain cover’ no longer covers the back end very well. I’ve got some water resistant fabric – now I need to cut apart the rain cover and add some gussets that fit around the basket. I also need to work on the closure system – this trailer is held together with Velcro. The Chariot trailers have a really nice plastic clip system that holds the covers down, and the Zigo uses an elastic and toggle system – both superior to the Velcro. As a temporary measure I put two grommets in the back of the cover and slipped a bungee cord around the back of the basket (not in the pic below). It’s good enough for now, but I wouldn’t want to take it out in the rain.

This needs work.

This needs work.

Our test run to the grocery store went well, I didn’t notice any changes in balance or handling – but with all the weight I’m hauling who would?

I’ve been looking a lot at folks who build their own trailers, trying to come up with a way to make this one better. I would really love to have all three children in the trailer – it would make the ride so much more comfortable for me. We’ll see. It certainly won’t be an easy fix.

Now, off the computer, and out to enjoy this weather!


4 Comments

Joe T. on March 19, 2010 at 8:04 am.

Thanks for the update Claire. Your trailer is looking good!

michael holloway on March 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm.

Claire,
I made an addition to the BikeRouteWiki Project Blog: Toronto: Royal York and Bloor to Humber Bay Park

http://bikingtoronto.com/bicycleroutemappingwiki/2010/03/19/toronto-royal-york-and-bloor-to-humber-bay-park/

As I commented at Sport Distance Calculator I’ve never cycled this route. I found it by studying Google Maps satellite images. The altitude thingy seems to indicate it’s not to up and down hilly.

If you try it let me know if it works for you.

Michael

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