Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

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Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:38 pm

This will be a new larger version, primarily for Yogi.

Previous versions are here:
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... =2&t=18671
and here:
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... =2&t=54323
and here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=63781



It's first purpose is so he can get crate-rest to help his knee heal (we hope), since he is too active outside of a crate and keeps making it worse or at least preventing it from getting better. So if I take him to work with me and keep him in the kennel-trailer, in the breakroom like I do with Tiny when she is sick (she stays on the trike), he has a better chance of healing up.

I've been pondering it over here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=67833&p=1153915

since the old trailer is too small to hold even the regular crate he rests in right now when I'm home:
Image
where you see it folded up on top of the trailer; it extends out past where the wheels would be:
Image


To fix that, I could widen and lengthen the frame of the old trailer, but that trailer is still perfectly usable just as it is both on the trike and CrazyBike2, so this thread is to cover a whole new version.


Itll still be the same basic idea, except it'll be a flatbed that starts down below the axles, with fender frames very like that on the SB Cruiser trike, but entirely outside the flatbed frame, so that there will be a single large flat area for Yogi to lay on (and for cargo, eventually), rather than T- or hourglass-shaped area like the trike has and the other trailer would have.

There will be some flat deck area along with the fenders, too, but it isn't for the kennel, it's for strapping other stuff to, if I need the space.

Then I'll be building a "modular" wire crate style box for the top and sides, with an insulated roof to keep direct sun off of him, and can make removable insulated sides if I need them later.

I had thought at first I would build that so it could be used on the trike, too, but there's really no way to do it easily, and would require serious mods to the trike, and it would also be too wide and long for the trike, so I'm just going to do two separate ones (if I decide to do one on the trike, which I probably will eventually).


More later....
Last edited by amberwolf on Sun May 08, 2016 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby dogman dan » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:34 am

I've wondered about a trailer made with two large harbor freight casters instead of bike wheels. Or any other suitable, tiny wheel, like on the garden wagons.

Get the bed very low is the idea.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:06 pm

Small tires = jammed in potholes and terrible ride for the dog.

I'm actually going to go with 26" wheels on it, rather than 20", most likely, for that reason.

But the axles will be way up toward the middle of the kennel height, not the bottom of it, so teh load is slung down low between the wheels. STill working out the frame layout for it, am about to go out there and start cutting and tackwelding parts.

Still pondering which wheels to use, too; I intend to use rim brakes on it so want to use aluminum rims with good braking surfaces, rather than the old steel rims (which are often wider) that I have. Iv'e got a couple of nearly-identical-rim front wheels that should work, though both are QR-hubs, and I'd rather have bolt-on wheels (less likely to be stolen without having to chain them up, too if I am out somewhere). The rims are just singlewall, but they are wider, though they dont have machined braking surfaces. I also have a pair of narrower singlewall rims with machined brake surfaces, and I might use them instead, if the braking on the other ones isn't sufficient.


Some pics of potential layouts and stuff (though they show 20" wheels next to the frame, I won't be using those), including the wood taken off a disassembled pallet; it's not in great condition but should be strong enough when bolted or screwed to the underframe crossbars.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby dogman dan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:26 am

Ahh, yeah, I wasn't thinking of ride quality. Just getting the deck low, and having a tire that would take a long time to wear out.

Looking nice! BTW, no spring trip to AZ this year. Going ballooning in ABQ instead.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:32 pm

Aw, we were hoping you'd come see and test ride it (the trike, not the trailer, but you could test that too :lol: ).

Maybe next time.


I've got the trailer bed mostly tacked together, working out the wheel mounts and hitch. I decided to make the trailer "active bed" area fully 3 feet wide, so that I can actually have both Tiny and Yogi in the single trailer, if it's ever necessary, so for instance I could carry them both on CrazyBike2 without having to put a hitch ball on the back of one trailer to pull the other. :) (which I might do anyway, eventually).

The wheels look cambered but that's cuz they're just leaning on the frame; they won't be in the actual trailer.
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That also lets me carry much larger cargo if necessary--I could actually fit the SB Cruiser itself on the trailer, if it werent' for the length. I still could, maybe, if I strapped the front wheel down just about where the ball hitch tongue is, and had the rear tires just at the back edge of the bed. It's about 4 feet long for the bed area, and another foot+ for the tongue end, not counting the actual tongue
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Now I have to make and tack on the wheel support/dropout frame, which will be made from parts of my old chariot-style trailer I used to use with DayGlo Avenger. I'll probably never use it for anythign else; it's been retired for years, and it was my first attempt at building anything that actually ended up useful but it was pretty awful. So I cut off the dropouts along with a section of chain/seatstays, on both sides, and am going to use those to build triangles that weld to the top of the sideframes of the trailer, sticking up sorta like fenders, but not actually themselves fenders cuz they're in the center of the wheel.
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That will let the wheel be mostly above the deck, to keep the deck low. The dropouts will be angled forward and down, so that bumps will tend to drive the wheel back into the dropouts if for some reason the nuts/etc are ever loose, but it wont' be that hard for me to get the wheel in or out to change it/fix flats/etc even with the trailer loaded.
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I was going to use just a vertical slot dropout like on SBC, in the inner apex of the triangle, but to get the wheel in and out of that even with QR hubs I'd have to twist the wheel at an angle after getting it out of the dropout slot, and if I'm dealing with a loaded trailer full of wiggly dog on the side of the road, that might be more than I can do, especially if it's really hot out, etc.

So, the other dropout type should be almost as strong (not quite) and still be easier to get in and out of.


I still have to tack in the square tubes for the crate-frame to snap down into; they'll stick up along the frame edge inboard of the wheels. WHen it's done, the weight of the crate will be most of what holds it down, and I have some twist latches I plan to use to fully secure it down at the corners.

THen tack the crate-frame together around those points, then tack a door/gate to the end of it (at the front), and then tack the crate-wire-cage stuff to the crate-frame.

When I'm sure that all comes out ok, I'll fully weld everything and load test it.

Once it's together, I'll know if there willb e problems with the wheels during sideloading. It's possible I might need to add some type of bracing to connect the wheel dropout-frames to each other at their tops, but I'm hoping not.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:18 pm

I'd origianlly planned on square tubing for the triangle braces for wheels, to stiffen the sideloading resistance. I thought I would skip that just to get it going, and use the stays/dropouts off the old trailer, but after some playing with them I realized that they are pretty wimpy, and I'm going to be putting loads on them that they were never designed for. So I thought, I'd put just the dropouts on the square tubing triangles, and that would vbe stiffer.

I screwed up the first one somehow; dunno what I did but marked and cut it and messed it way way up.
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After cutting one dropout off the stays and test fitting stuff, I then realized that at some point I'm probably going to put hubmotors on here if I can, for power assist and braking, but if I do I"d have to reinforce these thin flexy dropouts a lot. Why do taht when I already ahve a couple BMX fframes with hefty enough dropouts that will support hubmotors pretty well without that?


So I cut the dropouts off these two frames, and made up the triangles of square tubing. The dropouts will weld to the inner faces of these triangles.
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Wheel supports are cut and shaped, clamped together for tackwelding to ensure all are the same angles. Then I'll clamp them together again with the new dropouts, and tack those on, and verify wheel positioning, etc.
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After I get done with lunch and posting this, got a couple other things to get done around the house before I get to go weld things together and test roll the trailer around.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:27 am

I'm so far behind that I am first ensuring the flatbed part of the trailer is fully built, and then I'll make the crate for the top of it, cuz if for some reason I can't finish that in time, I can still strap down his regular crate to it. :) (which won't fit on the old trailer)

So I tacked it all together for the wheel mounts, and verified it's still all flat, wheels vertical and parallel, and then fully welded all that, and verified still flat after that.
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Then I dug thru all my tires and tubes for 26", inflated all the tubes without obvious holes or age damage, etc., setting aside all the unrepairable ones to be cut open for use as tire liners. I found four still-good tubes, one thick but patched in two places, two not super thin but not thick, and one super thin. After soap-water testing them for pinhole leaks and valve problems, I set them aside to dry.

I cut open the three thickest (very thick) bad tubes, which even if repaired I wouldn't trust given the extent of damage to them (one already had numerous patches, another had cracks at a fold, and another had several seam ruptures). First removed the valve stem and thick area around that, to leave room for valve stems on the tubes these will go around as protection. Then sliced along the inner circumference, and washed them all out--every one had chunked-up Slime in it.

This is what it looks like when it's all congealed in one spot in your tube, if you didn't know already:
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Then I went thru the tires, and found that the best three of them are all different, though two are Kendas with wide "slick" centers and knobby edges to different degrees; the third is a Maxxis knobby. All three happen to also still have Slime plastic tire liner strips in them, so I left them in there, as one more puncture-resistant layer. Under that went the cut-open tube, and inside that the tube to be inflated. Installed this assembly on each of three wheels, two with wide rims that will be my initial wheels, and one narrower rim that will go on the trailer as a whole spare wheel, just in case something happens on the road.


Mounted the main two on the trailer, and verified trueness and bearings free-rolling (one takes several minutes to completely stop, the other more than two).


Now I need to cut and weld the triangle for the front hitch mount, and the tongue.
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THen weld on tabs to screw the boards to, and screw them down to it. I might instead use 2x4 crossbeams salvaged from the same pallet to screw all the boards down to, and then bolt the crossbeams to the frame, to save time right now.
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Then I can strap down a bunch of heavy stuff, and load test it riding around the neighborhood, once I get the new tubes for the trike's new tires (tomorrow afternoon sometime, most likely).

It'll be a new experience riding with a trailer that is this wide (almost four feet, I think). Definitely a road-only trailer, not easily usable on sidewalks or bike paths on the canals (because of the bollards blocking entrances to them in some places).
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby izeman » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:47 am

A cool build!! I maybe would not trust the dropouts. They are loaded completely different then in the bmx bike. I would weld a support to the upper side so it can't move. I will post a picture of what i mean when i have access to the pc again.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:23 pm

Well, they're not totally done yet. A plan exists to add a small-diameter (1/2 square tubing, probably) "vertical" to the jagged edge of each, which is mostly to support a fender frame that will prevent cargo from ever rubbing on the wheel, but will also serve to prevent "wiggle" of the dropout plates.

However, I don't think I will actually have any problems with them, at least not with non-motorized wheels--have to load test everything first, once I have the hitch finished (mostly done, but have to leave soon to go get the tubes for the trike tires, which is another critical part in order to do the load test) and the deck secured to the frame.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby izeman » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:12 pm

i'd suggest adding support (black) to the dropouts anyway. takes a few minutes, and i will stop the dropouts from opening. where they normally are installed they are loaded completely different.

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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:21 pm

That's where the vertical will go, so it will be that support.


I got the main part of the hitch tongue welded on, the central beam the ball hitch mechanics bolt to (though I will weld it on as I don't have bolts that will work for this), and one of the triangulation beams from it to the front left corner; still need to do the one to the right corner.
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I got the tubes for the trike's tires and installed them, then test drove it around pulling the trailer in the neighborhood, just it's frame (no deck, load, etc), and it pulls pretty well like that, doesn't bounce around too much even with the 50PSI tire pressure; probably cuz it's so wide.

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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:08 pm

Glued the boards with split-ends last night, and today I'm drilling and screwing them together around the frame, to make the flatbed. Adding in the second brace up front (cutting and shaping the ends to fit the angles it's at is complex), and the vertical stubs for the fender braces (to hold coroplast sheets to keep doggy parts out of wheels, mostly, right now).

Add in a mount for the lighting bar off the other trailer (it's meant to be swappable), and extensions to the wiring if needed (just a 5-pin round DIN male-female, like MIDI uses), to reach the trike's outlet.

Maybe make a mount for the spare tire up on the hitch area.

If I can work it out, a retractable third wheel at the hitch area so I can walk the trailer around with Yogi in it, as I can't maneuver the whole trike and trailer thru the store as a unit. It won't be any fun for that part of things, but it's the only practical way I can think of to do it.

At that point, it will be as ready as it can be for the first trip Monday using just the regular crate strapped to it, until I can build the bigger crate on top of it.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:56 am

All I managed between everything else that had to get done was to

--half-finish the deck; much of it is screwed to under-frame crossbraces, enough to be stable and support weight (me standing on it), but there's a few dozen screws left ot install and my arms and hands just can't do any more of it for now. :( PIc below is about halfway thru what I got done.
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--finish the hitch brace/hitch welding

--strap down his standard crate on the half-finished deck (the straps and the underside crossbeams will keep it on the trailer)

--ziptie the lighting bar from the back of the old trailer to the top rear edge of his crate

--ziptie the SMV sign below the lighting bar

--add some reflective tape to teh back edges of the trailer frame

--strap the spare wheel to the top of the crate.


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Everything else will have to get done in little increments as I have time between work and everything else.


Here it is lit up attached to the trike, essentially ready for tomorrow's commute:

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.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:03 pm

Some daylight pics just before the test ride with Yogi as the test load.
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The ride itself went fine, though there are two problems:

The rear edge of the trailer catches on my driveway on exit, just a bit, as the wheels go down into the gutter. Doesn't happen on entrance. I think this is because the new Shinko moped/mc tires are so much taller than the bicycle tires I had on it when I set up the trailer's hitch height. Thankfully, an easy fix will be to alter the hitch on the trike itself to lower it some, though I'm not going to mess with it right now, in case I mess it up, so I'd have time to fix it back (which I probably wouldn't given that I have to head out to work in a couple of hours)--if I couldn't put it back usably, I'd have no way to haul the trailer with the trike.

The other problem is that when Yogi gets in, there is a very slight side-to-side wiggle, which he then compensates for, but the delay in compensation means it sets up a resonance and the wiggle gets worse until he basically is standing there "shaking" trying to compensate for a wiggle that would stop if he just stopped. So I have to tell him to sit, and then it stops. But it can happen anytime he stands up, because of the way he stands up.

I checked the wheel bearings for slop and they don't seem to have any, the cones are just tight enough to not interfere with rolling and not allow wiggle. Any tighter and they bind, any looser and they wiggle.


So we'll see how things go on the actual commute.

And Tiny was disappointed that she didn't get to go on the test ride (will be even moreso that she doesn't go to work with us, since she is well enough to stay home now, and I need to see how things go with just Yogi before I try having both of them up there, which hopefully won't have to happen).
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Last edited by amberwolf on Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:14 pm

Retractable front stand with caster now installed, so it can sit level when not on the trike (as long as Yogi doesn't back up to the back of the crate and sit there, cuz that will cause it to tip back on it's rear edge; might need to add retractable casters back there, too, but they'll have to be differently mounted than the front one).
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:00 am

So far nothing has fallen off, or failed at all, and I've gotten quite a few positive reactions from pedestrians and even drivers passing me, both day and night.

Only the usual couple of jerks here and there that have to roar past, gunning their engines at far greater than the speed limit just to show that they were being slowed down by me being on the road (and not in the lane they were in), but even they give me the whole lane. :)


It's not quite as hard as I thought it would be to maneuver thru the store, especially after adding the front caster--but since Yogi usually puts most of his weight at the back edge whiel I'm trying to move it around, it also needs the casters back there, cuz it is very difficult to keep it level and move it and not hit anything and not bang into it with my own legs, etc., all at the same time.

I'll have to dig out some casters and hinges and locking pins, to make ones taht will fold out of the way as I can't really add ones that just raise up out of the way vertically at the rear edge, since it already has the clearance problem back there when exiting my driveway.

Not sure if this will happen tomorrow morning or not, as I also am in process of trimming / mowing / weed pulling that I did not get much done of during my week off, and which is just at the beginnings of getting problematic due to the good weather for growing things--and it's expected to be rainy by the weekend so I need to be doing this before then (as it will only get worse faster then).
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby izeman » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:38 pm

i really like the way you do your projects. think about it, do it. no brain farts like i do, trying to over engineer everything :)
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:57 am

Oh, I'm well capable of overthinking things; I have at least two bikes that never got built because of that, and one that started to be but then got sidelined after the main frame was built, because of overthinking drivetrains, suspension, etc. (then the housefire, and all the subsequent mess of events) Frame is actually sitting next to a tree right this minute, since I haven't got the stuff back in the shed after building this trailer week before last. :/


But sometimes, I don't have time for any of that, and I just build what works just good enough for the job at present, and then fix things as i find they won't work out properly, or add stuff that turns out to be needed. That's about half of how this trailer has been built, since I did actually have a plan, but I haven't been able to follow all of it, and had to do some workarounds, last minute changes, etc. Some of those changes are probably better, though, than the plan was.



I'd also planned to do some extra work on the trailer this weekend, but I got super sick Friday night, and am only just now getting to be able to get up and do things beyond walking Yogi and Tiny for potty, and doing the same for myself, keeping hydrated, and resting (sleeping intermittently, laying htere too weak to do much of anything at all most of the time until a few hours ago). I don't know what it was. I'd felt queasy, with very toxic-smelling gas, for the last few hours of my shift at work, and by the time I got home I was wishing I could puke, but it wasnt' happening yet. Then the roiling guts turned into massive diarrhea, and shortly after that it was coming out both ends, which lasted overnight. :(

Tiny mostly stayed in the bedroom corner, but Yogi "guarded" the hallway, protecting me since I was sick and weak.


Raine helped out as much as possible, too, but I had to just get thru it and rest thru today to get where I am now--enough to be able to go back to work tomorrow, I hope.





FWIW, pulling this thing on the trike, plus it's new Shinko tires, with Yogi in the trailer, is about 70+ wh/mile for power usage, on the 5-ish mile work commute.

I'll test the trike without trailer at some point (had planned to this weekend), and see how much the tires are eating by themselves.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:50 am

Today I managed to hit every light green, every traffic crossing or turn clear, so I didn't have to stop but a couple times each way (where there are actual stop signs), so wh/mile was only 61 average (vs 70+ previously).

Still high but shows that the real loss is from acceleration not from drag/rolling resistance (though I'm sure there is some of that, too, with the open-framework trailer/crate being so low to the ground it's not as much as the trike itself by any means, I'm sure).



Another improvement I'd like to get done tomorrow if I can is to add a handle to the top of the front "jack" wheel support. Presently I've been using my cane, handle-end partly inserted into it's top, to lean on and drag it thru the store, but it's hard cuz I have to bend over at a weird angle to do it, and keep hitting my ankles with the frame edges, and I don't have the cane to support me otherwise, so it's only with the rolling (and wiggling, with Yogi) trailer itself that I can support myself.

Should be easy to do, just have to measure, cut, and spotweld a small upside-down "L", with the taller portion of square tubing that inserts into the jack support, and the shorter piece of round tubing to make a good handle to pull or push it by. Might make it a "T" instead, with the crossbar of round tubing. Then I can make two "pushbuttons", at right angles to each other, that let it latch into the jack support in either of two ways depending on how i need the handle to fit to pull/push the trailer around and which side I have to pull/push it from.



Another thing I'd like to do is add a couple of small motors; they don't have to be fast, just have a lot of torque. Can be on/off, no speed control needed as I can gear them to be the right speed for crawling along, just pushbuttoning whenever I need the boost to push it along without the trike, on the smooth level floor inside the store, with Yogi in the crate and me sitting on the front "running board" basically steering with my feet along the ground.


Interestingly, I may have exactly what's needed, for free, in a "monster trax suv" toy car for kids to ride in, tossed out in the alley by someone in the neighborhood after the kids broke off plastics and switches needed to operate it. (pics later when I get them; it's too dark outside now and it's black palstic).

The SLA battery (7ah, 12v) appears to still be good, was 12.5v when I pulled it, and charged up with the Pb mode of the Accucel6 charger just fine, about 4.5Ah back into it. Havent' tested discharge yet, am still letting it just sit overnight to see how it holds a charge.

All it has for controls is a switch in a pedal, with an autoresetting thermal protection in series with that, in the Battery+ line. Then there's a switch for forward/reverse, whcih is broken off at the "gearshift" plastics, but the switch is probably still functional. Then there's an on/off switch for the main power, and a DC charging jack.

The power from all that goes to a pair of tiny brushed motors that run gearboxes that then drive the rear two hollow plastic 6"-ish diameter wheels. (the front wheels are identical but unpowered).


I haven't tested the actual thing as a whole, as it's too small to directly use as-is for anything I could use a small powered platform for--I'd have to stretch it out just to sit in it myself, or else all my weight would be way out over past the rear wheels, and I'd jsut wheelie up and fall on my back. :lol:

But I might relocate the powered stuff (with actual tires/wheels) to something more substantial as a "garden cart" sort of thing, if the motors can't be used to do what I want on this trailer. :)
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:53 am

I kinda figure they won't last; I doubt I'll ever have time to try them out anyway. :/


The trailer itself has held up perfectly so far, with daily use hauling Yogi back and forth to work, and keeping him in the crate on it while at work.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:21 am

No issues with trailer yet; used daily for Yogi transport/containment since building it, until Monday; unused for two days, now is used for Tiny transport/containment as she's sick again:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68997&p=1172445#p1172445
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:46 am

So Friday just after I got to work, I setup Tiny's trailer in the breakroom, then as I sat down as usual on the wooden "runner" in front of the crate door, with the door open behind me resting against the vertical jack post, and me leaning agianst that, so I can feed her icecubes before I start my shift.....then the jack collapsed and left us both pretty surprised.

The welds didn't break, but the thin metal of the outer post ripped thru just outside the welds, tearing the post away from the trailer frame. :/

So when I redo this I'll be adding tubing or bracing on the jackstand post to secure it on all four sides to the frame itself.

I'll also be moving the jackstand to the other side of the frame, forward of the triangulation, just behind the hitch, so that I can open the crate door fully (which can't be done with it in the other spot).

Planned on doing htis today but the long-delayed yardwork took too long, so it'll have to be tomorrow (cuz I need it ready for work on MOnday, since Tiny is still no better, and we're still waiting for a decision from the vet on new pain meds to help her out).
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:07 pm

I still havent' gotten the jackstand fixed, too tired and too much else to do for Tiny (whose back legs aren't working right / at all presently).

Because of that I did do one conversion on the trailer, though. I moved the spare wheel to the right side, and removed the hinge-clips on the left edge of the top of the crate, that allow it to fold up for storage (which I don't ever do), so now I can open the top of the crate when getting TIny in and out, so I can hold her back end up while she turns around, and help her up to get out, etc.
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For a few days she could still do something with the back legs, and would help just enough that I could lift her thru the side door and the front door, one arm thru each, but that became impossible after that; I did it for two days after she couldn't do anything with her back legs, but I myself hurt so much after that point and was so exhausted that I knew I couldn't keep doing it that way.

So I opened up the top and that made it "easy" to do, relatively.

MOving the spare wheel to the side was so I could put her wheelchair up there, folded up and tied down, as I also couldn't hold her rear end up for potty walks anymore either.
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I would like to remove the whole top wires on the front of the crate, over the door, so I can do it even easier (without swapping hands on the harness), and in one smooth movement which will be easier on her, but I'm not sure if I can work out a structural bracing that will replace that, without welding tubing around the top and corners. If I have to do that I would rather build the custom crate instead.


So, what I'll probably do is finish the work on the crate for the trike's back end, but design it with the open top like this would have, and then not have to use the trailer for her (cuz presently she cant turn around by herself in the trike's crate, and I cannot reach in at all to help her). That will greatly simplify taking her with me back and forth to work and such.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 6:26 pm

no need to worry about any of the stuff above now, as tiny no longer has a use for it. see here
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68997&start=50#p1180630
for details, and replies to it are best done there.

i still have stuff to do to the trailer for yogi and for cargo use, but that will all have to wait until it has to be used again.
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Re: Amberwolf's Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk IV

Postby amberwolf » Sun May 15, 2016 3:51 am

While I haven't yet fixed the other things above, I got some mods done to this trailer to help keep Yogi shaded and cool in the increasing heat about midday when I am on my way to work.

Since I got Yogi's new playmate Teddy (one week ago today),
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and Yogi doesn't like her yet,
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I've been taking one or the other of them to work with me all week. Monday and Tuesday it was Teddy, as I meant to take Yogi on Tuesday but had not yet gotten the trailer re-readied in time for him (as I had not yet been able to bring myself to clean it out after having to keep Tiny in it overnight after her death).

So Wednesday morning, I pulled out the trailer and cleaned it up.

Since it's getting a lot hotter now, already in the low 100's F, and we're riding to work a bit past midday, Yogi needs more than just the two little pieces of ~1" styrofoam (lids from coolers) that shade a little more than 1/2 of the surface area of the top of the crate.

First I removed those, which were mounted on the inside of the crate top.

I picked out a number of flat square pieces of 1" styrofoam, each a bit more than 18" across, and fit them together in a 2-layer "puzzle" so they overlapped for half their width in each direction, then cut them where they overhung the edge of the crate top. I drizzled white "elmers" type glue on the top of the bottom layer, and then pressed the top layer pieces down on to those, so that it'd be held together a bit while I did the next bit.
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I cut a sheet of 1/16" white plastic out of an old sign saved from the remodels at work a few years back, and then made holes thru that and the edge pieces of styrofoam, then ziptied the lot to the edges of the crate top in a way that I coudl still open that lid if I need to, without removing this insulated top. Then ziptied that top to the sides of the crate at their top edges, so that I could cut those and open it if I have to.
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Sometime in the week before Tiny died, I had cut the top "bars" of the crate itself off, so tht I could help her in and out of the crate more directly. I'd intended to make a reinforcement frame around the front of the crate at the bottom, as a U, to hold it in it's original shape so the door would open and close normally, but I never got that done. Didnt' ahve time to do ti that day, either, or since, so it's still difficult to open and close the latches on the door, though at least with the ziptied top in place it is easy to open and close the door itself.


The new lid makes a big difference in the temperature under it, sitting in still air like at a stop light, under the midday sun. I'd guess without an actual measurement that it is at least 20 degrees cooler under it tahn in the direct sunlight. When moving, it can be made even cooler, but I haven't yet got the concept finished for making "towel curtains" on it that can be rolled up when not needed, but left ziptied to the top all the time. Then they can be wet down before a ride (and during if it's long enough) and evaporative cooling will keep the temperatures even lower.

I've already done this for Tiny with the plastic crate on SB Cruiser, last summer, though there was no permanent mounting like I intend on this crate trailer, and it makes a significant difference in temperature inside the crate, as long as it is moving--less so when it's still air around it, but even then it still makes a difference.
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