My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

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motomech
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My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by motomech » Jan 24, 2017 5:01 pm

I first ordered the Sepnine Bike Commuter Cargo Trailer Alum frame with bag and handle 8007T;
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CW ... UTF8&psc=1
It was a good deal for $150 w/ a nice bag, but I could see right away it wouldn't hold up to my rough usage, especially the trailer arm to frame joint. So I sent it back(luv Amazon).
The other option is the Burley, but at $250 w/out a bag, I paused and thought about what I really wanted.
Folding to a sm. package wasn't important to me and neither was being able to convert it into a shopping cart to roll into the store(there are shopping carts there :roll:
What mattered to me was durability and the ability to handle dirt roads, so I decided to make my own using a hand truck.
To get decent sized pneumatic tires, one need to go w/ a serious truck, starting w/ a capacity of around 500 lb.s., so I went w/ this one;
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200596447
It's steel, but @ that capacity, the alum. ones don't weigh much less and cost 10 X more.
I cut off the loop leaving the angled stub at the bottom;
SAM_1124.JPG
Then I built the arm out of mild steel tubing from Columbia River Mandrel Bending;
1)1.25" Mild Steel, 1.80" Radius, 16 Gauge, 18 Deg. Mandrel Bend Item #MS-16-125-180-018
2 Ft. of 1.00" OD, 16 Gauge, Mild Steel Straight Tube;

there was some slop in the way the pieces fit together, so I shimmed the tubes w/ a 1.25" thin steel kitchen sink down-pipe from the hardware.
SAM_1128.JPG
What makes this whole thing work is the Burley hitch system w/ the "flex" connector;
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0038 ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G ... UTF8&psc=1
This set-up is really slick(the Sepnine hitch was a flimsy ball and socket).
.
Northern Tool forgot to include the axle for the hand truck, but it didn't matter as I wanted to widen the track for stability. I used a 1/2" hollow tube and 5/8" spacers and moved ea. tire out an additional 2 inches;
SAM_1127.JPG
I had to cut off the big handle loop so my leg wouldn't catch it when mounting the bike. I left 2 stubs in case I want to use the truck as a hand truck and have a pr. of 1' Harley grips on order to cover them.

I thought about using a duffle bag, but saw this beautician's cabnet in the second hand store for $20 and went w/ it. It's lite, has tub/drawers and a folding locking door;
SAM_1129.JPG
SAM_1130.JPG
I haven't weighed it, but it's no liteweight and by the time I ordered the tubing off the Net, bought the hardware at the local ACE and payed for the hitch, I probably could have gotten the Burley.
But I don't have to worry about this Travoy breaking.
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by Voltron » Jan 24, 2017 5:21 pm

Totally being a spelling nitpicker... but its travois. (I only mention it in case another travois fan skips the thread thinking its a bike brand or something)

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by Voltron » Jan 24, 2017 5:21 pm

Totally being a spelling nitpicker... but its travois. (I only mention it in case another travois fan skips the thread thinking its a bike brand or something)

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by motomech » Jan 24, 2017 5:57 pm

Better write to Burley.
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'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by melodious » Jan 24, 2017 7:26 pm

I have the Burley Travoy (that's how they spell it). At speeds above 20mph the thing is a danger in turns and a lucky bump to one wheel can make it wobble to the point of falling over. It's a glorious fun/risk reward as long as you know your cargo is up for the task. :P

I'm wondering how long the bearings on that dolly will hold up. Only one way to find out... :twisted:
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 24, 2017 9:57 pm

I use my Travoy ( and thanks for the spelling correction, when I don't want to use the Burley corrected name...) to haul 8 to 12 gallons of gas. I have yet to feel the wobble you mention, but you got my attention, and I now have my guard up! I did notice once, pulling out of a gas station in a small town in Montana last summer, that if I really romped on the throttle while pulling out in front of on coming traffic (one of those "if I zip across now, I'll easily make it, if I hesitate, I'll have to wait for a whole line of vehicles",) so I punched it. A tweaked BBSHD, so a fair bit of scoot. I did a pretty good wheely, I'm sure I impressed the driver of the Winnebago I pulled in front of (sort of, plenty of clearance, but he had a good view), and while it surprised me, while I was wheeling I put two and two together and figured out why. That high seat post area the hitch is working off of, no problem at all with lighter weights and judicious use of the throttle, but maxxed out weight wise and full throttle in a low gear..... So now I ease into the throttle a bit, no problem really once you are aware of the issue. I use my Travoy a lot as a hand cart, I really like it over all, but it never occurred to me to convert an existing handcart into a bike trailer, good idea!

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by LewTwo » Jan 25, 2017 7:35 am

Good job. I thought about trying that but got lucky and caught a discounted Travoy on Amazon warehouse. The thing I like about it is that I can roll it right into the grocery store and no one complains. I generally haul 40-50 pounds of groceries on mine. The bike handles much better than hanging all that weight off the sides of the rear wheel. I did have it flip one time when I hit a concrete curb with the right wheel on a busy street --- not good.
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy.

Post by dogman dan » Jan 25, 2017 8:31 am

I added trailer to the title, I was unaware what a travoy was too.

That's cool. I have thought about doing that too. Instead, I just made a trailer using an old ladder for the frame. I first saw that idea on Mr Money Mustache.

Carries up to 200 pounds ok.
Long bike trailer.jpg
Long bike trailer.jpg (93.47 KiB) Viewed 1124 times
Coffin camper.jpg
Coffin camper.jpg (113.25 KiB) Viewed 1124 times
My grocery getter is the cheap bob style trailer from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Aosom-Single-Whe ... ke+trailer

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by motomech » Jan 25, 2017 11:12 am

.. I did have it flip one time when I hit a concrete curb with the right wheel on a busy street --- not good.
Yeah, I have already done that, the grippy tire just climbed up and over the curb. But the trailer was empty.
There are accounts of the Burley Travoy having flipped over w/out the rider crashing. the key item again is the Flex connector;
31kvIy59buL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
31kvIy59buL._SL500_AA300_.jpg (7.55 KiB) Viewed 1113 times
It's a plastic-like material that is so hard that one can't hardly bend it by hand, but will twist 180 degrees(in the event of a tip-over)and return to it's normal shape(still servicable).
I think a ball and socket like the other travoy I looked at would either pull the bike over or break apart.
I don't think I would have built this w/out this gizmo.
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by Voltron » Jan 25, 2017 3:33 pm

Late reply.. sorry, didn't realize it was a brand name of a specific product. Which makes sense, since any hardcore travois user would think using wheels is cheating :D
travois2.jpg
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by nutnspecial » Jan 25, 2017 5:35 pm

Nice!

Would there be any net-gain with doing like a kid's bike wheel? Like 16" or something? I guess the higher cog wouldn't be desired.

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by amberwolf » Jan 26, 2017 1:27 am

If you move the axles up too, so the bottom of the trailer is not any higher, then it would enable going over bigger holes/bumps/curbs with heavier loads on it.

I did something like this for the MkIV flatbed trailer, moving the axles of the 26" wheels up above the bed of the trailer, so that is still lower than it would be with 20" wheels like I used on the previous versions, but rides MUCH better (it's also wider which helps too, but the lower bed makes a huge difference).
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 27, 2017 12:04 am

A pretty cool trailer design here, though ICE powered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTeNwmngao4

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by 1JohnFoster » Jan 27, 2017 1:01 am

Thanks for the tip on the Burley dildo hitch!

I like the little hand truck wheels too. Good ones are indestructible. I built many bike trailers with the little wheels and hauled an awful lot of junk.

Mostly I made flat beds using plywood doors. But I always used suspension; bolted the axle to a piece of plywood as a "trailing arm" and sway bar in one. A couple of times I used skis in front of the wheels - they worked really well and I could drive right up onto curbs. Chunks of foam from lifejackets were the springs. One nice thing about flatbeds is you can stand them up to park, they don't take much space. I used rubber mats to hold the loads with friction, and had a little wooden lip around the edge so I didn't usually tie the loads down.

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by LewTwo » Mar 21, 2017 10:53 am

I have the a Burley Travoy Bike Trailer but I have two bikes and Burly gets premium prices for their hitches. If you want to attached to a rear carrier rack then there is an additional; $22 part required. I am a "Cheap Charlie" and could not tolerate the idea of spending nearly $100 so I came up with something different.
DIY Travoy Hitch 00(799).JPG
DIY Travoy Hitch 00(799).JPG (46.49 KiB) Viewed 880 times
The principal part here is a 1/4-20 x 4 inch long stainless hex bolt purchased from the local Home Despot. The head was cut off and 1/4-20 thread added via a common threading die for the wingnut. The trailer needs to be about 3/4 to 1 inch above the plane of the rack so it will not hit the rack going over bumps and such. The 3/8 aluminum tube and 1/4 fender washer were epoxied in place to avoid the rattle without the trailer attached. The two aluminum bars clamp the hitch to the rack.

I added a similar arrangement to my Golden Motors rack mount battery.
Attachments
DIY Travoy Hitch 01.JPG
DIY Travoy Hitch 02.JPG
The more I learn the more obvious the immensity of my ignorance becomes.
Weight Wennie E-Bike https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 3#p1173723
Shaft Drive Grocery Getter https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =6&t=90718
...and thanks to Justin!

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by motomech » Dec 19, 2017 5:42 pm

Since this general subject came up, I thought I would update this post.
The trailer still works great and the only problem I have had was w/ the original tires. They were hard as a rock, super smelly and one went flat right away, so I replaced them
These were on sale when I bought them and rather than try and repair a flat, I bought two pr.s and carry a spare. These tires are soft and rounded and don't stink. Much better.
SAM_1180.JPG
SAM_1181.JPG
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J ... UTF8&psc=1
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=83430
'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100C 201 12S LiPoly elifebike 9-FET 17A controller. 20 MPH.
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by Chalo » Dec 20, 2017 1:31 am

1JohnFoster wrote:
Jan 27, 2017 1:01 am
Thanks for the tip on the Burley dildo hitch!
All three of my cargo trailers use Burley hitches. You can get the dildo piece either smooth (for 1" round tube trailer tongues) or ribbed (for 1" square tongues). I think of them more as being for thicker walled vs. thinner walled tubes.

The Burley hitch is a real boon for DIY trailers. It takes most of the work out of fabricating the hitch portion of the trailer. Mine has pulled more than 400 pounds payload, but I try to keep the static tongue weight under about 20 lbs even with a heavy trailer load.

Burley says you shouldn't use their trailers in below freezing conditions, because the dildo gets too hard to do its job correctly. I don't know if they're being overly cautious, like with their 100 pound weight ratings, but that's what they say.

Edit:

The first trailer I made from scratch for myself also used hand truck wheels. I got them at Horrible Fright for $6 each-- about the same as a bicycle inner tube-- even though they came with tires, tubes, and replaceable bearings included. You can't beat that kind of cost effectiveness. I got the 10 inch kind as I thought that was the smallest diameter that would cut it on city streets, with fat enough tires to provide some effective cushioning at low pressure.

I made the trailer out of a double-walled cardboard box painted with exterior house paint (because Amtrak would take a huge box as luggage, but not a bike trailer). I attached wooden skids on the bottom to a simple and lightweight internal wood frame, got an aluminum axle that fitted the wheels and the holes I'd drilled in the skids, and made a tubular steel tongue (for the Burley hitch) that attached to the other end of the left skid. All the parts came off easily and stored inside the box, along with my bass drum, sleeping pad, etc.

When I got to the other end of my train trip, I deployed the trailer, put the rest of my luggage in it, and rode away on my bike. It worked great and withstood some foul weather to boot. That was many years ago, but I still have the trailer and it's still in OK shape despite having been stored outside under a tarp for much of that time.
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by Papa » Dec 21, 2017 11:31 pm

Why reinvent the wheel? Over the years, i've managed to periodically score 4 high quality bike trailers, originally designed for hauling kids. Mostly yard sale finds. All are aluminum framed (the 2 Burleys are 6061-t6), the Xterra has suspension, and all have 20" aluminum rims and protective canopies. Not paid more than $25 for any of them. The average unladen weight is about 20-24 lbs. Two I've converted to flat beds. For hitches, I use air hose quick-disconnect couplings & 2" of 1/2" ID, high psi rated rubber hose. The female quick-disconnect & hose is mounted on the trike, while the male is attached to the trailer tongue - compliments of Harbor Freight ($5).
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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by craneplaneguy » Dec 22, 2017 11:11 pm

Papa wrote:
Dec 21, 2017 11:31 pm
Why reinvent the wheel? Over the years, i've managed to periodically score 4 high quality bike trailers, originally designed for hauling kids. Mostly yard sale finds. All are aluminum framed (the 2 Burleys are 6061-t6), the Xterra has suspension, and all have 20" aluminum rims and protective canopies. Not paid more than $25 for any of them. The average unladen weight is about 20-24 lbs. Two I've converted to flat beds. For hitches, I use air hose quick-disconnect couplings & 2" of 1/2" ID, high psi rated rubber hose. The female quick-disconnect & hose is mounted on the trike, while the male is attached to the trailer tongue - compliments of Harbor Freight ($5).

I read that twice before it clicked. Excellent repurposing of readily available components! I did something similar 10 years ago, when the complicated little U joint on my tractor's snow thrower chute mover broke. i just slipped in a piece of air hose I had laying around, clamped with high quality hose clamps, and ten years later it's still working fine. That hose can handle a surprising amount of torque.

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Re: My DIY HD Travoy. (bike trailer)

Post by Papa » Dec 23, 2017 12:55 am

The idea for employing quick-disconnect couplings for trailer hitches,.. originated from Bike Friday.

https://store.bikefriday.com/advanced_s ... earch.y=12
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