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I recently bought a two wheel cargo-trailer without suspension, and I am quite happy with it.

My main issue is that it gets incredibly loud when carrying a crate of beer, especially an empty one.

Is there a trick to keep the noise down? I tried to wrap the crate in towels, but it does not really help.

Edit

Cardboard-dividers did not change a lot, compared to my towels. They did look pretty cheap, there might be better ones.

Tilting the crate 30 degrees in the trailer however, reduced the noise level substantially.

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If the problem is the bottles clanking into each other, don't put the crate in flat but somehow tilt it at a 30 degree angle or so, so that gravity holds the bottles against each other. Then wedge your towels into the high end of the crate to keep the bottles from bouncing. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 9 '12 at 17:46
    
Buy your beer in cans? –  Tom77 Sep 9 '12 at 20:45
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@Tom77 Beer in cans are hard to find in Germany. It might be my imagination, but I do prefer the taste of bottled beer. –  mirk Sep 10 '12 at 6:42
    
@mirk, you say you are in Germany. How big is a "crate"? In Canada, we have what we refer to as a "case" which is 24 bottles. Anything else is referred to by the number of beer, either a 12-pack or a 6-pack. –  Kibbee Sep 12 '12 at 12:52
    
@Kibbee A crate is typically 20 bottles of half a liter in Germany, although other sizes exist. –  mirk Sep 12 '12 at 16:35
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the problem is the bottles clanking into each other, don't put the crate in flat but somehow tilt it at a 30 degree angle or so, so that gravity holds the bottles against each other. Then wedge your towels into the high end of the crate to keep the bottles from bouncing.

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You can get Plastic bottle crates with dividers similar to the ones made of cardboard, but since it's plastic, and probably thicker, it might reduce the noise a bit more. Also the ones in the link look like they are foldable so would be easy to store when you don't need them. A little on the expensive side, but you could probably shop around and find something cheaper. You could also try building your own dividers out of corrugated plastic or even just corrugated cardboard.

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Get some bottle sleeves like these mesh bottle sleeves that they use at liquor stores.

It'll quiet the noise and protect the bottles from breakage. Plus they are reusable.

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That's a lot of work to minimize noise. At around $1 per bottle I'd rather risk breaking a bottle. The cardboard solution above is easier and does the same job. –  Glenn Sep 10 '12 at 22:20
    
@Glenn From what I'm reading, it's $31 for a single case, but a case contains 400 mesh sleeves. I don't know how you ended up with $1 per bottle. Chart below shows that if you get one case you end up at 8 cents a bottle, but you end up with a lot of extras. What I'd be worried about is whether or not they'd fit right on beer. They give these out at the liquor store, and they fit fine on 26 ounce and larger liquor bottles, but might slip off a beer bottle. –  Kibbee Sep 12 '12 at 12:50
    
My $1 a bottle was referencing how cheap beer is. A typical bottle of beer costs roughly $1 whereas a bottle of liquor easily costs $10 or more. Those sleeves provide more protection than is necessary on a relatively cheap item, at a much larger time cost. For more expensive liquor the sleeves make a lot of sense. –  Glenn Sep 12 '12 at 17:09
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buy cases of beer with the cardboard dividers between the bottles. You can then re-use the cardboard dividers in other cases of beer.

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I will try it out, and let you know how efficient this is. It is definitely a low effort solution. –  mirk Sep 10 '12 at 6:44
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Drink the beer, return the empties, then ride. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 16 '12 at 12:17
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