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This page is for a general answer and it consists of at least two main parts: personal experience and technical part. The technical parts are perhaps the two hardest parts.

Has anyone attempted to make a cargo trailer for their bike? How did you do it? How has it worked? How long did it take? Would you do it again?

Technical parts with their own separate questions

  1. How can you make a trailer hitch between a bike and trailer?
  2. How can you attach/mount a wheel onto a trailer?
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This is a rather important question, but could you perhaps focus this more? Stack Exchange isn't a discussion board, but it's meant for questions that can be answered, and I'm leaning towards closing the question as it is. Perhaps asking people to outline the issues involved and how they overcame them would be more appropriate, as it's possible to select a single answer to the question that way. – Neil Fein Sep 30 '10 at 3:59
Also, don't forget the question One vs. Two wheeled bike trailers – Neil Fein Sep 30 '10 at 4:19
Converted to CW, because this question has no clear single answer. – Neil Fein Oct 1 '10 at 1:42
Frame-building part [1]. Frame consideration and N-cycle-bike ideas[2]. Different types of trailers [3]. Prototyping [4]. [1]… [2]… [3]… [4]… – user652 Mar 16 '11 at 18:14
Assorted links on trailer building (some of them dead) - – armb Mar 25 '15 at 8:11

I've made several and documented at least some of them:

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I much favour the mass produced design because it's easy to weld or braze together and quite robust. The chain-in-spring hitch is reliable and durable and very hard to break (the chain links eventually wear though but that takes years).

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Most of the images are broken on those links. – Chris Belsole Jan 31 '12 at 21:48

I made a trailer similar to this one. It's based on using a second hand aluminum backpack frame and lightweight conduit. This one connected very simply to a carabiner attached to the seat post. At the time I had access to a drill press which simplified things for someone building it alone - you will want help keeping things aligned if you don't.

A friend built one out of a large container like this very simply - again connecting to the seat post.

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why connected to the seat post instead of the rear cycle middle things or other parts in the frame? Having attachement nearer the rear-wheel-middle-thing require shorter bar, lowering the torgue hand. I am considering some attachement to the rear-wheel-thing to move heavy cargo or side cargo-trailer like in motor-bikes (not yet sure how to attach it). – user652 Mar 16 '11 at 17:55

Haulin' Colin has built about 30 trailers using a fairly simple MIG-welded steel box-frame design using square tubes. I can attest to hauling several hundred pounds in one easily, with uphills being slow and downhills pushing the limits of my bicycle's braking system to the limits.

Recently Duncan Cycles has been documenting his construction of a TIG-welded steel-tube version of the same design.

If you have the know-how and the equipment, welded or brazed designs are going to have significantly higher strength for the same or lower weight as a bolt-together design.

I also helped with this monstrosity of a trailer built around a shopping cart specifically to win the Idiotarod. I wouldn't recommend it unless you absolutely need to incorporate a shopping cart into your design.

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I made a trailer using a kit from here which was inspired by finding this.

Here is a bad shot of mine with the first cargo load.

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The guy's at Umwelt und Projektwerkstatt Freiburg e. V. (Germany) are developing a three wheel trailer for heavy loads. It's named Carla Cargo and it's Open Source Hardware.

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Their documentation is just at the beginning (they spend their time more with building and trying out new stuff, than with documenting) and until now only in German.

The dimensions can be seen at Werkstatt Lastenrad.

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