I just purchased a kid trailer to convert as a utility trailer. I paid $75 for it used. I could not find a cargo trailer for under $200 plus shipping (probably large). The trailer is also rated up to 100 pounds (which is actually more than the cargo trailer 75 pounds).

I was wonder if anyone had converted a kid trailer to a cargo trailer before and what the best way to do it is.

The frame is:

  • 2 Feet Wide
  • 30 Inches Long

Here are some pictures: enter image description here enter image description here

(Note: my trailer does not have the bar or wheel shown in the picture). enter image description here

Update: I have removed the fabric from the trailer to get a better look at the frame. The fabric is still in tact so it would be possible to put it back on the trailer.
enter image description here enter image description here

  • 2
    I've seen that type of kid trailer used for cargo as-is. As you noted, it's rated for a decent amount of weight. The cover should be handy for keeping rain and wind off your cargo, so you can more often just toss stuff in without separately securing it.
    – freiheit
    Apr 10, 2011 at 17:13
  • 7
    Step 1: remove the kids. Step 2: add some cargo. Voila - you've got yourself a cargo trailer. As an added bonus, drivers will think that you're carrying kids, so they'll give you more space. Apr 11, 2011 at 2:02
  • 1
    Yeah. Agree with both @Mike and @freiheit. I bought one of these at a thrift store years ago and used it as-was to haul everything from groceries to a lawnmower (with the sides removed, of course). When the fabric finally gives up the ghost, then you might consider trying to build something else. If you plan to regularly haul piles of sharp objects, you should disregard my advice. Otherwise, why waste perfectly good and fitted fabric? It's certainly LIGHTER than anything you might build (assuming that you don't weld titanium in your living room).
    – DC_CARR
    Apr 11, 2011 at 19:06
  • Worth noting... the trailer that I mentioned before worked as a grocery-and-thrift-store truck for a little more than four years before the fabric started to tear through. We used it primarily for groceries, though I did mention the mower... sometimes bike parts... used it to haul a folding bike to and from the train station when friends came into town... etc. Lasted quite a while that way.
    – DC_CARR
    Apr 11, 2011 at 22:57
  • OP - this question is now 5 years old. How did you get on?
    – Criggie
    Dec 10, 2016 at 23:52

6 Answers 6


I would cut a bit of 10mm or 12mm plywood to fit underneath of the main frame section and use cable ties to hold it onto the frame. Probably at the level of that bar across the back of the trailer. That gives you a lip around the platform as well as a very slightly lower centre of gravity. Having lots of cut-outs where things are attached to the button of the frame isn't too much of a problem.

Ideally you'd find a plastic bin that exactly fit into the space but that's very unlikely to be possible. You will most likely find that the bin you get either sits too low and scrapes on the ground, or is too small on one side to work properly. If you go this route I suggest getting one the right width to sit on the main frame members and not worrying too much about how long it is. Having two bins next to each other might also work.

I think keeping the cloth cover will be handy, it will help keep your load in place as well as giving you some shelter from light rain.

Be aware that kiddy trailer load ratings are not the same as cargo trailer load ratings. No-one is expected to add exactly the load rating of children (look, it holds 2.3 children!), and people tend to be more gentle with children than with cargo. So a 30kg cargo trailer will probably hold the same weight as a 50kg rated kiddie trailer before it starts falling apart.

The reason they cost so much is that people won't buy a cheap, heavy, solid trailer. Instead they buy cheap, light, flimsy trailers and wonder why they fall apart. I built 12 of the heavy style and it took more than a year to sell them even though they cost the same as the flimsy junk ones. That as an educational experience for me.

  • Wow! Those are some great trailers you have there. If I lived down under I would defiantly buy one from you. I was not sure how useful a trailer would be so I thought that I would buy and convert a cheap one first. After I have tried it out (and figured out where it breaks) I think I may try to make my own. Apr 11, 2011 at 1:26
  • I hope they're easy enough to build from my plans and descriptions. I suggest making it to take one front and one rear wheel off a kids bike, rather than two front wheels like the mass trailers did. That way if/when you trash the wheels by overloading them you can just grab a discarded kids bike and get a new pair of wheels. I bought new wheels wholesale for the mass trailers but for one-off projects I use second hand bits. The kids bike also provides the extra tubing for that trailer.
    – Мסž
    Apr 11, 2011 at 1:41
  • FWIW, any welder will do for the trailer. You'd need to add gussets fore and aft each wheel if you were bolting it together, but I think you'd struggle with the towing arm and hitch area if you can't get access to a welder.
    – Мסž
    Apr 11, 2011 at 1:43
  • I have to agree. The hardest part is probably the towing arm (including the hitch). Can I ask you how much you had to pay the welder to make your trailers? Apr 11, 2011 at 2:05
  • 1
    $50/hr - $350 for 12. But he's a friend so I'm not sure whether that's a full commercial rate. I suspect it depends on how easy you make it for him to do the job. If everything was cut and you had a clear one-page plan of the finished trailer so it was all straightforward it should be pretty cheap - less than half an hours work.
    – Мסž
    Apr 11, 2011 at 2:17

Strip the textile parts off, check the construction of the frame.

If the frame is a rectangle, put a fitting plastic bin / tub from home depot inside the rectangle.

If the frame is interspersed with beams, put a platform on top and put a bin / tub on top of that. Or maybe just a short railing like the one on croozer cargo.

You want to have the center of gravity as low as possible.

  • How center of gravity is a must, as long as its not scraping on the road surface or on any bumps.
    – Criggie
    Dec 10, 2016 at 23:51

I have exactly that trailer, which I've converted for heavy cargo. I removed the upper frame, then I put a 2 foot wide by 4 foot long piece of 3/8 inch plywood across the remaining frame - attached in the former frame holes in the tubing with four bolts. Cut mine down to the stick out about a foot aft. The trailer is not going to be level with the hitch that was on it. Don't like to use the axle bolt in any case, so I added an extension to the rear frame which is lower, and that leveled the trailer. You mileage may vary. I have hauled 100 lbs without issues. Grocery bags go in a box strapped to the bed, bulky items are shrink wrapped down.Use bungie cord as needed.

Also - There are springs with buttons which hold the width of the frame. One of mine needed to be re-bent, as it was pushed in. I still added a turn of duct tape to set the frame width.

Details: drilled a small hole for a flag carrier in the back, then cut the corners off for a more rounded tail. I can fold the tongue back and remove the wheels for flat storage - very useful feature! I have taken this inside a bus, and biked the load home. Someday in the future, I may make a reduced camping version by putting in a big plastic cooler, replacing the plywood which will make the trailer narrower and shorter. And I painted the plywood red for better visibility - I'm in an urban area, so cars... need I say more?


I made a infant-carrier conversion that also will work as a grocery getter. I found a plastic Sterilite bin that fit inside the trailer (just brushes the front and rear bar, about 1-2" from the sides). I cut the bin down to 6" tall, and drilled holes on each side for industrial strength zip ties, to connect to the frame tubes. The sterilite bin sits on the fabric bottom, but is suspended by the cable ties on 4 sides, in 2 places for each side. A used carseat for infants is ziptied to the sterilite bin. If I remove the baby seat, it serves as a cargo trailer.

enter image description here

Here is a photo of the plastic bin. (The fabric is removed for illustration)

  • 2
    Welcome to the site. (Have edited your post so the image shows up inline.) Looks like a great trailer hack for cargo, but I'm not sure attaching a child seat in this manner is safe. (I'd be concerned about it if it were my child.) Jul 8, 2011 at 19:26
  • 3
    I think I'd want some sort of straps wrapped round the bars and passing under the Sterilite bin, to give it some support (the cable ties could still serve to keep the bin in place). I'd probably also want some sort of straps attaching the baby carrier to the bin, and some more over the top to replace the seat belt which would hold it in place on a car seat.
    – Amos
    Jul 8, 2011 at 23:21
  • @Amos come on guys, where's your sense of adventure? At least the baby's not just rolling around in that red bucket.
    – jqning
    Dec 17, 2015 at 3:57

I have one that looks pretty similar. If you undo three pin clamps the top rail folds down to one side, then both sides fold flat onto the bed.

I'd look for a light piece of marine-grade plywood to go on top of this. Fit a square of wooden battens around the edge and fit some hose clamps over the rails from below, and screw into battens.

Optionally fit some low sides to help hold stuff on the tray, but this will increase windage.

Or look for a plastic baker's bread tray instead, the sort loaves are delivered to the shop.

Its your call whether you want the sides to stay be up and slot the cargo tray between the uprights. This would give somewhere to mount lights and reflectors and maybe even a chopper flag. If you remove the uprights completely, then the frame will be weak and the tray will be required to supply bracing strength.

Carry at least one spare 20" tube at all times, build this into the plans.

My trailer has a third wheel and a pram handle too, so it becomes a giant kids pushchair. If I was shopping, I could push it around the supermarket instead of a trolley.

enter image description here

That's the same kind of trailer holding two landrover tyres and rims. Total weight there was 68 kilos, and that was on the upper side of comfortable. I managed to roll this trailer at 15-18 km/h on a roundabout, so it was too top-heavy.

Note the hitch has been upgraded. Originally it came with a truely-awful chainstay clamp that would undo over time even when empty. Now its got a proper towball and cup arrangement, and works much better.


Just adding anecdotal data: InStep trailer, removed upper fabric (kept bottom), added two additional square-steel-tubing bars between front and back rails, resting on those rails and affixed with screws. Normally carries two 18-gallon plastic bins directly; with bungees to stabilize them I can stack two more on top . That's plenty of space for a supermarket run. I've also used it to transport a Crate & Barrel-style end-table.

Most important detail is keeping tires fully inflated.

I probably don't really need to secure it, but I can loop a heavy cable thru the welded frame and wheels I necessary.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.