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Thread: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

  1. #1

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    Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    A long, long time ago (back in the 80s), I used to have a 1200 Goldwing. I used to be a "money is no object" sort of guy, and I wanted a trailer, so I went out and purchase a brand new Escapade trailer all chromed out with a cooler rack, bra, independent suspension, etc... This was a beautiful trailer, but it cost me like $2,600 (and this was in the 80s), and it was very heavy.

    Here I am now, 20 years older, 20 times more careful about my spending and 20 times poorer. I have been wanting a trailer to pull behind the ST (and a Burgman if I can ever get one for a descent price), that is lightweight, very functional (carry cargo, bicycles, bags of sand or a tree if I need to), inexpensive and still look good.

    Guess what.....there is nothing out there. I have looked everywhere. This has lead me to where I am now....learning to weld. I have designed (in the vast emptiness of my head of course) a plan for the weight that I want it to be, the price and what I want it to look like.

    Most of the parts have been ordered, and a couple of pieces have arrived, and I'm starting to get quite excited. I have a bit of experience with wood, but have never built anything out of steel, or anything that required a registration to travel down the road. If I can do this, not only will I have exactly what I wanted, but I will be able to do it at a reasonable price, and be extremely proud of what I have done (priceless....is this a Discover Card commercial?)

    So here are the features of my trailer:

    - High Polished Diamond Plate Flatbed
    - Removable Cargo Box
    - (2) Bicycle Mounts
    - Independent Suspension
    - Swivel Tongue Coupler
    - LED Turn Signals, Running Lights and Brake Lights
    - Less than 100 lbs total weight
    - Less than $1K total cost

    I am also going to design my own hitch. I will not be using the typical tongue coupler with 1 & 7/8" ball. That is over-kill and too heavy. I am not towing 7,000 lbs, so I am coming up with a small, lightweight swivel system that will also be lockable (if they want it, then they are going to have to take the bike too....its insured). I will take my time building it, as I want it to be perfect. I expect it to take me a couple of months between the trailer and the hitch for the ST. Of course once I finish, I will post pictures.

    So I am interested in seeing other people's tow-behind trailer creations. How are they built, and what made you decide to build it the way you did?

    Texas
    2006 Honda ST1300


  2. #2

    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    There are several pictures of mine on pages 3 and 4 in my album here: http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w169/bkorten/

    For a hitch, I used a Tractors 3-point hitch top link like this one clicky cut in half and welded into the tongue of the trailer and the pin bolted to the hitch. Swivels every which way and handles beautifully.
    Last edited by georgeorge; 08-01-2008 at 09:06 PM.
    Brian
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  3. #3
    Cracklin' Fun Time Capt_Gruuvy's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by georgeorge View Post
    There are several pictures of mine on pages 3 and 4 in my album here: .....
    ... a couple more bungee cords and I think you'll be all set.

    Clever project.
    It wasn't me !

  4. #4

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    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    You guys are reading my mind...or maybe I'm reading yours.

    I checked the local HF outlet today and their little trailer with 12" wheels is on sale for about $190 until 11 Aug 08 and I just missed the X Cargo sale at Sears for the 20 CF car top box. Still...parts are under $500 for the trailer. I was going to go with rubber torsion bar independent suspension until I saw the HF trailer today and I think the springs less on leaf will handle things just fine.

    George,

    What kind of weight do you think your hitch will handle? I'm thinking of something very similar, but a bit heavier. Is that solid material or tubing?

    Joe
    2006 ST1300 Black Bird "Habu"
    SR 71 is the TRUE Black Bird and it IS the FASTEST!!:
    Please tell the Democrats to stop helping themselves to my tax money!!!!

  5. #5

    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    it's solid material. I can tweek it a little, with somme muscle, but it's pretty solid. Solid enough for as much weight as I'll ever tow with this trailer.
    BTW, I used the 8" wheels and have about 10,000 miles so far on this trailer without issues. I also narrowed the harbor freight frame by 17 inches so that it's not so wide. Now it's about 34" wide... just about the same as the bike.
    Last edited by georgeorge; 08-01-2008 at 09:37 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    Im building one right now.........

  7. #7
    Jon Ransom illzoni's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    Very interesting ideas.

    I'm not 'real' interested in the trailer for behind the ST100, but....

    We're really considering a significant downsize for the family vehicle (Grand Caravan > Mazda 5). If we do, your idea with another, larger, removal cargo box would be the ultimate in flexibility. Something light enough to pull behind the bike certainly would have minimal impact on the car, but might offer some valuable cargo room.

    Please keep us updated on your project. If you need a place to stach photos, plans, etc on the web, I'd be glad to host them on my space at:
    www.illzoni.com/bikes

  8. #8
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    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    George,

    You went with the same hubcaps that I am going with. Those hubcaps I believe are made for Golf Carts, and I believe they are made to fit a deeper wheel. Did you have to modify them at all? I see your 8" wheels are 4-bolt. I am looking at going with 5-bolt because I should hopefully be able to hide the bolts behind the hubcap's 5 spokes. What do you think? If you did modify the hubcaps, what did you have to do to them?

    By the way, good job on the hitch. Your tongue coupler is very simular to what I am doing. Much, much lighter than a traditional coupler. What size of flat bar did you use for the rear support of the hitch (thickness x width)? I assume you used a U-Bolt at the top to attach it to the frame?

    Texas
    Last edited by Texas; 08-02-2008 at 12:39 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I just missed the X Cargo sale at Sears for the 20 CF car top box.

    I am still looking for a good deal on a cargo box. At this point, it is not a "must have right now". Even with a flatbed, I will be able to haul several dufflebags, but once I can find a great deal on a cargo box (hopefully the same one George has), I will be buying it.

    Texas

  10. #10

    Re: Custom Made Pull Behind Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas View Post
    George,

    You went with the same hubcaps that I am going with. Those hubcaps I believe are made for Golf Carts, and I believe they are made to fit a deeper wheel. Did you have to modify them at all? I see your 8" wheels are 4-bolt. I am looking at going with 5-bolt because I should hopefully be able to hide the bolts behind the hubcap's 5 spokes. What do you think? If you did modify the hubcaps, what did you have to do to them?

    By the way, good job on the hitch. Your tongue coupler is very simular to what I am doing. Much, much lighter than a traditional coupler. What size of flat bar did you use for the rear support of the hitch (thickness x width)? I assume you used a U-Bolt at the top to attach it to the frame?

    Texas

    The hubcaps are the Golf cart ones, but yes they did have to be modified. They were WAY to deep to work so I used a die grinder to take off the material from the back until they fit without bottoming out. It was a job to do that, but as you can see, it can be done. If I had to do it again, I would try to find something shallower, but these do really look nice.

    The hitch rear support bar is 5/8" X 1-1/2" and that is the only piece on the hitch that is hollow. Being square tubing, it's very strong.

    To attach it to the bike up top was a challenge. The way I went about it was that if you look up at the inner wheel well, up top, you'll see a flat spot in the plastic wheel well. That spot is the side of the tool kit pocket under the seat. What I did was cut a rectangle peice of steel that would fit on the inside....under the seat... in that spot. Then I drilled 2 holes through that peice, the plastic wheel well, and the hitch metal itself, and bolted it all together. It turns out to be very strong. It's only to support the tongue weight, which will be next to nothing if the trailer is designed and loaded properly. The side to side strength comes from the parts of the hitch that bolt to the muffler mounts.

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