Tow behind trailer for Little Red Donkey

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Migolito, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    I have a Honda Trail CT125(Little Red Donkey) arriving soon. I'd like to build a tow behind trailer for the LRD. This trailer will be used specifically for longer distance ADV riding.
    My requirement are very basic:
    1. Extremely light weight. The LRD has about 8hp and basic brakes and a cruising speed at about 40mph
    2. Able to haul about 50 pounds. Probably all in a 27 liter plastic box.
    3. Some lite duty dirt roads at slow speeds.

    I've used Aluminum extrusion (1020) before and am very impressed with the ease of use and strength. So, I'm leaning towards building the basic frame/rails from 1520 or 1530.
    I'm going to make the 'tongue' from 1.5" electrical conduit as I can hand bend this at home.

    I'd like to have suspension on this to help with the stability and ride. I'm looking for suggestion on extremely lite weight Leaf Spring or torsion. So far the lightest Leaf I can find is in the 250 pound range. Suggestions?

    The wheels: I'm looking at 14" ball bearing hub (like a wheel barrel), Bicycle wheel, and a 4 bolt standard trailer wheel-The trailer wheel will obviously then need a hub, etc. Suggestions?

    I know some of you have build hacks and the genious Ive seen over the years in the design and construction leads me to ask my question here.
    Mig
    #1
  2. CCjon

    CCjon Gypsy Rider Supporter

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    Since you are looking for lightweight solutions, consider a single center mount bicycle wheel on the trailer. With a 50# limit, canvas saddle bags will work for carrying gear and keep weight down.

    Post up photos of your progress, sound interesting.
    #2
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    This sub-forum is for anything with 3 wheels, so as long as your trailer ends up with a single wheel then this sub-forum is perfect!
    #3
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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  6. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    I looked at the Sherpax, the TrailTail, etc. single wheel designs. I have two issues (questions) about the design. 1. I'm not sure either has a turning radius that is workable in street use. I get that the lean is how the single wheel turns but a sharp turn at a stand still or a slow speed upright turn will be defeated (im thinkin) by the dynamics of the single wheel hitch design. 2. I don't believe any of the hitch designs offered by either company will work, or be workable, on the CT125.

    Who owns a single wheel? Can you talk about sharp turns at an upright no lean slow speed?
    #6
  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    The length of the mount from the bike's axle to the trailer's pivot will affect the turning radius. Shortening that alone should go a long way to being able to make sharper turns. If building your own, modify the pivot to yield a smaller radius. For your little CT, you could easily bring the mount from each side of the swing arm together closer to the rear wheel such that the trailer wouldn't hit the mount before the pivot. I would build a pivot on that set up that allows movement in both the vertical and horizontal directions, rather than what looks like just the horizontal with the SherpaX.

    No actual one wheel bike trailer experience here, just brain storming with the available information.
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  8. airheadDan

    airheadDan Been here awhile

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    There was a company around a few years ago making single wheel trailers. I forget the name. They may still be around. I was impressed with their use of an automotive U-joint as the pivot on the hitch. Too big and heavy for the light weight unit you want to build, but there's no reason you couldn't use a smaller U-joint such as one from a car's steering shaft.
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  9. CCjon

    CCjon Gypsy Rider Supporter

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    No problem with turning radius if you adapt the fifth wheel principle of hooking up the trailer. Make the pivot point on the bike's luggage rack directly above the rear axle. A vertical post pivot point will also assist in holding the trailer upright.
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  10. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    #10
  11. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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  12. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    SherpaX is just one way of skinning the single wheel trailer cat, BarNone's is another. Also look at what the Mountain Bike guys use for ideas:

    0130000000_MULE_CLASSIC-REMOVEBG-HD.png

    opplanet-backcountry-ebikes-hunting-cargo-trailer-hunting-cargo-trailer-main.jpg

    Remember if you are a weldor/fabricator you are only limited by your imagination:

    Welder tool.jpg
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  13. GotDammitDave

    GotDammitDave Been here awhile

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    this fella made his a bit heavy but the way he got the hitch part figured out plus your desire for aluminum construction and lighter weight wheel could work out fine for you..

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  14. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

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    A truck universal joint would do the same , while being more compact.
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  15. GotDammitDave

    GotDammitDave Been here awhile

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    and greasable/rebuildable
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  16. steam powered

    steam powered just a regular punk

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    Would a simple 3 bar linkage on a solid axle with a pair of mountain bike shocks provide light enough suspension for your use? It could probably be built lighter than a torsion bar suspension if it was made of aluminum.
    #16
  17. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    I think he's done a nice job and well thought out but it seems to me it could be lighter.
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  18. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    The canvas on my trailer finally gave out so I now have a large plastic container with lid secured with a bungee.
    Tires are worn out so I bought some new ones and tubes.

    20201008_110049.jpg

    2213847.jpg

    Jim Tom of the Moonshiners TV show here sitting on my Chinese bike liked the trailer so he bought one for his liquor scooter in the background. He really used it a lot since he didn't have a DL license. He just keeps using the bicycle tires.

    0910131200-01.jpg

    TrailerTrash1.jpg


    Also have one of the trailers that I use in Florida. 20200327_152645.jpg
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  19. bajasr100

    bajasr100 n00b

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    Did you make any mods to strengthen the axle(s) whaen you swapped on the pit bike wheels?
    #19
  20. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    I used some long bolts out of my junk box that were the right diameter to fit inside the bearings in the pit bike wheels for new axles, I used some PVC pipe for spacers and u bolts on the pipe to support the axles.

    20201212_083350.jpg

    20201212_083301.jpg

    Drilled a hole in the bolt and used the existing to secure the axle (bolt) on the inboard side.
    Guess I could have used a long axle to go all the way across if I didn't already have those long bolts.


    20201212_083322.jpg

    All this will make more sense if you get the trailer. Also you can use the bicycle wheels that come with the trailer as I did for a year or two until you wear the tires out or replace the tires like Jim Tom did for many years.

    Unaltered axle set up.
    5664-0005R_3.jpg
    #20