Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Teardrop shaped bicycle travel trailers & related information

Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:31 pm

It looks like I'm going to have time for a long bicycle trip . A little background , my longest trip so far has been 830 miles so far and probably another 5 or 6 trips around 500 miles long , all camping in tents . But you know what ,I'm just getting tired of sleeping on the ground . :thumbdown: I've built a cute little all aluminum teardrop that I can carry stuff in , but it's too small/short to sleep in so I'm still sleeping on the ground . :( So my thought is to build another tiny trailer to sleep in . Now I might end up just buying a Camp Rite tent cote thingy in the end but I'm still going to build my own trailer regardless just because it's fun to make/build things . While I'm a good sheet metal worker I'm also a pretty good wood worker . My thoughts so far are leaning to using as a base a hollow core door on top of an aluminum Burly bicycle trailer I already have . Then building a foam and wood structure on top of it about 78" long . I've researched this off and on for the last 5 years and just over the last few weeks read all the threads here I could find about bicycle trailers and some of the ones about foamy trailers . There seems like there's a combination of intelligent and imaginative people here that could help with their ideas and input .
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby mezmo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:41 am

Hi razzer,

Here are a cople links with ideas you may be able to
adapt for your purposes.

http://bicycletruck.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... ailer.html
http://www.h3t.cz/en/201102-bicycle-sauna-kolonok/

Have you thought about using galvanized EMT for a frame ? If you
could do a space frame of that [ Similar to the early/old-time
fabric covered airplane fuselages.], and then infill with foam
and do the canvas and glue over all that, then paint over that
[UV protection]. That would give you a strong/light result I'd
think.

Just speculating...

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:39 pm

Great I just spend 30 minutes writing and the forum lost it all .
Last edited by razzer on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:46 pm

Thanks for the links mezmo . I knew some people here would find some I hadn't seen yet .Pretty cool . :thumbsup: I like the idea of the canvas / skin over a frame as that's about as light as it can get without me ending up in a tent again . Not really what I want , no tents please . That design method has been used for everything from boats to airplanes and even houses I think . Right now it's the top of my list .The other thing I'm working on is making it as small as possible to reduce wind drag , it's a killer on a bicycle . Even seeing if it will fold up some . Let's see if this can be posted with out losing it .
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby mezmo » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:28 am

Hi razzer,

Posting hints [from experience]: I usually write up my posts in
Wordpad/Word first, then save it, then copy and paste it to the forum's
posting box. That way you can have a copy of it elsewhere [if you want
to keep it - or not, if so, then delete it there after you post it] and it won't
get lost in the process [Usually ! Ha !] [Or Ctrl A, then Ctrl C, to save
on the computer's clipboard, what you've written before you try to post,
so that, if you have timed out of the forum while you were composing your
post, all you need to do is to go to the empty posting box you'll then get,
if that happens, and then Ctrl V to paste back your post into it. Both
method's will work to save it for you, but the first is more error-proof.

Here is a possible design to use/look at/modify if it appeals to you any.
It's a fast Paint drawing I did of a folding bicycle TD/TTT, in the folded-up
position. For travel, the side and end panels, shown in the center, would
be folded down inside over the mattress, in easy motions as they are always
connected by hinging, and the top would then seal against the storage bottom
for travel with a perimeter seal and lockable cinch-down clasps.

Click on the pic to enlarge:
102583

The gist of it is in text in the pic. If you want any more details feel
free to ask. Since you built/made such a fine AL little cargo trailer
there already, I'm sure you can see what the abbreviated description
implies.

My idea, here, is to have some accessable anytime storage under the
mattress platform [lockable drawers would be very useful for that]
and a low towing profile height. I'd use 20inch wheels for it to help
keep it low and well under the bike's seat height. Since your body is
already disturbing the air in that zone by the action of pedaling, I don't
think there'd be excessive drag from it. The folded height of the body
would be @ 18inches plus ground clearance. The folded-up inside height
would be @ 36inches. Depending on your needs/requirements,
you can adjust interior and exterior dimensions to suit/fit.

Here are links about an emergency shelter that uses aluminum foam skinned
panels - similar to what I've described - as an example:

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/global- ... elief/9680
Click on the left pic to enlarge:
http://www.modularflex.com.ar/productos.html

Here's a link to a great Danish website that uses aluminum square-tube's
to frame DIY recumbent bikes and trailer:

http://www.n55.dk/MANUALS/SPACEFRAMEVEH ... icles.html

[While you're at it, check out their whole website, as it is quite interesting:
http://www.n55.dk/MANUALS/Manuals.html ]

'Hope this is helpful...

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
Last edited by mezmo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:45 pm

More cool links . Some crazy stuff there , very interesting . Nice idea for the trailer . I'm going for a little more streamlined design , but the idea and materials would work fine . Right now I'm thinking of using the foam with a fabric cover then painted . If I didn't already have 3/4" and some 1/2" foam left over from other projects I would look into the plastic corrugated roofing panels like I have over my deck . They are super light weight and very strong and would be very easy to use . Holding them on without leaks might take some research though .
I'm looking at making this trailer as small and light as possible . Really just big enough to sleep in . I think I can make it as narrow as 22" and 6' 6" long . My big comfy chair is 22" wide and then add a few inches for my arms it should be good to sleep in . This is about as much room as there is in my car and I take it on long trips . So I'm trying out various sizes and 30 to 32 inches wide by 20 to 24 inches high and 78" long should be fine . Now to look at more ways of folding it up before I decide will be necessaryy . I hope to get some more inputt if possible .
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:55 pm

Okay I'm thinking my goal of keeping my trailer and travel weight down is a little more reasonable the this one rider . Not that he isn't doing an amazing job tackling his trips .
Posted in Wyoming " from Dec 3rd "
"Unique biker passing through area

Drivers are curious when they see the unique bike rider pulling a small trailer through the area. Pedaling through 35 states in 12 years on a recumbent tricycle pulling an 8-foot customized trailer home, Tony Adams is no stranger to the scorching heat of summer or the biting cold of winter. However, he says this year's tough conditions have caused him to change his original travel plans a bit.

Adams says this is his 6th winter riding. He left Fort Collins on December 3rd on his way to Bismark, North Dakota. But after experiencing numbness in his feet for 7 weeks, Adams says this is an uncompleted trip. After spending three weeks in Rapid City, he is now headed back home. Adams says he will still get to Bismark, but will attempt the trip during the summer.

Altogether, Adams' vehicle is 13 feet long and carries a full 600 pounds of gear, food and pedal-pusher. He has a propane stove inside, along with 3 bedrolls, tools, clothing, winter gear, pots & pans, food for up to a week, and a 3 day supply of water.

Originally from Eagle Point, Oregon and more recently from Fort Collins, Adams says he has never owned a motorized vehicle and has never had a drivers license. He relies on donations and his personal resources keep pedaling around the country."
He has an interesting trailer for sure .
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Sorta-Stoga trailer ?

Postby razzer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:32 pm

I'm leaning more and more towards a Conestoga styled trailer for my bike trip which means all the doodles I made on graph paper are getting tossed out . I really like the look of the Conestoga wagons and they seem to have many elements that I want in my trailer .I believe I can keep the weight down and still get a place to sleep that's fairly aerodynamic at low speeds . I also like the idea of taking a cross-country trip starting from the home of the Conestoga wagon .
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illus07a.jpg
Nice set of plans for one .
illus07a.jpg (39.21 KiB) Viewed 4955 times
illus05.jpg
illus05.jpg (41.95 KiB) Viewed 4955 times
historical1.jpg
Thr traditional blue and red of a Conastoga Wagon .
historical1.jpg (51.08 KiB) Viewed 4955 times
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby S. Heisley » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Very interesting. Please keep posting. Even those of us who can't ride a bike are watching. :) :thumbsup: :applause:
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Stratolounger-conestoga bicycle trailer .

Postby razzer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks for the ecouragement Sharon , just because someone doesn't ride or perhaps choose to doesn't mean I wouldn't like their thoughts on my trailer . After all my style is to ride a few miles and take pictures or talk to people and then ride some more miles . Oops I forgot to say I stop at yard sales too . I'm not after speed it's all those cool people and things just down the road I go to see . Razzer " Ray " thinks cars just go too fast for a toruist like me . :thumbdown: Wow that's poor english .
With the sloping ends on the wagons it seems like they would shed the wind and if I make them so they can fold down it will let them act like a reclining chair . :thinking:
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!B)N5gUwBWk~$(KGrHqJ,!h4Ev1+0ESJcBMMiiUhZ,Q~~_3.jpg
Much like this Morris Chair
!B)N5gUwBWk~$(KGrHqJ,!h4Ev1+0ESJcBMMiiUhZ,Q~~_3.jpg (96.97 KiB) Viewed 4934 times
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby KCStudly » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:57 pm

razzer wrote:Great I just spend 30 minutes writing and the forum lost it all.


That happens sometimes. It's best on longer posts to compose off forum in a word processing program (like Word) then paste into a reply.

I learned that the hard way myself. :?

Good luck with your build. It will be interesting to see just how light you can make it.
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:03 pm

KC thanks for trying to help out a computer dummy like me . Weight is probably going to be the biggest factor followed by wind resistance .
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby mezmo » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:20 am

If you use the Conestoga shape, you could use a plexi/lexan type
plastic that can bend and do a curved vertial front down from the front
slanted roof hoop to the trailer floor for "aeroness". Similar to this mini-
motor home:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/home-on- ... z2MYYBe2Q8

But then again, maybe the slanted front would be forward enough over
the rear bike wheel to be in the rider's disturbed airflow enough that it
wouldn't matter.
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:05 pm

FOO ! just lost my post again . Second try , :?

Thanks for for jogging my memory with that link mezmo . :thumbsup: That's exactly the shape I want to try for and that picture may be the one that inspired me originally . I'm planning on the curved front going the full height " not really very high " and having the hitch/tongue come out the top to hook to either my seat post or the rack on the back of my bicycle . Now the window in the middle is a no go . Even with the fenders I have on my bicycle the front of the trailer is going to have dirt or mud sprayed on it from my back wheel . Got my fenders for my bicycle after a rainy day riding in rual Virginia about ten years ago . They have Amish buggies down there too , so I ended up riding through way too much horse poo . :( Which meant it was sprayed on me and my bicycle and far worse it got all over my water bottles so I couldn't safely drink anything . That said there will be no window directly in front , but maybe on the sides . The back will be flat so it can fold down like a morris chair or a ramp on a cargo plane .
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Re: Teardrop or ProtoStoga trailer .

Postby razzer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:17 pm

You really need to check out this bicycle trailer from Germany . It's an outstanding looking Tiny Teardrop trailer . I think Giraut has done a super job . http://s945.beta.photobucket.com/user/G ... 3821553123 . Nothing like what I'm planning , but I had to share it . :applause:
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