Trailer Option for Transporting Single or Tandem Trike
Posted by Jim Strasma on June 14, 2013
Much as we enjoy our Terratrike Rover Tandem trike, at ten feet long, it's a challenge to transport -- especially since we added the 12 extra pounds of a BionX SL350 electric assist. Before adding the BionX, we mounted the trike backwards on top of our Prius, by fastening the two wheels to the rear spoiler, and the single wheel to a simple strap-on roof rack rail just short of the front windshield. But we were rarely willing to go to that work, nor willing to risk driving over 35MPH with it mounted.
Now we have a much better solution, a custom trailer, originally designed for a customer by Bicycle Transport Trailers of Madison, WI. They are no longer making the trailers, but were happy to help me make one like it, at a total cost of $570 (plus taxes) and several hours of my time.
To do the same, here's what you will need:
From HarborFreight.com: "600 Lb. Capacity Boat Trailer with 8" Wheels and Tires" (item#5002.) Be sure to use the 20% off coupon that is usually available. I also got a spare tire (item#44143), a 1-7/8"/2" double ball hitch (item#94900 - a 1-7/8" ball is used by this trailer), and safety chains that turned out to already be included with the trailer (item#95021)
From etrailer.com: 3 "Wheel Trays for Thule Big Mouth Roof Mounted Bike Carrier" (Code: 853-5423-56.) Note: I should have gotten 4, to extend the middle tray to the rear for easier loading. Also 3 "Replacement Wheel Strap Assembly for Thule Echelon and Big Mouth Roof Mounted Bike Carrier" Note: get an extra tray or spare straps to take advantage of free shipping on orders totaling more than $150.
My remaining costs were $160 for title, license plate, sales tax, and local parking tag.
Hints when building:
1 Wire the lighting last, so you won't have to avoid wires when drilling holes for the front end of the two outside wheel trays
2 Add a rubber grommet (not included, but available at any hardware store) to each wiring hole, so wires won't fray and short out in use.
3 Slide on the wheel strap assembly before bolting down the second end of each wheel tray.
4 You'll have unused boat-related parts left over that you can use to bolt down the wheel trays.
1 The license plate is close to the ground, so be careful on steep driveways.
2 Before driving at highway speeds, store away safely anything that could come off, such as lights, computers, water bottles and bags.
3 Be sure you have someplace to keep the completed trailer, as it does not fold.
Would I do it again? The jury is still out on that, as our family also just bought a 23' travel trailer and a tow vehicle to pull it, leaving our garage fuller than when I started this project. The trailer itself, however, is everything I hoped it would be.
For those able to get up and down easily (unlike my stoker), another alternative is Terratrike's "Tandem Pro", which comes with couplers to let it be disassembled for more compact storage.