DIY kayak cart and bike tow bar

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by JD.
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  • #23778
    JD
    Participant

    Put together a PVC cart and tow bar with parts from Home Depot and Rona to cycle my yak to Rocky Point instead of having to use the car. Only ideal for shorter, flatter trips but I would love to be able to take some hills and go a little further (10-15km ea. way).

    Cost less than $150 for all bits with parts to spare.

    Any advice or thoughts on how to improve?

    Video in action.

    PVC cart. 1/2 inch bore axel

    Drilled a hole through the axel and used a hitch pin to fix the wheels

    Purchased a hitch from Amazon for $30CAD that fits a metal post from Home Deopot, which serves as the tow bar (dumb stick).

    Final product:

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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  • #23873
    JD

    Thanks Vincent.

    1) Interesting idea for larger wheels to have the boat rest on the axle. I may consider this for a rebuild.

    2) When I make a second version, I will hitch it to the rear axle using a deconstructed children’s trailer. My current version serves the purpose for a quick run to Rocky Point from near Suter Brook but felt a bit awkward when I attempted a ride to Marine Barnett.

    With a children’s trailer I think I could tackle hills better and maybe hop on the ferry/bomb around some Gulf Islands (maybe with an electric bike). As is, if I load the kayak with gear it makes my bike’s front wheel want to lift off the ground.

    The one benefit of my current trailer configuration is that it takes up much less space than an extended bar with child’s trailer would (especially for an apartment dweller).

    3) Skid guard is a solid suggestion

    4) The metal post is shaving some plastic off my yak’s nose so I’m thinking of using a carabiner to lower the nose a bit away from the post. Or put some foam around the metal dumb-stick itself.

    #23872
    JD

    Thanks for this, I may look to Colin’s builds for inspiration on updated version or upgrades I make.

    #23791
    Nick Heath

    Canadian adventurers Colin and Julie Angus travelled many (thousands?) miles towing their rowboats behind mountain bikes in Britain, Europe and as far as Syria. Their boats were similar to enlarged kayaks. Their expedition was self contained, so when they were rowing, their bikes and trailers were usually aboard! It is an interesting book to read. Colin sells his plans both for various boats and a bike trailer, too, I believe.  Bigger wheels/pneumatic tires were a feature. However, the entire trailer was designed to collapse inside a (large) boat hatch, too! – Impressive!

    #23781
    Vincent Law

    Hi Jimmy,

    Nice job! Human powered from home to destination! And no more worries of whether there is parking, for how long, parking costs, having someone keep an eye on your gear while you drive off to park, save the time it takes to walk to the car and back… Plus save on the cost of owning a car!

    To improve the cart I would:

    – triangulate the 2 supports and add a cross brace between the two supports.

    – get larger wheels (hard to find). If the wheels are big enough and spaced far enough apart the axle can be right against the boat and you can eliminate the 2 supports.

    – for better bike stability / safety tow from one side of the bike’s rear axle, similar to most kids trailers. The tow bar should ideally run from along the center of the kayak and connect directly to the cart. And the front of the kayak is secured to this bar.

    – add skid guard to the tail of the boat, and a flag for better visibility.

    If I were to tow a kayak I would buy a used (or new) kids trailer w/ wheels spaced wide enough for the kayak to sit between the wheels. Then remove the kids seat and upper frame, have the kayak sit on foam cradles directly on the frame. Extend the tow arm with a metal bar, add a platform w/ foam for the front of the kayak.

    Old folks like me would also add and electric motor to the bike…

    Here are two trailers in good condition. You can get cheaper ones w/ the fabric in poor condition as that will all be removed.

    https://vancouver.craigslist.org/bnc/spo/d/burnaby-mec-bike-trailer/7728524310.html

    This one has aluminum frame (less rust from salt water) adjustable suspension which is a major plus, especially if the kayak is loaded w/ camping gear: https://vancouver.craigslist.org/nvn/bab/d/north-vancouver-thule-chariot-cougar/7732175473.html

    Good luck!

     

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