|How and Why I Built a Bicycle Kayak Trailer
(or another item from Something for Nothing Engineering)
By Bob Elliott - 2008
Pic 3 - Here's a view of the kayak sitting
one the trailer and PVC pipe.
Well, there were quite a few times this summer I found myself without any means of transporting the Kayak
to my favorite waterways and I began to wonder about building a trailer for my bike? I figured that it
weighed less than the typical kiddie trailers available, and also might save on gas as that has become a major
concern this summer.
I began looking for a donor to build my trailer. I considered one of those kiddie trailers or golf carts but
what I ended up with was a discarded Graco baby stroller (see Pic 1). A lot of things might work for this part,
but this is what I found for the right price, or free. So this was the starting point, and as it turns out,
worked out pretty good.
After an hour or so of demo to remove all of the plastic and cloth stuff that I did not need, I had it down to
the basic frame. What I found were three light, welded parts with an axle where all three of metal frame
pieces could slip together in a few different ways. At this point, it measures around 5 ft long, very light and
already very stiff for what it was. (see Pic 2)
With the metal chassis as a start, I placed the Kayak on it and measured what it would take to level it and
used 1 ½ in plastic pipe as a frame to support the Kayak. It’s light, strong enough and about the right scale for
what I hoped to accomplish. (see Pic 3)
For whatever reason, the shape of the kayak fit perfectly into the handle of the stroller. With some
adjustments, a little cutting and fitting of the PVC, the kayak was secure to the chassis. About now, I
beginning to think that we might actually have something that will work.
With the kayak resting securely in the PVC bed, the next step was how to attach it to the rear of the bike.
Again, working with what I have in front of me, I made an extension or tongue out of 3/4 in PVC to reach the
rack on my bike. (see Pic 4)
On the bike, I added a simple snatch or lock hook to my rear rack to accept the eye bolt added to the end of
the trailer tongue.
I tried to keep the trailer weighted towards the tongue a little, I’d guess something like a 5-10 lb tongue
weight and overall the trailer and kayak weighs about 60 lbs.
Based on a few road tests that I’ve had, I’m pretty happy with the results. With a little bit of “trailer
awareness training”, things like, observing the shorter turning radius of the trailer, remembering the trailers
wider tire track than the bike, and then you learn not lean the bike over very far, not all that difficult.
I can tell you that this seems to work pretty good with my single person kayak, a 10ft. long, 50lb. unit. It's
easy to drive, tow and stop. I have added a mirror to my bike so I can keep an eye on what is behind me or
coming up on me. Although I would not suggest this for very long or heavy kayaks, it seems to be work fine for
Total cost of this project was about $20.00 for piping and hardware, baby stroller was free.
Pic. 1- The starting point, although not
this new. . .
Pic 2 - The chassis after demo and
Pic 4 - A better look at the eyelet on the
tongue or bar that you attach to the hook on