Should i get a trailer

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
briggsy
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Joined: 13 May 2010, 10:50am

Should i get a trailer

Postby briggsy » 22 Jun 2010, 7:04am

I'm going touring in Italy with my wife in the summer and we're considering camping. I have a ridgeback horizon which I fit a rear rack to, this has served me well on a couple of tours but I've always stayed in hostels. The bike does not take front panniers and is more of an audax/light tourer. My wife has a similar bike, I'll probably be carrying the tent etc. My options seem to be:

1. Try to put everything in two rear panniers (with the tent on the rack top).
2. Share the load between panniers and a trailer.
3. Forget it and stay in hostels.

I don't fancy overloading my rear rack with camping gear (1) and don't own a trailer (2) but hostels (3) make it a much more expensive trip.

I await the benefit of your collective wisdom!

Keith

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby Barrenfluffit » 22 Jun 2010, 9:22am

I think you'll struggle to fit two sleeping mats, sleeping bags and usual stuff in two panniers on one bike.

If your hostelling then its probably possible as your minimum requirements are pretty small. But this mode of travel is quite restricting route wise, can push you into longer days than you would choose and to locations you would not choose to visit.

I feel that you should be able to fit everything onto two bikes with panniers even if you split the baggage according to weight rather than bulk or whose it is. Handlebar bags are a useful addition.

A trailer makes life a bit more complicated for connecting trains etc. I can see the point where you have to carry more than a bike will take (e.g a long unsupplied tour) but it can just be a temptation to take too much.

So my answer would be don't buy a trailer but fit the other bike with a rack, use panniers and camp.

hartleymartin
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby hartleymartin » 22 Jun 2010, 9:59am

Handlebar bag would help in this situation, put soft items (clothing) into stuff-sacks with compression straps, etc.

In the old days they mostly used string, straps and made do. Few bicycles had racks, but they carried their entire kit with them:

Image

Image

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Martin Hartley from Sydney, Australia
Self-confessed Raleigh Twenty tragic.
http://raleightwenty.webs.com

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jun 2010, 10:02am

Have a look at Mick F's trailer - there's plenty about it on here. I think you'll find it ticks all the boxes, as they say, and in Mick's case, it carries a huge box.
=====================
Her's one thread among several (google crashed worldwide when I did the search :wink: )

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=29496&hilit=

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Mick F
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby Mick F » 22 Jun 2010, 10:18am

Thanks TC,

Here's a shot or two.
PICT0075.JPG
PICT0077.JPG
P6050016.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall

hartleymartin
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby hartleymartin » 22 Jun 2010, 2:32pm

And you can always DIY a trailer or two...

Image
Martin Hartley from Sydney, Australia
Self-confessed Raleigh Twenty tragic.
http://raleightwenty.webs.com

TheBrick
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008, 9:28pm

Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby TheBrick » 22 Jun 2010, 7:29pm

hartleymartin wrote:Handlebar bag would help in this situation, put soft items (clothing) into stuff-sacks with compression straps, etc.

In the old days they mostly used string, straps and made do. Few bicycles had racks, but they carried their entire kit with them:
...


and of course now frame bags and "rack less touring" is touted as the new thing!

Image

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Cunobelin
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Jun 2010, 7:55pm

At this precise moment my Carry Freedom is in Invermoriston, having completed half the Great Glen Way.

Personally I prefer it to a full set of panniers

Having said that - most of it's contents belong to SWMBO

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Robert
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Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 8:58pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby Robert » 23 Jun 2010, 12:05am

Cunobelin wrote:
Having said that - most of it's contents belong to SWMBO


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

cf. the recent thread about touring alone.

thirdcrank
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Jun 2010, 7:30am

Briggsy

I fear with my attempted play on words, all you are seeing of Mick F's trailer is something that looks a bit like a fridge on wheels, or else shifting masonry.

The reason I recommended that type of trailer, which may not be coming across with all the other posts celebrating the flexibilty of the pedal cycle, is that it fits just what you want:

Attaches to the bike with simplicity (and can just as easily be detached)
Can take any type of luggage (when I met Mick it had a bright orange suitcase attached.)
The weight is carried by the trailer's wheels rather than the bike.
The trailer itself without luggage takes very little space (especially when compared to something like a Yak BOB) so it would not add much to your storage needs in a B&B, YHA or similar.

IMO for anybody without a touring bike who wants to tour with luggage, this style of trailer is something to consider.

briggsy
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Joined: 13 May 2010, 10:50am

Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby briggsy » 23 Jun 2010, 6:16pm

Thanks for all the advice. I keep flirting with the idea of a trailer but ... In the end I'm going to have a dry run and see if I can get all the gear in rear panniers on the two bikes. I'm sure Mick F's trailer is amazing however it looks very cumbersome and I suspect it could be quite a lot of fun getting it on a plane. Mrs B is totally against the idea of a trailer on aesthetic grounds. I'm a little concerned that there will be a fair bit of weight on the back but that should spur me on to keep the baggage down. I may end up with lightly packed panniers and a Bob/revolution single wheel trailer if we can't fit it all in.

If only I'd simply got a proper touring bike ... now there's an idea!

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max
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby max » 23 Jun 2010, 6:35pm

My wife and I toured with a tent and two panniers each last summer. I had two large panniers for my clothes, the tent, and my mat and sleeping bag and all common things with a rack pack for glasses, wallet and sun lotion. My wife had two small panniers intended for the front wheel but carried on her back rack in which she had her clothes, sleeping bag and mat; she had no other rack pack or handlebar bag, so not too heavy. It wasn't too difficult to fit everything in.

One of the key secrets is don't take too many clothes, two teeshirts, two undies, two shorts etc, wear one and wash it at the end of the day. More changes of clothing means your too often carrying dirty washing.

Rob

AndyB
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby AndyB » 23 Jun 2010, 9:01pm

Two comments. First, the Carry Freedom trailer is certainly not cumbersome, and dismantles in seconds, so I don't think getting it on a plane will be a problem. Second, you should be able to fit all your kit bar a tent in 2 large and 2 small panniers. I've done this with camping gear for a week (and I'd take no more for 3 weeks) for myself and my son on our tandem. Contrary to what you might expect, his stuff takes up more space than an adult's (not such lightweight fabrics for clothing, more changes required, toys, bulky synthetic sleeping bag, etc.). Given the choice of heavy loading on the rear (only) of your bike and a using trailer, I'd certainly choose the trailer. (I think they're more elegant with a bag than a box - I use the Ortlieb rack pack.)

briggsy
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Joined: 13 May 2010, 10:50am

Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby briggsy » 23 Jun 2010, 10:12pm

AndyB - just checked the carryfreedom & Ortlieb websites and I have to say I like the look of the trailer and bag combo. In the previous pictures the big metal box stood out and certainly wasn't what I was thinking. I also like the fact the trailer is two-wheeled, the other trailers I'd considered are single wheeled and I admit the stories of Jacknifing were putting me off. A handlebar bag, seat bag and trailer would neatly fit all my gear. The 50l of the Ortleib is more than the 40l of my panniers. Having had experience with other holdalls I've found that they don't always live up to the manufacturers claims. I have a 70l holdall which certainly does not hold 70l! I'm assuming Ortleib are more honest?

Am I spending too long pontificating? Maybe, but it's fun.

AMC
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Re: Should i get a trailer

Postby AMC » 23 Jun 2010, 11:23pm

I have the same Carry Freedom & box as Mick F. If I need to transport it anywhere I take the alu box off and use a large waterproof bag or 120L rucsac, the wheels pop off & it dismantles quickly into a flat package which goes into a lightweight bag which I can sling over one shoulder.