Creativity in a DIY Pack Trailer
The coolest thing I saw last week was this guy with a very creative DIY approach to a pack trailer — and, of course, his tow vehicle! Let’s hear it for thinking outside the box. Yes, it’s definitely cobbled together with stuff many would call junk. However, it’s worth some appreciation even if it goes against the grain.
Not sure if he was homeless or just out scrounging, but I saw him while I was bicycling on one of Colorado Springs main city trails. He was off to the side of the trail and was re-configuring the load in his pack trailer. At first glance it didn’t register. However, on a quick second look I took it in and realized just what he has done. So, I turned around, stopped, and introduced myself. Super nice guy.
The Ramshackle Rig
His two-seater go-kart carries him and his bag, as well as being the ‘truck’ to pull the trailer. It has a nice little 6 HP motor, solid axle, and swing-arm style rear suspension. As an off-road go-kart, it’s not too shabby. As you can see in the photos, the front suspension is A arms with coil-overs and a rack-and-pinion style steering. Way better than most go-karts.
The trailer, an older bicycle cargo or pack trailer, has 80’s vintage molded plastic BMX style wheels and aluminum rails. Three pieces of old wrought-iron railing serve to extend the trailer sides up and back. Then, a chunk of chip-board forms the bottom trailer deck. Some pieces of material are just set in, other portions were zip tied, taped or bolted. Not very secure, and not the way I’d layout a trailer frame, but creative nonetheless.
The cargo is a mixed bunch. Starting with the essentials — sleeping bag, tent, and a bunch of other things in the trailer. To his credit, it’s all nicely packed in and tied down. And, of course, the reasonably recent Haro mountain bike. (Note the rear wheel. It has a disc brake caliper, but no disc on the wheel. That means no rear brakes. There is a front disc and a front caliper, so hopefully that works. Hmmmm. I’m not so sure that’s a great setup. Makes you wonder if the brakes on the go-kart are any better?)
I couldn’t tell all the other things in that pack trailer, but definitely a tarp and several items for camping and sustaining a “residence”. Oh, and don’t forget the Flag. This veteran is proud of the flag and making sure it is secure on the frame is pretty important. Nice, and interesting legacy for him.
Why Post About A Cobbled Pack Trailer?
This guy has the spirit of Do-it-Yourself with creativity and ingenuity. I don’t know anything about where he came from, or where he got the stuff, or where he’s going. I only know a little from a few minutes of conversation. He’s figured out how to use the things he finds to get around. What may appear as a goofy little trailer is in fact a creative use of resources, including the way he fashioned the sides with the scrap wrought-iron railings.
One other thing that struck me . . . he is willing to share. He told me a little about how he built it and what works, then he allowed me to take the photos. I respect that. You can see the hand pump on the ground near the trailer, so I asked if he needs help. No, he said, he has it all under control. I believe he does.
His work is customizing at the extreme! And, he made it into a little pack trailer to meet his needs. It’s kluged together for sure, and an eye-sore (to some). Yet, in his contraption we see DIY creativity! Which is what this website is about. He has implemented bits and scraps of what he found, using what few tools he has to build something that works for him. Indeed, he understands “Customize“. (Thank goodness it’s not on the road!)
Hats off to you man! And, we wish you luck in all your travels. Hopefully you can find a good way to use that creativity in productive and prosperous ways.
For other unique trailers, read about the Old Time Tiny House Trailers. For more on customizing, read about Making Changes to the Plans. Finally, here’s a more practical example of a customized mini trailer made for a small car. Enjoy.