12. The Bamboo Trailer

The Bamboo Trailer

The Bamboo Trailer was designed by Carry Freedom for use in the 3rd world. This simple but strong trailer is built locally from paper plans we supply. What’s revolutionary is that anyone can build this trailer, out of practically any material (including bamboo), with hardly any tools. Its length width and strength can be adapted, it can even be towed by a donkey, person, or moped. The Bamboo Trailers basic frame can be adapted to carry many things including; farmers produce, fire wood, water, and the sick to their nearest doctor.

Places that need a bike trailer the most, often have the least capacity to build or buy them. Carry Freedom developed the Bamboo trailer to allow anyone the ability to build a strong adaptable trailer from anything. These plans allow a builder to make a trailer from most materials, with pinned joints, and no bending or welding. Whether you make it from titanium or bamboo, this is a stiff light trailer. It can be varied it in width length and strength, and made to fold.

We are developing this project as a non profit venture. These free plans are funded by profits from our western trailer sales. Any help in developing funding and circulating this project is welcome.

Link to the plans: HERE

Notes about the Bamboo Trailer plans:
This is a work in progress, so apologies for all mistakes and omissions. The ultimate aim is to have a document that can be followed and understood by most people irrespective of language culture or literacy. This of course will take a lot of time feedback and help.

Copyright of this document belongs to its creator Carry Freedom. Copying or reproducing this document in whole or in part without our prior writen permision is prohibited, with the exception of peer to peer distribution.

Peer to Peer distribution is exchange of this document between two private individuals, and is permited on the understanding that the document will be distributed intact and no money changes hands.

  • The Bamboo Trailer
  • The plans are free to distribute
  • Its simple. The trailer can be made with very simple tools and skills
  • Its flexible. The trailers length width strength and materials can be varied
  • Its strong. The trailer strength to weight ratio is near perfect

(6) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • ckhughes.uk@gmail.com'
    Kit - Reply

    November 10, 2014 at 19:21


    I am part of a team working on a project which hopes to use this kind of ‘frugal, open-source’ design, but for solutions for people with disabilities.

    I was just checking to see if these plans were still being worked on by your design team; as there are some obvious synergies with what our project is trying to achieve, and therefore potential learnings.

    So it would be great if there’s someone to get in touch with!
    Please let me know

    • Bob - Reply

      November 19, 2014 at 11:43

      Best person to talk to is the designer Nick Lobnitz. Send him a mail at nick@simple-city.com. thanks for your input! Bob

  • royblumenthal@gmail.com'
    Roy Blumenthal - Reply

    November 3, 2014 at 10:30

    Hi Bob & Team…

    Excellent plans, man! Very impressive!

    One thing that I’m finding a tad confusing is the axle attachment system.

    The plans refer several times to vertical and horizontal slots.

    I think there needs to be done sort of extra pic that shows what you mean. I’m reasonably 3d-literate, but I’m not getting that part.

    I’m sure I’ll figure it out when I one day get round to getting off my arse and making this wonderful piece of machinery. But I’m wondering if others won’t get blocked there?

    Another piece of clarity could be added to the hitching diagram… That’s too show that the vertical bolt between cart and bike is actually a hinge, with free movement required. Washers on the inside of that coupling might be a good call?

    Also, I think each nut in the structure could benefit from a locknut, especially if the device is used in rural areas. Dirt roads are usually corrugated, and shake the living hell out of things.

    Lastly, the rolled hinge where the coupling hooks onto the bike axle is a major vulnerability. If that’s made out of cheap tin from, say, a can of baked beans, there’s no way that single roll is going to hold very long or well. I almost think you need an L-bend (one hole attaches to the wheel bolt, the other hole attaches to a U-bend), and a U-bend (the L and the U are bolted together to form an h; holes drilled through the two arms of the U receive the bolt, and a sleeve as an internal spacer). This will give the coupling a bit more structural integrity, I think.

    But these are just speculations. You guys are the real metalheads.

    Thanks for the inspiring plans.

    Blue skies

    • Bob - Reply

      November 3, 2014 at 11:13

      Hey Roy, i will ask Nick our designer to answer your questions. Thanks for being interested. The idea behind the Bamboo Trailer was that it could be built in the third world from scrap. The design was reduced to the minimum, which is why locknuts were probably left out. of course it’s a good idea for people who can get them.
      Take care

  • yoann.b.1@gmail.com'
    Yoann - Reply

    September 25, 2014 at 12:27

    I’m building this trailler with special adaptation with disk brakes for moving from France to Deutschland.

    I think that the drawing of wheel brackets page 7 are not the same that on the global view page 3 (which are better mechanicaly) .
    Right ?

    I would like to be added a piece of information for bamboo :
    if you break the partitions of the bamboo so that air can flow through, then your bamboos will dry without cracks.
    Moreover if you flame them until they turn brown, you get a rot and stiffer material.

    Thank you for this very nice design.
    I think I’ll traduct it into French and Esperanto when it’ll be improved 😉

    • Bob - Reply

      September 25, 2014 at 12:55

      Hey Yoann,
      Thanks for your comment. I will ask Nick (the designer) about the drop outs. And thanks for some great tips about making a bamboo trailer. We’d love to see the French version.

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