At Night Market, we generally repurpose and re-vamp second-hand bike trailers by adding:
a wooden box: this provides a sturdier frame and can allow increased food capacity.
LED-lit signs and lights: improves the visibility of night market riders, thus increasing their safety during night-time food pick-ups and also increasing recognizability in the community.
bike trailer frame
DAYBETTER Led Strip Light Waterproof 600leds 32.8ft
10m Waterproof Flexible Color Changing RGB SMD 5050 600leds LED Strip Light Kit with 44 Keys IR Remote Controller and 12V Power Supply
Paint: exterior water-proof.
Primer: all purpose.
Mix of painting supplies such as rollers, trays, painters tape
Plywood: Sande plywood (¼ inch for light panels, ½ for the rest)
Wood (2x4): 2 in. x 4 in. x 96 in. Premium Kiln-Dried Whitewood Stud. for the inside of the light panels, and structure re-enforcement.
Batteries: TalentCell Rechargeable 12V 6000mAh/5V 12000mAh DC Output Lithium Ion Battery Pack for LED Strip and CCTV Camera, Portable Li-ion Battery Bank with Charger, Black (Multi-led Indicator)
mix of screws and bolts, different sizes
You can usually find used bike trailers on craiglist, facebook marketplace or buy nothing facebook groups. Once your night market chapter becomes know in your community, bike trailers will come to you :)
the original trailer’s structure/design will influence the amount of materials you have to use and how much work it’s going to take to build the new one.
the capacity and weight it’s able to carry will vary by maker. IF you can, it’s good to check the weight it’s designed to carry and take it into account when you plan what you will use this trailer for and the materials. A good brand to go for is Burley, they are sturdy, well made and can carry a decent amount of weight.
Depending on the metal frame of the recovered trailer, and the planned use the trailer, the design may vary.
Things to consider:
LED-lit sides will need double wood panels, that will “sandwich” the LEDs inside (for example, if there are 2 lateral panels, you will need to cut out 4 identical pieces). These will increase the weight of your trailer considerably.
If you want your trailer to be as lightweight as possible, consider minimizing areas with wood, using nets or leaving the metal frame structure bare.
The shape of your trailer should be as aerodynamic as possible.
Check the weight your frame is designed to load, and take that into account when you decide on the materials for your design. The intended cargo can vary, but usually ones you will find for free are dog trailers for kids or dogs that weigh around 80-125 lb (around 45 kg).
Remember to ensure easy access for loading and unloading the food
(ideally the back panel will be shorter can be moved on hinges)
The height of the lateral structure will define cargo capacity.
We have tried out 3 types of lateral panels:
LED-lit wood side panels: this is the most visually pleasing but also heavy (in the picture, the red and purple trailers)
wooden side panels: lighter than the LED signs but still sturdy. you can paint these to make them visually pleasing (in the picture, the blue trailer)
metal frame of the trailer, nothing added: lightest most minimalist version, but will probably need to carry a plastic tub or cardboard box to contain the food (in the picture, the trailer furthest to the right)
typically shorter, and must allow easy access to the food inside the trailer. If you want your trailer to have only one illuminated LED sign, the back panel is a good choice
Cut 1 or 2 long pieces of wood that are a bit longer than the
bottom panel (probably 3-4 inches are enough). You can use this to
attach the floor panel to the metal trailer frame by drilling a long
thick bolts through both the bottom beam and the floor, or using U-bolts
for the same purpose.
Prime all wood panels and beams
Paint all wood panels and beams
Assemble the painted and primed pieces using appropriately sized screws and bolts.
and you’re done!!
How to video coming soooon :)