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Trailers: size and convenience

mswmsw Posts: 313
I'm looking for a decent trailer that we can fit 2 kids in (aged 3 months / nearly 3), possibly one of those that turns into a pushchair. The leading options seem to be Chariot, Burley & Croozer (which is made by Chariot, right?), but the 2 things that are most important to me are folded size and ease of attaching/detaching.

Size
We have a small hallway and no side access to the house, and don't want to leave the trailer outside the front door even locked if we can help it. So does anyone have any experience of how small any of these models fold up? Comparisons to buggies would be useful...

Attaching and detaching
If it's not pretty simple to click on and off then realistically we're not going to use it. Again does anyone have any experience of any of these or others?

Thanks in advance - this is a big purchase and I want us to really be able to use it, which means convenience is pretty vital.
"We're not holding up traffic. We are traffic."

Posts

  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    We had a Croozer 737 for a few years. That's the precursor to the current one-seater, but the two-seater models are essentially the same in design - just wider. (It was lent to a friend, and then stolen, so I agree, I wouldn't encourage locking it up outside). The quick/easy fold is to drop the roofline down. This is somewhat similar to a buggy fold, and makes it a lot flatter. The wheels come off reasonably easily and quickly - push a tab/button in on the axle and pull them out.

    Both of these operations are relatively quick and easy - although in reality if I had to do it every day, I reckon the wheels would get tiresome - lining them up to click them back in. But, although a little more unwieldy, you can carry it sideways with wheels attached without too much hassle, thru doors or within a hallway.

    Attach/detach from the bike is very easy. There's a hitch that stays on the bike (attached through the axle/QR) and then the trailer end of the hitch slips on this, with a pin and then a safety strap. We had two hitches for mum/dad bikes.
    5911336468_23fefdf90b.jpg
    Even the conversion from trailer to buggy/stroller is pretty quick. Castor style wheel can live in a pocket in the (quite ample) cargo space in the back - tow bar uses two of the similar pins to the front hitch. Conversion to a jogger takes a little longer, and you can have to realign the front wheel and mounts after a quick test.

    I couldn't spring for a Chariot (even the Croozer was a stretch, but got a bargain on eBay) - but I'd expect all of the above but lighter/easier. (But also more expensive. Light, strong, cheap. Pick any two). I'm not aware of any alignment between the two companies.

    The plus side... it's just such a great way to get around. Yes, you'll certainly feel it back there - but they do roll along quite well. Hills? If you've got gears, you'll use them, but it was amazing how much I'd get up with really not a lot more effort than doing it myself.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • mswmsw Posts: 313
    Thanks - really helpful. The only question now is how happy we are to take it in traffic occasionally. We live in a big city with not great bike lane provision so can't always avoid going on the roads, which argues a bit more in favour of an on-bike solution I think. Looking at www.cargobike.co.uk for some options.
    "We're not holding up traffic. We are traffic."
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    The pro-trailer comment - it's just amazing how much respect and space the vast majority of drivers give you with a trailer. I did avoid heavy roads with my daughter in it, but sometimes with cargo I did not. Claiming the lane is no problem.

    Click on 'cargobike' on my sig for what we moved on to. HIGHLY recommend a bakfiets-styled bike. They ride like a bike, so I certainly preferred it to a three-wheeler. The main recommendation, however, is they give you the ability to have your little ones in front of you. Then the conversations flow - "Look at that man. What type of dog is that?" sorta stuff. Love it.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • mswmsw Posts: 313
    Yeah, I think the bakfiets is our second option - if only we had the space, it literally will not go through our (terraced) house. The other advantage of the trailer is that while one of the kids isn't yet walking we can use it in buggy mode at the other end.
    "We're not holding up traffic. We are traffic."
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    msw wrote:
    Thanks - really helpful. The only question now is how happy we are to take it in traffic occasionally. We live in a big city with not great bike lane provision so can't always avoid going on the roads, which argues a bit more in favour of an on-bike solution I think. Looking at http://www.cargobike.co.uk for some options.
    Not sure it matters. Yes a driver may hit the trailer but I'd say there is probably just as much chance of a driver hitting the cargo bike. In my experience drivers are generally very respectful of your space when you are pulling a trailer.

    Main this against the trailer is that they are wide and for some people's routes this causes issues when navigating through gates/chicanes etc.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    All two seater trailers are huge! We never take ours the house as it to big.

    As others have said, car drivers do seem very respectful of a child trailer on the road.

    If it was my money, I would go for the Chariot.
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