Jule is a now two and a half year old Border Collie mix. She runs long distances and likes it. But what about too long distances and lanes where she can't run herself? We have no car, so the only way for us is a trailer.
We searched the internet but could not find a trailer meeting our requirements. Some trailers were available at that time (August 2000). But all too heavy, too expensive or not suitable for cold weather and rain.
For transporting luggage we had already a B.O.B. Yak. So why not take it for Jule? O.k., 32 kg maximum load will be enough. But the trailer needed a cabin against wind and rain. This cabin I had to build on my own (see below).
Beeing transported in the one wheeled trailer is no problem for Jule. We started it since she was just a few weeks old, so she got used to it. She enjoys to sit, rather than to lay down, looking out of the cabin and beeing seen by the rest of the world. Yes, the rest of the world is amazed about the dog in the trailer. So we often can hear he exclamation "Look at the dog in the trailer!" or something like that. Sometimes people start talking to us on the street. They are interested in transporting a dog in a trailer. But I've never seen others really doing it. Most of the people talking to us have an old dog, wich cannot run as good as before. I think you have to start with a young dog. An older one won't link beeing transported in a way it is not used to.
When Jule sits in the trailer, the centre of gravity is quite high. On the bike you feel every movement of the dog. But with a dog of about 20 kg weight it is o.k. On a tandem it is no problem.
Meanwhile we have a second one wheeled trailer for Jule. It was built by a friend. The cabin was built by myself. I think Jule likes this trailer more than the Yak, because it is bigger.
The third trailer we have is a Weber Ritschie2, a usual trailer for children. It was necessary to have place for two passengers, because in November 2002 our son Yannick was born. I prolonged the seat with an isolation mattress to have a place for Jule. So Yannick and Jule can ride in this trailer side by side. For Yannick it's o.k., he does not know it on an other way. Jule got used to sharing "her" trailer very quickly. Sometimes Yannick pulls out Jule's skin, but Jule doesn't care.
The Ritschie is closed in every case. At cold or bad weather with the awning, at nice weather with the mesh. So people passing cannot look in the trailer as easy as with the Yak. But if they do, they are astonished, very estonished. Child and dog in one trailer is something special - more than just a dog in a trailer!
As mentioned before, I had to modify the Yak on my own. I had to build a cabin protecting Jule from cold weather and rain, which can be dismantled to use the yak temporarily for luggage. Regarding to my capabilities and my tools, it had to be build from materials easy to buy and without welding.
So I used:
First I bended two of the thicker tubes as bows from the front to the back of the trailer. In the ends I riveted two pieces of the smaller tube (58 cm for the front end, 45 cm for the back end). They had to stack out about 7 (front) and 25 cm (back). (Photo)
This bows had to be fixed reversible at the Yak. For the front end I took two pieces with 27 cm lengh of the thicker tube and fixed it with a hose cap at the yak on the inner side. In the lower end I cutted a thread (8 mm) to fix the tube with a screw (don't forget the washer).
|The tube holding the cabin at the back end. You also see the holder for the light.||The tube holding the cabin at the front end: mounted with a cable fixer an a screw (which you cannot see...)|
This bows are not very stable. So I linked them with the transparent plastic and the flat aluminium. Before you fix the second piece of plastic you should sew the deck and push it over the bows. The deck is riveted to the flat aluminium at the back end, at the front end are the eyelets to hang the fabric over some screws. You can open the deck to have a cabriolet.
|Front side of the cabin. The transparent plastic is bended to fit in the rounded Yak. The deck is holded by some long screws.|
|Back side of the cabin. See the deck riveted to the flat aluminium profile.|
Now you need the side walls. They are from the transparent plastic, stabled with the grating, fixed with cable fixers on the outer side. Between plastic and grating I layed some fabric to prevent Jule seeing the fast passing cars, but this was not nessecary.
Because the grating looks like prison, I have changed it against some aluminium profiles.
The sidewalls are simply standing in the trailer, stabled with short pieces of U-profile srewed on the bottom grating of the Yak. The top end are holded together by a flat aluminium profile.
One of the sidewall is taken away to let Jule jump in and out. (Photo will follow)
Of course, Jule does not have to sit on the Yak's bottom grating. I took a piece of foam, about 5 cm thick, protected with a plastic bag. On this mattress lays a towel.
On Jule's first rides we used a "seat belt", fixed at a harness. But it really was not necessary.
Initial we buyed the Yak to transport our camping luggage with a tandem. A tandem allows mounting four luggage bags - just as every bicycle. But there are two riders, needing more luggage a tandem can carry. Now the Yak is used by Jule. So I mounted one more carrier to the Yak, having the place for two more bags.
The cabin for our second one wheeled trailer is constructd in another way. It has a frame and is fixed with two screws on the trailer. The sidewalls are not removable, but back and front side are. Jule jumps in and out the trailer from the back side. The deck can be closed for riding in rain.
I think Jule likes this trailer more than the Yak, because it is bigger.
http://www.pdeleuw.de/jule/dogbytrailer.html - ausgedruckt am 04.06.2023