Quick! Release this tube.
February 25, 2013 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I need an easy, sturdy, quick release method for connecting two parallel pieces of aluminum tube for a bike trailer rebuilding project. I haven't been able to come up with the right design by myself and I'm hoping someone out there can help me.

I'm rebuilding a bike trailer and had to make it narrower to fit my purpose. It's similar to this project but I have a specific requirement that I want to be able to remove the hitch from the trailer if I'm stranded in terrible weather and want to catch a ride in a car. (The bike will go on a rack.) What is a sturdy, simple but cheap way to create a connection that will let me quickly and easily remove the hitch from the trailer?
posted by cellura p to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
Bolt/weld/otherwise secure a slightly larger diameter piece of tube onto the frame. Insert hitch inside said tube. Drill through both. Insert a cotter pin into the hole to hold the hitch inside the tube. Best practice, also drill through the hitch and bolt a strap onto it, with a clip attached. Clip it to a D-ring secured to the frame so that if the pin fails the trailer doesn't come completely unattached.

That's how the hitch is secured on my (purchased) bike trailer, anyway.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:39 AM on February 25, 2013

You would need something to prevent rotation, but a pneumatic quick release is the actual hitch attachment for my trailer. Putting the female side on the trailer and the male side on the tongue would make sense to me. I have no idea how one would attach that to aluminum, but...probably a way?

Sorry it's not a "Definitely do this" answer, but the connector itself is something to look into.
posted by HermitDog at 11:40 AM on February 25, 2013

Basically what caution live frogs said, though I think that the cotter pin should go through a clevis pin, which goes through the holes bored through the tubing. Look here for a size of aluminum tubing with an OD just slightly smaller than the ID of the tubing used for the hitch (you do have a dial caliper, don't you?)
posted by jon1270 at 12:22 PM on February 25, 2013

Instead of a cotter pin use a presto pin or Linch Pin. Make it captive with a short length of fine chain (one end attached to the pin and the other attached to the trailer).
posted by Mitheral at 12:41 PM on February 25, 2013

Oh yeah: A clevis pin. That's the hardware. I knew it had a name, didn't know the ACTUAL name so settled on cotter pin... but they hold well and are easy to attach to a strap so they don't get dropped and lost.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2013

Response by poster: These sound like good ideas, not sure how to attach the larger tube w/o interfering with the opening where the hitch goes. I'm not weld capable. I was thinking of some kind of pin/chain combo but I needed names of hardware things and specifics. Still open to other possible solutions.
posted by cellura p at 3:44 PM on February 25, 2013

So, how about something like using a 12" tube to seat the hitch, but the hitch arm itself is only 6"? The last 6" of the mount tube can have bolts sunk right through it, while the front half is the receptacle for the hitch and thus only has a single drillhole for the clevis pin. Would also serve the purpose of making it hard to insert the hitch too far.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:00 PM on February 25, 2013

Response by poster: Got it. I'll be searching for the right size tube this weekend. Thanks all!
posted by cellura p at 2:29 AM on February 27, 2013

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