Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Busycle Trailer Tow Hitch Ideas needed!!

Elliot Naess the legendary builder of vehicles for the Kinetic Sculpture Race series, so revered that his on line web page, Hints on building a Kinetic Racing Sculpture is studied by KSR racers and would be racers interested in building a winning machine that can negotiate water, sand and road all over a three day period the world around, tuned in with the following:

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 3:55 PM, Elliot S. Naess <> wrote:
A welded-on hitch may restrict access to the engine. It may even make it impossible to remove the engine for overhaul. So I would bolt the hitch in. All kinds of welding shops, RV shops, and yes U-Haul shops can build a hitch. You do not need to know exactly what trailer you will be pulling. You install a "receiver" hitch, and then you can swap out the short (but sturdy) bracket with the ball on it -- without tools. I carry three or four different ball mounts in different heights, and with different ball sizes, in my pickup. 

Indeed! And on m way to the gym I took a picture of one of  Don Marquart's so I c/show my Facebook readers. Don, has a beautiful, prob 35 foot long RV and has been an owner for decades. He even built one of the first ones anywhere around all the way back in the '60's. So besides a tow hitch, he's also going to let his networks know we need to borrow a propane reefer and a car trailer on which to mount  the Busycle ,

Ground clearance can be an issue because of the long rear overhang of a bus, so I recommend you install the receiver as high as possible. I would probably cut a hole in the bumper for it, but it may be OK to have it immediately below the bumper. Look for evidence of ground contact in the past. If the bus has scraped on the ground in the past, you should probably cut a hole in the bumper for the hitch. You may also want to use a ball mount that steps up a bit, so the threaded end of the ball does not scrape on the ground so readily.

Don has seen our bus (but not up close yet) and agrees that cutting the bumper is what is needed here! 
All my best,

Besides Don, I'd like to add John Dohner, who you saw me talk about in here earlier. He is pictured with his wife Katherine, at the amazing estate he built. Even the monolithic rocks you see here required engineering miracles  to get them positioned where they are......


THX so much Elliot - THX 4 U!!  

Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2010 12:22:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Busycle Trailer Tow Hitch Ideas needed!!

Yahoo Jack!! 

So awesome to see U in here! For all of U on the bcc, Jack in the man who brought the world the first short wheel base recumbent, if not the first of the modern era. His company has evolved to S&B Recumbents in Compton, CA. And it is his machine those of U here in Palo Alto see me on when the Eagle is down. It got me through the winter with excellent performance as well as dependability .......

THX for this Jack!!  

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 11:27 AM, Jack Baker <> wrote:

       S-B Recumbents
We Custom Build Recumbent Trikes & Bikes
to Personal Specifications & Physical Challenges.
Web site address:  

And John Yahoo for your insight as well!! John, for everyone else, knows big challenge. He, for example, built the beautiful home and estate he lives in here in the Palo Alto hills. He also plays Saturday football with me and since he, in his late 50's biked across the US himself, he has empathy for my mission. Or it is it sympathy - John saw me in a hospital bed after getting my kidney ruptured to the tune of seven pints of lost blood in a pile up. Either way, this giant of  a man has donated now 500 dollars to my two Eagle rides! 

John, see the below to read my response!
Hi Martin
For what it is worth, the following is the e-mail address of a machinist/blacksmith that I know who could take a piece of metal, drill out a hole to accept a trailer ball that you purchase (maybe from Kragen's??) and then weld it or bolt it (the piece of metal) to the bus frame:
.  The guy's name is Chuck Ferrier.

Awesome, a blacksmith ! WoW Chuck, I will place  him on our list  of engineers made up of some of the best minds all over the US!! 

And John, I suspect that a weld can be made as strong as a bolt. However, in this case maybe a combination of methods is in order....
The more I think about it, the more I think this attachment wants to be bolted to the bus frame, rather than welded, since the guy who owns the bus probably won't want to drive it around with a trailer hitch for the rest of its life, after hauling the Buscycle to Boston.  Also, I worry about the weld holding for the trip.  Chuck is a good welder, but who knows the vibrations you get on a cross country trip and it is probably reasonably difficult to make a weld upside down, under a bus.  But you can talk to him if you think you need him.

Excellent insight
You probably need to identify the trailer that you are going to rent before you can identify the ball you need to purchase. 

I think we will just use the U-haul model as a template. Prob a lot easier to modify a hitch already in place than waiting for the trailer then welding accordingly....

 Also, I presume you are thinking of a means to pull the Buscycle up onto the trailer.  I don't think you'll be able to pedal it onto the trailer.  A "come-along" (get it at Orchard Supply) is a cheap, manual solution, though you'd better make sure that it can handle the weight of the buscycle.  Probably a powered winch is a better solution.  Maybe the guys who rent you the trailer (Hengehold??) can provide a winch?
We pedal it on!!

           However a winch is  a great idea......

      THX 4 all of U!! 

--- On Tue, 4/6/10, HiWheel Cyclist <> wrote:

From: HiWheel Cyclist <>
Subject: Busycle Trailer Tow Hitch Ideas needed!!
To: "post" <>
Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 10:43 AM

Here now with 38 days left, and now THX to Shawn Raymond, Jeff Kistler, Jim Spillane, Tom Schoeniger and all of you who threw moral support at this, the Eagle is back on the road, the focus here at the 11th hour needs to switch to the Busycle. Specifically, how we are going to tow it to Boston and to all the 27 cities in between. You saw us get John E Cabrera's 40 foot Rock Star bus ready for the road and you saw Sunfood throw their nutrition muscles at my soon ahead challenge, and when I get a better picture and the details are better worked out, you will see how Bike Connection and Cardinal Bike here in Palo Alto are supporting my ride. So, much of the foundation has been laid for my ride.

I have this now before our esteemed engineers. You are all on the bcc. If you are getting this, I am asking you if you can get me any kind of direction on where I can go to get a tow hitch for the trailer that will haul our Busycle ? And then who down here on the Peninsula can weld it on to the bus?

We will have to rent a trailer until one shows up. However with a tow hitch in place, we will have moved the  now biggest obstacle in the way of our path to Boston. Who can help here?

           THX 4 all of U!! 


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