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Hiking Trailer, advice

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
Buen Camino all,

My wife and I walk the Frances route last year, there were parts we missed out due to injuries, time contrainsts etc, we completed about 300 miles and made it to Santiago....

But

We want to go back and walk again sometime in the future doing the bits we missed out on, in particular. But to ease the walking, I notice a few people towing hiking trailers and I thought what a wonderful idea.

I’m morbidly obese and struggled with the last 100kms to Santiago, determination got me there, but I had brought to much stuff in the first instance but also hadn’t trained sufficiently for it.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on hiking trailers, has anyone any particular experience with them. All advice gratefully received. Wheelies or MonoWalker or another!!!!

David.
 

Nomad Pack

Palm Oil = Dead Orangutan's
Camino(s) past & future
Everywhere with Donkeys and Dogs
Hiking trailers are a good idea to take the weight off your back, however it still involves effort to pull but usually it will be easier... Unless your going up hill. On the French way it will be easy enough for 99% of the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Buen Camino all,

My wife and I walk the Frances route last year, there were parts we missed out due to injuries, time contrainsts etc, we completed about 300 miles and made it to Santiago....

But

We want to go back and walk again sometime in the future doing the bits we missed out on, in particular. But to ease the walking, I notice a few people towing hiking trailers and I thought what a wonderful idea.

I’m morbidly obese and struggled with the last 100kms to Santiago, determination got me there, but I had brought to much stuff in the first instance but also hadn’t trained sufficiently for it.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on hiking trailers, has anyone any particular experience with them. All advice gratefully received. Wheelies or MonoWalker or another!!!!

David.
Without reading other responses, a fine monsieur from France walked the Portuguese camino with us in 20whenever. He was amazing, quietly progressing up and down dale with seemingly little effort. he designed it himself, and was using it because he had back problems that precluded him from carrying a mochila. If it works, use it. Whatever is going to allow you to do what you want, which is to complete or continue a pilgrimage - we are living now, not back in the day! USe the advances in technology that enable you to follow your dream. Buen camino, https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/members/hound-of-ulster.56443/
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
Thanks everyone, have had a look, but am wondering how correct the assumption is that having two wheels is better than one. To my mind both trailers slope and both have weight over the wheels, but also transferring up to the waist straps as well. This is the Monowalker Design Im looking at
or
compared to the https://www.benpacker-hikingtrailer.com or the
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
I have a Radical Designs Wheelie V, as shown in the last video clip.
I last used it in September doing the Southern Upland Way here in Scotland,a lot of the route is serious hill walking over rough and boggy moorland with very steep ups & downs.The Wheelie was fully loaded with camping gear,gas stove,food for several days,spare clothes etc.
It would have been hard work with a backpack but was so much easier having the weight balanced between the wheels and the trailer ran easily,even over the roughest terrain.
I did tend to pull it by the handlebars rather than just by the waist belt so felt very little weight on my waist.
I haven't used the Wheelie in Spain but will definitely be taking it the next time I go.
I have walked the Camino Frances twice and there is nowhere on that path that this trailer wouldn't go.
I hope this helps you.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
What about the West Highland Way, would it cope with the narrow stretches on that walk, another one we are interested in tackling.... I certainly like the look of the Wheelie. If it’s ok I’ll PM you with a few other questions Dinkumdigger
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
What about the West Highland Way, would it cope with the narrow stretches on that walk, another one we are interested in tackling.... I certainly like the look of the Wheelie. If it’s ok I’ll PM you with a few other questions Dinkumdigger
I haven't been on the WHW but I am sure the Wheelie would cope,the wheels are approx 18" / 46cm wide.
When I have been across ground where there is no path or foot track the Wheelie just rides over the heather,tussocks,rocks etc. Admittedly it takes a lot more effort to pull it over very rough ground but I don't think that you are going to find that on the CF or WHW.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Thanks everyone, have had a look, but am wondering how correct the assumption is that having two wheels is better than one. To my mind both trailers slope and both have weight over the wheels, but also transferring up to the waist straps as well. This is the Monowalker Design Im looking at
or
compared to the https://www.benpacker-hikingtrailer.com or the

The Monowalker divides the weight 50 - 50 between the walker and the wheel.
The axis on which the weight of thew pack rests is formed by the wheel on one side and the walker on the other side.
The Wheelie has the axis between the two wheels and that is where most of the weight goes. The division of the weight is like 80% on the wheels and 20% on the walker. I can't find the link to back up this exact figure, but the divison is much better than 50-50. Radical Design advises to put the heavy pieces near the axis, so they rest on the axis and not on top.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
I have owned a Radical Design Wheelie and used it last year on the St Olavsleden from Sweden to Norway. My mixed feelings were such that I have sold it again. I used it primarily as a try-out, to see if it would make life on the road a little easier, having to bring a tent and camping gear for two persons. On tarmac and paths wider than the width of the trailer it performs beautifully, off-road or on narrow gametrails is another matter IMHO. I blew my top a couple of times ramming, slogging and hauling the thing up and down muddy hills or along trails riddled with rocks and roots. It might be that I have a short temper, though. ;)

I agree with @Nomad Pack and @Dinkumdigger that you won't have much trouble with the Wheelie on the CF, but I think it would be overkill. You don't need that much gear on the Frances to warrant a walking trailer, unless in case of back problems as mentioned earlier. Apart from that, the Wheelie is quite expensive; I was lucky to get a good secondhand one (and sold it again for the same price). I think you'd be better off checking out some of the packing lists on this forum.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
I have owned a Radical Design Wheelie and used it last year on the St Olavsleden from Sweden to Norway. My mixed feelings were such that I have sold it again. I used it primarily as a try-out, to see if it would make life on the road a little easier, having to bring a tent and camping gear for two persons. On tarmac and paths wider than the width of the trailer it performs beautifully, off-road or on narrow gametrails is another matter IMHO. I blew my top a couple of times ramming, slogging and hauling the thing up and down muddy hills or along trails riddled with rocks and roots. It might be that I have a short temper, though. ;)

I agree with @Nomad Pack and @Dinkumdigger that you won't have much trouble with the Wheelie on the CF, but I think it would be overkill. You don't need that much gear on the Frances to warrant a walking trailer, unless in case of back problems as mentioned earlier. Apart from that, the Wheelie is quite expensive; I was lucky to get a good secondhand one (and sold it again for the same price). I think you'd be better off checking out some of the packing lists on this forum.
Thanks for the advice Purky, I did travel relatively light, having posted gear home TWICE, lesson learned, but it still took a toll on a really old ankle injury and next time I’d still want to take my camera gear etc I thought the 2 wheels might struggle on other walking routes and that a mono wheel might be better as a multi purpose tool. As a Morbidly Obese 27 stone man I could do with the overkill to help ease the ankle and leg pains. Funnily enough I had knee pain before doing my Camino last year, which disappeared walking the Camino.
.51932
 

david marquez

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte ( Irun to Luarca), Camino Primitivo-Fisterra: April-May 2018
Via de la Plata 2019
I am seriously considering the monowalker fatmate for the VdlP.
There is an Australian woman who is pulling one thru South America to the Arctic Ocean right now. One really nice aspect of the monowalker is the brake...you can lock the brake and lean back on the fatmate to catch a quick rest withut havign to unclip and set the trailer down
 
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lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Hire a Sherpa.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
I am seiously considering the monowalker fatmate for the VdlP.
There is an Australian woman who is pulling one thru South America to the Arctic Ocean right now. One really nice aspect of the monowalker is the brake...you can lock the brake and lean back on the fatmate to catch a quick rest withut havign to unclip and set the trailer down
Have seen this on YouTube, to my mind it would cover a greater range of trails where the Wheelie would be fine for the Camino path/road style trails. Very expensive though. The side panniers and a small bag would be more than sufficient for the Camino thinking coming down the shale hills into Zubiri in particular or in Molinaseca.....
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Hiking trailers CAN be a good idea. But on a very well-developed Camino such as the Frances, my recommendation would be to invest the funds in mochila transport. For about € 6 - 8 daily, you can have one rucksack or any suitcase (if you do this I recommend a rolling carry-on bag) sent ahead to your next night's lodging. These services are VERY reliable.

If you do this, you only need to carry rain gear, first-aid, snacks, water, and all your medications and valuables. Two people can put all their night stuff and extra clothes into the shared suitcase or mochila. It DOES make a HUGE difference. Later on, after a few weeks walking, you can choose to carry the rucksack(s) especially if walking a relatively level stretch, like the Meseta.

There are several services, with Jacotrans being one of the largest. However, their service starts at Roncesvalles. To get your bag over the Pyrenees from France to Roncesvalles, consider using Express Bourricot. They run a regular daily service up the mountain to Orisson, and the head of the trail over the frontier, and also over the mountains from SJPdP to Roncesvalles.

If you consider the HUGE initial investment and transport costs, plus the added drama that having to care for and protect a hiking trailer entails, mochila transport starts to look cheap in comparison. For example, most of the better trailers cost around €500 - 600. At €8 nightly (high end of mochila transport estimate) that is 62 nights (€500 / €8). The Frances takes about 35 nights, if you walk the entire 799 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.

So, the point is made. Send your rucksack ahead, or share a suitcase, and lighten your load.

Hope this helps.
 

david marquez

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte ( Irun to Luarca), Camino Primitivo-Fisterra: April-May 2018
Via de la Plata 2019
Hiking trailers CAN be a good idea. But on a very well-developed Camino such as the Frances, my recommendation would be to invest the funds in mochila transport. For about € 6 - 8 daily, you can have one rucksack or any suitcase (if you do this I recommend a rolling carry-on bag) sent ahead to your next night's lodging. These services are VERY reliable.

If you do this, you only need to carry rain gear, first-aid, snacks, water, and all your medications and valuables. Two people can put all their night stuff and extra clothes into the shared suitcase or mochila. It DOES make a HUGE difference. Later on, after a few weeks walking, you can choose to carry the rucksack(s) especially if walking a relatively level stretch, like the Meseta.

There are several services, with Jacotrans being one of the largest. However, their service starts at Roncesvalles. To get your bag over the Pyrenees from France to Roncesvalles, consider using Express Bourricot. They run a regular daily service up the mountain to Orisson, and the head of the trail over the frontier, and also over the mountains from SJPdP to Roncesvalles.

If you consider the HUGE initial investment and transport costs, plus the added drama that having to care for and protect a hiking trailer entails, mochila transport starts to look cheap in comparison. For example, most of the better trailers cost around €500 - 600. At €8 nightly (high end of mochila transport estimate) that is 62 nights (€500 / €8). The Frances takes about 35 nights, if you walk the entire 799 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.

So, the point is made. Send your rucksack ahead, or share a suitcase, and lighten your load.

Hope this helps.
All of your logic is excellent, but consider that there are some people who actually WANT to carry all of their gear with them. I do quite a lot of walking and cycling and I prefer to carry my kit (or drag it) and I enjoy the self sufficiency and ability to change plans, routes, destinations, etc on a moments notice, on a whim, on changes in weather, or any other factors that pop up during the course of a days walking.
In my case at least, the expense of purchasing an expensive trailer would be spread over other trips and travels in addition to the Camino.
Also, from what I have read in these forums about walking the VdlP (my next planned Camino), sending the mochilla ahead can be a bit more problematic on the VdlP
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I agree with everything you have written. My advice was offered within the context of the plans the OP indicated.

It's all good...
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
For what it’s worth..... I met 3 ladies on the CF last Summer, each with a wheelie trailer. In fact I heard about them long before I finally met them, in Larrasoaña. Everyone was feeling so sorry for them, they were so desperately struggling with their trolleys apparently. In the morning, they told me they were arranging for said trolleys to be sent ahead by taxi.... They couldn’t cope any more. I never saw them again so I don’t know how it turned out.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
Both of you are correct. For the Camino only the cost of a hiking trailer is prohibitive in comparison to just getting some of the Jacotrans type services to carry your bag, but from the viewpoint of longer term and other routes a hiking trailer could potentially work out cheaper in the grand scheme of things. I would like to walk more, not just from a health point of view, so I will have to consider carefully.

Thanks everyone for their input.

You have given me food for thought.

Buen Camino.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
With Jacotrans and similar services one can safely rely on the advice of others. There is also a lot of good advice that can be given about hiking trailers, but in the end it all comes down to your own body and mind. If you are interested in a hiking trailer, try them out before you decide anything.

I have been interested in the Wheelie from Radical design for quite a while now, and I have listed many positive characteristics of that little trailer, yet if my lower back protests during the try-out, that will be the end of that dream.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
One disadvantage I see in the Wheelie is the fact it’s got 2 wheels, some stretches of the French Route are either very narrow or so uneven that running two wheels could be a problem. I’m looking at the Monowalker which as it’s name suggests is a one wheel setup.

There are pros and cons to both, but if I was getting a trailer it would have to do more than just the Camino routes. I have no experience of other Camino routes but know some are considered harder terrain.

I shall investigate further and would like to try both out at some point and see if they are a route to longer walks with less struggle, until my weight and fitness levels improve.

David.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
For what it’s worth..... I met 3 ladies on the CF last Summer, each with a wheelie trailer. In fact I heard about them long before I finally met them, in Larrasoaña. Everyone was feeling so sorry for them, they were so desperately struggling with their trolleys apparently. In the morning, they told me they were arranging for said trolleys to be sent ahead by taxi.... They couldn’t cope any more. I never saw them again so I don’t know how it turned out.
It sounds like they didn't do much training with their trailers before the Camino, to see if they would actually work well for them.
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
It sounds like they didn't do much training with their trailers before the Camino, to see if they would actually work well for them.
Having only walked one Camino, that being the Frances last year, I can perfectly understand why at Larrasoaña they were struggling. Parts of the Camino from Roncesvalles are single track or less and uneven thus causing problems if towing a two wheeled trailer. On the wider tracks paths and roads it wouldn’t be a problem. Coming down the Shale mountains into Zubiri would quite frankly be a nightmare for many. I know at my age and weight, being total unfit, it was a time for total concentration. A mono wheel might cope better under those circumstances.

David.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi - trailers are great! Or rather, two-wheel trailers are great! There are no sections of the Camino that are too narrow or too rough for a trailer - for instance, the Wheelie is only 56 cms wide. Wherever your shoulders can go your trailer can go. Also the Wheelie has built in shoulder straps so that it can be quickly back-mounted if necessary, and such straps can be added to any trailer simply by buying an old cheap rucksack and using the harness from that.

But, Hound, you say that you are morbidly obese? You may do better - as mentioned above - to use a daily luggage carrier and walk as light as you can.
Also - a trailer can be like a new bookshelf - the temptation to just fill it can be almost irresistible!

I have made a trailer for Jenny in Sydney and am making my own now. I bolted a handle onto her one so if necessary she can wear her backpack and lift the light trailer by the handle, should she come across a problem such as a staircase in a refugio.
I did have a Wheelie but thought it over-engineered for Camino. The design, especially the big pack built into it, is for trekking rather than ambling and wanting to get at the sorts of pockets you get on a backpack.

Whatever anyone does, do not get a mono wheel trailer as half the weight is still on the body and they are narrower, true, but unstable. The advantage of a two wheel trailer is that the load can be organised over the axle so that there is no weight on the body. However, to stop the trailer draw bars rocking up and down one loads the trailer to give half a kilo or so of weight onto the hip belt.
The Wheelie is a seriously expensive piece of kit but there is a French one (has a wine bottle holder - no it doesn't ;)) that is less than half the price - they have recently renamed it Camino specific, it was the Chariot but is now the Ultreia!
- see here - https://www.chariotderandonnee.com/chariot-de-randonneur.html?___store=chariot_en

The American army, on test, found that using a trailer uses 80% less energy expenditure than the same weight back carried and I have found this to be true. The three women, mentioned above, may have been carrying a huge amount of stuff and were also terribly unfit, as there was no other reason to give up on their trailers.

I not only carry my personal items but a large first aid kit plus back-up first aid supplies but have strolled up the steep hill out of Pamplona, and slowly descended the other side (the one with the big boulders) with no problem whatsoever, the same with the big steep hill out of Castrojeriz. But! you cannot beat the laws of physics and the difference between weight and mass. On the flat and gentle undulation you are hardly aware that there is a trailer behind you, but rising in elevation you still have to 'lift' whatever weight you have - but it is much much less effort than doing the same wearing a backpack.

And you can see the difference - especially on hills! - you constantly coolly stroll past sweaty struggling pilgrims with strained faces - this is a fact.
However, a trailer isn't necessary on Camino, not at all - if one packs superlight then why add six kilos of trailer? and then there are the situations with refugios - they never want them in the bunk rooms, so you lock them downstairs and lift your pack up to the room. I do not fly but I understand that there can be problems sorting a trailer for loading in the baggage hold, but I don't know about that, and most trailers quickly dismantle and go into a bag.

You will read negatives about trailers but they tend to be from people who have never tried one. The first couple of minutes walking and the new owner always goes "Wow!!!! - this is SO easy!!!"
The only real 'downside' - not really 😁 - is that you are always being stopped and asked about the trailer and pilgrims always want to try it!

End of post! - but I am just finishing making a new one and there are pics below if you are interested.
I bought a secondhand aluminium frame one-seat child carrying cycle trailer cheap secondhand on ebay and cut it down. I then made a new frame from the parts, added flat strips of aluminium to make a load platform and brackets to take the draw bars. Here is the secret of the trailer making world!! Window washing supply companies have the most wonderful strong light telescopic poles and angle brackets, and they are cheap!!

Where you see the draw bar bolted to the frame - the lower one stays bolted so that it can be pivoted back to lay flat on the frame and I sleeved the tubing there with mild steel tube to strengthen it. Has quick release 20 inch! wheels, and all dismantles in two minutes to make a rectangle that goes into a bag with a shoulder strap. Not quite finished yet - but nearly done -
any questions about building one please do message me.

52087

52088520895209052091
 
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david marquez

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte ( Irun to Luarca), Camino Primitivo-Fisterra: April-May 2018
Via de la Plata 2019
Regarding weight distribution on a 2 wheel vs 1 wheel trailer, the claims of the manufacturer of the monowheel fatmate are almost identical to what you are stating for your 2 wheeled trailer.
I wonder how much difference there really is between the 1 and 2 wheel trailers in terms of weight distribution.
The fatmate certainly has a clever harness system and the locking brake function looks very useful

 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
"Regarding weight distribution on a 2 wheel vs 1 wheel trailer, the claims of the manufacturer of the monowheel fatmate are almost identical to what you are stating for your 2 wheeled trailer.
I wonder how much difference there really is between the 1 and 2 wheel trailers in terms of weight distribution.
The fatmate certainly has a clever harness system and the locking brake function looks very useful."



I couldn't find that. The Monowalker Fatmate product page specifically states "Due to its smart geometry half of the gear weight is on the trailer. The remaining weight is only on your hips" - so as I said, half the weight remains on the body, specifically the hips.

Perhaps I should only truly speak for two wheeled trailers as, apart from the obvious, that weight over axle equals weight nowhere else, I know that the balanced weight produces no weight on body (apart from a chosen slight loading to keep the draw bars from rocking) but if one has the slightest engineer chip in the circuitry one only has to look at a monopod (with the wheel at the end) to see that it is based upon the native Indian travois and therefore weight is shared at each end.

Another way of looking at my claim about that is to think of using a wheelbarrow ... weight shared between the wheel and the hands, dropped vertically, so by the hips - remember the weight on those hands? Exactly so. If any monopod maker is claiming all the weight on the wheel and therefore none on the hips their claims must be false.

A brake is a fab idea - the Wheelie has a braked option and I am currently fitting a brake to the trailer I am making.
Both the Wheelie and the French one have a harness option but as there is almost no weight on the hips they aren't necessary (I never used mine) - unlike the monopod design where because of the weight a harness is really needed.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Buen Camino all,

My wife and I walk the Frances route last year, there were parts we missed out due to injuries, time contrainsts etc, we completed about 300 miles and made it to Santiago....

But

We want to go back and walk again sometime in the future doing the bits we missed out on, in particular. But to ease the walking, I notice a few people towing hiking trailers and I thought what a wonderful idea.

I’m morbidly obese and struggled with the last 100kms to Santiago, determination got me there, but I had brought to much stuff in the first instance but also hadn’t trained sufficiently for it.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on hiking trailers, has anyone any particular experience with them. All advice gratefully received. Wheelies or MonoWalker or another!!!!

David.
Check out, EFREN, on Youtube. He did the CF in 2017 and the Via Francigena using a trailer just last year. He offers a One Minute format for each day so it is easy to get through the video and research in the comments for anything you need in particular. Efren is also very approachable, as you will see. Other trips he has shown recently include a trip to Costa Rica and Peru, to Machu Pichu.
 

jdpiguet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
I am using a mono wheel trailer (Carrix) since 2006.
Both in my country (Switzerland) and on the Camino.
I estimate to have walked roughly 5000 km with.
The weight distribution is not 50/50: because the center of weight of the load is much closer to the wheel than to myself, I have only 15-20% of the total on my harness. I measured around 2 kg when testing.
By construction, 1 wheel systems are less stable than 2 wheels, but they can go through much difficult trails. For myself I know that I need a few minutes every morning to get the right position of the load on the trailer. Once it is done, it follows me without problem.
It needs a "learning" phase every time I start a long hike, so I am only using it for more than 2 days. But I'm not knowing of any Camino so short...;)
In short: yes I would get one and use it again!
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
PS: once dismounted, it fits in the hand luggage box at the airport!
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
This 71 y.o ultrarunner uses a baby-jogger to run across the US.

I know that you are not running, but with three wheels it will take all the weight off you, and you only have to push. Very clever, i think.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
There is a negative to having a trailer on camino that I had forgotten. going into a shop! Is simple wearing a pack, you just walk in, but a trailer needs to be left outside.
What do you do? lock it but leave the pack on there or lock it, take the pack off and wear it and then go in?

With a tiny shop one is ok leaving it all outside as it is in view, but in a bigger store there would be a high nervousness leaving everything outside and unattended unless one is with someone else who can watch it for you.

jdpiguet - thanks for the feedback re the mono from a user.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Hi - trailers are great! Or rather, two-wheel trailers are great! There are no sections of the Camino that are too narrow or too rough for a trailer - for instance, the Wheelie is only 56 cms wide. Wherever your shoulders can go your trailer can go. Also the Wheelie has built in shoulder straps so that it can be quickly back-mounted if necessary, and such straps can be added to any trailer simply by buying an old cheap rucksack and using the harness from that.

But, Hound, you say that you are morbidly obese? You may do better - as mentioned above - to use a daily luggage carrier and walk as light as you can.
Also - a trailer can be like a new bookshelf - the temptation to just fill it can be almost irresistible!

I have made a trailer for Jenny in Sydney and am making my own now. I bolted a handle onto her one so if necessary she can wear her backpack and lift the light trailer by the handle, should she come across a problem such as a staircase in a refugio.
I did have a Wheelie but thought it over-engineered for Camino. The design, especially the big pack built into it, is for trekking rather than ambling and wanting to get at the sorts of pockets you get on a backpack.

Whatever anyone does, do not get a mono wheel trailer as half the weight is still on the body and they are narrower, true, but unstable. The advantage of a two wheel trailer is that the load can be organised over the axle so that there is no weight on the body. However, to stop the trailer draw bars rocking up and down one loads the trailer to give half a kilo or so of weight onto the hip belt.
The Wheelie is a seriously expensive piece of kit but there is a French one (has a wine bottle holder - no it doesn't ;)) that is less than half the price - they have recently renamed it Camino specific, it was the Chariot but is now the Ultreia!
- see here - https://www.chariotderandonnee.com/chariot-de-randonneur.html?___store=chariot_en

The American army, on test, found that using a trailer uses 80% less energy expenditure than the same weight back carried and I have found this to be true. The three women, mentioned above, may have been carrying a huge amount of stuff and were also terribly unfit, as there was no other reason to give up on their trailers.

I not only carry my personal items but a large first aid kit plus back-up first aid supplies but have strolled up the steep hill out of Pamplona, and slowly descended the other side (the one with the big boulders) with no problem whatsoever, the same with the big steep hill out of Castrojeriz. But! you cannot beat the laws of physics and the difference between weight and mass. On the flat and gentle undulation you are hardly aware that there is a trailer behind you, but rising in elevation you still have to 'lift' whatever weight you have - but it is much much less effort than doing the same wearing a backpack.

And you can see the difference - especially on hills! - you constantly coolly stroll past sweaty struggling pilgrims with strained faces - this is a fact.
However, a trailer isn't necessary on Camino, not at all - if one packs superlight then why add six kilos of trailer? and then there are the situations with refugios - they never want them in the bunk rooms, so you lock them downstairs and lift your pack up to the room. I do not fly but I understand that there can be problems sorting a trailer for loading in the baggage hold, but I don't know about that, and most trailers quickly dismantle and go into a bag.

You will read negatives about trailers but they tend to be from people who have never tried one. The first couple of minutes walking and the new owner always goes "Wow!!!! - this is SO easy!!!"
The only real 'downside' - not really 😁 - is that you are always being stopped and asked about the trailer and pilgrims always want to try it!

End of post! - but I am just finishing making a new one and there are pics below if you are interested.
I bought a secondhand aluminium frame one-seat child carrying cycle trailer cheap secondhand on ebay and cut it down. I then made a new frame from the parts, added flat strips of aluminium to make a load platform and brackets to take the draw bars. Here is the secret of the trailer making world!! Window washing supply companies have the most wonderful strong light telescopic poles and angle brackets, and they are cheap!!

Where you see the draw bar bolted to the frame - the lower one stays bolted so that it can be pivoted back to lay flat on the frame and I sleeved the tubing there with mild steel tube to strengthen it. Has quick release 20 inch! wheels, and all dismantles in two minutes to make a rectangle that goes into a bag with a shoulder strap. Not quite finished yet - but nearly done -
any questions about building one please do message me.

View attachment 52087

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Are you taking orders @David ? ;)
You're a much better Engineer that I am !
 

Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
So in light of other responses @David have you changed you mind at all on a mono wheel trailer. BTW I emailed asking details about the width of the handles on the mono wheel and harness size, but haven’t heard anything back yet. Thanks everyone for your input so far, certainly makes interesting reading.

David.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I am using a mono wheel trailer (Carrix) since 2006.
Both in my country (Switzerland) and on the Camino.
I estimate to have walked roughly 5000 km with.
The weight distribution is not 50/50: because the center of weight of the load is much closer to the wheel than to myself, I have only 15-20% of the total on my harness. I measured around 2 kg when testing.
By construction, 1 wheel systems are less stable than 2 wheels, but they can go through much difficult trails. For myself I know that I need a few minutes every morning to get the right position of the load on the trailer. Once it is done, it follows me without problem.
It needs a "learning" phase every time I start a long hike, so I am only using it for more than 2 days. But I'm not knowing of any Camino so short...;)
In short: yes I would get one and use it again!
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
PS: once dismounted, it fits in the hand luggage box at the airport!
Hi - I agree with you that a Mono is narrower than a two-wheel trailer but not sure about your weight estimate. I don't know which mono trailer you have but the Monowalker Fatmate company specifically state that the weight is shared 50/50, so that isn't me saying that but the people who make it.

52158

The Dixonrollerpack also states that weight is 50/50.


If you are using the Fatmate monowalker and only have 20% of your weight on your hips and that is 2 kilos then your total weight, including the trailer, has to be only 10 kilos .... now, the Fatmate trailer weighs 9.8 kilos so you can only be carrying a pack with a total of 200 gms, including your pack - are you sure about this?
If the Dixon, at 3.5 kilos, then your total packweight can only be 6,5 kilos - Do you need a trailer?

And the Fatmate harness weighs 1 kilo so the total weight of a Fatmate monowalker is 10.8 kilos - and that is empty, so one would have 5.4 kilos on the hips before adding the pack!! :eek:.

A two-wheel trailer, stable and with no weight on the body is the way to go, don't you think?
 
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Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
Ah but, you have to take into consideration that, with the Fatmate, you can also put panniers over the wheel, it’s an optional extra I know, also this talk about weight etc is I would suggest at little confusing, If I take a large bag and put it on the Fatmate frame filling it from the bottom near the wheel towards the top near the handles, then yes you will carry a lot more weight on your body in comparison to stacking the weight over one or two wheels. To my mind the minimal amount for carrying on the Camino won’t make that big a difference. I can see the benefits of the one wheel over two in some places so for example coming down into Zubiri on the Frances Route, coming down into Moulineseca also, being just two places where I think a mono wheel would work better.

I take everyone’s point however about weight over the axle and two wheels being easier to balance, stand on its own etc.

I would love to try both systems out at some point, but being from Northern Ireland there is not the market to have either of these available to try. I would love to say I’m mechanically minded, I can dream...... but my skill level doesn’t match my imagination level.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
True, but putting panniers over a mono wheel makes it terribly unstable! and weight is still transferred to the hips.
I cannot think of one bit of Camino terrain that a two-wheeled trailer couldn't go on, no matter how steep. and here is the thing - say you find torrential rain, slippery ground, on a steep descent ... you unclip the trailer and put it in front of you and wheel down with it - any disaster just let go of the trailer (it won't run away, the draw bars will hit the ground and it will stop). And that is much safer than trying that descent with a heavy unbalancing rucksack on the back!
Or - a farmer puts in a stile! Take your pack off the trailer and put it on your back and just lift the trailer and climb over the stile - same for staircases ..... the problem is that until one actually tries it in all situations one cannot know that all will be well.

The whole mono wheel/twin wheel thing is really simple, consider ... two stable wheels with a flat platform between them. Put a load on that platform so it balances and you will find that you can lift or drop either end with a fingertip - all the weight is over the axle.
Now consider a single wheeled wheelbarrow .. load the same weight as close to that wheel as possible - now try to lift the end furthest from the wheel - it takes effort, quite a lot of effort (about half the weight of the load you put on it plus half the weight of the wheel barrow)..

So the same on your body - attach that two wheeled thing with a load on the platform to your hips via a hip belt and draw bars - see - no weight ... so you walk forward and the trailer follows. You will only feel 'drag' when you are going uphill.
Now, do the same with your wheelbarrow, attach the two arms to a hip belt by lifting them - feel the weight? and you will have that weight constantly, as long as you are attached.

There the difference - can you see it?

Though, I say again that a trailer isn't necessary on Camino - just pack superlight! nothing more easy than truly minimal packing and a light pack - perfect!!
But if carrying for two, or with body problems where one cannot wear a pack, or if camping so have extra gear (same if with a dog), or in winter where vast amounts of extra clothing may be needed, then a trailer is of great benefit (and is for me as I carry extra gear in the form of first aid kit and extra supplies).
 
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Hound-of-Ulster

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk June "2017"
Thanks @David I appreciate what your saying. Don’t agree with your wheelbarrow analogy though, and her is why.... as I said earlier you can add panniers over the mono wheel so all the weight is resting on the mono wheel. A wheelbarrow has a sloping front which raises the load away from the wheel and closer to the handles, so yes in your analogy you do indeed feel weight on the handles of a wheelbarrow, if you were to load out the Monowalker with the kit bag they show or any large bag, I agree your going to feel that more on the harness than if all the weight is over the axle, but my point was with the panniers on the pannier attachment most if not all the weight is on the mono wheel as the pannier rack (optional extra) sits over the mono wheel. Have a look at their website and accessories, you’ll see what I mean. Another poster advised that if balance correctly the mono wheel follows along without any undue strain or difficulty.

You do have a point however that in wet slippery conditions the monowheel could be more problematic.

I would love to try both out and see what I thought of both and how they function.

I could of course just loose weight so the load wasn’t a burden on my legs and ankles....

I have tried and succeeded and failed and succeeded and failed. 🥺
 

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