I think trailers are best suited for local use. Unless you get a one wheel trailer.
If it's at all possible it's best to go from being an ultralight backpacking freak (10lb base pack weight (weight of gear not including food and water)) to then getting on a bike and adding just the gear you need to keep the bike going (oil, patch kit, pump, lock/bike alarm).
You'll have a lot more options if your bike plus gear is light enough to lift over a fence for example.
If you're ever in one of those states that corrugates the shoulders of their roads there's a good chance that even if you find a smooth track for your bicycle wheels, one of the wheels of a two wheel trailer will be hitting all the bumps.
That said, I've been on long bike tours with group food collecting and cooking and we all took turns pulling the music trailer and the gear trailer. . . So it can be done and can be useful. (But even then i wasn't a fan of the trailers really but took my turn even so).
And a recent discovery was jayoe, who has a super deluxe trailer setup and has done serious miles.
For the other extreme, look up ed pratt who rode a unicycle around the world carrying all his gear.
I guess it depends on what you want to do! The one time i regularly used a trailer was to cart windsurfing gear to and from the windsurfing spot by the airport on Maui and i made it out of the bottom of a shopping cart.
One of my home bum friends regularly makes trailers out of child strollers from thrift stores and panniers out of back packs from thrift stores.
Unfortunately for me, lacking a certain amount of self control, the more stuff i have the capacity to carry, the more stuff i tend to try to carry!
Thanks. I tend to also pack more if I have the capacity to do so, and end up with a lot of unnecessary weight. I also hadn't thought about the rumble strips on the sides of the road. Hats off to ed Pratt and his unicycle!
Trailers can reduce wear on the rear bicycle wheel. If you are using cheap wheels and load alot of weight on your rear wheel, breaking spokes back there has been an issue for me. But i weigh between 185-195lbs.
A downside of a trailer is that now you've got two (or one) more wheels to keep spinning and from going flat. Not a trivial issue.
If using cheap/free gear I've ridden across countries with bags hanging off my handlebars and a back pack on my back. This is a pretty bad setup if I'm dealing with a headwind. But if I've got front shocks, the chance of breaking any spoke is greatly reduced.
I just had to check and here's how i made it across the country in 2015. I'd do well to travel that light again.
It's so nice to be able to put your pack on and carry or push a light bike along a trail.
But I'm carrying a few extra things these days like a hammock and an underquilt. When i got food in town I'd have bags hanging on my handlebars if i couldn't stuff it in the top of the pack (a golite jam 2).
It's also nice to not have something on my back for a change. For getting in the miles a pack on the back, especially when leaning forward vs a more upright position, was a pretty good way to go.
i prefer panniers personally, easier to keep momentum on long trips. but, there are plenty of two and one wheel trailers out there that are pretty good and can be gotten 2nd hand on craigslist and whatnot.
my 2 cents: have biked from pittsburgh to dc to baltimore and back to pittsburgh with a trailer with a dog on it. i don't think i would carry a trailer otherwise.. it was cumbersome but worth it because i was able to bring my (60lb ) buddy along. i feel like if you want a trailer to haul more stuff, you may want to consider just what you are packing and if you actually need it. less gear= less hassle.
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