Special gravel coverage

Portland company makes heavy-duty hunting/adventure trailers

Posted by on October 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 pm

A Lone Wolf Trailer, photographed during a hunting/camping trip this weekend near the Biggs Junction/Deschutes River area in Eastern Oregon.
(Photo: Rocky Mackey)

You might not be aware of it; but hunters are a niche bike market. I learned this back at my days as sales and marketing director for Old Man Mountain pannier racks. We used to sell racks to hunters who used bikes to access the backcountry and who needed a way to carry their kill back out. Bikes are quiet and they can cover a lot of ground in areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

(Photo: Tom Labonty)

Now I turn your attention to Lone Wolf Trailers, a fledgling Portland company that’s looking to build heavy-duty bike trailers that can withstand not only off-road cycling adventures, but can also carry over 400 pounds (whether that’s an unlucky buck or camping gear) and double as a camp table.

Tom Labonty (of TomsCargoBikes.com) turned me onto these and I got in touch with company co-founder Rocky Mackey to learn more.

The trailers are made in Portland out of lightweight aluminum. As you can see by the photos, the trailer is freestanding when not attached to the bike, boasts high clearance and a suspension system.

Lots of clearance and a 400 lb suspension spring.
(Photo: Tom Labonty)

Makes a handy camp table too!
(Photo: Rocky Mackey)

Mackey and his brother-in-law have been hunting for years, and they couldn’t find a suitable trailer. After tweaking the design and trying out various versions over the past three years, they’re now in the process of setting up a website and getting the word out.

Mackey says the trailers weigh in at about 35-40 pounds and he plans to start powder-coating them army green for camouflage in the woods.

Labonty, who knows a thing or two about cargo bikes, recently tested a Lone Wolf Trailer. “I’m not a trailer guy,” he shared with me, “But this is a nice rig.” Labonty said he loaded his up with eight boxes of clothes to take to the thrift store and “was surprised how well it rode.”

“I also tried to flip it by going over curbs and sidways uphill,” he added, “with no luck. It’s built well and they put a lot of thought into stability.”

Lone Wolf Trailers start out at $599.00 and go up depending on various features and builds. If you’d like Rocky to build you a trailer, give him a call at (503) 663-9037.

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26 Comments
  • 9watts October 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    These look great. They remind me of now defunct Farrington Chariots out of Santa Cruz. They made bike trailers (I think exclusively) for portaging canoes. They were similar to these in that they had a very high clearance. One difference is that those had a large number of cotter pins which allowed you to take the whole thing apart with no tools.

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  • dsaxena October 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hopefully he won’t have any trademark issues as a google search shows that http://www.lonewolftrailerco.com/ is an existing truck trailer company…

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  • peejay October 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I get the need for high clearance, but it seems like it has very high center of gravity as well. But what do I know?

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    • q`Tzal October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      You knew that if the usage area is prohibited for motor vehicles then the odds of improved, wide and cleared trails is durn low.
      And because of this your trailer either has to squeeze through too close trees on a foot path or ride over heavy brush and fallen trees where there is room.

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      • Paul Manson October 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

        Many of the areas these are used have old logging roads that are now closed to motorized use.

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        • q`Tzal October 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

          In the absence of motorized equipment to maintain roads:
          paved road surfaces quickly (5~10 years) degrade to broken chunks reminiscent of aerial bombing,
          small plants, first annuals then larger perennials, wedge and pry through the road rubble establishing a foothold for larger trees,
          all the while cross path fallen trees and clogged culverts conspire to turn an easily identifiable road in to an archeological expedition and a rough woodland/swamp slog.

          I got to watch a single lane road disappear like this in New England. It was cool, creepy and inspired respect for what nature will do.

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          • Psyfalcon October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

            Yes, but some of them are maintained for official use, logging trucks, company employees, or in the national forests as fire roads. The gates might be locked for the whole year, or just hunting season to minimize damage to the wet roads (and help deal with parking and other issues).

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    • Dan October 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      As far as high CoG, it’s not any worse than an Xtracycle, and at least this has 2 wheels to help with stability.

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  • Mike Quigley October 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    WOW! Is there any load that can’t be hauled by bike?
    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/heavy-bicycle-loads-10-photos

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    • 9watts October 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      You can haul most anything by bike, but that series was terribly photo-shopped.

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  • -J October 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Wow, this is great! The usability as a work surface is handy for a variety of reasons. This does seem like a great camping trailer as well as hunting. It seems that the design could be made even more useful by having some sort of additional storage slung underneath the platform or otherwise attached to the frame. Perhaps rifle storage? Because it probably is a little tricky to ride with a gun slung over your shoulder or on a handlebar carry.

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    • captainkarma October 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Mmmm, dinner served on deer & fish blood & guts table, it’s a guy thing.

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      • Hart Noecker October 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        I find it a little alarming that a comment such as this endorsing the maiming and killing of an animal would be tolerated on this blog.

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        • Dan October 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

          You misunderstand, these guys are actually backcountry veterinarians, donating their time and expertise to provide surgical care to the poor little deers and bears that otherwise would receive none.

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      • Doug Smart October 4, 2011 at 8:01 am

        Yup. It doesn’t just magically appear under plastic wrap on polystyrene trays.

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      • Tom Hastings October 4, 2011 at 8:32 am

        Not this guy. Grotesque. I’ll stick to my tofu-hauling bike.

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        • -J October 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

          Well, outfitted with the proper equipment, this trailer could also be used to plant seeds, harvest soybeans, de-hull, grind and press the beans, heat them up, strain, and pour into tofu molds. I like the idea of a bikeable work platform, regardless of whether the food being prepared involves harvesting from the land or the hoof.

          Last I checked this site was bikeportland, not vegbikeportland.

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    • 737 October 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      There are attachments that are made for these carts..in fact there is a gun case attachment already made for it.

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  • Psyfalcon October 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I too would have gone with a lower CG, but I’m sure it still works. A lot of hunting is on logging company land, and in the national forests the roads are closed, but you can bike on in past the parking lot on roads that occasionally do see truck traffic.

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    • Doug Smart October 4, 2011 at 7:59 am

      With the trailer axle as far back as it is, that’s going to transfer a lot of the load weight to the bike. With the hitch point on the seat post it at least won’t all be placed on the back wheel. I’m guessing that’s intended to improve bike traction under load on unpaved surfaces. Would do well on logging roads.

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  • David Yaffe October 4, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I’m with a lot of other commenters the CG is too high. I’m not sure if the table feature is worth it. If the table is that important it seems like it would be easy to make the bed of the trailer detachable with it’s one fold-out legs. Nice work though

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  • DK October 4, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Neat idea but seems a little wide for the places a bike would be the preferred vehicle.

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  • Tim October 4, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Many forest roads, BLM roads and private timber roads are closed during hunting season, but are accesible by bike. Mountain bikes have been used for hiunting since the 80’s, but the increased range they offer had an obvious downside if you were got your big buck/bull.

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  • Jim Labbe October 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    This could be handy for moving a portable dance floor too.

    http://bikeportland.org/photos/5372730737/tags/pedalpalooza/photo/5854925414/bike-tango-fun-ride-3-2.html

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  • Eric in Seattle October 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Do they really tow the trailer with that bicycle (shaped object), or is it just a prop, like the TVs and computers at Ikea?

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  • rocky October 6, 2011 at 8:23 am

    no that is not a prop.I use that bike every time i ride …It does great…..I want to show, you dont have to have an high dollar bicycle,to pull the trailer

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