Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Igor Karni
It might be possible that you already own a conventional bike and use it to pull a bike trailer. Or maybe you even already have an e-bike and thinking about whether this one can help you with pulling a trailer. This is exactly what this article is focusing on.
Can an electric bike pull a trailer? Yes, an electric bike can pull a trailer. Whether it is a cargo trailer, a kid trailer, or a pet trailer, an e-bike is well designed to be able to pull one. With the power of an electric motor, an e-bike makes the trailer pulling job much easier and effortless for the rider.
Not only for pulling trailers, but also for riding up hills, or for covering long distances, e-bikes are often considered to be the absolute best and environmentally friendly choice.
All you need to take into consideration is what exactly you are planning to tow with your electric bike. Depending on this choice, you can select the best power electric motor and get on with your journey.
You can either consider giving your ride an electric boost when you get tired, or you can opt for an easier ride by keeping your journey electrically powered from start to finish.
Comparatively, you will be able to tow more weight with minimal effort with the help of an electric bike than with a traditional one. There are a lot of different kinds of trailers that you can consider towing with your electric bike.
Let’s take a look at the different trailer types:
Towing cargo trailers
These trailers are manufactured in different sizes and shapes and allow you to take heavy or bulky gear to longer distances. They are available in two-wheel or a single-wheel variety.
You will observe the two-wheel cargo trailer to offer more stability. Plus, two-wheeler cargo trailers are easier for loading and unloading. However, two-wheeler cargo trailers will create additional drag, and you will find it a bit harder to tow such a trailer.
In comparison, single-wheel cargo trailers do not produce that much drag. And hence, they are considered to be more efficient. One-wheeled trailers are considered to be a perfect choice for a narrow track. They are really easier to maneuver.
However, one-wheeled trailers are considered to be harder to load, and you will be required to do a bit of additional planning to balance the load and make them not flip.
Towing kid trailers
Trailers to transport kids are manufactured in one-seater or two-seater variety. All kid trailers are two-wheeled. It would be unstable and, thus, dangerous to have your kids sit in a single-wheeled trailer. So, I have not seen a kid trailer on one wheel!
Most kid trailers have tents over them. This tent helps protect kids from mosquitos, rain, show, and other hazards of nature when you take your kids on a ride.
Towing pet trailers
Trailers for pets are mostly similar to cargo trailers. The usual difference is that pet trailers the enclosed sides in order to keep the pets inside the trailer.
Plus, you will also be finding a more rigid bottom for an absolutely stable place for the claws or paws of the pets to rest. You can often make use of pet trailers as cargo trailers if you are able to fit your cargo inside!
However, you can’t simply make use of all the cargo trailers as pet trailers. This will require some redesign work, such as installing a closed space for pets to be in and, probably, making a more rigid floor.
Let’s take a closer look at e-bike trailer towing features
If you are able to tow a trailer with your conventional bike, chances are that you won’t be facing any problems with your electric bike either. E-bike only helps human power by adding a much-needed electric boost when you need one.
However, if you are looking for the best performance, it would make sense to take into consideration the following features:
Bigger or extra battery
It’s obvious that the additional weight of a trailer will lead to the additional consumption of power. And this will lead to the battery draining at a more rapid rate. And that’s why it’s recommended to take into consideration an electric battery with more capacity. Having a larger capacity battery will allow you to cover longer distances without the necessity to pedal hard.
Take into account that it is not only a trailer that is adding weight. An e-bike itself is quite a bit heavier than a traditional bicycle.
Another option that you can consider is carrying an additional battery along with yourself for an increased range.
Higher powered electric motor
Generally, standard electric bikes start with a motor with a power output of 250W. And it’s considered to be absolutely perfect for people who are going out for a simple city ride without any trailers attached behind.
If you load additional weight or cover more distance with hilly terrain, you will require, at least, the motor power output between 350 and 500W.
If you are looking to tow a trailer, then you are required to increase the power rating of the motor at least a step higher than what you would use without a trailer.
Mid-drive electric motor
Out of different types of electric motors, a mid-drive electric motor usually will provide you with the best performance. Mid-drive motors are directly connected to the pedals of the bike. This combination can easily take good advantage of the existing gears.
Keep in mind though that e-bikes with mid-drive motors are often more expensive, as mid-drive motors require more design and engineering to be done.
The best answer here is “disc brakes.” If you are looking for consistent braking power that performs better in wet weather, then you should opt for disc brakes.
In case your current electric bike doesn’t have disc brakes, you can get better traction if you upgrade to higher performance brake pads for rim brakes (another name for v-brakes).
What are alternatives to towing a trailer with an e-bike?
Yes, towing a trailer is not the only option if you would like to carry more load on your e-bike. There are, at least, two more. Let’s review!
Electric cargo bikes
Depending on the overall payload you are planning to carry, it may make more sense to opt for an electric cargo bike. An electric cargo bike will be providing you with more capacity to store stuff. Such an e-bike will also carry additional range as compared to a standard e-bike towing a trailer.
In order to offer stability, some cargo e-bike models are available with two front wheels. Plus, these e-bikes are specially built for the purpose to haul heavier loads. Thus, they are usually better built and their parts are better integrated.
You will also find cargo e-bike design elements to include better brakes, more battery capacity as well as a more durable frame.
Probably, the biggest disadvantage of going with an electric cargo bike is – this is what you will have! When you are suddenly looking to take a simple ride from point A to point B, you will find it more difficult. You will be bringing along with you extra cargo capacity during the ride, which you may not necessarily need each and every time.
Electric push trailers
What if we told you that a trailer could help you carry the cargo? What if you knew that a trailer could simply help itself out by providing its own electric power?
Such kinds of trailers are referred to as “Electric Push Trailers.” As the name implies, these trailers help you move cargo along. You can attach these trailers to a traditional bicycle or an electric bike.
Some options of electric push trailers are:
- Ridekick Power Trailer (see on Amazon.com)
- Schwinn Day Tripper Cargo Bike Trailer (see on Amazon.com – not an electric version)
How much do electric bikes cost? You can buy an electric bike as cheap as 500 dollars or as expensive as $10,000 or more. However, the average price of an electric bike is between $1,200 and $3,500. The real question though – what is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes?
How much does it cost to charge the battery? It will cost you between $0.03 and $0.1 in general to charge an electric bike battery pack. It totally depends on the charges of your local electricity supplier.
How long does it take to charge the battery? Depending on the capacity of the battery, most of the batteries of the electric bikes will completely charge in a matter of 3-6 hours.
A few words in conclusion
Whether you are going for a simple and short city e-bike ride or you plan to carry a ton of cargo with you, an electric bike is always considered to be a pretty great option. There are many electric bike models available on the market, which makes it easy to choose the best option for your purposes.
Two things to keep in mind – the distance that you usually cover and the weight that you carry along with you. This will help you pick the best e-bike option that will serve you for years to come.