Can an Electric Bike Pull a Trailer?

Electric bikes have come a long way in the past years. They can do a lot, including pulling a trailer. Their powerful motors are more than capable of hauling weight, including uphill areas.

The only catch is to find an appropriate trailer for your electric bike to pull. You also have to manage your expectations about what you can realistically pull. An ebike simply isn’t going to pull trailers that weigh over a ton. This article takes a look at your options for towing trailers.

Types of eBike Trailers You Can Tow

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There are trailers built for use with smaller motors used in ebikes. These trailers are available in various sizes and weights.

The most commonly found trailers are two-wheel and single-wheel varieties. What’s more, is that the ebike should have enough power to pull trailers.

Most electric bikes are capable of towing one-wheel and two-wheel trailers. These trailers can accommodate pets, children, and various camping equipment.

The ebike should do fine in all cases as long as you don’t go overboard. You can also go uphill thanks to the powerful motors.

But you should be careful with trailer selection. Here is a deep dive into trailers you can use with ebikes.

Cargo Trailers for eBikes

A cargo trailer is designed to carry heavy loads. It can carry groceries, tools, clothes, and other items that are not too heavy.

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Cargo trailers are ideal for backpacking and towing. They can store larger items like sleeping mats, tents, food, and utensils.

These trailers are very lightweight so that your ebike can tow them. Some of them also have waterproofed sections to protect your luggage.

Try to find trailers that can attack to your ebike using a quick-release mechanism. Most ebikes with a front hub motor may have quick-release wheels.

Mid-drive electric bikes in California often use thru-axles or bolted axles. You will need an adaptor to attach trailers. We recommend doing your research before choosing a trailer.

If the thru-axle is incompatible with the coupler, find an attachment for your ebike. Cargo trailers are further divided into two types: single-wheel trailers and two-wheel trailers.

Single-wheel trailers

Single-wheel trailers are ideal for use with narrower paths and trailers. A single-wheel trailer is rated to carry neatly 100 lbs of weight.

But it is recommended to haul lighter rates on uphill areas. Single-wheel trailers are also very agile and the number one choice of hunters.

They allow hunters to reach areas that aren’t possible on a 4×4 vehicle.

Two-wheel trailers

Two-wheel trailers are better suited to hauling heavier loads and lots of equipment. They are a good choice for anyone traveling with heavy equipment.

Two-wheel trailers are broader and heavier than single-wheelers. They should be used on paved roads and flatter surfaces.

Kid Trailers

Next up are kid trailers. As the name suggests, they are designed for use with small children. Kid trailers usually have two or three wheels.

A single wheel is not recommended because of stability issues. The more wheels, the better the stability.

Kid trailers are available in a large number of designs. They can be used as pet trailers as well. The two most commonly available trailers feature an open and enclosed design.

Both types come with powerful straps to hold the child securely in place. The straps can be used with pets as well.

Various factors go into choosing a kid trailer. These include safety, ease of use, and comfort levels.

High-end kid trailers often feature helmets and neck support pillows. The maximum weight limit of most kid trailers is 300 lbs.

Just read up on local laws related to carrying kids on trailers. The rules depend on where you live.

Most kid trailers cost between $100 to $1,500 – a pretty wide budget range. The more excellent trailers with better build quality are more expensive.

Cheaper trailers are not very comfortable or durable. A $100 kid trailer is ideal if you want seating for one child.

Higher-end trailers at $1,500 will have various advanced features. These include ventilation, storage, suspension, and comfortable fabric. If the budget allows, go for them.

Suspension is a must if you plan on riding off-road on gravel trails. Even on city streets with uneven roads, you need suspension.

A sound suspension system will greatly impact your child’s comfort levels. Bonus points if the kid trailer comes with a rain cover. This will protect your child and cargo from rain.

You can also opt for shade covers. They will make sunny riders more enjoyable and keep your little ones cool.

If it’s hot where you live, look for kid trailers with lots of ventilation. Not all kid trailers come with these features, so you should do your research.

Pet Trailers

Pet trailers are very similar to kid trailers. They are available in various shapes and sizes to accommodate all pets.

The constraint of pet trailers is a little different than that of kid trailers. These trailers feature a rigid bottom that is enclosed on either side.

This clever design ensures your curious pet doesn’t jump out of the trailer. Doing so could be a significant safety concern for both the pet and the rider.

The sudden loss of weight could affect handling and result in a crash. Moreover, the pet may suffer serious injuries depending on how they feel.

Like kid trailers, pet trailers are also available in two or three wheels. Pet trailers can be used to carry light cargo such as groceries.

Before choosing a pet trailer, always look at the size of your pet. Larger dog breeds will require bigger trailers.

Don’t skimp out on the budget to save money. Smaller trailers may be stressful for your two-legged friend.

Pet trailers are ideal if your dog isn’t in the mood to exercise. They can always hop in the cargo once they get tired. Some dog breeds aren’t designed for running on challenging trails for long.

Once they get their ‘nature fix’, the dogs can sit inside the pet trailer. Older and sick pets also need a chance to get outdoors. This is where pet trailers come in.

If your pup is recovering from an illness, a pet trailer lets them go outside. Pet trailers allow senior dogs to smell the fresh air without taxing their bodies.

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eBikes with Features Ideal for Towing Trailers

Not all electric bikes in California are created equal. Some are more capable than others. Before buying an electric bike for towing, consider the following factors.

More Power from the Motor = More Towing Capacity

You will need the right motor when hauling a lot of weight. A powerful motor makes it easy to carry gear even in rugged terrain.

Try to get an electric bike in California with a motor capable of 750 watts. The more horsepower, the greater your towing capacity.

Motor power of 250W barely meets the mark. It can help you carry light loads on flat surfaces. Look for motor power of 500W to 750W for carrying heavier cargo in hilly areas.

An ebike with a motor rated at 1000 watts is very powerful. It can easily pull a trailer. It is also recommended to refer to the weight limit of the trailer.

Always refer to the weight limit of the ebike model and trailer. Remember to take your own weight into account when hauling cargo.

Heavier riders who plan on hauling heavy gear uphill may need a 1000W motor. It is also helpful to compare the type of motor your ebike is carrying.

You will have two options: the mid-drive motor and hub-drive motor. If you plan camping, fishing, and hunting, you must haul heavy weights. Consider using ebikes with mid-drive motors.

Electric bikes in the USA with a mid-drive motor can provide superior performance. They are better suited to towing heavier cargo and trailers.

Battery Capacity

You also have to consider the battery pack attached to your eclectic bike in USA. It may be more important than the motor itself.

After all, what good is an electric bike if it ceases to function? Imagine having to push the ebike and trailer because the battery died out.

An ebike with more weight will lose battery capacity more rapidly. This would cut your journey short.

Aim for at least a battery capacity of 500Wh or more. Any battery pack under this number would be too weak.

Try to calculate power usage in your mind and correlate that with the battery. So if you are hauling extreme weight, the battery pack would die sooner than later.

Always plan before you head out on your journey. We also recommend getting a backup battery pack.

This would ensure you have enough power to make a return journey if the battery dies.

For this to work, you will need to learn how to swap out the battery pack. This only works with ebikes, where it is easy to swap batteries.


Braking is crucial when towing heavy trailers with electric bikes in the United States. There are many types of brakes, some weaker than others.

Don’t skimp out on the quality of brakes when choosing ebikes for towing trailers.

A good rule of thumb is to go with disc brakes. They are ideal for all terrain and weather conditions. Disc brakes can stop ebikes and bring them to a grinding halt when necessary.

They also work in wet conditions too. You can also upgrade to better brakes if your ebike lacks good ones.

This will improve handling, safety, and traction. Superior brakes are essential when towing children, pets, and sensitive cargo.

Brakes are even more critical if the area you live in has poor terrain.

What Can I Do if the Trailer Doesn’t Attach to my eBike?

A common strategy is to attach trailers to disc brakes. However, disc brake ebikes with a thru-axle may need an adaptor.

Consult the instruction manual of the ebike trailer to make it work. Most trailer manufacturers do an excellent job of making their products compatible with ebikes.

However, there are many variations of disc brakes that they may not accommodate. If your ebike is incompatible with the trailer, you’ll have to find a solution.

Hitching systems may not work with ebikes that use a thru axle. In this case, you will need to buy an adapter.

The table below shows you the type of ebike, trailer brand, and adapter required.

Hitching SystemAdapter
Thru-axleThru-axle adapter

The top manufacturers of ebike trailers are as follows:

  • Burley
  • Thule
  • Schwinn
  • Instep
  • Hamax
Can an Electric Bike Pull a Trailer
Can an Electric Bike Pull a Trailer

Alternatives to Ebikes for Towing Trailers

If you’re more serious about towing trailers and heavy cargo, look to other options. Let’s take a look at efficient ebike alternatives for towing trailers.

Cargo Ebikes

It probably makes more sense to choose cargo ebikes for heavier loads.

Cargo ebikes are explicitly designed to haul more weight. These ebikes feature powerful motors, battery packs, and wider tires.

Their build quality is also superior and can withstand rough use. Cargo ebikes have more range for the same weight compared to regular ebikes.

A significant difference between cargo ebikes and regular ebikes is the number of wheels. Cargo ebikes usually have three wheels. The more wheels you have, the higher the stability.

Cargo ebikes usually have two wheels on the front. These tires are equipped with powerful brakes that can reliably slow down the ebike.

Electric Push Trailers

The second alternative is to use electric push trailers. As the name suggests, electric trailers have their power systems.

They are equipped with a battery, motor, and brakes. This provides supplemental power to electric bikes in California.

For most use scenarios, electric push trailers are not needed. You are probably better off using regular trailers without any motor.

For commercial purposes, however, consider investing in electric push trailers.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, a quick low down on electric bikes that pull trailers. Always research before looking for an electric bike in California for towing trailers.

If you need to tow for commercial purposes, choose cargo ebikes. Electric push trailers are a good choice too. Does your electric bike pull trailers? If so, does it affect handling and braking? And how does it affect the range and top speeds? Don’t forget to share your experiences with us.

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