8am-5pm Pacific Time Monday-Friday
Start a new topic

Building an Electric Powered Beach Wagon

I'm looking to power a 6 wheeled beach wagon that weighs about 65 pounds and will carry 2 toddlers.  I need help coordinating the speed control, 24 or 36 volt motor and charger.  If anyone has built one of these I would love to hear what you have done, any help is appreciated.

I have never built a power wagon for the beach before however I have helped a handful of people find the right parts to build one. The gear ratio between the motor and the drive wheel or axle is the most important thing to consider for this type of project. Most people want their beach wagon to have a top speed of around 3-4 miles per hour and to have a massive amount of torque to push it up hills and through deep sand. The best way to accomplish this type of gear ratio is to use a gear motor and a large sprocket on the rear wheel or drive axle. We have a gear ratio and MPH calculators available at this link http://www.electricscooterparts.com/motorwheelgearratio.html to assist with choosing the right size sprockets and wheels to obtain the top speed that you want the wagon to have.

I just played around with the calculators and came up with the following gear ratio scenario. An item # MOT-24450G 24 Volt 450 Watt gear motor has a 450 RPM maximum output speed and a 9 tooth bicycle chain sprocket. If this motor was used on a wagon with 10 inch wheels with a 36 tooth bicycle chain drive sprocket the maximum speed would be 3.35 MPH. Here is a screen shot of the calculators when I made this computation.

The speed controller and throttle will allow the speed of the power wagon to be infinity variable anywhere between 0 MPH and 3.35 MPH depending upon how much the throttle activated. We have both twist throttles and thumb throttles available that mount onto 7/8" diameter round bars.

I recommend using a 24 Volt battery pack, controller, and motor for the build. This will keep the price and weight of the power wagon down and there is no power advantage to using a 36 Volt 450 Watt motor over a 24 Volt 450 Watt motor, they both have the exact same amount of power, torque, and RPM.

A 450 Watt motor geared to go between 3-4 MPH will have a massive amount of power and torque. It will be able to climb any hill with ease even with a heavy load. You will be able to easily haul loads of heavy bricks or whatever around in the wagon when the toddlers are not on board. You could opt for a 250 Watt gear motor and save a few bucks if you want to, however I would go with a 450 Watt motor if it was my project because it seems like you can never have too much power when you build a vehicle.

As far as the batteries go you could use any size batteries for the project, from small 5 Amp hour batteries all the way up to large 22 Amp hour batteries or bigger. The size of the batteries determines the range that the power wagon will have. If you are only planning on using it for 10 minutes a day then two 12 Volt 5 Amp hour batteries would be a good choice. If you want it to have a longer run time then you will need to go with larger batteries.

Here is a basic wiring diagram for hooking up of the parts needed for an electric power wagon.

I would be glad to make a parts list of all the electrical parts you will need for the project if you could let me know a little bit more about what you want out of the power wagon such as how many minutes a day you want it to run for, how many miles per hour you want its top speed to be, what Voltage you want it to run on, what size wheels you are planning on using, etc.

Can I get a parts list for this exact wagon build project. I am in the process of building one now thanks. 450 watt motor tmclanton@ yahoo.com
Sure I can make a parts list. We are out of the 24 Volt 450 Watt gear motors for a few months though. Would a parts list with a 36 Volt 450 Watt gear motor be OK? Also do you want to have a reverse switch to make it go backwards (costs a little more)?


We just got the 24 Volt 450 Watt gear motors in stock today. So if you want the parts list with a 24 Volt motor please let me know.


Any way I could get a parts list for a 24 volt power wagon. My mother has been talking about this idea and I would like to surprise her with one
Sure I can help you with that. Figuring out the gear ratio is the first step to selecting the right parts. Do you know the diameter of the tires that the wagon has and the top speed that you want the wagon to go?


Im also Looking for a parts list to power a wagon, it's a wooden wagon about 20"wide 42" long with 13" tires on it made by cartwheels company.My daughter plays softball every weekend after loading the wagon up with our canopy, icechest, 4 folding chairs, ball bucket and a couple of kids it gets very heavy to pull through thick grass moving from field to field. A normal day at the park is as early as 6 am to 7 pm so I need a power to last me all day. I would also want it to go in reverse, and I'm not sure if it's going to need some kind of brakes. I have a and 7 year old that would proboly want to ride around in it also so I'm thinking a little more speed would be cool,so somthing with torque and a little speed. Sorry for the long post..thanks..
I need to determine what size batteries the cart will need so I need to know the daily run time. How many minutes or hours per day do you expect the cart to be running?


I too would like to make an electric wagon/cart.  I am building it from scratch with the intention to make it very heavy duty and stable with high load capacity.

For wheels, I'm leaning toward a Golf Cart and Tractor Replacement Tire/Wheel Assembly that is 18.5" diameter (8.5" wide on 8" rims).

I plan to install them on a 44" wide go cart axle that is 1" diameter with step down to 3/4" and has a 1/4" keyway.

I don't want to throw money away, but because of my intention for heavy duty, I was thinking I'd step up to one of your 36v/600W motors (36600G/36600PL).

It also seemed that this would offer me a heavier duty chain compatibility.

If you think this overkill, I could go with with the 24v/450W motor you recommend above.

But, sticking with 36v motors with their 10 tooth sprockets, if I go with a 72 tooth drive axle sprocket, I'll have a 7.2:1 gear ratio.

And using your calculator, that will give me 3.7/4.2 mph top speed with those 18.5" wheels, which is probably a little higher than I need it, but should be fine I think.

So, I would appreciate your assistance with motor decision and the rest of the components needed that I can source from you.

P.S.  I had an idea that I'm fairly convinced is dumb, but you could probably help me confirm that.  The idea was to use 2 electric motors, one for each rear wheel.  This would make the cart much more maneuverable and would allow the cart to track properly on turns without rear differential (which I was not planning on doing).  But then I come to the conclusion that the cost and complication isn't worth it…

If I use it for strictly to get to point A to point B at softball fields,with my kids not playing with the wagon I'm going to guess about 1 hour run time. Can you give me the difference between a 24 volt and 36 volt run times?
If you want to build heavy duty then the 36V 600W gear motors are a great choice, they are very heavy duty and built for using on tricycles that carry loads. The 24V 450W gear motors are much smaller in size and use a smaller chain than the 36V 600W gear motors. If you want heavy duty you will not be disappointed with either of the 36V 600W gear motors.

You definitely could use two drive motors, one for each rear wheel. Two drive motors would increase maneuverability and tracking over using a single motor, and would eliminate the need for a differential. If you want both of the rear wheels to be powered then the only choices I can think of are using a live axle, using an axle with a differential, or using two motors independently attached to each rear wheel.

The difference between run times of 24 Volt and 36 Volt battery packs depends on their Voltage and Ah capacity. The Ah capacity of a battery pack wired in series is the Ah rating of each battery in the pack. For example a 36 Volt battery pack built from three 12 Volt 12 Ah batteries would be a 36 Volt 12 Ah battery pack, and a 24 Volt battery pack built from two 12 Volt 12 Ah batteries would be a 24 Volt 12 Ah battery pack.

The 36 Volt 12 Ah battery pack would have 33.3% more run time than the 24 Volt 12 Ah battery pack if they were both used with the same load and Wattage of motor.

For a one hour run time on flat ground with a 500 Watt or less motor I would use either two 12V 22 Ah batteries for a 24 Volt battery pack, or three 12V 15 Ah batteries for a 36 Volt battery pack.
This sounds like a fun project so please send me a parts list for a 24 Volt, 450 watt drive system for my beach wagon.

If you click on the kit links below the parts list for that kit will be listed on the page.

Here is a link to a 24 Volt 450 Watt drive system with 8Ah batteries and a foot throttle.


Here is a link to a 24 Volt 450 Watt drive system with a twist throttle and reverse. It has 12Ah batteries.


I can change these kits to have whatever battery size and throttle that you want. For example if you want KIT-136 with 12 Ah batteries instead of 8 Ah, or if you want KIT-140 with a twist throttle I can do that. If you would like any changes made to these kits please let me know and I will post a link to a new kit with the changes that you want made to it.

Login or Signup to post a comment