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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 ran a gear ratio calculation and found that for our MOT-36600G 36 Volt 600 Watt gear motor a 6 to 1 gear ratio with a 60 tooth axle sprocket will make the beach wagon travel at walking speed. Here is the calculation.


I ran the same calculation with our MOT-36650PL 36 Volt 650 Watt planetary gear motor and the top speed is only around a half mile per hour more with it so a 60 tooth axle sprocket will work great with either of these motors. Here is the calculation with the 650 Watt motor.


With a 37 tooth sprocket the top speed would be 5.32 MPH with the 600 Watt motor and a little faster with the 650 Watt motor. Anything over 5 MPH is considered jogging or running speed and not walking speed so I am not sure if you want it to go that fast. Here is the calculation with 37 tooth axle sprocket and 600 Watt gear motor.


Since a throttle for 1" handlebars is needed we will need to make a new kit because none of our existing kits have that size throttle included with them.

I am not sure what size batteries you would like included with the kit. Do you have any thoughts on battery size? We can help choose the right size batteries if you could let us know how much run time is needed, and if it will be used on mostly flat ground or to go up and down a lot of hills?

It is about a ten minute walk one way with some small hills. It would only need to be walking speed.
A battery pack made from three 12 Volt 12Ah or 12 Volt 15Ah batteries would provide enough run time for a 20 minute two way trip and have a good amount of power to spare so they do not get over discharged, which will prolong the life of the batteries. The 15Ah batteries only cost a few dollars more per battery so it is a good value to use them instead of 12Ah batteries.

If you want the cart to have more than a 25-30 minute run time though then I recommend 12 Volt 22Ah (around 1 hour run time) or 12 Volt 35Ah batteries (around 1-1/2+ hours run time). What are your thoughts on this? Is a 25-30 minute run time okay, or would you prefer a longer run time in case it needs to make two trips in one day?

Just a note, batteries get heavy fast.  I have 35AH batteries and it adds 50lbs to the wagon.

A longer run time would be great (multiple trips or to the ice cream stand further away) but would have to balance what the cost would be of upgrading the batteries. If it easier to email direct or talk Lethe know as I am moving along with the build and would like to have something ordered soon.
Great point about the battery weight. The larger the Ah rating of the batteries the heavier and larger they will be. A 36 Volt battery pack made from three 12Ah or 15Ah batteries will weigh around 28 pounds, made from three 22Ah batteries will weigh around 42 pounds, and made from three 35Ah batteries will weigh around 73 pounds.

I would like to move forward with something that would go up to 5 mph and have a 1 hour run time.Please let me know.

Sorry that I missed your previous message from 8 days ago. I was writing a reply to this topic when you posted it so it got buried under my reply and I did not notice it until today. The easiest way to move forward with this kit is through this forum topic since all of the information for the kit is already contained here.

Estimating run time is not an exact science because there are so many various conditions such as time driving up grades and grade angles versus time driving on flat ground, driving on wet sand versus dry sand, vehicle weight, average speed, etc. In general though for beach wagons driven on flat ground with some hills a battery pack made from three 22Ah batteries will provide around a one hour ride time, and a battery pack made from 35Ah batteries will provide a one hour and forty minute ride time. I will go ahead and include 22Ah batteries with the kit because that will keep the cost of the batteries and charger down compared to 35Ah however if you decide to use 35Ah batteries then please let me know and I will upgrade the kit to have them.

Here is a preliminary parts list for the kit:

  • 3 qty BAT-12V22A 12V 22Ah batteries
  • 1 qty CHR-36V3AXLR 36V 3 Amp battery charger
  • 1 qty CNX-XLR05W charger port with dust cover
  • 1 qty SPD-36800B speed controller
  • 1 qty MOT-36600G motor
  • 1 qty THR-154 twist throttle for 1" OD handlebars
  • 1 qty power switch (key switch or toggle switch?)
  • 1 qty #420 chain (if you need chain?)

I need to ask a few more questions to finish the kit.

What type of power switch would you like the wagon to have?

Do you need a new chain and master link? If yes then how many links?

Is forward only okay, or do you want the wagon to have forward and reverse?

A key switch would be preferred. With the size reverse would be great. Chain is needed but not sure how many links as i do not know where the motor will be mounted until I have it. I believe one of your kits has 100 links which looks like it would work and would need master link. Thanks

Okay that sounds great. I went ahead and changed the parts list for the kit as follows:

  • 3 qty BAT-12V22A 12V 22Ah batteries
  • 1 qty CHR-36V3AXLR 36V 3 Amp battery charger
  • 1 qty CNX-XLR05W charger port with dust cover
  • 1 qty SPD-36800B speed controller
  • 1 qty MOT-36600G motor
  • 1 qty THR-154 twist throttle for 1" OD handlebars
  • 1 qty SWT-222 key switch for power on-off
  • 1 qty CHN-420X100 100 links of #420 chain with master link
  • 1 qty SWT-100 toggle switch for reverse (is a toggle switch okay for reverse?)
  • 1 qty RLY-36R motor reversing relay

Is a toggle switch okay for reverse? Or do you prefer another type of switch for the reverse switch?

Toggle switch would be great
We tested our new 36 Volt reversing relays yesterday and found that they provide motor braking when not in forward or reverse mode. I believe that this motor braking would be welcome for a beach cart to act a parking brake when needed. These reversing relays are used with a three position toggle switch which would work as shown below.


When the switch is in the middle position the motor braking is very strong so the switch should only be placed in the middle position when the wagon is standing still.

I will go ahead and start making the kit page now. I just wanted to run by how this new reversing relay works to let you know and make sure that it is okay with you.

Sounds good

I just started creating the kit and noticed that THR-154 is currently out of stock. THR-154 is the only throttle we have that fits a 1" handlebar. We will be getting more THR-154 throttles in stock in around 2 weeks.

Is a 2 week wait for the throttle okay, or would you like for me to include a different throttle for 7/8" handlebars that we currently have in stock?
7/8 will work

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