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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.

Hi Ryan, that is a little heavier than most beach wagons so I think that the 350 Watt motor in KIT-145 would be underpowered for it. I recommend using either our 36 Volt 600 Watt or 36 Volt 650 Watt gear motor for that size of wagon.

All of our twist throttles, with the exception of THR-154, fit a 7/8" or 22mm diameter tube. THR-154 fits a 1" or 25.4mm diameter tube.

We do not carry any battery boxes so you might want to look into custom fabricating one once you now the size and quantity of battery that you are going to use. It looks like there might be enough room for the batteries on the lower frame rails which would keep the center of gravity low. Depending on the size and quantity of the batteries that you use an off the shelf plastic battery box for boat trolling motor batteries might fit and work.

We can help with determining sprocket sizes for the top speed that you want, and with battery sizes for the run time that you want the cart to have. We can also custom make a kit with all of the parts that you want once we get everything sorted.

If you would like help with the sprocket and battery sizes then please let us know and we will take it from there.

I would need the throttle for a 1" diameter tube. The frame this is built off of is from a kids atv and has a 37 tooth 1/2 x 1/4 sprocket (not sure if this is a 420 or 428 chain). Please recommend a kit and if the sprocket should be changed.
If the sprocket is 1/4" wide then it is for #420 chain, which is the same as the sprockets on our 600 and 650 Watt gear motors.

Regarding the sprocket size I can run some gear ratio calculations to determine what the right size axle sprocket size should be. I need to ask a couple of questions first though.

What is the diameter of the tires (height from floor to top of tire)?
What is the top speed that you want the wagon to go (walking speed = 3 to 4 mph)?
I would like it to go walking speed and the tires are about 13.75 inches tall.
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

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