Folding Wagons - recommendations?

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
We just returned from a camping trip to a music festival where we were "dry camping". We brought our kids 30+ year old Radio Flyer wagon to transport water in, but it is on its last "legs" - rusty, rickety etc. We have decided we will finally shop around for a folding wagon to haul our 5 gal water containers, and other more general uses.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good folding wagon? We are looking to be able to carry at least 100lb or payload, and would like it to steer easily, low center of gravity, and be stable (wide axle width?) over non-level ground encountered when camping. I have seen many in passing, and most don't impress me as meeting the above specs.

Please send both positive and negative feedback. I need to know what to look for as well as what to avoid!!!

Thanks,
kevin

IMG_7564_wagon.png
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,731
Albuquerque, NM
I've had two folding wagons, both from Amazon. First was Whitsunday brand, and the plastic connectors broke after two years of light use. My current one is by Mac. I think I've seen the same brand at Sam's Club.
i haven't really had a chance to use my new one, except for toting a sewing machine from truck into my friend's house. The trip to a Sisters on the Fly event trip it was going to be really handy for in March got canceled by my surgery. I chose the new one because it not only has the classic handle at the front, but because it has a second one at the back, so it can be pushed like a grocery cart.
One of the things I discovered using the first wagon at a few campgrounds with hills and slopes was that my bad shoulders are not all that happy at pulling a wagon, especially over rocky ground. This way, I can either push or pull, depending - and if it's a steep hill and my friend is with me, one of us can push and the other pull. It has a 300# load limit, so I'm not going to approach that, even if I'm toting 2 or 3 of our water jugs. It is a bit heavier and bulkier than the first one, but the connectors are all heftier too.
I watched several of the SOTF on a trip before I bought the first wagon, so knew I didn't want tiny wheels either.
ETA: I did try a hand hand truck I have but it was too hard to keep things on the lower plate on rough. sloped ground. (I hauled many an office box of books back and forth to meetings with it when I was librarian for the quilt guild, so I knew in general, it worked well.)

 

Patrick w

Active Member
Aug 13, 2021
550
Heh, I just used the modern plastic one the other day to move some 30 gallon and 5 gallon junk... in fact it lives in the back yard. I use it all the time. If you have the space in your camper for it, it is significantly more durable and easy to clean than any folding one.

Terrain has a lot to do with your comfort though. If your pulling on grass or sand, bigger air filled ones will perform significantly better than hard plastic/rubber. But any bigger one is better than the small wheels. The folding 2 wheels dollies work good for the 5 gallon water refills for me as well.
 

GalsofEscape

Super Active Member
Nov 26, 2013
1,112
Maryland
i just use a Aquatainer - has its own wheels and handle but it only holds 8 gallons. it can get a bit tippy on gravely roads but it works well for me. i use a portable shower with a submerssible pump to transfer the water to the camper fresh water holding tank. pump runs on 12volt (plug into car) or I use a small Inverter to plug it into one of the camper outlets..
 

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
I've had two folding wagons, both from Amazon. First was Whitsunday brand, and the plastic connectors broke after two years of light use. My current one is by Mac. I think I've seen the same brand at Sam's Club.
i haven't really had a chance to use my new one, except for toting a sewing machine from truck into my friend's house. The trip to a Sisters on the Fly event trip it was going to be really handy for in March got canceled by my surgery. I chose the new one because it not only has the classic handle at the front, but because it has a second one at the back, so it can be pushed like a grocery cart.
One of the things I discovered using the first wagon at a few campgrounds with hills and slopes was that my bad shoulders are not all that happy at pulling a wagon, especially over rocky ground. This way, I can either push or pull, depending - and if it's a steep hill and my friend is with me, one of us can push and the other pull. It has a 300# load limit, so I'm not going to approach that, even if I'm toting 2 or 3 of our water jugs. It is a bit heavier and bulkier than the first one, but the connectors are all heftier too.
I watched several of the SOTF on a trip before I bought the first wagon, so knew I didn't want tiny wheels either.
ETA: I did try a hand hand truck I have but it was too hard to keep things on the lower plate on rough. sloped ground. (I hauled many an office box of books back and forth to meetings with it when I was librarian for the quilt guild, so I knew in general, it worked well.)


Yes, this one looks beefy and stable. It is a bit heavier and larger folded than i hoped for, but if built better, perhaps is a good trade-off.

they also offer a smaller version (1/2 the load carrying) that looks OK

I want to see some of these in person before ordering.
Thanks!
kevin
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
May 21, 2015
2,542
We've had one for years. I don't remember the brand but it looks like this. It gets used quite a bit around our large yard, which is basically a partially reclaimed live oak thicket. The telescoping handle makes it easy on the back. But it's heavy and takes up a lot of storage space folded so it only gets taken camping when we know we're gonna need it.

I have a folding hand truck that actually lives in the truck bed. It takes up almost no space. I use 2' bungee to keep it closed and to strap things down when used. The small wheels are a pita most of the places we camp but it's better than than trying to carry a 7 gallon aquatainer. I've never loaded it to capacity but a few days ago I used it carry two batteries, stacked, across a parking lot. If you've got a lot of smaller things to tote a milk crate works great on it, I usually have one of those around.
 
Last edited:

Patrick w

Active Member
Aug 13, 2021
550
We've had one for years. I don't remember the brand but it looks like this. It gets used quite a bit around our large yard, which is basically a partially reclaimed live oak thicket. The telescoping handle makes it easy on the back. But it's heavy and takes up a lot of storage space folded so it only gets taken camping when we know we're gonna need it.

I have a folding hand truck that actually lives in the truck bed. It takes up almost no space. I use a bungee to keep it closed and to strap things down when used. The small wheels are a pita most of the places we camp but it's better than than trying to carry a 7 gallon aquatainer. I've never loaded it to capacity but a few days ago I used it carry two batteries, stacked, across a parking lot.
Ironic im using something virtually identical (other than being branded milwaukee). If you over load it, the self opening feature gets boogered, and well, no longer so easy to open. Still usable!
 

Dave2514g

Active Member
Sep 2, 2019
218
Ontario, Canada
We have one from Uline. It folds very compact and has a lot of miles put on it with no wear. It's also quite cheap $99CAD. I use it for hauling water when camping and dragging beers and chairs to where needed. Capacity is 150lb so it would fit your needs well. What I like most about it is how small it folds up... easy to pack. Some times the kids will rather leave their bikes on the site and pull ea other around the park in this thing so it's really held up to abuse.
 

KO4GVF

Member
Mar 31, 2022
30
We bought a Mac from Costco on the recommendation of my in-laws. Theirs has seen years of use, and even though it says "do not ride", the niece & nephew constantly get in it when they don't feel like walking anymore (the lazy brats :laugh::laugh:). Ours has only been used three times in the year we've had it, but so far the only complaint is that the wagon doesn't "roll" through sand very well. Still, better than lifting!
 

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
We bought a Mac from Costco on the recommendation of my in-laws. Theirs has seen years of use, and even though it says "do not ride", the niece & nephew constantly get in it when they don't feel like walking anymore (the lazy brats :laugh::laugh:). Ours has only been used three times in the year we've had it, but so far the only complaint is that the wagon doesn't "roll" through sand very well. Still, better than lifting!
which Mac model did you get? Thanks for the info!
 

Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
839
Central Oregon
Pneumatic tired, full sized hand truck here. I don’t remember if I got it from Harbor Freight or auction. It certainly has 100 lbs capacity and I’d guess the floor plate is large enough to hold 2 5 gal rectangle jugs side by side. Only reason I share this is what I notice the wagons go for, you could by 2 hand trucks.

Good Luck with your search.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,731
Albuquerque, NM
Also, consider what you want to do with the wagon or hand truck, both are very useful, but there isn't a complete overlap in what they do. I have two hand trucks, and have used them for a lot of things in town, but bought a wagon for camping. I needed something to transport all sorts of things around campgrounds at Sister on the Fly events, and maybe other trips. The hand trucks just wouldn't work for the type of things I need to move in camp. Our water jugs will also transport better in the wagon than on the hand trucks, should I ever need to do that.
I have used the wagon when a friend and I each took a sewing machine and supplies to a maintenance workshop. I don't have to set a machine as low as on a hand truck for anything, and for some events, such as that workshop, it was easier to stash all ours supplies in the wagon, and a place to park it so we used it to hold things we didn't need at the moment.
 

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
Also, consider what you want to do with the wagon or hand truck, both are very useful, but there isn't a complete overlap in what they do. I have two hand trucks, and have used them for a lot of things in town, but bought a wagon for camping. I needed something to transport all sorts of things around campgrounds at Sister on the Fly events, and maybe other trips. The hand trucks just wouldn't work for the type of things I need to move in camp. Our water jugs will also transport better in the wagon than on the hand trucks, should I ever need to do that.
I have used the wagon when a friend and I each took a sewing machine and supplies to a maintenance workshop. I don't have to set a machine as low as on a hand truck for anything, and for some events, such as that workshop, it was easier to stash all ours supplies in the wagon, and a place to park it so we used it to hold things we didn't need at the moment.
Y i have a couple of hand trucks, but they do not collapse for transport and are of limited application. I think a wagon is the way to go. We attend outdoor music festivals pretty often, and having a way to transport chairs, raingear, snacks and drinks is handy.
Thanks all.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,601
Northern Virginia
I also have the wagon from Costco although I think mine is smaller than what was posted above as the weight limit on mine is 150. It did managed to haul multiple trips of 6 banker boxes full of documents when we had a clean up day at the office. I was a little worried about the handle on the wagon but it holds up to the abuse it goes through. I'm not too crazy about how it folds as it takes a lot of space, but it's sturdy.
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
852
Minnesota
I've had two folding wagons, both from Amazon. First was Whitsunday brand, and the plastic connectors broke after two years of light use. My current one is by Mac. I think I've seen the same brand at Sam's Club.
i haven't really had a chance to use my new one, except for toting a sewing machine from truck into my friend's house. The trip to a Sisters on the Fly event trip it was going to be really handy for in March got canceled by my surgery. I chose the new one because it not only has the classic handle at the front, but because it has a second one at the back, so it can be pushed like a grocery cart.
One of the things I discovered using the first wagon at a few campgrounds with hills and slopes was that my bad shoulders are not all that happy at pulling a wagon, especially over rocky ground. This way, I can either push or pull, depending - and if it's a steep hill and my friend is with me, one of us can push and the other pull. It has a 300# load limit, so I'm not going to approach that, even if I'm toting 2 or 3 of our water jugs. It is a bit heavier and bulkier than the first one, but the connectors are all heftier too.
I watched several of the SOTF on a trip before I bought the first wagon, so knew I didn't want tiny wheels either.
ETA: I did try a hand hand truck I have but it was too hard to keep things on the lower plate on rough. sloped ground. (I hauled many an office box of books back and forth to meetings with it when I was librarian for the quilt guild, so I knew in general, it worked well.)


Off topic, I was thinking of you today, my husband and I were at a state park in the southeastern part of Minnesota, Carly, and I remembered something from about 4 years? ago. It's a big fly fishing area, the whitewater River runs through the whe area of that region, it's a beauty in bluff country, and my memory was of a few women getting out of their vehicles and carrying poles down to fish. It's a pleasant memory. I love fishing and always wanted to try fly fishing but we just never did. Hope you get to get together like you want!
 

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
I’ve got nothing to answer your actual question, but were you at Merlefest? Even more, were you at Sewerfest? I feel certain I saw this wagon over the weekend. 🤘 🪕 🎻
yes we were in the pop-up at the top of the hill at SF. the 2 closest water hydrants were non-functional (they NEED to fix that!) so we had to haul water from down the road a bit. :)
It was a great Merlefest, our 4th, but camping with friends who have gone 20+ years.
perhaps we can meet at SF next time around! We have a campfire every night.
kevin
 




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