Cooler Kart build

Back Story:

I have a buddy that lives less than a mile from me and I go over there and drink beer fairly often. I decided that rather than walk like some loser, I would build a cooler that I can drive to his house. It seemed like the obvious and only thing to do. I’m sure everyone has seen some version of these before. I know I can go buy one that is ready to go but that’s no fun. I prefer to build something from the frame up. Make it my own thing and have some fun with it.

Here’s the problem. I don’t know what I am doing. While I do consider myself handy and know my way around my wood working tools, this is unlike anything I have ever done. I have never built a vehicle of any kind or have never welded anything in my life. I’ve watched a ton of youtube videos on welding so I feel like I got that down now, though. kidding…

Here’s my plan(??):

I’m off to buy a welding machine today. I plan on practicing my welds while I decide on specific parts for the build and wait for them to arrive.

I was thinking I would purchase a gokart kit and adapt/modify it for a coolerkart build. I know I want an electric motor. Not because of global warming or anything, I just know that if I drive a cooler full of beers over to a friend’s house, I am likely not driving that cooler home at a decent hour and figured an electric engine would be more neighbor friendly than a gas engine at 2-3 in the morning. Second thing I would like to add… a hitch to pull a small cart. I figure, I gotta have a place to put my girlfriend, right? I don’t know if I’ll be asking too much out of an electric motor or not, but Elon Musk figured out how to make the world’s ugliest truck 100% electric. I think I can make a small kart to lug me an my girlfriend with a cooler of beer around. Maybe that’s too much. I don’t know. I will find out I suppose.

Anyway, that’s my super loose plan. I thought I could start a tread here as place to add questions that will certainly come up along the way. This seems like a mechanically inclined group that could prove super useful for me. I’ll try to post progress pictures along the way. Please, please, please chime in with insight or suggestions. Thanks for letting me mooch off of all your experience and knowledge.


There’s lots of different type karts. I bet that the race frames we use would be less good than a yard kart as a base. Also, beer is heavy. Suspension travel might be useful.

Maybe a repurposed backyard/off road kart?

For a cooler kart I think my way to go would be an electric scooter Frankensteined into a tricycle type thing.

Depends how far you need to drive it really.

Honestly any cheap chassis should work, I don’t think it’s needs suspension, just maybe off-road tires. Unless you plan on spending many months on this I would recommend just buying a cheap used go kart of any kind, removing the seat, and replacing it with a cooler. You’ll still have to figure out how to fit and hold the cooler, how to get the steering at the right height, and any other modifications you’d like to do. I think those alone will keep you plenty busy. All the brakes and gas pedal and engine mounts will all be done if you buy a mostly whole kart, and those are the things that would make it hardest.

Mobile beer dispensers. Slicks or street tires? A couple of these appear to be on kart frames.

I don’t think you can really go wrong with chassis choice. Depends on what you want, how fast you want to go, etc. once you pick up a chassis or roller or complete kart I think the real challenges are going to be moving and adjusting things to fit a cooler. Awesome idea though, Ill always drop some advice here and my thoughts.