Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pimp my Stroller!

A standard Runabout stroller
Our customized Runabout stroller!

A guest column: (by Gee-off)

The story behind the stroller...

As the parents of triplets, the “gear” required is very different from what you'd need for just one baby. One major aspect is traveling. Strollers made for triplets vary in style and durability, but most have major problems with steering or fitting through doorways.

Berg has been making the Runabout stroller since 1988, but the price tag of over $800 scared us away. The reviews from other triplet parents made it clear this was the ultimate stroller, but we couldn't qualify that expense. Luckily, a generous mother of triplets in Maryland offered us a used Runabout for free if we could pick it up. My brother, Mark, and I made the 7 hour (round trip) drive last spring and brought back our prize. I'd love to tell you that it was immaculate and in new condition, but it was clearly an older(I figure at least 8 years old) model and had seen better days. The purple seat covers were ridiculous and one of the seatbelts was torn and missing two buckles. Still, a fantastic stroller that just needed some TLC.

Since we knew the babies wouldn't use this stroller until they were bigger, it wasn't until February that I started to clean and restore the stroller. I prefer the term, customize, because even in perfect condition, the Runabout looks more like something from another planet. I washed down the frame and reversed the handle for ease in steering. The tires, tubes, and fender all needed to be replaced. I also was able to strip the covers, canopies, and 5-point harnesses from older car seats and fastened them using a Dremel tool to widen holes, some replacement canopy ratchets from Evenflo for the canopies, and Aimee's Crop-a-Dile eyelet setter to keep the cloth from tearing.

The pictures show our final product and a stock photo of the newest model from the Berg website. The only part that I'm unhappy with are the red handles on the bottom. We're missing one and the color really doesn't match the rest of the stroller. I've tried all the normal avenues for replacing them, but have had no luck. The problem is that the handles are 1” diameter and bike handles are typically 3/4” diameter. If anyone has suggestions- I'd love to hear them.
A review from "anonymous":
I just love what you did to this stroller! I can't believe it's the same one. Yours is so much better than the original. You must be one completely amazing, extremely creative guy.
I bet you're really hot too!! ;)


Katie said...

That looks great!! I love the sunshades, I have never seen anyone do that, what an awesome idea!! I wish we had done that, I hate setting up that stupid blue shade!!
Awesome job!!

Mom to triplet girls- 3 years old

The Murray Crew said...

That is saaa....weet! We're working on uninstitutionalizing ours as well. I'll have to send you pics of the finished product if you're interested.
Way to go!
Mama to Quad Boys

Heather said...

That stroller looks great! They are stylin' now! ;) Love the pics from the egg hunt too- that was so sweet of Drew!

Kim said...

Wow - he cooks and customizes too! You are a lucky lady! lol He could start a business on the side - and maybe pick up a cable show! Seriously - looks great Gee-off , I am impressed!

Gretchen said...

Awesome! Hilarious that he used your crop-o-dile!! Cute pics of the kiddos at the egg hunt, too!