Author Topic: The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread  (Read 911 times)

Online Boingo the Clown

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The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:14:13 PM »
Believe it or not, this is a serious thread.

A few months ago, I was talking to CWolf about camping trailers for bicycles, and while I had looked into the subject in the past, it has really been heavy on my brain since then.  I am considering building one. I have built a cargo trailer for my bike in the past, and it would be nice to take a trip on my bike, and if the trip takes more than one day, it wuld be nice to be able to pull off the road at a parking lot, park, campground, or farmer's field and have a nice comfortable place to sleep out of the weather.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss potential bicycle camping trailer designs.  It is also to discuss potential building techniques, and candidate materials for use in the project.  Give me whatever ideas you've got.

Important considerations:

  • Cost:  Expensive = bad.  Cheap = good.  'Nuff said.

  • Size when in shelter mode: When deployed as a shelter, the trailer should fold out into something decently large.  A lot of designs I have seen simply extend out to form 2 or 3 foot x 6 foot boxes. That's no good for me. I'm getting old.  I want to avoid spending time in a coffin as long as possible.  Also, I am not the svelt 150 pound guy I was when I was 25.  Something that small would be too cramped for me.

  • Size when in travel mode:  When folded down into travel mode, trailer needs to be fairly small, easy to manuvre, and narrow enough to not cause issues with traffic. Larger designs are much more difficult and hazardous around traffic.  My old cargo trailer I made was roughly 2 feet wide by 4 feet long.  That's a pretty good target size.

  • Weight: Lighter = better.  Remember that I have to pull it, so it must be as light as possible. It is not just a problem when trying to go up a hill.  It is also a problem when going downhill too.  Too much weight = extreme difficulty in stopping, and the possibility of jackknifing, which can be very dangerous in traffic.

  • Strength:  It can't be flimsy.  It has to be reasonably strong.  I hate to say it, but I am not the sleek long distance runner I used to be.  Over the last several years, I hate ballooned up to a scale crushing 250 pounds.  I need something that can hold all that extraneous flab and survive.  It is very hard to sleep when crunching sounds of your trailer collapsing under the strain of your mighty girth keeps waking you up.  The trailer also needs to be able to hold up to the rigors of the road, so let's make it strong.

  • Insulation:  I live in Canada.

  • Ventilation:  Suffocation = bad.  Dying of heat exhaustion = also bad.

  • Cargo capacity:  Food.  Water.  A change of underwear.  These are the kinds of things a person on a multi day bike trip thinks about.  Even when folded up, ther trailer needs to have room for the vital necessities one needs to bring along.  Also, something you can pack groceries in to when you go to the store is going to be a benefit.

  • Durability and weather resistance:  If it falls apart in the rain, I don't want it.  If it leaks, I don't want it.


I already have a few ideas of my own, but I want to see what you come up with first.

Feel free to post any ideas, including pictures and videos, and let's see what designs we can come up with.

Chex Quest Fan Forums

The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:14:13 PM »

Online Boingo the Clown

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Re: The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 09:44:35 PM »
Hmmm ...  A month and no ideas?

Maybe these will help inspire a few ideas.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnu0G2YGLig" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnu0G2YGLig</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiejAhol4Ps" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiejAhol4Ps</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWIEW-pYxKk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWIEW-pYxKk</a>





https://elpatu.weebly.com/overview.html





https://newatlas.com/teal-camper-like-a-puzzle/22329/#gallery

http://www.bicyclecaravan.com/bicycle-caravan-trailer-2/

https://www.fahrrad-wohnwagen.de/bildergalarie/

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87P7b9w_rbU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87P7b9w_rbU</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTNslksjT_g" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTNslksjT_g</a>

https://inhabitat.com/artist-builds-a-bicycle-powered-micro-wagon-as-a-traveling-art-studio/



http://www.doityourselfrv.com/insulated-bicycle-camper/

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/822892163141239437/?utm_campaign=search_rmkt&e_t=9429033ac54241f382fff358ed2c8c53&utm_content=822892163141239437&utm_source=31&utm_term=4&utm_medium=2012

https://www.livinginashoebox.com/this-micro-camper-triples-its-size-in-25-seconds/

I hope this will get some ideas going.


« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 12:32:11 PM by Boingo the Clown »

Online Boingo the Clown

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Re: The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 06:15:36 PM »
Here is a German camping trailer from the early 1960s, called the FaWoBoo. It folds up into a compact shape that unfolds quickly into a fairly roomy camper. (The roof even doubles as a boat.)

It is probably a good design to base my own bike camper trailer on.












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Re: The Bicycle Camping Trailer Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 11:09:48 AM »
I said I had some ideas of my own.  This was one of them.

I tested the idea by using some aluminum foil loaf pans I got at the dollar store that happened to match up to 1:6 scale for a bike trailer with a 2' x 4' (60 cm x 120 cm) footprint to make a crude mockup. The loaf pans have been hanging around the apartment for almost a year now, and they have gotten a little battered and bent, but they are still good to put together for some photos.

An 1:6 scale action figure I've nicknamed "Dave" will stand in for scale.



The design would consist of six lightweight boxes.



Four of the boxes would be 2' x 4' (60 cm x 120 cm).  The other two boxes would be 2' x 2' (60 cm x 60 cm). 

One of the boxes, hereforth referred to as the "main box", would be more heavily built than the others, and would be permanently attached to the trailer bed.

Each of the boxes would be built with a slight draught angle, allowing them to be nested together.

Each of the boxes would have connection points along their edges, allowing them to be connected together with pins or latches.


When in travel mode, the trailer could be packed up in one of two ways.  The most compact way would be to simply nest all the boxes together with the small boxes together on top, like so.



This configuration keeps the trailer compact at only 2' to 3' (60 cm to 100 cm), which is good, has a big disadvantage.  Any cargo and supplies you bring along would have to be stored in the two smaller boxes when travelling, and would have to be unloaded every time you stop to camp.  It also leaves your cargo and supplies exposed.  You never know when it is going rain.  You also never know when your bike is parked if somebody might take an interest in your belongings while you are away.


The other possible configuration while in travel mode would be to invert to two small boxes and place them on top of the main box like so ...



... then stack the other three boxes on top.



This is less compact than the other way, but provides more protection for your belongings. (It's still pretty compact though.)



In camping mode, the boxes are seperated from each other, then reconnected to form a living and sleeping space.  The two small boxes extend the length of the trailer to provide space for hed and feet, two of the larger boxes widen the trailer and become side walls, and the other box becomes the roof.



One of the two sidewalls would be hinged with the roof at the top, and double as the door.




Inside, a lattice of boards is used to create a sleeping platform.



The two sides can slide together or extend apart, covering the cargo in the main box, ...




... but still allowing access to it.




It can also be reconfigured to create a chair back for seating.







Good night.




The design is not perfect.  Seperating the boxes and reconnecting them into camping  mode would be a bit slow and frustrating, especially if it is raining.  It does make a pretty good sized space for sleeping in that is a little less coffin like than other designs however, and still remains compact when  on the road.

The aluminum loaf pans are a little crude, albeit effective, for a mockup.  The next mockup will a little bit better.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 12:34:58 PM by Boingo the Clown »

 


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