DIY Bicycle Camper

gooseneck

New Member
Nov 27, 2015
132
0
0
concord, ca. usa
I would use FRP where possible a lil' heavier but darn strong.
I remember my radio flyer (oh way back when)and scootn' around in the rain with an over sized card board box and cut out wind shield.
I think this pretty cool. now has me thinking of just a pop up tent on a skiff, and eliminate
lots of weight.
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,326
123
63
Littleton, Colorado
Very Cool. Innovative too.
I'm not to sure about the wood frame. I'd guess it wouldn't take a lot of road shock. At least using a hard wood instead of pine would be better. Thin wall conduit, EMT, wouldn't weight much and would be more substantial. But then wood and me have never gotten along very well.

Tom
 

sbest

Member
Nov 3, 2015
343
2
18
Nova Scotia
Although Ash has been a favourite for aircraft wing spars and Morgan car body frames, I believe Sitka spruce is renowned for being THE high strength to weight material. The British Mosquito fighter/bomber and the Wright flyer used it and I even believe it was used in Trident missiles. Pound for pound, it is stronger than steel I believe.

Steve
 

Allen_Wrench

Resident Mad Scientist
Feb 6, 2010
2,786
3
36
Indianapolis
Hmmm. Well, if I can get hold of some Sitka spruce, I will need to experiment. I haven't heard enough until now to look for it. So I'm not sure what I'll find. Ash is still likely a good second choice, but this sounds intriguing.
 

sbest

Member
Nov 3, 2015
343
2
18
Nova Scotia
Sitka is used in boat, aviation and musical instrument making too.
I think it is from Alaska and BC.

I made an axe-handle from ash when I was 16. I cut the tree, kiln dried it and carved the handle. Was for an axe that had been in the family since 1762. Of course the handle had been replaced 5 or 6 times, and the head 2 or 3, but we were mighty proud of that axe.

Steve
 

Allen_Wrench

Resident Mad Scientist
Feb 6, 2010
2,786
3
36
Indianapolis
Sitka is used in boat, aviation and musical instrument making too.
I think it is from Alaska and BC.

I made an axe-handle from ash when I was 16. I cut the tree, kiln dried it and carved the handle. Was for an axe that had been in the family since 1762. Of course the handle had been replaced 5 or 6 times, and the head 2 or 3, but we were mighty proud of that axe.

Steve
I seem to remember that axe story. I wouldn't be surprised if it had passed through Lincoln's hands when he was splitting fence rails. That would have been the third handle and second head I believe? :)
 

sbest

Member
Nov 3, 2015
343
2
18
Nova Scotia
Ash is a lovely straight grained light coloured wood that splits down its grain quite easy. Much like cedar split for shakes, ash can be split into thin strips for baskets or canoe ribs. The natives didn't have bandsaws, so they split the ash to make thin strips and bent them into hoops and ribs and bows with not one gram of non-active wood and every grain parallel with the sides. It works well with tools. For the axe handle I made a drawknife out of an old rusty file, but a sharp rock or glass will shave ash to shape.

Steve
 

sbest

Member
Nov 3, 2015
343
2
18
Nova Scotia
hi there
just what is frp I dont recall that item
will
Fiber reinforced plastic.
It can refer to fiberglass or carbon fiber materials or even certain sheet materials. Much heavier and more expensive than that corrugated plastic buddy used in the video.

Steve
 
Aug 26, 2015
472
5
18
Overgaard AZ
I love this idea, as I've been thinking along these lines. It sure beats packing a tent that you've got to set up and break down all the time. I'd go about it a bit differently. Wheels centered on the frame, I think, with legs at each corner. And probably a bit shorter to reduce wind resistance. I'd take the extra weight from plywood or something sturdier for the basic frame, but I think chloroplast (or however you spell cardboard what's plastic) would be just fine for the shell itself, maybe with a few stiff wire supports hidden under the insulation. I'd do away with the stove though, that's just risky IMO, but doable with care. I'd probably still take my tent along for gear and bike storage at my destination. All in all totally awesome idea!
 
Aug 26, 2015
472
5
18
Overgaard AZ
Since my velocar is back burnered, I'm building one of these things. I'll build a much more substantial floor/trailer though, likely 2x2 and plywood, with legs front and rear to keep the weight off the wheels when not on the road. Probably a flat nose too, for more room and simpler construction, not sure, might play around a little with it. Definitely has to be longer than his, 6'5" is a little short for my tastes. Wider and lower would be better in crosswinds while towing, I think, more of a continuous arc, rather than a flat side.

My biggest concerns are crosswinds while towing, I'd hate to end up out in the lane and wrapped up in traffic, or end up slapped off the ground because my trailer flipped. I think it will depend a lot on wheel placement and size, smaller wheels will give a nice low center of gravity, but I like the idea of having spares for the bike on the trailer. I think placement will be more critical than size, just not sure if I should place them in the center, to balance the load, or to the rear, to put more weight on the bike.

To a degree, weight and wind resistance can be defeated by engine power, especially with the 56t sprocket I'm turning, but that's forward motion, lateral drift will be another matter entirely. I plan to build the trailer and "box" separate, so I can experiment some...

Gimmie some feedback guys!
 

bluegoatwoods

Active Member
Jul 29, 2012
1,581
4
38
Central Illinois
Two things come to mind, mogollonmonster.

I'd distrust 26 inch wheels. They'd make that trailer unstable in winds. I'd give thought to smaller and wider wheels.

And would it be possible to rig up something like a pair of spoilers, running lengthwise? The idea would be to make the winds push the trailer down instead of toppling it over.
 
Aug 26, 2015
472
5
18
Overgaard AZ
Both of those are my concerns as well, Allen Wrench. I've recently come across a pair of 12" all steel rims, from a jogging stroller, they're better built than the wheels on the bike trailer I've drug for 1,000 miles so far. I'm thinking of using all four in a tandem setup, but more likely, I'll use wheelbarrow wheels, like you say, shorter, wider wheels, which should hold the weight much better as well. Regardless of size and type, would the wheels be better served outside, or inside like he's using them? I would think inboard, but the wider stance should help with wind issues.

Also, mine will be wider than his, hopefully a more continuous arc. I'm hesitant to employ a spoiler of any type, as an errant eddy in the wind could be more disastrous than simply fighting it. If windspeeds are too high, I'll just crawl back in and wait them out. I also plan to leave the front flat, one because I have no idea how to calculate the curving cuts needed to produce the "airstream" nose, and two, because it will allow more interior room. If someone can help me with the geometry, I'll do the curved front, otherwise it'll be a rolling quanset hut.
Picked up a few small pieces of coroplast yesterday, they measure 12x18 and one is the new tool box for my bike, or will be. This was my first time working with coro, and I like it! After I reinforce the box, I'll secure it to a rear rack, which I have to pick up tomorrow. Very easy material to work with, I was also impressed with it's strength, especially when arched.
I may start a new thread for ideas an inspiration before the build. I've been given a standing invitation to go to Florida and hunt the Burmese pythons that are running rampant in the everglades, and I'm trying to talk the oldest of my brothers into joining me. If he builds a bike, I'll build him a camper too, so when I start the actuall build thread, you may get two examples. I'll extend my offer here, build a coro camper and be ready come fall.
 

Ludwig II

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2012
5,070
641
113
UK
Although it adds weight, 4 wheels in fixed close coupled pairs will damp out a lot of wind induced instability. Loading slightly nose heavy is probably a good idea as well.
 
Aug 26, 2015
472
5
18
Overgaard AZ
My thoughts exactly Ludwig, if it works so well for semi trucks, there must be something to it. My step dad is a trucker by trade, so I thought I'd take a cue from them.