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Pre-Planning

Old 05-24-21, 04:41 PM
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Pre-Planning

Events have occured that encourage me to take, and live, on the roads traveling. I plan to be... travel heavy and go with solar. Hope is finding an affordable mobilehome but chances for that are slim. Therefor I am also planning to convert my 26" mountain bike to an E-bike and pull a trailer I would live out of. Since I won't be traveling light and fast I plan to have a robust trailer. To my dismay the trailors I find are 75-100lbs. x..x I did find 96AWD Bicycle Trailer but the 600lbs version costs over 1500$ US. I plan to trick it out for full solar, self charging the ebike setup, ect.

I'm wet behind the ears for this sort of thing and over 4 decades of life. So any help from experienced people would be very welcome.
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Old 05-24-21, 04:53 PM
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The trailers weigh 75-100 lbs?
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Old 05-24-21, 05:03 PM
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the trailer itself weighs 69 lbs. So it's a solid base for a live-in bike house.

I've seen other people make 'weekend' bike campers but mine may be in use for.. years.
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Old 05-24-21, 06:56 PM
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I canít make heads or tails out of this.
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Old 05-24-21, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
.. am also planning to convert my 26" mountain bike to an E-bike and pull a trailer I would live out of....

...I did find 96AWD Bicycle Trailer but the 600lbs version costs over 1500$ US. I plan to trick it out for full solar, self charging the ebike setup, ect...

sure. buy yourself a 600-pound trailer, trick it out, pull it behind your converted e-bike.

sounds like a great plan........
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Old 05-24-21, 07:49 PM
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The trailer's max carrying capacity is 600 lbs. It's own weight is 69 lbs.

So it's a 70 lb trailer and I'm gonna trick it out with solar and storage. 3ft by 8ft. Peaked roof so there are panels on each side getting energy morning, noon and evening. Battery storage for the evening.

Afterall.. the only camping bike trailer I found was over 3500$ in cost. =(
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Old 05-24-21, 10:47 PM
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Have you done the maths on solar charging the battery? I could easily see whatever power generated by the panels being used by the battery. And you still being short.
Are you planning on charging the battery directly from the solar panels or using a pass through or other battery?
Have you considered what will happen in poor weather?

I've seen (online) a handful of rigs as you describe, but it's pretty niche and I imagine most on here won't have much direct experience.

If you are planning to live this way as opposed to going on a tour of whatever length it's more complicated again.
It would probably be best to try and build a system ar home where you can test out different ideas. A hub dynamo, for instance, for charging other electronics.
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Old 05-24-21, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
The trailer's max carrying capacity is 600 lbs. It's own weight is 69 lbs.

So it's a 70 lb trailer and I'm gonna trick it out with solar and storage..... =(

right on!

trailer base weight is 70 pounds. then trick it out with solar panels and super heavy batteries.
gonna need heap big lectrical storage to move that massive mass of weight.

and your cooking setup.
and your food.
and your clothing.
and your electronics.
and tools and spares.
and your sleepy setup.
and...and ....and.....

and you plan to live in it long term?
so yeah.............600-pound+ trailer.

and if you're limited by budget, you won't be able to afford the
lightweight components and composite material$$$$$.

you might go to one of them "tiny house" or "solar dreams" websites
to find somebody with experience with this sort of contraption.

prolly not here, as i don't see you doing any touring with that setup.
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Old 05-24-21, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour View Post
Have you done the maths on solar charging the battery? I could easily see whatever power generated by the panels being used by the battery. And you still being short.
Are you planning on charging the battery directly from the solar panels or using a pass through or other battery?
Have you considered what will happen in poor weather?

I've seen (online) a handful of rigs as you describe, but it's pretty niche and I imagine most on here won't have much direct experience.

If you are planning to live this way as opposed to going on a tour of whatever length it's more complicated again.
It would probably be best to try and build a system ar home where you can test out different ideas. A hub dynamo, for instance, for charging other electronics.
The Ebike would have it's own battery. This would limit how far I could travel and how fast I know. The solar setup would be for the trailer itself that I could plug the charger to the bike battery into. Since from what I can tell my solar panels would add up to 520 watts while the motor looks to be a 1000w beast.

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
right on!

trailer base weight is 70 pounds. then trick it out with solar panels and super heavy batteries.
gonna need heap big lectrical storage to move that massive mass of weight.

and your cooking setup.
and your food.
and your clothing.
and your electronics.
and tools and spares.
and your sleepy setup.
and...and ....and.....

and you plan to live in it long term?
so yeah.............600-pound+ trailer.

and if you're limited by budget, you won't be able to afford the
lightweight components and composite material$$$$$.

you might go to one of them "tiny house" or "solar dreams" websites
to find somebody with experience with this sort of contraption.

prolly not here, as i don't see you doing any touring with that setup.
I know. I'd be fighting weight limits. This all is plan B and I am looking for those with experience going long term biking. Plan A is a camper vehicle or container truck.. prolly old and in need of tlc.
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Old 05-25-21, 05:07 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
... This all is plan B and I am looking for those with experience going long term biking. Plan A is a camper vehicle or container truck.. prolly old and in need of tlc.
I have met one person that I would consider to have experience with long term biking. She was in year 7 of her never ending bike tour that started in S Africa, up to Europe, east to Asia, down to Australia, back up to Asia and China, then to N America, I met her in a campground in Oregon on the Pacific Coast. That was in 2014, I have no idea where she is now.



She used muscle power and pedals, not e-bike, slept in a tent. She estimated that her bike had 100,000 km on it, but most of the parts had been replaced a few times. The bike frame had so many location stickers on it I could not find a brand name. Her front panniers had the full 7 years of use, Ortliebs. She was having some trouble with her 2 year old tent, we helped fix a bent pole.

If you want to go on a never ending bike trip, skip the trailer, skip the electric drive, and buy some quality gear that will hold up for long term use.

There are a couple of guys that have posted lots of videos on youtube, Bike Touring Pro is one and another hosts a site called cycling about. They (independently of each other) have been bike touring for years before Covid stopped their travels, they both have good quality gear and no e-bike.

This is a link to a free magazine on bike touring, you can download past issues. This is not the long term touring like you are talking about, but has lots of articles about people on bike tours, and it is free.
https://www.bicycletraveler.bicyclingaroundtheworld.nl/

But if you are locked into an e-bike and mini-RV trailer, good luck with that.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 05-27-21 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have met one person that I would consider to have experience with long term biking. She was in year 7 of her never ending bike tour that started in S Africa, up to Europe, east to Asia, down to Australia, back up to Asia and China, then to N America, I met her in a campground in Oregon on the Pacific Coast. That was in 2014, I have no idea where she is now.



She used muscle power and pedals, not e-bike, slept in a tent. She estimated that her bike had 100,000 km on it, but most of the parts had been replaced a few times. The bike frame had so many location stickers on it I could not find a brand name. Her front panniers had the full 7 years of use, Ortliebs. She was having some trouble with her 2 year old tent, we helped fix a bent pole.

If you want to go on a never ending bike trip, skip the trailer, skip the electric drive, and buy some quality gear that will hold up for long term use.

There are a couple of guys that have posted lots of videos on youtube, Bike Touring Pro is one and another hosts a site called cycling about. They (independently of each other) have been bike touring for years before Covid stopped their travels, they both have good quality gear and no e-bike.

This is a link to a free magazine on bike touring, you can download past issues. This is not the long term touring like you are talking about, but has lots of articles about people on bike tours, and it is free.

But if you are locked into an e-bike and mini-RV trailer, good luck with that.
There's no link I could find.

It's more a travel to a new place and build a life from scratch with no help thing. The trailer is something to live out of as I attempt to do that.

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Old 05-25-21, 09:34 PM
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What in the world is your equipment list that totals 600 pounds? What are you planning on bringing with you that adds up to this much weight?

Are you planning on sleeping in the trailer? If so why, and what advantage do you see of doing this rather than bringing a tent with you?
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Old 05-25-21, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If you want to go on a never ending bike trip, skip the trailer, skip the electric drive, and buy some quality gear that will hold up for long term use.
This
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Old 05-26-21, 05:02 AM
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This all sounds like a very bad idea. Better to ditch the huge load and travel lighter. When and if you want to settle down you can set up more permanent house keeping.
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Old 05-26-21, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
It's more a travel to a new place and build a life from scratch with no help thing. The trailer is something to live out of as I attempt to do that.
travel light, at most with a 12-pound trailer that will let you
carry up to 70 pounds of gear.

live out of your tent until you find your new place.

then worry about long-term accommodations.
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Old 05-26-21, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
What in the world is your equipment list that totals 600 pounds? What are you planning on bringing with you that adds up to this much weight?

Are you planning on sleeping in the trailer? If so why, and what advantage do you see of doing this rather than bringing a tent with you?
Based on his response to my question about the lighter models, I think he means the weigh capacity of the trailer is 600 lbs. Hope heís not imagining carrying that much weight.
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Old 05-26-21, 06:50 AM
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I dunno, the tiny house with the solar panels on top may push 600 lbs.

Taking a tent instead could save a lot of weight, as noted. Even one of those old canvas 8-person tents would save weight!
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Old 05-26-21, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
I'm wet behind the ears for this sort of thing and over 4 decades of life. So any help from experienced people would be very welcome.
It sounds like you're planning this set up without the benefit of personal bike touring experience. It's good you've asked here for advice from people who have done a lot of touring. I would love to set off on a never ending tour. It's my fantasy actually -to sell the house, leave the marriage and pedal away. I started touring at 49. So far, I've done three tours of one month and over a thousand miles each, plus too many short tours from the house to remember. And I'm going to agree with the folks who say don't use an electric bike or a heavy trailer.

There's a good chance you'll find the electric bike to be a burden once you're on the road. I just don't see a solar set-up capable of charging it being practical or effective. There will certainly be times when the bike battery is dead and you'll be pedaling the extra weight and inefficiency of the unusable hardware. And planning routes around AC outlets would get distracting and cumbersome. Just forget that whole aspect. Go simple, human-powered. Sounds like speed and distance are not a priority anyway. Just gear your bike really low so you never really have to effort.

Trailers are similarly cumbersome. They are difficult to maneuver and limit where you can take your bike. I go with the rule of thumb that you should be able to lift your loaded bike over a guardrail, low fence, or up a short staircase. It's been useful to be able to do this in many settings.

Of course, they are your legs and you can lug as much stuff as you want with them. And in that regard, it's no one else's concern. However, you might find the whole experience easier and more enjoyable if you plan to carry a lighter, smaller load. You're about to embark on a grand adventure. Keep it as simple and low tech as possible.

I've met quite a few cycle tourist who have been out of several months and even years, and one thing they have in common is they carry much less stuff than people who are out for shorter periods. Regardless of specifics, just that observation should be informative.

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Old 05-26-21, 08:08 AM
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Due to the charging requirements of the bike to pull the heavy trailer, I think that your current plan has a very low likelihood of success.

Have you considered that your camping opportunities may be limited due to limited mobility and visibility of the trailer? You are not going to be able to be very stealthy.

Based on what you have shared, may I suggest that you either back-off the heavy trailer option and go with a tent, or go with a motorcycle and trailer? The $1500 you are going to spend on the E-bike kit and the money for the solar panels will buy a decent motorcycle. A good mid-mount E-bike kit will cost that much or more once you option it out. Or the money would go a long way toward a good tent and gear, and living expenses on the road.

Living here in SoCal, I have met many people living out of a tent on a bicycle while camping at the hiker/biker sites. There are also many folks living off a motorcycle (see some on YouTube).
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Old 05-26-21, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AreeSoothsayer View Post
...
It's more a travel to a new place and build a life from scratch with no help thing. The trailer is something to live out of as I attempt to do that.
Good luck with that.
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Old 05-26-21, 08:39 AM
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the trailer is just another anchor. If You have the luxury of time (most precious commodity) then just GO
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Old 05-26-21, 08:50 AM
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Thank you. The variety of responses that pointed out stuff I was too stressed to figure out on my own is very helpful.

I'll figure something else out.
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Old 05-27-21, 10:35 AM
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I agree with MSN and Brett, make your rig as simple as possible to live the simple life. Instead of all that gear have a nice nest egg of funds on standby, for incidents or issues. Loaded like that, with a crummy Ebike conversion kit and a heavy trailer will leave you soo vulnerable out there. You will appear homeless and that alone will have any police you encounter treat you completely different than they would a 'touring' cyclist. Get the best mountain bike you can buy and rig it out for travel- no trailer, no solar. You will be strong and fast and able to stealth yourself anywhere. Rely on nothing but a cell phone and your ability to get down the road. I've toured for as long as 7 months at a time and I can't begin to tell you how often I thought to myself that I could do this forever. You have a unique opportunity to begin again, for whatever reason you may have that is none of our business, and I encourage you to think light, strong and fast. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-28-21, 12:17 AM
  #24  
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A BOB trailer, empty, does not weigh anywhere near that much.
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