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Dual recumbent/trike towing 500 lb camper

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Dual recumbent/trike towing 500 lb camper

Old 08-04-23, 02:49 PM
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Dual recumbent/trike towing 500 lb camper

Hi all,
I'm hoping to find out if this idea is viable.

My wife and I want to tour Europe using a dual recumbent configuration while towing a camper (loaded weight 500 lbs).

So the idea is we would sit side by side on a custom built recumbent/trike while towing the camper.

Speed is of little concern as we will be staying in spots for weeks at a time.

Would anyone have any ideas on whether or not it's possible for 2 people to tow a 500 lbs camper or if it might be a better idea to go electric?

All input gratefully received.
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Old 08-04-23, 04:06 PM
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I would like this idea better, Twin 20/26" tandem recumbent bike | Build your own | AZUB recumbents
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Old 08-05-23, 12:12 AM
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That's a nice light setup for sure but unfortunately not suited to our particular requirements.
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Old 08-07-23, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FergM
That's a nice light setup for sure but unfortunately not suited to our particular requirements.
Maybe not, but your requirements are not practical. Sorry. They aren't. There is probably a middle ground somewhere between an $8K AZUB and your idea. Our double recumbent tandem was under $2K but I'm not sure it is still in production. There are double recumbent trikes out there. There are no road worthy side by side configurations and if you build one you should want to consult the impacted EU authorities as to what is legal to try and operate on their roads. I'm not seeing a side by side configuration as passing their smell test. You could tow a SMALL camper with something like a Greenspeed double recumbent trike. Even with electric I'm thinking you have to think 200lb MAX. None of this is anything I have thought about till right now but have you thought about how you would get your custom camping rig to Europe? Isn't it a better idea to go there and buy a (used probably) tandem trike and bikepacking trailer once there?
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Old 08-07-23, 11:05 AM
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The primary problem is how to maintain a slow speed going down step hills with a trailer that has no brakes. I would not feel safe on mountain roads with a trailer behind me that could cause me to lose control. There is also the matter of have a very wide quad bike that makes it far more dangerous for motorists to get past you.

Better to use regular bikes and stay at B&Bs or hotels along your route. Comfy bed and a hot shower make this my preferred way to tour. I can only speak about the UK but for more than a century there have been inns along foot and bicycle paths to accommodate people traveling without motor vehicles and someone with a bike is not considered to be a vagabond or miscreant as is not unusual in the United States.
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Old 08-07-23, 11:07 AM
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I have towed a 200# trailer on my LWB once it was 300 pounds. it was doable but it tends to feel like someone is running into you every bump and such pulls you back or pushes you forward. it was not fun. but I did climb some short hills.
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Old 08-07-23, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The primary problem is how to maintain a slow speed going down step hills with a trailer that has no brakes. I would not feel safe on mountain roads with a trailer behind me that could cause me to lose control. There is also the matter of have a very wide quad bike that makes it far more dangerous for motorists to get past you.

Better to use regular bikes and stay at B&Bs or hotels along your route. Comfy bed and a hot shower make this my preferred way to tour. I can only speak about the UK but for more than a century there have been inns along foot and bicycle paths to accommodate people traveling without motor vehicles and someone with a bike is not considered to be a vagabond or miscreant as is not unusual in the United States.
The trailer will have brakes and in terms of motorists it's safer as a cyclist to occupy the whole lane rather than just the edge of it because it forces motorists to wait for a safe moment to pass instead of giving them the opportunity to try and squish through potentially forcing the cyclist off the road.
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Old 08-07-23, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The primary problem is how to maintain a slow speed going down step hills with a trailer that has no brakes. I would not feel safe on mountain roads with a trailer behind me that could cause me to lose control. There is also the matter of have a very wide quad bike that makes it far more dangerous for motorists to get past you.

Better to use regular bikes and stay at B&Bs or hotels along your route. Comfy bed and a hot shower make this my preferred way to tour. I can only speak about the UK but for more than a century there have been inns along foot and bicycle paths to accommodate people traveling without motor vehicles and someone with a bike is not considered to be a vagabond or miscreant as is not unusual in the United States.
Thanks for your input.
The trip cannot occur without a trike camper so bear with me while I continue to argue the case for one.
I live in Europe so transporting the rig will not be an issue.
I'm unable to provide a link here because I'm too new however if you Google "atomic zombie Kyoto cruiser" you'll see the bike I'm planning to build. It will be electrified and appropriately geared and strengthened.
As for legalities I'm of the opinion that none apply in Europe for a vehicle like this but I have not ascertained this yet for certain.

​​​​​​​
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Old 08-07-23, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FergM
it's safer as a cyclist to occupy the whole lane rather than just the edge of it because it forces motorists to wait for a safe moment to pass instead of giving them the opportunity to try and squish through potentially forcing the cyclist off the road.
That mentality does not work even here in the U.S. You would get less than 1/2 mile down any U.S. road with something like a Rhodes Car! That's why you do not see them. Safety from aggressive motorists when operating recognized cycling equipment is not something to worry about in Europe. I would never say never, but many countries in the EU have YEARS where there are ZERO cyclist fatalities. In the U.S. there are no MONTHS without at least a dozen fatalities, and no years where there aren't hundreds! Even adjusted per capita, it is FAR safer cycling in the EU. Are you really telling me you are building the cycling equivalent of a Hummer because you are worried about cagers?!
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Old 08-07-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
That mentality does not work even here in the U.S. You would get less than 1/2 mile down any U.S. road with something like a Rhodes Car! That's why you do not see them. Safety from aggressive motorists when operating recognized cycling equipment is not something to worry about in Europe. I would never say never, but many countries in the EU have YEARS where there are ZERO cyclist fatalities. In the U.S. there are no MONTHS without at least a dozen fatalities, and no years where there aren't hundreds! Even adjusted per capita, it is FAR safer cycling in the EU. Are you really telling me you are building the cycling equivalent of a Hummer because you are worried about cagers?!
No it's gonna be big so we can live in the camper and cycle side by side.
I don't think there's such a thing as recognised cycling equipment in Europe, if it pedals it's a bicycle over here afaik.
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Old 08-07-23, 12:42 PM
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You might want to start here:
https://road-safety.transport.ec.eur...ir-vehicles_en

Then refer to the respective laws of each country being ridden through.

Some notable points in the linked site above include:
  • Cyclists must not ride without holding the handlebars with at least one hand, must not allow themselves to be towed by another vehicle, and must not carry, tow, or push objects which hamper their cycling or endanger other road users.
  • In principle, cyclists may not ride more than one abreast. Some countries however introduced exceptions to this rule; for instance, cyclists may ride two abreast where the carriageway is wide enough, where cycle traffic is heavy, on cycle tracks, etc.
  • They are required to use cycle lanes and tracks. They may not, however, use motorways and similar roads.
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Old 08-07-23, 08:14 PM
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There are other trailers that are lighter I wouldn't want to carry that much weight this is an option I had been looking at but unfortunately they never did reach back out to me but I am in the U.S. and speak almost no German and didn't want to use translate as that can suck sometimes: mody-plast.de/produkte/fahrradwohnwagen

I think a Bosch equipped bike could potentially pull it but it would be some work even as a tandem set up it would be a pretty heavy set up.
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Old 08-07-23, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
There are other trailers that are lighter I wouldn't want to carry that much weight this is an option I had been looking at but unfortunately they never did reach back out to me but I am in the U.S. and speak almost no German and didn't want to use translate as that can suck sometimes: mody-plast.de/produkte/fahrradwohnwagen

I think a Bosch equipped bike could potentially pull it but it would be some work even as a tandem set up it would be a pretty heavy set up.
I've got absolutely no use for something like this but it's clearly well thought out. You don't have to put all the options on and a minimal configuration shouldn't be an onerous load. The designer clearly understands that its creating an airfoil shape that makes something like this possible. Also 26" diameter wheels.
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Old 08-09-23, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FergM
Hi all,
I'm hoping to find out if this idea is viable.

My wife and I want to tour Europe using a dual recumbent configuration while towing a camper (loaded weight 500 lbs).

So the idea is we would sit side by side on a custom built recumbent/trike while towing the camper.

Speed is of little concern as we will be staying in spots for weeks at a time.

Would anyone have any ideas on whether or not it's possible for 2 people to tow a 500 lbs camper or if it might be a better idea to go electric?

All input gratefully received.
A couple things of note.

1. There may be nay-sayers of your plans and dreams. I think it is OK to hear them for the reason of making you think. I think that is an issue a lot of dreamers don't do - analyze their dreams and bring them closer to reality. That said, keep dreaming and planning. You have set your mind on something. I am sure there is a way to do it. Just heed the issues that are brought up and at least consider them. Consider the other angle that what ever issue is presented may direct you to. When you spin things around and look at them from behind or sideways you see them in different perspectives - ones you may not have considered.

2. Look up Tony Adams. Oddly enough, he was just here in town about 2 weeks ago. I caught on to him when he was in the next state over somehow. He is headed east from Colorado. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to meet him in person myself. Someone at work asked me about him. Come to find out he was at the Lowes and Walmart here.

Tony travels around the US with such a trailer camper and trike. Check him out. Here is a link to get you started:
https://www.bethanyclipper.com/headl...rrison-county/

Best of luck to you!
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Old 08-09-23, 07:55 PM
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I think something more along the lines like this one piece with e assist.


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Old 08-10-23, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie
I think something more along the lines like this one piece with e assist.


Interesting idea. However, in the US I don't think a "bicycle" can have more than 3 wheels. Same goes for a "motorcycle". If it has 4 wheels then there are much more stringent requirements with meeting certain automotive standards. Paul Elkins ran in to that trying to design a super fuel efficient 4 wheel car using ATV/motorcycle parts. He could not get it registered because it did not meet the regulations. For him to re-design it with sufficient automotive parts would have made it heavy and impractical beyond what the concept he was going after was all about.

It would be worth checking regulations.

That said, I think in some places in Europe 4 wheel Velomobiles are used somewhat commonly. The benefit to 4 wheels is the added stability, of course.
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Old 05-12-24, 12:24 PM
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FergM What did you end up getting? Did it work out as planned?
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