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The Wacky World of Bike Trailer Tents Part 1

by Josh Lipton

As I scrape the edges of the internet for all things related to bike trailers I’ve come across a surprising variety of bicycle trailers with tents built into them. The amount of design that has been put into these towable shelters is at the same time impressive and a bit odd.

When it comes to tents and bike trailers it would seem to me that the simple, obvious solution is to just bring along one of the numerous lightweight backpacking tents. That being said let’s humor these interesting setups with the spirit of invention.

The first trailer I’ll mention actually does seem to have some well thought out function for it’s intended user.

This bike trailer designed by Tony Hoar of Tony’s Trailer has been developed specifically as a shelter solution for homeless. This trailer unit converts from a large capacity bike trailer to an elevated tent in minutes. In it’s bike trailer mode, the trailer has a large cargo area with side rails that keep items contained within. For conversion to tent use, the cargo area of the trailer flips backward doubling its length into a raised platform. The siderails function as legs of the extended base. A built in tent erects around the platform in minutes. What emerges is a platform that is off the ground and shielded from weather.

Bike Tent Trailer 1Bike Tent Trailer 2Bike Tent Trailer 3

It seems like a great solution though its implementation among the homeless will likely be difficult unless the price could be brought down to a few hundred dollars.

While such a trailer could be helpful if it was affordable, it seems that looking into just making basic low cost trailer option might be a better starting point in terms of enabling bicycles to become better transportation tools for the economically disadvantaged. I discuss the Idea of a lower priced bike trailer as well as show plans for do it yourself bike trailer designs.

 
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6 Responses to “The Wacky World of Bike Trailer Tents Part 1”

  1. How many words may I submit. I have accumulated quite an inventory of touring secrets I would like to pass on. I WILL open my own website devoted to the subject.
    I own a BOB. I have toured 7,500 miles in the last year and a half. I bicycle to Mexico for the winters, at present.
    The BOB has been fine. The bicycle, on the other hand has needed numerous modifications to be able to carry the weight I impose on it. 120 gauge spokes on the rear wheel are a must. I also have a titanium axle in the rear.
    Recently, I looked into getting a titanium mountain bike frame made. I found out that I cannot buy, at any price, the machine I need. I recently wore through the rear drop-out on the drive side. I am having to use an old Specialized Hard Rock frame. It turns out that this frame is the FIRST production model mountain bike.
    I could go into WHY I needed this older frame, but there is not enough time. I’ll start with how I know I need 26 inch wheels. The timing of popping spokes and cracking frames has coincided with adding extra air pressure to my rear tire. Pneumatics were invented as an auxiliary spring. They are a good and necessary shock absorber when carrying a heavy load.

  2. Tony Hoar says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    It actually started out for cyclists but it was soon apparent that it would work for the homeless,

    Ten were built and donated (via my private charity)over a period of two years with interesting results.
    It did however really help the homeless.
    If you go to my website cargo section you will see the BInPicker in its test program.
    This was developed for the street people who didn’t need the tent trailer. It works very well as also does the Flat Deck.
    A group in Victoria which includes U-Vic, Compassion Victoria and VIPERG are putting together a program to put a fleet of 10 tent trailers on the streets as part of a research project to evaluate the impact on the Binner’s lives of this type of shelter/tool.
    We will also be trying to get the Binners better access to the recyclables
    The use of a good trailer increases the Binner’s revenues and some are in the process of buying trailers on my local microcredit scheme at reduced prices.
    Interesting times as someone once said!
    A recycling project in Duncan. http://www.cowichanrecyclists.com. are running a commercial human powered program using BinPicker trailers. this will be expanded soon.
    to include compost pick-up.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  3. Josh says:

    Tony,

    Thanks for the reply to our post and all the great work you are doing with bike trailers. I am glad to hear you are moving ahead with finding ways to make your tent trailers available to those in need.

    Also great work on your binner cargo trailers. It looks like a very impressive line-up of heavy duty cargo trailers that you are putting together

    Best,
    Josh

  4. [...] in Hawaii mentioned these two sites: Everyone Deserves a Roof and The Bike Trailer Blog (which includes some tariler [...]

  5. [...] prolific with interesting bike trailer ideas over the years. Have a look at this interesting bike tent trailer that we discussed a while [...]

  6. Rob says:

    Here is my idea of a bicycle camping trailer. In the travel pics page you can see my pedalrv trike. I like to travel by bike or or trike but like the comfort of a cot too sleep on. I don’t like the time and aggrivation of setting up a tent.

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