has anyone ever lived in a bicycle camper (1 Viewer)

Jan 17, 2016
have any of you ever lived in one? i am thinking about buying or making one. i just am trying to figure out how safe it is. looking to live in a walmart parking lot or rest area? someplace. living in a tent right now in the rain is getting to me.
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plastic wingnut in a microwave
Sep 23, 2009
folks who know me have my #.
More on thread than what follows below: @Hillbilly Castro has some threads on his homebuilt bicycle campers.. very, very usefull stuff.. kind of amazing, actually : )

hopefully i'm not misunderstanding.. i thought at first it was setting your tent up that was the bitch, since you sound like you're on a bike..
that's how i wrote what's below..
if it's just *being* in a tent that's a drag, well.. that's tougher..
anyways, just a general FYI:

if setup is the bitch, something that might be of use, if you have a bike & can manage to pack it functionally, is a 'pop tent'..
i haven't seen any newer configurations that erect (2 seconds, no shit, i have one i've been using for years) AND recompress as quickly as the classic 'U' type, but the fuckers are GREAT!!!
from wikipedia, in the article "Tent" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent )

"The pop-up tent is a recent innovation. This type of tent is equipped with built-in very flexible hoops so that when the tent is unpacked, it springs into shape immediately, and so is extremely easy to set up. Such tents are usually single-skinned and are generally aimed at the one-season or children's end of the market; their high flexibility makes them unsuitable for use in windy situations. After use the tent is packed down into a thick disc shape."

the reference is not entirely accurate; these tents have rainflys (takes a few moments more to deploy), and should not read "one-season or children's" but "are generally of temperate season design. Smaller versions are suitable for children's use."

for a general look at the geometry of various versions, look here:
i can't vouch for their assessments, but the pics and descriptions are fair.

models 10 & 4 are typical of "toss & erect".. just throw the fuckers in the air, & they come down almost ready to use, like something out of a Jetson's cartoon.. no fucking shit..
model 7, by coleman *looks* about the same, but never used one exactly like it..

also.. even though this review site says so?
they DO NOT, by any means, fit easily "into" a backpack..
they stow exactly like a 2 & 1/2 foot frisbee, so think more along the lines of stowing a beach chair.. heavier than a bivy tent, for sure, but maybe not that much, but for deployment in 100% darkness or 100% rain?

the fuckers CANNOT be beaten..
def worth dicking around with, to get carriage right..

one last thing, however... recompressing these things is a ***bitch***
pain in
the fucking

until you learn the secret fucking rain dance..
after you learn
seeeecrettt fuckinggg godddamned Rain Dance
(which is actually pretty simple, but takes 4 or 5 fucking hours)
the rest is easy..
if you go this route, be prepared & give yourself a 1/2 day with instructions, to learn.
may take more time to learn than you would ever actually spend in the field (though probably not), but after you know how to, it takes about 30 seconds to pack it, if she's coming off a dry, clean night, with no rain fly.. add a minute to shake & stow the fly.

good luck!!
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Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Jul 28, 2011
Rochester, NY
hey there -moving this to the bicycling touring subforum :) cool stuff - I've seen a couple different homemade rigs go by me. The one guy - I wish I took a pic of - was sooooo spindly - single track and he was broke down (I was working a bicycle festival tent on a late Sunday afternoon) but we were able to get things opened up so he got fixed but it was an amazing set up hehe. - but then you can make it work and build on it!

Will Wood

Apr 9, 2016
There was a fellow living in one in Portland. He said it cost him about 100 bucks. To me it looked like it needed more head room. But very cool..
Aug 22, 2011
Westernville, NY
Yup, I lived in one for a few months once. I've built about five of them total. I have a recent thread where I shared my old blog which I may revive.
Here is a good resource: http://pardo.net/bike/housebike/000.html
Brian is a genius and has lived in his trailers for decades. He's found that the combo of aluminum strut frames, Polyiso rigid foamboard walls, and sheet steel or flashing siding works best. I am not quite sold on the siding, but the foamboard is solid. I personally would side it with Coroplast in the narrowest mm thickness possible. Sabic plastics will sell you single sheets if you say you're a "business" straight out of their distribution warehouses for around $20 per 8' x 4' sheet. Thicker mm's are more - and make decent floors if reinforced with threaded rod.
With the foamboard, it insulates so well your space reaches body temperature quite quickly - you can make it colder through ventilation (and you must ventilate at least somewhat). I've found this to be true even in wet, cold conditions. Humidity can present a challenge but the space is small enough that periodically switching out hanging packets of silca can help that. Maybe a solar powered dehumidifier could work - not sure.
3.5 feet width is ideal - more is too cumbersome. Make only the back end tall enough to sit up in, and go the extra length to make the front short and aerodynamic or you'll be sorry. Wind drafting is real.
Keep total empty weight below sixty pounds. This sounds hard but you can do it.

Big thing: Get a gas engine on your bike. Pedaling these is tough even when light and well-designed. To be a realistic means of living, you must have a motor, IMO, unless you are a single-city homebum or you've figured out Brian's flywheel gearing system in the link above.

Ask me anything - bike mobile homes are my #1 passion in life. If you want to get together (in the southwestern desert, where I'm at and will be for a while) and do a build, I'll help you and maybe we can even do a tour together. I have much bigger ideas for this project once I can find others who are serious and want to get involved - it has been very hard to find anyone though, as the initial investment is high and the construction and design is a serious challenge most can't meet.

Most of all - have fun!
Jan 17, 2016
yeah i am currently home bumming in eugene oregon. i want to stay here and not set up a tent everyday, etc. thanks for all this info, everyone.


Jul 6, 2017
Seaside, OR
Housebike! What a great idea. If solar panels and battery technology gets to a certain point it may very well be an option worth considering. Really freaking cool! Thanks for sharing!

All Who Wander

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Dec 21, 2017
Pismo Beach
I've had an idea for a while now... I saw a collapsing rigid walled ice fishing house on youtube and then saw the uhaul U-Box (like a smaller "Pods" storage container but made of wood) and that set me off...

When I was RV traveling the amount of harassment I got from the cops was extreme, if I was boondocking cops went out of their ways to wake me up, demand to know if somebody inside was having a medical emergency, etc.

I figure if I can find a collapsable quad bike, and build a bike trailer with a 7x5x8 collapsable U-box (I'd get the plastic/vinyal siding with the u-box logo etc) I'd have a perfect stealth camper. You could park the box thing against the alley side of any building and nobody would think twice about it...

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