Micro airstream bike camper

 

Plans are now available!

 

Bicycle Camper Prototype

Bicycle Camper Prototype

I learned a lot from my last bicycle camper prototype. One thing I didn’t like was the limited room in the tapered front, which made turning around inside rather difficult. The idea to make a bicycle camper with the resemblance of an airstream nose came to me a while back, but instead of making a full scale mock-up like my previous project, I decided first to make a 1/4 scale model. Again, this frameless arced design is borrowed from the ‘Emergency Homeless Shelter’ design and build techniques.

IMG_6394 The model proved that the main body, minus the floor and rear wall, would only need two 4x8ft sheets of 4mm thick fluted plastic.

I originally thought of using plywood for the rear door but opted for light weigh Coroplast.

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The wheels could be 20″ front bicycle wheels. I show a flexible solar panel for charging personal devices, LED lights and such.

BUILDING THE REAL THING!

 

    I had 5 recycled full size campaign signs kicking around, so I decide to finally make the camper.

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After sitting in the dome area I decided to eliminate the front storage compartment and have it so I would sit against the front wall and face the rear door. I had forgotten how difficult it was turning around to face forward in the narrow mock-up. In doing this I would loose the desk top and some storage, but the view and roominess would definitely be better.

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Another panel is added. Unlike my Homeless Emergency Shelter, I used small zip ties to join the panels together. Later I  added 2″ white Duct tape over the outside seams.

IMG_6474 For the frame I used six 1″x2″ pine boards purchased for under a buck apiece.  The cheap electrical plate wheel supports was not my idea, but borrowed and modified from a trailer design I saw on the internet. Thanks to the person who thought of this!
The front wheel weighs 3.5 pounds and the rear wheel 4.5 pounds. The wheels and frame together weigh 18 pounds at a total cost of under $40.

IMG_6534The hammock bed used 2 layers, the first using four 18″ by 24″ campaigns signs. The second was a solid sheet of fluted plastic.

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 At under 45 pounds, with the 3″ thick foam pad and cabinets, it pulled very easily. I am however going to need a longer mirror arm to see around the shelter.  I came up with this simple tow bar made from 1/2″ electrical conduit and a swiveling ball joint. It works great and the bike can be laid down flat.

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The upward swinging door makes for a nice sun shade and light rain protector.

Here it is with a semi camo rattle-can paint job. I used Krylon fusion paint that’s meant for plastic. I used this on my Homeless Emergency Shelter and it’d held up now for four years. Unfortunately it doesn’t stick to well to Duct tape. Maybe if I used Vinyl tape? The door wall is reminiscent of my Homeless Emergency Shelter having a round window that opens, except this window is made of opaque coroplast. Once the wheel chucks are installed the front legs are swung down.

My shoes store nicely at the foot of the 3″ thick foam pad. The lower storage tub is for heavy items.

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The dome wall makes for a nice back rest. The music acoustics are great.

The skylight or upper vent is a recycled gallon bucket. Ample calking was added around the edges. A Plexiglas window was added to the lid. For keeping cool another lid can be added that has bug screen instead of Plexiglas.

The skylight or upper vent is a recycled gallon drywall bucket. Ample calking was added around the edges. A hole was added to the lid and a Plexiglas view port riveted on. More calking was added. For keeping cool another lid can be added that has bug screen instead of Plexiglas. I was going to add a small circulation fan but never got around to it.  Maybe this summer.

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I used spray-on Elmers glue to attach the bubble insulation. Later I added the 2″ wide chrome colored duct tape to the seams.

(After several years the chrome tape is starting to fall down. To do it again I’d use gorilla duct tape.)

  The two upper Coroplast cabinets, although small and light weight, are strong and hold a fair amount of items.

This little drawer is actually my favorite detail in the camper.

Although I’m not an advocate of Walmart worker practices, I reluctantly found my speakers there for cheap.

If you buy a dollar meal you can also order a cup of ice. Place the ice in a zip lock bag, stick it in your little cooler and you have a micro frig for a day.

Plans are now available for this camper. I’ve also added lessons and improvements in the plans.

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