If it’s going to work in the real world, a bicycle caravan needs to be small enough to stow and be transported easily and yet big enough for real comfort. Yet it mustn’t be too big or you won’t be able to get anywhere with it. It would also be nice if it was cheap to build, was aerodynamic and light so it was easy to tow.
The Foldavan, created by Wodenwidget, is an ingenious teardrop bicycle caravan with three modes. In ‘Stow’ mode it concertinas down to just 21cm so it can be put away easily when not in use. In ‘Road’ mode it extends to 60 cm wide so you can get where you are going with ease. In ‘Camping’ mode it is a full metre wide. With its small and aerodynamic shape and super light weight it is no problem to tow along. At just 30 kilos it is very easy to tow and if it’s windy you can unzip the sides to make it easier to pedal and avoid it being blown over. Despite its top heavy appearance most of the weight is very low down adding to the stability.
On the road, the Foldavan opens to 60 cm. This is about the same as the width of most handlebars. If you can pass with your bicycle you can probably pass with the bicycle trailer. It has a low centre of gravity so it is able to negotiate even quite rough terrain (especially when laden). With a trailer you can carry a lot more stuff than if you only had a bicycle. This increases your comfort levels.
When you arrive at your chosen camp site it takes less than five minutes to put the Foldavan in ‘Camping Mode’, a full metre wide/ 3.3 ft and over a metre of headroom. The thick mattress is in two pieces and ensures extreme comfort and jealous looks from your neighbours. You can camp in places where you wouldn’t be able to pitch a tent. You don’t have to worry about stones poking you in the back, rough or sloping terrain, insects, damp ground, sudden rain etc. If you would like a slightly wider version you can even build the caravan to be a whopping 1.2 metres/ 3.94 ft wide.
Not everyone is going to start their biking holiday from their home base so it is imperative that the Foldavan can pack away small enough so it can be easily carried to another destination. The Foldavan compresses to just 210 mm wide and will fit on most car roof racks. Another advantage of this narrow ‘Stow Mode’ is that your The trailer can be safely stowed away somewhere indoors without it getting in the way when you’re not using it.
The concise illustrated plans cost just £30 (approx. $47) and contain a wealth of information for the first time builder or the experienced alike. Lots of advice on where to find the materials you need. How to work with tools, advice on alternative building options, how to finish your bicycle trailer and lots more.
The materials needed to build a Foldavan are all easy to find almost anywhere in the world in varying qualities to suit your budget. You could make the trailer for next to nothing using reclaimed timber and secondhand parts. It takes about 50 hours to build a Foldavan.
See the bicycle trailer in action:
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