Collapsible bike camper trailer

A friend of mine once told me about a camper that his grandfather had built for his truck. It was about 8x4 and folded out to hold a kitchen, a living space, a batheroom, 2 single bunks, a hammock, and a queen sized air mattress. It was made on a wooden base with canvas for the expansion. I don't really understand the details, but it and stumbleupon gave me a marvelous idea (see picture below for stumbleupon's imput).
I would like to design a bike trailer that uses two bike wheels and is about 3' tall by 4' long  by 2' wide when collapsed, excluding tires and tire attachments. It would fold out with a tent material for walls, and be about 6' by 8' by 4', respectively. I don't know a whole lot about how to support it, but i was thinking something that would slide out on rails, or collapsible poles which would have poles that could come down to an adjustable length at all the corners, then lock as to provide added stability.
A problem i foresee is the tires getting in the way of folding out, so i might want it to be 4' wide to start with and then not have to deal with expanding that way, and just have a method to extend it lengthwise.
I'll be posting an instructable on it when i finish, but i would like some community input on the project as i'm working on it. Flaws in my plan, materials that would be useful, experience in sewing materials, things to consider are all welcome.
I'll also upload pictures of my designs as i go through them. Thanks for reading, and i hope you comment. Unless you just read the end. Then you're lame.


Picture of Collapsible bike camper trailer
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acmuis5 years ago
How about starting with A KampRite tent cot (look it up on google images).
A neighbour and I built bike trailers for hauling our kids way back (before I discovered Instructables or they would be on here). Anyhow we used a frame that was originally for stacking a dryer over a washer, and reconfigured to give a sturdy base for whatever went on top. The cot and your wheels could be attached to that and then a curved bar to your bike - voila! Your other gear would get packed on top of the collapsed tent/cot while you are cycling to your next destination.
Sparkfist5 years ago
Any plans what-so-ever to make an instructables about this? I've seen on your site some more information but would like to see who it would go together.
Having the trailer 4 feet wide will limit where you can take it if you plan on using it on trails. I'd keep it as narrow as possible to allow you access to more remote areas. Why not make it so there is a storage box up to the top of the wheels and put the collapsing part on top of that? Use smaller bike wheels like 16 or 20 inch instead of using a bigger size.
mister2 (author)  CollegeOfMan7 years ago
A good idea, to be sure. Have you thought about the balance issue though? If you make it more narrow and then put the weight higher up, how do you make it sturdy enough to use as a camper, per the original purpose?

Based on what you described you were going to need some form of support to the ground already. I assumed that was already thought of, or implied. The bike itself won't be enough to keep the trailer standing while you're in it. some sort of trailer jack or support would be needed in the front for sure. It wouldn't be hard to make a support for either of the fold out sides either.

Also, the smaller tires and wheels would be getting the center of gravity lower from the start, and with a 16" wheel you'd only be building up 10 inches give or take.