A French boat building company has unveiled the Foldavan – a lightweight bicycle caravan that collapses for easy storage and towing.
Wooden Widget already produces a range of collapsible boats and sailing dinghies that can be towed behind a bicycle and the Foldavan shares many of the same design principles.
Built from wood, carbon fibre and reinforced PVC cloth, the teardrop-shaped Foldavan has three modes. When being stored, or transported on a car roof rack, it collapses flat. While being towed by a bicycle, it opens to 60 cm – about the same as the width as most handlebars. Once at its destination, it takes less than five minutes to transform the Foldavan into camping mode. Fully-extended, the caravan measures 1.2 m wide and offers over one metre of headroom.
The Foldavan weighs only 30 kg and has a low centre of gravity, which means it can negotiate even quite rough terrain – in high winds, the sides can be unzipped to let the wind pass through.
The Foldavan trailer is available for £30 as a set of plans. It takes about 50 hours to build a Foldavan. The materials needed are easy to find in varying qualities to suit any budget – A Foldavan can be built for next to nothing using reclaimed timber and secondhand parts.
The carbon footprint of the Foldavan is small because all the materials can be found locally or salvaged. Furthermore, the company plants five trees every time it sells a set of plans.
QTvan bicycle trailer
It’s not as practical a proposition as the Foldavan, but the QTvan may be the ideal accessory for cyclists who demand the height of luxury on their camping trips.
Commissioned by the ETA to demonstrate the versatility of the bicycle, the single-berth caravan boasts a full-sized single bed, 19” television, drinks cabinet and tea-making facilities.
The caravan can be towed by most conventional bicycles, but its range can be extended considerably by hitching it to an electric bike
Cycle insurance from the ETA includes new-for-old, third party insurance (in the case of an accident you may need to seek compensation or even deal with a claim by someone else), personal accident cover, race event cover and if you suffer a mechanical breakdown, we will come out and recover you and your bike. Electric bicycles can also be covered. Includes 90 days’ European cover and 60’ days worldwide. Get a quote