Bicycle camper van? Build your own

If the sudden onset of seasonal weather this weekend leaves you undecided over whether to get out on your bicycle or spring clean your house, why not combine the two?

Golden Gate bicycle RV

Jay Nelson has combined his love of cycling with stuff he had lying around his house to build Golden Gate – a tiny mobile camper big enough to carry two surfboards on its roof and enough gear to stay away for a weekend.

The steep hills around his home town of San Francisco meant he soon upgraded to a small electric motor with a range of 10 miles and a top speed of 20mph, but the Golden Gate rightfully deserves its place in our cycle camper hall of fame.

Cycle camper hall of fame

Custom cardesigner Andy Saunders crammed a four seats, a cooker, sink, table and bed into what he has dubbed a ‘cramper van’.

pedal-powered camper van

The Cramper Van joins a growing number of unusual pedal-powered mobile dwellings. The Tricycle House is pedal-powered recreational vehicle (RV) similar to the Cramper Van, but offers even more comfort because it boasts its own bath and shower.

Bicycle RV tricycle house

Each piece of the tiny house is made from lightweight plastic that has been cut with a CNC router, scored, folded and welded into shape. The polypropylene plastic bodywork can expand like an accordion to create more space, and connect to other houses. The translucent plastic allows the interior to be lit by the sun during the day or street lamps at night.

Tricycle House

The sink, stove, and bathtub are collapsible and stow away at one end of the tiny home.

Bicycle caravans

It might not have a bath like the Tricycle House, but it’s the ideal accessory for cyclists who demand luxury on their camping trips. The QTvan is a fully-equipped, single-berth caravan designed to be towed by a bicycle. Its range can be extended considerably by hitching it to an electric bike

QTvan bicycle caravan

The QTvan boasts a full-sized single bed, 19” television, drinks cabinet and tea-making facilities. The ETA commissioned the bicycle caravan to illustrate the efficiency of the bicycle.

Qtvan bicycle caravan

A French boat building company last month unveiled the Foldavan – a lightweight bicycle caravan that collapses for easy storage and towing.

Foldavan bicycle caravan

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.

Foldavan bicycle caravan

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.

Cycle insurance from the ETA offers a comprehensive level of cover at a competitive price and includes up to 90 days European plus 60 days worldwide cover as standard.


  1. harriffan


    How can I get one of these? I live in Australia and a mini caravan would be good fun at school! Is there a qt van with a shower? Where can I commission one? How much would it cost? Im 11 to 12 and love small portable comfort. Some advice?

  2. Jacob


    Where can I get one and for how much

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