All-aluminum ebike camping trailer makes for tiniest, homiest micro RV

Andy-Mat

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Its very tiny, but if the young lady shown was also present, I might get over my hate for tiny tight spaces just for once!

regards to all
Andy
 
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guerney

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I like the look of that (and her) too, but it weighs 50kg and with it's max payload, it'd weigh 75kg. It felt a little scary towing 65.5kg in total yesterday.

I like how they angled the video to suggest she's cycling uphill. Steep hills won't be easy towing - she'd need chunkier legs.

 
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Andy-Mat

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I like the look of that (and her) too, but it weighs 50kg and with it's max payload, it'd weigh 75kg. It felt a little scary towing 65.5kg in total yesterday.

I like how they angled the video to suggest she's cycling uphill. Steep hills won't be easy towing - she'd need chunkier legs.

You make a good point, I wonder is there are other, lighter, materials, that could be used instead. Plywood and strong glues spring to mind, for the frame. A bit like building the DH Mosquito, in WW2.
regards
Andy
 

guerney

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You make a good point, I wonder is there are other, lighter, materials, that could be used instead. Plywood and strong glues spring to mind, for the frame. A bit like building the DH Mosquito, in WW2.
regards
Andy
I think it's light considering the solar panels, electrics and it's size. The cabin may even have an insulation layer. Woodworm would be nightmare possibly, as would all the creaking, but I'm sure it's possible.
 

Andy-Mat

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I think it's light considering the solar panels, electrics and it's size. The cabin may even have an insulation layer. Woodworm would be nightmare possibly, as would all the creaking, but I'm sure it's possible.
Sapele, for one (there are several), is impervios to woodworm, simply too hard. Also, any frame needs to be correctly built, to prevent flrxing and movement and therefore noise.
There is a method, using overlaying, (exterior plywood or marine plywood ) thin sheets of ply and epoxy resin, to built very strong and light, racing boat hulls, which results in basically a "one piece" hull. If that method was adapted, I am sure that strength and lightweight would be no problem at all.....As it in itself, does not need any metal at all.....
It would need more hours, so it would be more expensive, but a private person could easily do or the work for themselves.....just a thought!
Best wishes
Andy
 
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guerney

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I'd keep the metal frame and support legs, dispense with the cabin (too heavy!) and use the platform to host an adapted/custom pop up tent (this could be stowed underneath the platform in a box), or simply a bivvy. The solar panels on the platform could be protected by a fold over layer of marine plywood - hinge over half from either end? I'd deffo keep the slide out camping gas stove table and the lovely lady - I wouldn't kick her out of the tent...
 
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jimriley

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Would it be more aerodynamic to tow this the other way round, rather than shifting air with the slab front?
Would 1.5mm Ali sheet with some struts not be lighter than ply? Possibly insulated with foil bubble insulation? Covered with nice flock wallpaper obvs.
 

Andy-Mat

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Would it be more aerodynamic to tow this the other way round, rather than shifting air with the slab front?
You would probably need some very sensitive instruments to prove there was a difference, and it would also be very minor at the speeds usually reached by a legal e-bike. My guess is that the front is heavier than the rear, and as almost anyone who has towed a trailer will tell you, its better to be slightly "nose" heavy. If its the other way around, "tail" heavy causes most trailer to swing back and forth.
Would 1.5mm Ali sheet with some struts not be lighter than ply? Possibly insulated with foil bubble insulation? Covered with nice flock wallpaper obvs.
Do a simple test:-
1) throw a sheet of aluminium into water. Does it sink? Answer, of course it does!
2) Do the same with a similar sized (W x L x H) piece of ply, does it float? Yes it floats!!!
Conclusion? (I trust you can work that out for yourself!)
Furthermore, the ply is naturally "stiffer" than the Alu, meaning it is often a far better materieal to carry loads better, and can also be considerably lighter.....
regards and best wishes.
Andy
 

jimriley

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You would probably need some very sensitive instruments to prove there was a difference, and it would also be very minor at the speeds usually reached by a legal e-bike. My guess is that the front is heavier than the rear, and as almost anyone who has towed a trailer will tell you, its better to be slightly "nose" heavy. If its the other way around, "tail" heavy causes most trailer to swing back and forth.

Do a simple test:-
1) throw a sheet of aluminium into water. Does it sink? Answer, of course it does!
2) Do the same with a similar sized (W x L x H) piece of ply, does it float? Yes it floats!!!
Conclusion? (I trust you can work that out for yourself!)
Furthermore, the ply is naturally "stiffer" than the Alu, meaning it is often a far better materieal to carry loads better, and can also be considerably lighter.....
regards and best wishes.
Andy
What twaddle!
Ride any distance sitting up, into a headwind, then with drop handlebars. End slab is 2 or 3 times your frontal body area. My built in resistance calculator tells me that, no fancy instruments needed.
Silly me, I forgot, a pound of feathers is heavier than a pound of steel! It's about gm/sqm to be accurate. Sides are not load bearing, the base is, so base would be ply. You are suggesting using 1.2mm ply or 3mm ali?
Noseweight is adjustable by axle position.
Conclusion - hmm, not sure about your mechanical ability. ;) :D:D:D

I wonder how a piece of laminated caravan side panel would equate in gm/sqm, pre painted thin ali/foam/plywood/finish all in one, sourced from a caravan scrapyard? They also sometimes have dinky double glazed windows and rooflights/vents.
Are caravan floors solid ply or a honeycomb inner???
 
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Stanebike

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Would it be more aerodynamic to tow this the other way round, rather than shifting air with the slab front?
The most aerodynamic shape is the teardrop. The cross section area near the front is greater than near the back. Angling the roof down towards the back will reduce the cross section area at the rear and should reduce drag. But to be really effective each corner would also need to have a radius rather than a sharp edge. As Andy has pointed out at the speeds ebikes travel the aerodynamic affects would be low, but still potentially significant I think. After all why would all those Lycra clad road bike riders who keep up a 20mph average speed use such uncomfortable looking drop handlebars if it wasn’t for the aerodynamic advantage of their lower profile.

Edit
Jim I see you have already used the drop handlebar reasoning while I was writing my post. :)
 
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Andy-Mat

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What twaddle!
Well you started it, but I did not treat your twaddle, as Twaddle! I tried to point you in the right direction.....but all you have mentioned as "being the way to go", is real Twaddle!!
Ride any distance sitting up, into a headwind, then with drop handlebars. End slab is 2 or 3 times your frontal body area. My built in resistance calculator tells me that, no fancy instruments needed.
Aerodynamics is not your strong point, is it?
If you take a simple plane wing, you will soon notice that it is thicker at the front, and tails off much thinner at the back, roughly the same as the trailer was designed.
This is because not only is the weight distribution important, as I previously mentioned, but also a large frontal area, but trailed at the back as you would like to do, causes a partial vacuum that is drag. The trailer manufacterer has designed the trailer, this way round, to reduce this drag to a minimum.
It actually works out to be far better to "push" the larger area first through the air, as it causes less drag at the front, than it would at the rear.
Strange but true!
The Royal Navy, sometime in the 1930's, decided to test drag on the then MK 8 Torpedo, and they designed basically 3 different nose cones. One cut off flat, one rounded and one heavily pointed. The drag results were (as in air), only microscopically different to each other, because water, as air, does the best to flow past the nose and "correct" any form's shape.
BUT, the major difference was found to be how the rear end was shaped, as it had a much larger drag effect, so the stern of the torpedo was designed not only to reduce drag, using twin rotating propellors, but the exhast from the 400PS Oxygen breathing Diesel engine, was aldo funnelled through the prop shaft, to reduce drag even more!
Which is of course why many cars have spoilers, to reduce the drag at the rear of their cars.....
Silly me, I forgot, a pound of feathers is heavier than a pound of steel! It's about gm/sqm to be accurate. Sides are not load bearing, the base is, so base would be ply. You are suggesting using 1.2mm ply or 3mm ali?
Noseweight is adjustable by axle position.
Conclusion - hmm, not sure about your mechanical ability. ;) :D:D:D
Actually, I am more worried about your lack of knowledge demonstrated openly here, than my mine!! Do remember, that the sides have to support the base, to prevent collapse!!
I wonder how a piece of laminated caravan side panel would equate in gm/sqm, pre painted thin ali/foam/plywood/finish all in one, sourced from a caravan scrapyard? They also sometimes have dinky double glazed windows and rooflights/vents.
Are caravan floors solid ply or a honeycomb inner???
My personal taste would be the so called wet epoxy and ply method, as it is much stiffer, and physically stronger than alu sheet in any form, which is why few boats are every built of Alu when they need strength and a very low weight, simply because it is far too pliable, and requires masses of bracing, therefore extra weight, just as the trailer manufacturer has apparently done, which explains the basic weight they have achieved.
If you read the following article:-
Lightweighting a Plywood Canoe – Eureka 15kg (36lbs)
You will see that 15Kg and even one of less than 9 Kg., were designed and made, in a very simple ply and epoxy method.
These canoes are quite a lot longer than the trailer, so comparison can easily be made, that a trailer using the same method, could also be built far lighter than the trailer we are discussing, but of course, it would cost more to make.
Reference is made by some others who build canoes, to them even using carbon fiber (used in the structure of modern racing cars) and Epoxy, a quick look around on the web and you can find much more about strong and lightweight designing!!
Alu is not the lightest building material, but maybe the cheapest.
If there are any parts of what I have written here, that you still do not understand, ask an engineer!
I thoroughly enjoyed your comments though, as they all gave me a damn good laugh, so many thanks for that! :)o_O:)o_O
Happy weekend
Andy