When paired with an electric bike, this tiny camping trailer might be a great green getaway option.
If you're looking to get some of the benefits of a travel camper, without the huge environmental footprint, a bike-towable micro camper might be the way to go, and this one is finally available in the US. We've previously covered the Wide Path camper a few times, and while it looks like a really cool option for the pedal-centric traveler, a quick glance at the empty weight of this foldable camper (40kg / 88lb) raises some questions about just exactly who would be willing and able to pull it behind their bike. However, with the growing number of electric bikes and e-bike conversions on the market, pairing the Wide Path camper with an electrified bike seems like the best fit.
There aren't a whole lot of pull-behind accessories made specifically for e-bikes (though that looks to be an emerging market as electric bike adoption increases), and I haven't seen any consumer electric bikes directly targeting those who want to pull a trailer, other than cargo bikes, but the opportunity is there to pair up an adequately-powered e-bike with a right-sized trailer. Matching up battery capacity, motor size, and gearing correctly for the trailer being hauled and for the most likely riding routes might make it possible to pull something like the Wide Path, which really isn't that heavy when empty. The real issues might be learning how to not add another 50+ pounds of gear to it, and how to ride it down steep grades and in windy weather safely.
According to Wide Path, its bicycle camper is not just for taking to the country with, but is "a mobile house-party easily deployed in urban, suburban, and natural spaces." The company has an optional package with a solar panel, battery, LED lights, and a fan, as well as offering kitchen and outdoor eating packages as upgrades. When open, the trailer measures 280 x 99 cm (110" x 39"), and is 145 cm (57") high inside, with a 200 x 90 cm (78" x 35") sleeping area possible. Once folded, the camper is about 150 cm (59") long, which means that pulling it behind a bike isn't unwieldy, and storing it during the off-season doesn't take up much space.
"Our mobile tiny houses offer instant shelter from the weather, a comfortable bed for up to 2 people, and a convertible space for 4 adults to dine-in, relax, and camp in style.
"The camper’s unique shape and hardshell exterior provide a cozy secure feeling inside and a safe place to store your belongings. With a Wide Path Camper you can enjoy the freedom of taking your bicycle cargo camping trailer, shelter, solar energy source, and social space with you wherever you pedal. " - Wide Path
At the new price of $4000+ (compared with the original pre-order price of $2200), the Wide Path bicycle camper is a significant investment for such a small specialized 'vehicle' that requires another vehicle to tow it, but depending on the intended use (could one live full-time in this uber-tiny mobile house?), it might be a good choice for a low-carbon touring kit if you prefer a hard-shelled mini shelter. However, I can't help but wonder if an electric assist system could be built into the trailer itself for that price, as a way of both decreasing the effective load for the cyclist and increasing the range of the e-bike pulling it.
If you're not ready to pedal a camper behind your bike, but still want a cool foldable camping trailer, Wide Path also makes a small car camper trailer called the Homie, which is available in two widths, as well as a camper module meant to be fitted onto a 3-wheeled Piaggio Ape50 cargo vehicle.
[NB: Before you decide to pull a trailer with your electric bike, be sure to talk to the manufacturer to see what their guidance is on the topic so you don't inadvertently void your warranty or cause future issues with the bike.]