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Tiny Living on a Bike

 
garden master
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I have been reading Early Retirement Extreme, and I am quite convinced at this point that owning a car is expensive in terms of health, money, and the environment. However, because I also don't want to be paying rent for housing, while I am gaining experience, before I eventually start my own permaculture projects sometime in the future, I need an alternative for housing and transport. Jakob Lund Fisker in ERE makes an awesome argument for bicycling, and low and behold, Barry Howard is an example that I can look to for how to live as a nomad with a bike. He has a blog called the Aimlessly Wandering Artist, where he shares his journey and passions. I think this will be what I aspire to live in and travel in, sometime in the near future after I graduate college.



Barry Howard is awesome, and I really think what he is doing is an ideal solution for me.

At Tiny House Talk, they had an article about this guy, and these are some pictures of his caravan.





 
gardener
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That is so cool. Made from recycled materials too. To move long distances it could simply be put on a truck.
 
pollinator
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The Dwelling Portably books have some good ideas about bikes and stealthy living.

https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/2336/
 
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Looks great and very well made. Did not read about the trailers weight, though I expect it to be in the 70-100 kg area. So uphill might be a challenge with it?
 
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Driving 100kg of load uphill with a bicycle is possible (but not fun). Someone with welding skills could build the trailer and bike into a tricycle, thus avoiding the risk of tipping over.
 
Dave Burton
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I am thinking that, with black locust wood, this could be a very durable and long lasting shelter.

Jan White wrote:The Dwelling Portably books have some good ideas about bikes and stealthy living.

https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/2336/



Thank you! This will go on my reading list! And I looked around the website some, and I'm really like the publisher Microcosmpublishing.
 
pollinator
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If you're trying to maximize cost and comfort, you may want to look into travel trailers.  As long as you have a place to park you are set up pretty good, and some states have permanent licensing (or trip permits for $30 or so every time you move)

Getting around the cost of licensing and insurance with a motorized vehicle is the biggest thing to do.

If you are spending a lot of time there, you will really want a solar setup, some propane, a little space, and some wall insulation...

A small space can be very comfortable when you put in the time to make it all fit your lifestyle!
 
Dave Burton
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Eric Thompson wrote:
Getting around the cost of licensing and insurance with a motorized vehicle is the biggest thing to do.



That was one of the biggest things in ERE that kind of turns me off from vehicle ownership and why I am now starting to look into tiny living with a bike. I don't want to be paying money every month for insurance, and then every year for inspections and registration, or even pay for gas to fill up the tank.
 
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Mike Homest wrote: I expect it to be in the 70-100 kg area. So uphill might be a challenge with it?



I guess at least double that.
An e bike and solar panels on trailer roof could be a nice upgrade.
I'd love to have something like this but living at sea level on a volcano,  everything is uphill so for me would have to have a motor.
 
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i have thought about this too
could go either way but it would be luxury to have something like this as youre platform to build on
https://www.carlacargo.de/en/
luxury as in they cost like 5000 or so who know what the shipping would come to

on the other hand this guy builds some nice ones using election signs and the like


i might do this some day
would love to tour around lake superior etc

i bought this:
https://www.wicycle.com/products/bike-trailers/boat-woody-wagon

and have used it with my heavy royalex canoe.. no problems
i bent it while transporting culverts but that was partly due to the pressure of the weight pressing in the middle as opposed to being spread more towards the wheel
still love the product though it was only bent due to being way over the rating
 
Dave Burton
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I was doing some YouTube searching, and I came across another cool possibility for living out of a bicycle. Harry Dwyer made a bicycle mobile home, mostly from reused materials.

 
pollinator
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I like this. I follow youtube videos on such subjects since a few years. I had the idea to make something like a foldable tent-home to pull behind the bicycle. I'm only one (female) person, over 60 of age, with an ordinary pedal-powered bicycle, so I don't want it to be heavy.
I have lots of ideas, made drawings, but I'm not that handy with metal or wood. So probably my plans will never really come to life. But I like seeing videos and pictures of others doing it.
 
Dave Burton
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Hmm... I was trying to figure out a way that something lightweight and compact could be made.

I'm thinking that maybe, kind of like how some people make their own outdoor gear. a cloth version of this pop-up camper could be made.

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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This was my design for the foldable tent-home. Yes, it's small. It isn't meant for living all year round. The idea was to travel through Europe.
 
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Although I agree that the camper-trailer on a bike is adorable, it's incredibly impractical.  Just the problem of going uphill is a deal killer, as no matter the gearing, there is a limit to the amount of mass that an adult on a bike can safely or effectively petal up any grade over about 3 degrees.  The owner would either start having to carry a tiny rope/winch combo to ascend the steep hills, or call a friend with a car.  Also, a combined tiny house/green transportation solution already exists; it's called a "coastal cabin cruiser".  Mount a bike rack on one of those, and petal around any coastal city as you like.  Or take the bus.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Creighton Samuiels wrote:Although I agree that the camper-trailer on a bike is adorable, it's incredibly impractical.  Just the problem of going uphill is a deal killer, as no matter the gearing, there is a limit to the amount of mass that an adult on a bike can safely or effectively petal up any grade over about 3 degrees.  The owner would either start having to carry a tiny rope/winch combo to ascend the steep hills, or call a friend with a car.  Also, a combined tiny house/green transportation solution already exists; it's called a "coastal cabin cruiser".  Mount a bike rack on one of those, and petal around any coastal city as you like.  Or take the bus.


Hi Creighton. I agree with what you write about the weight. My bicycle was fully packed for a three weeks trip (without a trailer, all was on the bicycle), but I wasn't able to pedal up the hills in the southern part of the Netherlands, I had to push the heavy bike walking next to it.
A 'coastal cabin cruiser' would be a very nice tiny house. It costs much more than my bicycle and camping equipment, but I wouldn't need a (rented) house anymore if I had one.  Most of them have a diesel engine ... I would like to find one I can row.
The bus isn't an option, I can't take my fully packed bicycle with the bus. In the train maybe
 
Dave Burton
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As demonstrated by Barry Howard and many others, I think living out of a bicycle is a reasonable and practical alternative means of living.

Here are some other awesome fully human-powered bicycle camper trailers:

Another pop-up version!



A collapsible one!



A non-collapsible one!



There are some bigger human-powered bicycle campers out there:


 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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Here's another one:
 
 
gardener
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That’s a cool idea!

I live in a camper shell on the back of my truck for ~ 6 months at a time when I’m not at te ranch, and have lived in a backpacking tent for 3+ months in the past while hiking.

I totally support the bike idea, but just wanted to make the point that the expense of a vehicle is a little less detrimental when it is in place of rather than in addition to your housing cost. Last I heard, Jacob ovr at ERE was living in an RV.

One thing to consider is how likely you are to end up spending extra money to compensate for lack of comfort/convnience. For instance, it can get tiresome to cook, keep warm, use the restroom, etc. This is a particular danger if you are stealth camping in towns or you are on the road a lot. Alas, some of the cheapes foods like dried legumes can take a long time and relatively a lot of fuel to cook, especially if you are relying on small propane stoves. Building campfires every day is ofte impractical.

I highly recommend investing in a merino wool base layer. Keeps you warm, doesn’t get smelly like synthetics tend to. Depending on where you will be, a 24-hour gym membership fo showers can be worth it.
 
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