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E Bike for bike-packing?

Old 05-23-19, 10:46 AM
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zurgo2004
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Post E Bike for bike-packing?

As the title suggests, I am asking the wider community here if bike camping is effective on an e bike with an associated bike camper.
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Old 05-23-19, 01:02 PM
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Robert C
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I don't see why not. You mention "bike camper" so I am thinking a trailer of some sort. I plan to put some solar panels on a trailer soon and see no reason that it won't work. I am the guy that put solar panels on a trike, overloaded it, and rode across The Rockies. So, it can be done.
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Old 05-23-19, 02:25 PM
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A camper could enhance the experience since you could incorporate solar panels as above or carry an extra battery.
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Old 05-26-19, 02:35 PM
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Sounds like a fun thing to do but if you're hauling a bike trailer full of gear no doubt you will use almost twice the battery power. Having some solar panels to help keep a spare battery charged sounds like an interesting strategy. E-bike batteries have quite a large capacity so you would need a solar array big enough to supply enough juice if you really want to be able to charge such a large battery. That said I'm not sure it would be worth trying if the array ends up taking up a lot of space, is weight prohibitive or simply can't produce enough current to charge the battery in a reasonable amount of time. ( I'm no expert on solar arrays so someone else with more experience in such things needs to add their two cents ).

Years ago when I was still strong enough I wanted to try bike camping with my mountain bike. I had a particular place in mind but in order to reach it I had to pedal my MTB up a long 2.5 mile long forest road and then along a about a quarter mile section of rocky single track to a very nice little mountain lake. I did this with all my gear packed inside a backpack. Sure was hard as hell pedaling with all that weight on my back but somehow I managed. The pay-off was I had that whole lake to myself once the sun set and that was really cool. Years later I wanted to do it again but didn't think I had the stamina since I had gained weight which would of made it so much harder.

Now if I convert my MTB to e-assist that might once again make such excursions possible again. Of course if I did that I'm going to want a kit with a motor strong enough to help pull the extra load ( 750-1000 watt ). Plus I'd likely buy a small single wheel trailer to hold the gear ( no way I'd put that stuff on my back again...lol ). Just thinking of doing that again is enough to inspire me to convert my MTB over to e-assist. Of course if I did that I'd likely need to run the motor at the 50% assist level ( or more ) which of course lowers your mileage range. How well this would work would depend on how far I would have to ride and the number / length of the climbs I would need to ride. Puts a grin on my face just to think about it.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:56 PM
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Reading Norway is going for electric cars, with tax wavers, might be a good place for electric bikepacking..
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Old 05-27-19, 05:35 AM
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I'm here researching exactly that, although I don't plan to pull a "camper." I'm sure it's feasible. I might pull a trailer, and it's important for my decision-making that I live in an area where I'm sure I can find charging for my battery within a range of about 50 miles (80 km). That's twice as far as I've ever ridden the e-bike between charges. I plan to get a second battery (36 volt, 8 amp hours) because I still don't understand how much solar I would need to charge my battery, but I'm sure I can find charging within that 50 mile range. My specific current issue is how much the weight of my camping gear would affect my range and towing versus on-bike weight. (I'm aware that the engineering is different between towing and cargo weight. Hence, the trailer-towing capacity of a pickup truck is a multiple of the cargo-carrying capacity.)
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Old 05-27-19, 05:47 AM
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I encourage you not to over-estimate your needs. I have COPD and asthma, so I tire much more easily than I once did. I use my bike often for laundry, groceries, and basic transportation. I bought the cheapest e-bike I could (36 volts, 8 amp hours, 250 watt motor) for financial reasons, and worried that it wouldn't be enough. So far, I've had the e-bike about 20 months and never needed more. I'll note that I ride slowly (10 mph in all conditions), as I always have, and I only use the low assist mode.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:35 AM
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This was pretty inspiring: https://electrek.co/2018/09/27/solar...cycle-journey/
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Old 05-28-19, 03:30 PM
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My bikepacking tends to be really in the woods. Going to plug into a tree? Solar panels maybe, extra batteries, time to charge, extra weight? Seems a lot, at least to me. Pack light, set a reasonable pace instead? I'm sure it can be done, but lots of planning for recharging. Seems to me, the whole reason I bikepack is to unplug and recharge my own batteries.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:03 PM
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No reason why you cannot do it. The battery situation may be your only obstacle. Either have an extra battery or power source for the return trip, or just plan your trip where first leg is uphill and second leg is downhill
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