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Bed/tent fold-out on top of a trailer?

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Bed/tent fold-out on top of a trailer?

Old 03-02-21, 03:57 PM
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Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

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Bed/tent fold-out on top of a trailer?


I am getting back to my bike trailer idea here. As I am working through things I am entertaining the thought of a shelter and sleep system that folds out from the deck/top of the trailer. One of the quick obvious methods is a cot tent. Kamp-Rite makes a few. The Original I think would be the easiest to work with as it has 2 legs. However, it is 12" shorter for head room than the Oversize. The Oversize looks a lot more complicated to set up - it has 4 legs, straps, and poles that have to be attached.

Part of the thought with the pop-up/fold-out style shelter/sleep system is efficiency during stops = quicker to park and camp and get up and roll.

Kamp-Rite did make a bike trailer with a tent cot integrated together at one point - the Midget Bushtrekka. They had problems with the axles, as far as I remember (there are reviews online that talk about the shortcomings of the design) so they stopped making them. Instead of redesigning it they stopped producing them entirely.

The Bushtrekka trailer idea is somewhat what I am wanting to go after, just with my own design of trailer.

As of right now the trailer box will be 24" wide x 24" high x 60" long. I am not entirely bound to those dimensions, however the one constraint I want to stick to is close to the 24" width. That was chosen as a balance between rolling width (track width will be wider - the wheels will be mounted outside of that) and cargo box volume. As part of the flexibility in designing, however - an example of what room I am more than willing to do is have fold-out "wings", hitch tongue extension, etc. to make for a larger shelter "foot print". However, keeping in mind the speed and efficiency of setting up - I don't know how increasing the footprint will allow for more room for a better shelter. The intent is to get away from the traditional pole and fabric tent form - which is where, for example, the Kamp-Rite tent cots come in to play. Their "glorified lawn chair" folding form is breaking away from that traditional pole tent + fabric structure.

Food for thought/discussion - one idea I thought of as I was typing this is, perhaps, to use an easily set up traditional tent with a folding panel trailer attachment that allows the tent to be attached to the panel system and folded up inside it. That doesn't ease up on the setting up of the poles, but it does save the effort of folding up the fabric and rolling it up, then stuffing it in a sack.

As far as the stability of the elevated structure goes - my idea is to have legs on the trailer (not sure if I want to do a tripod or quad pod design) that extend out like leveling jacks on an RV, just much smaller/lighter, and also have a method of guying the structure down in case it was windy. The root of this thought is a lot of the trails I have been on have a nice trail surface, but as soon as you get off the trail the ground slopes. Think rail trails and canal towpath trails. By having the ability to drop legs and create a level surface for a shelter I would have almost unlimited options. Of course, keeping the legs from sinking and settling over time in to soft ground would be important also.
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