The idea of towing a camper trailer by bike always seemed like too much calf torture for the juice—a lot of weight and bulk behind the rear wheel for a small comfort boost over a much lighter, more packable tent or hammock. But with the advent of e-bikes, towable bike campers are slowly becoming a more attractive (and available) option. The latest is an angular, one-person teardrop made entirely of aluminum and outfitted with automotive camper standards like a solar-powered battery, electric command center, skylight, hanging dishes, and indoor/outdoor table.
With hordes of amazing and affordable campervans and small motorhomes, Europe has long been the world leader in compact motorhome design. And now, as another breed of motor vehicle becomes popular across the continent, it’s also becoming a global leader in the design of an even smaller breed of RV: the bike/e-bike RV.
Roll back the calendar just two years and we’ve seen Germany give us the Mody tear and Scout Transformer while Latvia kicked off a wild bike boat camper. Throw it back a few years and you can count an inflatable two-person twin from Austria and a curvy, foldable teardrop from Denmark.
Now we can add another point to Germany’s tally with the introduction of today’s theme, a solo drop trailer known as Fahrrad Wohnwagen ‘Martha’, brought to life by Wernigerode-based Maxmess Design. The name simply means Bicycle Caravan Martha, but we’ll keep it simple and call it Martha.
The Martha trailer’s design certainly isn’t as pretty or sophisticated as the well-rounded Mody or Wide Path bike campers, but it’s optimized for practicality, not aesthetics. Maxmess admits the shape is just easier to make than a rounder teardrop.
Continuing on this theme, Maxmess chose a 2 m (6.6 ft) body length to make it easier to work with standard 2 m aluminum sheets while maintaining a 195 cm (77 in) internal length to accommodate the 193 x 76 x Supports a 7 -cm (76 x 30 x 2.6 inch) mattress that can sleep an average sized adult. The body of the trailer also measures 100 cm (39 inches) from floor to high ceiling, providing plenty of headroom.
What the Martha trailer lacks in exterior design it makes up for with its cozy, feature-rich interior. While some bike camper manufacturers are content with just giving cyclists a set of walls and maybe a window or a table, Maxmess delivers a more thoughtfully outfitted micro-home. In addition to the included mattress, the Martha comes complete with a small electrical system with a 30Ah battery and 50W solar panel. This battery powers the interior LED reading light, exterior LED taillights, and front vent fan. It also powers USB ports for charging phones, flashlights, and other small electronics. There’s even a simple command center in the doorway that allows users to turn on lights, adjust fan speeds, and access power metrics.
Another handy feature, borrowed directly from the world of motorhomes, is the indoor/outdoor table. It can be set up across the width of the interior, aided by the storage compartments built into the wall, to function as a dining table or laptop desk. Users can also attach the table to the outside of the trailer to hold a stove, french press, mugs, or whatever else they want.
Maxmess keeps the tiny solo trailer from feeling like a tomb by outfitting it with polycarbonate porthole windows on three sides and two skylights on the roof. The top skylight can be opened for better ventilation. The fabric wall covering, meanwhile, provides insulation and a softer, warmer feel than the bare aluminum. The lockable, spring-loaded flap door can be left open in nice weather and serves as a small, integrated awning, much like the tailgate of an SUV or pickup truck.
Other thoughtful touches include integrated straps and holsters for storing included gear like coffee mug and utensils, four interior storage compartments, two externally accessible underbody storage compartments, a clothesline, a carbon monoxide detector and even a weather station with indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity and date /Time. Maxmess classifies the Martha as a three-season motorhome and says it’s working on a heating solution for cold-weather use.
The Martha trailer weighs 50 kg (110 lb) fully equipped and rolls on 24″ wheels that provide 22 cm (8.6″) of ground clearance. It can carry a payload of up to 25 kg (55 lb). The trailer works with bikes compatible with a Weber E-Coupling and has an overall length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) including the tow bar.
Maxmess launched the Martha trailer this summer (Northern Hemisphere) and is currently offering it at a special introductory price of €4,450 (approx. US$4,550). This offer ends next week and from August 1st the price will increase to €4,850 (US$4,950).
This minute-long video shows the Martha trailer on the go.
Exit with the bike caravan
Source: Maxmess Design