Bicycle caravans will always be a heavier, more expensive and less practical alternative to carrying a tent, but thankfully that doesn’t stop people building them. We speak from experience, as our very own QTvan holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest bike caravan.
The latest flight of fancy to enter the bicycle caravan hall of fame is the Hupi Wagon. Named after its Finnish creator, the little trailer might not be quite as small as our own design, but its clever use of aluminium composite panels means it tips the scales at under 70kg while boasting internal dimensions of 195cm long by 100cm wide.
Build your own bicycle camping trailer
A French boat building company is behind the Foldavan – a lightweight bicycle caravan that collapses for easy storage and towing.
Wooden Widget already produces a range of collapsible boats and sailing dinghies that can be towed behind a bicycle and the Foldavan shares many of the same design principles.
Built from wood, carbon fibre and reinforced PVC cloth, the teardrop-shaped Foldavan has three modes. When being stored, or transported on a car roof rack, it collapses flat.
While being towed by a bicycle, it opens to 60 cm – about the same as the width as most handlebars. Once at its destination, it takes less than five minutes to transform the Foldavan into camping mode.
The Foldavan weighs only 30 kg and has a low centre of gravity, which means it can negotiate even quite rough terrain – in high winds, the sides can be unzipped to let the wind pass through.
The Foldavan trailer is available as a set of plans and takes an estimated 50 hours to build. The materials needed are easy to find in varying qualities to suit any budget – A Foldavan can be built for next to nothing using reclaimed timber and second-hand parts.
The carbon footprint of the Foldavan is small because all the materials can be found locally or salvaged. Furthermore, the company plants five trees every time it sells a set of plans.
Start your own cycle camping adventure – we’re giving away an e-bike
The ethical choice
The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.
The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.