I love the idea of one of these Bushtrekka bike trailer tents. I can see them appealing to people who would otherwise not consider cycle camping (maybe especially if sleeping on the ground does not appeal due to the nightlife – is it important to sleep off the ground in the bush?).
My main concern is that it will be a lot slower than cycle camping without a trailer.
- 2 (or maybe 4) extra wheel tracks
- loads of windage
- about 15kg extra weight (before you add a flysheet to it – which with the current climate is close to essential nearly all year in the UK). Actually you will probably add a lot more weight given you have the space.
It will also be a problem in terms of train transport (maybe even car transport). On the other hand train transport for cycle touring in the UK is pretty impossible for families anyway (due to restrictions on the number of bikes on so many trains).
On the other hand with a very mixed ability family it can be helpful to balance out perceived effort. 18 months ago we had our oldest son towing a 40kg trailer (he had 2 panniers as well) so that he did not go charging off too fast and was satisfied with the distances Mum and Dad could manage (we were on a recumbent tandem trike towing a Trets trailer bike with an 8 year old who took advantage of being hidden behind the luggage to not pedal a lot).
But as a family we did realise that cutting down weight would a high priority for achieving an even better cycle camping holiday (eg I got into big trouble for taking a camera tripod). One problem we had not expected though was the rarity that we passed anywhere selling anything, we ended up diverting to buy basics such as milk, such is the lack of village shops (and garages moving to out of town locations) – so I would expect to need to carry more food than in the past (still we carried far too much anyway).
Of course the Bushtrekker is not designed for a British family in the UK. Maybe for long distance solo campers in the US or Australia it will have a lot of appeal – although that loss of speed (which boils down to less miles and more effort) would make me think long and hard. If off surfaced roads then all those wheels to drag over bumps and loose surfaces is exhausting just to think about.
Still very interesting and innovative, I would love to see one of these. For a retired couple on a recumbent tandem trike a double bed version might be great for long periods of touring – that gives over 20 years for them to perfect the design and halve the weight ready for us to use