2nd meeting of the community of bicycle caravan trailers

2nd meeting of the fan community of bicycle caravan trailers

As already reported, our friend Moritz from Osnabrück represented us at this year's meeting of the fan community of bicycle caravan builders and users in his own BTurtle bicycle caravan.

We reproduce his report here in key points, especially since it was his first participation in this event in Wünschendorf, which Jörg Patschke organized. We had already participated and reported last year.

Do-it-yourself builders are again coming to the fore in Wünschendorf

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 1jpgIt was amazing again to come across the almost inexhaustible ideas and ideas of the growing community of bicycle caravan builders, above all with regard to their professionalism in the development of many a detail, be it the overrun brakes, the disc brakes or the lighting on the individual vehicles.

While last year the shapes and outlines usually found in the caravan construction sector were clearly recognizable in the majority of models, the picture has clearly changed here too. In the meantime, much more freedom in design is also being learned in terms of shaping, so you can find almost rectangular vehicles that are reminiscent of the uniformity of mobile homes, but also skilful design using a wide variety of materials. We are very excited to see how the development will continue, also with regard to what the legislator will come up with in terms of regulations. Theoretically, child and bicycle trailers can be mounted on any bike to which you can connect a wheel hitch on the rear wheel or the seat post. However, the bike should at least be designed for the weight to be pulled, which is not easy to determine.

Rules and regulations – it's still a mess

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 3There are also regulations as far as width is concerned, such as a trailer usually fits through a bottleneck if you don't offend with extended elbows. Not really a rule or even regulations. The sentence: "The combination of bike and trailer has a larger turning circle, if you have to turn around, it's better to take a left turn" is not really meaningful and helps. Better yet when it comes to lighting, certainly a significant safety issue:

  • To the front: white reflector at least 20 cm² light entry area.
  • to the rear: red reflector at least ...
  • to the side: yellow reflectors at least ...

The following deviating provision applies to Austria alone:

  • In front. From a width of 60 cm, the trailer must have two white attached in pairs

            have reflex reflectors. ...

  • Rear. In addition to the red rear light, a bicycle trailer must have two red ones

            Have “Z” category reflectors. ...

  • Lateral spoke reflectors are possible.

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 4Not easy when it comes to selling bike trailers, as there should be uniform specifications. Also this sentence: "Bicycle trailers for the transport of people must be equipped with a flexible flagpole at least 1.5 m high with fluorescent pennants", only helps to a limited extent, of course it doesn't affect the bike caravan builder, since he doesn't transport any people during the journey.

Incidentally, the regulation on violations of lighting equipment has been expanded to include bicycle trailers or bicycles with sidecars. The fine is still 20 euros.

It is also permitted to attach a bicycle trailer to e-bikes. However, this only applies to pedelecs that travel at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. This means that it is not permitted to attach a bicycle trailer to S-Pedelecs that accelerate up to 45 km/h.

Numerous hints and tips from the community

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 5Even if there aren't "yet" any uniform rules and regulations, as a builder you'll be happy if there are numerous hints and tips for building a bicycle camper. We were grateful for all these remarks, which we are happy to pass on:

- If the trailer drawbar is attached in the area of ​​the rear wheel hub and not at saddle height, this has a beneficial effect on braking power, driving stability and driving comfort. The risk of the train wheel being relieved at the rear when driving downhill or breaking out when cornering is lower.

- There are (still) no concrete technical requirements for the trailer hitch as the most important link between the towing vehicle and the trailer with regard to the mechanics and the material used. Make sure that the coupling is in accordance with the operating instructions and make sure that the connection is secure regularly while driving.

- Additional security against unintentional detachment of the trailer with a breakaway cable.

- If the bike inclines sharply or falls over, a swivel joint in the drawbar prevents the trailer from tipping over.

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 6- An increased air pressure in the trailer tires of more than 2 bar improves the smooth running of the trailer, but at the same time reduces driving comfort. A tire pressure of 1.5 to 2 bar in connection with trailer suspension promotes directional stability and driving characteristics.

- The tire cover protects the body and accessories from flying dirt and spray water. In some cases, it also serves as protection against access to the spoked wheels. If this is removed in whole or in part, this important protection is no longer available

Perhaps a small excerpt from pending regulations that come from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) just as incomprehensibly:

Bicycle trailers must have at least the following lighting equipment

be equipped:

1. acting forward:

a) if the trailer is more than 600 mm wide, with two white reflectors mounted in pairs with a maximum distance of 200 mm from the outer edge,

b) with a trailer width of more than 1 000 mm additionally with a lamp for white light on the left-hand side,

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 72. acting backwards:

a) with a red light tail lamp on the left side if more than 50 percent of the

visible illuminating surface of the bicycle tail lamp is covered by the trailer or if the trailer is more than 600 mm wide and

b) with two red reflex reflectors of category "Z" with a maximum distance of 200 mm from the outer edge,

3. acting on both sides:

a) with annular continuous retroreflective white stripes on tires or rims or wheels, or

b) with white retroreflective spokes (each spoke) or spoke sleeves (on each spoke) on each wheel or

c) with at least two side-acting yellow ones placed 180 degrees apart

Spoke reflectors on the spokes of each wheel.

fahrrad wohnwagen treffen wuenschendorf 8(3) Trailers not exceeding 1 000 mm in width may be fitted with a front white light.

(4) Irrespective of the width, trailers may

1. Another lamp for red light backwards on the right side or

2. Direction indicators approved under United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulation No 50 - Uniform conditions for the approval of front position lamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and rear registration plate lamps for L-category vehicles (OJ L 97 of 29.3.2014, p. 1) and installed according to Regulation No. 74 of the Economic Commission of the United Nations for Europe (UN/ECE) - Uniform conditions for the approval of class L 1 vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light signalling devices (OJ L 166, 18.6.2013, p. 88), or 3. two additional red non-triangular rear-acting retro-reflectors are fitted at a maximum distance of 200 mm from the outer edge.

(5) Lighting equipment may be assembled, built into one another or combined, with the exception of direction indicators.

(6) Paragraph 2 does not apply to bicycle trailers that were placed on the market before January 1, 2018


Anyway, something is happening in the field of bicycle caravans or bicycle campers.

Please read as well:

With e-bike & bicycle caravan to 2nd meeting Wunschendorf

Erstes Campertreffen in Wünschendorf Weiße Elster


Life | Outdoors