Outdoors

Fat-tire teardrop ebike camper explores the world via road and dirt

Fat-tire teardrop ebike camper...
The Outdoor model is the most off-road-capable of the group, though it's still too wide for bikepacking on tight trails
The Outdoor model is the most off-road-capable of the group, though it's still too wide for bikepacking on tight trails
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ModyPlast includes four stabilizing legs with each Bicycle Caravan
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ModyPlast includes four stabilizing legs with each Bicycle Caravan
A roof vent helps keep air flowing and prevent internal condensation
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A roof vent helps keep air flowing and prevent internal condensation
When built from carbon fiber, the Trekking model weighs 42 kg
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When built from carbon fiber, the Trekking model weighs 42 kg
All Bicycle Caravan models come with disc brakes
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All Bicycle Caravan models come with disc brakes
ModyPlast offers several solar panel options with accompanying battery power station
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ModyPlast offers several solar panel options with accompanying battery power station
The Outdoor model is the most off-road-capable of the group, though it's still too wide for bikepacking on tight trails
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The Outdoor model is the most off-road-capable of the group, though it's still too wide for bikepacking on tight trails
The ModyPlast Bicycle Caravan combines the quaint nostalgia of a teardrop trailer with a lighter, more eco-friendly way to vehicle camp
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The ModyPlast Bicycle Caravan combines the quaint nostalgia of a teardrop trailer with a lighter, more eco-friendly way to vehicle camp
All three Bicycle Caravan models lined up and ready to tour
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All three Bicycle Caravan models lined up and ready to tour
The Outdoor model is a bit heavier than the other two variants, weighing in at 44 kg when made from carbon fiber
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The Outdoor model is a bit heavier than the other two variants, weighing in at 44 kg when made from carbon fiber
The Tourer rides on street tires
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The Tourer rides on street tires
Taking to the path with the ModyPlast Outdoor camping trailer
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Taking to the path with the ModyPlast Outdoor camping trailer
The ModyPlast in action
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The ModyPlast in action
Putting the off-roadability of the Trekking hybrid tires to the test
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Putting the off-roadability of the Trekking hybrid tires to the test
The fat tires of the Outdoor caravan will prove the best option for when the ground gets extra soft
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The fat tires of the Outdoor caravan will prove the best option for when the ground gets extra soft
A look at the simple but cozy interior
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A look at the simple but cozy interior
Each caravan comes with an interior LED light
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Each caravan comes with an interior LED light
Load up the trailer with camping gear, hitch it to your ebike and find a scenic camping spot off the beaten path, where cars can't reach
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Load up the trailer with camping gear, hitch it to your ebike and find a scenic camping spot off the beaten path, where cars can't reach
ModyPlast Outdoor bicycle caravan
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ModyPlast Outdoor bicycle caravan
Exterior LED lighting
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Exterior LED lighting
Eyelets secured to the floor allow owners to strap gear and provisions down so they don't bounce around on the ride
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Eyelets secured to the floor allow owners to strap gear and provisions down so they don't bounce around on the ride
It's not a two-person trailer, but maybe a single person + dog?
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It's not a two-person trailer, but maybe a single person + dog?
Strap down bedding, luggage, furniture, coolers and other gear
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Strap down bedding, luggage, furniture, coolers and other gear
Unlike car camping trailers, the Mody bicycle caravans don't come with a hard-wired battery electrical system, but buyers can add an optional power station with solar charging
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Unlike car camping trailers, the Mody bicycle caravans don't come with a hard-wired battery electrical system, but buyers can add an optional power station with solar charging
The available power station provides power for devices and accessories
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The available power station provides power for devices and accessories
Optional awning
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Optional awning
The available portable kitchen provides an outdoor cooking space
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The available portable kitchen provides an outdoor cooking space
Preparing dinner on the portable kitchen, available optionally for the Mody trailer lineup
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Preparing dinner on the portable kitchen, available optionally for the Mody trailer lineup
View gallery - 27 images

Both RVs and bicycles are enjoying soaring pandemic-boosted popularity, and ebikes continue becoming more and more capable. It seems only natural, then, that the bike camper market finds itself maturing beyond oddball, one-off garage creations to polished retail trailers. Over the years, we've seen a small but diverse array of European bike caravans, from the folding Scout, to the inflatable B-Turtle, to the amphibious Z-Triton. Now another emerges in the form of the Mody bicycle caravan, a classic tiny teardrop made from lightweight composites and specced for road touring, mountain biking or a little of both.

Founded in 1995, Rösrath, Germany-based ModyPlast specializes in composite race car components. In 2020, it watched the market instantly shrivel to nought as the COVID-19 pandemic blanketed the globe and forced the cancelation of racing events. So ModyPlast turned its attention to a dormant side project: a compact caravan designed to be towed via bicycle. Beyond having some newly found free time to seek a new revenue source, the company determined the timing impeccable — modern advances in electric bicycle design have made bike campers more attractive and practical.

ModyPlast's Mody bicycle caravan utilizes the structural strength of composite design to eliminate the need for a metal chassis or internal frame, thereby cutting weight for easier bicycle towing. Made from the buyer's choice of vacuum-sealed foam-core carbon fiber or fiberglass, each trailer is cut and shaped into a teardrop-style form with a sharp-dropping roofline. Given the absence of a metal chassis, the tow bar and axle are bolted directly to aluminum inserts in the floor, which is crafted from a heavier, load-supporting composite/foam construction.

Taking to the path with the ModyPlast Outdoor camping trailer
Taking to the path with the ModyPlast Outdoor camping trailer

Unlike other bicycle camping trailers we've seen in the past, ModyPlast's caravan doesn't feature any foldable or collapsible mechanism, riding along as a full-size mini-teardrop. At 146 to 150 cm (57 to 59 in) tall, depending on version, it rides lower than the cyclist doing the pedaling but is certainly too wide to travel down singletrack or tight, crowded paved paths.

The Mody comes in three different variants, starting with the road-based Tourer model riding on 26-in street tires. Next in line, the Trekking model is the hybrid of the trio, striking a balance between road and off-road use with a pair of 26-in Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus hybrid all-terrain tires good for road or light off-road riding on dirt trails and forest roads. The full-blown fat tires show up on the Outdoors model in the form of 26 x 4.8-in Schwalbe Jumbo Jims, bolstering capability for rolling over sand, mud, small rocks and branches, and other off-pavement obstacles that might rattle skinnier treads. The Outdoors model also includes a higher 33.6-cm (13.2-in) ground clearance, compared to 29 cm (11.4 in) on the other two models.

All three Bicycle Caravan models lined up and ready to tour
All three Bicycle Caravan models lined up and ready to tour

All three Mody models are designed to roll comfortably at speeds up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h), the European Union speed limit for pedelec bicycles. They all also include Shimano disc brakes, an overrun brake, a Weber coupling, and exterior LED lights and reflectors for nighttime visibility.

Inside the side door, each Mody caravan has a narrow interior measuring 208 x 86 x 102 cm (82 x 34 x 40 in), which provides enough width for sleeping the cyclist pedaling it to camp, and perhaps a loyal canine companion. ModyPlast doesn't mention inclusion of a mattress on its spec sheet, but it'd be easy enough to throw one's own foam or inflatable sleeping pad down. There's no room for a tailgate galley on the bicycle-sized design, but ModyPlast does offer an optional collapsible kitchen to bring along, as well as various coolers. The interior includes tie-down eyelets for strapping down the kitchen box, cooler, outdoor table, chairs, or whatever else needs to ride along.

It's not a two-person trailer, but maybe a single person + dog?
It's not a two-person trailer, but maybe a single person + dog?

ModyPlast includes a roof vent, door ventilation, LED interior light, gray fabric wall paneling, lower corner leg supports, and a single window as part of the standard package. Along with the kitchen and cooler, available options include another window, a roof-mounted solar panel plus power station, and an outdoor awning. ModyPlast is also working on additional options such as underbody skid protection and aluminum roof rails.

ModyPlast lists fiberglass trailer weight at 48 kg (106 lb) for the Tourer and Trekking models and 50 kg (110 lb) for the Outdoors model. The carbon versions slim down to 42 kg and 44 kg (93 and 97 lb), respectively. The trailers are able to carry 50 kg (110 lb) when moving and support up to 190 kg (419 lb) at camp, with the support legs set up on level ground.

Preparing dinner on the portable kitchen, available optionally for the Mody trailer lineup
Preparing dinner on the portable kitchen, available optionally for the Mody trailer lineup

Fiberglass Touring and Trekking models price in at €4,999 (approx. US$6,025), with the carbon fiber variants starting at €6,999 ($8,450). The Outdoors models run €500 ($600) higher.

Source: ModyPlast

View gallery - 27 images
5 comments
5 comments
Don Martin
Nearly double the weight and price compared to B-Turtle, while offering less interior space and less space for gear.
paul314
I wonder if they could design with one removable wall and wheel, so that you could buy them in pairs.
BlueOak
Cool in concept, but 100 lbs empty, without gear is a lot to drag and it looks like quite a wind-anchor.
jerryd
Better 12" wheels under it and it wider with the wheels farther aft so can balance with just 1 more leg off the tongue.
And no reason not to make it aero as this certainly isn't.
And better have several battery packs as going to eat the juice as one certainly won't be pedaling this except downhill or a wind from the rear.
Douglas Tooley
Additional bike available battery capacity to handle the extra weight of the trailer with solar recharging could make this a very dynamic system. You’d need more solar, including on the awning.