E-bike shopping for RV carry

Martinjmpr

New Member
I joined this forum because the wife and I have decided we want to get a pair of E-bikes to take with us when we go camping. There is another couple in our camping group that has the Rad Mini folding E-bikes and they love them.

We have had folding (non-powered) bicycles before and I didn't really care for them. I found the seating position awkward and overall I thought they were actually more difficult to transport folded up than a regular, non-folding bike.

I had considered converting our current bikes to electric. See the thread here:


However, it appears to be that there are a number of factors of our existing bicycles that make them less-than-ideal candidates for conversion (particularly the rear frame which does not appear to have robust enough dropouts to handle a powerful motor.)

Currently we have an R-Pod 179 trailer, about 21' long. The floor plan of the 179 features a "hallway" in the middle of the trailer. We have two mountain bikes and what we do now is simply raise the bikes up on their rear wheels, wheel them in, then turn 90 degrees and set the bikes on the floor, one with the handlebars to the front and one with the handlebars to the rear. We throw a tarp or heavy cloth over them so the pedals don't gouge up the wood but otherwise we don't tie them down because there really is not much space for them to move.

Here's a photo of how the bikes sit now:

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I'm not 100% against the idea of folding bikes, but if we can carry non-folding E-bikes in the same manner as we currently carry our non folding mountain bikes, I'd prefer that.

My concern is that our current bikes weigh 33 - 35 lbs each (call it 16kg.) At that weight, they're pretty easy for me to lift up and spin around in the trailer.

Most of the E-bikes I see in the price range we are looking at ($1500usd and below) are around 60 - 65 lbs (let's say 29kg.) Most of the specs dont' clarify whether this is with or without the battery, though. I assume (maybe incorrectly?) that the batteries on most of these bikes weigh on the order of 10lbs/4.5kg each.

Wife and I are both in our late 50's and in reasonably good health. I'm 6'1" and weigh just under 200 and wife is 5' 4" and about 175. Her current bike is a step-through unsuspended Bianchi mountain bike and mine is a diamond-frame GT hardtail mountain bike.

In any case, right now I'd say I'm on the fence between a folding bike like the Rad Mini, or a non-folding bike. All things being equal, I'd prefer a non-folding bike, but I'm concerned that it might be too heavy/bulky to lift into our RV. Carrying on the roof is not an option and although the trailer has a rear carrier, I wouldn't trust it for anything other than the spare tire (which is what it holds now) without some serious reinforcing. I also don't like the idea of bicycles being on the back of the trailer where I can't see them.

One advantage of folding bikes is that I could also potentially carry them in my tow vehicle, a 2018 F-150 Crew Cab Short Bed with a cab-high shell/topper. I'm just not sure that the compromises of a folding bike would be worth any advantages of them.

Ideally, I'd also like a bicycle I can ride to work. Work is 10 miles away and there are nice protected trails the entire distance, but part of my morning commute includes a fairly long and high hill (probably at least 2 solid miles of climbing.) To me the commuting aspect also makes me lean against a folding bike.

Anyway, I know this is kind of a rambling post but I'd be interested in hearing some options from others who are in a similar situation of wanting to carry E-bikes in a small travel trailer or RV.

I should probably add that besides the Rad-Mini, some of the other "contenders" we are considering in the $1000 - $1600 range are the non-folding Rad City, the M2S Scout and all-terrain, the Biktrix Stunner, and some of the Ecotric line of bikes (both folding and non-folding.) I also really like the Juiced Scorpion, but IMO it looks too much like a motorcycle and ideally I want something that can be ridden legally on bike trails (most of the bike trails here are legal for Class 1 and 2 E-bikes.)

Thanks in advance for any tips or guidance!
 

PDXzap

Well-Known Member
Have you considered used bikes? I know it's not for everyone but there are two 2019 Como 2.0's on Denver Craigslist, a small ($1900) and a M/L ($2000) that show up and appear to be from the same seller. They might deal it you bought both? The bikes weigh 47 lbs according to specs online.
 

MikeDD

Active Member
I will give you a few comments. I have a pickup with an 8 foot bed and a canopy 8" taller than the cab. For bikes I have a Specialized Turbo Levo and a Rad Mini. I usually haul the bikes in a 4' x 6' enclosed trailer but have used the pickup.

The Mini can be loaded in my truck either fully folded or by just folding the handlebars down. For the full size bike I have to remove the front wheel to get the bike through back or lay it on its side and then placing it upright. The restriction is the size of the opening to get in the canopy.

When folded the Mini rolls easily. You may want to measure the length and height of any bike before you buy to make sure it fits in the bed of your truck.

Good luck in your search, it can be daunting.
 

camdon44

Member
Hi Martin, We also use our bikes with our RV and boat. We have the Black Max folding fat tire bikes. I have over 1100 miles on mine and we love them. We have done a lot of beach riding, trail riding, and city riding. I would not be afraid of commuting on a fat tire folding bike. Very stable and comfortable. The folding bikes will fit nicely in the back of your pickup. once the seat is off and the handlebars are folded down, you should not even need to fold them... They do it all. I take the batteries and seat off for transport. We carry ours in the back of our Jeep or in the cockpit of the boat. I also use a carrier and don't fold them. I am looking at BPM bikes for my next one, probably a mid drive...
Don
 

Martinjmpr

New Member
Thanks for all the input.

To those who have the folding bikes, would you consider commuting to work in these? As I said above, my commute is 10 miles each way with a long uphill section on the way into work. I work in an office and don't want to get to work all sweaty so riding an E-bike to work appeals to me. I think the folding bikes would work much better in our RV than non-folding and I'm not completely against the idea of getting a different bike for commuting, but having a bike that could do everything obviously appeals to me as well.

I see that Ecotric has a new(er) 48v 500w folding E-bike. I don't see any reviews, does anyone here have experience with them? They are temptingly priced about $500 less than the Rad Mini and seem to be similar (though slightly less powerful.)
 

camdon44

Member
BPM F-15RZ is 1000w... The F-15RS has 1000w and has full suspension and a 21ah battery... If I didn't already have a folding bike, I would get that one. $1695 in camo. $1795 in black...
 

MikeDD

Active Member
I would stay away from 500 watt motors if there are hills in your riding area. I would also stick with a Class II bike if you are going to ride rail trails etc. Class III is good if you are commuting only, IMO. My wife's trike has a 750 watt motor and she can make hills even without pedaling. She is handicapped.

Hopefully you can find bikes to ride before purchasing. It is also nice to be supported by a dealer network. It sure helped when I had a battery replaced under warranty.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
For "universal" use, I am not a fan of 500w DIRECT DRIVE rear hub motors either. At the same time I believe many would find 500w GEAR DRIVE rear hubs just fine! I can't over state the fact there's a HUGE difference in the performance available with each type, with the gear drive being much peppier. My advice would be to know/pay attention to which type a bike that might interest you is equipped with.

For the OP, even after building a few of my own, this very active DIY'er would buy the e-bike over building one. It's very difficult to source out all the parts and come up with something that might compete with what you can buy already done - just try to keep proprietary parts to a minimum (like batteries for example).
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
I'm not 100% against the idea of folding bikes, but if we can carry non-folding E-bikes in the same manner as we currently carry our non folding mountain bikes, I'd prefer that.

My concern is that our current bikes weigh 33 - 35 lbs each (call it 16kg.) At that weight, they're pretty easy for me to lift up and spin around in the trailer.

Most of the E-bikes I see in the price range we are looking at ($1500usd and below) are around 60 - 65 lbs (let's say 29kg.) Most of the specs dont' clarify whether this is with or without the battery, though.
If you can store non-folding, you don't need extra weight and hassle of folding (20" folding weighs the same as 26" non-folding, so they ARE heavier).

Look into Aventon Pace 500, 49 lbs total weight, I believe including battery. Non-folding. Make it 52 lbs with rear rack and lights. It is 500W geared hub, enough power for moderate hills (10-12%? don't know), and reasonable weight of a rider. It is not a mountain bike, more of a cruiser or commuter, there is no front suspension but 27.5 wheels make it nice for commuting.

AHicks is right, building your own today is not as appealing as it was few years ago.