The E-Bike Revolution and Caravanning
In recent times, CHECK WEIGHT has noticed a trend among caravanners, where more and more of them are transitioning from traditional pedal bikes to electric bikes, commonly known as E-Bikes. This shift is driven by several factors, and it has both its benefits and considerations for those who enjoy the caravanning lifestyle.
Benefits of E-Bikes for Caravanners:
- Greater Access to Trails and Bike Paths: E-Bikes provide caravanners with the ability to explore a wider range of trails and bike paths. The electric assistance makes it easier to navigate challenging terrains, including hills and rough trails, which might be difficult with traditional bikes.
- Sight-Seeing Without the Car and Van: E-Bikes allow caravanners to explore their surroundings without having to use their car or caravan. This not only saves on fuel but also provides a more eco-friendly and immersive way to experience the local area.
- Enhanced Mobility and Versatility: E-Bikes make caravanners more mobile and versatile, enabling them to run errands, reach nearby amenities, or even use the bikes for exercise and leisure.
- Knee-Friendly Riding: For caravanners with aging knees or physical limitations, E-Bikes provide a way to continue riding with less strain on joints. The electric motor assists in pedalling, reducing the physical effort required.
Considerations for Caravanners Regarding E-Bikes:
- Weight: As CHECK WEIGHT is a mobile caravan weighing business one of our primary considerations when using E-Bikes while caravanning is their weight. E-Bikes tend to be significantly heavier than traditional bicycles, ranging from 10 kg to over 30 kg. At CHECK WEIGHT we see bikes between 15 kg to 25 kg, depending on factors such as the type of bike, battery size, and motor power. Caravanners often carry two E-Bikes, further adding to the overall weight.
- Rack Weight: When transporting E-Bikes, caravanners need suitable racks to accommodate the weight. These racks can weigh between 15 kg to 25 kg, (separate to the weight of the bike) adding to the total weight. In some cases, the weight of two E-Bikes and the rack could consume up to 15% of the available payload capacity in the caravan, which is typically between 400 kg and 500 kg.
- Where to Carry the Bikes: Caravanners have several options for carrying E-Bikes, each with its own weight distribution considerations:
- Rear of the Van: While this is a common choice, mounting the bikes at the rear can impact the tow ball’s weight, potentially increasing the risk of sway. Reinforcement of the van’s rear may be necessary.
- Front of the Van: Mounting the bikes on the drawbar can quickly transfer weight to the towball and rear axle, potentially affecting stability. Bikes mounted on the A Frame can increase tow ball weight by as much as 60-80%! Don’t believe us? CHECK WEIGHT’S education program on weight distribution shows you exactly how a bike added will affect your caravans weight and balance.
Tow Vehicle: Depending on the configuration of the tow vehicle (e.g., wagon, ute, or canopy), caravanners can carry or fold the bikes inside the tow vehicle. However, this added weight must be accounted for in the tow vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). If possible, CHECK WEIGHT recommends putting the bikes in or on a vehicle as the first choice.
In conclusion, the world of caravanning is evolving with the inclusion of E-Bikes, offering caravanners a new dimension to their travel experiences. However, it is essential for caravanners to be mindful of weight distribution and adhere to legal and safety guidelines. CHECK WEIGHT can assist here with our educational programs.
Careful consideration should be given to where and how the E-Bikes are carried, taking into account their impact on the caravan and tow vehicle’s balance. By doing so, caravanners can enjoy the best of both worlds – the freedom of the open road with their caravan and the flexibility to explore destinations with their E-Bikes. The key is to weigh the pros and cons of bringing your trusty E-Bike and make informed choices to ensure safe and enjoyable caravanning adventures.
CHECK WEIGHT has a FREE Report on caravan weight acronyms – Download a PDF copy which can be saved and printed. Download from here :- https://checkweight.com.au/free-report/
This Blog article was written by Greg Betts
Franchise Partner for Newcastle/ Lake Macquarie / Cessnock