(A weather-proof siding is yet to be added).
(Photos © J. Maus)
The Thanksgiving holiday is all about home for many people. For Brian Campbell, home has been a bicycle for over thirty years.
Brian is the man known far and wide for his amazing RV bike. He’s traveled with it throughout the country, over mountain passes and at speeds of up to 70 mph (thanks to an ingenious flywheel apparatus he has invented). We first reported about Brian landing in Portland three years ago.
Since then he’s struggled with depression brought on by frustration with life on the street (among other things). After he destroyed his bike, we (the community) raised money so he could rebuild it.
Now, not only has Brian rebuilt his own bike-home, he’s also started making them for others. But, Brian’s business is far from being stable. He needs help to keep building them and he’s looking for customers. I recently stopped by Brian’s current home/workspace (a vacant lot near SE Stephens and 9th) to see the newly built trailer he has for sale.
Unlike his bike, which is nothing short of a pedal-powered motorhome, the one he has for sale currently is a pull-behind trailer. Brian has perfected the fabrication of an all-weather enclosure that is light, insulated, very stable, and road worthy. This model is 8′ x 4′ and weighs only 80 pounds. It has a spacious interior that fits a sleeping adult (or two?), has many interior shelves, and is priced to sell (he’s asking $1,950 but says he’ll take offers — UPDATE 12/16: If no one buys the trailer by tomorrow he says he’ll “junk it”. All offers considered). He can modify the hitch custom for any bicycle.
Brian also says his trailers would be perfect as food cart or mobile bike businesses. Check out the slideshow below for more photos. If you are interested in learning more about Brian’s work, or if you’d like to buy this trailer, get in touch with us and we’ll connect you with him (he doesn’t have a cell phone or email address, but he stops by our office regularly).
If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.
What is the electric weed eater for(in picture #7)? I have that exact model of Ryobi corded electric weed eater: light, powerful and scary quite when you are used to gas powered weed eaters.
Cool trailer! How about an article detailing Brian’s flywheel apparatus? A curious mind wants to know.
what is his asking price? i can’t read the sign in the picture.
sorry about that. meant to put it in the article (and just did). he’s asking $1,950 but he’ll take reasonable offers. he really needs to sell this trailer to support himself. he literally has nothing right now. we’re thinking of doing an open house event for it after Thanksgiving. Any realtors out there want to help? — Jonathan
cool product – not sure about the housing market but I bet voodoo donuts or bike delivery services might be interested in something like this.
I’d love to have one for my next bike camping trip.
Thanks for writing about Brian, Jonathan. Such a cool cat. I too want to hear about the fabulous flywheel.
I am also interested in hearing about this flywheel.
Pretty damn awesome.
I keep wondering whether the radiant foil insulation might work better if it was facing the other way (or was double sided). I remember reading about a guy in Alaska who covered the inside of his house with aluminum foil. He kept warm with standard electric light bulbs. Radiant insulation works really well if applied correctly. Remember space blankets?
years back, Brian had made his way thru Monterey, Ca, and I was amazed with his “Bike-a-bago”
i grew up homeless in SoCal, on a bike, and his genius seriously strikes a chord with me.
Wow – well done. I was saving up for one of these: http://www.kevincyr.net/index.php?/ongoing/camper-kart/
– but may just have changed my mind.
Thanks for posting this. Very decent of you. I can’t use the trailer but I’d paypal the guy a few bucks if there was a way for him to get the money.
hmmm,,, find a good shower system and I would buy one..
I spent a while talking with Brian today. He definitely needs to find a buyer for this rig, and is entertaining offers. In the meantime, he could really use smaller donations as well. If you know where he’s at, drop by and chat with him for a while. If you don’t, feel free to drop it by our office, 833 SE Main #102.
Besides money, his other urgent short-term need is a covered place where he can fix his own house-bike — the rear axle needs to be replaced and he isn’t looking forward to working on it out in the rain and cold for another winter. Any leads on a big, covered, preferably indoor area where he could work?
In the longer term, the guy needs investors, and a team.
What would be ideal is for an organization to pay him to make these for the homeless. If Brian has done something ingenious with a flywheel, that’s where the real potential to make money is, possibly for heavy cargo bikes.
I think it would be utterly amazazing if he found some investors and turned his idea into a 501(c)3 non-profit. Then he could support himself while giving others homes.
Oh yeah, and I bet that if he drew up plans and sold them, he might be able to make a penny too!
I have a better idea for this chap – maybe someone who is not unscrupulous ought to help him patent this ingenious flywheel apparatus he has invented (of which so many have expressed a certain interest in) and market that. If this apparatus is as great as everybody seems to think it is maybe then he could really get sup up for life.
yeah, good to see brian still around.ive been watching the story since the rebuild. what was the full bike portland address to send brian some small supplys etc?.
the bikehouse is a great soloution.8) only bad thing is bears,lightning, windstorms,tornados,cops or other sadly.detail on the flywheel thing?
Hey, I just saw him go by down in Eugene.
I would love more info about Brian Campbell and his trailers
Is Brian still selling these? I would love more info!
I’m in the market for something like this and would also like Brian’s advice about what kind of bike would be best to tow it with. I’d really like something for year-round use in the PNW if at all possible.