A tiny house with big aspirations: Introducing the ‘BikeRV’

The BikeRV is now rolling the
streets of Portland.
(Photos: Alexander Main)

26-year-old Portland resident Alexander Main wants to change the world by building tiny houses that can be pulled behind a bicycle. And he just finished his first prototype — which is a good thing because it’s also his home. Main moved here from Germany just over a month ago and set out to build what he refers to as “the first of its kind self-sustainable solar powered Bike RV Trailer!” (and yes, he’s very excited about it).

The BikeRV was built to be simple and inexpensive and Main plans to publish the plans and materials list free on his BikeRV Project website. “I want people to copy it, to improve it and to use it as an inspiration to create better models,” he says.

Main came to Portland with just a suitcase filled with a sleeping bag and some clothes (“I got rid of everything,” he says in a video blog posted last week). Currently, he’s “yardsurfing” and testing out his prototype BikeRV for the next month.
As for the RV itself, it’s a pretty nice set-up. He’s built it with a 50 watt solar panel that powers a 10 amp/12 volt battery that powers several lights — both inside the RV and head/tail-lights for safety in traffic. Main can also charge up his laptop, cell phone, or anything else that can plug into the standard 12 volt outlet he’s installed on the BikeRV (if it’s cloudy, he’s also installed a 120 AC power inlet). The BikeRV attaches to any standard bike via a seatpost hitch mount.

Here are a few photos from the project’s Facebook page…

Far from just building this for himself, Main wants his project to, “popularize the concept of minimalistic – low cost houses, which people can carry around with their bicycles.” Here’s more from his website:

“A Bike RV offers an alternative way for inexpensive survival. It can cover the most basic needs such as a bed, protection against high or low temperatures and – depending on the model – free solar energy. Such energy can be harnessed to power electric devices or even an electric engine. Due to its obvious limitations, a Bike RV is not intended to be a long-term shelter solution, yet, within its limitations, it can be a life-saving option…

The Bike RV Project has the potential to help millions of homeless (houseless) people across the world, in fact, that is the greatest motivation for me to do this.”

Main hopes collaboration with others will lead to even better designs in the future. He’s active on Facebook and posts regular video blogs on YouTube. In the future, Main says he might launch a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds (he spent every penny to his name to complete this prototype).

Check out the BikeRV Project website to connect with Alexander and stay updated on the project.

Of course no mention of a bike-powered home is possible without remembering our old friend Brian “Motorhome bike” Campbell.

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