Saturday, 4 October 2014

Camper Tricycle

Quick facts:
     100% Lego parts
       6 Functions, lots of features
     Detailed interior and exterior
It does exist in real world

I wanted to create something unique. First I wanted to build a motorcycle, then a bicycle, and then a RV (camper), which are all my passions…So I got a crazy idea to mix these somehow. Few googles away I was stunned: I found that these combinations do exist.

The real world model:

Kevin Cyr actually made a camper bike. He tried to combine something well known from China and something from USA. He combined tricycles and camping. And the result was this:

I think this vehicle is marvelous!  It is more art piece than truly practical camper, but nevertheless, the creator proved it can be used for short distance traveling, and to provide decent shelter on night.
I would like to imagine these units used for short excursions, fishing, camping, and enjoying in nature.
These tricycles are surprisingly strong and they are used to transport all kinds of loads, so lightweight camper unit is pretty moderate cargo on it.
Take a look inside:

LEGO Model:

I used camper-bike theme for a base, but I have design completely new model, both inside and outside.
Instead of old tricycle and scrap made camper, I wanted to make modern customized Mountain bike and appropriate specialized  RV unit.


So,  a strong Mountain-Bike as a base is made, then instead of back wheel,  heavy duty  axle is added, as well as support cage for the camper.
Thin tires are replaced by a meaty rugged off road tires, to cope with the additional weight.
I decided to make the tricycle as realistic as possible, so it has proper suspension (front double forks, back live axle with leaf springs),  chain drive, which drives differential on back axle (so the vehicle can steer.  Without the diff, it would just go straight) and working pedals and steering  that can make full 180 degrees turn (useful when parking on reverse)
Bike has fake double front disc brakes, and fake double back disc brakes.
Bike is also equipped with small, low consumption petrol engine that produces few HPs to help driver onto the hill, on light offroad crossing or when he is tired. Engine is connected with front wheel with rubber belt, and is easily disconnected.
Trike has final details like water bottle attached to the frame, chromed headlight and detailed EZ handlebar.
And most importantly: it does come in black!

Camper Unit:

Camper is made as I imagine the top RV manufacturers (Deflets, Knaus) would make one of this size-curved, ultra-light, with lots of windows and storage compartments  and  smart space usage.
I used three main colors: white, tan, and red, as these colors are most often seen on RVs.

Bottom part (Tan) is where various storage compartments are installed.
It has a major storage at the back, and two smaller side compartments with both external and internal access, where various repair tools and kitchen stuff are placed. 

Top part (White) is where living and sleeping areas are placed
Living area has comfy seat for one and small night table with plant on one side and door, kitchen-box, sink and stove on the other side.
Also, there is LCD Flat TV at the back.
Sleeping area is on the top –Sleeper- part, with bed placed lengthwise, on one side, and ladders and storage compartment on the other side. On the storage compartment there are some of the clothes, netbook, book and mobile phone.

The bed has pillow and sheets. All parts are 100% Lego.
The camper is decorated with curtains on all windows and custom transit map of Europe on the main wall.
Cross part (Red) separates those sections.


The camper has various front and back lights, slideable step, spare tire and ladders at the back.
The whole camper is decorated with custom paintings: palm threes, camel caravans and desert motives.
On the roof of the camper there is main fenced storage section at the front, where all the luggage and backpacks are placed and secured with ropes. In the middle there is white water tank with solar panel (for sink and warm showering) and of course, small inflatable boat, with two vesla. The boat is secured with ropes.
On the right side of the camper there is also a full length canvas, that really slides in or out and provide shade and shelter beneath it.

The Driver:

I thought it would be a shame for this vehicle not to have a proper rider.
So I used various parts from Scala and Galidor series and made custom driver in scale of the vehicle. It fits perfectly.
The driver also have to have most of his joints moveable, so it can move arms and shoulders when the vehicle is steering, and to move its legs and feet when the vehicle is pushed/pulled/
I am very pleased how organic these movements are.
I have to say I spend nearly half of the time to design the driver, and to make him move like that, but it was worth it.

Additional equipment:

In the mayor storage compartment the following accessories are placed:
Round table, foldable chair, fishing rod, axe, and barbeque equipment.
Also, there is vast assortment of stuff that can be placed onto the table or hand held:
Round glass plate full of fruits, glass of  soda, book, netbook, camera, Cell phone.


This is one of my favorite projects. Size limitation was a very big challenge, but thanks to the great dark red  bicycle rims, I have found the perfect scale, that fits both bike, driver and camper.
I have intentionally added a lots of stuff to this model, making it even a little bit over cramped with stuff, but I felt that all of this stuff just make it more independent, versatile and likeable.