Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Toad Alternatives? - From Motorcycles To Electrics

It's Small, But Once I Park I Like To Stay!
    I don't pull a toad. I've looked into buying an older Geo Tracker 4x4 (it's light and useful) but to drag it around on a 2-3 day trip is wasteful. Not having it really got me thinking about alternate means of transportation after you get to your campsite. I boondock or dry-camp almost exclusively, so once I arrive, I like to stay in one place for the meager days I am allotted. (Yup, not retired yet!) To take the RV (small as it is!) to go shopping for anything is a drag. A long while back I purchased a motorcycle carrier that slid into my hitch receiver at the back of the RV. I have a small electric Motorcycle (Lectra VR-24) that I have been putting on it. It charges from my Solar Panels while under way (really any time the house batteries are full) and goes about 45 miles at 51 MPH. Usually that's plenty for a quick run into town or joy-ride from camp. It got me thinking what other conveyances can be used, aside from a traditional towed car?

There are lots of ways to get around once you are parked and setup where you are camping. Some are simple. A bicycle. There are lots and lots of choices for bike racks on an RV. On the front, on the back, on the roof, someone makes one to fit every scenario. You can even buy folding bikes that fit inside a compartment or even a closet inside the RV! I like bicycles. I prefer not to have to pedal too far. Some folks cannot for some physical reason. That leads to electrically powered bicycles. These, like the moped of old have both a motor AND a set of pedals. Depending upon the particular model you purchase, they can have a pretty decent range and they weigh very little. The better ones CAN get a bit pricey.

My Electric Lectra VR-24 Motorcycle
Then there are gasoline powered conveyances. These can be Mopeds, Scooters, Motorcycles, Trikes, Four Wheelers and even gas powered skateboards. If it has wheels..someone at sometime has put a motor on it. These types are the easiest to deal with. Gas is plentiful (if sometimes a bit expensive) almost everywhere. You don't need to run your generator for extended periods and you get, essentially, unlimited range. On the other hand, if you have a decent Solar Charging System, and aren't in a huge rush (and don't need huge range) you are better off with Electric.If I had to choose an all-around gas powered two wheeler I'd likely look for a can pedal too!

On the subject of electric conveyances...there have been some wild ones out there. Remember the Segway? Well now there is something they call a "HoverBoard." No, it's not like the one from Back to the Future. I wish! But its like a scaled down Segway with no t-handle. It sort of self-balances...but there's a learning curve to riding one. Looks cool, especially with the dual LED lights in front, but I don't think I would use one as a daily rider. To each his own.

No matter how you slice it, it can be VERY convenient to have transportation OTHER than your RV when you are camped. I'm going to stick with my Electric Motorcycle for now. Though, to be honest I am looking for a Yamaha TW200 for more "off the beaten path" trips and then there's that Moped...

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Your Lectra VR-24 was way ahead of anything else like it marketed in 2000, even in 2007 or so. I wish I had access to one back then.
    But now the Zero electric cycle model S with luggage accessories and a slightly larger windshield than the factory supplies really does it. 100 mile range, u tom95 mph. It needs an inverter to charge but we only ride it less than 15 miles a day when boondocking on solar and that works. Otherwise it charges in RV parks on less power than running an air conditioner. It really solved everything.

  2. Looks like fun. I pull an all electric GEM CAR on a flatbed. Good for 2. It has a small truckbed on it that's great to carry firewood,the wife's walker, groceries and fishing equipment, etc.etc.��

  3. Steve,
    You are right the Zero line is a great product. I like everything about it, except the COST! Well that and the fact that the Lectra is so easy to charge on solar. My 40 mile range is good enough fornow. When Lithium get's low enough in price to be sane, I will likely swap. Maybe more volts..but lots more amp/hours to play with.

    Rich "The Wanderman"


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