You might have noticed that e-bikes right now are all the craze. And rightly so! They are super fun and a great way to get around even for those not in the best physical condition.
But are e-bikes and RV Life compatible? We have been checking out e-bikes from both Lectric and Himiway. We’ve been riding these bikes in State Parks and on bike trails. We’ve discovered some pros and cons to e-bikes when it comes to RV Travel.
E-Bikes Pros (Why We LOVE them).
Some “pros” when it comes to e-bikes are the typical things that probably come to mind. Being able to go faster and further are the two big ones that come to mind. E-bikes have a battery operated motor and use something called “pedal” assist that help propel the bike forward when pedaling. How long this motor lasts really depends on how much you are using the pedal assist and at what level. (Both the Lectric and the Himiway models we’ve tested have 5 levels for pedal assist).
Having pedal assist can be beneficial for those who need a little extra help with riding a bike on an incline. You can enjoy bike riding while not being “tip top” physical condition. This can open up bike riding to a larger group of people. Especially those who would enjoy riding a bike with their spouse or partner. But are not at the same level of physical conditioning. Having 1 person on a traditional bike while the other person is on a e-bike can be a great option for those who are in excellent physical condition, but have a partner that is not at the same level. Like wise, this can be a great way for parents and tweens to enjoy a longer ride together.
Something to note about pedal assist. You will find your self using the pedal assist almost 100% of the time. This is in part because propelling a very heavy bike on your own is no easy task. If you’re a parent that has towed a bike trailer with a little one, you probably have an idea of what it might feel like trying to ride an e-bike with NO assist.
Having an e-bike as an alternate form of transportation while RVing can be a great option. Being able to zip over to the grocery store, a local farmers market or just riding around the campground can be a great way to use e-bikes while living RV Life. Many e-bikes can be folded which makes them easier to transport.
There are always up and down sides to everything and owning e-bikes while Rving is no exception. The only real “con” of traveling with e-bikes is transportation. Transporting the e-bikes (even the foldable kind) can be a challenge. Unless you already own a toy hauler and have the space (and weight capacity) to easily transport e-bikes, it can be a little tricky to figure out how to bring the e-bikes with you.
E-bikes are NOT light-weight. Add a motor and a battery onto a bike frame and you add easily 10-25 pounds of weight (beyond your typical bike weight) depending on the motor and battery size.
While there are some racks made specifically for e-bikes, it can be hard to find ones that are rated for 5th wheels, travel trailers, etc. The Lectric bikes are foldable – this helps with space. However, they are still heavy so you have to account for the extra weight if the plan is to fold them and then put them in your RV.
The other thing to consider is storing the e-bikes while at the campground. You will want to keep a cover over them so they are out of the elements (also, out of sight, out of mind is always best). You will also want to keep them secured with some sort of bike lock.
Is Riding an E-bike Cheating?
Yes, totally. But only if you’re expecting riding an e-bike to take the place of your workout. If that is not your expectation, then no need to feel like you’re cheating. Think of it as a fun experience. Like the fun you have when out riding around on a Golf Cart! And not as a work out or a physically strenuous activity.
We are not sure how we are going to travel with our e-bikes yet. The challenge for our family is having 4 riders and needing 4 bikes. Transporting 4 “regular” bicycles is much easier than transporting 4 e-bikes. Our RV set up is a class A diesel pusher towing a Jeep Wrangler. Putting a bike rack on the back of the RV is doable BUT there is a ton of heat in the rear due to the rear engine. Excess heat wouldn’t be good for all of the electrical connections, etc. If you have found a good solution for e-bikes (times 4) please leave us a comment and let us know!
Overall e-bikes are super fun and can make bike riding accessible for more people. If you can fit them into the RV Lifestyle, we think they are a great way to have fun while on the road.
You can see more in the video on our YouTube Channel.
To get $50 of a Himiway bike use this link or enter coupon code Grateful Glamper at checkout.
For the Lectric Ebike, go to Gratefulglamper.com/lectric
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