Poor Man's RV

#1
For background about this project please see my introduction post.

I'm thinking a budget of around $3,000 - $4,000 is doable.

Given my budget restraints and my mechanical aptitude I think I can build my own ebike for touring. I have a garage full of hand tools (maybe some power tools) with a work bench and a vise. I have a mechanic friend with a garage and welding tools, I think he can do TIG welding as well since he also builds air boats. I'd need to pay him so he's there for standby. I live in the space coast area of Florida so finding fabricating help is possible but ONLY as a last resort.

As a self taught web developer I know that the web is my best resource for doing this (thanks to everyone for sharing). Here is my build strategy.

Donor Bike

High quality cheap used bike from craigslist.com et al, or a cheap new bicycle from bicycleisland.com, bikesdirect.com, recommendations?

There are a couple of places that rent ebike near me, they have limited styles to choose from and they are expensive to rent. I plan on renting one or two to give it a try. I may also see if I can rent a 29er fatbike pedal only to see how I like that style of bike. I would also like to find out what size bike feels right for me in the style I like.

From my research these are the features that look like they would best fit my needs as outlined above. Most of these options are for comfort and convenience. I choose a mid drive as it seemed the best choice since I'll be climbing mountains (roads) with a heavy load. I don't plan to do any trail riding but I like the idea of having that option.

I would really like to go with an IGH belt drive for low maintenance and reliability but I can't find a definitive answer on this combination on a mid motor ebike for touring. This might be too cutting edge for my purposes but I don't want to miss out if it would be practical.

My Specs
  • 62 years old and out of shape
  • 5'11"
  • 245lbs
  • Load hasn't been determined yet but it will be as much as I can fit and carry. Any estimates?
  • Speed is only important in as far as it concerns safety, I'm in no hurry. Going too slow can be just as dangerous as too fast. So recommendations are welcome.
  • Range is flexible but the farther I can go the more options I have as to where I can stay. I expect range to increase as my fitness level does.

Please feel free to comment on these options as nothing is set in stone.
  • 29er Fat tire Mountain bike
  • hardtail with front suspension
  • Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, only one rated to hold my fat ass.
  • Brooks Saddle, my fat ass needs protecting
  • Hydraulic brakes, so does the rest of me.
  • Eggrider Bluetooth Display, being able to make changes on the fly and without a computer connected.
  • BBSHD Mid drive kit from Luna Cycle
    • Luna Cycle wolfpack v2 (52v Stealth Black - LG MJ1 13.5ah) x 2
    • 52V Advanced Luna 300W Ebike Charger
    • Hydraulic and Disc Brake Sensors with Cut Off
    • GearSensor for Derailers and Internal Geared Hubs

Recomendations?
  • Drive Train
    • Derailer
    • Nuvinci N380 IGH
      • Chain
      • Belt
  • BBSHD
    • Chainring teeth if chain?
      • 46
      • 44
      • 42
      • 40
      • 30
    • Throttle?
      • Thumb
      • Twist
    • Since I'll be getting the Eggrider Bluetooth Display do I need either of these?
      • Luna 500c Mini Full Color Display
      • Luna 750c Full Color Display
    • Luna Wrench?
  • I love the durability of the Luna Cycle Wolfpack v2 batteries and I plan on carrying two. Would hooking them together so the bike sees one battery be beneficial? Depending on charging availability I may only be able to charge one depending on where I'm at so hooking them together needs to be flexible.
  • Locks will be important since everything I own will be with me. I've done some research and understand the proper way to lock my bike. I envision a system with multiple locks as well as the hexlox.com Saddle Lock, Seat Post Lock, Wheel Lock, Fork & Stem Lock system. I'm also thinking of a steel net to cover the bags when I have to leave them on and unattended. Possibly covering everything up in a shitty looking blue tarp.
  • No matter what I do nothing can stop a determined thief so Insurance recommendations?
  • Tools, I suspect will have some specialized ones from the build which I'll be bringing. I'll have an idea of what I might need to bring once I get a bike but are there any must haves that I might overlook or that are favorites?
  • I plan on implementing [ghetto tubeless](https://electricbike-blog.com/2015/0...nutes-of-work/) for beaches (no saltwater) here in Florida and along the way can I leave it like that for traveling?
  • GPS or Smart Phone?
  • I doubt my bike will come with racks so any recommendations? I'm thinking front and rear panniers.

Other Considerations

Grin LiGo Batteries seem required if I want to fly with my bike to Hawaii

These can be configured for either 36v or 72v but the BBSHD kit from Luna Cycle says it's for 48v or 52v batteries. Is there a way I can use these batteries now (hacked controller? other controller?) or do I need to wait for them to come out with 48v or 52v options?

I could buy another battery in Hawaii but I'd also need two more in Costa Rica where I'll want more range. Does anyone know how/if I could travel with my batteries to Costa Rica? Possibly by ship from Florida? I ask because certain things I bring with me when I move there won't be charged duty, I think ebikes and batteries will qualify.

I would like to develop a relationship with a good bike shop in my area. Since I don't plan on buying a bike from them what is a good strategy to develop a relationship with them? I know they're in business to sell bikes but given the retail apocalypse do they focus more on the service side of their business now? What's the best way to support my local bike shop?

I plan on touring around Florida before I start. I need to break in my bike and myself. I need to develop and practice a charging strategy. I found this article about gorilla charging which has some good advice. Still on the fence about permission vs forgiveness though, especially with strangers. Any advice here would be helpful.

I can't see myself fully retired as a web developer so I'll be blogging about this whole process and adventure. I'll be bringing my mac and iphone so any advice about online access and cell plans let me know. I have a factory unlocked iphone so I can go with pretty much any carrier. I need a plan that supports tethering for my mac and an old Android phone I'm planning on using as a bike computer. It will run gmaps, music and the Eggrider Android App

Final Thoughts

This adventure wont start until I've saved the money and built the bike. Once I launch there will be limited opportunities to make changes. Right now I have a garage and facilities to make this happen so getting it right the first time is important. I have a little flexibility with the smaller and less expensive parts to upgrade along the way.

I know this plan sounds crazy but I've got nothing better to do. I'm out of shape, bored and currently live with family, this sounds like a viable escape.
 
#2
A bike trailer could be useful for hauling your stuff. I am rather proud of the hitch I've made to attach (locked) a Harbor Freight Big Foot handtruck to my bicycle with only 8 pieces. With 3 welds to the bolts, will make it very secure. Two hand tools are needed to fabricate. What's your flavor when it comes to these URL? http://www.doityourselfrv.com/diy-coroplast-bicycle-camper/ or https://www.cyclocamping.com/ My guess something in between so I may add that a modified caddydaddy with a detachable axle ( maybe) assembly will allow flights on a plane. Caddycaddygolf.com Details of hitch I can post if interested. My goal is to simply have the ability to haul items and gain knowledge of load VS watts, gear ratio and do it with a minimal amount of Money. ;)
 
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#3
A bike trailer could be useful for hauling your stuff. I am rather proud of the hitch I've made to attach (locked) a Harbor Freight Big Foot handtruck to my bicycle with only 8 pieces. With 3 welds to the bolts, will make it very secure. Two hand tools are needed to fabricate. What's your flavor when it comes to these URL? http://www.doityourselfrv.com/diy-coroplast-bicycle-camper/ or https://www.cyclocamping.com/ My guess something in between so I may add that a modified caddydaddy with a detachable axle ( maybe) assembly will allow flights on a plane. Caddycaddygolf.com Details of hitch I can post if interested. My goal is to simply have the ability to haul items and gain knowledge of load VS watts, gear ratio and do it with a minimal amount of Money. ;)
I found a pet trailer on Letgo for free so I'm planning on using that. I really like the idea of something like that since it's also a stroller. I can wheel my gear around and it folds flat.

I'm thinking of using a hammock for camping I like this site you linked too https://www.cyclocamping.com/ it looks like a great resource.

Good luck with your Harbor Freight Big Foot hand truck and caddydaddy project and thanks for commenting!
 
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