1981 - Volume #5, Issue #2, Page #15[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Home-Made Honda Motorcycle Camper
"Motorists continuously drive up alongside and take pictures of me and the camper. Sometimes, I have quite a line of traffic behind and have to pull over to let them pass. I don't want to create an accident.
"I used to travel in a van but the price of gas forced me to travel in a more economical way," explains Byler, a retired house builder, who gets 60 mpg with his home-made Honda camper.
The camper is made of plywood and encompasses the cycle. It is 6 1/2 ft. long, 4 ft. wide at the back and narrower in front to cut the wind. The hood that fits over the top of his head was custom designed to fit his height.
"When constructing the hood, I had to sit on the seat of the cycle to get the head piece above just right," he points out. "I'm 5 ft., 8 in. tall. The built-in hood serves as a protective helmet, which not only covers my head but also my entire body. The cab section is about 6 ft. high."
All in all, it cost Byler about $70 to build the enclosure for his Honda motorcycle. A rear view mirror on the front gives him a clear view of the traffic in back while traveling down the road.
"With the built-on camper, it's a bit more difficult and tricky to turn on the corners. Otherwise, having this enclosure on the Honda gives me no driving or handling trouble," explains Byler. "Most people are surprised to learn that I sleep in the camper at night. My head is at the front of the cycle and my feet towards the back. I carry a sleeping bag and mattress right in the camper. There's not much room but I'm comfortable and have no trouble whatsoever getting a good night's sleep in the camper. It's equipped with a small gas stove which uses the same type of gas as the cycle itself. I use the stove to heat the camper at night when it's chilly. In summer, wind circulates from under the open camper as it travels down the road, providing excellent air conditioning while traveling down the highway," ex-plains Byler. "It's really comfortable inside ù even on very hot days."
Byler says he averages 40 to 45 miles per hour and notes that strong winds pose no problem while traveling down the highway. He has a special house vehicle license from Ohio on the cycle.
In all of his travels, he has yet to see a camper unit that even remotely resembles his unique Honda motorcycle camper.
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