Creative solutions: Double bed on trailer
It started with the idea of a safe and secure way to transport the son's mountain bikes, but ended with a "Hitch Hotel" as an alternative to a single tent on the camping trip.
Many innovations start by trying to solve a specific need, but gradually develop in a completely unexpected direction. This also applies to the Hitch Hotel product, which we will take a closer look at. North American Geoff Patterson built a simple transport box for his son's bikes - as an alternative to the many bike racks available - and mounted on the car's trailer ball. The benefits were obvious: The bikes were locked during transport, they were not exposed to wear and tear from the weather, and they came out as clean as when they were loaded.
About three years ago, Patterson came up with a new idea. Both in the United States and southern Europe, many people drive around with a tactile on the car's roof racks. These provide space for a secure sleeping area for two, while the car's interior and luggage room can be used for transport and storage of everything from clothing and sports equipment to food and supplies. These are opened up with a handle and reached by a ladder. "How about creating a pull-out bedroom out of the transport box," Patterson thought. Compared to a tent or a stand-alone tent, it could offer a number of benefits.
Because it is built in fiberglass it will be completely dense, by hanging it on the car's trailer mount the distance to the ground will make a ladder unnecessary, but at the same time it is placed with a good distance to the ground to avoid, ants, reptiles and moisture. If the box is additionally made as a self-supporting structure, it will also be possible to use it as a standalone unit.
The result was a "double bed" to hang on a trailer ball made of aluminum and fiberglass. When folded out and the support legs in place, the “Hitch Hotel” - as the product is named - has an inside area of 147 x 224 centimeters. It is equipped with a large door with a window to let in light and fresh air, while at the same time a USB connector allows you to connect electrical appliances to the car's mains.
In combined condition, the box has a volume of 1700 liters, and thus it can also act as a transport box for everything from bicycles to camping equipment on the trip, or serve as a luggage compartment for completely different purposes in everyday life. What determines it all is how high the horizontal weight is allowed to load the car's towbar. Mechanically, it is hardly a problem to hang the 110 kg heavy box on the car's trailer mount, but how this is attached to the car's body and how the car's suspension changes with this weight can be very different. Thus, it is not at all "free to come" to use such a box.
When traveling with a trailer, a horizontal weight on the ball around 75 kg is a good rule of thumb. Looking at a larger passenger car like the Skoda Superb, this one has a maximum allowable weight of 90 kg, and a Subaru XV (as shown in the picture) is approved for 80 kg in Norway. If we consider slightly larger and more powerful cars - often the ones that can be used for off-road driving - it is completely problematic. A Toyota Landcruiser is approved for 120 kg on the bullet, a Hilux pickup 130-140 kg, and the latest Isuzu D-MAX has COC certificate for the entire 245 kg.
30 thousand pounds
These are just a few examples of car models that make it possible to use such a box in Norway as well. The price is at about 30 000 in the US, so it is quite important that you check that your car is really approved for such a high weight, before moving on. The manufacturer has so far completed and sold more than a hundred such "bedrooms".
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