Sometimes, a nice camping trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city is all it takes to recharge you both mentally and physically. Long-haul excursions with camper vans or motorhomes take this to a whole new level, but, unsurprisingly, these are extremely expensive. Even if it's a modest van conversion, not all of us have the resources or the desire to spend a significant amount of money on a full-size motorhome.
Fortunately, there are less expensive options that also come with enhancements for bicyclists accustomed to long-distance, multi-day rides. Cycling is unquestionably an equally effective method to get your much-needed dose of the great outdoors, right up there with camping and other outdoor excursions. In fact, bike trailers come in a wide variety of layouts, and one recent invention by the name of Martha attempts to advance current technology by bringing miniaturised motorhome luxuries to the stables of regular bikers.
Recently featured in one of my favourite automotive websites, AutoEvolution, the latest offering from German manufacturer Maxmess Design, Martha, or Fahrrad Wohnwagen Martha—translating to Bicycle Caravan Martha, as it is officially known, has a variety of uses and may be the first e-bike trailer of its kind. It lacks the more attractive look of other, comparable e-bike trailers since it was created to be useful on the road and provide scaled motorhome amenities. Nevertheless, what it lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for in functionality.
The comfortable interior of this angular box on wheels might easily double as an adult bedroom. Although it is simple, the trailer is actually rather amazing for one you pull behind a bicycle. According to Maxmess, Martha weights 48 kilograms when fully stocked with everything from tableware to stationery to a mattress to a clothesline. Maximum payload for the vehicle is additional 25 kilograms of supplies and luggage. While a regular bike can haul it if you're an above-average cyclist, pedal-assisted or completely electric bikes and trikes work best.
Martha has a foldable table that can be used inside as a workplace or outdoors for a fast lunch, a door that also serves as an awning, a solar panel and battery bank, LED lights, and a bunch of USB chargers. These are just a few of the conveniences that are included with Martha. Moving reading lights, taillights, and the front ventilation fan are all powered by a 30-Ah battery and a 30W solar panel, and the command centre lets you check energy usage and make any necessary adjustments to conserve energy.
Unsurprisingly, a tiny hotel room packed with this level of amenities isn't exactly inexpensive. Until the end of this month, Martha is being offered for an introductory price of €4,450 (£3,750 at the current exchange rate). Thereafter, the price will increase to 4,850 Euros, equating to about £4,100).