Let’s say you’ve been watching a ton of #VanLife videos, and you love most of what you see. At the same time, if you’re reading RideApart, we’ll assume that you’re pretty attached to your motorcycle. What do you do? If you’re the folks behind YouTube channel Two Wheels Big Life, you split the difference and go the pop-up motorcycle camper route.
The couple behind the channel, Rich and Chris, have been traveling around the U.S. by bike for some time now. They’re also no strangers to more traditional, tent-style moto-camping. Since Rich rides a Harley-Davidson Road Glide towing a motorcycle trailer, and Chris rides a BMW K1200GT, the two have quite a bit of storage space between them to make their nomadic lifestyle easier.
Now, like many a modern nomad on any number of wheels, the duo makes good use of solar power to keep all their electricity needs met. Prior to their pop-up camper move, the solar panel was simply mounted to the top of Rich’s motorcycle trailer. With this new addition, they had to reconfigure it slightly. Still, a little brain power and elbow grease did the trick. After some slight modifications, they can now move the panel wherever they want outside the camper, so it makes the best use of all available sunlight.
When fully assembled, this pop-up camper fits a king-size bed. The truly beautiful and genius part is this, though: The two are keeping warm and toasty at night with the help of a heated blanket. To be fair, they’re also carrying around a small external Buddy Heater on the advice of many of their YT subscribers, and say it’s also very helpful. Since staying warm while camping can be a challenge, this setup seems particularly nice.
They’ve also set up a tidy little kitchen area, which is another must if you’re going to live mostly outside. Previously, they took their portable stove and kitchen prep materials and would use whatever they found at their campsite as an impromptu table. Big stumps, actual picnic tables and the like were nice if they found them, but not always available. With the addition of a small folding table, it’s a simple task to set up wherever and immediately get to work.
Using little rope-type twinkle lights to keep the place illuminated at night is another brilliant touch. A low power draw combined with a heightened ability to actually see what you’re doing in the dark are two definite marks in the plus column. Also, they’re lightweight and you can string them up pretty much anywhere you want them. They’re both cozy and useful, so what’s not to love?
Since this entire setup is brand-new for Two Wheels Big Life’s third season of YouTube life on the road, part of the adventure is that both they and viewers will soon learn what works well, and what they want to change. As we roll out into 2021, could there be a better time to take notes and study up on some good strategies for making the most of moto-camping?