Vintage Motorcycle Camper Trailer

Vintage motorcycle camper trailer

It's fairly common to see Honda Gold Wings or Harley touring rigs cruising down the highway with a trailer in tow, but the idea is hardly new. Once again, the dusty shelves of The Kneeslider research library yield this plan from a 1930s Popular Science magazine article for a motorcycle camper trailer by an unnamed German inventor. It isn't just a carry all for saddle bag overflow, either, this has a double bed, closets, pantry, cook stove and roof rack for a canoe. Considering the motorcycle engines of the time, it might have taken a while to get up to speed with a rider, passenger and fully loaded trailer, not to mention the added air resistance, even though it has a "streamlined housing" over the front wheel, but then, speed limits were lower, too. "Cyclists now may have the same comforts as autoists."

I have no idea if this ever went beyond the concept stage but I love the old style engineering and design. The teardrop shape reminds me of an early Airstream trailer without the polished metal finish. Cool stuff!

Vintage motorcycle camper trailer


  1. says

    Probably not a canyon carver, but I’d ride it to a park by the beach in a second.

    PS: “Autoists” is ’30s slang for “cagers”.

  2. taxman says

    that era was a boom of invention. my great uncle has so many odd tools and devices from the 20’s & 30’s. his opinion was that when world war 2 started most forward progress stopped and people started thinking to conservatively with statements like “that’s how we’ve always done it” becoming to commonplace.

  3. lostinoz says

    It looks like that area called “closets” could be renamed “air powered decelerator” I’d hate to find out the wind buffering from a design like this.
    While teardrop trailers are nothing new, I think the weight on them destroy all practical use on a motorcycle, removable or not even with today’s high tech building techniques.
    Thank god for today’s lightweight popup campers that you can tow behind a bike, they’re definitely lighter weight and probably have more space when unfolded.

  4. says

    Funky! As with many concepts, I’m not sure I’d want one but its a cool idea. With one of the bigger touring bikes available today, the weight wouldn’t be an issue in towing but wind would be a serious problem. Probably made worse by that wind scoop behind the passenger. Still pretty neat!

  5. Jeff says

    Make a art deco trike camper . That would be neat . Just strap a scooter on for short errands . :)

  6. Jeff says

    As for towing big trailers . I saw a guy towing his flat tracker bike with toolbox ,gas cans behind his goldwing . He didn’t seem to have any problems .

  7. Den says

    This is literally fantastic!

    I wonder how the old air-cooled engine would have done behind that bodywork,considering that it would have already been completely stressed pulling all that weight and wind resistance!

  8. says

    I see that the guy gets a helmet but Susie Homemaker just gets a hairdoo. In those days she’s just an accessory. I don’t see a frig, from whence she may fetch me a Bruski. All in time, eh what?!

  9. Steve says

    Teardrop camper trailers are still an interesting concept. This summer in Tacoma, I saw a group of about 30 teardrops at a large car show. They came as club for the the event. NW Teardrops?? They had quite an assortment and some were towed by very cool custom hot-rods.

    A Teardrop behind a motorcycle is probably not a very great idea, but behind a 1940’s hot-rod, now we have something special.

  10. says

    I’ll take two!

    This thing is brilliant!
    Touring is making a comeback and what a better way than to make a rolling bed and teardrop.
    Now if they could only add a sidecar for my dog and streamline it for less wind resistance.
    You could tour across the states in this thing!
    Surely someone can make one of these soon or something like it.
    Britain has all the fun tri-cars.
    Only… please for love of humanity / keep the price down!!!

  11. says

    Wow how cool is this….Talk about German ingenuity…..Have alway admired the 19th and early 20 century industrial revolution of Germany….They might of lost the war but if you look at their history you will find they made some of the finest bridges, boats, airships and so much more…….They where ahead of so many early technologies of the time.
    So glad I fund this webpage…Will forward it to my Yahoo vintage trailer group…The members will get a kick out of it.

    ……….Gator Ron
    ‘U.S.A. Vintage Trailer Network’

  12. says

    It would be neat to see it minus the scooter and have it be towed by a compact car or motorcycle. I have a Smart car and it would be neat to be able to tow it behind my Fortwo. :) It is very similar to tiny tear drop trailers available today. :)

  13. Dee Mitchell says

    With todays bikes, a tear drop would not be a problem, if you adjust for hieght. Like any vehicle pulling a trailer, you have to drive accordingly. I have seen old 750’s pull 14 ft. alum boats, and 4×8 plywood utility trailers across canada. I have even seen an old pan pull 2 oil drums in tandem converted to trailers half way across the U.S. If you ride enough you will have seen just about everything. Me, I love the old tear drops and plan to build one to tow behind my my 1900cc Strat.