Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ALTERNATE VEHICLES


WAYS TO GET AROUND WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A TOW CAR
ELECTRIC BIKE/SCOOTER
EGO
I own an electric bike that I bought from a company currently located in California ( www.egovehicles.com ). I ordered it straight from them. (NOTE:  This company had temporarily gone out of business, but is now back in business, headquartered in Atascadero, CA!)  However, you MAY be able to get this bike locally if your city has a VESPA scooter dealer. VESPA Scooter dealers may carry the EGO bikes. This bike has two speeds, FAST and FAR. Fast goes about... 25 mph, more or less. FAR goes about 15 mph, more or less. The bike will go up to 25 miles on a charge. The great thing about this bike is that the charging cord is the cord from a desktop computer! When I got my bike, I called the EGOVEHICLE company and asked, and they said, indeed it was! I happen to have two extra cords from old computers, so now I have a total of three cords to use for charging cords.
Most of the parts on this scooter are bicycle parts. Replacement parts can be obtained at bicycle shops. But I do want to make one recommendation on the tires:

1. If the front tire goes flat or has any other problems, any bike shop can fix that.
2. If the rear tire has problems, you should take it to an authorized dealer, because fixing the rear tire involves messing with the drive belt. Bike shops aren't qualified to deal with this.
The best thing about this bike is that, in most states it does not require a license. (Check with your state to be sure.) My state indicated it's considered the same as a Segway, no license required.
One negative thing about this bike is that it does not do well on gravel or dirt roads. Since the bike uses regular bicycle parts, you may be able to get around this by using mountain bike tires, but I'm not sure if there are any that fit this bike.

On one of my trips, I had to take my cat to the vet on this bike! Kitty did not appreciate the ride. I put kitty in his carrier, put the carrier perpendicular to the foot rest area, and then I had to "hug" the carrier with my legs to hold it in place, and ride that way. Kitty howled the whole way, but I got him there.

As of 2014, I have owned this bike for ten years.  The battery finally went POOF, plus I had some minor issues I wanted fixed.  Luckily, I was in Gold Beach, OR, which just happened to be 137 miles from Eureka, CA, which had an authorized repair place, Henderson Center Bicycles.  They did a good job of replacing my battery, which was the largest cost, plus some other minor repairs I needed, about $600 worth of work.  My bike is practically new again!  

EVT
This is another electric scooter. I'm not as familiar with these. ( http://www.evtworld.com/scooters.html ) You would need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these. Like the EGO, it would not require a license in most states, but check with your state just to be sure.


LIBERTY BIKES
Here is another type of electric scooter. ( http://iloveebikes.com/ ) It appears that some of these models can be folded up, and some would need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV. I'm  not sure about licensing for the larger models.  Check with your state just to be sure.

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS:

My current state, Washington, does not require a license for electric scooters. I also rode it in Oregon without a licensing requirement.   I did run into two states that required licensing:  North Dakota in 2012 (I didn't take the scooter to North Dakota because of this) and Iowa in 2014.  In Iowa, I paid $7 for a one year license while I was working the summer in Altoona.  Iowa's law is pretty clear:   Iowa Law on Motorized Bicycles                   
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These bikes require a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV. The EVT is heavier than the EGO, so the carrier used will have to keep weight limits in mind. The carrier I am currently using is a Blue OX carrier, with a ramp that tilts. Although this carrier appears to have been made for handicapped scooters, such as "Hoverround," etc., it works for my bike. Further, the entire carrier folds up when I take the bike off the carrier. Why did I select this particular bike carrier? The RV dealer got it for me. Here is what happened: Previously, I had a 30 foot RV with a very nice heavy duty carrier that did NOT "fold up." I currently store my RV in a covered storage area meant for 30 foot RV's, but the carrier caused the RV to "stick out at the end a little" in the storage area. The owner/manager of the storage area was ok with this, as long as I didn't stick out too far and cause people not to be able to drive around. When I traded for the RV you see in the picture (which is a 31 foot RV), I knew that the one extra foot, along with the heavy duty carrier I was using, was going to "push the envelope" with the owner/manager of the place where I store my RV, and I would have to pay more money and move to a longer storage area. So, I told the RV dealer that "making the deal" was contingent on them finding a solution to my "RV storage" problem. The dealer found this carrier, and threw it in the deal at no extra charge.

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GAS SCOOTERS - These require a license.

VESPA
These are great little scooters that get good gas mileage. ( http://www.vespausa.com/ ) However, you will need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these.
PIAGGIO
Another great little scooter that get good gas mileage. ( http://www.piaggiousa.com/ ) However, you will need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these.
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CONVERT AN EXISTING BIKE


At one RV park where I stayed, the camp hosts, Babe and Chris, converted a mountain bike to an electric bike using an E-Bike Kit.


The top picture is the Lithium battery they ordered from some place in China.  The bottom picture is the complete set up.  Chris said it was really easy to install.




OR.......... THIS ALTERNATE IDEA!

Just own an RV that is small enough to drive as a car (posted from one of the blog readers).
 
AND.......... HERE IS ANOTHER GREAT IDEA!

Would you believe......... used bumper cars from an amusement park can be made street legal if you put them on top of motorcycle motors?





Yes, you read  that right; these little beasties are street legal. They run on either   Kawasaki or Honda motorcycle engines and co-opt vintage bumper car bodies into  the most awesome form of mini-car we've seen in too long.  There are seven  of these little monsters floating around California, and they're all the  creation of one man, Tom Wright, a builder in the outskirts of San  Diego who figured the leftovers of the Long Beach Pike amusement park  needed a more dignified end than the trash heap.  They were originally  powered by two cylinder Harley Davidson Motorcycle engines but they rattled  like heck because of the two cylinder vibration and Tom replaces them with  four cylinder Honda or  Kawasaki 750's and a couple have been measured as  capable of 160 MPH, which is terrifyingly fast in machines with such a short  wheelbase.  By the way, they are almost  indestructible in accidents!

9 comments:

annie said...

Hey, it's Annie from rvtravel forum.
You didn't mention my method of being toadless - have a small enough RV to just drive!
I can only think of one thing I've wanted to do in the last 6 months that my small RV stopped me from doing, and that's cooking dinner for a 'special feller'.

RVing Toadless said...

Annie, I am so remiss! I added a comment. What type and how big is your RV? I remember you talking about it on the forum.

Louise said...

Ever since we downsized from regular motorcycles to gas scooters, we've been using our two-wheeled alternate transportation so much more. I carry two weeks worth of laundry or four bags of groceries on my Yahama Vino 125.

We promised ourselves we'd rent a car anytime we needed one. In five years, we've done that exactly twice to get to and from an airport to fly away from our RV to visit relatives. For everything else, the scooters have been just the ticket!

RVing Toadless said...

Louise, thank you. Gas scooters will also work, great idea!

LindsayRichards said...

We have over 25,000 miles of pulling a toad and it isn't bad at all. The only problem is you can not back up when you are coupled. This has hurt us only twice. (Salt Lake and Eastern Shore of VA.) We just decoupled (3 minutes) and were on our way. We usually put more miles on the toad than on the coach by exploring a lot. It cuts about 3/4 a mpg from our average. We would be lost without it. There are a lot of good very small cars out there now. If we ever run across one another, I will show you how to tow and you can show my wife that a woman can drive a motor home.

Judy said...

Have you or anyone out there heard of the RVRover? I am considering buying one, but haven't seen any review on this site. It comes with a winch that attaches to the trailer hitch on your RV. I sure would appreciate any info! Merry Christmas!!

RVing Toadless said...

Hello Judy. I googled for a look at RVRover. I had not heard of one. My only concern is licensing requirements. You might not be able to ride this on freeways or major highways. I'll look into it and add something on the blog.

Motor Scooters Cheap said...

I own an electric bike that I bought from a company currently located in ... imotorscooters.blogspot.com

RVing Toadless said...

Which one did you buy? The VESPA? Or one of the others?