Ebike questions??????????

As we are out more frequently,   I can see the benefit of taking our bikes along.    Possibility for more toys....

Does anyone own an ebike and take it with them camping?
How water resistant are the electronics?   My main concern is driving in the rain for a couple of hours.    

any other issues or thoughts regarding them?
2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods


  • Tabaz Tabaz Member Posts: 1,719
    The models I looked at last year take a lot of juice to recharge.  Not a problem with shore power.  Also, some may find them too heavy.
    2016 Outback 320 with a 2010 Ford Expedition.
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    @Tabaz    Agreed,  some of the models I looked at are 48 volt and 16 amp hours.     Which is 64 amp hours at 12 volts........that is a tall order on solar.   

    The weight seems to be 70 pounds or more.   
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    Looks like trouble to me,   fun for sure.

    Wonder how campgrounds would feel about it,   of course the last couple we stayed at the tweenagers were racing golf carts and no one seemed to mind.   
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • Tabaz Tabaz Member Posts: 1,719
    2 stroke engines are pretty loud.  Would hate to be around one of these at a campsite.  But if you're out in the middle of nowhere, maybe a cool little machine.  I'll keep looking for now. 
    2016 Outback 320 with a 2010 Ford Expedition.
  • IslandJoIslandJo Member Posts: 59
    We carry 2 Tern Vectras with us. They are folding bikes that fit in the back of our Tacoma under the tonneau cover. Rain wouldn't bother them if they were carried uncovered. They get about 70 miles a charge.  
    2018 [email protected] CS-S on an Outback axle 
    2017 Toyota Tacoma with tow package
    Pacific Northwest 
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 687
    Cbusguy said:
    @Tabaz    Agreed,  some of the models I looked at are 48 volt and 16 amp hours.     Which is 64 amp hours at 12 volts........that is a tall order on solar.   

    The weight seems to be 70 pounds or more.   
    The weight apparently requires special bike racks built to handle the load. Someone on FB recently discovered that the hard way, when their ebike destroyed their over the tub frame mounted rack.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (NOT recommended, new tow coming soon)
    Pacific NW—stuck at home this season
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Member Posts: 613
    edited August 2019
    I have ebikes.
    They are heavy.  Usually 30 pounds heavier than a similar pedal bike.   A significant stress on many bike racks
    I would not carry them outside in the elements at highway speeds.  That's entirely different than splashing through puddles and they aren't made for those pressures.
    I would not expect to recharge with solar.
    I rarely bring it, or any bike camping, but use my RAD Mini for travel / transporting in general.  When folded it fits in the trunk/back of most cars.  Compact but still heavy - ~60 pounds.
    Have fun..........

  • lkc001lkc001 Member Posts: 541
    I have also heard that you really need to research the ebike you're looking at before purchasing because at least one that I know of you cannot change out the battery so if the battery ever dies, your bike is dead as well, unless it is still usable as a regular bike.  
    2016 Nissan Frontier SV V6 4x4
    Finally!  New Owner of a 2017 Tab 320S! 
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    The other huge concern for me is leaving it sit or locked up somewhere.   Some of these ebikes are $4k and riding one from a campground to the pool or into town and leaving it locked somewhere is a bit concerning.    

    Might be less stressful to just buy a couple of beater bikes and take them.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • TerryV6TerryV6 Member Posts: 1,070
    There are a variety of ebikes out there.  One type has a throttle that when engaged, it becomes an electric cycle.  This wouldn’t be for me.  I’d want the “assist” type, where when you go up a hill, you can step click in for help.  My brother couldn’t understand this and asked why someone would buy one and not get health benefits.  I said that this would help me continue bike riding longer in life.  Also, I don’t see why a campground would have a problem with this type.
    Terry & Jody...  2016 Dodge Ram 1500
    2016 NuCamp 320 [email protected] Max S
    [email protected]  Road   
    Appleton,  WI

  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,055
    I have a folding eBike, not the most expensive. I use it mostly in Arizona in the winter  in the campground, and it is a knee saver. I don’t use the assist going downhill to the office that is 1/2 mile away, but I sure use the assist coming back up the slope. My knees love this eBike!

    By the way, they are not allowed in COE nor National campgrounds. Some KOA’s do not allow them. Be sure to read the small print before getting the eBike out to ride in the campground, 
    Verna, Columbus, IN, waiting for birth date on 10/06/2020..... , towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator
  • jrhameljrhamel Member Posts: 75
    Hello everyone, I'm new to the community, we just ordered our [email protected] 400 last week. 
    I wanted to chime in on the Ebike discussion. I work part time in a bike shop and I think I can address some of the issues that have been brought up.

    Ebikes are significantly heavier than regular bikes and in terms of bike racks you need to get one that is specifically designed for ebikes.

    Its okay for them to get wet occasionally but I wouldn't want to leave them out without covering them when not in use. You can buy inexpensive rain covers for them online.

    Don't buy a cheap ebike. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We have people who bring their ebikes in who bought online and thought they were getting a great deal. They have all kinds of problems with them. Bad batteries, bad wheels and a whole host of other issues. Batteries are very expensive, around $800 to replace. Bosch and Yamaha are the 2 best ebike batteries on the market right now. Almost all the major bike manufactures who make ebikes use one or the other. We sell mostly Trek bikes and Bosch is the only battery they use. 
    As with any battery they won't last forever. You will get 5 to 8 years out of a battery, depending on how well you take care of it. So you have to go into it knowing that you're going to spend a chunk of change to replace it at some time. 

    I would be leery of buying an ebike that retails for under $2000, most of the better ones start there. 

    Hope this helps. 

     2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite and 2019 Ford F 150 4x4

    Madison, Wi
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    @verna that is interesting I had no idea that some campgrounds don't allow them.     Like you my knees are super bad just can't escape genetics.  I have made it 5 years beyond when my grandfather and mother both had theirs replaced, my time is coming soon I am afraid.

    I wonder why they are banned?    Just need some time for people to catch up

    The ability to whip up to the camp office or shower house is very appealing. The bonus is saving wear on the knees
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 16
    edited August 2019
    You need a hitch to carry an e-bike and an e-bike rack made especially for them (like Hollywood Racks) that mounts on the hitch.  Do not use a regular bike rack!!. They do not hang by the handlebars, you have to have wheel supports and the bike locks down into the wheel supports.  Totally different animal than a regular bike rack. They are heavy and hard to lift up into those bike racks too, harder the higher your hitch is because the higher you have to lift them.  E-bikes are way too heavy for a regular bike rack (about 50lbs or more depending on the battery). Another lady tried that and tore her bike rack off and destroyed her e-bike.  Contrary to what others are saying, they are SUPER QUIET.  You cannot hear it AT ALL. It's a lithium rechargable battery, they make no noise.  You can also pedal them as a regular bike (although it is alot harder due to the weight) or use pedal assist or throttle.  You can get them with pedal assist (sure helps going up hills or just helping you peddle like a 10 speed in an easy gear) or throttle or both.  Throttle is great when you get caught in the rain and need to get home fast or even for those really big hills or you just need to zip to the store and back or get to work quickly :) You can use it or not, up to you.  Either way, it makes ZERO noise.  Campgrounds don't allow them because of the speed, not the noise.  They can go 30mph on full out throttle.  They are too dangerous to be zipping around in a campground on.  You don't have to go that fast...but you can.  And there lies the problem. Mine is from Electric Bike Company. They do not travel at all well due to the electronics and wiring.  I would never get one wet.  E-bikes are sensitive machines and best left at home to ride the local bike trails or used what they were originally intended for, city commuting vs. going by car. They are more transportation than anything else. But they are fun!
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,458
    "Whip up" to somewhere might be part of the problem.  They are heavy, and some are quite fast.  I'm a road biker, and ride the bike paths in Socal.  Some e-bikers ride too fast on narrow curves designed for slower speeds here.  The thought of getting hit by a 75 pound battery going 35 mph is not appealing.  So, speed might be the issue for a campground.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,055
    @Cbusguy, per a KOA, because of the speed the eBikes can attain and the fact that the roads within the KOA are gravel, it’s an accident waiting to happen. Put a newbie kid or adult on an eBike that can go 15+ mph, and you know some will try to push the limits of the eBike and will crash. They will then sue the KOA for negligence, etc. and we can guess that outcome. 

    I have not seen a no-eBike rule in any of the State Parks I have stayed in. I intend to spend some time in the next two weeks on the eBike in two different hilly State Parks. It will be nice to explore without my truck, and Sunny Day will love the milk crate on the rear. 

    And, to answer another question, I lock the eBike up at night with a cable and two padlocks. The easiest place to lock it up is to my passenger side tire of the 400. In Arizona, I padlock it inside my 6x6 Clam Shelter when it’s not in use.

    This folding eBike does weigh 38 lbs and is a bit awkward for me to lift. I lift it to the top of a milk crate, adjust my grip and then lift to the truck bed. The F150 is a bit higher than the Tacoma was, so I’ll need to be sure I’m more careful in lifting it. Since I don’t have my fiberglass truck shell yet, I’ll take a tarp, or my Clam Shelter, to keep it dry when I’m not using it.
    Verna, Columbus, IN, waiting for birth date on 10/06/2020..... , towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    So I need to search stealth ebikes.  All makes sense.

    That explains why we don't see more of them around the camp ground.    I thought it was cost.     
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • DougHDougH Member Posts: 790
    I use one of these folding trikes:
    ...but replaced the rear wheel with a small e-hub and use the Luna smallest 52V battery pack, maxes out at around 850W.  Won't fit on a [email protected] mount rack, but both our trikes fold and fit in the back of the station wagon tow vehicle. 

    2014 328d diesel wagon, 2017 [email protected] S Max, D/FW Texas

  • SubaruLouSubaruLou Member Posts: 56
    I have a Pedego folding e-bike and love it. Belt drive instead of chain so no grease issues in transport. Easy 3 speed shifter, five assist levels and throttle. Much lighter than the Rad Mini folding bikes my kids have but also 2X the price. 
    2019 [email protected] 320 S  |  2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Leeh22Leeh22 Member Posts: 31
    We travel with two Blix foldable e-bikes.  We also purchased bags for them.  They easily fit in the back of our Tacoma but we also use to have them in the trailer.  Two fit between the benches.  We have also put them in the back seat with no trouble. The batteries are easily removable.  Given the weight of the battery removing them makes moving the bikes much easier.  We did get the largest size battery so theoretically they will last fifty miles.   They are both assist and throttle and have four different levels of assist.   They top out just below 20 mph (important to know as over 20 is restricted in some areas) which is way to fast for me, but I’m in my late 60’s.  Generally I use level 2 and with pedaling that keeps me between 8 - 12.  They are smaller than most which was necessary for me given small stature, but same model works well for my husband.  We don’t often ride in town but one of the real benefits is the ability to get going with the traffic at a stop sign.  Throttle really helps there.    I can see that they could be a bit of a hazard in the hands of a dare devil but so are regular bikes.   They make longer rides not only possible but truly enjoyable.   We still get plenty of exercise but know we can make it through the miles and a few hills.   Be aware though that steep hills will chew up the battery much faster.  
  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Member Posts: 581
    edited August 2019
    Campgrounds trying to prohibit ebikes are likely concerned about all electric speed demons driven by kids (and adults) without a clue -- in throttle mode.
    It would be impractical to police pedal assisted "stealth" ebikes. The harder you pedal the more they assist based on level selected or profile you configure on a smartphone app. Pedal lightly around a campground and no one will be the wiser.
    Price and weight for ebikes continues to decline every year. What used to cost $4k+ is now in the $2k range or less. Sub 25 lbs is possible but expect to pay big bucks.
    For camping I think a folder is the way to go with a focus on utility and recreation, not sport riding.
    Riding an ebike in the rain is not an issue, but traveling in the rain at 65 mph is wear and tear on any rack mounted bike -- electric or not. 
    Folders stow inside your [email protected] or TV. Plus no sense in displaying an expensive ebike on your bumper. ;)

    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Member Posts: 2,236
    @Cbusguy after way too much time researching and looking at my budget I've taken the plunge and ordered an Ecotric Starfish. I'm not a distance biker, or hard core just want to get around campgrounds and wherever else I want. I've got fibro, so on a bad day having power will be welcome. Otherwise I can just pedal myself around. I was looking for the low step thru, folding feature, removable battery, fenders, etc. I did find it on Amazon but chose to order directly from the manufacturer for a few really good reasons. One, I can return it within 30 days if it's not for me. No returns on Amazon. They provide a two year warranty. The Amazon bike had a 360W battery, a decent size for me however the one from Ecotric is 500w and $10 cheaper. If I have questions or issues I can talk to them directly vs the Amazon maze. So, within a week or so I'll be able to update you. I'm sure there's a learning curve! I'm excited!

    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • mandtmandt Member Posts: 157
    We are building custom small nylon covers for the electronics (motor & lcd monitor) so that we can keep the bike on the bike rack if it rains. We tried placing a bike bag around the whole bike but at 65 mph it is just too crazy. Our bike weights 45 pounds without the battery so a regular rack works just fine. We have a Class 1 ebike which means no throttle and max speed of 20. Our bike is a Trek Verve+. My wife uses the ebike and I have a non-electric recumbent.
    Mickey & Terri
    2016 Max S
    Kalamazoo Michigan
  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Member Posts: 581
    edited August 2019
    Latest on eBikes in NP's -- https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/electric-bicycles-could-be-coming-to-national-park-trails

    I didn't realize the carriage roads at Arcadia were off limits to eBikes, but as I mentioned before it would be difficult to enforce that rule against a pedal assist model that looks like a regular bike.
    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    Main objections seem to be from uninformed people, who think of E-Bikes as motorcycles, going 20+ mph all the time.  Most people riding a pedals assist e-bike, in a park setting, are going 10mph max, so they can enjoy the ride and scenery.  Parks can post a 10mph limit on these trails to eliminate that issue, and a good cyclist can pedal a regular bike 20mph, without a motor assist.
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
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