Dutch artist Bas Sprakel has designed the Housetrike, a pedal camper with a sliding extension that increases the amount of living space while keeping the structure compact and easy to transport.
The Housetrike is slimmer and more balanced than other cycle campers. When it is compacted, the Housetrike can carry up to 18 cubic feet of personal belongings.
At night, the extension slides out from the main box, which doubles the size to provide enough space for one person to sleep. The extension is supported by two legs. The person can close the hinged top, slide the roof extension shut, and lock the unit from the inside for security.
Sprakel was inspired by his love of travel. He designed the portable shelter as a practical solution to give homeless people better control over their lives. He believes they could use the portable shelter for transportation, shelter, protection for personal belongings, and possibly as a way to earn income by delivering food, collecting scrap metal, or performing other work. By becoming more mobile, people could travel during the winter to escape cold weather or could look for seasonal work in other areas.
Sprakel believes the biggest challenge of being homeless is mental. He designed the Housetrike as a solution to provide security and peace of mind. People can lock up their belongings at night and during the day so they can go to work or do other things and not have to take all of their things with them or worry about them being stolen. A person riding on a Housetrike is also inconspicuous. The Housetrike is designed to give people independence from the shelter system. Sprakel believes it could also be used by refugees in war zones.
Sprakel has completed a wooden prototype and plans to make a final version out of lightweight plastic. He is considering launching a crowd-funding campaign to finance production and wants to keep the cost as low as possible. He wants to offer the portable shelters through a nonprofit organization. Sprakel has also considered renting the Housetrikes and setting up payment plans. He hopes to tour Europe to publicize the Housetrike.