Many on other forums have expressed interest in building a Spud of their own. After counseling from my lawyer I have decided to sell plans/parts-lists to Spud. The offer will grant a licence of patent to build one unit. The plans will be copyrighted and only delivered after receipt of a liability waver.
Now the fun part. A unit number tag corresponding to the licence agreement will be issued with each plan set. Units 0001, 0002, and 0003 will require a production quality build and commitment to hit a few shows this spring. Not as vendors, just to start a buzz in the parking lot. 1-3 will need a submition to show the quality of workmanship the builder will attempt. All licencees can run as far and wide as they will with the concept understanding all inovation and improvments become the property of the licencor. For example, even a motorcycle sidecar that opens into a bed would need a licensing agrement because it uses Spud's opening process. Yes, even a bicycle trailer. I'm sorry all, but I'm pitching this unit to manufacturers and must attempt to convey this is an intellectual property and a patent application has been filed.
How much would be a resonable charge? If one is granted the 0001 - 0003 build rights the price will be $1. So, what do you all think would be a fair price to pay for a instructive CD, build plans, parts list, and becoming part teardrop history with a serial number of 0005 and up (0004 is spoken for) of a pre-production run of Idaho Bedrolls? When pirated units start hitting the road, what price to be able to point at PapaYolk's “data plate of authenticity” and feel superior to those of a less moral ilk?
Teardrop plans run $30-50. My plans will be good enough, so $20. The patent licencing is another matter. The teardrop is a model of design effecency, bed, galley, aerodynamic shell, and non-proprietary. My rig is super simple because each mechanical process and device adds weight, yet the concept I've developed is quite sophisticated and is proprietary.
I combined the pulling stability of a caisson, the refraction of campfire heat without pulling a cold draft from behind of a baker tent and the simple elegance of a tear drop in a small enough package to be aesthetically pleasing behind a bike.
I found two patents that were light sleeper cots, structured to deploy from a short cargo trailer to a long single cot. They both overcame the two impediments to use when not deployed: length and height, the same way. The rear of the trailer is removed and the top is raised.
USP 3,823,975 Jul.16, 1974
process A. Height
1: top is hinged on one edge-- edge lifted
2: support top
process, B. Length
1: length: rear plane of trailer-- slides down
2.: remove stowage
3.: horizontal plane hinged on one edge, rotated through 180 degrees
4.: rotate support legs through 90 degrees.
5.: install sleep pad
process steps 7
operational steps: 7
USP 4,057,283 Nov.8,1977
process A. Height
1: top is hinged on one edge and lifted
2: support top
process B. Length
1: remove stowage
2: plane hinged on one edge, rotated through 180 degrees
3.: deploy legs, rotate through 90 degrees
4: install sleep pad
process steps: 6
operational steps: 6
The '77 patent is the better; less process steps. Both trailers seem designed toward form (to acquire a patent), rather than function and don't seem innovative enough to be commercial. A hinged tailgate and pull out plane (breadboard) with drop-legs does not require removing stowage, or a patent.
Other rigs in production remove the height and length impediments by rotating the top, hinged on one side, through 180 degrees to the rear, front or side to make a sleeping platform.
My expandable cargo/cot/galley trailer
process A: Height and length
1: as trailer tongue extends, cargo trailer divides into two open sided enclosures
2: hinged vertical planes rotate through 90 degrees
3: legs rotate through 90 degrees.
process steps: 3
operational steps: 1
Because the cargo inclosure divides to head and foot the rear does not remove up or down or rotate. Only this expandable unit facilitates addition of a galley. My unit expands via the trailer spine sliding in the hitch's receiver channel.
A less optimal deployment can be accomplished without an extendable tongue, achieved by sliding the forward (head) cargo shell up the trailer spine/ hitch with out the use of a channel receiver. The cargo inclosure could be split by sliding foot to rear, head to front or both. Hinged bunk panels can be two or more.
I extracted this set of notes from my build to demonstrate why intelectual property is of value. It is thinking and doing out side the box. This is not a simple hobo cart.
Is $100 to much?
The chance to be involved in the first real innovation in motorcycle campers in 30 years? Pricless ($0)
So I'm thinking $120?
Spud, without shore power/battery is 127lbs. Builders should aim at 1/3 the weight (with load) of the pull bike (wet). This rig can come in at 100lbs if one uses more exotic materials than old plywood. For example, a KLR cuould pull this rig and still load 30-50lbs stowage. This is the only camper rated to be pulled by a 650. Hope to have production models out this summer. $1600-$2000.