A Comprehensive Guide To eBikes For RVers

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A Comprehensive Guide To eBikes For RVers

You might think an ebike is a new kind of bike for people who don’t want to pedal yet also don’t want a motorcycle. But most ebikes still do require you to use the pedals. They are an increasingly popular type of bicycle that gives you an assist when you pedal. 

Below you will find a more in-depth explanation of what ebikes are, their range, and some current laws. RVers need ebikes that fit their traveling lifestyle, so you will also find some great ebike choices to bring with you on your RV trips.

What are ebikes?

An ebike looks and feels just like a regular bike. You pedal with your legs to propel the bike forward. A battery-powered electric motor is attached to either the wheels or the pedals.

Most ebikes have settings that allow you to set how much the motor will assist you. As you pedal, the motor adds power to the bike, so it feels like you have super-powered legs. Some of them do have a throttle that offers propulsion when you need a peddling brake too.

The idea isn’t to allow you to reach super biking speeds but to augment your bicycle experience. For this reason, among legal ones, the motor will stop assisting once you reach a certain speed. The types that integrate the motor into the bike’s gear system are the most efficient. There are three classes of ebikes out there.

Class 1: These bikes only offer pedal assist, and the motor is limited to only assist you up to 20mph before it stops.

Class 2: This type of ebike has a throttle, as you would find on a motorcycle. The bike’s primary function is still to give pedal assist, but you can use the throttle for on-demand power. Don’t plan to be Dale Earnhardt of the RV park, though, as they too are limited to 20mph before the motor stops adding power.

Class 3: For this class, the speed motor cuts off at 28mph instead of 20mph. Not enough to send you back in time with Doc Brown, but it might shave a minute or two off travel time. The Class 3 bike will only offer pedal-assist, however.

Legalities of ebikes

Federal Law

The federal law HB 727 enacted in 2002 defines an ebike as “A two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.”

The specification is how fast the motor can propel the bike on its own, not under a combination of human power and pedal assist. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has clarified that by confirming ebikes can travel faster than 20 mph when using a combination of human and motor power.


It’s always a good idea to check the laws for any state where you intend to use an ebike. Each state has its own laws about ebikes, making life difficult for RVers who like to travel with them. Fortunately, the vast majority of states do not require a license for them. 

“Overall, at least six states—Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota—require a license to operate an ebike, typically because they still fall under the designation of another motorized vehicle classification with licensure and registration requirements and have not had a distinct e-bike law created.” According to the National Conference For State Legislatures.

National Parks

Ebikes are such a new phenomenon in the legal world that the National Park Service recently published the final regulation governing the use of e-bikes in the National Park System in November of 2020. You can read more details here.

Basically, unless otherwise noted, ebikes are allowed where regular bikes are allowed. However, it classifies the three classes of ebikes as defined above and allows parks the freedom to limit the use of ebikes based on class, to comply with state law, or protect the safety and health of visitors to the park.

If you want to head to a particular park with your ebike, the NPS encourages you to check the park website and get additional information at the Visitor Center or Ranger Station.

Are ebikes real exercise?

Colorado University researchers did a study with 20 non-exercising men and women. Participants used their ebike for 40 minutes a day, three days a week. After a month, subjects showed improvement in cardiovascular health and blood sugar.

Many people find it hard to take up bicycling due to the time and effort needed to get into the physical shape to reap its benefits. Using the assistance of an ebike, those with lower/limited mobility can get the cardiovascular benefits easier. A more enjoyable experience may result in consistent use too.

Power and range of an ebike

So what is the range of one of these futuristic propulsion assistance devices? Today’s ebikes have an average range above 25 miles; some even claim up to 50 miles depending on terrain and other conditions.

Think of all of the things an RVer can accomplish with that kind of range. Pedaling around the RV park, heading to the store, seeing local attractions, and many other activities can be accomplished. The beauty is you remain active, but the motor-assist can transform the experience from being impossible or brutal to enjoyable.

The power an ebike has is usually measured in watts, and the battery capacity is listed in watt-hours. You will see some batteries listed in amp-hours. To convert to Wh, multiply the volts by the amp hours to get watt-hours. For example, a 48v, 10ah battery will have 480Wh.

Watts are a measurement of electrical power, and watt-hours measure how much power has been used over an hour. For example, a battery with 100Wh of power can do a task requiring 1 watt of power for roughly 100 hours in a perfect world. 

When shopping for an ebike, you will notice that companies list the bike’s range. The listed range is most often based on the ideal conditions. This range will vary from person to person and depends on conditions as well. 

To get an educated guess of a bike’s range for yourself, most pedal-assist users report getting between 15 to 20 watt-hours per mile. So the 480Wh battery above will give you about 30 miles of assistance on the high end and 24 miles on the lower end. Remember that your mileage could be better or worse than that, depending on your body weight, cargo load, terrain, and wind. 

10 eBikes For RVers To Consider

With so many electric bikes available on the market, how does anyone sort out and narrow down options? The ideal ebike to bring along your RV adventures ought to have some key features. It should:

  • Be compact, either foldable or light enough to store on a rack or carrier easily. (They are electronic, so keeping them sheltered from the rain while transporting/storing is a good idea.)
  • Have tires that can handle multiple terrains, especially if you enjoy going off the beaten path. 
  • Get you where you need to go and back. In other words, have a decent range.
  • Fit your budget. Ebikes don’t come cheap. 


Based on 2018-2020 pricing data collected by ebikeshq.com, “Generally, electric bikes will range in cost from a low of $600 to over $8000.Not many quality e-bikes can be had for under $1000, with most mainstream e-bikes costing between $1500 – $4000.”  

The following list of ebikes includes different combinations of these features. Ebikes vary in build, power, weight capacities, accessories, and much more. Every RVer has their own preferences. What ebike may work for one RVer may not be the best fit for another.  

Folding ebikes

Rad Mini 4 and Rad Mini 4 Step-Thru

Rad Power Bikes are North America’s largest electric bike brand. Its award-winning, eco-friendly ebikes come in a variety of styles. Among the impressive line-up, the small but rugged Rad Mini 4 and Rad Mini 4 Step-Thru have many features that would benefit RVers. They fold up to a fraction of their size for convenient storage in lower RV compartments or tow vehicles. Rad Bikes are durable, easy-to-handle, and come at a RAD price too ($1,499).

Both ebikes have similar features, including a folding mechanism, a range of up to 45+ miles, and all-terrain fat tires. The main difference is in the design. Unlike the Rad Mini 4, the Step-Thru version has a unique design that offers easy access for riders. Instead of swinging their foot over the top of the ebike, riders can easily step over a lower-step frame.

Full-time RVers and creators of Getaway Couple, Rae and Jason Miller showcase both ebikes in the video below. They talk about the components of each and detail their riding experiences.

Features of the Rad Mini 4 and Rad Mini 4 Step-Thru eBikes:

  • Weight: 67lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Rider Height: 24-32 in (leg length)
  • Motor: 750W geared hub motor
  • Battery: 672 Wh lithium-ion battery
  • Power Modes: Half twist throttle and intelligent 5 level pedal assist
  • Range: 25-45 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc With 180mm Rotors
  • Gears: 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain
  • Tire Size: CST Big Boat 20″ x 3″
  • Notable Attributes: Folding frame; Backlit LCD with a charge indicator, speedometer, odometer; Integrated headlight and tail light with brake light functionality
  • Price: $1,499

Lectric XP and Lectric XP Step-Thru 

Like the Rad Mini models, the Lectric XP and Lectric XP Step-Thru ebikes are similar in design with one difference, the step-thru component.

Besides offering reliable performance, speed, and comfort, Lectric ebikes are well-known for their “industry shattering” prices. Their two models are well under $1000 and have so much to offer the consumer.

Lectric ebikes

Lectric XP Step-Thru E-Bike – Photo: Lectric E-Bikes

The foldable model arrives fully assembled and comes standard with a rack, fenders, and front and rear lights. Upgrades include a larger seat and spare battery. Riders can conquer any hill in their path and travel practically all-day in comfort with the 500Wh motor, all-terrain tires, and ergonomic build.

e-bike in grass

Lectric XP

RVers David and Roe Hiser of Fate Unbound absolutely love their Lectric eBikes.

“Our very first ride on an electric bike was a year and a half ago, and after all that time, we still love our Lectric XP ebikes! They are high quality, low cost, incredibly fun, and fold up for easy transportation – they’re basically the perfect ebike for RV and travel!”

In the video below, they talk about their experiences with both Lectric XP models.

Features of the Lectric XP and Lectric XP Step-Thru  

  • Weight: 63lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Rider Height: 4’10”- 6’3″
  • Motor: 500W (800W+ peak) geared rear hub
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion 48v 10.4ah by LG or 48v 9.6ah by Samsung
  • Power Modes: twist throttle and 5 level pedal assist
  • Range: up to 45 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour; optional Class 3 capability of up to 28 mph
  • Brakes: Tektro 160mm mechanical disc brakes
  • Gears: 7 Speed Shimano Freewheel
  • Tire Size: Chaoyang or CST 4″ x 20″ Fat tires
  • Notable Attributes: Folding frame; LCD computer display shows battery level, current speed, pedal assist level, and trip distance; Integrated front light and tail light
  • Price: $899

Tern HSD P9

After setting up camp, many RVers like to take a trip into the nearby town to check out the scene, maybe visit a farmer’s market, or gather some much-needed supplies.

They may also want to spend the day riding trails with the kiddos in tow and have a picnic in the woods. This is where cargo ebikes come in handy. The Tern HSD P9 may be just the ebike you want to haul your groceries, bring another passenger along for the ride, or carry all of your finds for the day back to the RV.

The Tern HSD P9 is pricey for a reason. Unlike other cargo ebikes, this unisex unit is compact, lightweight, and has a more extended range. Plus, it can carry a hefty load for its mini but mighty aluminum frame.

The Tern HSD (stands for “Haul Stuff Daily”) is designed with a low step-thru. The handlebar folds down so it can easily fit in the storage compartments of your RV or the back of many SUVs and covered truck beds. 

Features of the Tern HSD P9  

  • Weight: 57lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 374 lbs
  • Rider Height: 4’11” – 6’6″
  • Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus, 250W 
  • Battery: Bosch PowerPack Lithium-Ion 400Wh battery
  • Power Modes: no throttle and pedal-assist up to 20 mph
  • Range: 26-69 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Gears: 9-speed Shimano
  • Tire Size: Schwalbe Big Apple 20 x 2.2 in.
  • Notable Attributes: Folding frame; front light and tail light; XL-sized Atlas H Rack; can be stored in vertical position 
  • Price: $3,199

Blix Vika+

Voted “Best Value Folding eBike” in 2020, the Blix Vika+ combines timeless design, attention to detail, and versatility.  These compact utility ebikes can be customized with Blix accessories like modular racks to help get what you need to and from your destination.

Along with the look and comfort of an award-winning e-bike, the website mentions smart safety features like “a built-in brake light that automatically lights up when you brake, automatic power cut-off when you brake, and puncture-resistant tires with Kevlar technology.”

Features of the Blix Vika+ 

  • Weight: 56lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 270 lbs (including cargo)
  • Rider Height: 4’10” – 6’2″
  • Motor: 500W gear hub motor
  • Battery: Samsung 48V / 14Ah lithium-ion battery
  • Power Modes: left-side thumb throttle and 5 level pedal-assist 
  • Range: up to 45 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 160mm Rotors
  • Gears: Shimano 7-Speed Freewheel
  • Tire Size: 20” wheel, 2.0” tire
  • Notable Attributes: Folding frame; LCD with USB port, integrated front and rear lights, rear rack
  • Price: $1,599

Montague M-E1

The M-E1 makes its mark in the e-bike industry as the world’s first full-size performance foldable ebike. 

Ryan Walas, a representative of Montague Corporation had this to say about the M-E1 and RVers:

“Our folding mountain bikes have long been popular with RV owners, as they provide campground transportation and recreation that can easily stow on board. Electric bikes are sweeping the outdoor industry by storm, and with the M-E1 there is finally an e-bike for RVs. The M-E1 is equipped with a Shimano STEPS mid-drive motor for pedal assist, and folds to a compact size while still using full-size wheels and all standard components. It can handle the trails around campgrounds with the same ride quality as a non-folding e-bike, but folds in seconds to stow inside an RV. Once folded, the bike can also be rolled for easy transport.”

Features of the Montague M-E1  

  • Weight: 54lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Rider Height: 5’4″ – 6’4″
  • Motor: Shimano STEPS E6100 – 250 watt 
  • Battery: Shimano STEPS 36V / 418Wh Lithium Battery Pack
  • Power Modes: no throttle and 3 level pedal-assist
  • Range: 35-90 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes
  • Gears: Shimano Deore 10-speed 
  • Tire Size: Schwalbe Energizer Plus 700c x 47mm
  • Notable Attributes: Folding frame; front and rear lights, full-coverage fenders, integrated rear cargo rack, mounted display acts as a cycle computer and control unit for the drive system
  • Price: $3,599

Non-folding eBikes

Propella 7-Speed (V4.0) 

The Propella is the lightest ebike on the list at 37 pounds. As the company’s motto proclaims, its new 7-speed ebike is truly “Elegant. Light. Efficient.”

The Propella is non-folding but can be stored on a rack with a cover or inside your RV. The company mentions that even though all of the electrical components, including the battery pack, are rainproof, they recommend keeping the e-bike indoors during severe weather conditions.  (This should apply to all e-bikes.)

Features of the Propella eBike

  • Weight: 37lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Rider Height: 5’2″ – 6’4″
  • Motor: 250W (400W peak) Bafang rear geared hub
  • Battery: Samsung lithium-ion 36v (250Wh)
  • Power Modes: no throttle and 5 level pedal-assist
  • Range: 20-40 Miles
  • Max Speed: 18.5 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Shimano TX-805 mechanical disc brakes
  • Gears: Shimano Altus 7-Speed 
  • Tire Size: CST Xpedium 700CX35 tires
  • Notable Attributes: mounted display tracks battery level, pedal-assist, speed, distance
  • Price: $1,299


This electric fat-tire bike from Juiced Bikes means business! The RipCurrent can take you where you want to go when you want to go, full throttle on its meaty fat tires.  A second model RipCurrent S version is outfitted with a bigger battery and  longer range. The 70+ pound e-bike may be a bit much to lift onto a rack for some RVers, but they can easily fit in the back of toy haulers or secured in the bed of a truck. 

RVers Liz and Paul of Liz Amazing/Live Amazing recounted their experience with Juiced RipCurrent Fat Tire in the video below.  They discuss both the RipCurrent and RipCurrent S models.

Features of the Rip Current 

  • Weight: 70lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Rider Height: 5’4″ and 6’3″ (comes in M, L, and XL sizes)
  • Motor: 750 W Bafang hub motor
  • Battery: 52v 13.0 Ah Hyper Extended Range battery
  • Power Modes: thumb throttle up to 20 mph and pedal-assist up to 28 mph
  • Range: 40+ Miles
  • Max Speed: 28 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Gears: 9- Speed Shimano 
  • Tire Size: 26″x4″ All-Terrain Kenda tires
  • Notable Attributes: LCD Advanced Matrix Display,, headlight
  • Price: $1,699

Townie Go! 7D Step-Thru 

Since 2014, Electra eBikes have operated as part of the Trek Bicycle Corporation. Electra’s popular brand of cruiser ebikes, Townie Go!, continue to offer the same qualities that customers have been gushing over for years: comfort, handling, and overall design. The main differences between the many versions under the Townie GO! label are the price, step-over component, battery power, and tire size.  

The Townie Go! 7D Step-Thru non-folding e-bike, for instance, includes a lower step-over frame design and is built with smaller tires than its counterpart Townie Go! 7D Step-Over. These two Electra ebikes are currently the most affordable Townie Go! versions.

Features of the Townie Go! Step-Thru  

  • Weight: 48lbs (with battery)
  • Payload Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Rider Height: 4’11” – 5’11”
  • Motor: Hydrive rear hub motor, 250w
  • Battery: Hydrive 309Wh
  • Power Modes: no throttle and 3 level pedal-assist
  • Range: 20-50 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Gears: Shimano Revo 7-speed 
  • Tire Size: 26″ × 2.35″ balloon tires
  • Notable Attributes: LED display monitor, rear rack
  • Price: $1,499

Batch eBike

This next electric bike is referred to as simply Batch eBike or, more specifically, E-Commuter. Just like other commuter ebikes, this one is meant primarily for urban travel. The E-Commuter’s wide tires help with stability and support the additional weight of the battery and motor. It is sturdy but lightweight, enough to carry many supplies on an integrated rack but easy to maneuver around traffic.

This ebike is intended for the RVer that enjoys traveling into town on paved, relatively smooth surfaces. There are two variations to the original e-bike, Step-Thru and Step-Thru Plus. Both are pricier but offer many upgrades.

Features of the Batch eBike

  • Weight: 46.5lbs (with battery)
  • Rider Height: 4’11” -6’3″ (bikes come in different sizes)
  • Motor: Bosch Active Line Gen 3, 250w
  • Battery: Bosch 400Wh
  • Power Modes: no throttle and level pedal-assist up to 20 mph
  • Range: 30-80 Miles
  • Max Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Gears: Shimano Altus 8 speed 
  • Tire Size: Kenda Kwick Twenty.5 Sport E50 with K-Shield Protection 27.5 x 1.75″
  • Notable Attributes: Bosch Purion display monitor, rear rack
  • Price: $2,099

Pedal Bike Conversion

If you don’t want to fork over all that dough for a brand new ebike, there is always the option of buying used or converting your current bike to a power-assisted one. The most common method for transforming a bicycle to an ebike is to add a hub motor to the front or back wheel.  

Many conversion bike kits available on the market include all the necessary parts for a rebuild. They can usually be completed by the bike owner with little to no assistance. Depending on what comes in the kit, the cost can range from $100 to $1000. 

Swytch creates a Universal eBike Conversion Kit that can fit most bicycles, including mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, step-through bikes, and trikes. The start-up claims it makes the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit. The kit consists of a motor-equipped front wheel, handlebar-mounted docking station, and battery pack.  

The motor has enough pulling power to assist an adult up hills with a 30% incline. The battery delivers up to 30 miles of range after a 2-hour complete charge. The setup converts a conventional bicycle into a Class 1 capable ebike, clocking in at close to 20 mph. Of course, these are optimal speed and distance measurements. 

The video below from Swytch shows just how simple it is to complete a DIY pedal bike conversion.


Ebikes can be a fun addition to any RV trip. They can also assist RVers who are otherwise not active in living a more healthy lifestyle with exercise. Though most ebikes are definitely heavier than regular bicycles, some manufacturers are building units that pack easily or are more lightweight. The industry continues to grow and evolve. 

If the world of ebikes has piqued your interest, you can find even more information on iRV2 forums. RVers have been sharing their stories and experiences with their ebikes in many threads. Get suggestions on preferred brands, advice about caring for and maintaining ebikes, and tips from other riding enthusiasts.

Continue reading: Go On Longer, More Exciting Rides With An Electric Bike

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