Wide Slow Hot Wet Load: rent a Dutchtub

It's been nine months since BikePortland.org outed our plan to rent Dutchtubs by bike, but we've finally gotten an insurance company to cover our crazy scheme, and the trailer is dialed in. BikePortland.org just finished up the inaugural rental (Valentine's Day!), and ran a story.

A Dutchtub is a portable wood-fired hot tub for four. Portable enough to deliver by bicycle. Do you see where this is going? Portland's bikey people deal with more than the usual amount of cold water most of the year. So collect it in a big beautiful tub, add 2 wheels and a bicycle hitch, brilliant Dutch design, friends or family, a hot fire, a meal cooked over flame, and it's all good. Slip in and soothe your bones under the stars or spiteful rainy clouds, no chemicals or motors necessary. You can now rent a Dutchtub, reservations being accepted starting 1 March. The rate is $400 for 3 nights, plus a $50 deposit refundable upon clean return. This fee includes the following:

  • The tub, complete with cover, fire coil shield, ash tray, wok, fill and drain hose with fittings and bung, leveling shims, stir paddle, custom bicycle trailer doubling as a hand cart
  • Delivery and pickup by Clever-certified bicycle tubbist* within our delivery area
  • Setup at your site, with instruction, tips for a successful first heating
  • ~60lbs dry wood for 1 heating; additional 60lbs @ $15
  • Approved cleaning products


The delivery area

View Clever Cycles Dutchtub rental bicycle delivery area in a larger map

What you need

  • A firm, level ground surface (no roofs, most decks, balconies) for the tub within 50 feet of a hose-ready water source, unless you can fill the tub by means of your own device. The tub cannot be moved full.
  • The site must be safe for an open wood fire (open to the sky!), with no low-hanging vegetation or other nearby fire hazards. Please consider your neighbors' tolerance for possible smoky drift, party noise, etc.
  • Access to this space must be open from the street to a width of 5'6" (66"). If there is a narrower gate, steps or other impediments, you or a friend capable of lifting about 100 lbs will need to be present at delivery and pickup times to help move the tub safely. There is no way to get a tub through a passage narrower than 34".
  • Our really long waiver, signed by you, indicating that you understand and accept full responsibility for all the hazards that open flames and almost one ton of hot water can present, especially combined with common party behaviors among adults, children, pets, etc. Your responsibility extends to the public if you site the tub in a public place such as a park, street party, cyclocross race, communal water-birth-athon, mass baptism, etc. You're also responsible for any damage to the tub while in your possession. And to clean it when done; we'll return your cleaning deposit upon return of the clean tub.

Since there is a learning curve getting the tub up to temperature in good time, you can arrange to have the tubbist stay as long as necessary to fill the tub, start and tend the fire, and otherwise assure that your event is care-free. This time will be billed at $75/hr. Depending on source water and ambient temperature, it takes 2-5 hours from strike of the match to get the tub full and hot, with fire tending and stirring required every 20 minutes or so.

If you want the tub outside the delivery area, you must transport it in a truck with suitable lashing and scratch protection. A tubbist will coordinate pickup and dropoff of the tub, helping you lift it into your truck, load wood and accessories, etc., but will not provide on-site support unless by special arrangement at $75/hr.

Email or call us to book with your desired dates and address. Program starts 1 March. We'll connect you with an available tubbist to work out details and billing.

* Tubbists are Clever Cycles staff who take the lane to deliver these expensive oversize items safely by bicycle in Portland. Sorry, our insurance won't cover civilians biking the tubs home. Yet. Tubbists have demonstrated competence in heating the tubs quickly, solving many common beginner problems. Some tubbists can cook. Some look good in bathing suits; others bathe fully clothed.

4 thoughts on “Wide Slow Hot Wet Load: rent a Dutchtub”

  • Lane Kagay

    I like it! Even though I live in Los Angeles, this concept tickles my fancy. You could get on the coast and head south...

  • [...] www.clevercycles.com [...]

  • [...] I saw this posted over at Clever Cycles. I love this hot tub and if it wasn’t so expensive Sharon and I would find a way to buy one. The climate here on Vancouver Island is cool and damp most of the year so coming home from an adventure and being able to fire up the hot tub to soak our weary bodies would be so great. There is a ton of free firewood on the island so we could operate the tub for very little $$. [...]

  • juliette authier
    juliette authier February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I would like to apply for a position as part-time Clever-certified bicycle tubbist, with the guarantee that I will happily work in a vintage bathing suit, a different one for each season.

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