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This VW Camper Beetle Is the ’70s Leisure Suit of RVs

Explanations for life’s strange happenings—a bit of closure—is something that often eludes us. But on occasion, the pieces fit together and we can make sense of the reasons behind things, such as the creation of a Volkswagen New Beetle-based camper we discovered back in May. If looks are anything to go by, that beautiful monstrosity might have been inspired by an older, more obscure design of Beetle camper, one called the Lil Bugger.

Built on the pan of a Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle, the Lil Bugger was constructed by a seemingly long-defunct upfitter out of Bellflower, California called Travelon Industries (no apparent connection to the maker of travel bags). According to the September 1975 issue of Popular Science, Travelon charged $2,795 for the conversion, which replaced everything aft of the windshield with a camper shell, making it about as long as a 2020 Honda Fit, but about two feet wider and taller respectively.

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