Yes, They Used to Turn VW Bugs Into Campers

And if you know where to look, you can still find one

April 10, 2017 9:00 am

At first glance, the Super Bugger Camper looks like the bastard offspring of an RV and a clown car.

But it’s no joke. In fact, the highly conspicuous VW Bug conversions were once a car-camping staple in California. It all began in the late ’60s, when a Costa Mesa outfit called Super Bugger started retrofitting 1968 VW Beetle chassis with a kitchenette, dining table and fold-out queen-sized bed. In 1977, they were advertised in Mechanix Illustrated for the price of $5,995 — about $27,000 these days, adjusting for inflation.

super bugger camper (6 images)

They were light enough to garner 23 miles per gallon but had a top speed of just 55 miles per hour, making them a bit sluggish for today’s freeways. (Maybe you could take one to Zelectric Motors in San Diego, pros at bringing dated VWs up to green-speed.) Still, they packed all the enterprising outdoorsman needed: mobility, sleepability and a roof over his head.

Just add some surfboard racks and the Pacific Coast Highway is all yours.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!