When I was a young lad growing up on the beaches of LA, you could get a VW camper complete with a mostly rusted floor and an engine that ran when it felt like it. All it took was a trade of probably a six-pack of beer and maybe $50. Or maybe $100 if you were a lousy negotiator (or it wasn’t time for the owner to pay their rent just yet).
Today they’re like gold. Those old VW vans are pricey – as in, you could get a nice, new Class B van or a vintage VW van for about the same price.
The iconic VW vans just hold a magic for some folks. So I was intrigued when I saw the Dub Box USA camper in Girl Camper Magazine. I figured you might be as curious as I was about this unique rig.
What is the Dub Box
The Dub Box is a small fiberglass camper that looks like someone took a vintage VW van, cut off the driver cockpit, and turned it into a camp trailer. The top of the Dub Box is actually a pop-top affair much like one of those old pop-up tent campers. It’s complete with the manual crank which, in this case, is located on the tongue of the trailer.
There are actually two different models of the Dub Box camper series: a smaller version called the Dinky Dub, and then a larger model called the Adventure camper. In addition, the company makes mobile food service trailers in the same style. This would be a nifty thing to roll up in and serve coffee out of.
All the models they offer include the pop-top design. It effectively disappears when the top is down. The trailer is very similar in height to the second-generation VW Combi.
The smaller version, Dinky Dub, comes in two varieties: one with and one without a kitchen. These are referred to as Dinky Sleeper and Dinky Sleeper + Kitchenette. There is no mystery in the company’s naming convention – which is fine by me.
What’s inside the Dinky Dub
Essentially the Dinky Dub features a U-shaped dinette around the front of the camper. Once you get where you’re going, you simply crank the roof up and you can stand up inside the unit.
Windows surround the entire camper. There is an airy feel to the design, much as was the case in the original VW Combi.
Under the five-inch thick foam cushions that form the dinette are slats that pull out. So the entire dinette can become a bed using the backrest cushions to fill the void. Under the dinette are a series of drawers. The entire interior is made more inviting by the use of stained maple.
The appearance of the interior, as well as the exterior, is really closely matched to the old VW campers. It’s a look I really like. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, perhaps it’s just a really good design that carries over to today.
The Lagun table is very flexible
There is also a Lagun table in the trailer which is mounted to the cabinet at the front. The flexibility of the Lagun table is pretty terrific. You can raise the table on its mount so that it works at standing height. Or you can lower it to be shared among the folks sitting at the dinette. These tables also adjust all sorts of directions so that you can accommodate campers shaped like Stan Laurel and those shaped like Oliver Hardy.
If you do get the Dinky II, which offers the Kitchenette, you’ll get said food preparation space on a raised counter. In that there will be a combination two-burner stove and round sink which is covered with a glass lid.
The hatchback is like a pass-through window
Since there’s only the one sink, there is a small amount of fresh water, just eight gallons, with a ten-gallon gray tank. The back of the trailer includes a hatchback, as an original Combi would have. This is almost a pass-through window – so the person inside could pass lunch through. In fact, the Dub Box actually has a little table that slots in here so you could sit at the opening on the outside and get food passed through the hatchback to you.
Options for the camper include a high-performance roof fan, an awning, a cooler, a track to hold curtains you make yourself, an attachment for a portable outdoor shower and more.
Since the original VW vans were available with two-tone paint jobs, these are as well, including in colors that match the original vans. While I can’t conceive of towing one of these with one of those, it would be a neat looking combination to have a VW Combi towing one of these.
I remember as a youngster my parents, who came from Germany, only had VWs. At one point we considered buying a new VW Combi Westfalia as our main family vehicle. Ten-year-old me was very impressed with how far away my parents seemed in the front seat compared to our 1964 VW Squareback – which was showing signs of wear and age by that time. There I was way in the back with thoughts of sleeping in the bed up in the pop top. But my dad was having none of this van after he stepped on the brakes the first time.
Having owned a lot of vintage cars myself, one of the things you get used to is that brakes on old cars weren’t all that great. According to my dad at the time, the ones on the VW Combi were absolutely terrible compared even to the old Squareback we had. That alone killed the deal, especially when he considered the only thing between the driver and whatever 1970s boat would kill said driver was a single piece of sheet metal. Nope.
Nowadays, you no longer have to deal with lousy brakes or even minimalist power of an original VW Combi. You can upgrade braking and engine performance almost to ridiculous levels such that you can get an old VW van to hustle down the road with aplomb and have commensurate stopping performance as well.
There are a lot of small fiberglass trailers including the Happier Camper and the Meerkat, which I also like. But I think this one might win the style award, if there were one. That shows how iconic this shape is and how smart the designers at VW were all those many years ago.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!