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1974 VW Beetle Towing a Custom 5th Wheel Camper

Right now I want to show you this amazing 1974 VW Beetle with a really unique 5th wheel travel trailer camper that can be attached to it.

It’s a rare, bizarre, and down-right awesome combination, isn’t it? I just had to share it with you today. And who knows what it can inspire?

I can just see something similar being done with one of today’s high-efficiency vehicles (like a Prius). Wouldn’t it be great getting to tow your camper with a 50MPG hybrid?

This particular 5th wheel camper has a full bathroom, kitchen, closet space, and it can even sleep up to 4 adults! And the weight is perfectly distributed to the vehicle with 360-degree turning capacity. Absolutely amazing!

According to the video, the Beetle was able to get 18-20 MPG while towing it. I wonder how well a Prius would do. Maybe up to 34 MPG? Why doesn’t something like this exist today?

1974 VW Beetle Towing a Custom 5th Wheel Camper

1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper

1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper 1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper 1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper 1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper 1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper 1974 VW Beetle Towing a 5th Wheel Camper

VIDEO: VW Beetle Towing a Custom 5th Wheel Camper for Compact Cars

Our big thanks to Bob Sheraton for sharing!

You can help us spread the word on this amazing compact car 5th wheel camper by “Liking” on Facebook using the button below and re-sharing this story using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Every share helps, including yours. And we’d love to read your best thoughts in the comments below. Thank you so much.

If you enjoyed this 5th wheel camper for compact cars you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more! Thank you!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Tom
    December 31, 2014, 7:08 pm

    I remember these from the 70s. They didn’t catch on because the trailer was too heavy for the small cars to really pull. Often times the weight of the trailer would cause the transmission or engine to fail after much pulling. Also the cars were too under powered to pull the trailer up much of a hill. Not to mention that overloading the car this way voids the manufacture warranty.

    • CathyAnn
      December 31, 2014, 7:23 pm

      That’s too bad. What a concept! Love to see what that trailer was like inside.

    • Lisa E.
      December 31, 2014, 8:45 pm

      Well, that leaves wiggle room for some innovative truck company to get in there since the Tiny House Movement is on the move!

  • Mike
    December 31, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Incredible! It’s great to look back and see novel ideas that glimmer of genius, even if they did have some glitches. Thanks for this one Alex, it was fun!

  • Karen R
    December 31, 2014, 10:01 pm

    Need to revisit this concept with new ultra light materials.

  • George
    December 31, 2014, 11:00 pm

    Love this concept. Wanted to build one for my Beetle TDI. Unfortunately, the federal DOT will not allow trailers to be connected in any manner other than designed by the manufacturer or with permission of the manufacturer. A fifth-wheel camper on a modern Beetle or Prius would be great. I just don’t want to take the chance with an overzealous cop. The trick here would be to find an older vehicle (other than a pickup truck) that allowed a 5th wheel type connection…. any ideas?

  • Joyce
    December 31, 2014, 11:37 pm

    What about the old Ranchero and other vehicles that had the car nose and truck tail? Then the Subaru Bajha or maybe some of the Jeep or Tracker style vehicles that have an open back end. If the tail is long enough to support a 5th wheel hitch I wonder if any of these would work.

  • Randy
    January 2, 2015, 2:10 pm

    I want one and I want it now

  • Platos Redhaired Stepchild
    February 14, 2015, 12:23 pm

    This is a Shadow trailer by Harmon Industries in Warrensburg, Mo.


    • Alex
      February 15, 2015, 9:48 am

      Thank you!!!

  • Brian
    February 16, 2015, 7:41 pm

    Can you find these anymore? Does anybody have an idea as to where I might be able to find one of these?? I’ve been looking but no such luck so far.

  • Jeremy
    April 9, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Check it out we found one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpwH9WeVEfU

  • Dominick Bundy
    April 26, 2015, 10:06 am

    Nice! but I’d like to have seen the inside of that trailer, and it’s layout..

  • Sue
    June 21, 2015, 4:20 pm

    I would love to have one of these…do they still make them? Where/who? How can we find one?

  • Meghan craig
    October 20, 2015, 3:25 pm

    I have a camper made to be pulled by a VWBug. It’s called a playpac. It can easily be pulled by a VWBug or smaller car

  • Martha
    November 4, 2015, 4:02 pm

    Is the main focus here the car? The outside of the trailer? What about the inside?

  • Chris
    November 4, 2015, 7:48 pm

    To anyone who wants to try something like this, PLEASE be very careful! There are many factors that go into towing such as the vehicle’s transmission, suspension, overall weight, and most important, BRAKES! Any vehicle can pull weight, it’s the controlling and stopping the weight that small vehicles have trouble with. As interesting as this concept is, there are many good reasons why you don’t see these on the road.

  • Lil
    November 4, 2015, 8:00 pm

    I would love this can you imagine how easy it would be to back it in! Wish they would build them again, but I bet the price would be out of reach.

  • Nanny M
    November 5, 2015, 7:36 am

    Clever, ingenious, bet we could come up with a safe, updated version.

  • virgil handlon sr
    May 20, 2020, 7:32 pm

    are there any out there for sale?

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