Dub Box makes a smaller, lighter VW Microbus caravan

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Dub Box strips things down to the basics for a simple, more affordable trailer that buyers can customize how they want(Credit: Dub Box)

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Oregon's Dub Box is set to become the latest caravan maker to get in on the smaller, lighter trend. Only its smaller, lighter camping trailer won't be the average teardrop, box or utility bed. It'll be a shortened version of the timeless Volkswagen Bus. Compared to the original Dub Box, the 1,000-lb (454-kg) Dinky Dub loses close to 3 feet (1 m) of length, a pair of windows and a whole lot of price.

Just last month, we watched caravan icon Airstream go small with the new Basecamp trailer, saying it finally felt the market right for the model, which had a short run years prior. Dub Box doesn't have a legacy with the breadth of Airstream's, but its trailer motif certainly does. The company specializes in VW Type 2-inspired pop-top fiberglass camping trailers. The trailers provide an option for those that love the looks of the classic VW Bus but want to camp in something simpler and more modern than a restored vintage camper bus.

The original Dub Box at Overland Expo East 2016(Credit: Dub Box)

The original Dub Box has evolved over the years, as we saw at this month's Overland Expo East show. Instead of a fixed roof, it now comes with a pop-up roof that runs the full length of the trailer. It's also gotten more expensive, helping Dub Box reach the realization that a smaller, simpler, more affordable trailer would find an eager audience.

That smaller, simpler VW Type 2 tow-along is the Dinky Dub, which is set to hit the market next year as a 9.5-foot (2.9-m) trailer with 1,000-lb (454-kg) dry weight. It maintains the original's retro VW flair but wears fewer windows per side because of its shorter length. It also loses the pop top, which means adult occupants will have to bend down to clear the 4.3-foot (1.3-m) max interior height.

The centerpiece of the Dinky Dub is its convertible dinette set, which features two opposing benches, an end bench and a centered table. At night, that furniture transforms into a two-person bed that fills up most of the cabin.

A modular kitchenette just inside the rear hatch comes standard as a basic console with worktop. Options like a sink and portable stove turn the kitchenette into a fully functional caravan kitchen, the "build-a-box" design allowing buyers to outfit it as they see fit. Renderings show a flip-up counter extension at the far end of the kitchenette adding outdoor space below the raised liftgate for cooking and food prep.

The Dinky Dub also comes with an onboard battery stored inside the tongue box. It's built on a powder-coated steel frame.

Beyond that, the Dub Box is a blank canvas. Buyers can bring along their own camping gear or select options from Dub Box's list, which includes the aforementioned sink and stove, hot/cold water system, refrigerator and solar panels. With its generous loading berth, the Dinky Dub should make it easy to slide things like bikes and boards inside, and the table removes to offer extra cargo space and interior flexibility.

Dub Box is still finalizing the design and the aforementioned specs are subject to change. It hasn't priced out all the options just yet, but it estimates that the base trailer will start at US$12,800 when it arrives in 2017, much lower than the $22K base of its larger trailer.

Update: Dub Box contacted us after publishing to let us know that its lower-price strategy will extend beyond the Dinky Dub in 2017. In place of the standard $22K camper, it will offer the $16,500 Adventurer I and $18,900 Adventurer II, which will share the dimensions of the $22K Dub Box but feature modified interior and chassis designs to save on price. The company is still preparing information and photos on those models, so we'll look more closely at them when it releases all those materials.

Source: Dub Box

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