I had a VW bug that looked a lot like this one. I bought it for $50 from a woman who claimed it was possessed. She owed quite a bit of money for it, but just wanted it gone.

I rebuilt the engine and carburetor in my second story bedroom one winter. This was around 1978/79.

I wanted to live in it full time while I traveled around Vermont and explored every single dirt road I could find. I think it was a DeLorme Atlas I had. In a year I put over 10,000 miles on the VW exploring Vermont πŸ™‚

What I did was to leave in the driver’s seat, but completely take out the passenger and back seat. I had an old fashioned green metal Coleman cooler that I put where the passenger seat formerly was.


Then I built a plywood platform that covered that and the back. I put foam cut to size over the plywood. I left the compartment in the way-back to store food and kitchen things.

I was used to being a long distance backpacker with everything on my back, so the bug felt spacious πŸ™‚ I put my backpacking tent and gear under the front hood.


In the roof rack was a VW bus tent similar to this. I bought it from my gay hairdresser for $100. He was a hoot πŸ™‚

I had a boyfriend named Jaime. I drove, he sat on the passenger side or lounged in the back.

We stayed in state parks. They were cheap in those days. I was getting $35 a week or every other week in unemployment. Between that and picking up 5Β’ returnable cans on the side of the road, we did pretty well. Sometimes he played his guitar and sang on streetcorners, bars and the farmer’s market. People threw money in his guitar case. We got short term jobs helping farmers with haying, rounding up calves and he did milking.

Sometimes we camped on land belonging to people we had just met. Once we lived on a deserted road in an old milk house while we worked for a farmer. We always found some way to get by. It was exciting to find enough cans to buy an onion or a box of mac and cheese.

We could pitch the VW bus tent and drive the bug inside for bad weather camping. The whole thing was quite the adventure.