You ever go to Lowe’s because the good hardware store is closed and you need some tubing or whatever, and then when you’re leaving, you spot a type of trailer you haven’t seen before in your rearview mirror and turn around to go check it out? I have, and this was the trailer. An Apache Cub, a little worse for wear and being towed behind a Fiat 500.
What caught my attention was that it looked a little like a boat. I thought, “Huh, that looks like a boat, I wonder if it’s a boat.” Turns out, the part of the trailer I spotted is not a boat, but it is the trailer part of a brilliant little trailer, camper, boat setup called the Apache Cub. That’s actually an acronym: Camper, Utility, Boat. A bedboard with a 2-1/2 inch mattress sits in the trailer and the tent is pitched above. The upper shell is the boat.
This is a Nomad, same idea, different camper:
The Cub was only made for one year, 1981, according to a post on Apacheowners.com. Unless there’s another company that made Apache brand-name pop-up trailers, it was made by the Vesely Mfg co of Lapeer, Michigan. I’m not going to digress into this, but it looks like the owner of that company, and his wife were kidnapped in 1975 by a guy in an utterly terrifying homemade mask.
The shell is polyethylene, the floor is plywood and the frame of the trailer is steel. It looks lightweight — look at those little tires! — but at least the trailer portion of it is still seeing use 40 years after it was manufactured. According to the sales literature, you could purchase any single part of the system, which makes no goddamn sense.
There isn’t a ton of information on these little campers online, so if you happen to know anything, please get in touch. We’re tips at jalopnik dot com.