Happier Camper review: A vintage-style caravan from the future

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Basically, a motorhome is a place to sleep. But when a person decides to buy a motorhome, that camper often has to do more than just provide a bed – they have to be ready for the adventure. Do you like motorhomes and caravans? Come join our community group.

Today, RV enthusiasts are asking for smaller, more affordable RVs and trailers, but capable of carrying bikes, storing in a kitchen, and sleep a family.

These demands may seem nearly impossible to some manufacturers, but a new class of companies – think ModVans, SylvanSport, Happier Camper, Taxa Outdoors – have taken over, disrupting an industry long known for their boring, uninspired design.

Are these new models flash-in-the-pan concepts that fall flat in the real world? Or do they hold up in real camping conditions? I decided to find out.

Earlier this summer, I spent a weekend with the Happier Camper HC1 to see how the trailer stacks up against more traditional designs. I usually camp in my converted sprinter van and prefer not to have to tow an RV. But the HC1 intrigued me from the start.

First, there is the vintage style. The fiberglass trailer is cute as a button with a large tailgate, wide entry door and classic fender. Available in a plethora of colors (such as Pacific Blue, Bishop Red, Topanga Turquoise, and Mojave Sage), the two-tone paint job only adds to the adorability of the motorhome, as does a window on the door. It’s a trailer that makes people stop and do a double take, and a welcome break from the tired swoopy graphics found on most VRs.

The HC1 is easy to tow and only weighs 1,100 dry pounds, which means it can be towed by most vehicles (but always check your own vehicle’s towing weight). Mounted leveling jacks make camp setup easy, and our family of two adults and two children spent over a few minutes exploring the trailer, ohhh and uh on the various components.

Right away, we liked the large windows (blinds included) and the clean style of the fiberglass interior shell. My kids opened and closed the top storage cabinets, turned the LED lights on and off, and examined every locker hole they could find. But what excited everyone the most were the cubes.

It’s hard to explain the modular concept of the HC1 without a visual, so watch the video above. The Adaptiv system created by Happier Camper allows you to customize the trailer on the go, easily creating different layouts. As an organizational junkie who constantly has to pack and unpack for a family, this is the aspect I was most excited to try.

Each standard cube is 16 inches high, 20 inches deep, and 20 inches wide, and the motorhome starts with a base of six cubes. These cubes nest into the ground, much like Legos, and are made from lightweight, weather-resistant plastic. The floors also come with table inserts in several places, D-ring ties and a front drain.

Happier Camper has a bunch of different cube components, but the RV we tried came with the bench cubes and a larger kitchenette cube with a five gallon water tank, sink, two extensions. folding counters on each side and a storage space below. We played with the cubes in different places, trying out the kitchenette at the front of the motorhome and also at the back.

The cubes have fitted cushions in weather-resistant fabrics, so you can use them outdoors as well. The kitchen cube is a bit heavier to move, but it can also be lifted outside for cooking outdoors. While I still prefer my camping chairs in terms of comfort, it’s a good advantage that I don’t have to bring extra chairs on shorter trips and use the cubes instead.

By far my favorite part about cubes is that they can stack and serve as storage. We threw things there a bit at random, but if we had an HC1 I would organize the cubes (and probably buy more) so we could take what we needed for each trip – sometimes bringing the cube with bike supplies and sometimes not. Each cube can hold a surprising amount of stuff, and I loved that you didn’t have to see all of your stuff; store everything in cubes and the main cabin stays organized.

When it came time to sleep, we moved the cubes to form a large queen-size bed in the back of the cabin which had plenty of room for two adults. Our children slept in an optional bunk bed. To do this, a sofa-like section flipped over to create an upper bunk that can support up to 120 pounds. The lower bunk was a bit narrow for an adult, but worked great for a child.

Overall, the 72 square foot trailer was surprisingly spacious for our family of four. The rain prevented us from leaving the tailgate door open (although we could keep the Jalousie windows open) and unfortunately we were unable to test the outdoor bar table that attaches under the window.

Happier Camper cubes can be used indoors or outdoors.

One downside became evident during a rain break over the stormy weekend. Despite the blinds, the white interior of the motorhome means that once the sun comes up, you are on your feet. We prefer the dark sleep cave we have in our van, and this was reaffirmed at 6:05 am when our kids decided the bright sun meant it was time to get up and shine.

Beyond that little complaint, the HC1 lived up to the hype. The modular system created by Happier Camper means that the trailer is endlessly customizable. For example, I wasn’t convinced I liked the countertop extensions on the kitchenette as it limited where this cube could go in the RV. When I told Happier Camper about it, they assured me that the kitchenette could be done without these extensions.

A long list of add-ons makes the RV feel more like a custom build than anything else at this price point (the RV starts at $ 24,950). There are different types of cushions, a cooler cooler, a closet, a dry flush toilet, a rear hatch privacy screen, a dealership window, TV mounts – the list goes on. and again, allowing you to configure the motorhome exactly the way you want it. I like this.

Want to sleep five? Use 15 cubes to form a mega-bed in the HC1. Need to transport a kayak or a motorbike? Remove the cubes and use the D-rings and ties to get to where you need to go, gear included. Looking to set up a small mobile office or a mobile store? Happier Camper can do that too.

Despite its vintage roots, the HC1 is a motorhome for the 21st century, not bound by fixed provisions or expectations. Although I was initially drawn to the cute style and inviting colors of Happier Camper, I am convinced by the brand thanks to its innovative and modular system.

This, for me, is the key. Class B motorhomes have gained popularity largely because they can be used in so many ways: as a daily driver, as an adventure craft, and as a truck for hauling things. The HC1 is the travel trailer equivalent of the motorhome, a preview of where the industry is heading. In my opinion, this future is more versatile and more functional, with a clear emphasis on design. This way, Happier Camper ticks all the boxes.

A couple sits inside a fiberglass campervan facing the ocean.

The interior of the HC1 measures only 72 square feet but is surprisingly spacious.

A blue kayak inside a white and green fiberglass camper van.

The HC1 can accommodate kayaks, bicycles and more thanks to its modular system.

A blue and white fiberglass camper van with the rear door and side window open.

The HC1 with open side window and rear door.

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