Home » The Coolest Lego-Like Modular Fiberglass Camper On Sale Is Now A Lot More Affordable

The Coolest Lego-Like Modular Fiberglass Camper On Sale Is Now A Lot More Affordable

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Back in 2015, recreational vehicle startup Happier Camper flipped the script when it released its HC1 travel trailer. On the outside, the fiberglass camper looked like a nod to the classic Boler. On the inside, the trailer was decked out with a totally modular floor, allowing owners to change their layout on the fly like an adult set of Lego. If there was a problem, it was that the HC1 carried a hefty price for the modular system. Now, Happier Camper has figured out how to trim the fat and lower the price. The new Happier Camper HC1 Breeze has the same modular floor, but now for $24,950.

It can be said that there isn’t a ton of innovation in the RV world right now. Indeed, most manufacturers will sell you the same boring boxes filled with the same equipment. Sure, maybe you could get the couch in a different corner, maybe you can get the exterior painted black, or maybe you’ll find some thrill in a faulty emergency brake cable, but it seems hard to find something truly innovative.

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That’s what makes smaller firms so much fun. Where the big guys are all chasing each other and building the same thing, startups and independents often stand out by doing something different. Happier Camper doesn’t just build stylish vintage-style fiberglass campers, but those trailers come with the neat trick of having a modular floorplan that you can change on the fly.

Back in 2009, Happier Camper founder Derek Michael made it big when his iBallz iPad case went viral. He bought a 1960 Boler fiberglass camper to travel to conventions and shows with. Michael loved the camper so much that he started collecting and restoring more of the fiberglass rigs. Eventually, this led to a rental fleet of restored vintage fiberglass campers. Then, Michael decided to build his own fiberglass camper, but with a modern twist.

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Happier Camper launched in 2015 and its debut product was the 13-foot HC1 travel trailer. The Happier Camper HC1 has a lot going for it from the vintage style and 1,100-pound empty weight to the hatch on the back. It’s a stylish trailer towable by just about any car with a tow rating! That isn’t even the best part. Pop open the hatch and you’re presented with a modular layout. Just place down your Lego-like cubes to make the trailer you need for that moment. Or, take all of the cubes out and have a cargo trailer. Happier Camper sells modular cubes that consist of benches, countertop cubes, kitchenette cubes, bunk bed cubes, and even toilet cubes.

The HC1 was cool enough, but then Happier Camper started coming out with different variations on its concept. The Traveler is 17 feet long and adds a fixed wet bath and kitchen to a larger modular floorplan.

Then there’s the HC1 Studio, which tosses the bathroom and kitchen into the smaller HC1. Along the way, Happier Camper also added the HC1 Venture, a fiberglass trailer perfect for a mobile business.

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All of these trailers are awesome, but I’ve noticed a common complaint about all of them: They’re just too expensive. The HC1 used to cost $34,950, now it’s $29,950. Meanwhile, the Traveler will set you back $49,950, down from its initial price of $69,950. Splitting the difference is the HC1 Studio, which is $39,950 after a price reduction from $49,950.

Now, these prices are still pretty steep. A Scamp 13, one of the cheapest fiberglass campers on the market, is about $19,921 before you start tacking on options. This summer, Happier Camper has unveiled its latest camper, and this one is the cheapest Happier Camper Yet.

The Happier Camper HC1 Breeze

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In mid-August, Derek Michael unveiled his latest creation. The HC1 Breeze is at its core the same Happier Camper HC1 that people love, but it’s now more affordable so more people can access the trailer’s modular goodness. From Happier Camper:

We wanted something that made our brand accessible to more of our fans. We’re calling it the “Breeze” to represent its lightness and simplicity, while also nodding to the unique color it will launch with called, “Venice breeze,” said Derek Michael, Happier Camper.

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The HC1 Breeze is similar to the regular HC1, but it has fewer features. In the above picture, you’ll find the HC1 Breeze between two regular HC1s.

Happier Camper says the frame has been simplified and boasts increased rigidity while the double-wall insulated 1.5-inch fiberglass shell has also gotten a mild makeover. There are new marker lights and the front window has also been deleted. Another notable change is the lack of two-tone paint like the regular HC1.

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Pop open the hatch of the HC1 Breeze and you’ll find a familiar HC1 interior with a modular floor that includes drains. More price-slashing methods are found here.

You get just four of the Adaptiv modular cubes as opposed to the five you’ll get in a standard HC1. There are also four floor panels as opposed to five, two floor panels with table leg supports instead of three, and you also miss out entirely on the nightstand kit. Outside, the trailer doesn’t get front stabilizers, a porch light, or a pouch for the side door. Otherwise, you get the same set of cushions and half cubes as the HC1. One thing the HC1 Breeze gets standard that the HC1 doesn’t get is a stowable toilet.

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Another departure from the HC1 is the HC1 Breeze’s option list. For $5,000, you can get the Breeze Family Package, which adds a convertible bunk bed and couch plus a kitchenette with a sink, meal prep surfaces, and refrigerator.

Meanwhile, options for the regular HC1 include an awning, a stereo system, solar panels, a device docking station, privacy screens, and more. Happier Camper can even outfit your HC1 with a low-wattage air-conditioner. It’s unclear if you can do the same with the HC1 Breeze. The roof vent is still there, so in the worst case, you could add your own air-conditioner. Interior height is noted to be 6 feet, 1 inch. It’s not the greatest camper for tall people, but that’s still enough room for many to walk through.

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You get all of this in a camper that weighs just 1,000 pounds with a tongue weight as low as 100 pounds. I bet a Smart Fortwo could tow this trailer without breaking a sweat!

I think Happier Camper is finally beginning to hit the spot. At $24,950, the HC1 Breeze is still more expensive than something like a Scamp, but cheaper than the $29,950 Relic Trailer, cheaper than the $29,970 MeerKat trailer, and far cheaper than the roughly $50,000 NuCamp Barefoot. Not even a used Airstream Nest can beat that price.

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This is another trailer I hope to test out one day. On paper, the Happier Camper HC1 variants seem like great ideas. There aren’t many super compact campers out there that could haul your dirt bike one day and be your weekend camper the next. And now, these trailers have a price that many people might be able to afford.

(Images: Happier Camper)

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Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
9 months ago

These are really cool, but it bugs me that the beltline trim doesn’t continue onto the door or hatch, and they aren’t painted to match the two-tone paint schemes.

But I’m 6’3″, so I guess I’ll never have to worry about it anyway. Maybe they’ll make an extra tall variant someday?

Last edited 9 months ago by Gerontius Garland
StillPlayswithCars
StillPlayswithCars
9 months ago

Man, campers just aren’t for me. I saw this and thought, “hey that’s neat maybe I’ll look into one of those for family camping trips!” Then I got to the price, “NOPE!” $25k buys a lot of hotel rooms and a nice tent man.

The Dude
The Dude
9 months ago

Love the look and overall approach and this would be the on the short list for an eventual camper purchase. Although the wife is leaning more towards an RV (one of the smaller ones, not a gigantic bus).

For most of the content you miss out on, can they at least be purchased after? If so, that’s a great way to get someone in and the buy some more modular bits as the budget allows.

Ben
Ben
9 months ago

I hope this is a sign that RV prices across the board are going to come back down to something with a passing resemblance to reasonable. If this is really priced within spitting distance of a Scamp it’s rather interesting. I’m pretty sure customizing the layout of a Scamp would cost more than the price difference.

That said, a 6’1″ interior height is a dealbreaker for me. Too bad.

You get all of this in a camper that weighs just 1,000 pounds with a tongue weight as low as 100 pounds. I bet a Smart Fortwo could tow this trailer without breaking a sweat!

Maybe, but as a nearly full-height trailer I suspect these still have a pretty large aerodynamic profile, which tends to be more important than weight, especially in these smaller trailers.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
9 months ago

Considering the outrageous sums that companies want to charge me for not just pitching a tent, I truly can’t imagine buying any camper brand new. You can set up an absolutely glamorous tent if you’re just car camping. Trailers are best bought used. Props to the people with $25k+ to burn that allow me to continue making reasonable financial decisions

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
9 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Right? Just picked up an A-frame Chalet for around 5k, 20k new. It has all the same stuff but the graphics look very 2006 because it is. I’m going to remove them and make some different ones, it will look $15k more expensive.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
9 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

This is always where I get hung up.

I get it if you’re on the move from place to place versus just setting up one camp, having a place ready to go is nice. Having a place to hang out when the weather is abysmal is nice. And having hard walls to keep campground noise out is also nice.

But man, 400$ buys a pretty nice tent.

I get why people who aren’t looking for a project would opt for a new camper though. Buying something that wasn’t built well to begin with used is a serious gamble, and these small, lightweight campers aren’t particularly easy to find on the used market. And some of the used prices are also sort of nuts.

Last edited 9 months ago by Taargus Taargus
Austin Vail
Austin Vail
9 months ago

There’s a Morris Minor sitting derelict in someone’s yard in my area, with the entire bodywork from the front doors back cleanly cut off (might’ve been a woodie wagon that rotted away). After seeing this, and assorted “house cars” from the 50s, I want to put an HC1 Breeze on the back of that Morris Minor and build a little retro house car. Might need an engine swap and suspension mods to cope with modern traffic, but could still cost less to build than one of those higher-end Happier Campers and be even more happy.

David Escargot
David Escargot
9 months ago

I have a feeling that if I bought one… someone wouldn’t be a happy camper….

Gubbin
Gubbin
9 months ago

Now you’ve got me thinking of a horse/toy hauler with modular living quarters up front. Strip it all out and you have a huge enclosed trailer.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
9 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

I’ve also considered that, but would the natural horse odor ever go away?

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
9 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

I have a sibling who owns one of those fancy horse trailers with a living compartment for his ranch, and the answer is no. Even the living compartment that has never seen a horse smells of horse….smells. It is a nice trailer, though sizeable enough you need a beefy tow vehicle.

Gubbin
Gubbin
9 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

Spouse: “Why would you want it to?”

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

The fact that it doubles as a cargo trailer is intriguing, any idea what the floor capacity is? Like, could you move a refridgerator in it?

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I’d be nervous using it as a cargo trailer because that’s one expensive cargo trailer. A “real” cargo trailer has wood floors, lower loading height, and typically tie down points (floor, walls, wherever). You can slide shit into it and you don’t give a fuck if you scuff the floor. Here, well…

My other complaint is the grid pattern on the floor likely makes this a mild PITA to sweep out; both as a camper and cargo trailer.

3WiperB
3WiperB
9 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

It doesn’t show it well, even on their website, but from the photos, it looks like there are also flooring pieces that snap into the grid for the areas that you don’t use benches, etc.

CandleCamper
CandleCamper
9 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I use a leaf blower in my camper. Not good for rainy days, but awesome on dry days.

Loudog
Loudog
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yes. I have a 2016 HC1 and I use it for cargo all the time. I cut a few pieces if plywood to cover the floor and use the tie downs. Works great.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago

I hope you get a chance to review these: seems like they’re listening to one of my peoples (the cheaper & lighter crowd), and I’d love to hear what you think of their quality

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