This retro motorhome is one of the most versatile motorhomes you will ever find
Travel trailers tend to offer limited flexibility when purchasing a layout and that’s what you’re stuck with for your property. The Happier Camper HC1 removes these limitations. Its modular floor and huge tailgate make it probably one of the most versatile RVs on the road.
I recently marveled at the ease of customization of the Sea-Doo Switch pontoon boat and wish more vehicles were built like this. The motorhome world could benefit from such a similarity. While trailer buyers can get different setups, they’re usually stuck with whatever they get. It is not possible to go back and move the sink or convert it to a utility trailer for a day, at least not easily.
The people of Happier camper think they have the solution with their HC1 motorhome and its floor in the form of a building block.
The HC1 starts out as a retro-styled motorhome. It is built with a double fiberglass hull for added strength and its design resembles travel trailers from the 1950s and 1960s. It is 3.05m long for the hull and 3.96m in total.
Fiberglass not only gives cool designs, but an incredibly low dry weight. This is one of the reasons that I adore fiberglass campers. The HC1 weighs 499 kg with a tongue weight of 49 to 58 kg. This thing can basically be towed by anything with a tow rating.
But that’s nothing new as fiberglass campers have been absurdly lightweight for decades.
The difference between the HC1 is on the inside. Open the hatch and you have a fully modular fiberglass floor, ready to set up a living space.
The company calls it the Adaptive system and it offers a bunch of different cubes that you can throw from seats and storage to a sink, refrigerator and even a dry flush toilet. The cubes snap into place like LEGO bricks and there are also places in the ground for the table legs.
The modular layout also means you can remove the cubes to have furniture outside next to a campfire or for outdoor cooking. Or you can leave some of the cubes at home and use the motorhome as a utility trailer.
The trailer has D-rings all over just for this purpose.
If the small HC1 is too small, the firm also offers the HCT Traveler with its 4.27 m hull. It’s also modular, but loses the cool hatch, so you won’t be able to ride a motorcycle in it. Its design is also retro, reminiscent of the fiberglass trailers of the 1980s.
For what it loses in transport capacity, it benefits from having a shower, a plumbed toilet and a water heater. This one is still just as light, with a dry weight of 816 kg and a tongue weight of 100 kg.
Now for the huge downside. The basic 3.96m Happier Camper HC1 starts at US $ 29,950 (A $ 39,950). This base price gives you lots of pillows, a few tables, and a few basic modular cubes. You can add a kitchenette for US $ 2,175 (A $ 2,901) and a refrigerator for US $ 1,335 (A $ 1,781). The 5.18m Traveler costs US $ 49,950 (A $ 66,628).
This makes that more expensive than Prank, a popular brand of fiberglass trailers. A 3.96m fiberglass Scamp motorhome would have starts at around US $ 15,000 ($ 20,009) and while you lose all the cool versatility, you can get a shower, stove, sink, and toilet right off the bat. It’s a similar story with Scamp’s taller 16ft, starting at around US $ 17,000 (A $ 22,676).
So you’ll have to decide if the new modularity is worth the giant price jump. Nonetheless, I’m happy that these things exist and hope that even more manufacturers will embrace modular designs.