A few years ago back when there was a big RV show in California, my wife and I went down there specifically to look at the Happier Camper. That was before we bought our travel trailer and well before I started writing these daily RV reviews. What appealed to us about that trailer was the unique interior pieces. They were sort of RV Lego blocks that the company calls their Adaptiv™ System.
Essentially these are portable blocks that form the components you’d want in an RV. There’s a lot to like about this system, including the fact that you can buy one of their diminutive Happier Camper travel trailers as sort of a “blank canvas” and then add the various Adaptiv pieces to build what you want.
You could order one of their trailers with the various components that you wanted to complete the finished product you desired, or you could also buy them as you figure out how you want to camp. Further, none of these blocks are permanently mounted so you can also reconfigure the blocks as you change camping style.
Flexible options in this unique system
That’s also a plus in that you could buy blocks that work if you go camping by yourself, for example, but also if you bring another person along. You might also configure the camper differently depending on where you go camping and what adventure you’re planning to enjoy. It’s a nifty system and absolutely unique in the industry.
The floor of the Happier Camper, now called the HC1, is a sort of grid system into which the various blocks fit.
There are all sorts of blocks available for this Adaptiv system, including a cooler, bed/seat surfaces and tables, to name a few. One of the many things that are hallmarks of this system is that the Adaptiv blocks are all plastic. You can lift them out of the camper and use them outdoors if you’d like.
Despite the large windows in the HC1, there were folks who wanted more. Isn’t that how it always is? And thus, Happier Camper now has the Traveler. Even with an additional four feet of length and 700 pounds more of dry weight, the Traveler is still a featherweight model by most campers’ definition.
The Traveler is a scant 1800 pounds dry and measures just 17 feet overall—ball to bumper. But it’s a different attitude as it includes a sink, stove and even a bathroom, all things that were not built into their previous offering. It’s also a bit more traditional in its styling outside and lacks the giant hatchback of the HC1.
The kitchen in the Traveler
The kitchen in this unit features a sink, two-burner propane stove and a drawer-style refrigerator. But among the various Adaptiv cubes are also coolers and small refrigerators. So if the fridge that’s in the Traveler doesn’t cut the mustard for your chill box needs, there are options.
Owing to its larger size, it also is fully walkable inside with a ceiling height of 6’ 5”, four more than the HC1.
The kitchen and bath in this model essentially split the trailer in half. The kitchen is on the camp side and the bath on the road side. The front and rear space still have the grid flooring design and will accommodate those nifty Adaptiv blocks.
Tow the line
One of the claims that Happier Camper is making is that this trailer is small and light enough that you still don’t absolutely have to have a full-sized pickup to tow it around. There’s a rotating graphic on the trailer’s web page that shows things like Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a Sprinter van and a Subaru all doing tow vehicle duty.
I do some articles for Girl Camper Magazine, and this is one of the types of vehicles probably most talked about in their forums. A lot of people would rather not have to buy a larger vehicle to tow a travel trailer, but their taste for adventure is strong.
Since this camper features a 17-gallon fresh water tank and same size gray tank, this one does afford more off-the-grid functionality. The company also indicates that this features a “dry flush” toilet. I suspect that’s the Laveo model I reviewed recently—which makes a lot of sense if you’re looking to save weight.
There is a Premium Package that includes a lithium battery with converter as well as a cooler cube, forced air heater, 100-watt solar panel, and eight of the Adaptiv cubes.
All the trailers from Happier Camper are fiberglass “egg”-style models. A lot of folks associate this style of camper with things like the Casita. In fact, the Traveler doesn’t look tremendously different than a Casita to the casual observer.
Happier Camper indicates that the Traveler is insulated for four-seasons. It features a water/space heater combination unit which I suspect to be the Truma Combi model. However, I didn’t get a call or email back from the company to confirm this.
The walls are fiberglass molded around what Happier Camper calls a honeycomb material. They say it results in a strong but lightweight camper. While I haven’t been able to long-term test this claim, the campers I have seen from Happier Camper have been solid.
The idea of a very small and lightweight trailer that’s very, very adaptive… er.. Adaptiv, has a lot of appeal. Happier Camper indicates that you can sleep up to four people in here. While the appeal of that many people in this small of a space doesn’t resonate with me, I also spent several days camped next to a family of four who lives fulltime in a Taxa Mantis. To each their own.
Price of the Happier Camper Traveler
One thing I know will come up in the comments below is the price of the Traveler. At $68,900, it is absolutely at the top of the price category. Considering that something like the Escape trailer that I reviewed is about half this and the company actually called me back and messaged me and has an active YouTube presence, I’m sure you can tell where my favor lies.
But that trailer is also considerably heavier than this one and, oftentimes, lighter strong materials are the costliest. Who knows? Perhaps there will be plenty of folks who love the idea of being a Happier Camper with a traditional trailer that breaks the stereotypes of weight and size and adaptability.
Er, Adaptiv ability.
I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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Great review! Too bad HC did not respond to your inquiry.
I have been in an HC1, but not the newer, larger, Traveler. Looks like a great, lite-weight camper. Love molded fiberglass campers. We bought a 2005 Casita in November, 2015 and have camped nearly 300 nights in it.
I do not care for the “open shelving” along the top of the camper over the dinette. I prefer enclosed storage with doors. My other major issue is the price. For nearly, 70K it is much more than the Oliver Legacy Elite 1 (18.5 feet) and even more than the Oliver Legacy Elite II (23.5 feet). I know the Oliver is heavier, but I would much prefer the Oliver. Oliver quality is amazing. Plus, it (and Bigfoot) offer 4 season camping capability. It looks like the Traveler is a 4 season camper as well. Bigfoots are excellent campers, but have dated interiors and are too wide for my preferences. I am fan of HC, but the Traveler is just too expensive. I will still give the nod to the Oliver.
I’m betting at these prices I won’t see even ONE of these on the highway this year. Sheeesh!
This trailer is priced very similar to other high end offerings in the “Fiberglass Egg” market such as the Oliver trailer. The appeal with the is trailer is the low overall weight and the “Adaptive” interior components over the other high end offerings in this segment.
The key will be the overall quality of this trailer in comparison with other offerings out there. Yes a Casita and Scamp are cheaper but not that much anymore. The quality of these 2 brands is decent but certainly not spectacular. This Happy Camper is supposedly a 4 season camper. The only other manufacturer making that claim is Oliver which is very well built and high quality trailer that is really directed to a different buyer.
I like what I see. Do I like it $68,000 worth? No!
I also do not like an Oliver $70,000 worth either.
I am much more Boondock/Off-road camping oriented. IF I was looking for a compact lightweight trailer this may be it
Bigfoot makes 4 season campers, while they are not light weights they are very good campers.
Similar in price to the Happier Camper depending on size and options.
Oliver’s are heavier than HC also.
As Martin A wrote the Bigfoot trailer is quite comparable in price but, speaking with their owner, boy do they have the attention to detail down to a science. Plus the suspension in the Bigfoot – ooh la la!
Interesting, but that price is over the Moon! Suddenly Airstream is NOT the most outrageously priced trailer out there… 🙁
The big Airstreams are over $100k some to almost $150k.