Happier Camper HC1 Heads to Bodega Bay - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2015, 10:33 PM   #1
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Name: Donald
Trailer: Happier Camper HC1 pulled with a 2011 Subaru Outback 4cyl CVT
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Happier Camper HC1 Heads to Bodega Bay

Or, the "Bybee Fun Caravan" rolls again.

If you have not been following along, I am the new owner of a Happier Camper HC1. I picked it up on September 1 and drove from Los Angeles to Sacramento, about an 8.5 hour drive... at 58 mph. I can say one thing, I would not recommend, for your first towing experience with a new trailer, to tow it in LA traffic, and then over the Grapevine into California's Central Valley. I survived, so on with the story.

I have been fiddling with things on the trailer, but Kris and I realized that if we did not go out now, the first chance we would have to test the trailer would not be till November. For the next few days from 9/8 on, the Sacramento temps were expected to be in the 103 to 107 range. Bodega Bay it is then. Bodega Bay is about 100 miles or so north of San Francisco along the Pacific Coast. There is a state park there that though not directly on the beach, has many recreational opportunities near by.

On 9/8 we towed over to the coast. We were beginning to wonder about our decision as it was still 100 degrees within 12 miles of our destination. Luckily, the last few miles brought a dramatic dip in temperature and we were at about 78 by the time we got to the State Park. This is very warm for the coast, but by Sacramento standards very balmy.

We spent two nights at the park, testing our theories on how to set up and use the camper. The HC1 is designed to give you a lot of flexibility for both your initial interior set up, as well as easy changes to the interior on the fly. It is nice to have options and we fine tuned things a bit from our initial ideas. I have included a few photos.


This is a shot hooked up and ready to tow. Here we are along the edge of Bodega Bay and you can see the fog in the distance trying to move inland. You know you are having fun when you have the BBQ tied on top of the car.


Here I left the work counter low. I am 6'5" and cannot quite stand up straight, so it was easier to cook while sitting down. We are using a portable butane stove. Cook inside, or take it outside if you like.


We used our medium ice chest for this trip. It fit pretty well next to the door and was readily available for drinks and cooking at the counter. We may look at 12v powered fridges, but for now, getting out and using the trailer will help us decide what to do later.


On the HC1, the rear of the trailer opens up. This is looking at our dining configuration with the last row of boxes converted to a dinette. When the weather is nice it is a great spot with the hatch up.


A view of the rear of the trailer from the exterior. Same set up as the interior shot. Good morning Kris. Hey, the new bowls match the tail lights.


View from Bodega Head.


We have decided it may be tough to go back to a tent with a 1" thermarest pad. 4" of duel density foam cushioning...I like it! The LED lights create a warm glow for the interior. Good Night Kris.


Good night Happier Camper.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to the FGRV forum family, and thank you for the great pictures of your new trailer.
Dave & Paula
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:52 AM   #3
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Looks like a nice camper. Thanks for the great pics. Years of fun in your future.

Walt
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #4
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So nice to see some pics of actual owners using the new Happier Camper. Advertising shots are great but seeing real people using a real trailer on a real trip just can't be beat for giving the rest of us an idea of how this trailer can be set up and used. Love the way the entire rear end of the trailer opens up!
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:31 PM   #5
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Looking good Don ,I am also camping in the first hc1 prototype bringing it east and to canada .left LA late and had to stay in a truck stop half way to needles not as lucky as you on the temps as it was 90 degrees at midnight in the dessert.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:43 PM   #6
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What vehicle are you using to pull the hc1? I'm am trying to start ring and need guidance.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Sweet

very nice have fun be safe
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susana View Post
What vehicle are you using to pull the hc1? I'm am trying to start ring and need guidance.
The vehicle is shown in my user profile in the upper left corner, and in one of the photos. It is a Subaru Outback. Pulls this trailer quite well.
Don
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:25 PM   #9
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Thanks Don. That is the vehicle I'm looking to purchase. Do you have the regular engine or did you upgrade?
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:03 PM   #10
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Wow! I love it!
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:22 PM   #11
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Looking great!
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:13 PM   #12
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What is it's weight ? It looks really slick , & I'd love to play with the set up !
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:53 PM   #13
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Trailer Weight

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What is it's weight ? It looks really slick , & I'd love to play with the set up !
I have not weighed the trailer yet when packed for a trip. The specs say 1100 lbs for the basic trailer but that would be without any of the interior modules and personal gear. I will not guess at the total weight anymore, but will someday get out to the dump to weigh it when I have time. I have weighed the tongue and it is 165 lbs. plus or minus a few lbs depending on how I load the trailer. (within my 200 lb. limit on the Subaru Outback.) It might be nice to have a bit more towing capacity than the 4 cyl Outback, but at this point it seems to tow pretty well.

I purchased a trailer dolly and can easily move the trailer around with it by hand, and into my garage when I put the 8" wheels on the trailer.

The modules give you lots of options for layout.

Don
Sacramento
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:24 PM   #14
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How do you find the CVT works under tow? That's something I've been curious about.
Oh, and does the trailer have brakes, or has that been covered already? At that weight many states don't require them.

Walt
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