Introducing the Happier Camper HC1, prototype photos - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #57
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I think you guys have a great concept here, and in a great looking trailer to boot. It is a wonderful way to pack a lot into a small trailer.

As you seem to be offering quite a bit of flexibility, something like adding propane could easily be done in the future too, if warranted. Maybe you will be selling all the trailers you need without it, and that would be great for you. Many of nights camping for us see the temps dropping to near, or below, freezing, and as we primarily boondock, a non-electric heater is needed. As well, propane is needed for hot water and cooking too.

As you mentioned though, we do have to consider that this is just a 13 footer, and a trailer at that size has to make some compromises, you just can't fit everything into it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:33 AM   #58
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Hmmmm... VW started out with offering the most basic and affordable vehicle possible and continued that pattern for over 65 years (1938-2003) I'd equate that to the Boler/Scamp design that we all know and love.


But, at least in the U.S. of A., as soon as VW tried to be less "different", their fortunes fell like a rock. Just before the "New Beetle" was introduced, Volkswagen of America was down to about 50 employees in the U.S. and they were trying to induce VW fan club members with substantial discounts to get the first "New Beetles" on the road asap.


And Apple too has had it's real downs and downs and was almost at junk status not all that long ago.($.94, April 4, 2003) But citing a successful hi-tech company, but yet forgetting all the failures in that market, is something with parallels in this topic. BTW: Steve Jobs stole the Mouse Idea from Xerox, and didn't do so well with the Lisa..... How Steve Jobs Invented The Computer Mouse By Stealing It From Xerox | Cult of Mac


As there currently at least three FGRV start-ups trying to jump into a miniscule market, I don't think that there is enough potential customer for all to make it. Success will depend not only on the product offered, but on the marketing strategies and the money available to get through the first 3 years. While some on here see a 6-9 month wait time for delivery as acceptable, newbies to the market will be wanting instant gratification, as can be provided by the current non FGRV manufacturers.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:05 PM   #59
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Personally, I think the basic HC1, pretty much a shell, will have to be somewhere below $10k to be competitive. Anything higher than that, you start getting into last year's discounted Jayco's, I-Pods, and other low end brands that offer more standard features, although with some pretty shoddy sticky-type construction.

It's a tough decision for a new manufacturer. They can sell through dealers, which means the list price is going to have to be quite a bit higher or they can sell direct, which is tough when you don't have any units already sold to people who are willing to show them to prospective buyers.

As for trying to crack the high-end youth market (a la Nest), I would point to the lesson of the Airstream Basecamp, a model that was specifically designed to that demographic. It was an outstanding success as a design, making all the magazines and winning awards. But it sold very poorly and Airstream soon discontinued it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:19 PM   #60
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Hmmmm... VW started out with offering the most basic and affordable vehicle possible and continued that pattern for over 65 years (1938-2003) I'd equate that to the Boler/Scamp design that we all know and love.


But, at least in the U.S. of A., as soon as VW tried to be less "different", their fortunes fell like a rock. Just before the "New Beetle" was introduced, Volkswagen of America was down to about 50 employees in the U.S. and they were trying to induce VW fan club members with substantial discounts to get the first "New Beetles" on the road asap.


And Apple too has had it's real downs and downs and was almost at junk status not all that long ago.($.94, April 4, 2003) But citing a successful hi-tech company, but yet forgetting all the failures in that market, is something with parallels in this topic. BTW: Steve Jobs stole the Mouse Idea from Xerox, and didn't do so well with the Lisa..... How Steve Jobs Invented The Computer Mouse By Stealing It From Xerox | Cult of Mac


As there currently at least three FGRV start-ups trying to jump into a miniscule market, I don't think that there is enough potential customer for all to make it. Success will depend not only on the product offered, but on the marketing strategies and the money available to get through the first 3 years. While some on here see a 6-9 month wait time for delivery as acceptable, newbies to the market will be wanting instant gratification, as can be provided by the current non FGRV manufacturers.
thanks bob for more words of encouragement I think you also forgot to mention Henry Ford also went bankrupt 2'times
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:21 PM   #61
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I think you also forgot to mention Henry Ford also went bankrupt 2'times
Hope that's not in your business plan.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #62
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As did Disneyland "almost" go BK. But my post was only intended to be in response to examples given earlier about "Different" successes. BTW: Henry Ford was no saint.


Gotta say that I have been above ground long enough to see a lot of both good and bad ideas succeed and not succeed and, right now, I would not be including any offered RV's builders, (except those owned by Berkshire Hathaway) in my retirement portfolio.


At least 2 major RV builders (National RV and Fleetwood) and about 4 smaller ones including trailer maker Ragin', all located within 10 miles of my house in Riverside, CA, have ceased operation, and Elkhart, IN is the poster child for cities in depression due to RV market implosion. And the Sunrader FGRV facility in American Canyon, CA has been a Flea Market for years. Add to that, my local Airstream dealer had about a dozen units on the floor 2 weeks ago, so much for those claimed backorders.


BUT, if someone is looking for an RV manufacturing facility, the old RAGIN' factory, 3 blocks from my house, has been empty for about 3+ years now, and there are a lot of skilled ex-factory RV workers still available in the area.


And the weather here sure beats the heck out of where almost all of the other manufacturers are located. LOL
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:46 PM   #63
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...if someone is looking for an RV manufacturing facility, the old RAGIN' factory, 3 blocks from my house, has been empty for about 3+ years now, and there are a lot of skilled ex-factory RV workers still available in the area.

And the weather here sure beats the heck out of where almost all of the other manufacturers are located. LOL
The weather for sure, but perhaps not the business, tax and regulatory environment. There are plenty of states where start up would be easier, sad to say. The folks in Sacramento had better get a clue.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:47 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
Personally, I think the basic HC1, pretty much a shell, will have to be somewhere below $10k to be competitive. Anything higher than that, you start getting into last year's discounted Jayco's, I-Pods, and other low end brands that offer more standard features, although with some pretty shoddy sticky-type construction.

It's a tough decision for a new manufacturer. They can sell through dealers, which means the list price is going to have to be quite a bit higher or they can sell direct, which is tough when you don't have any units already sold to people who are willing to show them to prospective buyers.

As for trying to crack the high-end youth market (a la Nest), I would point to the lesson of the Airstream Basecamp, a model that was specifically designed to that demographic. It was an outstanding success as a design, making all the magazines and winning awards. But it sold very poorly and Airstream soon discontinued it.
Yes Terry 10.000 would be an ideal price if we could make them in China but as we are making this trailer in the state of California and due to the intensive labor cost of building a quality product I think that would be quite impossible and I don't think anybody here could accept maybe 2 others so far would even. compare a Fiberglas built trailer to a stick built trailer or r pod
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:02 PM   #65
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Hey everyone, thanks for your positivity and support, I cant wait to see all your forward designs and ingenuity.

Just to end this propane thing..

Again, our trailer will have the option for propane if the user wants it, its a simple, inexpensive option they can enjoy if they need it.

We will also be offering as a option in addition to our solar powered batteries a Goal Zero Yeti 1200 watt solar generator, i have tested this product in the field extensively and it will power everything you need to be completely comfortable in the trailers for an extended stay, it will conveniently fit in one our our modular boxes and can be used inside and out.

Our trailer is not designed for everyone, and were ok with that. The flexibility, comfort, extra space and versatility outshines in a lot of ways. We will offer a competive price and are not trying a sell cookie cutter product. We will work with every customer individually to build them there perfect little dream home and am excited to have them join the community here.

Good luck on your projects and innovations. go team.

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Old 03-02-2015, 02:05 PM   #66
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Hey everyone, thanks for your positivity and support, I cant wait to see all your forward designs and ingenuity.

Just to end this propane thing..

Again, our trailer will have the option for propane if the user wants it, its a simple, inexpensive option they can enjoy if they need it, so please stop with the death marches or whatever dooms day terms you enjoy.

We will also be offering as a option in addition to our solar powered batteries a Goal Zero Yeti 1200 watt solar generator, i have tested this product in the field extensively and it will power everything you need to be completely comfortable in the trailers for an extended stay, it will conveniently fit in one our our modular boxes and can be used inside and out.

Our trailer is not designed for everyone, and were ok with that. The flexibility, comfort, extra space and versatility outshines in a lot of ways. We will offer a competive price and are not trying a sell cookie cutter product. We will work with every customer individually to build them there perfect little dream home and am excited to have them join the community here.

Good luck on your projects and innovations. go team.

-dm
Good for you. A positive can-do attitude will certainly help your business.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:11 PM   #67
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I own a Scamp bought new in 2010. I've since taken off the propane tank and gone all electric. I installed a "Hot Rodd" In my water heater. If I'm "off the grid" and cant run a generator, I'll just stay home...BUT that's just my style of camping.

If the pricing can be held "reasonable"... below Casita and Scamp's basic 13', I think it will be a major hit for a certain genre of campers.

I also have to agree that having "options", will significantly boost sales-- if needed! Sounds like you guys have quite a following full of potential buyers already.

And this is just a "manufacturing" thought I had, IF you're not going with propane and and all the bells-and-whistles of the other trailers, I would think you could turn these units out a little faster. So that would further help the "basic" market AND your revenue! So why even fool with "tricked out" trailers...leave those for Scamp/Casita. But then again, maybe like new automobiles, there's lotsa money to be made with the "options"? Dunno...never been in that market...

I personally dont care for the rear hatch- but then again- I dont care for the larger toy-haulers either. But one thing is for SURE, you guys have the "nitch" on that market when it comes to the 13'ers!! And, from what I'm hearing, there's going to be many people that want that option and there it is waiting on them.

I wish you guys the best and applaud you for coming away from the norm and making a "daring" move in a VICIOUS world of opinions out here...
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:31 PM   #68
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Good to hear that propane is an option. We camp from April through to October (not full time) so heat is essential. Other 'must haves' for us is space for a porta potti and a small fridge.


Obviously, everyone has their own style of camping and I think that is great. Make a basic unit and let people get the extras they want. We cook outside and don't want a tv or microwave. Others won't leave home without them.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:13 PM   #69
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In post 35, are you talking about the Yeti-1250 device, which is basically a $1400, Group 31 AGM battery in a box with charger and inverter, or something else that I can't find on the Yeti site?
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator | Power Packs | Goal Zero
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:21 PM   #70
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California Here I Am....

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The weather for sure, but perhaps not the business, tax and regulatory environment. There are plenty of states where start up would be easier, sad to say. The folks in Sacramento had better get a clue.
As mentioned, they are already in California. Riverside just happens to have a couple of ready to go RV manufacturing facilities available.

Living and working here does have it's trade offs. To celebrate the end of February we just spent a week on the central California coast in our Hunter Compact-II, enjoying the beaches, mountains and lots of sunshine.

And, if someone wants to make year-around money renting these trailers California has what ever states are in 2nd to 50th place beaten hands down.
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