Happier Camper build quality - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:51 AM   #1
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Name: Craig
Trailer: U-Haul
South Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 139
Happier Camper build quality

The Happier Camper Traveler has really caught my attention, I am very intrigued by it. It has many features and details that I would include in a trailer.112

I will have a video tour with a sales person as soon as I can schedule it. Much can be learned this way but one of the important aspects that cannot be ascertained is the build quality, the fit & finish.

According to the sales person that I have been conversing with by email, there are no owners in the north east. The Georgia showroom does not have a Traveler. It would be a long day's drive for me but I would make the trip if I could see one in person. I will not fly across the country to see one in these times.

So are there any owners here that can comment on the construction quality of HCs, HC1 or Traveler? Gell coat, no bubbles or voids? Fiberglass shells, smooth, no waviness? General fit & finish?

These sorts of things mean a lot. The price tag is plenty high so I need to understand about the quality in order to feel comfortable placing an order.

Any insights are most appreciated.


Craig T.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:52 PM   #2
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
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Hello Craig and thanks for inquiring on the HCT . The HCT is one of the newest fg trailers on the market and there are few people on this site that own one as of yet but like the HC1 they are coming.The HCT is a fully Double Hulled trailer and all FG construction with very little wood except the cabinet doors and table tops with the standard finish of highly sustainable bamboo . It is built along the same process as the Oliver style trailers but with a different philosophy on how to use it as like the HC1 its interior is adaptable for different configurations.HC does try to make their fg to an impeccable finish but as with most fg built trailers flaws can appear but are usually easily dealt with. You may think a new mold should be perfect but the real perfection comes after a few trailers have been built and the molds tweaked. I am in the Amherstburg Ont Canada showroom and should have a new HCT here but can not cross the border to get it and all pop ups to show it in different locations have been temporarily shelved. Hopefully this mess can end soon or at least get under control . You can however take a virtual tour at Happier Camper.com or a closer look.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:11 AM   #3
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Name: Bing
Trailer: Sunland Express
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Video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
The Happier Camper Traveler has really caught my attention, I am very intrigued by it. It has many features and details that I would include in a trailer.112

I will have a video tour with a sales person as soon as I can schedule it. Much can be learned this way but one of the important aspects that cannot be ascertained is the build quality, the fit & finish.

Just remember a company video isn't going to show you the flaws. It's worth traveling to see what your buying in person, new or used.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:52 PM   #4
tua
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Name: Manley
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Everywhere, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
The Happier Camper Traveler has really caught my attention, I am very intrigued by it. It has many features and details that I would include in a trailer....So are there any owners here that can comment on the construction quality of HCs, HC1 or Traveler? Gell coat, no bubbles or voids? Fiberglass shells, smooth, no waviness? General fit & finish? These sorts of things mean a lot....Any insights are most appreciated.
Hi Craig!
Your post made me smile Reminded me of myself when I started on this journey. I too did my do diligence of fiberglass trailers, so I totally understand from where you speak your concerns. And I'm picky about quality and the things that cannot be changed or fixed.

As owners of the first off-road HC-1 Happier Camper made, and now prototype HC-T owners, and having seen many HC1's on the road and many HC-1's and HC-T's in process at the manufacturing plant, I feel confident saying the quality is impeccable. I have never seen any of the issues you are concerned about in your post.

We know from history that there are still Bolers around that are 50+ years old, so we know fiberglass trailers last. As the previous poster Bing M said, go check them out!
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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Name: Craig
Trailer: U-Haul
South Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 139
Thanks for the replies.

I most eagerly want to go check them out but it seems I would need to drive or fly to LA in order to see one in person.

I would drive to the showroom in Georgia but I am told they do not have a Traveler to see.

So I am doing what I can. A virtual tour is scheduled for Thursday.

My instincts tell me this is a high quality trailer but I am very hesitant to place an order for that much money without seeing one. Too many times I have been disappointed.

Will do what I can for now.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:32 PM   #6
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Happier Camper
Colorado
Posts: 22
Hi Craig,


I have had my Happier Camper for 3 1/2 years now and I have to say the quality is great. I have hauled the poor thing over some fairly rough roads. Seeing as how it was one of earliest ones made there were of course a few issues (I call it beta version) but the company was excellent in fixing those. Great company service.


Nancy
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:10 AM   #7
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Name: Lisle
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Massachusetts
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It seems likely that a recent HC1 would be built to much the same quality standards as the new HCT, as if it comes from the same manufacturing plant made by the same team. Of course the first individuals of any new model could be subject to issues as mentioned above. If it were me, I’d try to see a local HC1 to get an idea of what their shop produces. Could give you some peace of mind in making an expensive purchase.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:43 AM   #8
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Name: David
Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
The Happier Camper Traveler has really caught my attention, I am very intrigued by it. It has many features and details that I would include in a trailer.112

I will have a video tour with a sales person as soon as I can schedule it. Much can be learned this way but one of the important aspects that cannot be ascertained is the build quality, the fit & finish.

According to the sales person that I have been conversing with by email, there are no owners in the north east. The Georgia showroom does not have a Traveler. It would be a long day's drive for me but I would make the trip if I could see one in person. I will not fly across the country to see one in these times.

So are there any owners here that can comment on the construction quality of HCs, HC1 or Traveler? Gell coat, no bubbles or voids? Fiberglass shells, smooth, no waviness? General fit & finish?

These sorts of things mean a lot. The price tag is plenty high so I need to understand about the quality in order to feel comfortable placing an order.

Any insights are most appreciated.


Craig T.
Last summer, I toured a Happier Camper at the local RV dealer in the Duncan, BC, Canada area. It did appear to be a very nicely built trailer, as I recall. I liked the simplicity as well as the flexibility, but the price kinda scared me off, at least partly because of the low Canadian dollar, versus the US dollar. I guess I will stick with my 37 year old Boler!

I still think you should invest in a plane ticket/road trip to see one, before committing to buy. Perhaps you can find a kind owner with one to view in a state where covid-19 is not exploding? There is no substitute for seeing something in person and sitting inside, climbing in and out, lying down etc. Unless you have done that, you will never really know if it works for you. Best of luck in your search!
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:01 PM   #9
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
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Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
It seems likely that a recent HC1 would be built to much the same quality standards as the new HCT, as if it comes from the same manufacturing plant made by the same team. Of course the first individuals of any new model could be subject to issues as mentioned above. If it were me, Id try to see a local HC1 to get an idea of what their shop produces. Could give you some peace of mind in making an expensive purchase.
Lisle you are quite right all manufacturing for both the HC1and HCT are done in the same facility and by the same team and yes there are many more HC1 s throughout the country that you could compare the quality to but even most of these earlier HC1s were not built at the same facility and to the same quality as the latest model units.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:25 PM   #10
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Name: Craig
Trailer: U-Haul
South Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 139
All of your replies are most appreciated. I am corresponding with HC sales to make contact with a HC1 owner somewhere near to me. I guess they are real busy so communication is very slow.

In normal times I would not hesitate to fly to LA and visit the factory and showroom. It will be a long time before I get on a plane though. So I need to make a decision with other input than that.

If I cannot connect with a customer near to me I might need to drive to Georgia and visit the showroom there.

Mikmay, if you know of any HC1 owners near Philadelphia that would be willing to show it to us please let me know.


Craig T
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:03 PM   #11
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
All of your replies are most appreciated. I am corresponding with HC sales to make contact with a HC1 owner somewhere near to me. I guess they are real busy so communication is very slow.

In normal times I would not hesitate to fly to LA and visit the factory and showroom. It will be a long time before I get on a plane though. So I need to make a decision with other input than that.

If I cannot connect with a customer near to me I might need to drive to Georgia and visit the showroom there.

Mikmay, if you know of any HC1 owners near Philadelphia that would be willing to show it to us please let me know.


Craig T
sorry Craig for the difficulty at this time to connect with a HC owner ,in normal times I would have made a pop up tour ,last year I was in New York ,New Jersey and across Pennsylvania.Even our showroom in Amherstburg Ont would have been a reasonable distance but unfortunately the border has been closed both ways and who knows when this will end. I will check with the HC owners group to see if any one is in your area and would be willing to give you a tour as I know most are.
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:08 PM   #12
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Name: Craig
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Thanks Mikmay. Most appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:12 PM   #13
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Name: Mike
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Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
Thanks Mikmay. Most appreciated.
I Posted on the Happier Camper owners group and so far there are three owners in New Jersey and one in Massachusetts that would be happy to show you there HC1s if you would like I can PM you for your email or contact info and send to them . These are HC1s and not HCTs and are some of the first and second generation trailers but should give you a fair idea of the build quality on both .
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:23 PM   #14
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Yes please, I would like contact the NJ owners to see their HC1.
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:46 AM   #15
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Name: Craig
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South Eastern Pennsylvania
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On Saturday I was able to meet with an HC1 owner and take a good look at the trailer.

We have a much better understanding of the cube system now. There is no replacement for seeing and touching. We can now visualize much better the size of the cubes and how much they can hold.

The build quality of the trailer seemed very good, no concerns there.

We will likely be placing an order for a Traveler right away.

Thanks for helping to connect me with an owner Mikmay.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:32 AM   #16
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Name: Jairon
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Ohio
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I posted a separate thread on a related question that ended up in limbo but it works for this thread too so I'll give it a shot...


I too have some questions about the build quality of Happier Campers but specifically on the fiberglass hull/shell.


We're looking at the new HCT but the price puts us in Oliver territory. The HCT has a layout that simply works for us but we're concerned about the long term durability of the hull and can't find much info out there from the company, owners, or reviewers. What we know is that the HC1 recently had the hull manufacturing process revised for additional stability. While it is great that a company is willing to improve their products, we're wondering if HC is still in beta mode. For example, the Warranty on HC hulls seems to be a year vs the lifetime warranty of the Oliver.


I'd love to start a discussion on what techniques are being used in the construction of HC trailers to set my mind at ease and hopefully help others. If you have any experience with these trailers I'd really appreciate hearing about it!
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:09 PM   #17
tua
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Name: Manley
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Everywhere, USA
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Happier Camper

Jairon, sorry your other post was missed and hopefully you can finally get your answers. You are welcome to contact me anytime if you have any questions.

So, I cannot tell you about how the fiberglass is made but I have seen the HC trailers in various stages of completion, and I have seen the end products. I spent my career in rental renovations (durability pretty vs just pretty) and have done some minor design layouts and minor hands on work to be able to understand what the construction process entails in the residential rental arena (renters are extra hard on everything).

And I am no expert, but while I'm diligent about taking care of my trailers, tow vehicle etc. (I am going to crawl under the trailer periodically and check the bolts, frame, paint, rotate and frequently lubes wheels), I also like to explore and play in them as well. I am going to go through the mud puddles and I am going to explore down dirt roads. I also understand that just driving down a paved road is like a hurricane on wheels for any trailer.

With that said, I have owned both an HC-1 and an HC-T. After owning the HC-1, I had no hesitation putting my order in for an HC-T.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:11 PM   #18
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Name: Jairon
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Ohio
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Thanks, tua. Posts like this with real experience are what I'm looking for. I really appreciate it! I have a call scheduled with HC tomorrow. I'll burn through my many questions with them before I hit you up with the ones I haven't thought of yet
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:37 AM   #19
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Name: Craig
Trailer: U-Haul
South Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 139
After much research and soul searching my wife and I decided to order an HCT. Contract signed, money sent, in the cue.


Now the agonizing wait. While we are waiting for the trailer to be built and shipped I will have a few cubes sent to us so we can experiment and learn how to best use them. Might seem a bit silly but the packing style will be rather different with cubes. And it gives us something to do while waiting.


I also need to get a brake controller. And decide what type of toilet to get (can decide before trailer is built). And new tow mirrors, the old ones are not good at all. A lot of preparation to keep me busy I suppose.



Jairon, how is your research progressing?
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:01 AM   #20
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
Posts: 948
Congratulations Craig ,I know this was a big decision for you especially in these trying times but like other HCT owners you will be very Happier. Welcome to HC nation.
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