Monday, August 9, 2021

I Meet Happy Tiny Trailer Campers . . . in Their Happier Camper

Jeep Wrangler and "Little Pistachio"
So there I was at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa, just arrived and there for two days of hiking and exploring, when a tiny trailer rolled down the campground road. I knew that design. Yes, it was a Happier Camper HC1, a fiberglass camper made in Southern California that utilizes a modular, adjustable interior design. And their campsite was right across the road from me!

Driving in from Connecticut to visit grandparents in Iowa, London and Matt Frost were pulling their 2018 HC1 with a Jeep Wrangler, a sharp-looking tow combo. London and Matt had bought the camper used from its original owners, who had done mostly local camping with it. The original owners were selling the unit because they were moving to something a bit bigger. The Frosts' little camper was a basic model--20 amp with an air conditioner but no refrigerator. It was a classy version of a "bed on wheels," but the modular components allowed them to convert floor space so they could stand in it. 

A cozy arrangement. The top shelf can also be a bunkbed.
Note the block-boxes that comprise the bed, also used for storage.
This was their first long trip with the camper, one that included multiple nights of camping at different campgrounds as they headed down the road. Their tiny trailer trip was made a bit more complicated by taking along  two rescue dogs; however, they simplified a bit by not packing an ice box but instead cooking from dry ingredients and fresh food. From across the road I watched them set up camp and whip up dinner in a jiffy, so they were obviously comfortable with their choice of camper and camping style.

Buying the used HC1 was an intentional purchase, not just what was available. "Matt is a researcher and a half," London said of their quest for a camper. After two to three weeks of researching, they decided on the Happier Camper brand. It fit their needs, something small that wouldn't require buying a new vehicle. Matt said he definitely didn't want "a massive fifth-wheel." They found a Happier Camper blog which had a page listing Happier Campers for sale. With a link to a Facebook page, they contacted the owners. It's good Matt and London knew what they wanted because as the deal was going down, the original owners were having to inform text inquiries that someone else had first dibs. 

Two happy campers showing off their Happier Camper
London and Matt are first taking "Little Pistachio" out to western Iowa for the grandparent visit; then they want to drive back through Canada, including a stop at Niagara Falls. They hope with COVID-19 vaccinations the border will be open for them. "This is our entry trip to camping with the trailer," said London. Matt added that they don't plan to live full-time in the trailer but would like to take a month off and head to the West, visiting national parks. 

I'm glad to have met these two happy campers in their Happier Camper. The next morning as I was happily heading down into the Maquoketa Caves, London and Matt were heading happily down the road. Once again I am amazed at the variety and ingenuity of the tiny trailer industry. No matter what your needs, your style, or your interests, some tiny trailer builder out there has designed a trailer that fits you and yours. Now, just find the right pillows and the world will be yours to discover!

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