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Raspy last won the day on April 23 2021

Raspy had the most liked content!

My Info

  • Gender or Couple
  • Location
    The Western High Desert

My RV or Travel Trailer

  • Do you own an Oliver Travel Trailer, other travel trailer or none?
    I own a non-Oliver RV or Travel Trailer
  • Hull #
  • Year
  • Model
    Legacy Elite II
  • Floor Plan
    Twin Bed Floor Plan
  • What model is your other RV or Travel Trailer?
    2023 ROA Roamer 1

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  1. As some of you know, we had an Oliver LE2 for about two years. We put on about 20,000 miles and went to the Oliver Rally twice with it from Nevada. John Davies sent me a picture of the suspension system on an Australian style Caravan, a Black Series. I started looking into that style trailer and ended up buying a Black Series HQ19. We had it for a couple of years too and I did a lot of work on it. A very capable trailer, but with quality issues and a lot heavier than the Oliver. Next Iwent to an Xplore X22 which was a nice compromise between the earlier two. About the same weight as the Oliver, very comfortable and durable. An interesting design with an aluminum skeleton and V nose, with thick fiberglass panels for the exterior. It also had a large lithium battery bank and I installed 660 watts of solar on the roof. This trailer was very practical with a three burner stove, oven, a 12 volt, 10 cu ft compressor fridge, a dry bath with tankless water heater and a full sized bed. It towed easily. It also had hydraulic suspension that raised and lowered about 8" with a remote control, large off-road tires, 12" brakes and independent torsion suspension. I did 50 modifications to it and RVs of America did a video about the whole project and posted it on Youtube. We also went to the OliverRally in 2021. Well now, we've done it again and switched to a Roamer1 from RVs of America (ROA). This is an Explore X195 with some upgrades to make it into an R1. It has Cruisemater independent air suspension from Australia. Raises and lowers or tilts side to side for leveling. No external piping, heavily insulated walls, ceiling and floor made from fiberglass insulation panels glued into large aluminum extrusions. Large aluminum storage boxes front and rear, Isotherm compressor fridge/freezer, Truma combi heat and hot water system, 1080 amp hours of Expion 360 lithium batteries in a heated area under the bed, 1200 watts of glass solar panels on the roof, an electric induction cookstove, 60 gallons of fresh water, waterless toilet with no black tank, north/south walkaround full bed, 12 volt air conditioner that runs fine from the batteries and solar system and a McHitch articulating hitch for any off-road conditions and super easy hookup. All in just under 7' width and overall length, hitch to bumper of about 25.5'. This is a true, all season trailer rated to withstand -40 degrees. Under normal conditions it may never need to be plugged in. We've been out camping, but not as much as previously. I've been in a cancer treatment program for over a year and am now cancer free. So we are heading out in a couple of weeks for an extended trip to Utah, Colorado and possibly Pennsylvania and Maine, depending on how the first leg goes. Hoping to cross paths with some of you. Leavitt lake.mp4
  2. The Oliver can be a very good off-road, rough-road or boondocking trailer. But there are different kinds of rough roads. Steep rocky trails are fine if traveled very slowly because the Oliver has good clearance, is narrow and is not too heavy. I towed mine as far back in as my Ram 3500 would pull it, with all four wheels clawing for traction. Never a problem. But on higher speed dirt, with washboard, the suspension struggles and the interior suffers. I had my window coverings fall off, cabinets open and the microwave try to escape from its alcove, repeatedly. Lowering tire pressure to about 25 lbs seems to really help, but the vibration should be avoided. Hard suspension hits at speed are also a no-no. With only about 2" of suspension travel, metal to metal stops, and minimal shocks, the pounding can be brutal. Just take it slow, pick your path and don't be afraid to venture off the highway. The best camp spots are out there beyond where trailers usually go.
  3. As far as I know, there was only one black one made, and it is sitting in my neighbor’s yard in Smith Valley, Nevada. It has been out here for years. BTW, I have posted about this several times and even mentioned it to Scott Oliver.
  4. Hey John, Will you be at the rally next week? I'll be there in my X22. John Roemer
  5. Hi all! We are signed up for this year's Rally. We'll be the ones with that funny looking, olive colored, V nose trailer that is not an Oliver. See you there! Raspy (John)
  6. Dave, I do not know anything about the shades at this point. We won't even have the trailer for another 6 weeks or so. John
  7. Hi Mike! Hope to cross paths with you guys one of these days. Will you be going to Quartzsite in January? John
  8. John, You really started something by sending me the pictures of the Black Series independent suspension several years ago. After buying one, I started a business selling the Australian McHitch articulating trailer hitches, where I am now the exclusive US distributor. I think I mentioned all of this to you before, but I'm still amazed at what an influence you had on me! Sheesh. The Black Series (BS) trailers are basically a very good design that is rugged and capable, while being extremely comfortable inside. But the company has quality control issues and always has. And on top of that, they are very difficult to deal with. I have done a lot of work on mine to fix a lot of things that were either not assembled correctly, or were just poor quality to begin with. Brakes, wheel bearings, the breakaway system, inverter, poor wiring, bad wheel alignment, shocks, and a host of nagging little things that should have been better. But some of it is me, as I will work to fine tune things that can be made better. Now, BS seems to be cheapening them by cutting corners with the upholstery, and removing interior lights, while using no name heaters and inverters that have no parts availability at all. All the while being very arrogant and unwilling to improve their clumsy workmanship. Ours sold for 20% more than we paid for it! Which reimbursed me for the original sales tax, the licensing and insurance for two years, all of the improvements I made and most of the fuel purchased to pull it 17,000 miles! This market is crazy! Mine was dialed in and a very good trailer with proven reliability and proven desert performance. But, as mentioned in my previous post, it is heavy and complicated. I decided that something lighter and easier to pull, with a better galley, much better cold weather performance, and much higher build quality, was what I wanted. The Xplore just seems like a much easier trailer to use and tow, that will be more fun and less trouble overall. I just want to use it and not redesign it. I want to go in the winter with no worry about freezing, which has always been a problem wit the HQ19. The Xplore is designed to be used down to 40 below in Wisconsin winters. That means it will be excellent in the summer too, and very easy to keep cool. The suspension can raise or lower 8" for highway travel, sneaking into the garage, or exploring rocky roads. This does not affect the suspension travel as it is a torsion system. The outer tube of the torsion axle is tucked up into the frame, and it is rotated to adjust the ride height with a hydraulic pump, cylinders and levers. It works with a remote similar to a garage door remote, on the keychain, that can be activated from the driver's seat while moving or stopped. The tires are 33 X 10.5 X 15 Maxxis. They can be aired way down for sand or trail as needed. The frame is a very nice powder coated 2" X 6" steel box structural tube design with a perimeter frame that can be jacked up anywhere along its length and protects the body from rocks. No pipes or tanks are below the frame and it has steel skid plates under the tanks. Ducted heat also has ducts that run to the tanks for freeze protection. Roof is arched, cannot collect water, and is designed for foot traffic. Roof is R24, walls R13 and floor R11. The body structure is aluminum frames with Crane Noble fiberglass panels inside and out. It has a 10 cu ft fridge that is compressor driven, not absorption. 480 AH of lithium batteries inside where the cold will not bother them, 380 watts of solar with MPPT charge controller, full battery status monitoring and 2,000 watt inverter. Built in air compressor. Beautiful wood cabinets with locking latches that cannot open while driving, Corian countertop, three burner stove with oven, vent hood, T and G varnished knotty pine ceiling, dry flush toilet with no black tank, a dry bath with large shower and full headroom of 6' 5" throughout. The V nose allows this. So, we'll be back on the road pretty soon. Still hoping to crash the Oliver rally next year. And we'll be traveling this winter too, as long as we can avoid snow storms. Take care, John (Raspy)
  9. Two years ago we sold our Oliver and bought a Black Series HQ19. It was a huge change. Two trailers could not be much different. Our Ollie, Hull 92 was a wonderful trailer and we went across the Country twice, to two Oliver Rallies, and visited 22 states. But it was not intended to be an off road trailer and we wanted something with a few differences inside, that was more rugged and prepared for off-road use. Enter the HQ19. It has been a wonderful trailer too, but I've worked on it a lot. Some optional and many things not so optional. It went to the trails in Moab, Colorado mining roads, Death Valley, Whitmore Canyon and a lot of other severe places with no problems related to off-road use. But it is heavy, tall and MUCH harder to pull than an Oliver. So now, we've gone to a trailer that offers the best of both. Extreme winter performance, no underneath plumbing, full headroom throughout including the dry bath, 1500 lbs lighter than the Black Series and about the same as the Oliver, better streamlining than the Black Series, but not as good as the Oliver, a full galley with oven, three burner stove, hood and Corian countertop. Lots of cabinets and a big pass through storage. A dinette that will seat three and not have the cushions fly off while driving, and a queen size bed. It has hydraulic adjustable ride height and torsion style independent suspension. Large off-road tires with two spares and an on-board air compressor. It will have 480 AH of Lithium batteries with their Off-Grid package and at least 380 watts of solar. I still look back very fondly at the time we had with the Oliver, and the friends we made here and at the Rally. Take care everyone, Raspy Here's a review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUP9nK-zGhA&t=113s&ab_channel=RVsofAmericaBlackSeriesXploreTaxaOff-Road
  10. Paul, Wow. That sounds great! We have no ties in Virginia, but I want to see the Smithsonian and not sure yet how to make that work with a big truck and travel trailer. No idea of the timing yet either, but definitely later in the year. Thanks, John
  11. Bill, I fought with that microwave mounting until I gave up and remodeled the entire cabinet. It tried to jump out of the cabinet twice while I was on a trip to Death Valley. The re-model fixed it! I ended up with a smaller microwave, a wine rack, and utensil storage. Along with a drop down door that gave more workspace. All as part of the same original cabinet. Much more useful, I thought. There are pix of it around here somewhere. I remember showing the stainless countertop and microwave cabinet to Scott Oliver, but he sort of had no comment. I wanted him to offer the stainless as an option. It would be easy for them to get a bunch of blanks cut out and simply install them as off-the-shelf parts. It was the most durable and functional surface I could think of, while still being lightweight. John
  12. Mike, Yes. Shane is really busy and I'm supplying him with the hitches that go on almost all of them. Every time we go to Utah, we stop at his place for a visit, or to drop off hitches. Hope to see you one of these days. Any fun trips planned? John
  13. Yep, that's the one. It would be fun to hear from those folks sometime. Thanks for the reply!
  14. This Raspy (John). I haven't stopped by to say hi in quite a while. As some of you great folks here know, I sold my Oliver (hull 92) and bought a Black Series HQ19, in 2019. As usual, I've done a lot of mods and we've been traveling a lot in the West. Utah has become our favorite area. I think it was 2017 when John Davies posted a picture of the suspension on a Black Series trailer and piqued my curiosity. Eventually, that lead to us getting one and that lead to me starting a business selling Australian articulating hitches (McHitch). I retired from my other job at the end of 2017, but now I'm back in business and looking to retire again! Sheesh. Every time I see an Oliver somewhere I smile. We would have been at the Rally in 2020 if it wasn't stopped by Covid. We won't be going to Guntersville this year either, but I'm hoping we can get clear over to North Carolina and Virginia, as we make a loop around the Country late Summer or Fall. I really enjoyed hanging out with all of you, both here on the forum and at the Rallies in 2018 and 2019. If any of you need a place to stop, near Lake Tahoe/Carson City, we have a full hookup site here at home. BTW, do any of you know where Hull 92 ended up? After we sold it, the new owners sold it again and I have no idea where it is. I hope they are out having fun with it. Take care everyone! John
  15. Here are few pix of my stainless counter top. It was upgraded after this pic with a barrier on the right side to prevent spills and a nicer faucet. The microwave cabinet was a very successful upgrade. It gave more counter space, a place for knives and utensils, a wine rack and a secure microwave that could not fall out of the cabinet. The microwave that came in my Ollie, tried to jump out of the cabinet twice.
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