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topgun2

Mother of All RV's?

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That's quite a vehicle.

 

We ran into a Unimog camper at Cades Cove in the Smokies last week - taking up every inch of his campsite and more.  Those guys baffle me.  They spend millions to outfit vehicles that are far too big, heavy, and thirsty to actually take to any of the places that they're supposedly outfitting them for.  He drew a crowd, though, which I suspect is the goal.

 

Speaking of Big Things, we were at Smokemont campground later in the week, and at about dinnertime, this 747 sized bus pulls up.  They had to unhook their vehicle from the back to go scout out the campsite, both to see if they could drive through and if any sites were big enough for them.  Of course, they left their bus idling while they did so.  After a few trips through the campsite, they decided they'd found a spot, so they brought the bus in and spent about 30 minutes at one site trying to get it backed far enough in to clear the road.  Finally they gave up, hooked up the car and left.  45 minutes later they were back again, and spent a good 30 more minutes trying to negotiate with someone to switch sites, lol.  Bus idling the whole time again.  All that with an empty KOA not a 5 minute drive away.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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That Man is terrific for wide open desert, where it doesn’t matter so much if you drive a few feet off the road. It certainly has a fine array of solar panels. I especially like how you can park the trailer 30 feet away and stretch an awning between both rigs ro make an enclosed garage. How cool is that...?

 

I don’t get the talk about two trailers. There is only one. The front living area is bolted to the truck frame.

 

As far as Big Things go, I agree that for most parts of the US these monster rigs are beyond stupid. An Earthcruiser makes so much more sense if you actually want to get into the woods.... RHD version shown, imagine truck and camper shell flipped:

 

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The new FUSO 4wd trucks in the USA these are built on will hopefully get the new option of a big GM drivetrain that the rest of the RWD lineup gets, replacing the dinky 3.0 diesel and horrible failure prone AWD dual clutch tranny for a much stouter 6.0 liter V8 GM gas engine and a six speed Allison, with a real transfer case and power takeoff. Woohoo!

 

These are very cool vehicles, VERY much like an Ollie inside, but I have to admit, the systems are much better put together in general.

 

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John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I got to tour two Earthcruisers in person last week at Overland Expo East, and spoke to some owners for at least an hour.  The product, and the customers they attract, are indeed much like here.  It was interesting to have very similar conversations with them about quality that we have here; i.e., unanimously thrilled with the quality and service, yet still dealing with 'minor' problems like leaks, production delays, etc.

 

They have a new box designed to fit ¾ ton pickups which is pretty nice.  It's very similar to their Fuso boxes but shorter.  Still a very livable space.  And still out of my price range at $100k+, not including the truck.

 

John, I also toured the Black Series trailers while I was there.  They're definitely what I was looking for before going with an Ollie.  I'm not sure what I'd have done had the option existed when I bought.  You should check them out if you haven't already.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John, I also toured the Black Series trailers while I was there. They’re definitely what I was looking for before going with an Ollie. I’m not sure what I’d have done had the option existed when I bought. You should check them out if you haven’t already.

Those are very cool, but I do not care for the interior at all. I would love the frame, coupler, rock rails and independent suspension under an Ollie Elite II cabin. That would check ALL my boxes.... except for the darned propane appliances.

 

How much would an Oliver Extreme Offroad Independent Suspension Chassis option cost? $15k? I would pay....I bet it would cost twice that to have one custom built, and the body swapped.

 

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How did you like the Overland Expo? I recall that you have attended this before.

 

How was the build quality of the Black Series? They are mass produced. The company has built 30,000 in Oz in just ten years. That seems as if it could be problematic, but it lowers production cost and MSRP significantly.... will they have a dealer network?

 

I love the suspension, but the FIRST thing I would do would be to hang some rock guards in front of those pretty red twin shock A arms. And it needs a bigger tongue jack ;)

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Expo was a mud pit, as usual.  I don't see how the sponsors put up with it.  A few interesting things here and there but not much new.  We got a Friday day pass and the only reason we went is because we had planned a week in the Smokies and it was right nearby.  I doubt we'll go again, at least not for some time.  I really wanted to spend some time looking at the Earth Cruisers, Earth Roamers, etc. in detail to see how they did things - ideas for future mods and upgrades - but tbh there wasn't anything obvious that would be practical to copy.

 

The Black Series seem well built enough.  It's hard with that sort of construction, both in and out, to tell how well it's put together without really spending some time.  But everything felt solid.  They told me that they just finished their US production line so they'll all be made here.  The story I was told was that a Chinese investor bought the rights to produce and sell them in the US.  They're selling direct right now, but I have no idea what their plans are.  The factory is in California - the rep told me that they wanted to keep clear of Elkhart, which is a good sign.

 

All the units they had at the Expo had the heavy duty XO jacks.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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