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John E Davies

SylvanSport Vast adventure trailer

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This is available for pre-order for a base MSRP of $46,000.

 

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https://www.sylvansport.com/vast/

 

That is definitely not a standard cookie cutter RV, but I have some huge doubts about it......

 

500 pound cargo capacity.

 

No holding or water tank capacities listed.

 

”2 batteries” but no mention of solar. It does have a roof AC so I guess it must have shore power.

 

7.9 foot width, fender to fender, but they expect you to hang bulky kayaks on the street side wall?  The 200 pounds of off-center weight will make the trailer sag left, and there is risk of sway in gusty winds. You risk ripping them off onto a passing vehicle, and you could not see past them from the TV. If your load made the trailer more than 8’6” wide you would need an oversized permit for every state you travelled through....LOL.

 

Long skinny slides for the nose cargo bin and kitchen, how sturdy will those be?

 

Huge amount of openings, they reduce the structural strength and the seals will inevitably leak dust and water.

 

Low ground clearance.

 

Plastic parts will fade and crack, will replacements be available in ten years?

 

Proprietary extruded aluminum caps and exterior frame for the structural panels. What happens when one gets damaged?

 

The shower is only usable when the kitchen slide is extended.

 

No built-in storage other than a small area under the galley and the front cargo bin.

 

I should probably stop here and let somebody else find some more issues..... would you rather have an Ollie Elite or this .... thing?

 

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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At half the price, it would be interesting.

 

The sliding kitchen is pretty innovative though. I’ve see a few other trailers try to do a single indoor/outdoor kitchen but this is the first one that seems to keep the kitchen at a usable height either way.

 

I’ve seen their little pop up tent trailer in person and it’s pretty cool for a light-use trailer.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John,

 

I respect your analysis of other campers. An Iowa adventure outfitter will be the first U.S. dealer for a line of Australian off-road campers. I've loved my Ollie, but have identified many things it doesn't have that I can't add through modifications. I've also discovered that it has limitations relating to rough roads that make it less than ideal for my use. So, I'm seriously considering purchasing the MDC XT16 East-West camper that is described below. The U.S. website isn't online yet, so all the specs are in metric measurements, etc. Also, the price is in Australian dollars. The company has 12 campers in the U.S.in the final stages of certification for sale here and the local outfitter is scheduled to pick one up and tow it back to Iowa before the end of the month.

 

Take a close look and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

https://www.marketdirect.com.au/product/xt16-hr-east-west-off-road-caravan/


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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John,

I respect your analysis of other campers. An Iowa adventure outfitter will be the first U.S. dealer for a line of Australian off-road campers. I’ve loved my Ollie, but have identified many things it doesn’t have that I can’t add through modifications. I’ve also discovered that it has limitations relating to rough roads that make it less than ideal for my use. So, I’m seriously considering purchasing the MDC XT16 East-West camper that is described below. The U.S. website isn’t online yet, so all the specs are in metric measurements, etc. Also, the price is in Australian dollars. The company has 12 campers in the U.S.in the final stages of certification for sale here and the local outfitter is scheduled to pick one up and tow it back to Iowa before the end of the month.

Take a close look and let me know what you think.

 

Many similarities to the Black Series HQ15 and HQ19. Why can’t U.S. manufacturers produce something like this?

  • Thanks 1

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Don, I have never heard of MDC, what is their reputation in Australia? Like the Black Series, these are built for warm weather use only. I think the design looks great, although I do not care for the trendy glass bowl sink in the bathroom, nor for the sliding outside kitchen. The latter would be simple enough to remove if you wanted to use that volume for storage.

 

Before I bought one of these Australian imports, I would want to crawl around underneath and inside for at least an hour, and look at how they run the wires and plumbing, and how stout things are like the “rock sliders” - are they cosmetic or do they actually function? How easy is to service appliances or electrical stuff when something fails?

 

The video says that it has a diesel fired furnace, this is a huge plus for me, but I bet they use a propane one here in the USA, darn it...

 

Has anybody at Expedition Portal discussed these? If not you might post your questions there and see what they say. .... https://expeditionportal.com/forum/forums/expedition-and-overland-trailers-retail-models.42/

 

Thanks for the info, those look very cool indeed.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"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 requested joining their 10,000 member facebook owners group.

This, and the island queen (walkaround queen) are new models.

At around 21 ft, it's a nice floorplan, for two..

Unlike John, I love the outdoor kitchen.

The standard floorplan has a climbover queen, but has a big kitchen indoors, and an oven.The walkaround queen deletes the oven.

Both have a tiny fridge, but lots of freshwater.

Either is a great floorplan for two, and one grandchild.

To me, it looks heavy for a single axle.

Looks like lt tires. Big tires. Most roads in Australia have lower speed limits than ours .

American price? 64k au is about 44k us, plus plus?

I'll look forward to hearing your report after seeing it. Looks a bit top heavy to me, but maybe the dealer will let you test tow?

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Lots of helpful comments! I’ve asked to join the FB owners’ group as well. I also like the outdoor kitchen. When I travel with my Ollie, I prefer to cook outside when the weather permits but I have to carry a Partner Steel propane stove, table, Cobb Grill, etc., and run in and out of the camper for utensils, etc. I’d use the outside kitchen frequently if I owned the MDC. Regarding the Black Series, the Iowa dealer I’m talking to sold the Black Series campers for awhile and can still order one, but he said the company is having growing pains and he isn’t satisfied with the quality of the product.

 

Like any camper purchase, there are trade-offs. The tires, suspension, etc., on the MDC are designed to handle very rugged terrain. I wouldn’t expect the camper to be as well-suited to barreling down a U.S. interstate highway at 70 mph like the Oliver. On trips out west, I use I-70 and I-80 to get through Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas, but switch to two-lane highways in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, etc., and when I’m exploring an area, I have towed the Ollie many hours on very rugged roads. I’m willing to trade 10 mph on the interstate for true off-road capability. The MDC should handle terrain that is more than my Touareg is designed for.

 

I’ll start a new thread once I get the ball rolling with the dealer.

 


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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I joined the MDC Owners Group on FB and posted a question about insulation/cold-weather camping. Almost immediately received a response from a fellow who started a conversation on FB messenger.

 

Here's the conversation:

 

Hi mate, we’re working on getting product to you guys just ramping up the factory with some new technology to increase production

 

Steve, you must be an MDC representative. Looking forward to the arrival of MDC caravans on our shores!

 

Yes I do all the media, set up and tuition videos etc

 

Great to make contact with you. I won't barrage you with questions, but what can you tell me about insulation and temperature range the XT16 is designed and manufactured to operate in?

 

It’s typical styrene insulation between the aluminium frame. From experience with a diesel heater it’s good at -6 degrees Celsius whatever that is in Fahrenheit

Doesn’t get any colder here

I’ve been very comfortable at -4 no heater

 

That would work for me. -6 C is 21 F and I haven't camped below 20 F. Hoping the U.S.caravans will be equipped with the diesel heaters.

 

They will a 2000 watt model

Chat Conversation End

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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So, you guys have us itching to go back to Australia, and camp the half lap around the west and north. We've camped the entire east and south coast and tasmania, but only as far west as Adelaide.

The mdc owners group is really fun, like our own. We've met the nicest people camping down under.

Thanks for the memories. I'm looking at flights and camper rentals ...

We love camping in Australia and New Zealand. And, seeing the very interesting campers and caravans.

Mostly, we've enjoyed meeting the Australian people. They're great campers. Lots of tent camper vehicles. No big campers

 

Always fun, always interesting stories.

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I'm completely engaged in a search for an Australian caravan to replace my Elite II. Other than getting out on my mountain bike for a couple of hours today to hit the trails, I've been researching Australian caravan manufacturers who are or will soon begin shipping their caravans to the United States. I've found a camper that I think I like better than the MDC XT-15. It's the largest of the Expedition Series by Zone RV. Here's the brochure:

 

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/6066089/SERIES%20brochures/SERIES%20Specs%20and%20Upgrades/ZRVExpeditionSpec&UpgradeAUG2019.pdf?utm_source=hs_automation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=77258186&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8sMQrNki3mSXs9LxwA1Kq37vZBDr4fyU9lL7KEgIQP3Q8gEfmrc7HYDTCpjGVzTDbc1l5MnKO6ObZM2qwczp9CcYlSBw&_hsmi=77258186

 

I've communicated with the company today by email and will talk to the owner of the company tomorrow or the next day. I hope to arrange to travel to Australia, rent a tow vehicle and travel in the Z-15 for a month or so before having it shipped to the U.S. Most of us picked up our Ollies in Hohenwald, camped for at least a few days to make sure everything was in order before heading home. I think this is a great advantage and Coolum Beach in Australia isn't that much further away than Hohenwald :).

 

If I buy this caravan, I'm sure I'll miss some of the creature comforts my Oliver provides, but I'll be much happier traveling on gravel and rocky roads in the West!


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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. I hope to arrange to travel to Australia, rent a tow vehicle and travel in the Z-15 for a month or so before having it shipped to the U.S. Most of us picked up our Ollies in Hohenwald, camped for at least a few days to make sure everything was in order before heading home. I think this is a great advantage and Coolum Beach in Australia isn’t that much further away than Hohenwald :).

If I buy this caravan, I’m sure I’ll miss some of the creature comforts my Oliver provides, but I’ll be much happier traveling on gravel and rocky roads in the West!

 

Wow, that is a nice caravan, will they build it to USA spec (right side entry, left side hookups, 120 VAC power)? If not I see that as a problem, short and long term, especially when you eventually sell it here.

 

They have some very nice upgrades that I would love to see from Oliver - dual lithium batteries, diesel furnace, additional water capacity, disk brakes! Inverter air conditioning!!

 

Have you found a place to rent a tow vehicle there? A Land Cruiser 4.7 diesel would work very well if you can use a WD hitch on the truck. The trailer is a little over 6000 pounds fully loaded. Will they let you tow off pavement with a rental? Do you need a special visitor drivers license to tow? Can you rent your small stuff like camp chairs and linens?

 

How much will it cost to ship it and pay duty here?

 

What about factory support. warranty etc?

 

The Australian to US Dollar exchange rate is highly favorable right now (about 0.68 USD per 1.00 AUD). I don't think you would find a better time for a once in a lifetime adventure like this. I am more than a little jealous and stunned. .... Nice trailers, for sure:

 

 

 

They are apparently planning to come to the USA! : ... https://expeditionportal.com/ultimate-rd-at-zone-rv/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

DSCF5254.thumb.jpg.3bf8f0f5b44f1af5545962e687b89817.jpg


"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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Door on the back, or the "wrong" side wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me. We don't often camp with close neighbors. anyway. If hookups are at the back end, also not a huge deal. I've seen plenty of campers in Australia with American side doirs/ hookups, and owners adapted. Met one delightful lady towing her Airstream on the full lap around the country. :)

 

The shorepower will be the biggest issue, as John mentioned.

 

If it helps you at all, your American driver's license is good for six months down under. My bet is the owners of the company will help you find a rental tow vehicle. I don't know if Australia requires liability on the trailer, as much of Europe does. That's a tough one, but we'll see. Perhaps you could lease/purchase the caravan for a few months, if that's an issue, and use their Australian insurance. .. We rent long term campervans. 35 days plus is typically the sweet point, shoulder season.

 

Qantas is starting a new nonstop from O'hare to Brisbane in April, 2020. Right now, I can get spring tickets for 730 USD plus seat reservation , round trip. 16 hour flight on the 787 dreamliner. We've flown similar time, Dallas to Sydney, and it's an awesome flight. Late dinner (excellent) around 1030 , a movie or two or three (great movie selections on qantas, bring your own earbuds, theirs are chintzy), late night snack, sleep 8 hours, have breakfast, and land at 6 am-ish,refreshed and ready to start the day down under. I sleep like a baby in the dreamliner. Like sleeping on a recliner in my living room.

Do spring for the global entry card. United credit card helped pay for ours. American credit card (qantas partner) might do the same. It takes time, so start soon.

Also, all the major international big plane flights land around the same time. Be ready to skip airport bathrooms, and get to customs quickly, before the hordes arrive at the passport machines and immigration lines. Just my experience...

Sherry

 

 

 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry, I spend 2 hours this afternoon on a FaceTime conversation with a couple of people at Zone RV. They are building 2 caravans now that are going to be shipped to the US. They are "bespoke" for our market--no issues with doors on the wrong side, etc. Unfortunately that means that the caravans won't be certified for travel in Australia. So, I can't fly there to travel with a new camper before shipping it to the U.S. More info coming in a reply to John's comments above.

 


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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John, see my reply to Sherry about picking up the caravan in Australia. After two hours of FaceTime, many emails, and lots of research, Zone RV has answered many questions, but there are still open issues. They have to figure out how to deal with warranty issues. If I buy from them, my caravan will probably be shipped with two others late this winter or early in the Spring. They are working through the warranty and service issues but obviously they'll have to have people like Jason who can be responsive to owners by telephone and can work with repair facilities in the U.S. Jason has done that for me and I've been happy with the work done by a local RV place with Jason's involvement. Shipping could be pretty expensive, up to $12,000 AUS or a little over $8,000 US. They may be able to cut that in half by shipping the first three together.

 

I'm considering two very different products. First, the EXP 12.0. They have't manufactured the larger 15.0 EXP and I'm not willing to buy the first one they make, so I'm considering a pretty small unit with no inside kitchen and no dinette. On the other hand, it is very attractive to me given the kind of camping I like to do. it would have a 200 AH lithium battery and 440 watts in solar panels, diesel heater, A/C, two queen beds, etc., all in a very small package. The other alternative is the 17.0 Off-Road, a much more traditional caravan with serious off-road capabilities. Much more expensive, but very comparable in exterior dimensions and weight to the my Elite II. As you saw in the video attached, this is a very luxurious, capable caravan. I think I can sell my Ollie and buy the EXP 12 and put money in the bank. If I buy the 17.0 Off-Road, I'll need to spend a quite a bit more money. I'm going to go over the list of standard equipment and the options for the 17.0 Off-Road and decide if I want to spend that much money and also whether that model fits my needs better than the EXP 12.

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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I considered two different Australian campers before deciding on our Ollie. The first was a fold-out tent trailer, which seemed like a great design but their US distributer folded. The second was a Kimberley, which was more comparable to the Ollie. It had everything we wanted and I was really interested in it. But then a few people who had them here in the US and who had originally gushed over them, admitted that they were having problems with the trailers and problems getting them fixed. One guy had an issue that made his camper completely unusable and the only fix was to send it back to AUS and have it rebuilt.

 

So I ended up with the Ollie and then a year later heard that Kimberley filed for bankruptcy.

 

Point being, be careful and know that no matter how good the trailer/importer/manufacturer looks right now, they could fold up tomorrow and leave you on your own. The only Australian company that has succeeded long term in the US has been EarthCruiser and they did it by essentially moving their business over here. But if you accept that and are still willing to go for it, then absolutely do so.

 

The other thing I would say is that the Ollie is a lot more rugged than it gets credit for. I've banged mine around a good bit and apart from an initial round of build issues, it's been a real trooper so far. I've personally come to believe that the big long travel suspensions on these "off road" trailers aren't really of any benefit, and what really counts when banging your trailer around off pavement is maneuverability, toughness, and build quality. And I think that the Ollie really excels in those areas, particularly the Elite I, since it's so small and light.

 

I do like some of the features of the Aussie trailers, like the extra spares, galvanized frames, and outdoor kitchens. But some of the features I think are a drawback in the US, like the Webasto diesel fired everything.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I bought a Black Series HQ19 and have been waiting for it to arrive in Salt Lake City. It finally came in last Monday and we went to see it.

 

There have been a lot of modifications/upgrades for 2020 and I am really impressed. Also, there has been some chatter on various sites about these, over the last couple of years, but not too much from people that actually have one, or have even seen one in person. They are currently selling more than they can make and are having a hard time keeping up with orders. These trailers are a game changer here in the US.

 

If you look around on-line, look for videos from RVs of America on YouTube. These are current videos and not several years old, or from Australia. A bunch of these videos were removed because they were using drones in National Parks and on BLM lands to show the capability and practicality of these trailers in real use by people who love to camp and go off-road. They got into trouble for doing this, but there are still enough of them to really get a feel for how they are made and their advantages.

 

One of the issues that has come up is the suitability for "all-season" cold weather camping. They are not as well suited for very cold weather as an Oliver, but this issue id being addressed. The 2020 models have floor insulation, insulated piping and tank heaters. There is also a winter package being developed by Black Series and a winter package that can be installed by RVs of America in Salt Lake. I am getting this and have also designed a couple of mods to improve it further. I am comfortable that this trailer will be fine in any weather I want to camp in. Even the Oliver must be kept warm in cold weather to prevent it from freezing up.

 

The first of the 2020 models are now showing up and they are impressive! Heavy duty swing arm suspension, full bathroom with porcelain sink and toilet, large fiberglass shower, washing machine, lots of storage, luxurious interior with oven, vent hood, beautiful wood trim, queen size bed st solar system as standard equipment, AGM batteries mounted over the axle, enclosed propane and storage lockers in front, heavy aluminum body and roof with hot dip galvanized frame, dual spare tires, large fridge with separate freezer compartment, beautiful dinette table that is very rugged and can be used outside as an additional table, full stainless steel outside kitchen with sink and preparation area, dual water system with triple filtered drinking water and separate 50 gallon general water tanks. The charging system uses an inverter/charger combination that does away with the traditional converter and transfer switch for an inverter. The 12 volt system has a marine style master switch and heavy duty circuit breakers at the batteries. Then it has a full 12 volt panel with 12 volt circuit breakers, digital tank readouts and monitoring system. All at eye level over the stove for easy access. No more automotive fuses down by the floor. The incoming 120 volt power goes through a Square D residential electrical panel with breakers that are available everywhere for about $7.00 if needed. The bed is a queen size with what looks like a memory foam top. They include six pillows, sheets, and mattress cover. There are four perimeter outside LED flood light and an LED automatic porch light. The screen door is an Australian design that is very robust and far from the conventional trailer doors. It has a triple locking system and integrates with the exterior door in a very nice and secure way. The exterior door has a large clear window with curtains. The rest of the windows are double pane polycarbonate that swing out. The kitchen sink is stainless with a stainless faucet that has two outlets. One for the general water and one for the filtered drinking water. All cabinets have a positive locking catch that will not open when driving. All exterior doors have stainless steel catches that positively latch and lock, with full rubber gaskets. All hinges are stainless steel piano hinges. Al drawers are soft close with latching catches to keep them closed while driving.

 

These trailers are very heavy duty and corrosion resistant, while being extremely comfortable inside. They are designed to withstand heavy off-road use and are covered by a five year structural warrantee. Warrantee work can be handled by any RV shop and Black Series has a full stock of parts ready to ship if needed. The appliances are Dometic brand. The awning can be either a legless electric design, or a manual design with legs. I ordered the manual one.

 

I plan to pick it up next weekend and do a shakedown cruise in Utah, and then, probably a coastal trip to N CA and Oregon as winter sets in. We'll be in Quartzsite in January and Guntersville in May for the Oliver Rally. I'm expecting a few raised eyebrows as we pull in without our Oliver. Liye's pot luck spring rolls will be produced outside on the marvelous outdoor kitchen, along with some spectacular breakfasts! Then, the large tires and off-road friendly suspension will be perfect for the long trek into Death Valley on the gravel road to the hot springs.

 

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Btw. I followed John’s link to the portal. The comments on Black series weren’t impressive.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/black-series-hq-tips-tricks-and-learning.203716/

I hope the mdc isn’t diluted to lower American standards.

We looked a couple of Black Series last month when we were in Bozeman and then again during a few days in the Salt Lake City area. These are a totally different trailer than the Oliver. Bigger on the outside (HQ19), heavier and very “Airstream” like on the inside. We spent a couple of hours poking and prodding and didn’t see any quality issues of concern. It’s an impressive package. Mike

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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I've had a couple of trailers that I thought were going to be fine for mild off-roading. One was a 24' toy hauler and one was our beloved Oliver.

They have identical suspension, but I upgraded the Oliver to the heavy duty kit to make it last longer and be greasable. One of my favorite places to go is Death Valley, and in particular, the hot springs. This requires a trek of about 60 miles each way on a gravel road and pretty much off road in one area.

 

The toy hauler made it one trip before I realized I would kill it if I did to a few more times. It was trying to disassemble itself. With the Oliver, I aired down and went very slow. But it too, didn't like it. Cushions everywhere, window frames falling off, and overhead cabinets opening, lead to chaos. The microwave tried to escape twice from its cabinet. But the body was fine and it is quite maneuverable with it's long tongue and good ground clearance. I've had it up other rocky roads where I was spinning all for of our truck's tires to pull it through and carefully walked it over rocks and around tight corners.

 

The primary limiting factor, in my view, is the suspension. I don't want to race across the desert, but I want to find a reasonable speed that the suspension can absorb without pounding the trailer to pieces. The Oliver has very little suspension travel and hits metal to metal as a stop when the axle bangs into the frame. While carefully looking for it, I cannot find a speed, other than dead slow walking speed, that will not cause problems.

 

So, we will see, but the HQ19 has larger tires and independent suspension with two real shocks per wheel and urethane stops. It will get the test before long and I'm optimistic it will be better. Not a racer, but better. Plus, none of the cabinet doors will ever open while being held with their secure latching mechanisms.

 

The Oliver is very streamlined and stable while towing. These features make is excellent for highway travel. The brakes seem somewhat temperamental and require adjusting to keep them working well. I'm hoping the larger 12' brakes on the HQ work better, as they have on a couple of other utility trailers I have. One of my favorite features on the Oliver is the long tongue and jack location. This allows the truck tailgate to be opened anytime and allows for tight maneuvering. It is actually a little longer than the one on the HQ.

  • Thanks 2

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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I've been away from this discussion because I've been focused on selling Hull #126 and finalizing the build on my Zone EXP 12.0. My Australian camper would not suit many Oliver owners. I considered buying a Zone RV Off-Road 17.0. It would be amazing--true off-road capabilities combined with a level of luxury that exceeds the Oliver's, Airstream's etc. The options are unbeatable--tons of solar, lithium batteries, an air-conditioner that will run off the inverter, a washing machine!, etc., but I decided that I just don't need that level of luxury. I also didn't want to spend the kind of money required (probably not much less than $95,000 U.S. delivered here). I camp alone and I use the term "camp" intentionally. When I travel in the Ollie, I spend my days out and about--hiking, mountain biking, exploring nearby towns, museums, etc. I usually cook breakfast and evening meals when I'm away from civilization. If I'm near a town with decent restaurants, I'll eat out in the evening. Most of my time in the Ollie is spent reading while lying on one of the beds and sleeping.

 

Like John, I have had experiences towing the Oliver on rough roads that weren't pleasant. But more important, I've avoided places that I knew would be too much for the Ollie. So, I've replaced the Ollie with an EXP 12.0--a camper that not many Oliver owners would find attractive, but I think it will suit me. I understand the risks buying a camper manufactured in Australia. I've researched the company and I think it's the best in the Australian market--the "Oliver" of Australia. Yes, Zone RV could go out of business at some point in the future and leave me high and dry. So could Oliver Travel Trailers. So, I've taken a big leap, hoping to land on the other side of the gorge. Hoping to pick up my EXP 12.0 at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff in May, 2020. Zone will have another U.S. purchaser's EXP 12.0 on display at the Expo and I hope to schedule a full day delivery tutorial with the Zone people either before or after the Expo.

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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Well, good luck. And hope you enjoy it..

 

Looks rugged, but not sure I'd be happy with outdoor bath, kitchen, and a poptop. Good to keep the center of gravity low if you're mainly off road, I suppose.

 

Still time to catch a flight out and see it. November in Brisbane is pretty nice. Like may in Florida.

Sherry

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Don,

 

Looks good. Are you planning to make it to the Oliver Rally? I'd love to see your trailer in person.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Sherry, there’s no perfect solution. I’ll miss sitting at the dinette working on the computer, drinking coffee, eating dinner, etc. But, I’ll have a much more comfortable sleeping space with a true queen bed with a latex mattress of the same quality as the one I sleep on at home. I like cooking outside, but having to go outside to brew a morning cup of coffee will require some adjustment. There is a wet bath in the EXP 12, but I don’t anticipate using the inside shower much. In four years, I don’t think I’ve used the indoor shower in the Ollie more than 15-20 times. I usually shower at a campground or outside when I’m in a remote place. The EXP 12 has a really cool shower enclosure for the outdoor shower that is in an enclosed compartment above the shower. You open it up and it just drops down, ready to go. I’ll need some type of platform mat like Foy makes for the Ollie bathroom to stand on. My goal is to travel to places where I can take overland routes for 3-14 days of dirt road remote travel. Have already collected descriptions of a half dozen routes described on expeditionportal.com. Maybe when I’m 80 years old or so, I’ll want to return to a more sedate and luxurious form of camping, but at 70, I’m still feeling he urge to explore!

 


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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John,

 

I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the rally. I may be picking up the EXP-12 in Flagstaff at that time. But, if I pick it up in March, the rally is a possibility

  • Thanks 1

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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