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Awhile back there was some discussion on off road trailers. A Freind asked Black series HQ 19 vs Oliver. I remember Raspy purchased one. Has any one heard how he likes it verses the Oliver?  I am also interested in how the black series is holding up?

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He likes his HQ19 a lot.  He had it at Quartzite in January.  He’s done a lot of mods and is posting some of it on the Expedition Portal.  We stopped by his dealer in Salt Lake City when we were there in the fall and agree that it is a nice trailer.  He was going to bring it to the spring rally.

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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10 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

He likes his HQ19 a lot.  He had it at Quartzite in January.  He’s done a lot of mods and is posting some of it on the Expedition Portal.  We stopped by his dealer in Salt Lake City when we were there in the fall and agree that it is a nice trailer.  He was going to bring it to the spring rally.

 

D9A0A73F-1967-4CB8-BD93-AFD09FDEF5F8.jpeg

E612B52C-26FF-43FD-9DA7-7F2D2D5E8A76.jpeg

Thanks for the info. Nice pics, it doesn’t look much bigger than the Oliver.

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Posted (edited)

The concept is pretty nice - I took a look at them at overland expo and there are definitely a few things that I prefer over the Ollie.  But then there are also some things I don't like so it balances out.  On the whole, I prefer what I have.  But if they had been available when I was shopping, and I didn't know what I know now, I'd have looked at them pretty closely.  At that time, I seriously considered a Kimberley trailer, since they were available here back then.  The Kimberleys were fairly unique, though, if more expensive.  I don't think that there's anything particularly special about the Black Series - they're just an Aussie style trailer that happens to be sold here.  Tougher construction than the average, and a lot more off-roady eye candy, but not unique in any way.

There have been other Aussie companies enter the market here, like Kimberley or Extreme (?), and it seems like they last a few years and then quietly leave.  Conquerer, from South Africa, comes and goes randomly.  Earth Cruiser I guess is the only one that has stuck it out.   From what I've read, though, the big problem with the Black Series is that you don't have to wait for the company to exit the market before being hung out to dry.  There are some really ugly stories on ExPo about the quality and customer service - to the extent that they say the company has threatened lawsuits against their own owners, and the forums they post on.   I can't see how anyone would put up with that sort of clown show, especially after having owned an Ollie.  

So, my opinion is that if you go into it, think of it like importing a trailer.  Assume that you're on your own, and if you have the time, skill, and money to fix things yourself, then sure.  But for me, it seems like the sort of trailer that looks great in the brochure but loses its shine in use; whereas I think you don't really start to appreciate the Ollie until you put it to use, and the more you use it, the more you realize how good it is.

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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3 hours ago, Overland said:

The concept is pretty nice - I took a look at them at overland expo and there are definitely a few things that I prefer over the Ollie.  But then there are also some things I don't like so it balances out.  On the whole, I prefer what I have.  But if they had been available when I was shopping, and I didn't know what I know now, I'd have looked at them pretty closely.  At that time, I seriously considered a Kimberley trailer, since they were available here back then.  The Kimberleys were fairly unique, though, if more expensive.  I don't think that there's anything particularly special about the Black Series - they're just an Aussie style trailer that happens to be sold here.  Tougher construction than the average, and a lot more off-roady eye candy, but not unique in any way.

There have been other Aussie companies enter the market here, like Kimberley or Extreme (?), and it seems like they last a few years and then quietly leave.  Conquerer, from South Africa, comes and goes randomly.  Earth Cruiser I guess is the only one that has stuck it out.   From what I've read, though, the big problem with the Black Series is that you don't have to wait for the company to exit the market before being hung out to dry.  There are some really ugly stories on ExPo about the quality and customer service - to the extent that they say the company has threatened lawsuits against their own owners, and the forums they post on.   I can't see how anyone would put up with that sort of clown show, especially after having owned an Ollie.  

So, my opinion is that if you go into it, think of it like importing a trailer.  Assume that you're on your own, and if you have the time, skill, and money to fix things yourself, then sure.  But for me, it seems like the sort of trailer that looks great in the brochure but loses its shine in use; whereas I think you don't really start to appreciate the Ollie until you put it to use, and the more you use it, the more you realize how good it is.

All good points. I read the same. Only if that suspension could be mod to fit the Oliver that would be one bad A trailer. 

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Posted (edited)

There are definitely things to like about the Black Series, especially the HQ 19.  It’s a little wider and a little longer than an Elite II.  The suspension is pretty heavy duty, the black and fresh tanks are larger, plus a separate filtered drinking water tank and it has good exterior storage.  Inside, there’s a walk around queen bed, larger dinette, big fridge and a spacious dry bath.  The frame and box are made in China and it is finished out in Los Angeles.  Dealer support depends on the dealer, some good, some not so good.  John’s (Raspy) dealer seems to be a good one.  We were impressed when we were there.  It’s not as 4 seasons as the Oliver.  Tanks are exposed underneath but they are wrapping and will install a heat blanket if you want.   Price is about the same as the Oliver.  We’re still happy with our Oliver.  Mike

Edited by Mike and Carol
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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Mike sums it up well.

I loved our Oliver, and I did a lot of work on it to make it better.  Some things about it were just not the best for us, but Oliver is so far ahead of the industry standard stickie that there is really no comparison.  

Comparisons to the HQ19 are awkward.  They are so different from each other.   But, for a couple, the HQ is extremely nice.  The interior is a luxury apartment, and the exterior is a durable beast with the best suspension I have ever seen in America.  

The HQ19 seems to have pushed the level of traveling comfort and practicality from comfortable and efficient in an Oliver, to laughably decadent.  Each one though, has advantages over the other.  

It seems silly to complain about the Oliver, but it did have points about it that I wanted to be different.  The twin beds, for me, were not very comfortable, or even long enough.  The wet bath was hard to use, I could not stand up straight and Liye did not like it.  The suspension is really only good enough for highway travel.  There has been problems with it and the fix seemed unreasonably difficult for just a small gain.  Storage was very limited and the kitchen was very minimal. 

Somehow, there is an imaginary line between the HQ19 and the LE2.  The Oliver is fine in so many ways, and great quality, backed up by an amazing company, but it is still a travel trailer that worked best, at least for us, for trips of limited duration.  The HQ19 is a luxury apartment that is suitable to live in forever. But towing the Oliver is easier, as it is lighter and very streamlined.  The floor plan in the HQ19 is reversed from the Oliver, so the bath is in the back, where there is more headroom, and the bed in the front where headroom is not needed.   The bath has a nice counter, a big sink, cabinets and a separate shower.  And a washing machine?!  The forward queen bed is set fore and aft with a little space on each side, so no climbing over one another, but the trailer is only 4" wider than the LE2.  The kitchen has a range hood with lights, three burner stove with oven, dual water systems with filtered drinking water, a large sink and a bigger fridge.  The AC and the heater are both higher output. The tanks are larger.  But the Oliver is better insulated underneath and better in very cold weather.  Our Oliver windows leaked, and the HQ19 windows look like they can't.  The interior lighting is much nicer in the HQ with lots of options, reading lights and wall switches.  The HQ19 inverter/charger is more advanced in design and is standard, as is the 300 watt solar and AGM batteries.  It also has a parking brake, which I love.  It has a recovery type jockey wheel in front, recovery shackles in the rear, rock rails along the side, two spare tires and a very durable aluminum diamond plate skin.   The skeleton is welded aluminum and it has a one piece aluminum roof.  The interior finish is magnificent gloss veneer over core construction cabinet doors and surfaces, with aluminum wall finish over plywood. The dinette is a vinyl faux leather upholstery all sewn with magazine pockets and a beautiful finish.  In the Oliver, the seat cushions wanted to get to the floor on trips, but it can't happen in the HQ.   The window coverings have the usual screen, or shade options, but also have let down Roman shades.  And they don't fall off on rough roads like ours did in the Oliver.

Again, I loved the Oliver, so I don't mean to sound too critical.     We towed it about 20,000 miles and to 22 states.  I averaged 1-2 MPG better towing it than I get with the HQ.  Our Oliver weighed 5,700 lbs ready to go, with 560 lbs of tongue weight. The HQ weighs about 6,900 lbs all watered up, with gear, and ready to go. It has a tongue weight of 800 lbs.  I have never used sway control or a WDH with either one and have never felt the need to.   Both tow absolutely stable on the highway.  The HQ has 12" brakes on 5200 lbs axles and the Oliver has 10" brakes on 3500 lb axles.  The HQ has independent swing arm suspension with twin shocks per wheel.  The Oliver has a beautiful, fully boxed, aluminum frame with lots of gussets.  The HQ has a steel box frame that is hot dip galvanized for corrosion protection.  Hot dip is the best corrosion protection for steel there is, and the zinc is very thick. 

The HQ has now been to Moab and I've towed it up rock stair steps and on trails that I would never do with the Oliver.  But that is what it's made for.  I towed the Oliver way back in on rocky dirt roads too, but this is different.  

So, the HQ just suits us better for traveling comfort, off-road ability and boondocking, but it's heavier and less streamlined.  The Oliver is easier to tow, lighter and has a great factory support system. The HQ has a good warrantee and parts are available, but they are still refining their process and it's not as smooth as with the Oliver.  When comparing prices and the out the door price for comparable equipment, the HQ is lower cost.  With the solar, AGM batteries and 2,000 watt inverter charger, all standard equipment, they list for about $54,000.  Ours is a 2020 model and it was less.

Here are three videos.  I'm in the white Ram with the HQ19.  Watch for th HQ in the rear view mirror while "crossing Nevada".

 

 

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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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Nice trailer, probably would have been something I might have been interested in 30-40 years ago. My camping style today is comfort on paved campsites with full hookups, what can I say, the Oliver spoiled me.

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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