Jump to content

Jumped from Black Series to Xplore X22


Recommended Posts

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

  • Like 3
  • Love 1

John


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


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Raspy,

It’s good to hear from you on the Ollie forum.  I often see your posts on the Fiberglass RV forum and it reminds me of the conversation about tire pressure you, topgun2 and I had at the OTT rally.  And while staying at a Florida SP on my way to the non rally we had this year, I had the opportunity to tour a HQ19 in person.  I saw it when I was heading to my site and the owner came over while I was setting up.  I gave him a tour of the Ollie and then found out that he was in the Black Series.  So he invited me over for a tour and it was quite a trailer.  The owner was from Florida and quite happy with his experiences so far.  Just when I got to see your new trailer, you are going to get another.  So I’ll have to keep my eyes open for your new one.

Congratulations,

Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope you enjoy your new rig, the suspension and height adjustment is crazy cool….  Can the hydraulics be adjusted while moving or do you have to get out and flip a switch at the power pack? How do you get the spares down, a winch? Would you mind summarizing what kind of issues you had with your BS trailer? I have to admit that I love the design, but many production and quality control issues stood out  to me just from looking at pictures….. 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Hey John, good to hear from you.  The Xplore looks like quite a trailer.  Shane seems pretty sold on it too.  I’m glad we’re getting more options for well built, quality trailers!  Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/7/2021 at 6:27 AM, John E Davies said:

I hope you enjoy your new rig, the suspension and height adjustment is crazy cool….  Can the hydraulics be adjusted while moving or do you have to get out and flip a switch at the power pack? How do you get the spares down, a winch? Would you mind summarizing what kind of issues you had with your BS trailer? I have to admit that I love the design, but many production and quality control issues stood out  to me just from looking at pictures….. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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)

  • Thanks 2
  • Like 1

John


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


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/7/2021 at 8:32 AM, Mike and Carol said:

Hey John, good to hear from you.  The Xplore looks like quite a trailer.  Shane seems pretty sold on it too.  I’m glad we’re getting more options for well built, quality trailers!  Mike

Hi Mike!

Hope to cross paths with you guys one of these days.  Will you be going to Quartzsite in January?

John

John


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


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Hey John, we’re making January plans for AZ now.  Family events have been changing everything we try to plan.  We thought we’d be in Colorado in a couple of weeks, now we’re going to be in Maine.  Oh well, stay flexible!  Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had looked at Black Series before deciding on Oliver but the dealer in Denver stopped carrying them due to quality issues. That plus seeing them in person was enough to make up our mind. Glad to be sitting where we are and awaiting our new Elite II in September. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey John,

It's been a long while. You were of great help to me brainstorming and fixing my fresh water supply issues way back when. No troubles since! 👍

That's quite the new rig you have there. Looks like it will be able to follow anywhere your truck can pull it! One thing that caught my eye when I looked the trailer up were the shades that are used. Since I still love my little Oliver, I am continually upgrading parts that I don't really like. The stock Oliver shades, while somewhat functional, are very bulky, a pita to restring, etc. Do you know the maker of your shades? Do you think they would be a good fit/improvement for the Oliver? And hopefully the X22 shades use a torsion(?) spring mechanism like a regular roller shade with no strings and tension springs to deal with.

Cheers!

Dave   

2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

John


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


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A local dealer in N. MI has two of these on their lot. Have only seen them from afar (at a campground in Tucson last January). At $64k with solar and AGM and $70k (lithium), they appear priced at Oliver level.  The idea of hydraulic suspension is cool. You will have to let us all know what you think of it after you have had it a while. 

21E30AC6-7DA3-4D3F-A5C2-33466BE74399.jpeg

A0C1FC5E-9DB8-490D-B462-3F9B06AC1160.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

There are a number if nice features, but I wish they could have figured in a decent sized bed for the trailer size. Losing seven inches of kitchen could give an "almost" queen bed, in a kind of trapezoid, and still keep the big dinette. 

53" wide, is not a queen. It's not quite as wide (though a little longer) than the full sizein our Elites, and still a crawlover.

The toy hauler version bed is only 48" wide. Great for one, pretty tiny for two. The bed in the camper van we rented in Iceland was about 48 inches, and it was pretty snug.

Like the big fridge and oven, though. Lots of room for solar on that big roof....

Let us know how this one works out for you. I'm sure you'll like it better, with all the cold weather camping you like to do.

  • Like 1

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...