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You may have heard of Black Series Campers – the RVs born in the Australian Outback with a well-earned reputation for extraordinary ruggedness and off-roading capabilities. We recently toured their final assembly facility (and lots of their campers) in City of Industry, California, and… well… you won’t believe what happened!
We’ve got LOTS of intriguing information to report, so let’s get started.
- 1) What Is a Black Series Camper?
- 2) What Kind of Campers Does Black Series Make?
- 3) What Sets Them Apart From Other Pop-ups, Travel Trailers, and Toy Haulers?
- 4) Who Owns Black Series?
- 5) Where Are Black Series Campers Designed, Manufactured, and Assembled?
- 6) Why Were The RVgeeks Recently Spotted at the Black Series Facility in California?
- 7) What Did We Think of the Black Series Campers?
- 8) So, What Happened When The RVgeeks Toured Black Series??
- 9) Speaking of The RVers
- 10) How Can Readers Learn More About Black Series and See Them in Action?
What Is a Black Series Camper?
A Black Series camper is an incredibly rugged travel trailer designed and built using over a decade’s worth of experience in the Australian Outback.
Why is that significant? Well, the Outback – the exquisite heartland of Australia, with its unforgiving, remote, and often harsh terrain – is far removed from the paved roads of the settled, coastal edges of the continent. Generally described as arid, it can be dangerously hot in the daytime and very cold at night. Camping in the Australian Outback requires a rig that’s supported by a far stronger and more durable suspension than a traditional travel trailer offers.
Black Series campers were designed to meet all of that and more, with the serious overland camper in mind. Built on uniquely heavy-duty independent suspension systems, Black Series campers have the ability to take you deeper and farther into the backcountry than any typical travel trailer ever could.
They also feature an interior living space as comfortable and fully-featured as possible.
But Black Series campers, despite the rugged innovation inspired by their Australian DNA, aren’t just for overlanders. Having been offered in North America since 2018, Black Series campers meet all United States DOT regulations and are a dream to haul… from the straightest of American highways to the most remote slice of BLM land the country has to offer, they handle it all.
What Kind of Campers Does Black Series Make?
Black Series offers pop-up campers, travel trailers, and toy haulers, all with extraordinarily rugged exteriors and high-quality interior appointments.
While you might not think of a pop-up camper as a rig fit for the wild, Black Series offers five models that would surely change your mind.
There’s the 16-foot Classic 12 that sleeps 3 comfortably, and the 20-foot Classic Double that sleeps 6 and includes solar panels and a boat rack. Then there’s the Classic 15, Dominator, and Patron that fit squarely between them. All of these are the most rugged, durable pop-up campers we’ve ever seen.
Despite the fact that we went in with fairly high expectations, the six models of travel trailers still blew our minds. We’d read these were rugged campers designed for super-challenging camping locations. And being the avid boondockers we are, we were intrigued. But up close and personal, our expectations were clearly exceeded.
These rigs, with their robust independent suspensions and armored chassis, are corrosion-resistant and waterproof. So yeah – you can drag them through a creek and keep right on riding. The all-terrain tires will take you over the roughest surfaces, and then some. But…
We were particularly taken with the HQ19 for a few reasons. This thing has TWO pairs of independent suspension systems. What? No, it’s true. We saw them with our own eyes.
Instead of the typical axle you’d expect to see on a travel trailer, each wheel is mounted using ruggedized, totally independent suspension systems. So, sand, mud, and rugged rocks be damned, this RV is designed to take on almost anything.
But what about the interior? While you might expect a rugged exterior to imply a rugged (or stripped down) interior, you’d be wrong, as we were. The HQ19 has a good-sized fridge, microwave, stovetop oven, and – get this – a washing machine. And the fit and finish of everything is excellent.
So, yeah – we were kind of hooked and had a hard time moving on to view the other models, all of which are just as well though-out and built. One of them is even larger than the HQ19. But we digress…
The toy haulers, in two models, are hard to describe, really. Not only are they light enough to be hauled by your truck while carrying your ATV or whatever toys you have, but the interior appointments are unexpectedly lavish, especially for a camper that’s designed to get down and dirty.
All of the Black Series pop-ups, travel trailers, and toy haulers need to be seen (and felt) to be truly appreciated, but one thing we can tell you in print is that they’re the most rugged, durable, heavy-duty, high-quality trailers we’ve ever seen.
What Sets Them Apart From Other Pop-ups, Travel Trailers, and Toy Haulers?
While there are lots of RVs and campers out there claiming to be made with avid lovers of the outdoors in mind, the functionality of Black Series campers is exceptional.
While we’ll offer the caveat that we haven’t personally traveled in a bunch of different travel trailers, we do have some experience with them and have surely seen hundreds. Once you see a Black Series in person, it takes no time at all to see and feel the difference. These things really redefine a backcountry dreamer’s idea of fine camping.
Not only would we be hard-pressed to find as rugged a rig to take down the road or deep into the backcountry, but we’d also be equally hard-pressed to find one as well-appointed on the interior. This is a hard combination to beat, even for two guys who’ve been traveling in a Class A diesel pusher for a couple of decades.
The combination of this beefy, all-terrain, near-bulletproof chassis and exterior with the luxury offered inside this rig just might be industry-leading.
Who Owns Black Series?
Black Series is owned by GIC PTY LTD, a family-owned and operated business with factories and warehouses in Australia, China, and the United States. We toured the U.S. facility which is located in City of Industry, California, in the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County.
Black Series has 14 years of industry experience over five continents and has sold more than 100,000 rigs throughout the U.S, Australia, and Europe.
Where Are Black Series Campers Designed, Manufactured, and Assembled?
As we noted at the beginning of this post, Black Series campers were conceived and designed in Australia for use in the rugged Outback (accounting for their super-rugged capabilities). Primary assembly now takes place in China, where they’re loaded into shipping containers along with additional parts like axles, wheels, tires, awnings, air conditioners, etc., (essentially everything that would make the rig too large for a shipping container), and shipped to the United States.
Final assembly takes place at the Black Series facility we toured in City of Industry, California.
Why Were The RVgeeks Recently Spotted at the Black Series Facility in California?
Well, in short, we’d heard a lot of buzz about how extremely off-road capable Black Series campers are and we wanted to see for ourselves. Since we were only a few hours’ drive away, we decided to go out to the final assembly plant to see and tour them for ourselves.
Maybe you’re wondering why we’re so interested in ruggedized RVs. It’s because we have an exciting trip we want to take to a rugged part of the world… somewhere our 43’ diesel pusher isn’t really best equipped for. So we’ve been on the prowl for a substitute. More about our plans below…
What Did We Think of the Black Series Campers?
Initial impression as we embarked on our first inspection of Black Series campers? “Wow! These are really well made!” Sorry to sound so surprised, Black Series, but we’ve seen a lot of travel trailers in our almost two decades on the road. So we weren’t expecting quite the level of construction we found, especially after we’d heard that primary construction takes place in China.
Forget any stereotype that things made in China are flimsy. Whether that might be true in some areas or not, this is one time when we can say first-hand that they’ve out-built any campers we’ve ever seen — by a lot!
The overall feeling of solidity and quality construction made us feel like the travel trailers being manufactured here in North America are cheap in both design and construction by comparison. This is our initial impression based on having seen many North American-made brands of travel trailers in person at dealerships and RV shows.
The lower section of Black Series campers is protected by diamond-plated siding and special rock guards. Painted fire engine red, they’re not only functional but make Black Series campers really stand out. We think they look great.
Underneath, we found the 26’ chassis sitting on a fully-independent suspension system which we learned is engineered and road-tested to 40,000 pounds (which is critical for withstanding the sudden bumps, dips, and lurches commonly encountered when overlanding). We found some of the highest quality construction materials we’ve ever seen on a towable, as well as decoupled off-road tires on 16” wheels, and an ingenious 360-degree articulating hitch system.
We checked the AC, heater, and appliances (including the washing machine), and we found that faucets and both indoor and outdoor showers are equipped with on-demand hot water.
With indoor and outdoor speakers and a 24” TV with DVD, there’s plenty of entertainment onboard. They’re all powered by four 100AH AGM batteries charged by four roof-mounted solar panels. Though, we’d bet the beauty of wherever you plan to haul this trailer will likely be more interesting to watch than whatever’s on TV. 😉
So, What Happened When The RVgeeks Toured Black Series??
If we sound impressed, it’s because we really were. We mentioned earlier that we’d been on the lookout for a super-rugged RV for a super-rugged trip we have planned. So this is where the really exciting part comes in… we found our rig!
After investigating Black Series campers and learning all we could take in about them, we were duly impressed. So impressed, in fact, that we were able to arrange for Black Series to provide us with an HQ19 for our trip! We were looking for the ultimate off-road camper to take on the beaches and other rugged areas we’ll be visiting, and the Black Series camper just blew us away.
Late this year (2022), we’ll be picking up a Black Series HQ19 in City of Industry, California, and taking it down the Baja Penisula all the way to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! We plan to spend about 2 months during the winter of ‘22/’23 in Baja, where we’ll be filming for The RVers with our awesome friends and co-hosts, Tom & Cait Morton.
And yes, you’ll get to see all of this when it airs on The Discovery Channel, PBS, iTunes, and Amazon. We’ll also share everything both here, and on our Youtube channel. Of course, we’ll also be driving a mondo 4-wheel drive off-road-capable pick-up, so truck fans won’t be left out!
Speaking of The RVers
The show returns to Discovery very soon! Season 3 re-airs in its entirety beginning Saturday morning April 2, 2022 at 8 AM Eastern & Pacific, 7 Central, and 9 Mountain time (although times may vary depending on whether your local broadcast is coming from the East- or West-coast feed, particularly on satellite TV).
Season 3 will be followed immediately by the premiere of Season 4 on May 14, 2022 in the same time slot. So look for us on your TV every Saturday morning beginning April 2.
We’ll be introducing Black Series campers this year, in Season 4 of The RVers. Our Baja Peninsula trip in our HQ19 will be featured on the show in Season 5 next year. We can’t wait to take to put it through its paces, inside and out!
How Can Readers Learn More About Black Series and See Them in Action?
You can learn more about Black Series campers by visiting the Black Series website. But grab a cup of coffee to take with you ‘cause you’re gonna want to spend some time looking around. These things are pretty amazing.
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