Hey Raspy.....or John......Thanks for taking the time to write all that. Not to sound like the ungrateful new guy, but none of that is new info to me. I do appreciate hearing it from an X oliver owner though. Its not new because I spent a fair amount of time at the dealer in Bozeman checking out the Black Series and communicated a fair amount with the company in LA. The biggest thing right off is the cold weather issues. I'm not talking cold either, I'm talking winter almost anywhere in America other than far south. This thing will freeze up during travel in North Florida in Jan! If they weren't asking for all the money, it might be worth it to me to come up with a closed in basement with ducting and all that jazz, but I think we all know it would be a nightmare trying to get an actual air sealed finished product not to mention it would be just as inefficient as any other cheapo RV in the US. I don't think the Oliver is particularly well insulated but there is nothing on the market with better air sealing, which anybody that has built homes in cold climates and pays even the smallest amount of attention to modern building science knows is the most important thing. That said, I am a little skeptical of how the Oliver will perform in actual cold weather. They play the "R" value game like every other company in the RV industry and the building industry. The thermal bubble wrap style insulation (reflectix) is a hoax. It might help a tiny bit in reflecting heat if it was exposed and used in conjunction with actual insulation, but by itself between walls its almost useless. In other words, science has not invented anything that takes the place of wall thickness which is why every single RV will run the furnace non-stop in cold weather. Its why my last three rvs have had small wood stoves in them so that we could do late season Elk hunts when it often drops well below zero. Since there is very little sun that time of year its either burn a fire or run a generator or have a $10k lithium bank and extra propane tanks. That said, the Oliver is air sealed and has a thermal air break between the inner/outer shells, hopefully it does an ok job at least not losing heat. The other problem with RV's is that there is no real thermal mass to hold heat so you just end up constantly heating the air which is getting the heat zapped out of it by all the cold materials in the cabin. With a wood stove, it holds heat so even on very low settings you get some actual radiation which is ultimately what provides comfort. Ok, rant about cold is done, but thats a main reason I'm not going with Black Series but I also remain skeptical of the Oliver so if you've done any camping even in the teens I would love to hear anybody's performance reviews.
I think the suspension, hitch, outdoor kitchen, etc are all awesome and like you I'm sure, its what drew me to the brand. BTW, Jayco started making very similar units in Australia. If they introduce them here I think they'll crush BS. https://www.jayco.com.au/promo/adventurer
Towing. I think unless you have a full size diesel, these things are going to be a bastard to pull. Even with a full size and the trick suspension, I think they'll buck and sway, especially the single axle models. I don't think they paid much attention to towing behavior just based on where they mount their holding tanks which also has me skeptical of their tongue weight specs. They are also just heavy in general across the line and I'm not 100% sure why. I'm sure the chassis is a pig but I guess cabinets and everything else.
Lux. I agree completely that the layouts, full shower, finishes look very nice and liveable. However if you look closely with an anal eye, the fit and finish is similar to other cheap RV's. Plumbing, electrical, etc. You are right about the charger/inverter and electrical components in general. I also feel Oliver has quite a markup on some of the upgrades, not all, but for most people thats fine because they get the unit ready to go. I don't intend to get many upgrades, I plan to do them myself. For example, Zamp does not offer a MPPT controller and at 340 watts, a 20% gain in panel performance starts to make a lot of sense. Upgrade to 510w and you're leaving a lot of power in the sun. The inverter upgrade is a good efficient (.8 non-load draw), but its a $375 inverter that would take 20 minutes to wire in, Oliver gets $1200. Again though, 9.9 out of 10 buyers will never need anything more and the premium they charge is well worth it for them to have it dialed from go. A combo victron charger/inverter is how they should do it and just make it a standard feature, but I guess some people want to save the $1200 if they're only gonna plug in at campgrounds so I get it. Must be hard to create value for all types of buyers.
I don't even know what I'm writing at this point, I'm just writing so sorry if its unorganized thoughts. Another thing I really like is the narrow egg shape design. As much as we're way off road a lot of the time, there is also inevitably going to be a lot of highway time, especially on shotgun runs to BC and Alaska for our beloved Sockeye runs. Or cross country to Florida for some lobster diving. Obviously fishing and hunting dictate our lives! Now even off road I find the narrower camper to be a huge plus for getting into tight places. Lets be real, unless you're a crazy SOB which maybe you are, at the end of the day a 23+' trailer is only going so many places. I am a bit hesitant with the Oliver because of that, but a good amount of their length is the rear bumper and long tongue. At least with a 7' wide body and the long tongue you can get that thing cranked over pretty good on those tight switchbacks down into some secluded mountain lakes and rivers. When my wife and I sold our business in 2012, we traveled in our truck camper with cargo trailer for 3 years. We thought back to all the places we camped and could only come up with a handful where we don't think we could get the Oliver in but if we couldn't we could camp close and drive in. Not the same but the sacrifice for some extra comfort and storage capacity.
Ok, not sure I addressed everything you said, probably not. But now you know how I think a little so you can run next time you see me post! I appreciate the input and congrats on the HQ. Its a badass unit that I for sure lusted after for a while, but once I really looked at what I needed I just don't think it will fit my needs. I cant wait to see one being hammered on flying past me on a dirt road!