Updated: Mar 31, 2021
The Black Series Classic Double Camper is an Off-Road 'Camper Trailer' with a hard floor. This article is not designed to directly compare its features with the previously reviewed Extreme Off-Road Air Opus Camper with its Annex, but the similarities are plain to see. The clever use of space and innovative design provides an attractive, flexible living solution for extended trips.
Finished with an enamel baked paint, the trailer is fully welded, bonded and sealed for maximum strength and protection.
It stands on adjustable independent suspension with dual shock absorbers on each independent arm, coil springs and off road tyres with heavy duty electric brakes. A mechanical handbrake assists the setup process.
Up front, the trailer has a fully articulated Cruisemaster DO35 V2-1 hitch which appears to be so popular amongst Australian manufacturers. There are storage holders for two 20L jerry cans and gas cylinders. There is a large Tool Box mounted above the draw bar with large slide out drawers for a generator, esky or fridge with built-in ventilation fan and sensor LED light. The doors and hatches are secured on seals to keep the trailer watertight and dust free. At the back, rear recovery points would be very handy for recovering bogged trailers.
Setup. Starts easily by levelling the trailer using the 4 adjustable wind down legs. Two spare wheels at the rear are unlatched and lowered with assistance of gas struts. The boat rack is released and lifted vertically out of the way to allow access to the lightweight aluminium lids. These are swung open to reveal the main tent within. As you will see in the video opposite, the internal setup requires a bit of 'faffing about' with poles to push the camper up to its full height and length. A written 'pole guide' is provided to ensure you can identify where each pole goes. Its not a difficult process and with practice its estimated that it can be done in 5 -10 minutes but after a long day and when you are tired or perhaps in the dark, its just not as easy as switching on the pump and having a beer whilst your home inflates (see the OP4!) Once the inside is finished, the correct sized poles then need to be found to set the window awnings at each end and down the length of the trailer.
...... and now you're ready to start on the Annex. This is not quite so easy, it requires rummaging through different numbered poles again and is really a two man operation. Hang 5 poles, attach the annex zipper and smooth down the velcro, fit 2 sets of crossbars, adjust the skirt minding the step, then complete the floor. Zip and velcro the walls on and of course don't forget the tent pegs and guys. The final product is a sturdy structure and worth the effort, but wow ........ what a lot of work! I have no idea how long it takes to assemble and strike down (maybe 30mins if you now what you are doing?)
The setup time could be reduced by leaving the Annex attached to the main tent but its not clear that if you did, it would fit inside the trailer allowing the lids to be fully closed to maintain dust and watertight integrity. If not, maybe the trailer could be built just a fraction deeper to accommodate the Annex (and its walls) too but this would add some weight of course.
The tent appears to be well manufactured. A 16oz (450g) canvas is used, double stitched with reinforcement in all the right places, quality zippers, flexible windows, doors and good 'bug' protection. The thermal insulation properties of the canvas walls and roof are unknown. The Black Series Classic Double Camper provides an excellent two tone grey fully enclosed living space of about 27sqm; it has a fully assembled footprint of 6.1m x 4.4m.
Once assembled, you are rewarded by stepping inside onto a modern wood finished deck with a marine grade carpet into an amazing light, open living space. When assembled, the vinyl seating enwraps two collapsible table(s) abutted together. Unlike the OP4, this camper is supported by aluminium poles.
When required, the seating and table(s) can be adjusted to form the third bed. A great space for chilling out or maybe watching a movie in the evenings.
There do not appear to be any overhead windows (probably a good thing in the desert heat) but neither does there appear to be a heater. There must be a solution; this would be essential in the winter months and higher latitudes.
For packing away, the process needs to be reversed, taking great care to align cushions so that the camper lids can be fully closed. If you leave an item out in error when packing, you must either strap it on top or accept you have to open the lids and start again.
Living / Office
There is a huge lounge area, even bigger than the Air Opus. Two fold away tables are surrounded by vinyl covered couches. The living area sits between two double sleeping areas situated at the front and rear of the trailer. The tables can fold down and lie between the bench seats with mattresses on top to form a third double bed if required.
Radio/CD/USB media player with two internal speakers are provided for entertainment. A wifi extender and cell network booster would be useful options.
The Black Series Classic Double Camper therefore sleeps 6. 2 double beds at the extremities and a third double built by adjusting the cushions over the folded down tables in the lounge area.
It would be very helpful to be able to leave the beds setup but its not clear if you can do this. Zipped privacy screens also help keep the bugs out. This trailer comes with 2 x 'Quality Mattresses'; mattress quality is a very personal thing and how suitable this would be, who knows? A good comfortable nights sleep is so important when travelling for extended periods.
A stainless steel kitchen appears from the left side of the camper into or under the awning on a slide out. A 3 burner stove is included in the Options list and a large sink, light, electric pump and cold water tap.
You have to purchase your own fridge but the fridge slide dimensions: 610mm wide x 1100mm deep x 590mm high should allow a Dometic 70L (maybe larger) fridge freezer to be fitted. This of course potentially adds nearly GBP £1000 to your costs. Depending on the size of your fridge unit, a generator and / or BBQ could also be included.
Water. 2 x 90L polyurethane water tanks with an Aluminium bash cover giving a total of 180L is included in the options pack. This gives a respectable endurance of about 6 days. It appears though that cold water only is available unless you purchase the stand alone hot water system.
Gas. 2 x 9kg gas cylinders seems to be the standard for Black Series Campers and Caravans. This is one of the best found in the market but an LNG tank with a central filling point would be even better, at least for the the UK and Europe.
Power. A 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM GEL battery is provided. This is a little 'light' for extended living and working. A second gel battery is provided as an option. 12V sockets with USB are provided. The trailer is fitted with a 50AMP Anderson plug allowing charging from the vehicle or from solar panels. LED lights are fitted throughout. It is not known if the lighter, more efficient lithium system with an inverter is an option. Location of power sockets is currently unknown.
Toilet / Shower. A Toilet, shower setup with a portable hot water system and 'Toilet tent' annex are included in the Options. Whether this can be configured to provide hot water to the kitchen sink is unknown.
Heating. A heating option (warm air or other) is not included. An Eberspacher diesel heater (or equivalent) with ducted heating into the living and sleeping areas and would be a welcome, essential addition.
Storage is not very well defined. The spacious living area appears to come at the cost of storage within the trailer and the benefits of access to it from outside for loading etc. How much gear can be left in the Camper each day and whether you need to live out of bags remains unclear. Most storage appears to be on the floor under the tables to enable the lids to be fully closed or outside on top of the boat rack.
For requesting quotes for shipping, trailer dimensions are as follows:
Tare weight: 1800kg
Tow Ball weight: 170kg
Black Series charge A$650 delivery to Port Melbourne and A$150 for associated Insurance. Thereafter international shipping cost + insurance and import duty / tax would need to be paid to import the Camper into the UK.
The price of the Black Series Classic Double Camper starts at an incredible price of just AUD$22800 (~GBP £12,681). The information provided is not clear on exactly what is and is not included and its suspected that the drive away cost could be substantially more. There is a very attractive + Off grid Package, a list of 22 Options offered for just $1990 (a saving of $9450). The total cost therefore + Off Grid Package is $24,790.00 (~GBP£13,673). At the time of writing this, there is a six month delivery forecast on this trailer before shipping. The trailer comes with a 5 year structural warranty but whether it can be supported world wide is currently unknown. There is a dilemma here - this appears to be an excellent camper trailer and great value for money but whilst the Air Opus is more expensive, it is easier and faster to setup and they have dealerships in the UK, through Europe and in Africa .........
This looks like a great trailer and excellent value for money, even after the addition of the missing items such as a fridge freezer a heater and shipping. The compromise here for Tip Toe is the somewhat painful setup process but surely this must be fixable? I'm just not sure you'd want to be doing this twice a day but the good news is that you would certainly become very proficient at it! The Black Series Classic Double Camper must be a contender and would certainly provide a great platform for family camping holidays back home or in Europe when spending several days in the same place.
Off grid Package: Mud Tyre Upgrade, Inverter, Battery Charger, Solar Panel, Boat Rack, Storage Cover, LED Camping Light, Tyre Repair and Pressure Kits, Toilet, Additional AGM Battery, Recovery Tracks, Ensuite Tent, Toilet Tent, Shower Set Up, Tropical Cover, Poly Water Tanks, 3 Burner Cooktop, Fire Extinguisher, Plumber Certificate, Spare Bearing Kit, Vinyl Sofa, Portable Hot Water System.
Note to readers:
1. The above trailer has not been physically towed or sighted by Tip Toe. The above summary is a view formed following desktop online research of websites and a number of different YouTube videos. It takes into consideration Tip Toe's overland requirements. It will be used to assist in the choice of vehicle and camper.
2. For the purposes of these articles, differentiation between the different categories of trailer as follows:
Camper Trailer: A trailer fitted with an integrated 'trailer top tent' (with or without a hard shell), galley, water, power and associated items and storage for most or all of your clothing and equipment. For example Patriot Campers X3.
Off-Road Camper: A purpose built caravan style trailer with hard walls possibly with a soft walled 'pop up', galley, water, power and associated camping items and storage for most clothing and equipment. The 'Bruder EXP-6 Expedition Trailer' falls into this category.
Expedition Truck: A truck of 7500 kgs or greater fitted with a camper box with or without crawl through. For example the Mercedes Unimog Camper.