A number of you asked for a gander at Outdoors RV, and I happened upon the Mountain Series Black Stone 260KVS MS. Whew. So what’s in a name?
Outdoors RV is an RV manufacturer headquartered in La Grande, Oregon. They specialize in pretty solid travel trailers that are built for the outdoor lifestyle. These trailers are beefy in every sense of the word. I always imagine they’re built for lumberjacks or something like that.
You don’t see the words “light” or “mini” or any other reference to these trailers being anything other than beasts. Take today’s example, which has a dry weight of 7,696 pounds but a gross weight of 11,000 pounds. How do they pull this off?
Outdoors RV starts with the frame and builds their own in their Oregon factory using only U.S.- and Canadian-sourced steel. They then use a MORryde CRE3000 heavy-duty suspension, which incorporates quick-recovery shock absorbers. It’s very, very rare that you ever see shock absorbers used in a trailer unless it’s some giant, high-end toy hauler.
This all makes ground contact through Goodyear E-rated tires on 16-inch aluminum wheels. This is not a rig you’ll be pulling with your half-ton truck. But these are also meant for going on those back roads, so you’ll likely want four-wheel drive.
Some of the benefits of having that kind of foundation include the fact that there is 80 gallons of fresh water storage aboard this trailer and two 40-gallon gray water tanks, as well. For my way of camping this would mean a week off-grid even with daily showers.
In addition to water storage, these trailers are also very well insulated. They have two-inch thick walls and one-inch thick baggage compartment doors. All the windows are dual-pane, and the underbellies on these trailers are heated and enclosed. Furthermore, there is a 12-volt heating pad for the fresh water tank in case you’re towing when it’s colder.
I’d be towing this to warmer weather – but to each their own.
The Outdoors RV Black Stone has an impressive shower
One of the things that always impresses the heck out of me with these is the fact that even the outdoor shower is behind a one-inch-thick baggage compartment door. That’s unlike the thin plastic door used by every other RV manufacturer. I wonder how many outdoor showers have frozen on RVs that otherwise are supposed to be “four season”?
Speaking of that shower, it is fed by a ten-gallon gas-electric water heater. Typically, most travel trailers have six-gallon water heaters. Oh, and there are two 40-pound propane bottles on the tongue, rather than the usual 20s.
Another thing Outdoors RV does is spec in a Norcold gas-electric refrigerator that is rated to operate down to 0° F. If it gets colder than that outside, do you just store your food in the baggage compartment with the door open?
While I mentioned that Outdoors RV uses dual-pane windows, what is lost in just that simple description is how well the company chooses their windows. This particular floor plan has a gigantic window at the back of the trailer and then windows on either side of the rear kitchen.
If you’re camping in a spot where there’s a view, you’ll be in the perfect place to enjoy that view.
This floor plan prioritizes that big back window, so there are no overhead cabinets above the rear kitchen. I thought that was unusual, although there is a pantry toward the middle of the trailer. There are drawers underneath the countertop, and you’ll also find the microwave here.
Speaking of things under the countertop, one of those things is under a hole in the countertop which is intended to be a trash chute. There’s an outdoor baggage door that provides access to this space so you could take out the trash. I like this solution.
Lumberjack-sized dinette, and more
That Norcold reefer is in a slide room on the road side along with an absolutely huge dinette. I mentioned envisioning lumberjacks buying this trailer. That huge dinette is one of the reasons. If you do use this for a bed, you’ll find that bed to be 45” X 84” so you could sleep a taller guest here. There’s also a huge window by the dinette.
This trailer is 6’ 11” at the crown of the roof – again lumberjack-sized.
Opposite the dinette is either a theater seat or a couch – the choice is yours. But either of these won’t be in the ideal position to watch the TV at the back of the main living area, even though that TV is on a swivel stand.
Now, I know some of the buyers of this don’t care about TV because whatever’s out those windows is what they came to watch. But here’s an idea, Outdoors RV. You could replace the blinds at the dinette with a movie screen and then put a projector in the slide room over the theater seats.
Or, how about a flip-down TV that covers the window at the dinette? It would be a better viewing angle, could be a larger TV and would also block the light when you’re watching TV. I’m still most in favor of the projector idea, frankly.
Back to reality
The bathroom in this unit splits it in half. That is something I like, but some of you definitely do not appreciate. Whatever the case, the shower is another lumberjack-sized space with a curtain that slides over the front and closes with a magnetic catch.
The bedroom features a true residential queen mattress. There are hidden drawers under either side of the foot of the bed, along with the space you might normally expect under the flip-up mattress.
Since there is both a bedroom and living room door, you can access the bathroom in travel mode through the bedroom door.
Likewise, the kitchen is fully accessible with the slides in. But you’ll probably have to go outside to get back ‘round to the bathroom if all the slides are in. Still, that’s not a horrible situation.
Considering the structural and build quality of this rig along with the oversized interior features and boondocking-worthy tanks, this really is a trailer that is worthy of its “Outdoors” name. I love the big windows and the rear kitchen.
I realize some of you are going to bristle at the idea of a rear kitchen. Outdoors RV makes other floor plans in this size that have similar credentials to this one in terms of build quality and features.
A couple of not-so-great details, outweighed by great details
Of course, you can argue that the TV is in a silly spot considering the positioning of the theater seats. You can also argue that there are two gray tanks that potentially could be connected somewhere instead of having two dump valves.
But counter those with those windows and the fact that this trailer is outfitted with three high-performance fans and a suspension to make many really high-end rigs jealous. If you have the right tow vehicle, this could be a great choice to take to the great outdoors.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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