This Overlander Travel Trailer Is Four-Season-Ready and Has a Simple but Relaxing Balcony

HQ21 Balcony 14 photos
Photo: Black Series
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If you haven't caught on by now, allow me to point out that the overlanding scene is one of the hottest sectors of RVing. That said, we'll be exploring a unit born of nearly 30 years of off-grid and manufacturing expertise, the HQ21 balcony.
Ladies and gents and lovers of the greater outdoors, lend me your eyes for the next few minutes so that you may get to know a bit about what you have before you. Heck, it's quite possible that you've already seen this unit's brethren on our pages before; I'm talking about the HQ14 and HQ12, and if that's true, you have some idea of what's in store.

First off, the crew behind the HQ21 Balcony, not to be confused with the standard HQ21, is none other than Black Series, the one and the same born back in 1995, and that has grown to build campers and camper components for five continents. Heck, they even have a manufacturing plant in the US, not to mention China and Australia, too.

Photo: Borella Family Adventures
This brings us to the HQ21 Balcony the largest camper that this crew builds and one with a borrowed trick up its sleeve. They do craft toy haulers as well, which are trailers that often include toy garages, but within their "RV Camper" lineup, this is the biggest of the big. Oh, and that borrowed trick, it's often found aboard fifth wheels. What am I talking about? Well, what gives this unit its name is that rear balcony. Wait a minute, what balcony? The "borrowed trick" is that rear ramp door.

Why is this so special? Upon finally arriving at your destination and finally unloading all that you brought along on your trip, open up that rear hatch, in a very fifth-wheel-like fashion, and set up a dining table, a couple of chairs, or soft padding and enjoy an elevated view of the world around.

Be sure to take a moment and daydream a little as to what you'll do with such a feature. If you need a tad of help, picture that it's late in the afternoon and the sun's starting to hide behind the horizon. Since you've gathered some firewood over the course of the day, you have all you need to set your campsite ablaze with a heavenly orange glow. Better yet, why not back up the HQ21 with the balcony facing the fire, throw down a couple of sleeping bags, and fall asleep under the star-lit sky? You may want to secure a perimeter first, as there's nothing protecting you from the local fauna.

Photo: Maria Lovely
If it's protection you want, you'll need to close up shop and hide within this unit's walls. The question is, what are they built out of? According to the manufacturer's brochure for this lineup, nothing but good old aluminum is the metal of choice for the shell, and R16 spray foam insulation means that this puppy is suitable for year-round living, at least, that's how the manufacturer sees it. Then there's that 15-year warranty that Black Series throws in for this unit, but I'll let you dive into that on your own time.

As for what we find inside, Black Series ensures that the lifestyle needs of a group of up to four are met, but that's only once the modular dinette is utilized, so if you're traveling as a couple, then this one's perfect for you. Yet, if the kids just don't want to hang out with the grandparents this summer, they can be brought along too.

But, it's the queen bed at the front of the unit that most owners will make the most of. Yet, let's not forget that features like an ensuite bathroom with shower are also found inside, and so is a complete galley block, ready with microwave, sink and faucet, propane tops, and a fridge too. Best of all, another galley is found outside, and so is another shower. In truth, with a tent annex or two, this unit can easily accommodate a family larger than four.

Photo: Black Series
Now, being an off-grid worthy unit, allow me to point out that Black Series takes the time to load up the HQ21 with essentials like a 63-gallon (238 lit) water tank, filtration system, 400 Ah of battery power, and 600 W of roof-mounted solar panels, and a proprietary 2,000 W inverter with control panel.

But all that would mean nothing if the base for the Balcony couldn't handle venturing deep into the forgotten places this world has to offer. For that, steel is called upon, and with it, a galvanized chassis is brought to life. Once that's coupled with an independent suspension and dual shock absorbers, there's no telling where you won't be able to venture this year. Clearly there are limits to a dual-axle unit the likes of this one, so do the research.

So, how much can we expect to pay for one of these babies? It all depends on the model year, features inside, and just how deep your dealer's pockets may be. That said, I had a very hard time finding any Balcony versions for sale, so we have to base our pricing on a 2024 HQ21, which, at this time, is going for around 65K to $70K (€64,500 at current exchange rates). Again, that depends on a few factors, so take the time to shop around for what you need, and expect to dish out a tad more for the Balcony layout.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of units, including the standard HQ21.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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