KIMBERLEY KARAVAN ECO SUITE SIGNATURE REVIEW

 

 

At first glance, the top-of-the-range 2016 Kimberley Karavan Eco Suite looks small for a caravan – in fact it’s so compact that you don’t need towing mirrors. We often equate caravan size to the number of creature comforts – forgetting that computers and other technological gadgets get smaller, but also more powerful each year. Kimberley is obviously following suit. Instead of increasing size and weight it increased capability and performance, proving that bigger does not always mean better.

 

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DESIGN MATTERS

Kimberley specifically designs its compact caravans to include a travel height of only 2.2m when closed; and to achieve optimal off-road ability, they are no wider than the average 4X4 (1.9m). The units are constructed of lightweight, low-drag fibreglass and retract for a low travelling profile. The benefits are twofold: Fuel savings; but also a greater driving range (and your caravan won’t take out every single low-lying branch on the track). When parked, you simply flick a switch to literally ‘raise the roof’ and then retract it when you have to hit the road again.

 

The electronic and water systems are specifically designed to keep you off the grid for as long as possible. By using a combination of solar, diesel and water filters, you can camp beside a creek and have unlimited access to filtered drinking water, while using the 550 watts of solar on the roof to keep your unit powered up. The diesel consumption by the heater, hot water and interior cooktop is so low, Kimberley claims that a 12L tank can last for up to three months.

 

BELOW THE BELT

Every Kimberley caravan is manufactured with a hot dipped, galvanised, flexible, laser-locked chassis with an independent trailing arm suspension (the chassis comes with a five-year transferable warranty).

 

The Eco Suite rides on air bags with a wide range of adjustable heights and a ‘limp home’ ability for emergencies. It uses electronic disc brakes, and features an anti-sway bar and mono-tube shock absorbers. The Eco Suite comes with a TREG off-road coupling and one-touch parking brake, with an extended drawbar for easy reverse turning. The wheel size can be matched to your tow vehicle and each unit comes with a $1,500 wheel and tyre allowance. There are also rear recovery points rated up to 6,000kg.

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