STURDY ROOTS: KIMBERLEY KAMPER CLASSIC
The first time I reviewed a Kimberley Kamper, I took out the top-of-the-range Platinum and was blown away by the amenities. This time, we opted for the base model to see just how Kimberley positions itself when affordability is more of the issue at hand. If you want a solid, off-road camper constructed with quality materials and built in Australia, then the Kimberley Kamper Classic ticks all the boxes.
For images and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this in our online magazine.
FROM THE BOTTOM UP
The Kimberley Kamper Classic, like all the models in the range, comes with a laser-cut interlocked hot-dipped galvanised steel chassis with an independent trailing arm suspension. The chassis is an A-frame design connected directly to independent suspension arm hangers to create a direct link from the vehicle hitch to the trailer wheels. Kimberley uses independent trailing arms that match the trailer’s tracking to the tracking width of the towing vehicle to creating more off-road capability and stability. One thing to note, this model does not come standard with a five-year warranty; the term has been reduced to three years, with the five-year warranty as an option.
The Classic cruises on standard coil springs with twin-tube shock absorbers and comes with a TREG off-road coupling, Rhino Liner coated stone shield and inflatable jockey wheel. There is an added drawbar extension, and electric drum brakes. This model comes with a 20W solar panel on the front, providing a trickle charge which will keep your batteries charged if you can’t plug it in at home. There is also a separate Anderson plug for additional solar panels if required.
The wheels can be matched to the towing vehicle and Kimberley gives you a $750 wheel and tyre allowance from which you can option up to whatever you want. There is also a full-size spare tyre stored underneath the trailer. The 2016 range comes painted in either white or silver. This unit was ‘fresh as a daisy’ white!
On the front of each camper is a large 1,500L Delta gullwing box that holds the kitchen on the passenger side, the diesel hot water heater on the driver’s side, and loads of additional storage space. On the front there is enough space for up to four 20L jerry cans and even a generator. There are 4kg gas bottle holders on either side of the camper; and there’s a hand pump, which can pump straight from the water tank without opening up the kitchen. New for 2016 is the batwing awning option – evidenced by the mount at the front.
Inside the Delta box there’s a two-burner cooker nestled at the end of a pantry slide, and a fridge slide. There are two overhead internal LED lights with switches to keep things bright. The vertical pantry (or kitchen) switch panel controls the hot water, water pump, kitchen lights and fridge fan and also monitors the water tank and 12V levels. The fridge fan prevents heat from building up inside the storage box by moving the hot air out. There is also a large pantry drawer for pots, pans and other accessories with plenty of storage next to the cooker. The fridge slide can accommodate an 80-90L fridge on a heavy-duty locking slide.
The kitchen slides out from beside the Delta box in front of the passenger side wheel and also comes with LED lighting as standard. The stainless steel bench has a massive work surface and several drawers varying in shape and size, with one even large enough to fit BBQ tools. The sink has filtered cold water and also diesel-powered hot water straight from the tank.
WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE
Dynaproof canvas keeps the living quarters dry and this unit was optioned up with a tropical roof to keep the inside cool, as well as reducing condensation in the winter. There is a five-year warranty on the canvas. The standard setup includes the 2m x 6.7m Kwik awning with LED lighting. There are four 12V and three 240V outlets scattered conveniently throughout the camper.
Inside there is a queen size memory foam mattress, complete with added reading lights to complement the LED light on the overhead bow inside the tent. The camper features a hard floor and is very spacious – large enough for two or three camp chairs and a table, or extra beds for the kids. The doors and windows are all midge-proof mesh. Under the bed is a switch panel to control all your lights, together with a USB charger, a solar regulator and a 10A battery charger. Four 35-amp AGM deep-cycle batteries power the unit and these are situated under the far end of the bed – leaving plenty of space for additional storage. A large stainless steel under-bed drawer can be easily added as an option.
Kimberley has designed its off-road camper range to start off with the Classic and option up to a Platinum model (which starts in the low $60K range). Not all options suit all customers so you are able to customise your Kamper to your specific needs and purpose.
A list of popular options includes: Canvas upgrades to add awning walls; rear bedroom options to accommodate the kids; battery and electrical upgrades to allow longer stays off-grid; and mariner or bike packs to take tinnies, outboards, quad bikes or just extra water and fuel.
Thanks to Shane McDougall from SEQ Campers & Gear for all your help and expertise! seqcampers.com.au