Kimberley 350kg Quad Bike Carrier for first export to China

Quad bike carrier now available on Kimberley off road camper trailer

350kg Quad Bike on Kimberley off road camper trailer

Imagine racing in the desert on a Quad bike with your partner holding on behind. Or cruising up a beach around Cape York in a Quad Bike with your fishing gear… too fast for the local 4 legged crocs! Up until now there were limitations of what could be carried on a Kimberley off road camper trailer. With a nominal weight of 350kgs on top and with dual water tanks of 190L plus Jerry cans of 40L for the bike, this model is carrying 550kgs before we add personal goods. However, the 2016 Kimberley Limited Edition and Platinum Models can have this option because of these unique features:

  • The air suspension allows the trailer to be dropped down to the lowest height while the Quad Bike is loaded from behind.
  • The loader is simply folded over to the drivers side after the bike is unloaded, so the camper trailer can be opened in seconds.
  • Simply push the loader back on top, secure the side supports, place the loading ramps in position and load the Quad Bike. It should take only a few minutes.
  • If you’re not wanting the Quad Bike for a weekend trip away, then simply remove the loader in minutes.
  • Once the Quad Bike is loaded, adjust the air suspension to the height you need in seconds with the 2 paddle valves. Set this so it is level and square to the road… perfect levelling!

The Engineering Challenge for the Quad Bike carrier

The engineering challenge of carrying a “dead load” of 550kgs with such a light tare load of 1100kgs is similar to large transport trailers: you HAVE to have air suspension. With air suspension, you adjust the height for the load without increasing the spring rate of the tuned suspension. However, with such a load there are safety issues unless:

  • the off road suspension design needs anti-sway bars fitted so that when the air suspension is raised, there is safety on cornering. This is an absolute must.
  • the off road suspension design must be based on independent suspension to maintain the variable air suspension spring rate. Adding air springs to leaf suspension would increase the height but stiffen the suspension beyond design limits.
  • The chassis has to be designed to handle an ATM of 2,000 kgs. The existing chassis does this and the independent suspension on the Limited Edition and Platinum models is certified within this rating. This design is based on the same independent suspension on the Kimberley Karavan models which operate with a higher load. The chassis and suspension will be attract the Kimberley 5 year transferrable warranty.
  • The brakes MUST be electronic assisted disc brakes for such a high load. Drum electric brake performance would not meet the Australian design rules.

What are the dimensions and size of the Quad Bike? We have used a Polaris 600 as a nominal size and weight. This is 350kgs with fuel and the position of it is shown below in the drawing.

The loading angle would be reduced when the air suspension is lowered to the ground. However, this is based on 31.5 inch tyres and if larger 33 inch or 35 inch tyres are used, the increase in the tyre height offsets the reducing in the air suspension height.

Kimberley off road camper trailer with Quad Bike carrier

Dimensions of loading for quad bike carrier on kimberley off road camper trailer

Export to China with “Meng Shou” Awning

There is an exciting market in China for carrying off road ATV’s (we call them Quad Bikes) as well as taking your camping trailer with you. There is no other product that we know of globally that will allow you to carry this weight together with a fully equipped off road camper trailer.

However, for the China market, we need a large awning with docked bedroom tents. There is a new designed awning that will be based on the large Bedouin awning. This is large enough for 10-12 people to sit under and share a meal cooked on one or all of the outdoor cookers in the Kimberley Master kitchen.

The new Awning is called “Meng Shou” which translates as “monster” in Chinese. It allows you to “dock” 2 additional bedrooms on the side. This brings the sleeping capacity to a Super Queen in the trailer, a double or 2 singles in the attached bedroom (with insulated floor) and 2 additional bedrooms that will sleep 2-3 each. That totals around 12 people.

The first units are shipping to China in a few weeks in time for the great ATV race in the desert.

Is this available as a retrofit on older model Kimberley Kampers?

Unfortunately it isn’t. It is only available as an option for 2015 Model Limited Edition and Platinum Models from August 1st. This is a major model change for the 2016 Model line up which follows soon. There are changes to the chassis and the loader supports that can’t be added to in older models. Pricing will be published with Dealers on this date.

What other technology still provided in these models?

These models still have:

Follow our blog for images and news of how we get on in the Great China 2015 Rally!

Lightweight off road camper trailer Big Red drone photo

lightweight off road camper trailer on top of Big-Red Drone photo

on top of big red with kimberley off-road camper trailer

The magic of Big Red with a lightweight off road camper trailer. Imagine the pleasure of connecting with nature in this sand dune wonderland. Paul Moir takes his VW Toureg and his Kimberley Kamper across the top of Big red. Paul reports: “Once we got the tyre pressures right for our setup 18/20/18 (front/rear/KK), we climbed up and over Big Red and the next 50 dunes out to Eyre Creek without any issue. There was no wheelspin and the Kimberley Kamper just followed like it does on any road. Our Kimberley Kamper weighed around 1.3-1.4 tonne packed up with 120 litres of water, including a second spare wheel and additional 20l fuel on the rear swing away.”

Winter-warmth-by-camp-fire-with-off-road-camper-trailer

campfire in simpson desert at big red

A campfire in the desert is like no other. Sparks rising upward towards the stars with glowing embers melting into the ground. You feel close to the origin of mankind and it can send chivers up your spine!

Do you have enough water? Are you well prepared for crossing sandy sections of track?

Desert Travel with lightweight off road camper trailer

lightweight off road camper trailer or caravan design guide Desert travel

Design Guide for Desert Travel with lightweight off road camper trailer and caravan

Traveling through the desert needs special preparation. It also involves special preparation and taking things with you. (Like taking firewood with you.)

This can add to the weight of your vehicle.

However, you need the absolute lightest load and overall weight. This is where the challenge lies. How to select the right options for your off road camper trailer or caravan for the safest travel across harsh and hot country; or for travel on remote sandy beaches.

Kimberley have published all the knowhow from over 7,000 customers in this easy to read eBook. It is available free on line if you register.

It isn’t written for long stays in the desert but for travelers “passing across” spartan earth or sand.

Desert travel with a lightweight off road caravan

This is written for BOTH caravans amd camper trailers with a specific section on canvas design for desert travel. Download this eBook of 76 pages which includes the following topics:

  1. Low weight is essential
  2. Traps that increase “apparent weight”
  3. Importance of good Suspension
  4. Length and Ramp over angles
  5. Matching wheels tyres
    Large Diameter Wheels and tyres
  6. Water – How much do we need?
    Water tank configurations  Dual Grey Water Tanks and Using reclaimed water
  7. Importance of understanding canvas in hot climates
    Tropical Roof: both Canvas and Metal
    Insulation, Airflow, 12V Air-conditioning and comfort off-road
    Air-flow and Natural Coolness
    Air conditioners
  8. What is the trend in energy use in a caravan?
  9. What size batteries to design for?
  10. The weight of adding batteries and solar
  11. The “weight effect” of Braking

With the right lightweight off road camper trailer or caravan and vehicle combination, you can travel safely anywhere and experience all of Australia.

lightweight-off-road-camper-trailer-camping-Simpson-Desert-Eyre-Creek-breakfast-01Jul15-r

off road camper trailer simpson desert

A couple more aerial photos from the drone in the Simpson Desert, plus a few others in and around our desert campsite. We camped at Eyre Creek, approximately 20 kms west along the QAA Line from Big Red…. one very beautiful part of Australia. 6 weeks, 7100kms through northern NSW, out to Bourke and along the Darling, across to the Flinders and up the Strzelecki to Camerons Corner and Innamincka, then Cordillo Downs through to Birdsville and the Simpson. Home via Mt Moffatt/Carnarvon Gorge. And around 3,300kms offroad.

lightweight off road camper trailer kimberley camper at big red

off road camper trailer kimberley Kamper at big red

Paul adds: “Here is a link to our story on ClubTouareg.com and a drone video I took when we travelled out to Poeppel Corner and back. There is a short clip at the end with my wife driving up and over Big Red towing the Kimberley, as I flew the drone from the passenger seat. Unfortunately I mistakenly hit the stop record halfway up, so the remainder of the journey to the top of Big Red was only captured from the car on a GoPro.”

Well done Paul and pleasant Kamping!

Lightweight off road camper trailers offer more than beach travel

lightweight off road camper trailer on beach

Travelling on the beach at Fraser Island in easy with a lightweight off road camper trailer

Having travelled with a range of off-road caravans and camper trailers, why choose lightweight off-road camper trailers? Are these only necessary for beach travel?

One of the most exciting things about travel is the adventure of not knowing exactly where you will be camping tomorrow.
Sure, you have the sight seeing points targeted; but journey details are fun to pencil in as you go. There is “freedom and adventure” with journeys like this. Freedom that just can’t be replicated with hotels and motels which after a while, all start to look the same.

Lightweight off road camper trailers give you a huge amount of freedom. You can cross any river and go any place that a 4WD can go, and of course, travel and camp on any beach.

lightweight camper trailer river crossing

Crossing the Daintree with lightweight off road camper trailer

Is that a guarantee I hear you ask?

Well it is guaranteed if you have a quality  lightweight camper trailer that is setup to follow you anywhere.

Before we discuss some of the features that make off road camper trailers lightweight, let’s discuss “setting up”.

One way to see this is on the scale of setup time below. You decide what level of comfort you want balanced with hassle free camping :

Lightweight off road camper trailers setup times

Setup time
lightweight off road camper trailers

Opening up and setting up with a 6m x 2m awning Time to have piping hot water at the sink and cup of tea ready to go Time to setup for the toilet suite/ensuite and having a hot shower

1 minute

Kimberley Kamper

5-10 minutes

Kimberley Kamper

Kimberley Kamper

10 minutes +

Most rear folding with gas hot water
(need level ground and time for hot water)

20 minutes +

Most cumbersome side or front folding campers
(you “ultimately” get there though)

30 minutes +

Most Asian sourced “hard floor” campers
(too many things to clip and tuck, Asian “canvas”)

40 minutes +

Most Soft floor campers
(great for new fathers with boundless energy)

Lightweight off road camper trailers special setup requirements

In isolated beach settings, there are can an abundance of wind which requires camping in sheltered spots that may have uneven ground.  If you are away from the coast, there are great camping spots near water: a stream or billabong which is ideal for extracting water for endless showers. Consider these factors for lightweight off road camper trailers:

Setup on uneven ground gives you the million dollar view Strong wind blowing
(no insects though!)

Time to access water if it is close by for an endless hot shower.

1 minute

Kimberley Kamper with air suspension just needs a touch on the paddle valves to level

5-10 minutes

Kimberley Kamper
draught shirt and drivers side wall Velcros together  to face the wind

Kimberley Kamper visi-flow system can directly pump from creek or billabong and bypass tanks

10 minutes

Most campers that need digging out for a wheel and/or leveling with ramps

20 minutes

Most side or front folding campers need careful orientation or the bed is in a wind tunnel (but you “ultimately” get there)

30 minutes

Most Asian sourced “hard floor” campers have Asian polyester for canvas which is poor in high wind

A long time +

Most Soft floor campers are poor to setup with uneven ground

How big is your bucket?

Driving on beaches with lightweight off road camper trailers

View of 1770 and Round Hill head from adjacent beach. Getting access took careful travel across salt pans and through beach creeks but the 10 days here was wonderful. The benefit of lightweight off road camper trailers.

Features of lightweight off road camper trailers

Now what are some features that make off road camper trailers lightweight and easy to travel with?

1 Low Tare weight requires the maximum use of alloy materials in all the right places. Steel boxes and construction is just too heavy. Most people don’t know that a well known Aussie camper trailer is 200kgs heavier than a Kimberley because of a choice of steel and timber. This is just dead weight.
To operate a gas hot water system, the 14-20l hot water tank must always be full. This means the water in it can’t be drained and used. This is just dead weight.
2 Tracking width If your camper trailer’s wheels track the same or similar to your vehicle, they are following in the same tracks as the vehicle reducing the drag significantly.
3 Only alloy poles and very few of them Steel poles are heavy and cumbersome.
Kimberley use alloy poles and can be setup with the side and front awning without a peg in the ground. The simple front strap system is stronger than pegs and a breeze to use.
4 Solar panels that are less than 5kgs for 180w Traditional 180w glass solar panels weigh 25 kgs and are painful to store.
Kimberley’s 180W solar on the tropical roof is a small 5kg addition to the tare weight and can be separated as a portable 180W solar kit if camping  in the shade.
5 No major folding table needed Kimberley have a stainless steel dining bench included in the tare weight in most models. Easy to use, big and seconds to slide away.

Then finally if you wish to take the comfort of a sit on toilet (and why not), the technology is here now to do this with the super lightweight waterless toilets available with easy storage in a Kimberley Kamper. Combine this with the new Toilet Suite and you have excellent comfort anywhere off road.

lightweight waterless toilet option for camper trailers

The waterless toilet is a very lightweight comfort option for off road camper trailers