Monthly Archives: June 2013

Air-conditioning in an off-road camper trailer

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off road camper trailer air conditioningThe saying “horses for courses” is well understood when travelling. Everyone has different preferences and habits, some of which are sacrosanct. One of these is sleeping in air-conditioned space, cool as a cucumber! Now if you love camper trailers and the way they embrace the bush as your living room, sleeping in airconditioned canvas may have seemed like a tough request. However, at Kimberley we have built a superb airconditioning pak that should meet your needs.

We have built air-conditioned camper trailers before but found there were several problems that had to be overcome for the perfect solution.

  • It had to be a split system so that the condensor and compressor can be located as far away as possible
  • The evaporator part of the split system had to be “inside” the airconditioned space to re-circulate the cool air.
  • There had to be a drain for the condensate from the evaporator
  • The air had to be able to be directed toward the roof so that it would comfortable fall toward the bed at low fan speed
  • It had to have a quiet fan
  • It had to have controls that were easily accessible by either person when sleeping
  • It had to be greater than 2kW of cooling capacity!

air conditioning recirculates inside air of camper trailerThe Kimberley air-conditioning solution involves:

  • changing the shape of the tent body can be easily expanded over the permanently mounted airconditioning eveaporator when you need it!
  • placing the condensor and compressor inside the Gullwing pack, out of the way
  • permanently installing the wiring so that the generator plugs into the normal 240V outside outlet to power the air-conditioning.
  • reach back and adjust bthe temperature or fan speed
  • Have adjustable guides to direct the airflow as you wish
  • is incredibly economical as the cooled air is recirculated.

The air flows at a maximum of 110 litres per second. Thats a lot of air circulating! 

As a guide for how effective it is we suggest this scenarion:

  • Outside temperature is 38 degrees and high humidity
  • You have the tropical roof deployed on the Kimberley
  • You have the doors zipped up and 90% of the windows.
  • The fan based heat extraction fan is running in the roof

Then you should achive an inside temperature 10 degrees below the ambient. So in this case it would be 28 degrees BUT the air is very dry and therefore more comfortable.

air-conditioned camperThis kit includes:

  1. Air Handler Unit with adjustable air direction and full temperature and power control – reach through from bed for easy adjustment. Zippered cover protects Air Handler when traveling.
  2. Condenser Unit – Isolated from Air Handler. Located in right side of Delta Gullwing Box. Delta box door can be held down and slightly open to allow air flow but remain protected from the weather and help with noise suppression.
  3. Extended Tent Air Section – this is integrated into the front wall and attaches to Airconditioning unit with velcro, zippered section. If you don’t require the airconditioner, you can zipper this section back to the front wall and use window as normal for airflow – the rest of the time it travels folded up with the tent body inside the camper trailer.

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The 2 photos below show the unit when not in use on the left and then when in use on the right.

We have added a deflector shield for the split unit located on top of the Gullwing Pak to improve the aerodynamics when driving!


Q: Can i operate this on the on-board inverter?

A: We have designed the same unit to run off the Lithium Batteries in the Kimberley Eco-suite and Kimberley kruiser. A total of 480 Ahrs of Lithium Battery capacity is needed with a large 2700W auto-cutover inverter. This is all too bulky for the camper trailer sowe have not included it as an option. It is also a lot of expense.

Q: Will it cool down the second bedroom that is zipped onto the rear?

A: The fan can be turned up high and wuill certainly blow air into the second bedroom. It is located above where you sleep so the higher fan speed will be noisier. An alternative is to locate a second 12V fan in the second bedroom blowing air drom the airconditioned camper trailer tent into the second bedroom.

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Kimberley off-road Camper going to Dallas Texas behind Jeep Unlimited

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This Kimberley Kamper Platinum Model is shipping to the USA for a customer with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4dr modified with 4″ lift, 35″ wheels on 18″ rims, winch and special 5 coat Bentley Gray Satin Kevlar paint job. Once arrived in LA, the Kamper will be fitted with Trail Grapplers 35″ x 12.5 50 R18’s on Rhino Sidewinder 18″x9 Matte Black rims.
(Actual customer’s Jeep photographed above in Dallas Texas with Kimberley Trailer photographed outside the factory prior to shipment)

Updated Photo below of Kamper delivered to Jeep:


kimberley off road camper trailer USA Power inlet 110VKimberley are the only manufacturer in Australia that holds USA NHTSA  (National Highway Transport Safety Administration) compliance. Kimberley’s designation in the world wide VIN system is “6J4”. Export units are fitted with a majority of USA sourced components so that long term support is easier. These units are designed to go “off-road” and travel anywhere that the Jeep can safely travel. All power outlets are 110V with USA sourced 1000W inverter. The multi-media sytem that Kimberley supplies including the flip-down 22inch LED screen is compatibile with USA systems and this unit will be fitted with the Sirius Satellite Radio system which delivers hundreds of music only channels in any loaction. 

The Trailer will be fitted with the same wheels and tyres as the Jeep once it arrives in the USA and the hubs are specially machined on the trailer so that the wheels are interchangeable.

USA shipment of Kimberley Kamper to match Jeep

In this Platnum Model, there are many features unique to Kimberley unseen in USA manufacturer products. The chassis is hot dipped galvanised with a 5 year warranty. The independent suspension gives much higher ground clearance for rock crawling and crevice straddling. The drawbar extension allows vehicles to sit at 90 degrees to the trailer allowing for reverse turns in the length of the trailer. The author has turned around in reverse on fire trails in the Rockies which would not be possible with any other trailer.

Kimberley Chassis and Independent Suspension

The stainless steel slide out kitchen pulls out in seconds with hot water available in less than 4 minutes. The Hot water system is diesel powered (bio-diesel or mineral diesel) and includes as standard a pump and valve system which allows you to lift water from a lake or stream up to 12 ft vertically with no pre-priming. This means you can have constant hot water, as long as your lake has water, continuously!

The trailer has an inbuilt automatic tropical and winterised roof. It gives added protection in the summer and keeps the early spring “dusting of snow” on the upper of the 2 canvas roofs. Under the bed is a dielectric membrane heater which keeps your bed dry and warm.

A diesel powered heater will warm both the camper trailer and second bedroom and will operate at up to 9,000ft!

The mesh windows are special Japaneese micromesh which will keep out “no-see-ums” but still let the air flow. The bedroom has an automatic window and air extraction system to keep the air flowing up high ensuring natural coolness even in an afternoon storm.

Solar power is standard on all Kimberley Models and this unit has either 120W combination of a solar suitcase and front mounted panel or a 220W rear super thin solar that folds in with the camper trailer at the rear. A second bedroom zips on underneath the solar panel for 2 adults or 3 children.

The battery system is either Lithium or AGM batteries from 126amp hrs to 200 Amphours proving enough power for the 80 quart refrigerator, the water pumps, the LED lighting and of course the Multimedia system. The DVD player and radio can be controlled by iPad or iPhone apps from 30ft away and the sound system switch from the outside speakers to the inside system at the touch of a finger.

The braking system is either Dexter (USA) electric drum brakes or Kimberley Disc brakes with Hydrastar (USA) electronic disc actuators. 

Finally, the U shaped kitchen and cooking facilities are just exceptional. The preparation area is big and separate to the cooking area with the refrigerator in the middle of the U configuration.

To find out more about the design of off road trailers read this eBook.

DOWNLOAD a 44 Page Design Guide for Off Road Camper Trailers
This is not a product Brochure

For information on importing Kimberley products into the USA click here


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Fire-side warmth yet three types of Heating inside the camper trailer

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Family Campfire Kimberley off road camper trailer resized 600Nothing beats a fire-side dinner! The glow from the campfire after dinner with the right beverage is mesmorizing in the pristine bush or on the beach. Moving from the campfire to inside the camper trailer at bedtime can be a rude awakening without heating. Gas based heaters can be very dangerous. What are the alternatives to safe clean heating in an off road camper trailer or caravan?

There are 3 different technologies that Kimberley use for heating inside a camper trailer or caravan. The choice depends on the intensity of heat you wish for. What is even better is that there is NO LPG. This ensures a safer camping experience and a much lower cost to operate. These technologies have been perfected over the years with Kimberley having installed thousands of heaters since 2005. Reliability is superb with a virtually nil failure rate.

A summary of each technology and their pros and cons:

Diesel Powered Jet heaters

off road camper trailer diesel space heaterThese use every once of energy in bio-diesel or mineral diesel to heat recirculating air flow. They are 2kW of “heating power” and consume very little diesel. A 12L diesel tank will last for a month! The author has camped in the Rockies in a Kimberley Kamper at 9,000ft with snow on the roof of the camper trailer and this jet heater warming up both the camper trailer and the annex! The pros are:

  • Very fast heating in minutes
  • Very low maintenance
  • Perfectly safe
  • Optional temperature Control

The cons are:

  • Priced just under $2,000 these are stil a sizeable investment
  • Need to have exhaust built in or plumbed to outside
  • When turned up to high, the jet air is noisy

They are compact units and are fitted with ducting in the Kimberley Kruiser full size off-road caravan under the furniture for quieter operation.

Hot Water recovery Glycol Space Heaters

off road camper trailer space heaterThese units are plumbed into the hot water systems glycol heat recovery circuit and are about 1.2kW of heating power. They are compact and less expensive.

The pros are:

  • Very quiet with 2 speed ball bearing fans
  • No need for an plumbed exhaust means they can be placed anywhere
  • Very low maintenance
  • Perfectly safe
  • Priced at less than $700 these are more affordable

The cons are:

  • Temperature is controlled by fan speed
  • Hot water system needs to be on standby

These units are re-configured by Kimberley for the drying chalet which air drys your clothes in a stainless steel framed drying floor in the full size ensuite of a Kimberley Kruiser. 

In the Kimberley Karavan these are placed under the slide-out bed area and with the great insulation in this off-road caravan this is all you need to stay warm.

In the Kimberley Kamper these heaters dry out the canvas in no time so after a heavy rain overnight, the inside of the canvas is so dry after runing the heater for less than an hour. You pack up a dry camper trailer!

Super Green Di-electric Membrane Heaters

off road camper trailer membrane 12v heatingThis is just fantastic technology pioneered in Norway and imported by Kimberley from the original inventor. The heater is made up of a 2-3mm thin black thermo-plastic material with 12V wiring embedded inside it. The black plastic is di-electric and carries a small amount of the 12V power and distributes the heat uniformly through the plastic material. Once the maximum temperature is reached, the material “open circuits” automatically to prevent over-heating.

The pros are:

  • Can be operated during the day on solar power, battery power at night
  • Perfectly dry out a mattress as well as warm the mattress
  • Can be placed underfloor on even in walls
  • Very low maintenance
  • Perfectly safe
  • Use very low power
  • Priced at less than $300 these are very affordable

The cons are:

  • They have to be placed on a flat surface
  • They work very slowly so need to be on for hours at a time

With this wide range of heating options, you can walk back into your camper trailer, take a hot shower and cuddle up in a warm bed!

To find out more consider one of our eBooks:


DOWNLOAD a 44 Page Design Guide for Off Road Camper Trailers
This is not a product Brochure



New Collection of 14 eBooks and Guideswith Advice on Design, and technologyClick here to see the List to download

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