Tag Archives: off-road camper trailer

180W Flexible Solar on a Camper Trailer Roof


The 180W Super-Light flexible solar panels have these benefits:

  • 12-14A maximum output.
  • For a typical 6 hour peak solar day with northern orientation, without moving the panels, this will give 45-60 Ahrs of power
  • This is the perfect size solar for a single 80L fridge, hot water, lighting and stereo
  • It perfectly compliments 210Ahrs of battery capacity

Photo shows 180W flexible solar panels on a Kimberley Kamper off-road camper trailer. It can be any model in the wide range.

The tropical roof on a Kimberley Kamper off-road camper trailer provides these benefits:

  • Airflow between the roof and the tropical roof keeps the Kamper cool on hot days
  • Air gap between the two also eliminates condensation in the winter months
  • If you are camping in the snow, the snow accumulates on the tropical roof
  • When you pack up the Kamper, there is no moisture transfer to the bedding from the roof

And now Kimberley have combined these 2 products with these added benefits:

  • The tropical roof opens automatically as you open the Kamper. The photo on the right shows the Kamper half way through the opening process.
  • The Super-light solar is concealed inside the kamper, emerging automatically as it opens.
  • The flexible solar panels can move and flex inside.
  • The super-light flexible solar panels are only 2.2 kgs per panel. This has negligible effect on the shape of the roof.
  • The flexible solar panels have an integrated solar optimizer for shade balance between panels.
  • The solar output is to an on board MPPT solar controller for maximum output.
  • Set and forget the solar system with less likelihood of theft.
  • The super light flexible solar panel has a fluorocarbon plastic base that is white and does not absorb heat.
  • The panels can be manually removed and setup as a portable solar system if required.
  • There is no impact on any other canvas accessory like the toilet suite, ensuite or second bedroom.

The best feature is the value of this flexible solar and tropical roof combination by:

  • Utilize a single MPPT controller upgraded to 20A that is switchable between the 25W glass solar panel on the front for constantly trickle charging the battery and this tropical roof system
  • Attach the panels with Australian designed “stay put” canvas to canvas toggles that allow the super-light panels to either “stay-put” or be easily removed.
  • Reducing the weight compared to glass solar panels by over 80%.

Weight saving with flexible solar panels is a key benefit:

180W Glass Portable
Solar Kit

24 kgs  

180W Super Light

4.4 kgs 82.3% weight reduction compared to glass panels

The price addition for this combination on top of the standard tropical roof is $990 incl GST

(this includes the upgrade to the 20A Mppt Solar controller which is switched from either the front 25W panel to this solar system as required. The 25W solar is generally under cover while camping)

More Technical Information:

  • Now there is an even lighter technology for semi-flexible solar panels:
  • The backing sheet is a Fluorocarbon Plastic, UV stable and taken from the marine industry.
  • This is the technology used on world travelling yachts as it is light and withstands consistent heat and UV conditions.

The Super Light 180W array consists of 2 x 90W panels that have eyelets around the edge and attach to the canvas backing through these eyelets. The panels weigh only 2.19kgs each, which is a 80% reduction in weight compared to glass panels.

180W Glass Suitcase 180W Super Light
Technology: Glass Mono crystalline SunPower cells on Fluorocarbon Plastic
Weight in Kgs 23.6 kgs 4.38kgs

In addition, the solar cells are “SunPower Cells” which are the highest efficiency in the Industry. Photos show actual panels with “shipping protection plastic layer” on the front, which is removed. SunPower makes the world’s most efficient production solar cells – 24%, which result in the most efficient modules of about 20%. These high efficiency cells result mostly from the back contact design which avoids grid lines of metal on the front of the cell and therefore more light gets converted to electricity.

There will be a digital optimiser installed with each panel, which is the latest technology for shade and balancing effects.

Read about SunPower cells here: http://solarcellcentral.com/companies_page.html

The panels have a panel output of 23.3V and 3.91Amps for each 90W panel.

180W Solar Using 20Amp MPPT Controller Battery Voltage Maximum Current charging Comment
Charging Batteries in perfect solar conditions 13.8V 12 amps Battery needs to be less than 90% full to get full charge current

This kit includes 5 components:

  • 2 x 90W Super Light Solar panels weighing only 2.19 kgs
  • 20 Amp MPPT controller which can be selected for AGM or Lithium Batteries
  • Digital optimizer for shade conditions

The system folds up with the Kamper when packing it up; (or they can easily be removed and used as a portable system in which case they can still be stored in the Kamper when folding up)

Here is what you can get from 180W of super-light flexible solar panels with an MPPT solar controller:

Fridge in Kamper Other Electrical items in Kamper Fridge in rear of vehicle Total per day
Typical power consumption per day 20-40 Amp Hrs 5-10 Amp Hrs 20-40 Amp Hrs 45-90 Amp Hrs
180 W solar with 6 hours of sun with northern orientation angle with 6 hours of sun with northern orientation angle but not moving the panels during the day. 45 -60 Amp hrs per day
210 Amp Hours AGM Batteries Will mean 4-6 days independence if fridges are using 90 Amp Hours per day & virtually total independence if efficient fridges are used at the total of 45 amp hours per day.
100 Amp Hours Lithium These charge 40% faster than AGM and therefore allow for faster recovery by solar when full sun is available.

Interested? Go see a Kimberley Dealer or visit us at shows!

Kimberley Off-road Camper Trailer with Bowler Alloy wheels

bowler off road alloy wheels for off road camper trailer

bowler off road alloy wheels for off road camper trailer

Bowler is a market leader in the production of racing and high performance all terrain vehicles, and has been since 1985. The UK pioneers in Rally Raid cars, Bowler have designed, developed and produced some of the most innovative, durable and exciting all terrain vehicles ever seen. Bowler use both technology and craftsmanship to deliver vehicles with style, strength, performance and an unrivalled spirit of adventure.”

It was no surprise then that a Kimberley customer passionate about Bowler products sourced original Bowler wheels for his new off-road camper trailer by Kimberley.

We have seen a lot of wheels at Kimberley but nothing with the strength and quality of these.

Designed and manufactured in the UK, these lightweight high strength 18 x 8 inch wheels are exclusive to Bowler and are a direct fitment to Defender hubs for matching wheels and tyres between the Land Rover Defender and the Kimberley Platinum camper trailer. Available in white, anthracite and black, they are available from Bowler in the UK at £325 each.

What else did the Kimberley customer order?

On the Kitchen side:

Master Galley Kitchen for off road camper trailer

Master galley kitchen in Platinum camper trailer

The standard Platinum features of Stainless steel Master Kitchen that pulls out on roller bearings with one hand; the stainless steel dining bench, concealed underneath means one less table to carry; the BBQ and large WOK burner; the clever split pantry that also glides with one hand; and off course the diesel hot water system plumbed right to the sink at the end of the kitchen slide.

Flipping down inside the Gullwing lid is a 22 inch TV that will show DVD’s and TV as you require plus the Smart touch energy, water tank and switching system…. Read and control all of the systems in your camper just like using a smart phone!

smart touch display

smart touch display

In the front Gullwing area of the off-road camper trailer:

Fuel cell in front gullwing pack

Fuel cell in front gullwing pack

A high capacity fuel cell; a 10L methanol cartridge, a Digital DVD, FM, AM and MP3 player, a high gain modem/router for the bush with a 6db antennae. Missing are the 2 x 20L Jerry cans. The Fuel cell automatic controller is shown on the back wall.

On the drivers side Gullwing:

Off road camper driver side systems for Platinum camper

Off road camper driver side systems

A Weber Baby Q, the diesel hot water system with visi-flow lift of 4m from a billabong or stream that bypasses the tank; the compressor of a 2.2kW split air conditioner; the 3.5L diesel tank (good for at least a month) and then look at the detail on the air suspension system:

Passenger and Driver side paddle vales so that you can get the Kamper perfectly level when at a campsite; below these is the airbag pressure and temperature monitors that display the readings on the in-dash display. This is patented by Kimberley.

Finally an on the road view showing the airconditioner on top…

Platinum camper trailer with bowler wheels

Platinum camper trailer with bowler wheels

Rear view with the “selecta-swing-away” – that takes an additional Jerry can and a second spare wheel! Excuse the test vehicle which isn’t a “Defender”…

Platinum offroad camper trailer

Platinum offroad camper trailer

The performance features of this off-road camper trailer are that it can travel at better speed over difficult conditions, thanks to the air-suspension and superior assisted disc braking.

For a similar specification, Kimberley is 200kgs lighter than any other in its class. It is hard to beat this low weight distribution.

You may only use 5% of the capability of an off-road camper trailer!

kimberley offroad camper trailers header

Water crossing in kimberley off road camper trailer

“We travel just 2.5 hours west of Sydney on the freeway, then 20 minutes on a dirt road to where there is a great camping spot on the side of a river. You will find many people here with the same idea.
However, crossing the river a little further up requires just 100m of off road travel; then 300-500mm of water crossing; then another 200m off road to the perfect camping spot…. with absolute privacy.
So we only use the “off road” features of our camper trailer for less than 5% of our travels; but wow, that 5% makes all the difference to great camping!” quote from Sydney Customer.

So what off road features do you use that lets you be more independent, go anywhere and experiance ALL of Australia?

Feature Onroad Outback(assume soft floor camper trailer) Off-road(assume hard floor camper trailer)
Travel Clearance Low Low-Moderate High
Adjustable travel height No No Yes with air springs
Soft Suspension for stability at speed Generally Leaf springs Generally limited travel coil springs Good travel coil or air springs
Wading creeks and rivers No Maybe but sections may take in water Yes, should be good for 700mm+
Reverse turn in vehicles length Maybe but low clearance means flat areas only Maybe but low clearance means flat areas only Good clearance and long drawbar means yes, easily.
Dust Ingress Usually Usually Should be not at all
Interchangeable wheels and tyres Generally no Generally no Generally yes, though there are limits based on make of vehicle.
Speed of setup (Fast is 1 minute) Always softfloor and slow If hardfloor, can be fast. If soft floor, slow If hardfloor, can be fast. If soft floor, slow
Air flow for comfort Generally no forced air flow inside tent Generally no forced air flow inside tent Generally there is forced air flow or extraction for improved comfort.
Compressor refrigeration for off road Generally not Generally not Generally yes, with added filtration of compressor cooling air while traveling.

What are the different scenarios that give the off-road features of camper trailers a big advantage?

  • Taking a short cut through difficult roads to save going “all the way around”.
  • Crossing a creek or river to get to a better camping spot quickly.
  • Traveling at reasonable-to-good speed over difficult roads.
  • Reversing out of a blind “road” with ease
  • Picking up that unpowered site right on the beach where the others just cant get to.
  • Setting up camp in minutes.
  • Much more comfortable design for both hot and/or cold nights.
  • Going down a short difficult track to get to the perfect camp by the river.
  • Going up to the highest point for the best views.
  • Hard floor keeps “flash floods” from getting inside.
  • Large solar and batteries for independence without running a generator.

Overall, you to experience ALL of Australia!

DOWNLOAD a 44-Page Guide to Off Road Camper Trailer design issues and your needs

essential guide for off road design of an camper trailer

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