The SHOCK of the NEW – An Australian Manufacturers Story
KIMBERLEY believes in investing in technology and letting its customers experience the shock of the new.
The goal is that customers should always be able to find new and exciting technology in every model, every year. The surprise is a better experience!
New technology yields lower weight, better finish, better storage, lower maintenance, faster set-up or better energy use, thus a better experience for you!
In 2012, for example, KIMBERLEY launched a new range of Super-Thin Solar Panel technology that is only 25% of the weight of previous technology.
This technology is actually developed from scratch by Kimberley who have 8 years experience in solar camping systems and understand the requirements here.
These Super-Light Solar Panels are fixed to the 2012-onwards Karavan roof so they are discreet, produce up to 375W of power and weigh less than 12 kg at this power. They are the only type like this in Australia, in fact the world!
Using free power from the sun lets you enjoy more efficient 12V technology and avoid having LPG inside the van! Its also renewable and charges while you are driving eliminating the need for modifying vehicles.
A new technology that Kimberley has added to RV’s is 12V air-conditioning. These air-conditioners can run without a generator and thus can be used in the increasing number of National Parks where generator use is prohibited.
“It's our culture as a company to do things that surprise customers. We know our customers like these surprises, so we invest in it, and we will continue to do so. It's important to stay in front of the pack. To that end, we have more than 30 projects, both medium and long term that could result in positive changes in applying new technology. We do something every day on these projects culminating in rigorous testing of the technology. ” Bruce Loxton
HOW DOES KIMBERLEY ACHIEVE THE “SHOCK OF THE NEW” YEAR OVER YEAR?
It is rare for a single country to develop from scratch the breadth of technologies in Kimberley’s RV’s. We think of each country or region as having in their “DNA” expertise and technology that outshines all others. Our goal for Australian customers is to access and integrate this technology, modify it and and prove that it works.
Integrating these technologies together seamlessly is no easy task, but made easier if you know the application and control the design. For example, refrigeration from the USA has great finishes but poor energy and space efficiency. For that you have to go to Europe, then modify it for Australian conditions. This takes knowledge of thermodynamics, electrical control, vibration absorption, material fatigue and last but not least what the user may do incorrectly. At Kimberley we have people with tertiary qualifications in all these areas and the user experience.
For the Kimberley Karavan the mix of sourcing is approx: 64% Australian, 21% European, 10% USA, and 5% Asia.
Europe is a world leader in Energy related technologies (fuel cells, diesel, energy controllers), USA in computers, software, space age metals, rubber, treated timber and acrylics, and Asia in LED’s, old world metals, extrusions and fasteners. The resin and composite board we use in our Fibreglass is 100% German but it could come from USA. Australia understands harsh travel conditions, heat, water and dust! And we highly value “light weight” as this reduces fuel costs and increases travel safety. All the extremes and its what makes our country unique!
Every product we have imported “out of the box” from Europe has initially failed in our Australian demanding conditions. So we modify the design, modify the product and get them to work… even the fuel cells!
“I am a passionate Australian and it gives me great pleasure to work with our proven Australian design team. We now source materials globally. However, we remain true to our own 100% Australian design. When we do a new project at Kimberley, it has to be near perfect and has to be a lean design with the best materials. That way we can provide leadership to Australian manufacturing that should not be threatened by imports! And unlike other major brands sold in Australia where the Brand is American, we are 100% Australian in our brand ownership, innovation and process.” Bruce Loxton
We have applied this strategy to the new Kimberley Kruiser and have re-invested to a new level. This means for every function we have asked “where are the “best-of-breed” technologies/materials available from?”
There are many new innovations in the Kruiser but the Trellis Tube™ concept and Fibreglass Cocoon™ with Frameless Windows is more than a piece of engineering. It is an engineering Art Form! Imagine a combination that produces a Ducati™ like lightweight middle frame, German Fibreglass finish on an Australian Chassis and Suspension with British designed windows. Now you can see why we say it is an Art Form!
Overall the New Kimberley Kruiser will be approx: 58% Australian, 29% European, 4% USA and 9% Asian.
Here is some of the technology Kimberley has introduced:
|Diesel Hot Water that will last for months- but Kimberley developed and patented the Visi-flow system to lift up to 4m from a stream or billabong||The safety of Disc Brakes but Kimberley added electric brake control of the Kimberley designed Discs so thick for cooling and robustness||Energy enhanced refrigeration for the tropics - Kimberley made 3 modifications that doubled compressor speed for tropics but dampened the cycle time and doubled the insulation to give significantly less energy usage.||Diesel powered ceramic cooktops but Kimberley made 2 modifcations for tropical use and increased working temperature range.|
|Fuel Cells running on Methanol that are super quiet- but Kimberley modifies the installation for tropical use||Using 5086 Aluminium alloy, a third lighter but 40% stronger than standard aluminium – but Kimberley treat this for increased fatigue life||The lightest alloy hull RIB in its class using 5086 Aluminium resulting in one person loading on vehicles||Solid Surface benchtops that just make “laminates” look 1950’s – but Kimberley wrapped the acrylic around Aluminium Honeycomb for stiffness and durability off road|
|Super-Thin Solar at only 25% weight – Kimberley designed and pioneered this from scratch||Recessed LED lighting that does not display visible LEDs - but Kimberley added 12V dimmer control to reduce power consumption even more||LED Outside lights in specially designed extrusions to shine down at 60 degrees- but Kimberley add rare earth magnets so these can attach to any steel side||LED Flexible lights – but Kimberley developed a special mould so these 96 LED lights are turned on their side to all other designs and “potted” in waterproof and durable polyurethane.|
|12V Air conditioning that can run in National Parks – but Kimberley developed tha Lithium Battery system as this technology wont run without it.||One touch Parking Brake that requires no force – a total innovation by Kimberley that complies with Australian Standards.||All weather canvas windows for campers to stay dry while the window is open – but Kimberley added a bow so they automatically open.||Anti-sway bars for Off road Caravans– but Kimberley added off road disconnect links|
|Lithium Batteries at around 40% of weight, perfect power - but Kimberley added our own 240V and solar charger design for safe use.||Soft Amorphous Solar that is Super Light but folds into tight spaces – but Kimberley added MPPT solar controllers without which this technology is less effective||Lasercut, interlocked and hot dipped galvanised chassis allowing Kimberley to reduce the weight by 30% but increase the strength by 40% at the same time!||An electric powerglide lift for canopy but Kimberley added a "pushing" gas strut to give 100% redundancy and safety in use|
|Silver reflecting Canvas - but Kimberley still use high pitch canvas designs to get better airflow in Australian conditions||Di-electric membrane Heaters – but Kimberley added variable heat control||Magnetic Curtains and Midge screens using rare earth magnets – quick easy placement|
In the coming months, Kimberley will release a new off road caravan called the Kimberley Kruiser.
EXPERIENCE THE SHOCK OF THE NEW by setting aside time to see the new Kimberley Kruiser range at a Dealer or a show… read on for some of the new features
The Kimberley Kruiser will have over 20 new technology features that sets this unit in a class of it’s own!
Here are some of them (some of these items will be options)…
• Tapered profile to narrower roof for improved stability and reduced windage.
The centre of gravity/tipping point gives significantly better stability than a conventional caravan.
• Smooth clean Fibreglass finish for reduced drag to maximize fuel efficiency.
Drag is significantly reduced compared to a conventional aluminium clad caravan.
• Fibreglass finish with monocoque ensuite and bedroom suite to eliminate water and dust ingress
• One piece German Fibreglass roof with built in insulation
• No timber used in construction. Not even the floor. It uses a Polyurethane inert material used in boats. There is no possibility of moisture affecting construction strength for years to come.
• 55 litre Drawer Freezer with advanced energy control from Italy.
• 12V Air-conditioning for the bedroom suite for cool nights in National Parks (no generator needed)
• Up to 540W of Super-Thin Solar giving up to 40 A of power to the Super-Light Lithium batteries
• Lithium Batteries that out-perform every other type of battery and weigh less than half the weight
• A “Drying Chalet” that pre-heats towels or dries clothes… in a National Park, without a generator!
• Heated Membrane carpet in the Ensuite for warm feet, no LPG, no generator needed!
• 4 Disc Brakes, electronically controlled, perform safer than the older electric drum technology.
• One touch parking brake that allows you to lock 4 disc brakes for safe parking.
• Reversing sensors with audible alert that means no modification to your vehicle.
• Solid Surface Acrylic bench-tops that look like solid black Granite
• Weber BBQ, hot and cod water with stainless steel sink outside
• Rhino Suede material finishes that are tough enough for most wear and spills but still elegant
• A café style seating and a tri folding table with concealed hinges in solid surface acrylic top
• A front loading washing machine that uses minimal water and can wash without a generator
And the list goes on…go to www.kimberleykruiser.com to find out more