May 11, 2016
Since 1999 we’ve been offering Kimberley Kamper trailers for hire here in Adelaide from our Collinswood address 45 North East Road. We selected Kimberley as our camper of choice because of their incredible construction, a design that’s been copied by many other makers since, but seldom matched.
The strength in the Kimberley design is their robust chassis. Underneath the camper body is a massive galvanised chassis and drawbar that supports the equally big A-arms for the suspension. Coupled up to coil springs and in our case, Old Man Emu shock absorbers, a Kimberley fairly floats over rough terrain.
The camper body is generous, housing a queen-sized bed, so there’s plenty of space inside and being a hard-floor camper when you flip the roof and roof-rack over you’ll create not only the tent space, but a floor that’s off the ground and matches the footprint of the bed. On my holidays in a Kimberley I’ve used that space for my kids sleeping accommodation or for a dining table and chairs if the elements are rough outside.
Many of our hire customers report that the lower level will house two or three little tackers on an inflatable mattress or a couple of extras in swags no problem, so a family of four or five can be accommodated without too much drama. On some of our hire camper trailers we can supply a kid’s bedroom, a canvas room that zippers onto the camper trailer for extra weather-proof space.
The tent area is festooned with windows and flyscreens that can be opened up to gather a welcome breeze for hotter times and interior lights in the form of his and her map lights above the bed and elsewhere make reading that special holiday book or finding something in the dark easy.
If you’re going to hire a camper trailer for a week or a month, you want to know that it has decent cooking facilities. Kimberley make great kitchens. Located under the bed and accessed via a stainless steel drawer that slides out from the trailer body you’ll find the preparation area. The stainless top and sink houses storage compartments for pots and pans and plates and cups, with another drawer for cutlery and another for cooking utensils.
A 12V pump will bring water up to the sink via a tap outlet like you’d see at home (by the way there’s 135L of water in the underfloor tank).
Adjacent to the prep area is the cooking compartment located under the gullwing. With a two burner cooktop and a grill underneath you’ll be able to cook up a storm of good eating there. With supplementary storage nearby you can add your own tools of the trade to our supplied kit of equipment for those specialty dishes you might want to make with local produce you find on the trail.
We can also supply fridges in 39L and 73L configurations for an additional fee so you can keep your frosties nice and chilled or the all-important elements of those dishes ready for use and in perfect condition.
Camping in a tent can never meet this standard of cuisine or ease of preparation!
There’s plenty of storage with an under-bed slide-out drawer and a cavernous amount of space up under the gullwings. We’ll supply a 240V power lead, drainage hose, an easy to erect canvas awning that stretches the full length of the camper and offers protection on the cooking side along with poles and pegs.
If you’re really going to be roughing it we can supply solar panels and/or a generator when there’s no mains power around, again for an additional fee.
Our hire camper trailers are regularly serviced and well-maintained, with brakes and bearings checked in advance of each hire. The braking system is a hydraulic over-ride style which works perfectly well in all conditions and it means you won’t have to mess around with an electric brake controller.
Tyres are genuine light-truck 4WD types to provide you with the best puncture protection possible and providing you take heed of the advice on reducing pressures for less than perfect surfaces, you should have a trouble-free journey.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a Kimberley camper trailer think about this. A new KK will cost you between $35-60,000. If you are only ever likely to do one trip a year for a week, a fortnight, a month or even a couple more it makes zero financial sense to buy one. Having it sitting in the driveway collecting dust for eleven months of the year you’ll cop a massive depreciation. Hiring an Adventure 4WD Kimberley camper trailer is the smartest way to have a great holiday but without hurting your back pocket.
Our Kimberley camper trailer hire fees are simple to understand. We have one flat fee that works all year round, no premiums placed on school holidays and our minimum period is for a week.
Hire an Adventure 4WD camper trailer by Kimberley Kampers for $750 for the first week and after that it’s $85/day. We’ll reward longer-term hirers with a discounted rate P.O.A.
Visit the Adventure 4WD website for details on our camper trailer hire facility http://adventure4wd.com.au/hire-equipment/camper-trailer-hire/
For bookings contact Adventure 4WD on (08) 8342 0202 or email [email protected]
Here’s some simple rules that work for 4WD, camper and marriage preservation and based around our experience hiring Kimberley camper trailers for the last 15 years:
1. Tyre Pressure 1 – Your 4WD will have a tyre placard near the driver’s door. That will be the CORRECT pressure for the highway. When on high-speed dirt (up to a maximum ceiling of 80kph) let 20% of the air out. A tyre with some flex will absorb most of the puncture potential and chassis breaking vibrations that plague some people’s travels. With 20% less air, slow down by 20%… now no faster than 80kph!!! PS Whatever you do with the 4WD do with the camper too!Tubemate Download
2. Tyre Pressure 2 – Be prepared to further reduce pressure when the track becomes DEEPLY corrugated, sandy, muddy to enhance grip and further assist to deflect the killer vibrations and further reduce speed in line with pressure reduction… i.e. a 50% reduction in pressure accompanied by a 50% reduction in speed. PS Whatever you do with the 4WD do with the camper too!
3. Have realistic timeframes – You won’t be able to see all of the Kimberleys (in WA) in the time often allotted for a holiday because it is such a long way away from us here in Adelaide and there’s so much of it. Be selective so you can pace your trip accordingly, with plenty of chill-out time instead of driving time
4. Keep regular checks on the camper – In particular shockers, in and around the eyes at the mounts. The urethane bushes will eventually fail and whilst we service our campers regularly bushes are something that can fail in extreme conditions where the rules above aren’t followed. Once the bush fails and falls out, the metal eye will crash against its securing bolt and destroy both. If you drive through deep water, or more to the point mud, you’ll accelerate your chances of failure as wheel bearings will suffer and brake pads be eroded to the point of no return. Be prepared to receive a bill from us post-trip for bearing and pad replacement (if it has suffered we’ll show you the evidence to verify our claim), if it’s normal wear-and-tear there won’t be a charge
5. Don’t drive off with the jockey wheel down –That might seem like a no-brainer but it happens with the inevitable surprise!
6. Don’t drive off with the handbrake on – Again, obvious, but it happens and the result is hot brakes, fried pads, disc rotors and bearings
7. Ensure the brake “flap” is in the right position – On hydraulic over-ride brakes seen on Treg hitches there’s a simple metal flap that sits at the point where the brake piston lives just behind the urethane block. Flipped out of the way allows the brakes to operate and is ideal for made roads, bitumen and dirt for normal brake function. In slow speed off-road work close it, negating the braking action, so as you deal with difficult moments your precious momentum isn’t compromised by unwanted brake inputs
8. Look after the canvas – Don’t park under trees (sap dripping and the risk of limbs dropping), make sure the camper is level and not overstretched putting strain on walls and zippers. Buy a carpenter’s level to check how even the camper is sitting
9. Ensure the electrics stay connected – Plugs fall out of sockets on corrugations so tape them up so they can’t. A roll of electrical tape usually resides on each of our campers handbrakes for this purpose. Or another nifty tip we saw recently is to cut a couple of “calamari” rings out of an old bike tube and install them on the electrical leads to suspend the cables at a higher point and one with some flexibility too!
10. Practice makes perfect – If you’ve got no trailer experience I’d suggest you go to a trailer hire shop and pinch one for a weekend and learn how long the car and trailer now are, what space you need to turn, how to reverse etc., etc. before heading off into the wild blue yonder with one of ours. Bend one up in a jack-knife and you’ll kick yourself!
Pic Above: Happily negotiating Parachilna Gorge is she, ready for the next remote campsite – it’s easy with a bit of preparation and practice!
February 5, 2015
I reckon the single most-important accessory (apart from a reliable tyre pressure gauge) is an air compressor. Having the ability to raise and lower tyre pressures at will is incredibly important for a 4WD. You see a tyre’s life revolves around 3 simple premises, and they are the relationship between PRESSURE>LOAD>SPEED.
If you change one, you’ll need to change another to maintain an effective equilibrium and achieve the perfect 4WD result of either maintaining momentum, reducing the likelihood of getting bogged, reducing the potential for
punctures, carrying varying loads, maintaining steering control, and ensuring that suspension of yours keeps wheels planted on the ground.
Over the years we’ve had a succession of air compressors, some better than others at getting the job done. But what I can tell you is that none of them held a candle to the recently introduced ARB Twin Compressor… this thing is incredibly powerful and FAST!!!
Because of its construction (there’s two of everything in the kit) it has a large footprint. Finding a location to house it under a modern bonnet won’t bring you much joy. There’s simply too much clutter with an airbox, plumbing, ABS accumulator, fuel pump and lines, so depending on your vehicle you might be looking elsewhere. Perhaps under or behind a seat in a wagon or stowed away in the tub of a ute. That’s what we ended up doing in our DMAX, crafted a backing plate out of alloy chequerplate to mount the whole shebang on the LHS of the tub above the wheel-arch.
The unit looks mighty smart too with its trademark ARB anodised blue body. Bolted up on our backing plate along with its manifold storage tank and relay it looks the business and once the air line is hooked up its got a nice contrast in orange… just like the Adventure 4WD tangerine colour!
The unit has been designed for the rough and tumble, sealed for moisture and dust resistance and the wiring loom uses IP55 weatherproofing, wiring connections to exclude as much bad weather and slop you can throw at it (such is the life of a hard-working 4WD used in the bush). On top of that it’s been designed with heat in mind, because hot-running is the bane of any compressor. The mounting plate dissipates heat, the hard anodised cylinder bores make for reduced friction, the motors are internally thermal protected against extreme heat damage, the Teflon impregnated carbon fibre piston seals are designed for a trouble free life. This unit is over-engineered to buggery.
We’ve wired the unit with a mega power cable directly to the battery, the loom that came with it was good but for our purposes too short (going into the ute tub) so we’ve soldered in an extension to get the controls around to the RHS of the dash, the plan is to remove the driver’s cup-holder and replace it with a mounting bracket for the switchgear, three of them – compressor, air-locker and driving lights. The pump is fuse protected with a “maxi” blade in a holder, because under full noise it’s pulling 28A! Speaking of numbers it’ll punch out an impressive near 175 litres/minute under no load and only slightly less with 132 litres pouring through that hose when faced with a 200kPa/29psi backpressure to fight against.
Our air-locker goes in soon, but in the meantime we had to put those numbers to the test, just how long would it take to reinflate a tyre???
We grabbed the spare from the MAX, a 16″ Raptor wheel from our friends at CSA Alloys fitted with an LT265/75R16 D697. We pulled the valve core so it was dead-flat, replaced the core and fired up the compressor and hooked it on. First observation, it’s not that noisy but man it is fast! How about going from flat to a typical on-road pressure of near 35psi/240kPa in just 90 seconds!!!
To put that into some perspective we compared it to one of our old-faithful Bushranger MAX-Air compressors, which when new were one of the fastest in the business. We’ve loved the performance of these with re-inflation duties in mind for our clients post-course. But hooked up to the valve the Bushranger took around 4 minutes to get to the same 35psi/240kPa value. In both instances we had the vehicle running, something you should do to give the compressor every bit of help in the power stakes.
So it’s fast, stylish and looks to be plenty durable, comes with full installation instructions and if you want to option it up for other duties there’s the aforementioned air-locker capability requiring manifold and relay with switch or a 4 litre alloy tank to get you some air in reserve if you’re running air tools and the like. Whilst we’ve opted for a permanent mount you can also get them in a box for portability between vehicles. Seems there’s a twin for every occasion!
Contact your local ARB store for pricing details or visit the web for fuller detail.
Back in the late 90’s when we did our landmark TV series “Beyond The Bitumen” (the world’s first dedicated 4WD TV show – seen on TEN and Foxtel) we ran Isuzu 4WDs (with Holden Badges) in the form of a Rodeo ute and a Jackaroo wagon. Both vehicles featured 16” wheels and the stock standard tyres choices were typically 245/70R16. Not too tall and not too wide, really an average size to do both the on and off-road tasks some justice.
Well we swapped the steel rims for alloys (from our good friends at CSA/Mullins Wheels) and went wider, running 16 x 7” instead of 16 x 6”. That extra inch of width opened up a bit more scope for tyre selection and based on our past experience in the 4WD world we opted for what I still believe to be one of the best size/profiles for many 4WDs, even today… the LT235/85R16.
Now the “235” as we still refer to them offers some really desirable benefits on and off-road:
- An increased amount of ground clearance thanks to the tall sidewall height (810mm diameter) and
- With each 1% increase in diameter comes a 1% decrease in rolling resistance = less fuel used
- A narrow profile for less wind resistance (again enhancing fuel efficiency) and less puncture susceptibility (less rubber on the road reduces the likelihood of copping a penetration)
- A narrow profile works off-road too with the same lesser rolling resistance benefit this time in sand and mud, thus preserving momentum
- With reduced pressures the contact patch is longer meaning better flotation on those same imperfect surfaces and greater flexibility in the tyre sidewall means a more comfortable ride as the tyre becomes a de-facto suspension component
- “235”s also come with a 120 load index = 1,400kgs carrying capacity and on average around a 25% stronger tyre carcase (less punctures/better durability and longevity) when compared to standard issue 4WD tyres
Now unfortunately this wheel/tyre combination won’t suit all 4WDs today because in the quest for greater safety, brake diameter has been steadily increasing. The combined rotor/caliper dimensions of late have been dictating bigger wheels and that’s why we’re seeing 17”, 18”, 19” and even 20” wheels on some vehicles. Fashion based on the racetrack has in turn dictated that tyre widths go wider, so now we’re stuck with large luxury 4WD wagons having utterly useless wheel/tyre combos for the bush. In fact they’re not even much good around town because with a lower profile or sidewall (the tyre height measured from bead to tread) comes a stiff and inflexible tyre carcase that transmits a lot more road imperfections straight into the cabin and through the steering wheel which isn’t too pleasant!
Add to that the inevitable over-inflation (people you really need to be more vigilant with your pressures because 80% of the vehicles we see here at Adventure 4WD are over-inflated and some more than double the prescribed amount seen on the tyre placard) and the resultant ride can be also very dangerous with a vehicle reacting to potholes and bitumen ripples by weaving all over the road requiring constant steering attention and contributing to driver fatigue.
There’s a priceless piece of video we’ve posted a couple of times now on our Facebook page of a 1920s era Dodge car negotiating the oil fields of central USA and it appears unstoppable in all weathers because of its skinny tyres on massively tall wheels (that’s that long footprint effect I mentioned earlier). Have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/embed/nq2jY1trxqg?rel=0
The modern spin on tyre evolution in the quest for greater efficiencies is skinnies once more and this article seen in Drive.com.au shows the development of the modern tyre might mean we’ll be getting used to a tyre shape that looks nothing like what is the accepted norm today. Have a read here: http://goo.gl/iov0sw
I’ve got an open mind on it, because I remember fondly the excellent results we got with “Roger” the Rodeo and the “Jack”, two vehicles that regularly used to surprise the traditionalists. They wagered that our pretender vehicles would go nowhere off-road How wrong they were! A combination of good clearance, clever use of the gearbox and range selection by the driver meant anywhere you can go I can go better!
Picture: Here’s a tall skinny 235 that works a treat, Toyo’s M55, a good multi-use tread pattern that lasts!
Over the 20 years we’ve been in business it’s been fascinating to see the evolution of the modern 4WD, some of it’s good, some on the face of it not so. Despite what the hard-core fraternity might think, the loss of live axles on a fourbie isn’t the end of the world. gbwhatsapp apkOn a ute for example, the combination of independent coil-over suspension in the front and a live axle with leaf springs in the rear, might not have the stretch you want, but electronics will give you the traction you’re lacking.
To address that loss of grip with even more finesse, many a 4WD maker have returned to the old ways with the addition of a rear-axle diff-lock operated by… you guessed it, electronics.
And so it is now with 4WD engagement. Plenty (read most) use electronics to move the power around the driveline and it can be a reliable system, provided you are patient. For example HIGH range 4WD can be engaged on the move at speeds up to 100kph (our preferred maximum dirt road speed however is 80kph) and with the right technique, hooks up seamlessly (see pics #2, #3 & #4). LOW range though has a procedure that requires a bit of attention on your part.
As plenty of 4WDs now run an automatic transmission you’ll need to get this right, so follow these simple steps:
- Bring the vehicle to a halt (we’re assuming you’re already on a loose surface).
- Analyse the track surface and determine that LOW range will be beneficial (usually if there’s steep or boggy conditions, LOW range will be hugely useful).
- Keeping your foot on the footbrake, shift the transmission lever into N (neutral)
- Grab your range selector dial and rotate it into the 4L position and then watch the dash display (see pics #1 & #5).
- You’ll observe a couple of things, firstly the display will change reflecting the movement from HIGH range to LOW and most will indicate “4L”. That confirms the selection has been successful (keep an ear out for an audible clunk too as the gears engage).
- With the confidence of LOW now ready to go
, grab the gear selector and shift to D (drive), foot off the brake and onto the accelerator and you’re once more in motion! (see pic #6)
- If for some reason the display is flashing, something’s amiss! It might be that you’ve grabbed your D (drive) gear too early before the sequence was complete? Perhaps the vehicle was parked awkwardly and the wheels are mid-way through a change in direction? Ideally you should have everything lined up nice and straight, and with the engine running, 99.9% of the time changing into LOW should be a snap!
- You know how it is… if all else fails get the owners-manual out and have a read!!!
One other little note and that is it doesn’t matter whether your 4WD is a part-timer or a full-timer, if you’ve done with the rough and tumble and the bitumen is in sight, you need to get your vehicle back into either 2WD or its constant 4WD mode necessary for hard surfaces. If you don’t… ouch! You run the risk of some serious transmission damage = $$$
1.Isuzu Range Selector
3.Display HIGH Range Selected
4.Display HIGH Range Engaged
5.Display LOW Range Selected in Neutral
6. Display LOW Range Engaged