Monthly Archives: August 2013

U Turn a 7m Full Size Off Road Caravan in a minute on bush road

kimberley off-road caravans blog header off road caravan Reverse Turn in KruiserHow big do you call "too big" for an off-road caravan. At first you think of length, height and bulk. However, once you are on the road, it is manoeuverability, braking and fuel consumption which will influence your thinking. A smaller looking van that brakes poorly, is difficult to turn and weighs too much is old school. To show you how manoeuverable it is, we made a short video of doing a u turn on a small single width bush track. This was done without practice and took less than a minute. Before reversing, we lifted the air suspension to full height as the culvert on one side was at least 600mm off the road. On fuel consumption, this Kimberley Kruiser averaged 13.5L/100kms for travel on the black top roads at 95-100klm/hour. average fuel consumption off road caravan 13.5However, on this 8,000 km roadshow with a mixture of off road, on road and city driving, we have average 15.1L/100klms for the entire trip. There are several things that make this off road caravan so manoeuverable: The air-suspension makes it so easy to raise and lower the clearance height. Before doing this turn, the height was raised 180mm to the maximum. The culvert is deeper than it appears in the video (always is) and good clearance was needed as the caravan dropped down. The extended drawbar pushes the articulating hitch out further from the van. For some vehicles you can get a 90 degree locking reverse turn on this Kruiser. This will allow an even tighter turn, but you have to watch the culverts on a tight 90 degree turn. In this case, I chose a softer turn angle to negotiate the culvert drop. Low weight is a big advantage. The Kimberley Kruiser T3 in this image has a tare weight of only 2650kg. On board was 320 litres of water and personal items with an ATM of 3100kgs. The 480 Ahrs of Lithium Batteries and 720W of Super Thin Solar on the tropical roof is included in the tare weight! For weight distribution, the large water tank sits at the tandem axles creating a great centre position mass. The centre of gravity in this van is low. Yet the roof is strong enough to take 7 people during construction! Once the solar panels are bonded to the tropical roof, it is a "no-step" zone just like an aircraft wing. Another important point for weight distribution is to avoid at all cost having the spare wheels on the rear. Not only does it make it difficult to lift and replace the wheels, but having a mass like this stuck out in the rear will adversely affect towing stability. Braking is crucially importing to manoueverability as you can brake with this off road caravan and it will perform similar to just driving the vehicle. The electronic disc brakes are just sensational. Most off-road caravans still have the old drum brakes of the 1960's with electric operatoed magnets. These fade after going through water and when hot. They are also higher in maintenance. Watch this video on Kimberley started building off-road caravans in 2005 with a model that was small when travelling but big when camping. It "unfolded" electrically. It is only 5.5m long and yet has a shower and toilet inside. Over 800 Kimberley Karavans and Kimberley Eco-suites have been built since then. Here are some images of the Kimberley Kruiser off road in the far north west of Australia and in the Kimberley region on Gibb River Road. Kimberley kruiser off road caravan at mitchell falls On the way to the Mitchell Falls Kimberley Kruiser in front of pentecost river   Posing in front of Pentecost River Kimberley Kruiser Devils Marbles NT resized 600 In NT at Devils Marbles Kimberley Kruiser in Dust off road resized 600  

After researching every conceivable aspect of vehicle stability when towing an off road caravan
This comprehensive report with recommendations is ready for DOWNLOAD

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