BUYERS GUIDE - 4X4 CAMPERVANS
Kimberley Kampers is celebrating 30 years as one of Australia’s longest-standing RV manufacturers with the launch of the Kruiswagen, based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD van.
The Kruiswagen is being produced in Ballina, NSW and is built on the 2024 Mercedes Benz platform, with a factory-fitted AWD, 50mm lift kit and BFG All Terrain tyres. It can be driven on a car driver’s licence.
The ‘Benz is powered by a proved 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel engine is said to have more power than the outgoing top-shelf V6 diesel, with up to 31-percent more fuel efficiency.
This potent four drives through a nine-speed Distronic gearbox to torque-variable axles that can be locked in a 50:50 power split for tricky off-road operation.
Adaptive cruise control, lane assist, 360-degree surround cameras and a 260mm touchscreen console are included in the specification.
Kimberley points out that weight considerations were paramount in the design of the Kruiswagen, which is why lightweight composite, alloy, stainless and recycled PET are used in the fit out. Sustainable bamboo is used for the wood-look drawer fronts.
Another weight-saving initiative is fitment of a 48-volt EcoFlow power hub. The battery pack is said to be lighter than 12V equivalents and can use thinner wiring that also reduces weight.
Charging is from solar roof panels – 400 watts standard that can be optioned up to 1200W – and from an upgraded vehicle alternator or mains input. Kimberley bypasses the standard EcoFlow alternator input that restricts charging to only seven amps and reports alternator charging levels of 55-60 amps.
Kimberley can fit a reverse-cycle aircon unit that also operates from the battery pack, but we’re sure there would be some operating time limits on that system, even with the optional 10,000 Watt-hour pack.
The two-door fridge and induction cooktop are also electric, but hot water and the cabin heater use diesel fuel. There’s a slide-out exterior cooktop, in addition to the outside kitchen and the optional, movable end of the kitchen bench can swivel through the open door and double as an outside table. It also works as a desk top in front of the passenger seat that swivels around, facing into the cabin.
The bathroom cubicle features a shower and composting toilet that is also a weight-saving initiative and avoids the need for chemicals and regular pump-out. Water tanks can total 196 litres and there’s an additional 20-litre emergency water tank.
A six-seat dinette is located aft and a drop-down double bed sits above it. A double skinned dinette table separates, leaving one behind and the other fits as an outside table.
Ample opening windows are midge-meshed, as are side and rear door curtains. An optional power awning can be enhanced with side walls and floor.
The Kruiswagen is connected electronically, of course, with Bluetooth smart phone apps, Starlink-ready wiring and USBs.
Pricing ranges upwards from $189,000 for the Classic and upwards from $239,000 for the Ecoscape version.
We very much like the specifications and layout of this new Kimberley venture and hope to take a closer look at it in the near future.