First U.S. Spec Kimberley T3 Kruiser Ready to Roam

Update on camping in cold temps: Like Bob’s photo above, my T3 has survived lows of around 18 degrees. Keeping the Elwell system set to diesel heater/hot water only to protect the general tank—runs all night. Also running the underbed diesel heater all night. No issues. Tank heaters on as well. Camping 6 nights near Sonoita, AZ with David and Sun Young Mockman who imported their S3 from Australia 4 or 5 years ago. David Bates brought it back to life after they had used it for years. Great people!
 
Update on camping in cold temps: Like Bob’s photo above, my T3 has survived lows of around 18 degrees. Keeping the Elwell system set to diesel heater/hot water only to protect the general tank—runs all night. Also running the underbed diesel heater all night. No issues. Tank heaters on as well. Camping 6 nights near Sonoita, AZ with David and Sun Young Mockman who imported their S3 from Australia 4 or 5 years ago. David Bates brought it back to life after they had used it for years. Great people!

Glad to hear our experience wasn't a one-off, and our Kruisers can handle some cold!
 
It seems obvious to me that most potential Kimberley customers in North American are going to be interested in sometimes towing/camping in freezing conditions. The stress and hassle of doing that would be greatly decreased if Kimberley products had temperature sensors at several key plumbing locations (identified as likely to freeze first).

With knowledge comes peace of mind. If a phone app could tell us the current temperature of the most vulnerable parts of the trailer, then we could tow/camp without stress, and without the hassle of pre-emptive steps such as draining systems or breaking out the glycol.

These anecdotal stories of certain products surviving certain temperatures are better than no information. But real-time measurements of our plumbing components would be infinitely better.

And how much could a dozen thermistors and a phone app really cost?
 
If I knew where to install the sensors, I could use SensorPush sensors to monitor the temperatures with the phone app. I'll talk to David Bates about where these should be installed to keep tabs on the most vulnerable parts of the water system. But, turning on the diesel burner and the water heating system at night is not a big deal. Uses some fuel, but it does a great job of protecting the general water system. If you're hooked up to power, you an use the electric heating element in the Elwell glycol system. There's no "breaking out the glycol" involved.
 
If I knew where to install the sensors, I could use SensorPush sensors to monitor the temperatures with the phone app. I'll talk to David Bates about where these should be installed to keep tabs on the most vulnerable parts of the water system. But, turning on the diesel burner and the water heating system at night is not a big deal. Uses some fuel, but it does a great job of protecting the general water system. If you're hooked up to power, you an use the electric heating element in the Elwell glycol system. There's no "breaking out the glycol" involved.
Did you use both the diesel burner (lower left Elwell icon) and hot water options (upper left Elwell icon), or just the burner? I think you ran the Elwell while traveling as well...which heating options did you use while driving?
 
I used both the diesel burner and the hot water option per Dave Bates' instructions. It wasn't cold enough while traveling to require anything other than the tank heaters--probably didn't need those either while I was on the road but I only turned them off when I started experiencing above freezing temps at night. The underbed diesel heater did a great job keeping me warm at night. It was also effective at raising the temperature inside the camper in the morning when I was camping in cold weather. If I had been driving in cold weather, I would have left both the Elwell system (diesel burner and hot water) and the below bed heater on. I also discovered that if you are hooked up to electricity, the electric burner in the Elwell system does a good job of getting and keeping the glycol hot. It worked fine for hot showers, etc.
 
I used both the diesel burner and the hot water option per Dave Bates' instructions. It wasn't cold enough while traveling to require anything other than the tank heaters--probably didn't need those either while I was on the road but I only turned them off when I started experiencing above freezing temps at night. The underbed diesel heater did a great job keeping me warm at night. It was also effective at raising the temperature inside the camper in the morning when I was camping in cold weather. If I had been driving in cold weather, I would have left both the Elwell system (diesel burner and hot water) and the below bed heater on. I also discovered that if you are hooked up to electricity, the electric burner in the Elwell system does a good job of getting and keeping the glycol hot. It worked fine for hot showers, etc.
Thanks. We've found the Elwell electric element does a good job heating the trailer down to the mid-40s. Anything below that requires either the Elwell diesel burner (not the hot water) or the under-bed diesel heater. It seems the under-bed is more fuel efficient...
 

Corgi_express

Well-known member
I'm actually shocked to learn that the Kimberly does not have the plumbing run inside of a heated and insulated space - this is becoming more and more common in North American campers, with even companies like Winnebago offering models that have all of the plumbing protected from the cold, advertised as 4-season.

I guess I foolishly assumed that a high end off-road trailer like this would obviously be designed in that way. I'm glad to learn that you are all making it work in cold temperatures, but the fact that you were told by the vendor to winterize really surprised me.
 
I think it’s important to recognize that the Kruisers were designed in Australia for the domestic market. When David Bates (an engineer) partnered with Kimberley to design and implement modifications to the Kruisers to make them perform in the U.S. market, I understand that he designed the modifications to allow us to use them in cold weather. He didn’t begin with a clean slate to design a completely new Kruiser for the U.S. market. Perhaps if the market in the U.S. grows, this could become cost-effective. But, let me add that I owned and traveled in an Oliver Elite II for 4 years. The Oliver is a true four-season trailer with the plumbing installed between the two fiberglass layers of the hull. The Oliver is also well-insulated. While I never had to winterize the Oliver while traveling, I often left Iowa with a winterized trailer in very cold weather and waited until I had traveled to a warmer area before reversing the winterization. The propane forced-air furnace in the Oliver could only effectively keep the cabin comfortable warm when the temperatures were above 15 degrees, in my experience. I think the two diesel heaters in my T3 create a higher level of comfort than the propane furnace did in the Oliver.
 

goodol

Member
how about the Kamper? Dave once said he camped in it for a 17F night … can I use Kamper for 2-3 nights ski trip?
 

bomar

Adventurer
how about the Kamper? Dave once said he camped in it for a 17F night … can I use Kamper for 2-3 nights ski trip?

@goodol You would have no issues. The extra heater in it will run you out of it if you turn in all the way up. I know that Hants who owned my old Kamper would setup for weeks Elk hunting as a base camp.
 

Adventr.us

New member
@donthompson - nice to meet you at Expo Mtn West, really appreciate all the time you spent with my wife and I sharing your experiences so far with your T3. Hope you enjoyed the weekend; it was an extremely productive (and enjoyable) one for us ...
 

DFNDER

Active member
That is a big ****** trailer. Do you find you actually take it off-road anyplace where the Oliver couldn’t go? I would be terrified to take something that big on anything much worse than my gravel driveway.
 

eatSleepWoof

Do it for the 'gram
That is a big ****** trailer. Do you find you actually take it off-road anyplace where the Oliver couldn’t go? I would be terrified to take something that big on anything much worse than my gravel driveway.

In the last few years I've taken the following trailers to varying degrees of off-pavement trails:

- An "off-road" box-on-wheels with RTT (FSR Overlander)
- A mainstream tent trailer with an "off-road" package (Forest River 1640 ESP)
- A lifted, small-format travel trailer (Hymer GT550)
- A basic utility trailer

What I've found is that the size of the trailer makes little to no difference in where I go. That is to say, I'd have no qualms taking a fully loaded Kimberley T3 to the same exact locations I visited with all of the above. I'm in the pacific north west, where trails are typically heavily overgrown; the biggest challenge is always having a place to turn around. Whether I'm hauling a small utility trailer or a much larger travel trailer, the challenge/limitation is largely the same.

IMO very few people take the full-blown "off-road" trailers (ie. high-clearance box with a RTT) truly off-road. Most folks just go down a dirt path, through some washboard, perhaps a ditch or two. To me, the appeal of the off-road trailers (Kimberley models included) is their ability to cross the occasional, and unexpected obstacle, and not fall apart from extensive dirt road use. I wouldn't want to haul any trailer over hardcore off-road trails.
 

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