There's been a lot of traffic on the forum recently about Kimberley, now that the exchange rate with the dollar has made them more competitive in the US. A couple of people have placed orders and a few more have already taken delivery. They're on my own short list, but I have this constant nagging voice in my head that's warning me against buying anything half that expensive when there isn't even a hint of a support network here in the US if anything goes wrong. This post by Dutch in another thread made me think that I need to listen more closely to that voice...
I'd actually read about a similar problem on an australian forum, but the posts were ten years old, so I'd dismissed them as being early teething problems with the design. But I guess it's more common than that, especially given Dutch's follow up post...As a Kimberley Karavan owner, I can share my experience.
1.) There is no import duty. KK prices their products delivered to Los Angeles. Depending on your location, you might have to pay a local sales tax when your register the unit. I did in Georgia - 6%.
2.) There is currently no North American Service; and that is a SERIOUS problem for me. I just had a major canopy lifting cable break after 2-1/2 years of ownership, which renders it unusable. There have been numerous other issues, too; but I have been able to fix them myself. There is not only no NA service, but there is no easy access to replace the cable. At this point, I'm not sure of the future of my unit. Sad!
As Dutch said, this is a major issue, since it renders his trailer useless. If this were to happen in the field, he'd be screwed. So the warning lights are flashing in my head, not only for this particular model, but for the others as well, only because Kimberley tends to add fairly complicated systems to all their trailers. The intent here isn't to bash them, but rather give some honest perspective to what would be a major purchase for anyone here. (Most of the other threads are extremely complimentary of the company and their products, but then most of those posts have been made during the owner's honeymoon period with their trailers.) I'd like to hear some honest criticism of what current owners don't like, would want to change, have had problems with, etc.The lift mechanism is four galvanized steel cables, one at each corner. They go through a series of pulleys to one follower that is pulled by a small Warn winch located in the boot. There is no manual override.
The left rear cable has broken on at least six late model Kimberley Karavans in the past year. Mine and at least two of the others are as a result of rust failure of the cable due to rain water getting into the cable channel. Access for repair requires quite a bit of dismantling, drilling and cutting of the karavan - much more than the average shade tree mechanic is capable; and I'm very concerned about the remaining three cables.