Kimberley Kampers USA

Romer

Adventurer
The E class and that bathroom are great.

To me one of the most important things is this needs to last longer to me. To do that means store it inside. The Karavan fits in my Garage and I can go work on it or take it out to play by just hooking up.

The E class would be much more comfortable for long stay in campground or not very aggressive off road. Due to its lower profile, The karavan can go much farther offroad and is more capable

The E Class is all setup when you get there, except for the awning. Much easier to just pull over and call it a night. The Karavan less awning can be set up in about 5 minutes for a quick stop

I think The E class is heavier but not sure, either could be pulled by my 200 series Land Cruiser

I think the first thing is to go through what you want to do with it and some of the points made here

If I had a bigger garage, I likely would upgrade to the E Class for comfort as my wife prefers Hiltons over camping :) , but am very happy with my Karavan after 6+ years. I go to a lot of Offroad events and it does better suit my needs
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
I have owned a Kamper back in the day, then the Karavan for 10 years. I sold the Karavan last year and now have an S class Kruiser. I loved them all.

Upgrading to the kruiser for me was huge 10 year technology jump with 600AH of Lithium and 725watts of solar (with the 175watt portable).

Since you are comparing current models the tech should be the same. The biggest difference is the towing size. The Karavan can slip under tree branches and take you to more remote places. The Kruiser limits you bit due to the height but it sure is nice to roll in, chock the wheels and call it done. My wife loves the full size bathroom and the tons of storage in the Kruiser. For me personally, I like the ease of set up, max comfort inside and mechanical simplcity of the Kruiser. I never had problems with the Karavan lift mechanism but the complexity always gave pause over time. Just more possible maintenance issues.

So really it depends on your use case. They are both excellent choices.
 

FordGuy1

Adventurer
I have owned a Kamper back in the day, then the Karavan for 10 years. I sold the Karavan last year and now have an S class Kruiser. I loved them all.

Upgrading to the kruiser for me was huge 10 year technology jump with 600AH of Lithium and 725watts of solar (with the 175watt portable).

Since you are comparing current models the tech should be the same. The biggest difference is the towing size. The Karavan can slip under tree branches and take you to more remote places. The Kruiser limits you bit due to the height but it sure is nice to roll in, chock the wheels and call it done. My wife loves the full size bathroom and the tons of storage in the Kruiser. For me personally, I like the ease of set up, max comfort inside and mechanical simplcity of the Kruiser. I never had problems with the Karavan lift mechanism but the complexity always gave pause over time. Just more possible maintenance issues.

So really it depends on your use case. They are both excellent choices.
Its exciting to here how much you like your S class. Ours is being built right now, and we can't wait. Have you had any issues at all?
 

rehammer81

Active member
I have owned a Kamper back in the day, then the Karavan for 10 years. I sold the Karavan last year and now have an S class Kruiser. I loved them all.

Upgrading to the kruiser for me was huge 10 year technology jump with 600AH of Lithium and 725watts of solar (with the 175watt portable).

Since you are comparing current models the tech should be the same. The biggest difference is the towing size. The Karavan can slip under tree branches and take you to more remote places. The Kruiser limits you bit due to the height but it sure is nice to roll in, chock the wheels and call it done. My wife loves the full size bathroom and the tons of storage in the Kruiser. For me personally, I like the ease of set up, max comfort inside and mechanical simplcity of the Kruiser. I never had problems with the Karavan lift mechanism but the complexity always gave pause over time. Just more possible maintenance issues.

So really it depends on your use case. They are both excellent choices.
So I have seen pictures of some of the technical terrain you took the Karavan on. If you had to pick a percentage, how much of the stuff you took the Karavan on would you think the E-Class Kruiser could handle? I know you have the slightly bigger S-Class. I totally get that the height difference results in some height limitations as far as overhead obstructions. I'm more asking about length/width on the trail and being more top heavy in off-camber situations.


Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 
Thanks @Tucson T4R and everyone else. Not sure I'd be considering both if the pricing and tech wasn't almost identical. Somehow seems that the Kruiser should be a next step up after the Karavan. Have a feeling I'm getting distracted by the bigger, pretty, shiny box and trying not to pass up what seems like a bump in comfort for the same price. I'm weak minded that way!

The question about what percentage of your past Karavan travel could the Kruiser accomplish was just asked. Great question. If possible, would also be great to know if (or how) your big picture thinking/planning about upcoming trips has changed now that you have a Kruiser instead of a Karavan? (Seen some pics of great tucked away spots with your Karavan, so obviously some change). And, do you think you'd be any more/less likely to jump on a last-minute short 2-3 day trip with one over the other? Might be an tough question for some of you that have years of experience with KK products....I have a gut feeling that the Karavan would "feel" easier (for me) to just grab with a couple duffle bags and bikes/gear in the truck and scream out of town for the weekend. And I guess that's the bottom line. Whatever gets you out of town the most!

Northeast camping, and any longer trips we take out west, include a lot of highway. Ton of experience with pretty big boats and trailers, but very little with campers. Long day on the highway, are you getting from A to B about the same in the Kruiser as you were in the Karavan? Or do you notice a difference in your travel?

As always, thanks everyone for sharing the thoughts, opinions, and wisdom!
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
So I have seen pictures of some of the technical terrain you took the Karavan on. If you had to pick a percentage, how much of the stuff you took the Karavan on would you think the E-Class Kruiser could handle? I know you have the slightly bigger S-Class. I totally get that the height difference results in some height limitations as far as overhead obstructions. I'm more asking about length/width on the trail and being more top heavy in off-camber situations.


Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
Just guessing, I would say I not be able to get back to 15% of the places i took the Karavan. Not enough limitation to bother me. There are hundreds of new spots I have not seen yet. :)
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
So I have seen pictures of some of the technical terrain you took the Karavan on. If you had to pick a percentage, how much of the stuff you took the Karavan on would you think the E-Class Kruiser could handle? I know you have the slightly bigger S-Class. I totally get that the height difference results in some height limitations as far as overhead obstructions. I'm more asking about length/width on the trail and being more top heavy in off-camber situations.


Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
I'm sure the kruiser does have a higher center of gravity but it's still very low by design. The Karavan does track a little tighter radius but not enough to be a concern,
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
Thanks @Tucson T4R and everyone else. Not sure I'd be considering both if the pricing and tech wasn't almost identical. Somehow seems that the Kruiser should be a next step up after the Karavan. Have a feeling I'm getting distracted by the bigger, pretty, shiny box and trying not to pass up what seems like a bump in comfort for the same price. I'm weak minded that way!

The question about what percentage of your past Karavan travel could the Kruiser accomplish was just asked. Great question. If possible, would also be great to know if (or how) your big picture thinking/planning about upcoming trips has changed now that you have a Kruiser instead of a Karavan? (Seen some pics of great tucked away spots with your Karavan, so obviously some change). And, do you think you'd be any more/less likely to jump on a last-minute short 2-3 day trip with one over the other? Might be an tough question for some of you that have years of experience with KK products....I have a gut feeling that the Karavan would "feel" easier (for me) to just grab with a couple duffle bags and bikes/gear in the truck and scream out of town for the weekend. And I guess that's the bottom line. Whatever gets you out of town the most!

Northeast camping, and any longer trips we take out west, include a lot of highway. Ton of experience with pretty big boats and trailers, but very little with campers. Long day on the highway, are you getting from A to B about the same in the Kruiser as you were in the Karavan? Or do you notice a difference in your travel?

As always, thanks everyone for sharing the thoughts, opinions, and wisdom!
Both are easy to pack and go on a whim. The Kruiser is nice due to the extra storage and lack of limitation what you can have on the bed. That also means you can any mattress thickneess you want where the Karavan is limited due to the need to colapse.

Both tow great on the freeway. I think the new air suspension helps with that. The kruiser's extra weight also adds stability. It tows like a dream.
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
Its exciting to here how much you like your S class. Ours is being built right now, and we can't wait. Have you had any issues at all?
Nothing big. there is always some fine tuning needed but all minor. Dave added a anti-scald vavle to my hot water system thinking that was a good safety idea. It ended up limiting my hot water capability for showers so we ended up removing it. Now the hot water system works great.
 
Nothing big. there is always some fine tuning needed but all minor. Dave added a anti-scald vavle to my hot water system thinking that was a good safety idea. It ended up limiting my hot water capability for showers so we ended up removing it. Now the hot water system works great.
In my opinion all RVs should be required to have an anti-scald device of some kind for the shower fixture. RVs seem more dangerous than most homes, since their tiny shower stalls offer no space to move out of the water flow in a scald situation. I believe that most water heaters are set to temperatures (140 degrees?) that are quite dangerous to human skin. Note that scalding risk is higher for people with thinner skin, and for people who cannot very quickly recognize and deal with a scaling situation (e.g. children). A thermostatic mixing valve that brings the hot water line down to a reasonable temperature (120 degrees) is an excellent idea. Sorry to hear that it did not work out in your particular situaiton.
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
In my opinion all RVs should be required to have an anti-scald device of some kind for the shower fixture. RVs seem more dangerous than most homes, since their tiny shower stalls offer no space to move out of the water flow in a scald situation. I believe that most water heaters are set to temperatures (140 degrees?) that are quite dangerous to human skin. Note that scalding risk is higher for people with thinner skin, and for people who cannot very quickly recognize and deal with a scaling situation (e.g. children). A thermostatic mixing valve that brings the hot water line down to a reasonable temperature (120 degrees) is an excellent idea. Sorry to hear that it did not work out in your particular situaiton.
If we had kids using the shower I would have left it installed. The shower can be hand held so we just point it away from us as we adjust the temp, then re-hang it on the shower wall. As long as you understand the risk, it can be managed.
 

Tucson T4R

Expedition Leader
Not an issue, just a recomendation. The Fiamma awning is super easy to deploy but is not as robust as the older Kimberley Canvas awnings. They had a ton of sub frame and stretcher bars to make it strong enough to handle about any storm. If the fiamma is going to be deployed during high winds or storms the added stability of the Bedowin Awning is critical. Since it attaches across the full width of the awning in a sail track and has four stake down points, it really creates a nice stable set up. I highly recomend getting that option.

Bedowin awning on S3 kruiser.jpg
 
I assume that the same would be true for added stability in windy conditions for the Karavan awning (re Bedowin extension being a useful addition to have for appropriate weather?). Or do the arms/supports on the standard Karavan awning add enough support to make the 2 awnings different beasts?

@Tucson T4R you seem to have a different awning on your (previous) Karavan. Definitely had more coverage along the length of the Karavan and looked to be a beefier structure, at least from pics. I believe you have camped and spent time with other Karavans, any comments on your Karavan awning vs the current or standard Karavan awning for someone spec-ing out a new Karavan?

And for all Karavan owners. Any comments on how you spec-ed or use the awning and reasonable time it takes to set up and pack it down once you have a good routine established with your Karavan? Guessing with 2 people it has the ability to become a fairly quick up/down once you've done it a few times? Also, the double door....how is it dealing with the double door for the few times you're back inside/outside over a short period? And any good workarounds for buggy days/nights with a full screen panel of any kind? Hard to tell whether the KK option of the velcro-ed screen upper panel is pretty functional, or something that doesn't really get used. We do like our mosquitos up here in the northeast! ;)
 

Romer

Adventurer
Brad, I didnt realize you could attach the Bedowin awning to a Famina front. Do I understand that correctly?

I have the same extended Awning on mine that Brad had on his Karavan. It takes about 15-20 minutes to set up. The hardest part of tear down is to fold the awning back up to go into the Boot. I have found folding it the Trainagle method like a flag makes it easier for me to fold it tight

I had a high wind (>30mph)problem last year with the poles and the stakes. This year I added the drive in takes and the never came out of the ground. They were a big improvement.


On The karavan, you install the awning before you raise the top.

The Bedowin, Kwik Awning or Fammina deploy faster as they can stay in a bag in the sail rack and you don't have to add the 3 support braces that attach to the side of the van. The extended has to be added to the sail rack each time since it is wider, but that only takes a few minutes.

The Bedowin as Brad states is much better in the wind. Last year I had issues with high winds and Hants in his Karavan with a Bedowin did not. This year with the drive in stakes, I had no issues, winds were high but not as high as the year before. Nothing was damaged.

I have debated several times going to the Kwik or Fammina Awning, but I always come back to coverage. The Extended Awning provides a much larger covered area. Forward on the Karavan where it curves down and to the rear of the Karavan over the Bed area

If I am staying overnight, I do not install the Awning. For me, it needs to be a couple of days or more

It is kind of funny as I just checked the manual and I was not hooking the far right side to the rear bed area clamp like I was supposed to which would have stretched it to the end of the bed area where you can see it is loose.

The Famina would stop where the roof curve is on the left and before the Bed area on the right



IMG_0080.JPG

This shows Hants Fammina. This is Cruise Moab where we had two Karavans and a Kamper in our Australian wagon circle :)

20220426_063326.jpg
 
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FordGuy1

Adventurer
I assume that the same would be true for added stability in windy conditions for the Karavan awning (re Bedowin extension being a useful addition to have for appropriate weather?). Or do the arms/supports on the standard Karavan awning add enough support to make the 2 awnings different beasts?



I had the Fiamma awning on my FWC for 12 years. It is a great product and never had one issue with it. I do a lot of desert camping, and wind is always a issue. I learned a long time ago that you never leave your awning out when you are away, and pay close attention to the weather at night if you are going to leave it out. The damage your awning can cause ripping the side of your camper apart, or blowing over the top of the camper is never worth it.
 

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