Kimberley Kamper Tow Ball Weight

Submitted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 13:16
ThreadID: 117871 Views:9068 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Had too much spare time so decide to check the tow ball weight of my 2012 Kimberley Kamper Limited Edition.

I purchased at great expense a "Tow Safe Ball Weigh Scales" 100 kg to 350 kg from Repco for $60.
They record the weight by compressing a spring, so not fancy technology.
I reckon there could be an error of plus or minus 10%. I repeated each weigh 3 times.

I stripped the camper bare except for the 6 x 35 amp battery pack and 10 lt (kg) of water in the water tank.
The weight at the tow ball was 183 kg, pretty close to the upper limit specified by KK in their spec of 180 kg.

I then loaded the camper as shown below.

Location Weight Kg
1) Front RH Gull Wing 43 kg (Awnings, ground mats, tent pegs, BBQ plate, tackle box, misc)
2) Front Locker 74 kg (20lt jerry water, 20lt jerry diesel, 5lt oil, jacking blocks, saucepans)
3) 2 x Gas bottles 23 kg
4) Front LH Gull Wings 70 kg (Pantry, Fridge, fridge contents, misc storage box, detergents and sauces)
Awning poles 10 kg
Solar panels 13 kg
Under bed 60 kg (3 drawers, tables and stools, misc, plus bedding)
tool locker 8 kg
Kitchen draws 11 kg
Water Tank 100 kg

Total 412 kg

The tow ball weight for the fully loaded camper was 260 kg .

It is very important to place the scales exactly at the tongue.
Interestingly for every centimeter that you are short of the tongue your reading will be 1 kg heavier.
It becomes apparent that is why KK offer the A frame extension of 300 mm (30 cm) as a standard fitting because it reduced the tongue load by around 30 kg.

Also interestingly for my camper on level ground, I can only get an effective 95 lt from my 120 lt water tank.

Regards Craig

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 14:22

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 14:22
When I wanted a hard floor camper, although I respected the KK I was aware that it was quite front heavy and with ball weight consideration being important for my tug at the time, I went with a Campomatic. No regrets there, over 5 years of ownership. As for the I understand such things, if that ball weight doesn't matter to the tug, the heavier front enhances overall stability if 'situations' arise. But your figures seems to have a hell of lot on the ball, considering the KK's ATM....many a 2.5 tonne ATM caravan with 4 wheels would have less on the ball.....but maybe KK know best ? seems a common theme on water tanks in all sorts of RV's...owners often report getting nothing like the specified capacity as deliverable water...must simply be 'nominal' (or a scam :-).
AnswerID: 553827

Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:31

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:31
I am towing it with 200 series and it tows beautifully. Forgot to mention that when the water tank is empty it adds another 20 kg to the ball but I guess other compartments are getting a little lighter also.
Good thing about the extra weight is that it never comes off the hitch even when you haul it from Kununarra to 5 km down the Bungles road without securing the hitch. Did not tell my wife about that one.
Regards Craig

FollowupID: 839712

Follow Up By: gbc - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 16:56

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 16:56
Yeah I've never done that with my builders trailer ;)
FollowupID: 839715

Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 14:56

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 14:56
I have a Kimberley Karavan of 2008 vintage. So I have a tank that is designed to hold 60 litres but never dispensed that amount.

On a visit to a former owner, he installed a 'special' shaped pipe in the breather of the drinking water tank. With this pipe it has increased the useable water due to the top of this pipe being up to the top of the tank. As the breather comes out below the top there was always air above the breather outlet, originally.

I suspect your tank is the same and may need a 'special' breather pipe, too.

AnswerID: 553829

Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:40

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:40
Yes dead right Duncan. Reckon you lose about 10 lt in the bottom below the pickup and probably 15 lt in the top air lock. Yes the breather is on the side of the tank not the top. I tried filling the tank from the drain cock on the base until it flowed out the top filler of the tank thinking it may displace more air . But still had the same result of 95 lt usable water.
Regards Craig
FollowupID: 839713

Reply By: Notso - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:59

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 15:59
You're not Robinson Crusoe with dodgy ball weights and overall van weights. Just about every van made has the wrong Tare weight and hence is overloaded when we put all the "Good Stuff" in.
AnswerID: 553832

Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 00:18

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 00:18
Hi all, was about to say similar- are specs dumbed down or something? also why are tare weights incorrect?. Am intrigued as to what is legality if you ignore apparently incorrect spec in regard to warranty or more seriously an accident or failure causing damage or injury (liability) ? wouldn't manufacturer simply say you overloaded it?
I wonder if this was why my jayco seemed heavy to tow when loaded with standard gear. always kept water tanks to minimum as well.

FollowupID: 839732

Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 16:49

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 16:49
Craig , you said that the scales could be 10% out. Would that mean that you have close to 280+ kilo tow ball weight? How legal is this to tow? Isn't this dangerous as the manufacturer has stated a maximum weight of 180kg?
AnswerID: 553836

Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 17:04

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 17:04
As far as Toyota is concerned they allow up to 350 kg on the 200 series so its ok there:
and as far as KK are concerned it is under their GVM so ok there.

The 180 kg KK state is not a limit, just an estimation of the tow ball weight.
Regards Craig
FollowupID: 839716

Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 20:14

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 20:14
I had a 2007 model Limited.....towball weight of 140KG...but I didn't have the extra room of the later bigger gullwing models to put more stuff up the front..

I too went down the water ( or lack of ) path......1st you need to measure the actual amount you put in....compared to what comes out ??

Filling the tanks up can be very fiddly...even though the water is coming out the overflow, doesn't mean the tanks are full....especially with 2 tanks ( joined down low with a balance pipe )........I found you could fill one tank faster than it would flow into the 2nd tank, so to be sure, I'd fill one tank, then fill the other as well....this was with a hose fitting fitted to the bottom of BOTH well as filling them SLOWLY with the garden hose !!

I found the same with my van as well !!
FollowupID: 839725

Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 20:32

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 20:32
Thanks, yes I am aware of the need to fill slowly from the main filler inlet but I also often fill from the out let at the bottom of the tank bottom which prevents a lot of the blow back. Mine only has one tank so not an issue of the water flowing from one to the other,
Regards Craig
FollowupID: 839728

Reply By: PhilD - Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 23:52

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 23:52
I have a 2010 KK Platinum, and loaded up without a full rear tank it came to 280 kg, so your numbers are spot on. I load mine a bit differently, but with the same outcome, particularly when I include a Honda 20eui generator. Mine rides great behind a 100 series as I have stiffer coils and air bags in the rear. The extended draw bar is great for towing.
AnswerID: 553854

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