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Kimbo Camper BS and Mods

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by Voltron4x4, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Feb 5, 2020 at 3:09 PM
    #1
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Hopefully this becomes a good place for innovation and sharing experiences with Kimbo Campers. Due to the availability and lead time, it will probably take time but I will contribute as much as possible. My deposit is paid and will be picking up this fall in WA.

    Looking forward to hearing from other owners.

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  2. Feb 5, 2020 at 4:33 PM
    #2
    Rick's 2012

    Rick's 2012 Well-Known Member

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    Stock
    That's pretty impressive! !!!:thumbsup:
     
    disconnected and Voltron4x4 [OP] like this.
  3. Feb 6, 2020 at 10:36 AM
    #3
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    The path we took when deciding on a KIMBO started with the type of camping my girlfriend and I do with our two large dogs and working remotely. We prefer free off the grid areas near climbing, biking, and skiing. BLM and national forest dispersed camping is what we look for. Lately these spots have become more and more popular for obvious reasons and can fill up fast. We needed a better option to camp in case we had to boondock it somewhere and stealth camp for a night or two to allow a spot to open. We also hated the packing and unpacking game when we just wanted to pick up and leave for the weekend or even one night. With our dogs always in tow, an RTT, Go Fast Camper, and other habitats were not an option and above reasons we were trying to remedy. This lead us to a truck bed camper or a cheap van build out, something spacious during bad weather and able to secure all gear for 4 seasons. KIMBO met our checklist and then some with the option of a cast iron wood fireplace, removable at a campsite, office, and a stealth camper when needed. Below is a list that helped my decision and may help you decide if a KIMBO is right for you. This is objective, but I did a lot of research, almost obsessively, when going down this road. No pun intended...

    Pros and Cons
    Pros:
    • Fits in the back of a Tacoma, short or long bed. (obviously)
    • Comes with stands (Super Beefy) and can be used while off the truck at a base camp.
    • Leave gear and supplies inside decreasing packing and unpacking times.
    • Not a trailer
    • Built for 4 seasons including heavy snow.
    • Mud room with drainage.
    • Stealth Camp in a parking spot, no need to open or pop up anything.
    • No need to register
    • Can be outfitted with a two types of fireplaces, cast iron wood or aluminum propane.
    • 930lbs base model
    • Easy to add mods
    • Rigid K5 Insulation with riveted aluminum shell.
    • Quality build.
    • Insulated windows
    • Minimalist design.
    • Modular options (shower, AC, kitchen, storage, etc.)
    • More options in development
    • Off-road capable (using good judgement)
    • Still use the hitch for bikes and other accessories.

    Cons:
    • 930lbs base model (will need upgraded suspension)
    • Minimalist design. (some may want a bathroom,TV, microwave, etc.)
    • Good for only 2 plus animals.
    • Expensive (currently 20K for base model)
    • Need suspension upgrade.
    • MPG take a hit.
    • Won't fit in a garage unless off truck


    Quick Links to major mods:

    Diesel Heater

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/kimbo-campers-and-mods.651104/page-12#post-25166380

    Solar Install and Diagram

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/kimbo-campers-and-mods.651104/page-11#post-25137218

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/kimbo-campers-and-mods.651104/page-11#post-25151636
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  4. Feb 8, 2020 at 8:10 AM
    #4
    Tacomaroma

    Tacomaroma Well-Known Member

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    SX pkg, 265s, fogs, dog platform, lighted visors, LED interior.
    Thx for starting thread. Really like the interior look of the camper, the floor the solid design. Having a little woodstove in there is pretty cool too. They look pretty tall to me, but have been looking at FWC's (wife doesn'tlike the popup) now investigating KIMBO.
     
  5. Feb 8, 2020 at 7:59 PM
    #5
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    The wood stove helps with dehumidifying the inside where a propane won’t. Be pretty nice to have in a camper.

    Yeah I’ve seen a few of those comments on the Kimbo on overlanding sites but then see some pretty tall and heavy rigs they love. There is a video on IG of an owner doing 360 burnouts in mud. Don’t recommend it but it looked fine. I don’t believe much of the weight is up high. Due to the design, it’s rigid and strong without the need of an internal frame.
     
    Stopmithering likes this.
  6. Feb 12, 2020 at 12:37 PM
    #6
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    PRO: Not this...

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    images.jpg tents-flying-at-music-festival.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  7. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:36 AM
    #7
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
  8. Feb 13, 2020 at 1:04 PM
    #8
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    To each his own and I'm glad there are more choices out there than ever before but the design makes little sense to me, in fact, I'd go so far as to say it's on the retarded side. On some level it reminds me of the art trucks or house trucks but without the warmth and artistry (see Some Turtles Have Nice Shells by Roger D. Beck for examples). The front is a huge air dam but I can see no reason for the rear design where you not only lose headroom, but also storage space and add the complexity of a goofy door design that is harder to keep weather-tight and allows precipitation in when it's opened. There are good reasons why almost every RV and camper door is vertical and usually includes some sort of overhang or at least a lip.

    Before I get called out for being too negative, I like the basic interior design and the use of baskets for storage and the inclusion of a wood stove is a great idea.
     
  9. Feb 13, 2020 at 2:17 PM
    #9
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    No worries, but this is mostly for owners and future owners sharing tips and mods. I agree, the interior is my primary reason for choosing this camper. The only thing that comes close are the Cricket Trailers that are designed by a NASA engineer. They look odd and I'm sure a lot could be said about their design but they have been highly popular, but unfortunately I am not wanting a trailer or something that pops up. Currently, 2020 Crickets are priced at $30,000, with 5 year old used going for $17,000. Looking at other campers they all look the same inside with the cabinet build outs. So I am with you on that.

    As far as warmth, it is fully insulated with rigid R-5 foam and has been tested in heavy snow environments. The windows are also double pane. I guarantee that this would be warmer than a Four Wheel camper in a snow storm. To create something that is that spacious without a pop-up feature, Four Wheel Campers, you're going to have some sort of air dam. I need to be able to stealth camp if the situation arises. I also looked at Capri Campers that offered similar design and claim to be "the worlds best." But then you run into much more weight and the opposite of a minimalist build out. Not for a Tacoma. Pictures below. This company, Kimbo, is also located in the Pacific North West, where dealing with moisture and rain are a way of life. The back door has had a lot of design changes from the previous prototypes. One was a small one on the side with stairs, another as one that opened like a Delorean in the rear, which I kinda liked, I'm a kid of the 80's. Ultimately, I trust the design they went with and I am sure it is weather tight. It also has a mud room that drains when you first step in. I'm not the engineer so I can't speak to the reasons behind it. I do know there is currently a 9+ month build out wait due to the popularity. Also, I recommend watching some of the videos of their new warehouse, the mounts for the jacks, riveted panels, and all the other in-house fabrication they do, not to mention the previous prototypes. The current model is the result of at least three prototypes and continuous testing lasting about two years. I think the Kimbo will do just fine. Time will tell though.

    One last thing, I am a Special Education Teacher and we educate those with learning and cognitive disabilities. I've also worked with Wounded Warriors with similar disabilities due to TBI's, Traumatic Brain Injuries. I realize it's just a word but I might suggest something other than "retarded" when describing things that look stupid. But understand if you don't. Off the soap box now.

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  10. Feb 13, 2020 at 2:23 PM
    #10
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Well when compared to this, I think the Kimbo is a speeding bullet... Air Dam is Life.

    Search from "Some Turtles Have Nice Shells"

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  11. Feb 13, 2020 at 2:57 PM
    #11
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    When I used "warmth" I meant as in warmth like you would think of with wood as in the examples of the home built house trucks- character if you will. None of them will win any competitions for aerodynamics, speed or fuel efficiency (I doubt they'd win any competitions for anything really other than originality), they are one of a kind rolling art, in many ways modern vardos that are expressions of the builder's personality.

    There are certainly ways to make the door weather resistant; I'm guessing there is a drainage lip on the inside to channel water downwards. I still don't like the way the door opens for the reasons noted. Again, I'm just glad to see more choices out there and simply pointed out my reasons for the way I looked at that particular example.

    I may be about the same age, one of my uncle's had a Delorean for a while; it was a slow piece of junk but everyone wanted one after Back to the Future and he sold his for a nice profit, problematic doors and all. By its very definition, the word retard and retardation are appropriate for certain applications. That's definitely one thing I do miss about the '80s, everybody didn't get offended about everything.
     
  12. Feb 13, 2020 at 3:23 PM
    #12
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Gotcha, yeah I'm still trying to figure out where to rig a diesel heater in it for ski season next year an the condensation issues that may arise. Apparently the people that have them have figured it out and are ski bumming resort to resort in them. Well apparently they are remaking the Delorean...

    Are you currently camper shopping?

    Not offended, but it is used in school by students to degrade others in a derogatory manner referencing the students I work with. I understand you meant it in a critique of a design. In my work environment I just make different connections and use other options for obvious reasons. No worries. The use of words, who they may offend and reasons behind it is one hell of a can of worms.
     
  13. Feb 13, 2020 at 3:25 PM
    #13
    Tacomaroma

    Tacomaroma Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting how folks see things differently, I actually think the KIMBO design is kinda gifted to use the educational lingo. The lighter weight is nice for tacomas and may off set some of the air dam effect.
     
  14. Feb 13, 2020 at 4:13 PM
    #14
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Hahaha. There are just some things that you can't get around when designing all the "wants" into these things. The Kimbo wears them well I believe. The man who designed it was definitely more gifted than I am. I'm willing to deal with whatever the air dam effect may be. One owner did alright with it... Looks like a pretty successful run. I would trust it over some of these big box manufacturers after this guy's trek.

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  15. Feb 13, 2020 at 4:23 PM
    #15
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at the pictures and wondering if you couldn't mount a diesel heater in the area beside that table maybe or what about under the fridge? Is that area accessible? I'm not sure where you'd mount the tank of stinky diesel though. I know a lot of folks have the tank in the vehicle with them but I find the smell offensive and it permeates everything. I'd probably bend a box of some sort to mount to the outside to put the tank in and have a through hull fitting for the fuel line. Another possibility would be one of the portable units like folks have made by mounting them in a tool boxes; that would allow you to remove them when not needed and free up some room for supplies, sorting goods, etc.

    Yep, the Delorean is being (re)manufactured (the company bought up the factory's leftover original parts) and they are greatly improved over the originals. Much better engine and transmission choices (my uncle's had the automatic; he got it as part of a trade), better suspension geometry and parts, etc. I'd like to drive one of the new ones just to see what it was like.

    I'm always camper shopping, one of these days I'll buy or build one. Like I said, I love all of the new designs and there are ideas that can be pulled from them. I'm partial to the extruded aluminum frame with insulated composite core panel style constructions if for no other reason than the light load carrying capacity and poor fuel economy of the Tacomas.
     
  16. Feb 13, 2020 at 4:33 PM
    #16
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    No shit right, I would drive the hell out of one blasting every hair metal song I could think of. Don't think I could pull off the neon though.

    He did a custom build out, not currently offered as an option yet. They used a Roto Pax on the outside. I agree, one drop of diesel in that thing and you'll smell it all night. The exhaust is what I currently trying to figure out. In the video they have it going out between the top of the bed and the Kimbo. There might be a better option, maybe mounted in the closet area up high...

     
  17. Feb 13, 2020 at 5:18 PM
    #17
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    Looking at that video, I'd probably do an exterior mount that you could remove during the off season (kinda thinking like one of the boxes you see mounted on Aluminess bumpers or something). Just use marine thru-hull fittings for the ducting. I'd think the only consideration would be the amount of dirt that accumulates on the back of vehicles but a sealed box with opening ducts/vents should negate that. I've watches a bunch of videos on those Chinese heaters and the clicking of the fuel pump would annoy me unless I could somehow isolate it; something about rhythmic noises when I'm trying to fall asleep. I have seen where some folks have remounted the pump in rubber mounts with a little improvement. From everything I've seen, folks recommend the more advanced version with the digital control panel/pad; it's not intuitive to use (and the instructions are poor but there are videos on-line) but it gives greater control over the heater.
     
    Voltron4x4 [OP] likes this.
  18. Feb 13, 2020 at 5:24 PM
    #18
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Maybe insulate the pump in some foam tubing to help with the sound... In the winter I doubt you would have to worry about any heat build up.
     
  19. Feb 20, 2020 at 2:52 PM
    #19
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Curious how things are going. We have one on order too. We will be picking it up this November leaving from Colorado.
     
  20. Feb 21, 2020 at 2:18 PM
    #20
    Voltron4x4

    Voltron4x4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This and that...
    Here are some good resources I've been using to plan out my solar setup and power my girlfriends remote office and the rest of the camper when on the road. After going down the rabbit hole, I decided a all-in-one set-up will probably work out best, just not expandable. I may change my mind when I see the available space in the Kimbo. It comes down to knowing what your power needs are. The links below will help you calculate what you need.

    Update: Decided to go DIY solar system due to lack of 12v outputs with the Bluetti.

    Energy Calculation Resources:

    https://www.explorist.life/how-many-solar-panels-are-needed-to-power-a-camper/

    https://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-information/offgrid-calculator

    https://faroutride.com/van-electrical-sizing/#power_usage

    https://www.parkedinparadise.com/solar-calculator/


    1500wh "Bluetti" Solar Generator: Lithium Battery + MPPT + Inverter Power Box



    DIY 400 Watt 12 volt Solar Power System:




    Regulated 12V for running fridges:

     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021

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