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With it's debut at the NEC in Birmingham in February 2009, the Kountrylite Garage/Bunkhouse brings the flexibility requested by some of our customers.
The Garage/Bunkhouse is very similar to the full height 26RK, so if you have already gone through that mini-site you might want to skip to the Floorplan section. This new model offers the flexibility of having either bunk beds or a garage space with a large access door. So it is great for trips when you need an extra couple of beds, or if you don't need the sleeping space you can just take out the bunks and give yourself a great space for leisure equipment.
The KountryLite range is designed in the UK by Calder Leisure to ensure suitability for European conditions and regulations, the KountryLite is manufactured to a very high standard in Oklahoma, USA.
You may hear muttering about American trailers being no good for weather conditions in the UK, but consider the facts. America is a big place, and it is not unusual to find extreme conditions: -22°C in Wisconsin at the same time as Florida basks in 24°C sunshine. UK weather? No problem.
The KountryLite has R7 foam insulation, a 20,000 B.T.U. electronic ignition furnace, ducting hot air wherever it is needed and a massive 13,500 B.T.U. aircon system fitted on top as standard.
On the outside are all manner of goodies. Above the door is an almost full-length awning, under which there is a barbecue point, with a mains outlet, a second radio & a TV aerial socket. KountryLite comes with two refillable 10lb propane cyclinders and all the connections are neatly located in one polace: mains water and power inlets, two 110amp leisure batteries, emptying points for the various tanks and an external shower unit.
On the other side there is a second awning which is attached to the massive slide-out section; and it is this that makes the difference to the interior. The awning unrolls as the slide-out section extends and provides additional protection, preventing leaves and debris from trees falling onto the top, which would then have to be cleared.
Press the switch inside and 15 seconds later you have added 3 x 12 feet to the interior living space. Just in case you're worried about the consequences of a power failure, it can be manually winched in and out. If you're worried about water ingress, remember that BBC outside broadcast units have been using the same system for over 20 years without problems and theirs house millions of pounds worth of high-tech electronics. The roof has a 12 year warranty, just to add to your peace of mind.
The chassis is really sturdy, with Torflex torsion axle suspension. Braking is controlled by electronics that mimic the braking of the towing vehicle. This system is added in the UK and is a legal requirement here; some importers of American RVs and 5th wheelers may not be as fastidious in ensuring all UK legislation is complied with.
On the inside you are met with fixtures, fittings and techniques not normally found in European 'vans. And the first impression is one of space - it is big. With the side out you have a bigger living space than many modern flats - over 100 square feet!
The wood is lighter in colour than you would normally expect in an American build, and much of the excessive frills and fussiness has gone, along with the shiny, gold coloured trim and the dark American fabrics. The benefits of UK design, married to the value of US build quality. For the money this is incredible value and offers features unknown outside the US, that you would normally only encounter in imported RVs.
The kitchen has a three burner hob, an oven and grill and two 13amp sockets, a double stainless steel sink and microwave and a six cubic feet fridge/freezer.
Above the kitchen and dinette is what's been dubbed the 'Fan-tastic fan'. If you get back to a stuffy 'van after a long day away, this turbo-fan can achieve a complete air change within a minute without using the aircon. Try finding that somewhere else.
The bathroom has the storage, electric toilet and shower you'd expect, but the surprise is a small bath! Water is heated by both gas and electricity and the six-gallon hot tanks provide enough to fill the bath. All the plumbing is domestic standard using US half-inch pipework.
The fifty gallon water tank is fitted above the axle and there are equally massive grey and black waste tanks.
Both the sofa and dinette convert into double beds, which brings us to the bedroom. You literally 'go up to bed' ... three steps leading to the separate bedroom, which is fitted with a queen sized bed with storage underneath.
As far as entertainment is concerned there's a music centre and flat screen television in both the living and bed rooms. Lights of both 12 and 240 volts are everywhere, as are double gang 240 volt UK sockets. Smoke, gas and carbon monoxide alarms are standard, as are deadlocks on the door.
The Americans have never really needed to consider European tastes, so by sending fabrics from the UK and initiating a change to a much lighter variety of maple, Calder Leisure has begun a process of change to bring the benefits of American RVs to Europe without having to compromise on differing taste.