We recently caught up with Anthony Kittel, REDARC’s Managing Director of over 20 years, to find out about the brand’s proud history and their rigorous product testing regime.
“Throughout our over 40 year history, our strength has always been in the offroading market. That’s why the camper trailer industry is such a perfect fit,” Kittel says. “We always, from the start, have been designing products to withstand really rugged terrain.”
Kittel says the first product supplied to the camper trailer market was a smart solenoid back in 2002. Now, nearly 20 years on, the relationship between REDARC and the camper trailer market has grown stronger and stronger.
“We’re working together with manufacturers all the time,” Kittel says. “And it’s not just us developing our own innovations and then providing them. It’s taking their concepts on how we can make their product better for them.
“We can tailor the product, customise it and make it specific to them.”
When a business continues to grow over 40 years, you know you’re doing something right. Staying ahead of the curve has a lot to do with it, Kittel tells Camper.
“You don’t survive that long unless you innovate,” he says. “But while it’s great to have new ideas and wow people with technology, it’s really about how it stands up.
“That comes down to the quality. Because of the fact we were evolved in the very early days in the heavy trucking market we understand what it's like to have a product hanging off the back of a truck, exposed to the elements.
“We’re also designing products for the defence sector and there's no harsher environments than what the military expose products to. We’ve been able to take that heavy-duty engineering and apply it to the camper trailer industry.
“Every single unit is tested and guaranteed before it leaves the factory. We’ve invested millions of dollars in test equipment which can test products to the extreme. For example, we have Highly Accelerated Life-cycle Testing, known as HALT, which can generate conditions akin to 10 years of a product's life, in just two days.
“The HALT is essentially a chamber. It can take the product from 120°C to –20°C in a matter of minutes, then heat the product back up to 120°C instantaneously. At the same time the product is being vibrated, having multi G-force applied to it.
“Imagine you’re taking your camper trailer to Cape York, going down horrendous roads, through high temperatures, in high humidity. We replicate all those conditions, only we make them worse.
“We push products so hard in the HALT that nothing survives. After 48 hours, something will fail. And once a thing fails the engineers go back to the drawing board, redesign that section, beef it up, and then retest it, only more extreme. Something else will fail and they keep doing that process until they say, it can’t be changed any more, it can’t be made any better.
“That’s just one piece of machinery. We’ve got four or five types of tests we put products through that simulate horrible conditions no product should be asked to withstand.
“We make sure that our customers know their power systems will survive, wherever they want to take them, for as long as they want to take them.”