Alpine Way Suitable for large van?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 15:39
ThreadID: 100283 Views:9426 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Hi all

If anyone could please tell us if the Alpine Way route between Corryong (Vic) and Jindabyne via Kanchoban is suitable this time of year (feb/mar) for a large 28ft van towed by a 100 series V8, that would be greatly appreciated.

We are just about to start our around Oz adventure from Melbourne and would like to see this part of Vic/NSW as our first part.

Many thanks

Judy & Brian
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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 15:47

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 15:47
Not really. The climb up out of Tom Groggin has a lot of uphill switch backs on it as well as some narrow areas to past oncoming traffic.

It is sujested "Not suittable for Caravans and Trailers" (a sign at either end)
AnswerID: 503707

Reply By: Member - Brian & Judy S - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:23

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:23
Thanks Tony

That's a pity we were looking forward to that part of the trip. But better to know now than later.

We will probably head north from Albury and then come down from further east to be safe.

Thanks mate and safe travels.
AnswerID: 503711

Reply By: Member - Allan L2 - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:39

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:39
Hello Brian & Judy,
As the previous post states, the road is narrow, lots of backs, & quite steep in places. The signs clearly advise as "not suitable for caravans". We have often towed large boats through there but you really have to have your wit's about you. You may require some of the oncoming lane as you enter these uphill switch backs. You may meet an occasional Tourist Coach also, then it can get tricky.
Other options are, 1 Up the Hume, then the Snowy Mountain Hwy up Talbingo to Adaminaby. Also steep but wider & no switch backs.
2 From Khancoban through Cabramurra to Kiandra. Also very mountainous & narrow, great scenery. If you consider this way give Nat Parks at Khancoban a call first re current road conditions. After Adaminaby you can go through Berridale to get to Jindabyne. Its great country to have a look around. Enjoy.
cheers.
AnswerID: 503712

Follow Up By: Gronk - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:21
Funny how you can have a tour bus along there but not a caravan.....

as long as you drive with regards to oncoming traffic, I would have no probs towing along there.
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 20:35

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 20:35
It is not a good road for coaches either. The company I work for has had coaches taking people to & from Thredbo on a several occasions. I don't know that you "cant take caravans" on that section of roads, the sign states "Not suitable for caravans". I don't believe its law. I don't recommend anyone towing on that section of road without first driving it.

Allan.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:21
Those not suitable for caravan signs were there when it was just a narrow gravel surface. The road is now a full two lane road (albeit with very narrow shoulders.) If you take things slowly it is possible to tow a caravan on the Tom Groggin to Dead Horse Gap hill and stay in your own lane. Three of us went down it in convoy without problems a few years ago.

I reckon the not suitable for caravan signs have been left there to keep the nervous nellies away. If you feel fully confident, give it a go. If you have any doubts then go around the long way.

PeterD
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Reply By: Peter W - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:37

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:37
Hi Brian & Judy.

Wise heads above have stated it unwise to do the trek with your size rig and I agree.
Too many potential hazards as mentioned and with the constant threat of fires nowadays you would have limited ability to manoeuvre if a problem arose.
You might consider, coming from Melbourne, to head into Corryong (some free camps along the river or Colac Colac CP is a lovely location) then day trips to Khancoban and surrounds.
From Corryong head off to Jingellic taking then the road heading to Holbrook and the Hume hwy. Only one fairly steep section of road but not difficult and nice scenery also.

Cheers.

Peter
AnswerID: 503728

Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:46

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 19:46
Hullo Brian & Judy

I am fairly familiar with this section of road - the last time along it was last year when towing my Tvan through there from Corryong to Jindabyne.

There are a number of sections where I consider it would either not be possible to pass each other if you met a similar wide vehicle (caravan) coming the other way, or very difficult / potentially dangerous. These sections are 1) just down from The Pilot LO towards Leather Barrel Ck, 2) near Scammells LO and 3) the section either side of Murray PS #1, including a number of narrow cuttings. Sight distance is restricted for much of this road and so advance warning and stopping distance can be minimal.

Trucks using this section often have a pilot vehicle well ahead and in radio contact so that oncoming vehicles can be advised to pull off in the few palces available.

Following us up that time up from Tom Groggin was a Jayco camper van and fortunately I was able to warn them a few times to stay in passing places because of wide vehicles (trucks) coming the other way. Neither vehicle would have found it easy to reverse the required distance (up to 500m) to enable them pass safely. The trucks (locals) in particular were very appreciative of this assistance.

Now you might be lucky and not meet a similar wide vehicle coming the other way. On the other hand, you might and then you will need a way out of the impass!

Cheers
Andrew

AnswerID: 503730

Reply By: Member - willawa - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 21:49

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 21:49
Hi Brian & Judy
As others have said ,you are better off taking an alternative route,my suggestion would be to turn off just south of Kanchoban through to Kiandra then to Berridale to Jindabyne,a little longer but safer.
there are nice spots on the way such as 3mile dam near Mt. Selwyn.
Just take your time.
We met a Family from WA last year at Corryrong who had travelled from Jindabyne towing a van and said if he had known how tight the road was he would have gone a different way.

Safe travels
willawa (NSW)

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AnswerID: 503739

Reply By: Member - Brian & Judy S - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:31

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:31
Hi all

Many many thanks for your responses and recommendations. That's what makes this site and the forum so valuable for members.

As we are towing a 28ft van (32' 6" from draw bar to spares) we take warnings and recommendations seriously.

Thank you all again and we will look at maps and consider the alternative routes suggested. At the end of the day, we always have the option of sticking to the bigger highways albeit it a longer way we are in no rush at all.

Our plans (about 2 years in the making) is to travel around Oz for about 2 years and see as much as we can without rushing anything.

We hope to see fellow members on the road during our adventure and share travel stories and maybe an ale (or wine).

We also would like to thank members who did recommend the "SPOT" PLB as we now have one and will use it on here to show our freinds where we are in the world.

Happy travels to all.

Regards

Judy & Brian
AnswerID: 503777

Reply By: Erad - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:38

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:38
Brian & Judy:
I have travelled this road many times. It really is not suitable for a large caravan. It has been suggested to go to Kiandra via Tooma Dam and Cabramurra . This road is narrow - as wide as the Alpine Way - but not as steep. By all means, take this road, but be careful on all corners. The main problem with the Alpine way would be engine cooling. The section up from Tom Groggin is very steep and there is no letup until you get to Leatherbarrel Creek.

There is another way - to go past the "town" of Tooma and almost into Tumbarumba, and then turn right and go up the Elliot Way. This takes you past the top end of Lake Talbingo. Again, there are narrow sections, and as wit hthe Cabramurra Road, you MUST engage low gear on the steep, long downhill sections and not rely on your brakes. The road then climbs up almost to Cabramurra, but you keep straight on towards Kiandra. Once past Kiandra, the road is fairly easy through to Adaminaby and wherever you are going after that.

I have towed a trailer over the Alpine way, but would not tow on it my caravan by choice.
AnswerID: 503779

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