Camper trailer cape York

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:40
ThreadID: 104762 Views:3172 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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Just after some advice on taking camper trailer to the cape, we are taking a GIC Camper trailer "off road" edition. Any pointers on preparation and enhancements when using the GIC or camper trailer in general.

Thanks in advance
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Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 18:23

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 18:23
We did Cape York last year towing a pretty heavy camper - and bypassed some of the "stupid" creek crossings on the Old Tele Track as I'm not into breaking things. Most of the creek crossings have by pass tracks - so you can check them out before attempting anyway.

I don't know much about GIC campers - however we went to Lawn Hill a few weeks back and one of the "off-road" campers blew both shocky's off the trailer near Riversleigh - not a really good thing to happen - but not too serious. They were bolted to brackets that were welded to the frame, so I would check to see where the shocky's are attached to and see if it look robust. Depending on when you go - the corrugations on the Development Road can be terrible, and the bulldust will go everywhere, so the trailer needs to have proper pinch sealing - not just the tape.

There were also people everywhere towing trailers with broken back windscreens, where rocks had bounced off their trailer and just shattered the glass at the back. We used a stone stomper (google that for the web site) which is made in Adelaide - and it was fantastic. Not a mark on the trailer after the trip. Apart from that - we stayed at Loyalty Beach at the top, which was ok. Take a trip to TI - that was really interesting as well.

It was a trip of a life time... :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 19:14

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 19:14
Chris x 2 ..
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Reply By: Rob K (VIC) - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 09:40

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 09:40
Hi TurboLux,

Just got back from Cape York a couple of months ago towing a CT. Agree with what Chris K and Rosco have said. Also, there are a lot of "off-road" CT's out there in the market and my observation is you get what you paid for when it comes to "off-road" capability and reliability.

To avoid testing our CT and tow vehicle on the OTT we used the PDR on the way up and base camped at Bramwell Station and Eliot Falls. We undertook the southern and northern sections of the OTT as day trips from our base camp and used the PDR as our loop back to camp.

If you want to tow the CT along the OTT you'll find Palm Creek will be a bit of a challenge with the CT even using the chicken track. Momentum is the key to getting up some of the steeper exits which means a bit of speed required. Some of the other creek crossings will involve some deeper water or a bit of road building (Cockatoo Ck). We learnt how water proof (not) our CT was and as Chris says, the dust will get into everything if you don't have good seals. Corrugations got worse north of the turnoff to Captain Billy Landing, the PDR south of here was in pretty good condition 2 months ago.

Check the CT for possible openings into the trailer from outside (like wiring looms and the ends of any steel tubing used to construct the trailer) and plug any holes with Sika Flex sealant. I found an opening behind the battery for a wiring loom which went straight out to the back of the CT and caused the battery area to flood during deep water crossings! We learnt a lot about the trailer after the trip and I'm still working on improvements. Padlocks if you have them - use an old bicycle inner tube cut into small strips like wide rubber bands to cover the keyhole on locks. This will keep the tumbler from gritting up with dust and mud - works a treat and you won't have to smash them off when the key doesn't turn any more.

I made a blind for the back window using some corf lute (plastic cardboard) I purchased at a local hardware store - cheap insurance against smashing a rear window! Some stone protection for the trailer is a good idea if you don't want to get stone chips in the leading areas of the CT. We had Rock Tammer flaps on the tow vehicle and a good stone screen across the CT and it still got peppered to some degree around the A-frame and frontal area.

You'll find courtesy from other drivers coming from the opposite direction on the PDR is hard to find - they're all on a mission and time poor! You may gain one or two stone chips in the front windscreen because they don't slow down.

Hope some of the above helps with your preparations. Enjoy the adventure when you finally go.


Rob K
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