Cooma to Merimbula

Submitted: Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 21:01
ThreadID: 110559 Views:1806 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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I am looking for some advice about towing my van from Cooma to Merimbula along the Snowy Mountains Highway towards the end of April.
Can anyone tell me what the road is like for towing a 24 foot van.
Graeme A
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Reply By: Erad - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:21

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:21
You don't say what you are towing the van with, but I assume it is a reasonably heavy one. The road is sealed all the way. There is a steep section about 10 km long down Brown Mountain. I regularly use this road. Milk tankers and other articulated trucks use it every day, so it is not too fearsome. B doubles have to uncouple and take one trailer at a time. The road is relatively wide (for a winding mountain road), and good surface.

You will come to an 80 km/h speed restriction at the top of the mountain. There is a truck uncoupling bay there. From there down, it starts to get steeper. Engage a lower gear and let the engine hold the weight for a few minutes until you get to the bottom. After Piper's lookout (about 3 km) the speed limit changes to 60 km/h. Engage 1st gear and crawl down. It isn't bad, but if you ride your brakes, it will be dangerous. Even without a van, I use gears to check the speed and rarely touch the brakes. Yes - I hold up some cars at times, but there are passing bays which I let them go through.

Don't rush it and observe the wildflowers. Enjoy the trip. There is a pie shop at Nimmitabel and at Bemboka. Both have a good reputation. Once at Bemboka, you have a choice to go through Bega, or take a meandering but pretty road through Candelo to Wolumna and then out onto the Princes Hwy. This is shorter, but will take you longer. The road is narrow (Brown Mtn is wider), but much prettier. Enjoy.
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Reply By: Graeme A4 - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 10:22

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 10:22
Hello Erad
Thanks for the info, I am towing a Paramount 24 foot which comes out at about 3.1 tonne when loaded, towing it with a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 diesel, what are your thoughts, still ok?.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 18:44

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 18:44
There are many of these types of hills between the mountains and the coast in Qld, NSW and Vic. Trucks and semi trailers use them regularly so your van will negotiate them them without problems. I have travelled most of them. They are all perfectly safe to negotiate for confident/competent drivers. It's up to you to determine your level of confidence and competence.

If you are a competent driver you will use your gear box to assist restraining the speed of your rig. Slow down and select a gear (whether you have an auto or manual box) that will hole your speed without using the brakes much. Don't rely on your brakes alone. Don't worry about holding up following traffic, your safety is paramount.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 18:48

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 18:48
That last paragraph should read that will hold your speed without using the brakes.

In addition to saying I have driven most of them, I have been towing each time.
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Reply By: Graeme A4 - Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 at 08:32

Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 at 08:32
Thanks for the tips Peter, much appreciated

Regards,
Graeme A
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Reply By: Member - peter g28 - Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 at 16:26

Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 at 16:26
There are sections of Brown Mountain which seem steep on decent, ..with a 3tonne caravan behind you...and your vehicle setup..you'll have a bit of weight.
If your 4wd gearbox is auto...select manual settings and use accordingly, manual...use lowest gear...
In respect the van brake controller...work it, so the van brakes will come on seconds before the 4wd brakes, just to take the pressure off the Jeeps brakes.
Small touchy feely brake jabs just to keep it all under control on decent..not a long on brakes or it may induce brake fade.
If your Jeep has part time 4wd, select 4H...
You will have no problems enjoy the drive and views.
AnswerID: 543546

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 07:22

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 07:22
There is another way that brings you out at Pambula, a lot less trafffic but still down hill to the coast.

The t/o is in Bombala and takes you through Cathcart and Wyndham. I have towed up this road and it is not as steep as the Brown Mountain although a bit narrower.
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Reply By: Graeme A4 - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 19:41

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 19:41
Hi All

Thanks for all the info you have given me for our trip to Merimbula, I think I have a reasonable lay of the land now (so to speak) and taking it easy is obviously the order of the day when we head down from Cooma.

Graeme A.
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Follow Up By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 10:16

Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 10:16
Graeme, if you are worried about steep hills you have the alternative of the Cann Valley Road. It will bring you out at Cann River. Just turn left at Cann River and travel back to Merimbula. If you do that you will be able to claim a trip to Victoria as part of your holiday.

We will be travelling that road from the Cann River end tomorrow. I will give you an update afterwards, if you are interested.

Cheers,

Kevin
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 16:02

Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 16:02
If you are going south of Bombala you don't have to go all the way to Cann River. Roughly 30 km south of Bombala you have the Imlay Timber Road, it's sealed all the way and comes out to the Princes near Wonboyn Lake. The navigator drove that with the van one afternoon whilst I was out of action.
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Reply By: Graeme A4 - Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 11:36

Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 11:36
Thanks Kevin, I will look forward to that.

Graeme A.
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