Lets hear from those who have taken trailers across the Simpson

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 08:42
ThreadID: 13385 Views:1664 Replies:13 FollowUps:7
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I have recently returned from a Simpson desert crossing using the combined route suggested on this site and yes with Adventure camper trailer in tow .
The reason for my trip was to see for myself what all the fuss is about in regards to trailers and the SD .
I seen one broken trailer which looked like it had been there for years .
Also just finished reading responses to Post ID 12544 .
Some of the quotes from this are listed here .
Trailers are not welcome in the SD .
Sand dunes require a run up which is difficult and dangerous with a trailer .
The extra damage done by trailers is not good .

Well it seems everyone has a comment on this but as mentioned by Robert " The context of post s and follow-ups on this thread shows that many have not ventured into the Simpson "
As for me I agree with Flappan " Someone who has it setup well and knows what they are doing would have little to no problem "

As for my trip no recoveries were required and fun was had by all in the comfort of the camper trailer with my load evenly spread over the 6 wheels and looked alot safer than having an over loaded vehicle .
As for the extra fuel consumption I can only talk about my experience but 2 vehicles the same one with a trailer one without a trailer same fuel consumption comes down to driving accordingly .
I would genuinely like to hear from those who have taken there trailers across the Simpson and hear their comments on the trip , what vehicle they were driving , was it a genuine off road camper trailer or a garden type trailer and approximately the fuel consumption .
As a manufacturer I can only speak on behalf of our campers but I have no worries about the durability of our camper trailers doing such a trip. Why spend the dollars on a CT to leave it in the shed when you go on holidays . If you have the experience in off road driving and a bit of commonsense the trip is very enjoyable .

P.S . Not looking for a bun fight just first hand information .

Thanking you in advance ,

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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 08:50

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 08:50
Hi Paul
What were you pulling it with as I think having enough power on tap and low tyre pressures on all tyres is the secret.
AnswerID: 61320

Follow Up By: Paul from Adventure Camping and Off Road Trailers - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 10:28

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 10:28
Hi Steve ,
A 100 series Toyota Landcruiser turbo diesel manual .
Mickey Thompson tyres and Old Man Emu LTR shockers the standard rubber and shockers are no good for this kind of work .
I agree power and yes let the trailer tyres down also .

Keep on towing
CROOZA

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FollowupID: 322819

Reply By: fozzy - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 11:38

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 11:38
paul-am interested in your fuel economy as will be towing trailer across next year playing support for motorbikes.
AnswerID: 61326

Follow Up By: Paul from Adventure Camping and Off Road Trailers - Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 10:28

Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 10:28
Fuel used from Mount Dare to Birdsville as mentioned using combined route from this site was 140 litres .
Hope your trip goes well .

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FollowupID: 322936

Reply By: madcow - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 12:41

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 12:41
Paul, We crossed via the French line from west to east back in 1999. Vehicle was a 4500 80 series with a Southern Cross camper (off road) in tow. It certainly was not an easy time for the trailer and after seeing video of us from behind crossing some of the dunes it was a testiment to its build and strength. We had trouble on about 6 dunes and bypassed 2 on easier tracks over them. The treg coupling would have been interesting to undo if required on a dune but thankfully we never had that as an issue. I greased the coupling every day and took the time to pull it apart when we got home to give it a good clean. I would make sure that anything that is in the trailer can take the bouncing that happens when crossing each dune. The vehicle had tons of grunt and we averaged about 3 kms per litre for the trip over. I would take mine over again but on a different route next time. It was great to be able to pull up and have things setup in 10 mins. Our camper is 7 years old now and we take it just about everywhere.

Might see you out there one day
AnswerID: 61331

Reply By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 14:24

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 14:24
Paul,

You are right on your example but you were well setup and knew what you were doing...
When we were there (without a trailer) we cought up to some people on the track who were stuck (no trailers) and good vehicles, they didn't want to be helped and said "it is very hard to get up this dune" so we passed them and got up no problems while they looked amazed.... Imagine people like that with a trailer!!

Will
AnswerID: 61341

Follow Up By: David O - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 15:05

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 15:05
That is the essence of the objection.
I was one who advocated not taking a trailer, and I have been into the Simpson and lots of other places too. The argument I put forward is this, I can but I chose not too. You can but I believe that you should choose not to. I can swim to tasmania but in doing so, I will possibly encourage others (less well prepared etc) to do the same.

As a manufacturer of trailers, you have a vested interest in people using your trailers. I don't se that you have a vested interest in them being used in a particular place, especially if by their use, there is a chance that a unique and wonderful place can be ruined, or more likely that other peoples experience of that place can be ruined.

See my previous posts here and on 4WD Monthly forum re people doing stupid stuff out there, and you will realise there are a lot of ill-prepared people doing supid things out there ( there are lots of responsible careful travellers too).

I put it this way-

Do you need a trailer to cross the Simpson- No!
Will it make the trip potentially more difficult- Yes
Will it possibly require several attempsts at dunes- Yes...I saw people having to have several attemps in a perfectly good 4wd without a trailer, yet on the same dune I idled over!! Give them a trailer and see what happens.
Is it more enjoyable in a swag- for me YES!

On our recent trip we initially were in front of an unrelated convoy (we were in a solo vehicle) and the dunes were so easy to cross, no bumps nothing. We then followed the convoy of vehicles -you should see how much their vehicles had chopped up the dunes and made our approaches so rough they were almost unbearable. I challenge everyone who goes out there to travel up a dune then walk back down and look at your tracks. The tracks from these vehicles were a mess from too high tyre pressure and an attitude of "you have to go hard". Thats not just my opinion, I passed several vehicles going the opposite way who complained of the same thing once they encountered the convoy. Yet we were doing 20 - 25 kph and had no trouble and no wheel spin.

I say buy the trailer by all means but think carefully, is the Simpson the place I want to take it- just because I can? I believe responsible manufacturers would say use our product but care for those rare places inthe Australian outback, like the Simpson!

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FollowupID: 322829

Follow Up By: Paul from Adventure Camping and Off Road Trailers - Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 10:51

Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 10:51
I am not suggesting by any means that anyone can tow a trailer across the SD but if you have off road and good 4wd experience . You generally also have a respect for the places you are travelling and I am sorry but will not accept that trailers are doing the damage it is those who just race across the desert with no respect for anything but their ego's .
I do have customers who own our campers and have chosen to leave their campers at home for the SD trip and this is their decision .
Without a trailer there would be little chance for me to take my family of 4 across the SD in comfort .
If you have experience , the equipment and yes respect for the SD and any other places you travel trailers are fine .
Sorry Daveo I dont sell swags or tents :)
And yes Will I would not like to see people like that with trailers .
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FollowupID: 322938

Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 14:32

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 14:32
Most of us probably could cross SD without attaining Legend status, but there's a whole bunch of ignorant people out there and if we go promoting crossing deserts as easy then off they'll go and Lord knows what the outcome will be.

Just my thoughts - not trying to stir the pot.
AnswerID: 61344

Reply By: Robert - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 16:04

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 16:04
I get the impression that some people may be anti trailers - simply because they see it as a convenient means to reduce the number of travellers.

AnswerID: 61352

Reply By: Member - Tom (NT) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 18:05

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 18:05
We took a standard road type motorbike trailer across there in Aug last year as back up for some bike riders. The simpson was breeze with the trailer didn't hold us up at all saying that it was light without the bikes and had very wide tyres. The oddnadatta track corregations were more of a concern and did more damage. Cracked mudgards off but once we had lost them it was fine. We did have a treg hitch on it which I thin is a nessecity (angles of approach & departures). All went well till the broken leg 1/2 way across but that is a whole other story!!
Cheers
Tom
AnswerID: 61368

Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 19:01

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 19:01
G'day All,
I'm with David O on this one!

I run tours and there are not many places where I haven't taken my trailer.
However, there are 2 trips where I make other arrangements.
It's not because I couldn't do it, but for all the other reasons already mentioned by others.

On my Tag Along tours through the Simpson and on the Canning it's definatelly No Trailers.
I have knocked back potential customers who wanted to take their Offroad Campers along.
As an example, soon I'll be taking a convoy on a 31 day East-West Crossing, including the Simpson and the southern half of the CSR.
Taking my trailer would make things a bit easier for me!
Following that Erast-West Crossing I'll be taking passengers on a Kimberley tour where I will need my trailer.
So, I get my trailer transported to Perth where I then collect it for the Kimberley tour.

As I see it, it's simply a matter of respecting our environment and the right of other travellers to enjoy this great country.

Looking forward to my next trip,
Mike.
AnswerID: 61379

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 22:42

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 22:42
As I see it, it's simply a matter of respecting our environment and the right of other travellers to enjoy this great country.

Mike, with the above comment, in my opinion, is the primary reason why a camper trailer should not be taken across the Simpson.

It is also early in the season at the moment and I'm sure that in August/September with the moisture levels drying out on the dunes, the going will not be as easy.
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FollowupID: 322894

Reply By: Peter 2 - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 19:46

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 19:46
I'm afraid I agree with the posters that choose not to tow trailers across the Simpson and other places like the CSR.
I've towed a Cub Supamatic all over Oz since 1979 with the exception of the CSR.
Yes I've towed it across the Simpson back when the Rig road was exactly that, suitable for semi trailer rigs and 2wd cars. That was back in the early 80's with a tinnie on top as well.
Since then I've towed the trailer across several times with diesel troopies (out of approx a dozen crossings) and while it is possible if set up correctly and the driver is capable there is far more possibilty of problems and despite what some reckon it is much harder on the vehicle and the track when towing. That is with a camper that weighs 400 kgs loaded wringing wet never mind the ones that weigh 1500kgs or more.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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AnswerID: 61397

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 20:28

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004 at 20:28
We crossed the French Line a couple of years ago with a homemade heavy duty camper towed by an 80 turbo diesel running 16 psi. As with your trip it was very easy only having to back up once before Big Red & on it we missed by a few metres before taking the detour. Fuel consumption was 17 MPG (2 MPG more than a similar cruiser). The trailer had leaf springs without shocks which accounted for all the food & gear shook up inside. As has been mentioned previous more damage has been sustained from corrogations & washouts than on the simpson.

Having said that conditions at the moment are almost as easy as it gets & as they can change rapidly, it shouldn't be assumed that you will always be able to make it with so little fuss. Cheers Craig.......................
AnswerID: 61409

Reply By: Zita - Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 22:07

Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 22:07
Why would you want to tow a trailer across the Simpson. Part of the enjoyment of such places is watching the stars and sky that you cannot see in the city.
The sad part of it all is it doesn't matter what you drive as how you drive. We travelled the desert a couple of years ago in a Troopie and used 72 litres of diesel from Mt Dare to Birdsville and didn't have to go any harder than 1600 rpm. We passed people in LandCruisers thet couldn't get up a sandhill after three attempts roaring and ripping. We then idled up the same hill in second high with 1500 rpm. It's not the fact that you cannot tow a trailer across the desert its the reality that you do not need to do it. If these same people were trying to tow a trailer across think of the mess they would make of the track. A good rule of thumb is when you look in the mirror and can see a clean tread of your tyres in the sand you are ot going too hard.
Enjot our country We are. Doug
AnswerID: 61580

Follow Up By: Paul from Adventure Camping and Off Road Trailers - Friday, Jun 04, 2004 at 17:29

Friday, Jun 04, 2004 at 17:29
Why would you want to tow a tariler a trailer across the Simpson ?
In simple as a manufacturer my job is to encourage people to use and enjoy camper trailers so if you can why not ?.
First hand information from someone living at the Western edge of the SD says this about trailers and the Simpson . " An experienced person will not have too many dramas "
An experienced tour operator in Alice Springs takes a trailer everywhere he goes . But note experienced .
So as to wether a trailer is needed or managable is upto the individual to decide for themselves .
As my post mentioned I was looking to hear from those who have taken trailers across the SD not from the critics even though I appreciate most of the comments made .
Thanks .

Keep On Towing
CROOZA

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FollowupID: 323174

Reply By: French Line Veteran - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 16:30

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 16:30
G'day Paul

As one who has carted 17 old tons on a trailer across the SD up and down most of the dunes many moons ago with a bevy of mechanics around me, I have got some input into this subject - but unfortunately no definitive answers other than skill, preparation, quality, support, timing, conditions, purpose. I think thats about it. Oh, it was a big advantage to do it as I did, when the road is cut fresh not like it is chopped up now.

Kevin M
Look for the Blitzwagon
AnswerID: 63781

Follow Up By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 23:19

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 23:19
Hi Kevin
Whilst I have been to that site some time ago I took a longer look this time it realy is a great read, just a pity the photo's are a bit small
what a time you must of had & I would imagine the heat must have been unbearable.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 324991

Reply By: French Line Veteran - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 08:28

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 08:28
Hullo Bernie

Temp changes no different to now - 45C for 5 days was the worst in summer and plenty of winter zero nights but it was noticeably much dryer overall then than now. There were many swales we entered where it was obvious from the state of the vegetation that rain had not occurred for many, many years. There is a definite green blanket over the desert these days - spot the dry patch is the game.

Re the photos, they are thumbnails, Bernie. And I have optimised them for faster loading. They used to take yonks to load and I got a lot of complaints. They are a bit "lossy" now due to the optimising but you can make out the detail all right (I think). Click on the thumbnails and you'll find a bigger picture will load. Maybe you did that anyhow and they were still too small.

Kevin M

Three Thumbnails Here
AnswerID: 64162

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