Value of Shakedown trips.

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 01, 2017 at 19:22
ThreadID: 134995 Views:2680 Replies:1 FollowUps:1
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Recently did another shakedown trip with a few different campers to help some check out their systems and get ready for a big trip coming up.

In the past we have done a few of these with mixed results and wondering if they have been sucessful for you in getting the ground rules right.

Simple things like agreeing on a time to depart camp each day can cause friction unless you have general understanding up front.

I guess it starts with having a rough defintion of the type of trip your doing.

This is first time I will be towing anything on a 10,000km plus trip (not including trail bike trips).

So we set a few ground rules like being able to do 1000km touring before fuel.

I found this interesting as in the early stages everyone seemed to think our petrol patrol would be behind so I planned a 1100km trip to Victorias Big desert and challenged everyone to do it without extra fuel while towing there vans.

The diesel 100 series and Navara started to sweat early and called it at 850km which was not what they had expected and resulted in changes.

We also needed to be assured of the capability of setups up sandhills and I threw in a couple of tracks to sort out people.
This really gave drivers some idea of what they really could tackle as almost everyone had to back up and try again on some hills.

One vehicle a "Tiguan" was not towing but came along for the ride which was a bit unfair but I assured them I would not leave anyone behind. After the ruts got to deep and underneath scratches began to appear, Andrew the driver took an educated chance on the partially cleared edge of the track.
It was soft but without ruts and proved that a heavy foot can indeed deliver results in a lightweight AWD.

Apart from various vehicle adventures the shake down trip proved very helpful in the chatter around the campfire in which many proposed issues and there solutions.

For me, I learnt that a 500kg camper goes everywhere but corrugations could be hell on what I'm towing so I'm going to carry a spare leaf spring.

Well done to the several exploroz members who took the risk to follow us !

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Rangiephil - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 10:56

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 10:56
From my observations of leaf spring campers , you will be well served to also take spare centre bolts and a couple of spare U bolts.
A spare main spring zip tied with stainless ties to the chassis is also a good idea.
It is often stretched u bolts or broken centre bolts that start the chain of self destruction.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 18:01

Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 18:01
Think those suggestions are a good idea Thanks.
Robin Miller

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