Jindabyne to Khancoban

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 13:15
ThreadID: 137109 Views:1212 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Hi, I'm planning on traveling down The Alpine Way from Jindabyne to Khancoban with a single axel 16 Ft Caravan. Has anyone travelled down this road with a caravan and how did you find it? Thanks
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Reply By: Erad - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 13:32

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 13:32
There is no simple answer to this question. You need to provide more information before a sensible answer can be made.

1 What are you towing with?
2 How heavy is the van? Being a single axle 16 ft, I expect about 1500 kg or more.
3 How experienced are you - the road has many steep sections, and it is a bit narrow in many places.
4 When do you intend to go? Snow and ice are possible at any time, and the thought of meeting a caravan sliding sideways towards me scares me silly.
5 have you considered alternatives routes?
6 I am not sure if the Kosciuszko National Park people will even allow you to take the van over that road. I know that years ago, towing anything was not recommended, although I have towed my trailer over the full length of the road, and also towed my 14 ft Camper van from Khancoban to Geehi.
7 Regarding winter, roads are icy and not necessarily cleared of ice throughout the winter season.
8 How long do you want to be taking to do this trip?

When you have considered these questions, then we can give some more positive answers.
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Follow Up By: splits - Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 19:56

Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 19:56
4 When do you intend to go? Snow and ice are possible at any time, and the thought of meeting a caravan sliding sideways towards me scares me silly.
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I agree and that is a problem many people who only occasionally visit the Snowy are aware of.

It can get very cold up there even in mid summer. I have lived there for five years and have driven in falling snow between Christmas and New Year. That was down on the edge of the permanent snow line, not up higher in the Alpine Way area..

Black ice is a big problem and it can stay all day on roads in some areas. If you drive onto it the car can slide in any direction. Steering and brakes can be useless.
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 09:10

Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 09:10
9. And what did you have for breakfast. :)
Dave.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:04

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:04
The road is signposted "Not suitable for trucks and trailers" to keep the nervous nellies off it. I have towed a 19' dual axle pop-top that way with a Navara D40. I was in company with a 21' towed by a Cruiser 100 and a 24' Future Systems van towed by a R51 Pathfinder. None of us had any worries or problems. The steepest section of road is the narrow section a little before the Murray Power Stations and not the big hill.

You will get challenged for a park entry fee when entering the national park. You just explain you are driving through and they will issue a 2 hour pass for you to go through.

Just do not attempt to go through during the snow season.

Now I will sit back and watch the confident drivers Vs the nervous nellies battle it out as to whether you should proceed or not.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:07

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:07
Julio C
You won't have any Problems .
As normal drive to the conditions.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:14

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 14:14
I should have mentioned techniques in my previous reply. Julio are you familiar with using low gear to assist in retarding your vehicle?
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Reply By: colanjen - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 15:32

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 15:32
I have towed through there on numerous occasions, it is not the steepness or grades that will cause any issues, it is the narrowness of the road in a few places. If you meet on coming vehicles at those places it will be a squeeze. If you meet a similar vehicle to you or heaven to bid something wider than you then that is where it will be very very interesting. Try to time your trip through at a time that there will be less traffic, like early in the morning.
It is narrow, I came round a bend at one of those spots and although it was a car coming towards me to this day I don't know how I didn't hit the side rail of the other car.
Take it easy and keep as far to the left as possible and where possible let faster vehicles pass you.
Col.
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Reply By: 3ways - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 16:11

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 16:11
Julio provided it is not during snow season it will not be difficult with 16ft van. We do it with our 21ft van, have followed semitrailers and tipper/dog combinations on that section of the road. It is typical mountain road with hairpin bends, climbs and decents so drive according.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 17:41

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 17:41
Yep, just like any road that has hills and corners. Drive to the conditions and you won't have a trouble in the world !!
I reckon it's a nice scenic drive.
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Follow Up By: Erad - Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 12:31

Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 12:31
More than a nice, scenic drive - it is probably the best alpine drive in Australia.

As has been said elsewhere, USE LOW GEAR on the descents (even without a caravan).
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 19:51

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 at 19:51
If it's between June and October they might ask you to fit chains. It's compulsory for 2 wheel drive vehicles to carry snow chains on that road at that time of year. That's an indication that it can get a bit hairy sometimes.
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Reply By: GarryR - Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 07:36

Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 07:36
I have driven and ridden this on many occasions. Down hill keep to low gears as your brakes will suffer badly. Up hill is a slow climb with some switchbacks, an you shall need all the road to get around them. Be aware of motorbikes as this is a great run for them and they will use both sides of the road , so keep your headlights on so they can see you through the trees. Much bark on the road after a stormy windy day. There is no cost if you drive directly through the National Park, but if you decide to stop off at Threadbo, you will incur a cost. They patrol the area for non paying vechiles and will fine you. (experience from members of our group on other occasions who tried to run the gauntlet as they say). Sign say no caravans or truck recommended but have seen many travel over the years with no trouble. As stated, Gheei is a great place to stop and rest.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 13:45

Sunday, Aug 12, 2018 at 13:45
As mentioned above.......don’t do what I did......drive with van (24’) through residential area at Thredbo, it was an interesting experience trying to turn around.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 05:27

Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 05:27
If it's wet or slushy and foggy it's demanding driving. Cheap tar makes for a glassy surface.
The highest point is Dead Horse Gap near Thredbo - c. 1500 MASL.
The entry box staff will be able to advise on how weather-affected the road is. If there's been a snowfall it'll be closed until it's cleared.
As colanjan noted there are narrow bends and you'll be using most of the road to get around them. If you meet an oncoming vehicle there one of you will have to reverse.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 08:33

Monday, Aug 13, 2018 at 08:33
Most of the sharper bends are near the the bottom of the big hill. The three of us in the group got around those at a reasonable speed passing oncoming traffic. If you encounter something large then you will be able to creep past each other if you are seasoned drivers used to those types of roads.
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