off road trailers through the simpson

Submitted: Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1680 Views:1752 Replies:20 FollowUps:9
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hi, hope someone can help with this question, can you take a trailer through the simpson desert from east to west, i have heard that you can and i have heard that it is closed to trailers and who said so. this is to settle a discussion between friends,
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Reply By: grinner - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle

It has been said before on this and other forums, that towing trailers across the Simpsons has been banned (I presume by the relevant National Parks authorities). I was at the Birdsville end of the Simpsons during July, and the Information Signs there strongly recommend against towing a trailer, but they didn't actually say they were banned.
Anyway, I think most people will agree that it is a bad idea!

Grinner
AnswerID: 5536

Reply By: Peter - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle, there are 1100 sand dunes to cross. Depending on the way you cross it , specially EAST to WEST the dunes can become VERY steep, some with 2 feet pot holes at the bottom or middle, allowing hardly any "run" before the climb.
Some 4WD can NOT make it and have to choose alternate route.
You may have to abandon your caravan or trailer in the Simpson if you get stack between two sand dunes. I saw one ice cream truck who is a moment. It could not make it and I saw 2 trailer which are part of the lanscape. I was there in June 2002
AnswerID: 5547

Reply By: nico - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle
I was in dalhousie springs mid july and there were a lot
of camper trailers coming in from the east and also a lot going from the west
I asked a few of the people that had come through and they said that they had no problems

nick
AnswerID: 5550

Reply By: Jim Searle - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle, one of the main reasons for discouraging trailers is that vehicles towing them do a lot of damage to the track. We were there last year and it was put to us that towing vehicles had to work harder to get up the dunes. As the season progresses, this results in the "potholes" from the previous writer. The materials that you receive with your desert pass discourage trailers.

Regards Jim
AnswerID: 5554

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle,The official word is in our located at the end of our Trip Prep page on trailers. Having done the desert a few times now and being a very experienced trailer user (and knowing that I would make it) I would not bother as it would make the trip much less enjoyable. As for the fact the the SA DEHA do not want trailers in the desert we would not and suggest that you do not take a trailer into the desert.David
AnswerID: 5556

Reply By: Bill - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle,
Crossed the Simpson west to east July 2001. Didn't see any trailers. Saw a number of vehicles having second and third runs at some of the dunes. That combined with the environmental damage and recommendations from so many people not to take a trailer really would make it a very irresponsible thing to do. We also struck rain on the way back. Followed a Cruiser towing just a 6X4 box trailer between Tibooburra and Broken Hill for a short time after the road was reopened. He soon slid off the road with the extra drag - heaven knows what would have happened with a heavy off road trailer!! They're really not suitable for outback travel. Enjoy your trip!!
AnswerID: 5560

Reply By: Darian - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Have had to consider the same question on trailers in dunes....went into much discussion...talked to the rangers at Port Augusta (Desert Parks HQ) .... they made a very sensible arguement against trailers. Elsewhere I have seen evidence in support of their main point - people who get into difficulties dig holes in the dunes with their wheels - as others have mentioned, this limits your opportunity to get a good run up the slopes (can break your suspension in some holes). People then start looking for easier tracks over and then start wearing and tearing on the countryside. If everyoe did it right, everyone would be right ! In support of trailers, spreading your load over 6 wheels does have benefits, but all in all, trailers on dunes seems a bad idea....re Bill's comment....Heavy trailers are not suitable for outback travel ....could be so....but heavy duty off-road trailers are great for outback travel!
AnswerID: 5561

Follow Up By: Bill - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
Darian, I fear you'll change your mind if you strike wet or sandy conditions on outback roads towing a heavy duty off road trailer, but I guess you'll need to experience it before you realise what a drag they are behind a vehicle in difficult conditions. That's the reason for the recommendation by so many people not to take them in desert areas. Believe me they're right!!
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FollowupID: 2402

Reply By: Darian - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
With respect for the informed comment we have here, I still have to differ with Bill...I'm no expert (and many experts aren't either) but I have towed my HD campertrailer (7 x 5 -swing over tent top - 4 jerries - spare and tools etc.) over Goog's track, through rocky creekbeds, up and down hills, through water and mud on road sections ( but not through extreme obstacles of course). They do restrict some opportunity of course, but you have to live with every formula you settle on. I do think too that people with trailers may have fewer tyre problems than those who choose to put all of the load on 4 tyres (tyres for tyres, that is). . ....but of course, I forgot to say, I tow with a 99TD Jackaroo ! :-)
AnswerID: 5563

Follow Up By: Member-skippyking - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
I'm with Darian on this one. In dunes a trailer probably isn't a good idea, but in most other conditions there isn't much difference if you know what you are doing and look far enough ahead. If the roads/tracks are so wet to be a problem for a trailer, NO-ONE should be driving on them and cutting them up. Thats if you are a responsible person, of course.

Bill, if you have towed a trailer in the bush, then I would consider your point of view more seriously, but you haven't stated anything from personal experience, apart from what you have seen from someone who either didn't know how to drive with a trailer and/or shouldn't have been cutting up the track if it was that wet. And if it was that wet, what were you doing there, making a mess as well?

Darians point on weight distrubution is a good one. A question for those who choose to go with 4 wheels...how much air are you able to let out of your tyres when fully loaded and going over so many dunes as in the Simpson? Can you go as low as you would as if you were on a day trip to a beach? Or do you need to keep tyre pressures up to protect the integrity of your tyre wall? I ask this purely as something to learn from the experience of others, for the day we decide to do a Simpson crossing. In all the years I have driven on our local beaches we are never really loaded up and I find with low pressures and low revs and a steady right foot, dune climbing is far easier than attacking it at speed. Every bump at speed allows a wheel to spin a little (or a lot) and all the following actions makes it harder for the vehicle to keep going forward, and makes it harder for the next vehicle coming along.

A classic example I can relate is the big dune climb out of Yeagarup beach in SW WA. From memory it is about 1 km. You can see the tracks of those who have gone at it fast and those who have gone up steady. I know in whose tracks I would rather follow.

So, what pressures do laden 4x4's run in the Simpson?

Looking forward to learning something

Grant
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FollowupID: 2405

Follow Up By: Bill - Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00
Skippyking - haven't you ever been in the outback when it has rained? The road I referred to was the Tibooburra to Broken Hill road. It had been closed and we went on soon after the RTA vehicle lead the first vehicles out. A Cruiser with a small trailer simply could not continue. These conditions can be found on many roads quite unexpectedly. If it rains when you're there you have to deal with it. If roads are closed you don't go on them (very heavy fines). If you are towing a trailer you can't traverse them. End of story!
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Follow Up By: Bill - Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00
Darian .. also with respect I wasn't referring to towing a trailer on trips such as Goog's Track. Of course you can take a trailer in areas like that. Of course you can go through rocky creek beds etc. But sometimes you encounter situations where a solo 4wd vehicle struggles. Can't you understand that with a heavy trailer behind you will not be able to get through and you'll do heaps of damage trying? For example 12 months ago the Eyre Creek crossing was closed. A temporary crossing was established downstream. A number of vehicles were stuck in it for many hours. Vehicles with trailers could not attempt a crossing. Alternatives? Wait for many days, take a 100km detour or go back through the desert to Dalhousie. Take a tent!! Please!!!!
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FollowupID: 2420

Follow Up By: Member-skippyking - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
Bill, sounds to me like it was a lack of experience or unsuitable tyres. At least they stopped and waited instead of sliding into the scrub. I have driven trailers on wet and slippery dirt roads and tracks (I live on them) and if you know what you're doing and drive to the conditions, you will get through like the 4x4's without trailers. The relevant authorities aren't going to let anyone cut up the track, so it's not a case of trying to plow through bogging mud. Not end of story;~)
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FollowupID: 2463

Reply By: Bob - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
I think we've had the trailer discussion before. As yet, no-one has come up with a plausible explanation of why spreading the load over six wheels does more damage than the same load spread over just four wheels.

On a personal note, I've towed the off road trailer across the Simpson, the Great Victoria Desert and elsewhere without undue difficulty. From a comfort and safety perspective I'd rather have the load in the trailer than in the vehicle or on the roof.

I maintain that an overloaded vehicle is more likely to break, less safe, and less comfortable, than one where the load is spread across to a suitable trailer.
AnswerID: 5569

Reply By: Member - Jim - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
I'm with Bob, Skippyking and Darian on this, I have towed a H/D camper trailer over difficult terrian (the CSR being one of these) and particularly with regard to the comment of spreading the load (a family and gear) over the extra axle makes sense.
We all see vehicles with the rear full and the roof rack loaded up as well, and we see them with broken springs (the result of all of the above).
Admittedly when you have a trailer on you can have difficulties with sand dunes and you may mess the track up, but you don't often see these people with the broken springs and numerous flat tyres, because the tow vehicle is not overloaded.
I haven't done the Simpson myself, but would abide by the rules regarding trailers, even if I think that it could be done easily enough with the trailer.
Regards
AnswerID: 5571

Reply By: Bruce - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
I have been towing an offroad trailer for many years covering tracks throught the the Kimberley, Pilbera and Simpson Desert areas. It is my belief that much of the damage caused to any 4WD road/track is by inexperienced drivers wheather they be towing a tralier or not.
AnswerID: 5573

Follow Up By: Brett - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
Just because you got over the top dosnt make you a good sand driver. I lived on a station in northern SA for 30 years with a lot of sand. I hope to do some traverling in the Simpson soon, towing a off-raod trailer that I bilt with 2 axels spreading the load more.
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FollowupID: 2407

Follow Up By: 4wdau - Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 10, 2002 at 00:00
i think that could be a tad harsh on the inexperienced....."we all" had to start some where. I think that if the term inexperienced was replaced with the word irresponsible everyone would agree with you.
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FollowupID: 2408

Reply By: fred - Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Aug 11, 2002 at 00:00
Did the Simpson West East in July - no trailer - and the dunes were rough
Saw quite a few trailers going both ways
One group travelling East West used half the distance from Big Red to the next dune as runup and hit the dune at a great rate of knots - not sure how they got over others where there is no chance of a runup
AnswerID: 5590

Reply By: michelle - Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00
well i did open a can of worms, this is great the information that we all can acess from our homes, offices etc, on the trailer, i wont be towing a trailer, as i dont need to have one, we have 100 series and cargo barrier and well bulit storage unit and water tanks, with the regard to heavy ladden vechicles and heavy roof racks, it takes careful packing and only taking what you need, i plan to have frozen meal for the 5 or 6 nights out on the simpson, and when i get to alice springs for our next leg our our journey i will stock up,
what would be the tyre pressure for a packed 4x4 going over the simpson , we have done many beach runs, but the 4x4 has been emplty, this is a good point raised.thank you again for all the info, with all this information, it will make our travel allot safer and wiser and we dont wont to be heros crossing the simpson, we have travelled quit a bit and have seen stupit things done with drivers who are trying to show of to there mates. i tread lightly and only leave footprints.
AnswerID: 5611

Reply By: michelle - Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00
well i did open a can of worms, this is great the information that we all can acess from our homes, offices etc, on the trailer, i wont be towing a trailer, as i dont need to have one, we have 100 series and cargo barrier and well bulit storage unit and water tanks, with the regard to heavy ladden vechicles and heavy roof racks, it takes careful packing and only taking what you need, i plan to have frozen meal for the 5 or 6 nights out on the simpson, and when i get to alice springs for our next leg our our journey i will stock up,
what would be the tyre pressure for a packed 4x4 going over the simpson , we have done many beach runs, but the 4x4 has been emplty, this is a good point raised.thank you again for all the info, with all this information, it will make our travel allot safer and wiser and we dont wont to be heros crossing the simpson, we have travelled quit a bit and have seen stupit things done with drivers who are trying to show of to there mates. i tread lightly and only leave footprints.
AnswerID: 5612

Reply By: michelle - Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00
one last word about the simpson, if we the 4x4 driver , owners, travellers, if we dont look after the simpson today
they will control the number of travellers and closes sections like they are donig to places like FRASER ISLAND it is up TO US NOT TO STUFF IT UP FOR FUTURE USE AND FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN, THIS IS FOR ALL THE BEAULTFULL PLACES THAT CAN ONLY BE ACCESS BY 4 X 4 . WE MUST LOOK AFTER AND RESPECT AND THINK ABOUT THE LAND .
AnswerID: 5613

Reply By: Member - Mal - Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 12, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle, I've crossed the Simpson three times. Used 15 psi and never needed a run up. Never had a puncture in my BFG's A/Ts. However, on one trip I snatch-strapped a dope with a trailer up a dune to get him out of the way. From what we could hear on the radio he was stuck on the next dune. And by the way, he said letting tyres down was a nonsence. Mal Try.
AnswerID: 5614

Follow Up By: Member-skippyking - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
Mal, thanks for passing that on. I must admit I was surprised the tyre pressure you use is as low as 15 (assuming you have on a heavy load). Lightly loaded I have used that but you have done it so I bow to your experience. Once on a really bad south coast WA beach we went to 8psi to get out and have been told you can go to 5 if in a bind. As to the idiot, coz thats all you could call him, you had to snatch, it goes to show that some people don't know, or choose to ignore, some of the basic tenets of 4 wheel driving. It's amazing what you can traverse with low tyre pressures and low steady revs and what inexperienced or as Darian pointed out, irresponsible others can't. If everyone lowered their tyre pressures, the dune tracks everywhere would be in good shape and not rutted and cut up. TO THOSE LEARNING ABOUT 4WHEELING - read what Mal has written above - "Used 15 psi and never needed a run up" Grant
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FollowupID: 2465

Reply By: John - Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002 at 00:00
For those of you have crossed the simpson lately......I have a question.
How many trailers did you see left out there?
What sort of Condition where they in?
What type of trailers where they?
Did you take GPS Cords of them?


John
AnswerID: 5630

Follow Up By: 4wdau - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
lol........im guessing your thinkin second hand trailer market :)
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FollowupID: 2469

Reply By: JohnH - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
:)

John
AnswerID: 5709

Reply By: Cruiser - Thursday, Aug 15, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 15, 2002 at 00:00
Hey Mal, you must be kinder than I would have been! If the guy refused to let his tyres down I doubt whether I would have snatched him out. Normally I readily help people but if they refuse to take advice or don't show any inclination to help themselves I might be tempted to just cruise on....... Still, I suppose that would just leave the problem for someone else..... Cheers, Cruiser
AnswerID: 5739

Reply By: Ruth Doyle - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Well, doesn't anyone read through the Archives anymore. Thank goodness for Mal and Cruiser. If you listened on a daily basis to people asking for advice about this question and knowing that no matter what you say they will continue asking someone in town until they get the answer they want - by the end of the season you are totally frustrated and can't wait for the summer to come so that the winds blow the sand dunes back into their pristine shape. As for the tyre pressure debate - those who don't - selfish, lazy, uncaring. Sorry, I don't mean to be nasty (must be getting late in the season and feeling frustrated by the state of the dunes).
AnswerID: 5780

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