Fraser Island with Camper trailer

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:26
ThreadID: 19767 Views:3282 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Could I get any tips or insights into travelling on the Island with a trailer--any good camp sites etc--any skills Ill need. Going on at Inskip and off at Hervey for 8 days. Thanks David
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Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:42

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:42
David,

Make sure your trailer is sturdy, especially the mounts between the axle and the trailer.

The run inland to Hervey Bay can be quite soft sand if there hasn't been rain for a while which means you have to keep momentum up. This means the trailer will be bouncing all over the place. I know because I did it and ripped the axle off the trailer on one side as it was only tack welded onto the trailer. Luckily I was out of the soft stuff when it let go and a running repair with some chain and shackles got the axle back to where it should have been and I was able to limp back to the ferry.

I still shudder to think of what might have happened if it had let go in the soft stuff.

Cheers,

Jim.
AnswerID: 94870

Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:52

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:52
Dont be scared to let your tyres down and that includes your trailor. The lower your tyre pressure the less strain you will put on your beast. As for your q on maintenance. Make sure you have all your fluid levels correct or changed if they havnt been done for a while. Ensure your cooling system is A1 if the gauge is creeping up a bit now with normal driving think what it will do slugging through soft sand towing a trailor
AnswerID: 94872

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:55

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:55
Oh sorry I have never been to frazer or towed a trailor but at a guess I would start at 15psi for your paj and 12 for the trailor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 14:37

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 14:37
right as I said I havnt been to fraser. the beaches must be hard packed to be able to do those speeds so yea - as they said. Those pressures I mentioned would be suitable for my stamping grounds East of Esperance not high speed work
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Reply By: old-plodder - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 20:32
With this rain we are having the tracks should be fine if you are going soon :-).

Watch out for washouts on the beach though with the waves we have been getting.
The smaller ones from the fresh water running across get worse at the tide goes out, but are not too bad near the waves.

The pajero should be fine.
First trip we did with our then new 85 Pajero was to Fraser. Been a few times since.

Try 20lb or even 25 in the tryres since you will be running at 70 to 80km/h on the beach. Some people go alot faster, just give them room.
Might need 15lbs for the soft stuff at Indian head and other places.

If you have been doing regular servicing all should be OK.
Cooling system does get a work out in the sand, but Pajeros seem to have a large radiator and I have never seen the temp guage go over half way, even with sand or low range work for a few hours.
Only problem I ever had with the 85 was the front drive shaft dropping out of the diff at Moreton. But then it is only held in with a circlip at the diff. If your front CVs OK and not stiff, shouldn't be a problem. That was when I had 260,000k up too.

Sold the old one at 330,000k and now have 238,000 up on the new 96 paj diesel.

Have a good trip.
AnswerID: 94876

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:05

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:05
Running at 70 - 80 km/h along the beach? Is the speed limit not 60 km/h? I believethe Cops actually use Radar Guns on the beach, it is a registered road.

Given the number of people on the beach a more gentle speed is judicious.

Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of speed in the right conditions, but a populated beach may not be the place.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Richard & Leonie - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:03

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:03
I have a picture of a 4WD coming towards me doing about 100ks trying to outrun the plane on top him wanting to land. How would that appear on the police report.
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Follow Up By: jenkie - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:16

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:16
The speed limit on Fraser is 80 km per hour and the police are around. We have even been breathalised on one occassion. If travelling at low tide this speed is easily reached and ok if you are observant and keep your eye on the road ie beach.. With these speeds don't let your tyres down too much and dont make too sharp turns if tyres are down. The speed limit on Moreton is 60km per hour. Last trip to Fraser in September it was very soft getting to the barge and it got a lot of people towing unstuck. Keep up the speed and pick your track before starting and you shouldnt have any problem.
Jenkie

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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:20

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 22:20
I stand corrected.
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Reply By: Member - Mark S (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 20:40

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 20:40
David,

Make sure you are competent at reversing your trailer if towing it on the inland tracks. They are narrow, single lane and usually with lots of loose sand at the sides. Tour buses don't like backing up!!

Better to make a base camp and keep the trailer for beach runs (apart from when you need to get to Kingfisher for the barge to Hervey Bay).

Get Hema's Fraser Island map as it shows the one way roads (e.g., Eurong to Central Station.....handy when towing).

Get a tide chart! Essential for planning beach runs. Watch out for washaways on the beach, stick to the speed limit, keep left & use indicators.....all that stuff.

When are you going? School hols & long weekends are very busy.

Enjoy!

Mark
AnswerID: 94877

Reply By: Rocky M QLD - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:15

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:15
HI Dave.
when are you going? Im leaving on Sat and camping at Teewah beach for a couple of days and then onto Fraser with a couple of poms so it should be fun.As everyone has said,tyre pressures and just take it easy.There are plenty of narrow tracks so take care and be prepared to wait or be really good at reversing,Most people will see the camper and give you a fair go but there are a lot of rentals driven by backpackers who are not really arrogant but just dont understand{I have worked with them for 10 years ]There are a lot of really good place to see and it should be a good trip/What are you driving and I will keep an eye out.All the best and after the rain that is forecast you should have no probs,Hope to see you
regards Dave and a couple of poms in tow.
AnswerID: 94883

Reply By: BigPop - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:32

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:32
David,
We go over to Fraser every May for 3 weeks and have done so for quite some years now. It is a beautiful place and there are plenty of things to see and do so take your time and have a good look about.

On the trip over on the barges usually charge you a return fare so don't forget to mention that you are only going one way or it will cost you a small fortune. Same on your return journey.

If you drop your tyre pressures down to around 18 psi you should be OK - if the going is a bit tough try dropping a few more psi but 18 should be sufficient.

The sand on the track at Indian Head can be fairly chopped up and soft but if you pick your line and keep momentum up you should make it thru OK. Dunno on a Paj but Low 2nd should see you through there OK. Most of the other tracks should be OK.

Watch out for the backpackers in the troopy's as they can be a real nuisance and cause you a bit of havoc at times - so steer clear of 'em.

Just take your time on the beaches and enjoy the scenery - no need to rush/speed - the sand is hard as the highway but be wary of the washouts. Remember the golden rule of travelling on the beaches 2 hours either side of low water. I have mentioned on another post that if the high water is only small and you know what you are doing and where you are going you can travel the beaches at other times but to be sure stick to the 2 hours either side of Low rule and you wonlt go wrong.

There are many campsites you can go to - there are the NPWS ones, commercial ones and just straight beach camping in the dunes. It's all up to you and where you want to go. Have a talk to the Rangers at Rainbow when you get your permits (if you don't already have them) and they maybe able to steer you in the right direction.

Also as has been mentioned - the inland tracks can be fairly rough so take your time on them especially when you are towing a trailer.

Which barge are you taking off the island - as on the the Moon Point - Hervey Bay one you have to reverse on so you can drive off - the Kingfisher barge is different methinks.

Have fun and enjoy your time on there as I am sure you will.

Remember DON'T FEED THE DINGO'S -it's illegal also and make sure your no rubbish/food etc is left lying around or they will get into it. Lock it away.

Have fun and enjoy yourselves.

Can't wait to be up there again in May.

Regards,
BigPop
(I never get lost because everyone tells me where to go)
AnswerID: 94889

Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 01:25

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 01:25
We found travelling behind backpackers on beaches good;

1 - Their gear is packed so high in top you can always see them even over a rise
2 - They don't slow down for the washouts, you just use the amount they bounce/dip to get an idea of what the next one it like.
3 - When we were there, we came across a watercrossing, the water was black as tar, couldn't see how deep it was or what the bottom was like. Just as we sent the 15yr old over (6ft, decided he wouldn't drown) along came a bunch of backpackers in the opposite direction, and with typical Aussie courtesy "No, after you".

As much as people bag them we found them amusing, even had a couple serenading us with guitars one night. People only know what they're told, "here a car, bring it back" is all they get told, I think.

More serious side, we took our camper and set it up as a base at Central Station, love it there!! We only had 3 nights so time was limited, did every track and sight we could on the Southern end, will do the trip again and do the Northern end next time.

Hope you have a great time

Sandy and Steve
AnswerID: 94932

Reply By: Member - Ross (ACT) - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 16:18

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 16:18
David & Jenny,

Agree with the comments from the others. I towed an off road trailer all over the Island several years ago and took our new off road van earlier this year.

I've found 20 psi for all tyres and keep the momentum going in the soft stuff. Hook point normally quite soft but you can ask the barge operator on the way across.

We based ourselves several km's north of the Maheno wreck on the beach. Its also only about a 10 minute drive north of Eli Creek which means you can either get there before the crowds arrive in the morning or have the place to yourselves later in the afternoon.

Make sure you do the southern lakes tourist drive. Several of these lakes are just as good as Lake McKenzie but without the crowds.

Enjoy!!
AnswerID: 94997

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