towing on the beach

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 11:23
ThreadID: 20691 Views:4600 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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i am about to tow a camper trailer up to DI point with a misti challenger for the first time.firstly i have been told that it is important to match the wheel track but i am have trouble hiring a trailer with a 1430mm track. any feed back from people towing mismatched wheel tracks on the sand would be appreiated . secondly what prsessure should you run in the trailer wheels.the trailer i am thinking of hiring has a wheel track of 1600mm and an ATM of 750kg
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Reply By: flappa - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 11:48

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 11:48
Its not ideal , but no reason it cant be done.

I normally reduce my vehicles tyres to approx 20 psi on the beach , and the CT tyres to about 25 psi. Mine follows in the Patrol wheel tracks.

I would suggest that as yours wont , you may need to reduce your tyre pressures to arround vehicle pressures (ie 20 psi) , to help with floatation on the sand.

If its still having problems , then maybe reducing the Trailer tyres first (wouldn't go below about 15/16 psi) , may help more then just reducing the vehicle tyres further , afterall , the trailer will want to be making its own tracks (at what , approx 17cm wider).
AnswerID: 99656

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:58

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:58
Friend once said that towing a trailer in sand is like towing a parachute. Our Chall is good in sand but we havent towed the trailer thro sand.
Trailer tyre pressure could be quite low as there is no turning force threstening to roll the tyre off the rim?
Have you got all the recovery stuff?
Please let's know how you go.
AnswerID: 99671

Follow Up By: flappa - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:04

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:04
Just a thought to add to whats above.

Unless you are travelling on virgin sand , its quite likely you will be driving in others tracks anyway , which should provide the extra width you need for the trailer to follow.

If it is virgin sand , then as above , you can reduce the trailer tyres quite a bit because of no turning force , however , given thats the trailer is likely to be following on the edges of the vehicles tracks and wheel ruts , I wouldn't go too low
FollowupID: 357995

Follow Up By: rou - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 10:21

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 10:21
had a great time at DI. the Chall did ok in the sand by itself but the the camper was a parachute alrigth. did not have a hope of getting on the beach by myself. managed to get halfway there and the rear axle just dug down and resulted in the draw bar diging in.we tried to snatch it out with a mates prado but it could not get enough traction/speed to pull me out. in the end we had to join 3 straps together in order to get the tow vehicle on to firm sand to do the job.talked to some locals up ther over the weekend and they tell me it hasn't been so dry and powdery for a long time. we had some rain while on the beach which did make a difference but still needed a tow off the beach.
before i would attempt to do it again i would try to better match the trailer to my car. the one i hired was higher when level so nose down one my Chall and also quite heavy on the hitch.I own a 5.2M glass boat which is better balanced and i can lift the front of the ground with one hand, as for the CT i could only just lift the front of the ground struggling and that was before i loaded it.
you won't know until you go, so do what i did and travel in a group and make sure you are equiped with the right gear.allow time.
once on the beach you will have a ball.
FollowupID: 360085

Reply By: Dazmit - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:59

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:59
You shouldn't have too much trouble - just drop your tyre pressures to around 20 - 22 psi. It is only the access tracks to the beach that are soft at the moment - once on the beach it will be no prob. I towed a 2.7t van through to camp on the beach & it's wheel track was a lot wider than the Cruiser. Had more trouble getting onto the beach than off as I didn't have any momentum coming on to the beach put had some to come off.
Have fun as it is magic camping on the beach up there.


AnswerID: 99683

Reply By: Moose - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 14:17

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 14:17
Make sure you drive the beach at low tide and once through the soft bit at the start the beach itself will be like driving on bitumen. If you get the tides wrong it's going to be very hard work.
AnswerID: 99689

Reply By: MrBitchi - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 15:04

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 15:04
As said above, driving the beach to DI is like driving up the freeway, as long as you do it on low tide. There's soft stuff (very, very soft!!) getting onto the beach at the bottom end but the rest is a piece of cake.
If you're worried about the soft sand there's an alternative route onto the beach. Take the turnoff to the left, just before the beach. Follow it up for a couple of kays, it goes past a camping area (privately owned and run) and then goes onto the beach following a creek line through firm sand. Piece of cake.

Personally I prefer to leave the tyres inflated for beach work. Reduce the car's tyre pressures but leave the trailer alone. Why you ask?? Load your trailer up at home and push it along your drive for a few meters with the tyres inflated. Now deflate to around 15 PSI and do the same. You'll find it much harder to push with low pressures.
Now think of that extra drag applied to the car in soft sand, much harder work for the car and easier to get bogged.
The lower pressure car tyres will compact the sand, the trailer will run in the compacted wheel ruts, producing less drag and therfore towing easier. This is the reason you should try to match the wheel track between car and trailer, regardless of tyre pressures.

Enjoy the beach.....

Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 99702

Reply By: Dazmit - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 16:21

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 16:21
John is correct in that usually the 2nd or 3rd cutting access tracks are quite firm ,however since last October & up to a couple of weeks ago they have been quite soft the times I have been up - still it shouldn't be a drama with only 750kg on the back.


AnswerID: 99728

Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 16:56

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 16:56

We regularly take our camper with us to Double Island Point.

As the other guys have said, you won't have any problems on the beach if you go towards low tide. The cuttings can be a bit chopped up at times but we find when towing our camper we select low range in our Frontera and keep the momentum up to get the job done. We drop our tyres down to 25PSI in the car and camper and this works well. Our camper also is set at the exact track width as the car so this is great.

One thing I see in this area constantly though is that people don't leave a good interval between themselves and the car in front when doing the beach cuttings. It can be a real bugger to be in powdery sand with your camper in tow and to suddenly see the car in front bogged to the axles and you have nowhere to go.

It is a great spot with kilometres of marked beach camping and also a great spot at Freshwater.


AnswerID: 99738

Reply By: Rod - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 17:06

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 17:06
Was there on the weekend. Getting onto the beach at the first cutting with a CT would be no prob. Lots of vehicles stuck at the DI cutting because they weren't waiting for the vehicle in front to clear the track before starting their run.

Getting off the beach at the first cutting could be fun with a CT, but not impossible.
AnswerID: 99739

Reply By: Dodgy - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 19:45

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 19:45
i agree with all the opions above.. track 3 is definately the go when in doubt.(turn left before hitting the beach on the track towards the beach) tire pressures as people have mentioned.. about 20psi.. i'm not sure about camper pressures though.. i tow a cape york explorer which is pretty heavy and have had issues with hard tires and tires at the same pressure as the car (20psi) so give hard tires a try first and work it out from there.. you'll soon see what works for you.. a nice place to camp.. have done DI for years now.. just watch the sand as we haven't had rain for some time so the sand will be powdery..enjoy your trip.. Regards.. Dodgy

Keep your whistle wet and your powder dry.. ;-)
AnswerID: 99776

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