Fraser Island

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 11:01
ThreadID: 25005 Views:2167 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Hi there, I'm after info as to whether or not to take our Jayco Swann camper trailer on to the island. I've made a few phonecalls to locals and some say it's OK, Cathedral Beach caravan park says campers that aren't off-road ones aren't allowed. Ours is a tiny bit higher than standard as it has light truck tyres on it. I realise it's a bit of an effort to get off the beach into Cathedral or Dundaburra but we're just going to park it for a few days and tour in the 4x4. I'd love to hear from anyone who has taken a 'non off road trailer' onto the island. Thanks
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Reply By: age - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 13:09

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 13:09
Hi Leonora

I regularly tow an 18ft, 1.5 tonne boat right up to Waddy Point, through the Indian Head blow. The boat trailer is standard with 13 inch light truck radials and standard springs and axle's - truck is a diesel 80 series Landcruiser. Key to it all is have your tyres at the right pressures. Travel from about 2 hours before the low tide so you can get around Hook Point easily. Drop your tyres before the barge to about 26psi (if the sand looks like it is really soft go a bit lower). Follow a good track to the hard sand before the barge ramp, and don't get off the accellerator until the hard sand. The barge operators will guide you up the ramp, and off the other side. When you get to Cathedral, maybe drop your tyres a little further to get over the soft sand leading up to their entry ramp (I drop mine as low as 14psi for the Indian blow). Dont be put off as it is all pretty easy. When you get up there you will be amazed at what you see being towed by (8m boats and dual axle caravans and the like). Have a great trip

PS - is a load of BS that "non off road trailers" are not "allowed" on the Island

AnswerID: 121807

Follow Up By: Leonora - Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:12

Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:12
appreciate the reply. I rang Cathedral and they told me they've nvere had a van that isn't off-road type camp there. Judging by all the replies here, I think it sounds like commonsense will prevail, we'll take the van and take it easy.
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Reply By: Steerpike - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:16

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:16
I towed our 14'6" Windsor Rapid poptop van (with the offroad pack- 15" tyres, etc.) to Cathedral Beach camping area at Easter. We did get stuck at the top of the track into Cathedral Beach. All the comments about tyre pressure are absolutely correct. You need to drop both the car and trailer tyres to get good traction. I ran ours at 20psi all round- Prado and Rapid. However, the dilemma is when you get onto a sand track. When your tyres are at low pressure, your vehicle rides lower, so is more likely to get hung up on the centre ridge.
The wheel tracks can be relatively deep if the sand is soft, and the sand in the middle of the track is at the level which gets "graded" by lower-ground clearance vehicles. Soft-roaders do all the rest of us a big favour by keeping the centre of the tracks planed down so we can drive through cleanly.
My Rapid van had plenty of ground clearance itself, but my Hayman Reese load levelling gear all hung down in the centre. When I ground to a halt at the start of the track at the top of the boards leading into Cathedral, I got out and discovered that my tow hitch, plus torsion bars and chains were about 6" deep in the sand in the centre of the track. I dug them out and removed them. Then, with just the hitch still dragging in the sand, was able to continue. Many thanks to the 10 backpackers pushing. On the way out, I left all the gear off and drove through with just the hitch dragging again.

I'd check your trailer and see what hangs down in the centre, and is likely to drag in the middle of the track. No problems on the beach- just like a highway at low tide.
When we got up to Cathedral Beach, they commented that we were the first people to have towed a van up there.
Happy to offer further comment if you have further queries.
AnswerID: 121840

Follow Up By: Leonora - Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:15

Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:15
we have 15" tyres but not the off road pack but having a good look underneath doesn't look like we can do too much damage in sand if we take it easy
FollowupID: 378136

Reply By: bob - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:43

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:43
Hi Leonora
Last year we took our cub drifta 6 (std version) to cathedral beach. Had no troubles at all except the axle drag marks on some of the inland tracks and the fact Im still finding sand in nooks and crannies.
Drop your vans tyre pressure and take your time and you should have no problems.
AnswerID: 121846

Follow Up By: Leonora - Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:17

Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:17
sounds easy, we'll have to try it and if we have a problem deal with it
FollowupID: 378137

Reply By: Member - Robyn J (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 22:38

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 22:38
Having camped on the Island at least once a year for the last 15 years and towed each time, why dont you just camp down on the beach. If you dont have the shower gear etc and camp between Catheral and Dundaburra you only have a short distance to travel to have showers once a day and the beach is a lot nicer to camp on - lots better views, less people camping on top of you, just try to get a little protection from the wind if you can. Nothing beats looking at the sun rising over the ocean with a cup of coffee in hand or watching the moon rising over the water while having a glass of wine or two.
Enjoy the island and do what they all say - lower tyre pressures and keep the momenum going to get to the hard stuff

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AnswerID: 121859

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 08:43

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 08:43
"Nothing beats looking at the sun rising over the ocean with a cup of coffee in hand"

Oh yes it does mate.

How about watching the sun sinking into the ocean with a glass of wine or three:-)


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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Follow Up By: Member - Robyn J (QLD) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 16:35

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 16:35
Definately have to agree with you have just had 3 months in WA and did just that with a scotch or two or red wine or two or sometimes both.
So if you are on the east coast it is with the sun rising over the water and the west cost setting over the water. With one exception when we were at the Cape with saw the sun rise over the waterat Chillie Beach in the morning and set over the water in the afternoon in Weipa.

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Follow Up By: Leonora - Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:14

Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:14
sounds like you guys do some great trips, we're just starting our 'caravanning stage of life' and looking forward to all the great places we've read about.
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Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:04

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:04
Same as above - camped many times both on and off the beach - towed a Jayco Dove. Tyre pressures around 16psi.
Don't even think of leaving the pressures up. You WILL get bogged (even at Inskip).
For soft sand, select low range second gear, and keep the revs up, and never touch the clutch. Simple as that. (yes - I know with experience you can start higher and change down - but the KISS principle is still best).

Take a 12V pump . Reinflate the tyres for the run on the hard sand, up the beach.
and to re-inflate the 4by tyres once camp is set up. For touring the inland tracks I still keep around 20psi in the truck.
Most drivers will stop and help you even if/when you do bog - no major problem.
(Better to avoid if possible - it just wastes holiday time.)
Return the favour to others.
The in-land tracks are narrow, so take care for oncomming traffic, esp tourist buses.
First time there, 20 yrs ago - I was hooked. Still am - Unbelievable place.
AnswerID: 121976

Follow Up By: Leonora - Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:10

Sunday, Jul 31, 2005 at 17:10
thanks for the info, this is a great website, can't believe I only just found it
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