Trailers and the CSR

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:13
ThreadID: 33250 Views:2663 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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Hi all, planning on doing the CSR soon. I had the idea to take our camper with us, but after reading this site and other trek notes I realise it doesn't seem advisable, and in fact that you are not allowed to take a trailer through certain parts of the trip. Can anyone who has taken a camper or supply trailer along the Canning Stock Route please offer their opinion?

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Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:25

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:25
I just wouldn't do that to my car or the Canning. We done the canning twice in tents and swags and had a ball. The best trips I have ever done and sleeping under the stars is a nice change to the camper trailer anyway. I think you be glad for not taking the trailer when you done half way.
Have a good time, the CSR is fantastic.

AnswerID: 169027

Reply By: Ross - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:43

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:43
You are clearly not convinced by the advice received or even the fact that it is not allowed.
For everyone's sake, give up the idea, take a tent or swag and enjoy. Campers have actually done the trip but that is why the rules have developed that it is not to be done. Those who have done it have required great assistance and in so doing have made it hard for others.

I will be there later this year and my trailer will stay at home. If you must have the extra comforts then you simply need to forego the Canning.

AnswerID: 169031

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 15:57

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 15:57
There is only one samll section where trailesr are not permitted, & it is easily bypassed.
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Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:01

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:01
Have a look at & check out Jol Fleming's comments on trailers, and TYRE PRESSURES!! (oops, sorry for shouting;-))...

The section through Cunyu Station (wells 2-5, I think) is closed to trailers, but this is easily by-passed... (for a fee of $20.00)...

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Reply By: avidexplorer - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:28

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:28
Appreciate the advice gentlemen. The team we'll be travelling with have decades of hard-earned outback experience between us. Having done the Simpson both ways, the Cape, a large portion of Tasmania, the Victorian High Country and a lot of other trips, I myself know the rigours placed upon a vehicle towing a trailer on an extended trek. I've done more than my share of swagging it, but my weathered old bones simply sek a little comfort these days :)

I'm still not convinced either way, although. Surely there's someone out there who has taken a trailer on this trek and can share their experience?

AnswerID: 169044

Follow Up By: Tony J - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:23

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:23
We travelled the CSR last year and I left the camper at home after listening to all the who-ha from people without first-hand knowledge of the CSR AND properly set-up OFFroad trailers.

If you have a very good offroad trailer, have experience and ability towing it in conditions similar to what the CSR has, have the ability and spares to make any necessary repairs if needed and have enough time, then - go for it.

I was a bit dissapointed in that the CSR is not all that hard. Matter of fact, it is not hard. Only remote.

We swagged it, which my wife and I did enjoy, but if we were going again I would tow our camper. Just take your time, have some common sense and enjoy. And yes, you'll have to skip wells 2 to 5.

We have seen some broken and left behind trailers in all our travels and guess what - they have all been garden variety trailers. Some modified but definitely NOT offroad type. These are the ones that break, not the properly designed and built offroad types. Yes I'm sure these can break too, but so can Patrols and Cruisers and Landrovers etc., get my point?

Sorry if I sound a bit miffed, but I get tired of hearing 'you cant do it' and 'you'll do too much damaged to the track' and so on from people without experience. We have often talked to others at camp fires and hear these arguements from those who claim to be knowledgeable and then we ask 'so you left yours at home?', reply 'nope, don't own one.', what sought did you have? 'Never had one'. bla bla bla!!!

One thing with towing a trailer, you don't have to overload your car which has to be safer for the occupants and easier on the track.

Come on people, why do you go to these places and do this offroad touring thing? If you want to feel 'as safe as a bank', take a guided bus trip to the Gold Coast for your holidays! We all do these trips for all sorts of reasons and one is, if we are to be honest, is a little bit of risk in it, to feel we have accomplished something and come through it, a bit hard and a little bit dangerous but hell, we came we saw and we conquered, Joe Blow back home would'nt/couldn't do this! It's our sense of adventure.

I'll get off my soap box now.
I bet I've stirred up a hornets nest.
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:44

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:44
Tony, you are a naughty boy for being so provocative and you should go take a cold shower to rid yourself of such thoughts. LOL
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Follow Up By: V8troopie - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:13

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:13
Tony, you make some good points but what you can do with a trailer in the desert does not mean sombody else can do as well.
I have been up the Canning from well 1 to 50 and I would not dream about taking a trailer of any kind.
Because I prefer to travel as a single vehicle.
Getting unstuck on top of a multi humped dune ( I have, stopped to take a pic and dug in when the time came to move on) is managable as a single vehicle. With a trailer, there are complications. You cannot push the trailer anywhere in soft sand. You can't tow it forward on a rope unless it has got a mighty big jockey wheel and the run is fairly straight. You can't back it ( at least I cant think of a way how).

So, you can be stuck up there and nobody can pass either as there often is only one way to cross the dune.

To tow a trailer safely might require a trailerless vehicle up front and another at the back to make sure there's a way to get towed out.

You'd never get stuck in the first place? Well, if you say so and luck is with you and it holds for the 900 odd dunes you have to cross.

I would not be game to advise a stranger to tow a trailer up the Canning. Let him do the trip first without a trailer, like you did, and make that judgment for himself.
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Follow Up By: Tony J - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:21

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:21
OK, You made some good points V8troopie, so since I opened this can of worms I'll reply where I can and not run away.

Travelling as a single vehicle is great. Most of our (wife and I) trips are done this way. At least we start off as a single vehicle. We usually me lots of great people along the way and even meet some terrific people that we will travell with for a while.

Even though I wouldn't advocate relying on someone to come along and help, they usually will and do. Some of the best people you can meet are the ones that stop and help without prompting. We always stop if it looks like someone is in trouble and (maybe a bit of ego here - but I'm being honest) I get a buzz out of helping someone out. The CSR in tourist season is very busy, lots of vehicles.

I haven't got stuck on the top of a dune. I pick my places to stop carefully, this comes with the experience I was talking about. I have stopped progress (bogged) travelling up a dune. I didn't dig the vehicle in in some bravo attempt to keep going forward, I reversed back down and took a different approach - not just direction. Yep, Iv'e been bogged - not ashamed to admit that.

You can tow/winch (like with a rope) a trailer over a crest. Replace the jockey wheel with a leg with a 'ski' on the bottom instead of the wheel. Works a treat.

A trailerless vehicle up front is good practice in difficult terrain - I agree.

Avidexplorer said: "The team we'll be travelling with have decades of hard-earned outback experience between us. Having done the Simpson both ways, the Cape, a large portion of Tasmania, the Victorian High Country and a lot of other trips, I myself know the rigours placed upon a vehicle towing a trailer on an extended trek." - Sounds to me that he won't be travelling alone, has had some experience towing the trailer and is travelling in the company equally experience outback travellers. Like us, he no doubt has heard all sorts of doomsayers putting down trailers and those who tow them. Sounds like he wanted a bit more informed info on the possibility of towing on the CSR.

Sure, some like to tent it sometimes and swag it - we still use the tent and swag on some trips (and love it) but now not because someone said 'don't do it with a trailer'. It comes down to personal choice for that particular trip. All I was saying is that yes, it can be done and if the setup is right and the driver has the experience then it is not all that difficult. Granted, the conditions can change very quickly so we adjust to them. If the sand is very hot and loose on the dune rises, then break camp early and travel in the cool of the morning, if its pouring rain that can be a blessing on sand, on that black gunk you might have to stay put a bit longer.

There seems to be mainly two groups - those that are too cautious and those that are too reckless - not many in the middle ground. Probably due to lack of experience and or lack of confidence. I have seen some pretty silly things and did some silly things early on. Every time we go out on a trip I learn something new. One should never stop learning.

"I would not be game to advise a stranger to tow a trailer up the Canning" - Yep, you're right, maybe I erred when I said 'go for it'. What I should've said is maybe - don't be put off by people telling you not to do it, if you have the experience and correct equipment and are prepared to take responsibilty for your decision - then it can be done without too much difficulty.

Thanks V8 - its good to have a reasonable debate with facts and not just "I heard" or "a mate of a mate said".
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:27

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:27
QUOTE: Replace the jockey wheel with a leg with a 'ski' on the bottom instead of the wheel. Works a treat.

Put a shovel under the jockey wheel & tie the handle at the coupling ....... works even better!
FollowupID: 424500

Follow Up By: Eric M - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:38

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:38
I did the CSR camping out in a Pathfinder in company with 4 other vehicles saw a couple of trailers that came to grief the 1st one didnt make it past Well 50. The corrugations on the CSR are 57 to 72 centremetres apart with the ridges up to 11 centremetres our tyre pressures were between 20 - 25lbs. Remember your tyres are the first defence in shock absorbing. Travelled 18ooKs on that tyre pressure. I would not contemplate taking a trailer regardless of experience. Most times speed between 15 to 30 Ks on the corrugations. Then you have over 1000 sandhills that you have to pull a trailer over a lot of weight and extreme exertion placed on your vehicle. $2,500 +GST to recover vehicles or trailers on the CSR. A trailer maybe comfortable to sleep in but it is a lot more uncomfortable if you are track side for days. The damage to the Pathfinder bushes on rear shocks, and the rear door catch broke through vibration, which we welded back on. On the CSR for 21 days including Calverton Ranges out through Sunday well.
Ericm WA
FollowupID: 424502

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:41

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:41
I suggest you work backwards from the position of a failure with the trailer and what options are available to you. Are you prepared to leave it behind so as not to inconvenience others travelling with you, do you have the resources on board to fix/repair significant breakages, what other gear will you need to transfer to your vehicle...will it fit??, is your vehicle up to the task with more demands being placed upon it to get over some substantial sand dunes. Extra fuel consumption and need for more fuel to be carried etc etc. If you want to have a relaxing holiday with less to worry about I suggest you leave it at home. Plenty of horror stories out there not to mention the damage done to dunes by ill prepared drivers towing trailers.
AnswerID: 169077

Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:03

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:03
And do you want to stuff up some other persons day by making a cutup dune worse or holding people up by being stuck in the middle of a track?

If camper trailers are not permitted on a track why would anyone want to be so bl**dy minded to say that they know better. Just like someone who can't get through a hole sitting there wheel spinning and digging a deeper hole for someone else to get stuck in. Bite the bullet and be a good example to other 4 wheel drivers.
FollowupID: 424417

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:26

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:26
IM with Kiwi Kia.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:37

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:37
Trailers are permitted, it is only one section of private land that bans them.
FollowupID: 424465

Follow Up By: Gu_Patrol - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:22

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:22
Wheel spinning and digging a deeper hole can be done by a car without a trailer too.
FollowupID: 424478

Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 16:01

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 16:01
Buy the Canning Stock Route 3 DVD set available from this site & you will see trailers doing the Canning first hand, doesn't look too bad at all.
Common sense must obviously prevail, you will need an above average CT, a lot are little better than garden trailers with tents on the top, I have a Track camper trailer & would have no qualms about doing the CSR with it.
AnswerID: 169110

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:08

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 19:08
Jeff I love the way you carefully worded your question asking for advice from people who have specifically towed in the desert & got a heap of answers from many who have little idea if any with no real expertise at towing on the Canning at all :-)
The Facts are yes it's possible & yes you are allowed.
The 1st section from wells 2 to 5 is closed to trailers. This is because the land owner believes the creek crossings are too sharp to tow & for many low slung long draw bar trailers he's right. For something like a TVan it would be no problem but a blanket ban had to be applied to be even. Take the detour via Cunyu.
The next concideration is the sand conditions. The last time I went up the whole lot could have been driven in 2WD as the sand was very firm but it's not always like that. Given an extended hot period that dries the sand out & strong winds or following alot of traffic some of the dunes (particually the double headed ones) can give trailers a headache. This is easily rectified by having a suitable tow vehicle with straps ready in front minimising any delays.
Overloading is one of the biggest causes of breakdowns on the Canning. A trailer can actually help by sharing some of the load however don't be tempted to take all the luxuary's just because you have additional space. Pack light!
The trailer must be a quality unit of good design. The only ones I see left behind are the garden veriety but any sort will have problems if overloaded, driven hard or not serviced properly.
Although the track is not technically hard, experience at towing in sand & the ability to back up for 50 metres in a straight line is important. If you haven't towed on sand dunes before this is not the place to learn.
The tow vehicle must have enough power. A standard 1HZ cruiser for example would struggle in soft sand conditions so the bigger petrols or Turbo diesels are a must. From my observations a 4by with 130+ Kilowatts is suitable.
I can appreciate after spending big $$ on a camper that people dont want to leave them at home particually if the Canning is just one stage on a longer round Oz trip so if you think you, the car & the trailer are up to it then tow it & have a great trip.
Cheers Craig.............
HZJ105 Vic.
AnswerID: 169152

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