2009 Cape York Trip

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 15:13
ThreadID: 64852 Views:2885 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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We are planning a trip the the cape leaving cains around the 4th of June 2009 just wondering what peoples opinions are about towing a camper trailer.

Looking for anyone current experiences that may have traveled there in 2008.

Thanks Nev
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 15:33

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 15:33
G'day Nev,

We visited Cape Melville last year a group of four towing camping trailers. This is the third time for us and I can say that there should be no problem providing the trailer is a genuine off road variety (ie not a garden type). There are lots of advantages in taking the trailer and very few disadvantages.

Let us know where you are planning on visiting to give you better feedback.

Have a look at my blog photos to see what the roads are generally like going to Cape Melville anyway. The trip is punctuated by corrugations - lots of them.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 342870

Follow Up By: Nev Davis - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:04

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:04
Thanks for you speedy rely Beatit

We hope to go from cains to cooktown and then taking the OTL up the the tip.

FollowupID: 610598

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:13

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:13
There are a couple of ways to Cooktown from Cairns but the one that gave us the most pleasure is the Cape Tribulation track. We did this with our trailers so no worries. Just be mindful that any rain can make this track very greasy. We stayed a couple of days at Wujal Wujal and the fishing there was good. There are plenty of places to stop and look.

The OTL was good for us as well we have used the diversion road as well but there are lots of corrugations. The OTL is more interesting but some of the crossing and log bridges have you wondering if you should - just use your common sense. Don't do Gunshot unless you are very confident.

BTW be croc smart and don't let them have you for dinner.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 610599

Reply By: Grungle - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:01

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:01
Hi Nev,

We have been twice - once on 2002 with tent, then again in 2007 with an Aussie Swag Camper in tow.

If you are comfortable taking your camper in the rough stuff and have sufficient recovery equipment to extracate yourself then I would recommend taking your camper (this would be to travel the OTL of course and not the Bypass which you could do on in a GoGo Mobile). WTR to recovery equipment, this would mean a working winch with gear such as extension straps and block (pulley) for double line pull. Take it slow, pick your line, walk hard sections including water crossings and use a spotter if possible.

We love going to the Cape and am thinking about going again this year. If we do it will again be with the Aussie Swag Camper.

I am still writing our trip report for the 2007 trip but our 2002 trip can be seen on our website -> Cape Your 2002

AnswerID: 342882

Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:33

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:33
Gaday Nev. What type of tow vehicle & camper trailer do you have?
A Jaco Dove behind a Ford Falcon or possibly a Track T Van behind a 200 series? Makes a big difference to the rely ;-)
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 342889

Follow Up By: Nev Davis - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:52

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:52
Hi Craig

We will be towing a 7x5 5star off road camper trailer behind a 80 series turbo deisel cruiser(hopfully better then taking the ford falcon Ha Ha)

Thanks Nev
FollowupID: 610614

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 19:09

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 19:09
Gaday Nev. The T/D 80 is one of the better tow vehicles so if well maintained should have little problem there. I did a quick Google of 5 star campers & found no specific models so in general...... True offroad campers with reasonable clearance, full sized tyres & an all angle tow coupling (eg:Treg) are Ok on the Cape. Avoid overloading as many trailers fail on the rough corrugated roads particually at speed. (The crests often come up pretty quick)
Pay attention to dust sealing. Slipper leaf springs are not recomended & if the trailer has shocks all the better.
The Frenchmans track accross to Chilli Beach is a bit narrow in places for long trailers.
The OTL has 20 or so creek crossings that would be challenging with a trailer but nothing 10,000 others haven't done already.
Take your time & have a great trip.
Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 610625

Reply By: Member - Marco T (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 18:15

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 18:15
Hi Nev,

I did the track in 2008 and had a great time. I did not tow a trailer but many did and had no problems. I was warned about the frenchmans track to chilli beach, i would check with others if this is possible with a camper. The plan of attack is to goto chilli beach from the south and exit to the north, this made some river crossings easier.
It is also far easier to tackle the OTL from south to north NOT north to south.

Expect large corrugations even on the OTL and large wash outs on some crossings. I had a spotter on some of these to make sure tyres landed in the right spots. Overall it was a real adventure and would do it again in a heart beat.


AnswerID: 343240

Reply By: deserter - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 13:36

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 13:36
When I did my Cape trip I found the site listed below an invaluable source of info. As well as exploroz of course.


AnswerID: 343408

Reply By: cookymonster - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 15:01

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 15:01
If you paid all that money for the trailer - USE the damn thing. Make it work for its money.

You should have no problems as long as its rated for 4x4 use. I would personally run the tyres at low psi though - tyres do most of the suspension work.

You would also be stressing your vehicle less by transferring more weight to the trailer, rather than having a heavily loaded vehicle - stress on drivetrain, suspension, etc.
AnswerID: 343421

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