Trailer Recovery

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 22:54
ThreadID: 65221 Views:3258 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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I got bogged towing a box trailer in sand, used the air bag & moved forward, then the trailer sank, disconnected trailer moved vehicle X trail to safety.

Moved contents of trailer to rear end & raised front, used snatch strap to pull trailer forward. A lot of work in 40C , any body who has done this before & any suggestions for a next time & yes tires were low.

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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:04

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:04
Were all 6 tyres let down? If so, to what pressure?

Depending on the softness of the sand, it can be necessary to drop pressures down as low as 8psi..... of course this is by trial and error.....

If you find that 16psi is still not getting you through, then go down to 12 and then, if need be, down to 8. I've heard of vehicles going as low as 4psi....!!!!

Of course, the lower the pressure, the more careful you need to be about cornering; resulting in rolling a tyre off a rim.

A lot of people make the mistake of not reducing the trailer's pressures.... you MUST do this too or the trailer will want to sink and act as an anchor on the vehicle.

Of course, the best way (not always possible) is to weigh up the risk beforehand and then avoiding that section of sand altogether.


AnswerID: 344842

Follow Up By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:39

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:39
The X Trail were 18psi & trailer 10psi
Just looking for experiences

Thanks Roachie
FollowupID: 612829

Reply By: rumpig - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:06

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:06
Maxtrax!! (sitting back waiting for people to start whinging about the cost of them now after they have read this)

i've gotten bogged in the sand towing my caravan off the barge at Fraser Island (my fault as i had pumped my tyres back up to 25 psi), chucked Maxtrax under the rear wheels of my fourby after clearing a tiny bit of sand away from infront of all 4 tyres (i stopped before burying the vehicle), selected lowrange 2nd gear and drove straight out.
if i'd gotten bogged abit further up i would have just chucked the Maxtrax back under and gone again, much easier then unhooking your trailer.
AnswerID: 344844

Follow Up By: rumpig - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:07

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:07
forgot to mention i let my tyres down to 16psi before doing all of the above
FollowupID: 612826

Follow Up By: Flywest - Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 02:59

Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 02:59
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Defamation Rule .

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FollowupID: 613000

Reply By: Member - shane (SA) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:22

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:22
I towed the van ( 1.600 KG )through the sand hills at davenport creek with no problems. the van tyres down to 6psi and the patrol 10psi. Slow and steady and you will not have any problems. Just in case I have a type of curved plate with a ball welded to the top and an eye for a shackle on the front for towing. Have not had to use it so far.
AnswerID: 344846

Follow Up By: Welldone WA - Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 00:34

Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 00:34
If you can still find one , a old plough disc is perfect as a tow ball can be inserted through the central shaft hole which fits under your tow hitch making a front skid for your trailer . connect the two shackles together and you have an attach point for you tow rope/cable/chain/snatch-strap etc.
FollowupID: 612996

Reply By: Member - Royce- Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:50

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:50
Sounds like a normal 4wd adventure. Nothing out of the ordinary and all part of the fun!

Carry on as usual! :-]]
AnswerID: 344853

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 08:17

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 08:17
^^^^^^^ What he said!!!



FollowupID: 612851

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:15

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:15
We tow the van up Teewah Beach 18psi all round, no dramas as yet,
just a bit dodgy getting up on to the camp spot through the
soft sand with a bit of a rise.

AnswerID: 344881

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:17

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:17
P S. if things go Pare Shape I roll out a bit of Orange Barricade Mesh
the type councils use, and away we go.
FollowupID: 612862

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 12:21

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 12:21
Not being nasty or anything but an Xtrail would be working very hard in soft sand (which does overload the centre diff and therefore the 4wd system) that asking it to tow a trailer under those conditions would be asking a bit much.
Even fullsize 4wd's will often struggle in such conditions when towing.
1996 Oka Motorhome

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AnswerID: 344908

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 20:49

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 20:49
Hi Peter,

I would be interested to hear why you say that working an auto in soft sand overloads the centre diff. I accept that the transmission could be working hard but what's special about the centre diff ?

FollowupID: 612962

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 21:53

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 21:53
I've never driven an Xtrail but have ridden in a couple, both owned by friends and while I profess to have no specific knowledge of them my understanding is that the centre diff is a fluid coupling and therefore "slips" continuously, running in soft sand for an extended period seems to overheat the transmission. Twice we've been on the beach and both times the transmission has overheated after about 5k in deep sand. Just turned it around into the breeze and wait a while for it to cool down.
Can you lock the centre diff in an Xtrail? most soft roaders can't
Some of the soft roaders just refuse to go anymore when they get hot due to the centre diff getting too hot.
Wasn't talking about auto's, but many do overheat when pushed continuously in soft sand, ask any Jeep owner, they quite often catch fire or the ECU shuts the engine down as it is overheating the coolant.
1996 Oka Motorhome

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FollowupID: 612976

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 06:39

Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 06:39
Thanks Peter, That makes sense, I know what you mean about having to watch the transmission temp in some autos on soft sand.
FollowupID: 613004

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Kerry W (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 12:49

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 12:49
Took my daughter and her friend Horse riding near the 1st cutting at Teewah beach, found a 4By and Camper Trailer bogged to the hilt and 2 other vehicles trying to pull it out - down the beach. They by then were also bogged. Hoped not to get involved cause I had a horse float on and was trying to have a day off with the kids. But they were really going no where.
So as you do.....

...I got involved - I was obviously a bit keen to head off with the kids so I told the guy we would do it right the first time we were going straight up the beach (he actually laughed at me noting the 2 vehicles that were just freeing themselves below him) Grinning back, I gave him a shovel and his mate a tyre gauge got them to drop all 6 tyres to 12PSI and clear at least 1m of sand from in front of all the tyres, while I ditched the horse float, dropped the Muddies on the GQ (RB30 ) to 10PSI all round, backed up to him and put some Maxtrax under his rear wheels. As I wanted him to get momentum over the sand ASAP
(In hindsight I may have been better off putting the maxtrax under my (diff locked) front tyres as this would have given all the following tyres traction as they went over them - I'll test that theory one day!!).

Gave him a hand held 2 way so we could do-ordinate and I could instruct him. Both went into 2nd Low range and varied our revs between 1200 and 3500rpm and kept moving , slowing the revs when the vehicles sank a little too deep. But not stopping as long as we were moving. Despite popular opinion, Muddies at very low pressures are perfect for this as long a you don't let any one of them spin TOO much in the same spot.

Didn't get a video of this as everybody was involved in the recovery but we pulled him slowly all the way to the top in one long and very slow go. But I have a picture of the slope and the vehicle in the distance. I would say if the sand was any dryer or softer we would have had more trouble but we got some good momentum from the start as we had about a meter of free run before we hit the soft sand.

When you are running around in places like the Simpson Desert you are going up much steeper and softer sand than this all the time, its just that you know you have to run much lower tyre pressures out there.

Maybe I could have hooked the horses on as well!

Kerry W

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Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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AnswerID: 344913

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 16:21

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 16:21
Those who regularly launch boats from soft beaches arrange their trailer spare so that it can act as a jocky wheel.
That way it is easy to tow the trailer on the end of a long length of rope, or what ever.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 344942

Reply By: The Fox - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 at 21:21

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 at 21:21
If your gunna do a lot of towing in sand it is worth a bit of work on the trailer to make it easier to recover.

You need two u shaped 8 or 10 mm round bar.

One welded hanging straight down underneath the drawer bar as close as possible to the front. Guides the snatch strap.

Other one welded underneath right at the back (center) of the trailer hanging down to connect the d-shackle for the snatch strap to. Attach to solid cross member.

When stuck, feed the snatch strap through the front guide, under the trailer, above the axle, to the rear attachment point and attach.

Best to remove the jockey wheel.

As soon as the snatch strap takes any load, the front of the trailer is lifted clear of the sand/mud whatever. no need to shift your load or anything.


AnswerID: 345426

Reply By: Sea-Dog - Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 at 17:23

Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 at 17:23
Sometimes you will find that while your car won't "tow" a trailer through the soft stuff it will "push" it through...

I have seen on occasions where a car towing a trailer has been bogged trying to drag the trailer through a soft patch but has been able to slowly reverse it across pushing the trailer.

I can't explain the why etc but it may be worth giving consideration to before disconnecting and emptying your trailer etc.
AnswerID: 345535

Reply By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 at 20:46

Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 at 20:46
Thank you all for your use full comments, except ozhumvee, I hate when pple reply with no experience, never driven, I've heard but wish to comment.

Just my opinion
AnswerID: 345562

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