Cape York Preperation

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:29
ThreadID: 66947 Views:3575 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Hi All. The time is getting closer and the XTail is taking shape, with the coils done and re shod A/T tyres. Nessasary recovery gear, fridge, compressor, battery pack and invertor, all hard wired to the rear. I am undecided about camping gear, Tent or Camper Trailer. Fully laden vehicle or putting everything including extra fuel, water in the trailer. With more years behind me than in front, I'm looking for a bit of comfort rather than. Can anyone give some guidance on camper trailers? I was thinking JAYCO PENQUIN off or the like. I want to do the SAVANHA WAY and KAKADO when I return Cairns, Before returning home.

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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:39

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:39
All I can advise you is that if you tow a trailer with an X-Trail you will double your fuel consumption. So tenting it may be a better option.

The Savannah Way is doable in the Xtrail but there may be a fw rocky creek crossings to watch out for. Kakadu is mainly bitumen these days

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 18:48

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 18:48
You only have a light vehicle so you need to travel as light as possible, basics only and I'd imagine that even packing very light you would be over GVM which makes it harder on the vehicle.
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 19:08

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 19:08
esarby if your intension is to head up to Cape York then your camping gear needs to be light to match the offroad ability & carrying capacity of your vehicle. With only a 500kg load limit this would mean using hiking style tents & mats & minimising weight where possible. Next option is to go with a lightweight offroad trailer like the Pod Trailer. At under 300kg it wouldn't limit the vehicles offroad ability too much but the additional weight of gear needed on a long trip could be shared between the car & trailer. These also have a camper option which are still under 750kg giving more comfort & convienience. With a car your size I'd suggest not towing any more than 750kg offroad & 1000kg on unsealed roads.
Any Jaco camper is basically unsuitable for the Cape & even the outback range are really a main dirt road camper at best. Being 2.3 metres wide & 5.6 long they are way too big for comfortable outback touring behind a small car. If you want "a bit of comfort" you have the option of roughing it in the more remote areas & going cabins & motels when near towns.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 354750

Reply By: Lotzi - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 19:55

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 19:55
G'day Esarby

I remember somewhere along the line that there was an issue with protection of the bottom of the radiator, may pay to do a search.

AnswerID: 354758

Follow Up By: Member - esarby (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:28

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:28
Yes I was enquiring about some under engine protection, as Nissan seem to think that the Plastic one supplied will do. I am still looking into it. Cheers

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Reply By: On Patrol & TONI - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 21:16

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 21:16
If you really intend doing the Cape with that car & trailer I might suggest you think about towing the trailer to somewhere like Elliot Falls and set up camp there, this will allow you to unload most of the heavy stuff and leave it in camp and then drive the near empty car over the North & South telegraph track as day trips. Then continue up the development road bypasses back to camp & to the Jardine ferry and beyond, then repeat the same exercise at some where like Seasia for the last leg to the tip.

You can do the southern end in the same way by camping at Bramwell station or Bramwell Junction roadhouse. That way you can do the hard stuff without the extra load of the trailer. JMHO.

The Nth & Sth bypass roads should not present a huge obsticle to your rig.

Caution: Nolan's brook (the last crossing before the Jardine on the Tele Track) & the Pascoe river going out to the Iron Range N.P. MAY be just a bit too deep for the XTrail. Use Caution.

MM me If you want more info.
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Follow Up By: Briar Tuck - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 08:19

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 08:19
I would steer clear of Nolans brook & the Pascoe full stop ! in the XTrail. Don't even consider it.
FollowupID: 622921

Reply By: Member - Netnut (VIC) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 21:23

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 21:23
Hello Esarby,
I'm like you and wanted to travel with the comfort of a camper trailer on a six-week trip to North Qld. I took my medium-weight camper only as far as Cairns and then I tented to and from the tip of Cape York. This enabled me to go places I couldn't with a trailer in tow.

The only trailers I saw beyond Lakeland were robust offroad campertrailers built to withstand the most challenging of roads, especially the corrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrugations and pulled by large four-wheel drives. I left my trailer at Ellis Beach Resort north of Cairns on the road to Port Douglas. I was glad I did for I saw folk fixing problems with their trailers (including boat trailers) along the wayside; chiefly tyre and spring problems.

Travelling light on rough roads with a light vehicle is the way to go. Just take a basic camping kit. You won't need to load your vehicle to the gills - extra fuel, water etc. - as there are plenty of places along the way where you can purchase fuel, water and food. Buying grog is a different story!

If you do decide to go with the camper trailer idea, why not visit and ask for advice from an X-Trail owner who also tows a trailer.

The latest issue (131) of Australian 4WD Action magazine has 45 pages devoted to reviewing a wide range of camper trailers: the Annual Camper Trailer Buyer's Guide. There may be a copy left somewhere otherwise you could find it in a library.

Enjoy The Cape experience; take a fly veil !

AnswerID: 354773

Reply By: Member - Coyote (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:16

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:16
Just so you can hopefuly make an informed decison for yourself.. understand this about CY... If you are driving to the top and back long the main track.. you don't need a 4WD, you just need a car with heavy duty spring to handle tohe corrugations.. ie the road is flat just rough. (no difficult creek crossingor mountain climbs etcetc.. so the trailer you tow would need the same.. . if you want to go alongthe Old telegraoph track or some of the 'out of the way areas" then that is when you wil need "off road" cpability and will need same for trailer etc.. in short.. if you are ehading up the road then go the trailer and make sure ift has Heavy duty springs and mounting points for the same... but lighter is always better.. some take the kitchen sink and get away with it, others don't and other regret not taking more stuff at times..
AnswerID: 354844

Follow Up By: Member - Coyote (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:20

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:20
BTW. I noticed yio have a roof rack.. why not buy a lightweight carry rack for it and throw some of the light weight but sapce consuming stuff up there like your tent etc (make your it is light up there as it will very quickly ruin your day if you are top heavy and/or over load the rack). perhaps also consider taking your spotties off or at least getting covers as they are likley to get stone damage and/or rattle loose for no real gain unless you plan to do night driving

Nice looking Xtrail BTW..
FollowupID: 622929

Follow Up By: Voxson - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:08

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:08
Howdy,, Going anywhere this year?
FollowupID: 622975

Follow Up By: Member - Coyote (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:32

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:32
Hey mate, unfortunatly no.. not in my Patrol anyway. I'm off overseas to the Middle East for 4-5 mnths on Monday though.. maybe I can buy a Tvan when I get back.. What about you, still got the ST-L? or did you manage to sell it?
FollowupID: 622987

Follow Up By: Voxson - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 22:37

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 22:37
Still got it...
I will use it till the living end now..
Middle east eh???
I would like the money but i dunno about the locals...
Try and video some of those mad arab 4x4 nuts on two wheels driving down the
On a more serious note,,, whats the missus think of that? lmol.
FollowupID: 623097

Reply By: Member - esarby (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:09

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:09
Thanks Guys for the info. I did say that I had OME coils all-round. The X trail ST L has a 2 ton tow if the trailer has brakes. I do intend to miss the telegraph track, From what I have heard and seen on DVD's, that would be the best way of wrecking it. After travelling most of Oz, this is one place I want to see. I looking at a Aux fuel tank as I do not like to carry fuel in the vehicle. I would be looking for a heavy duty trailer. Regards

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