To tow or not to tow?

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 01:16
ThreadID: 77019 Views:2932 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi all.

Im off up the coast for some camping soon and wondering if it is OK to drag my 'standard' 7x4 trailer behind me?

I will be doing some camping off the beach and am considering sharing the load into the trailer, but Im afraid that the 'standard' trailer might not cut the mustard so to speak. Im not a mad 4WD nut so I won't be taking it anywhere stupid and I know that the standard hitch doesn't have the full range of motion that a treg type does. Im up for 'simple' beach driving, flat runs, slight hills etc..

Assuming my trailer has similar wheel width as my Prado and is not over weighted, can I???? or should I attempt to take it off the road?

Thoughts will be most appreciative.

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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 06:47

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 06:47
G'day Keith, having travelled in that region with our camper, I don't see any problem with towing a box trailer, providing you slow down for any rough stuff.

Share the weight and keep an eye on things and you will do ok.
AnswerID: 409567

Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 07:40

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 07:40
Keith, I guess as long as your trailer is a reasonably good construction and is pretty level after you have finished loading it, you should be OK.

I have seen badly loaded or lightly constructed trailers break or bend the A frame just where it goes under the front tailboard of the trailer due to the jarring or bouncing of the 4 WD.
Some 4bies bounce around a bit and it puts a lot of stress on the A frame just at that point. Once that bends there, there isn't much you can do about it.
Speed would also have a bit to do with that problem if the road is a bit rough too.

'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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AnswerID: 409568

Reply By: B1B2 - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 14:31

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 14:31
G'day Keith,
As others have said trailers can break. To cover this contingiency why not carry welding rods, welding lens, leads and maybe some steel. You will need 3 batteries to get a good weld. My old Viscount caravan chassis cracked, and I welded it on the road.
Also spare bearings & U bolts are a good idea.


AnswerID: 409621

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 15:36

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 15:36
I will add a little to the above....

Make sure the trailor bearings are in good nick by simply repacking them as not much else can really go wrong if the trailor is not overloaded.
Also high tyre pressures will not give putting stress back on the chasis of trailor so simply lower them a little after all they are part of the suspension also.
When I go onto rough corrugated roads I lower ALL tyre pressures by at least 5psi and much lower when traversing soft sand, on odd occasions I have been as low as 10psi in extremely soft stuff.
I have an off road Caravan with a standard coupling and really do go off road with it and by using the above measures have never had a problem with the actual towing. Just take it easy and drive to conditions.
The standard coupling goes to about 30% which if you think about it is a lot.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 409628

Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:32

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:32
Hi there. All I did with mine was to check everything, as others have said (bearings, springs etc.) replace the old second hand tyres with new light truck tyres (bearing in mind many trailers are fitted with very second hand tyres in the first place), and finally fit the axle below the springs to improve the chassis height (a better fit with the drawbar height of the Prado).
After my experience with a blow out of a caravan tyre, I would not wish to drive out of my front yard with anything short of good tyres.
AnswerID: 409641

Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:39

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:39
PS my trailer was a supposed heavy duty trailer (which means chequer plate floor and that's about all). With ordinary wheels, the axle will be close to the deck (regardless of whether or not it is below the springs), and so I would answer your question as to towing off road by saying careful dirt road and slow travel off road (saying looking for a spot to camp) should be fine. Genuine off road use is really a different matter, with a fairly weak chassis, potentially exposed wiring, and a draw bar that me be a bit prone to flex (or snap!).
FollowupID: 679549

Reply By: Member - Keith B (WA) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 13:25

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 13:25
Thanks all for the responses... Thought I'd tell you how it went.

The trailer went fine.. except that I got it bogged in the sand 20 Metres from the camp site. Had to unload to move it the final leg. problems at all with the towing and such. I let the tyres down to 15 psi and had it almost perfectly balanced over the wheels. It did not stop me from going anywhere the Prado could. That being said a winch would have solved the problem of moving it up the dunes that last little bit, but still we had a lot of fun trying out new things.

Thanks again.
AnswerID: 412520

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