Trailers On The Simpson

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 12:43
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Hi all, could someone please tell me if there are any camper trailers going over the Simpson this year and if there are any problems with them. We are going with some friends who are planning to take their trailer. I am concerned at some of the threads coming through recommending not to take trailers across there.
Thanks in advance.

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Deanna


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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 12:57

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 12:57
Can you take them? - Yes
Should you take them- In my view, No
Why? In short it aint worth the hassle.
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:21

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:21
Yep! Simply too much hassle for all concerned!

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:33

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:33
It seems from the flow of the thread you speak for the majority.
Thanks for your input
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Reply By: madcow - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:10

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:10
I took mine over back in 2000. It was very hard on the trailer and would I do it again. Defintely not! But with the right approach and ability you can do it. Heaven forbid if something goes wrong with it out there
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:35

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:35
Hi madcow, I guess that it wasn't so wet out there in 2000 either.
Thanks for your response.
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Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:14

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:14
I agree, Yes you can, and no you shouldn't.
If they are your friends, keep it that way, wave them a happy goodbye at the start, and promise to buy them a beer at the finish, but DON'T travel together!!
The sand has been getting softer, the tracks not maintained at all (literally), and the traffic has increased significantly, and trailers make it worse.
Also, we are ALL asked not to by the Parks people, and advised no to by those who know (like the poor sods who have to rescue people every year).
So the fact that you can, must not be taken as a reason why you should.
I've seen on several trips the delays and angst caused by a 4WD with trailer, needing towing over dune after dune, chewing up the countryside.
Don't do it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:32

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:32
Hahaha Tenpounder that's funny ROTFL, in most cases I would agree with you but we have been on quite a few outback trips with these friends and have had no problems, and wouldn't expect any this time around either. you never know it might be us without the trailer that has the trouble.
But in general I know what you are saying, I've seen on more than one occasion people have left home the best of friends for years and came back not talking to each other and it has stayed that way, sad really.
Thanks for your input.
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Reply By: wato35 - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:24

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:24
Don't Do It!
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:37

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:37
There seems to be an echo LOL
Thanks for you reply.

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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:49

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 13:49
As with most other here, I agree don't take a trailer.

Latest Parks Bulletin click here

Although the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife do not ban trailers, the do suggest.....

"The use of trailers in the Simpson Desert is strongly discouraged.
Serious damage can be caused to vehicles and the environment, and difficulties are likely to result".
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:40

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:40
Hi Tony V, thanks for the link, much appreciated.

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Reply By: Member - Brad S (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 14:05

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 14:05
I have heard the recovery cost for trailers is $4000.

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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 15:51

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 15:51
Yes, Brad, and I think, on a good day, that should you have the misfortune to cook your transmission on the tow vehicle while you are struggling with your trailer, then both the 4wd and the trailer can be retrieved for about ten grand (plus repair costs, of course). What worries me is the poor bloke who tries to help: who pays when his clutch goes a couple of months later!
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:43

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:43
Hi Brad S, $4000g, don't like those sums, not surprised though. Back in 2005 when we did the Canning it cost $5000 to get your vehicle out of there if it broke down so I guess that is not a bad sum if you look at those figures.

Thanks for your input.

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Follow Up By: EvanC - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 08:49

Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 08:49
Just for info, it is now $10,000.00 if you need to be retreived from the Canning
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:12

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:12
Hi Evan, we wondered about that while we were out there last month. Who does the recovery?

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 01:00

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 01:00
$10000, geez you would have to look at the vehicle and wonder whether it's worth taking out, before everyone jumps at me I know, and do, take out what we take in LOL.

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Follow Up By: EvanC - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:11

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:11
Hi John,
The Capricorn Roadhouse do the recovery (the same people that deliver the fuel to the fuel dump at well 22 -- or some number close to that - I forget the exact place)
We did not need recovery but passed a couple waiting for recovery and a few days later passed the recovery truck and team.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:48

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:48
Many thanks Evan, that makes sense.
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Reply By: mechpete - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:50

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:50
hi

the year before last when our group was at big red coming out of the simpson we watched a diesel Pajero tow a Kimberely camper over the top on
his second attempt , one of our group had a 100 series with inter cooled/ turbo , diff locks etc took 4 goes to get over . make sure you run very low tyre pressures on ya trailer as well as ya 4wd ,make sure ya trailer is in good solid condition .
mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:57

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:57
Hi mechpete, Did the guy with the 100 series have his tyres down??? I wouldn't have thought he should have had too much trouble with that. I don't think we will be able to do big red this time as it is too wet. Lucky we did in 2008.
Thanks for the reply.
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Follow Up By: mechpete - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:33

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:33
yes he did have his tyres down but , its all about knowing your vehicle
and what gear to use an experience helps .
2001 we did a simpson crossing and again 1 of our vehicles a 100 series
turbo diesel had 4 tries getting over big red he to was not experienced
in driving in sand and not knowing his vehicles capabilities , he had heaps experience on a dirt bike .
mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 01:28

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 01:28
"he had heaps experience on a dirt bike " haha, don't think that experience is going to help him get his 4by up Big Red. lol

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Follow Up By: molzy - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 08:09

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 08:09
we just came back from the ayre creek bypass crossing and crossed over big red on the way back. big red is able to be crossed at present. enjoy!
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 15:21

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 15:21
Thanks for the information molzy. If there is no rain out there from now on it should be still OK when we get there at the end of August.

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Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:58

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 16:58
To balance the discussion I'll play the devils advocate ;-)
A suitably prepared trailer towed by a suitably capable 4by with a suitably experienced driver will cross the desert with minimal trouble & no damage to the evironment. In fact many often cross far easier than some ill prepared souls not towing.
Consideration should include the strength of the trailer, robustness of the suspension, weight being towed, drawbar length, power of the tow vehicle, overall ground clearance, additional spare parts, sand driving & towing experience of the driver. Being in a group recoveries can be done quickly thereby avoiding holding up other drivers.
The desert in the past two years has changed somewhat with the track often deviating or dissapearing altogether on many of the crests so reports from drivers from years gone by including fuel useage or how easy it was should be taken as no longer accurate.
An option if not sure of the suitability of towing would be to go on a test drive to somewhere like the Big Desert or Stockton Dunes for a practice in a less critical area or leave the trailer at Birdsville for example then do a double crossing using a tent.
If your friends have ticked all the above box's I see no reason not to cross with a trailer.
Cheers Craig............
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:11

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:11
Hi there. Well, yes, what you are saying is that all will be OK if nothing goes wrong. I agree!! But sometimes, things DO go wrong, and that is what we are saying to Deanne. And, by the way, shifting 4.5 tonnes of 4WD and trailer DOES take time, and DOES hold up other drivers.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:36

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:36
No I did't say that at all Chris. What I'm suggesting is with additional preparation & experience it's possible cross with a trailer far easier than a novice can without. If we didn't take the chance that "sometimes, things DO go wrong" then you wouldn't drive your car over either. It's just a matter of being able to cope with the situation hence the recommendations
As for hold ups, on our last crossing with a trailer we held up no one yet were delayed ourselves for 45 minutes by groups not towing. I suppose what needs to be avoided is having novice desert travellers towing as not only do they get stuck more frequently they would also take far longer to get recovered.
Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:46

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 17:46
Yes, and on that note, I think we can agree. I might have paraphrased you a bit liberally. But how to stop those who don't want to be bothered with the preparations and learning, and rely on their dinky di manhood and a big right foot?
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:48

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:48
Hi Crackles, You are a brave person!!!!!!, playing the devils advocate. LOL
You have some good information and advice there. Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.

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Follow Up By: Roach"ee" - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 10:41

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 10:41
FWIW I agree 100% with Crackles. I too have traversed the Simpson (east to west) back in 2004 towing our Ultimate Camper behind my 4.2TD Patrol. Would I do it again? No. Why? Because it WAS hard on the whole rig, even though we didn't have to be assisted over any of the dunes.

Tyre pressures are critical, as is driver's ability.

I know all the experts say that trailers should be banned. Although I don't agree with that particular sentiment, given that it is nye-on impossible to "weed-out" the incompetent trailer-towers, then a total ban may be the only way of eradicating the issue.

An alternative might be that those drivers intending to tow their trailer across need to pass a "test" beforehand, by demonstrating their towing competence. But who would do the testing and without legislation, how would you enforce it?

It all just gets too damned hard!!!
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:51

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:51
Devils advocate ? Well your not alone , all the gear ,read weight, people now seem to need crammed into their vehicle means that a properly prepared trailer is kinder to the environment , its better to spread the 4.5 / 5 ton over 6 wheels rather than 4.
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Reply By: rumpig - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 18:07

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 18:07
like has been said already, yes it can be done but i personally would not bother as it makes the trip alot harder then need be, but each to their own.
we just returned from out there a week ago and saw several vehicles towing trailers, speaking to one driver he did it relatively easily, though needed to be snatch recovered once by another member in is group. the other vehicle was a lone traveller and i would not have wanted to be him personally myself when he got nearer Poeppel Cnr. about 10 - 15 klms west of Poeppel Cnr the sand was pretty soft about a week and a half ago, i reckon it will only be getting worse by now.
i have a mate who was out there with us last week and he has towed a trailer across the desert twice on previous trips, he says he'll never do it again.
so in short...yes it can be done, but be prepared for when they get stuck, because chances are they will somewhere, and possibly quite often if conditions are softening up out there.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:59

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 22:59
Thanks for your input rumpig, much appreciated.

Cheers

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Reply By: racinrob - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 18:37

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 18:37
I came across the Simpson in '02 and saw two camper trailers at different locations that had been abandoned and stripped, an expensive way to finish a trip !

Rob.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:01

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:01
Hi racinob, a very expensive trip indeed, hope they were insured.

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 20:05

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 20:05
I found towing a trailer across the Simpson stopped me from becoming airborne while cresting the dunes.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:03

Thursday, Jul 08, 2010 at 23:03
Hi Pinko, I think someone mentioned a "heavy right foot" in an earlier reply LOL

Thanks for your input. It sounds like a positive hahaha.

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Reply By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:35

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:35
There are trailers and then there are TRAILERS. Are you guys talking about a Box Trailer with a Tent on top (Camper Trailer) I would have thought these would be no problem. ?????

I recon some of the bigger so called off road Trailers would be a hassle.

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Wayne B
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:49

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:49
Hi Wayne B, funny you should ask that question, you see we haven't seen it yet so not sure, they recently got it to do this trip with, even a box trailer wouldn't fit on the ferry with a Landcruiser. They have taken all these replies on board and decided to leave the trailer at home. There will be plenty more trips for the trailer.
Thanks for your input.

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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:50

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:50
Wayne,

It doesn't matter if it is a box trailer with big wheels on it or the flashest thing on the market, they all will break if treated harshly (or even not that harshly, we repair a lot of trailers).

DEH rangers remove numerous abandoned trailers from the Simpson Desert annually, & if they can identify the owners, then they get a surprise in the mail as well.

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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 23:50

Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 23:50
Jeff I know what you are saying it depends on the user.

My Camper Trailer (Cameron Camper Trailer) is built like a brick dunny. I replaced the 4 U bolts before I went on a trip and I had to get them off a truck place as no Trailer Shop had big enough dia U bolts the Hubs are Landcruiser. I would be more concerned getting stuck then I would be of breaking anything on that trailer.

On our trip I was more worried about my old Faithful 80 series with 490,000km on the clock crapping itself then the trailer breaking.

But like you said it depends on how you abuse it.

Cheers
Wayne
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 07:03

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 07:03
Dunworkin

Whe people told me it was stupid to take a trailer on the CSR. I listened to what they had to say.

Then I considered a few things

1) I have a track Shak, with very good independant suspension

2) I am prepared to drop tyre pressures. Actual pressures for the entire Canning were as follows...... ( hot) 12 front, 15 rear, and 12 in the camper.
Never had any issues with the big dunes, as the Patrol just ate them up, with those pressures. Never got stuck once... Thanks to me being prepared to drop the pressures, from previous experience, and also listening to a talk from Joel Flemming, at Alice Springs, prior to leaving

We did the CSR in 2 bites .. from well 5 to 33... then out thru the Pilbra, the Gibb, and the Bungles, .....
From Billiluna to well 33 ( in mid sep. when it was hot, and the dunes were very soft)

3) I was heavy ( 4.7 tonnes) but better spread over 6 wheels, tha, 3.5 - 4 tonnes over 4 wheels.

4) fuel economy.. I allowed 4 km/lt, but a more realistic figure was 5.2, as with low tyre presures, I did not need to rev motor over 2000 revs, going up the dunes, and on the flat we just ticked along.

The rest is history

Cheers
Bucky


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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 16:29

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 16:29
Bucky

I rate the Track range of campers as some of the best around, but I had to reweld both stub axles on one a couple of weeks ago as thay had both cracked.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 00:55

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 00:55
Thanks for that information Bucky, it is great. I have taken it all on board and will pass it on to our friends. The tyre pressure should work the same on the Simpson as does on the CSR. We do let our tyres down when we go in the sand and we have never had any problems getting stuck, but having said that none of us have towed trailers before.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 02:58

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 02:58
Jeff

Strange !
OK I will ask just 3 questions

1) Was it an Aussie one ,,, or a Chinese one....(Aussie steel is real not remanufactured.)

Consider this....If Chinese steel is like their hi tensile bolts, then my question is answered.

2) What trye pressure ?

3) What speed were they doing ?


When I am on holidays, or in the rough stuff I do not hurry... It can couse damage

Cheers
Bucky





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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 09:02

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 09:02
Bucky,

Don't know where it was manufactured, but it had a spare stub axle as standard equipment.

They had appropriate tyre pressures for the conditions (mid 20psi).

They weren't travelling at excessive speeds (2 hrs from Dalhousie to here)

The welds on the cracked stub axles looked to be a bit light to me.

I also had to weld up a trailing arm on a Boroma van on the same day.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 09:40

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 09:40
Jeff

Manufacture date and specs will be on a plaque on outside rear of one of the guards.
I have not looked in detail at the later models, but mine is a 2001 model,,,
Me thinks from 2003 or 2005 onwards, they were assembled here, from Chinese components.

Cheers
Bucky





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