trailers in the victorian high countrycountry

can I tow a trailer (heavy duty. 1.4 tonne weight, ) through the high country tracks? the trailer has the same track as my patrol; has a 1.8 m drawbar & is 3.9 m long overall

proposing to go: mansfield/eight mile gap/king billy track/Zeka spur/Wonnongatta/herne spur/cynthia range/eaglevale/ dargo/dargo high plains rd/twins jeep track/beveridge statio. I plan to go up blue rag range, but I'll leave the trailer behind.

Have had plenty of 4wd & towing experience; just don't know about trailers up there.


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Reply By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 21:09

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 21:09
hi rick sa
a lot will depend on the patrols power and traction capabilities and whether its dry or wet from the videos ive seen recently some of those tracks are quiet a chalenge without a trailer
AnswerID: 475725

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:14

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:14
Hi mazcan

I drive 4.8 litre auto patrol; locker rear diff; Goodyear muddies; 2.5 " lift.

I'm happy to lower tyre pressures etc - anything to get traction.

Trailer is a beauty to tow & has same wheels as Patrol; it has good clearance & is built tough.

But I hear your warning/caution & I respect it - that's the beauty of this forum, although not everyone listens attentively.


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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:34

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:34
hi hi rick
if your trailer has electric brakes
together with the said muddies then that would be an advantage
but still risky if the whole lot starts to slide down or sideways as 1.4tns is a fair bit of weight pushing the already heavy patrol on a steep descent if it has overider brakes i would be vary hesitant where as the electrics can be activated earlier
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Reply By: Member - Rodney B- Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 21:22

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 21:22
Yes you can but if it goes wrong it will go wrong in a big way. I towed a trailer into Wonangatta last month and it was easy via Abbey yard (have also towed it via King Billy and Zeka) but we left it in the valley as a base camp from there. Hernes spur is difficult without a trailer both up and down ( we had a 60 series that couldn't stop the wheels slipping on the way down Hernes in Low 1) so I would hate to have that happen with a trailer on especially going up as you propose.

Many of the tracks are OK with a trailer for instance down Zeka spur to Wonangatta then up Wombat (quite rough but manageable) Cynthia is fine and down Eagle Vale track and into Dargo and Talbotville. 1.4 tonne is a heavy trailer and you risk major damage on some of the steeper tracks not to mention the safety aspect if you loose it.

Good luck

AnswerID: 475730

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:09

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:09
Thanks Rod,

That sort of experience / advice is most welcome.

is there another way heading to Dargo from the Wonongatta homestead area - i.e. how do I avoid Herne Spur track?

Perhaps that is what you mean when you say out of Wonongatta, up Wombat Range track & thence on to Cynthia range track?

What would your advice be for a suitable trailer route going from Mansfield to Wonongatta ?

I'm from SA and if I can return the favour about SA, NT or WA desert routes, please sing out......



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Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:32

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:32
Hullo Rick

As well as the above advice, another thing to factor in is if you meet someone coming the other way, also towing a trailer or CT.

Which one of you is going to back up until you find a passing spot, if one exists?

This would be quite an issue on tracks such as McMillans out of Talbotville or Jones Road up to Birregun Road which are steep, narrow - basically one and a half lanes wide - and cut into the edge of the hillside with a drop of 100+m into the gully on one side and a cliff on the other.

AnswerID: 475738

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:22

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:22
Thanks Andrew & Jen - I had not factored a major track blockage/reversal issue.

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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:56

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:56
This seems to be the most asked question of late. Can I tow a camper on the ExOz High Country Trek?
I'll break it down.
Towing in the HC is not ideal as the track, river & weather conditions change. While today it may be fine, tommorrow it may not.
Everyone's vehicles & experience are different.
1.4 tonne is a heavy trailer in the hills although the short drawbar will help.
There are alot of narrow tracks where passing/reversing with a trailer is difficult.
Suggest you have a few alternate routes organized should it rain.
Cheers Craig..................
AnswerID: 475741

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:21

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 23:21
Thanks Cackles. Will do on the alternate routes.

I'm open to suggestions from you - you'll see my rough intent from the route.

I'm from SA & while I have twice been through the high country, it was ages ago & without a trailer. Trip is planned to take 3 nights ex Mandfield.

My 1.4 t trailer weight is my figure for desert towing for trips up to 3 weeks; it's the figure I carry in my head.

For this trip I obviously don't need 110 litres water or 3 jerries of fuel or that extra 16 days tucker, etc etc. So maybe I'll be 1.2 or 1.1 tonne.

Anyway, it's all gotta be towed & backed & manouvered & it's a deadmass, for sure. Reckon the electric trailer brakes will earn their keep.

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 00:16

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 00:16
While you're certainly well setup for the original route Rick if you need an easier way accross from Craig's hut you can take the Cobbler Abbeyard track then into the Gatta via the East Buffalo. Out the bottom never tow up Herne Spur rather take Wombat (Seeing you have a powerfull tow vehicle) or up Hart Spur then down Tee Tree to Pioneer Racecourse. When the rivers are right up or it's pouring rain the options are limited & it's safest to head out of Wonnangatta via the Buffalo or take the Divide Track accross to Selwyn & Jeep Track.
That said you'll still have the issue of meeting others in tight spots which can be minimised if you have a non towing vehicle ahead to warn you otherwise luck of the draw. Good luck on Wombat. That would be a terrible spot to meet an oncoming car.
Have fun.....Craig.
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 07:44

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 07:44
Thanks Craig.

I'll take your advice & delete Herne Spur from the route and keep an alternate route available.
I'll be travelling solo & plan to go late Feb/early March.


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Follow Up By: Member - Rodney B- Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 23:56

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 23:56
Crackles is dead right Rick. Another way (I have taken my trailer this way) is Howqua Track/Brocks road and go to Bluff Hut (great views) Then on to Lovicks hut take the Howitt rd to Howitt Hut. Backtrack a couple of Ks then down Zeka Spur into Wonangatta. Camp the day in Wonangatta valley, heaps of camp sites near the old Ruins (leave the trailer) and drive up Hernes spur and back down Wombat to Humphries then back into Wonangatta. This will give you a look at Wombat for your trip up with the trailer and is an intersting drive. Next day (hook up the trailer and up Wombat to Cynthia then you have the choice of going down Station track into Talbotville or Eaglevale track to Eaglevale. Station track is steep Eaglevale track fairly easy.
You can have problems on narrow sections if you meet oncoming but I have always managed to get around without too much trouble. Take your time and enjoy some of the best country in Australlia

Cheers Rod
FollowupID: 750854

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 08:50

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 08:50
Hi Rick
As you are travelling solo I'd suggest you find a good base camp from which you can branch out and cover the tracks you want to do.Talbotville is one such spot or the Buckland Valley etc. Certainly what you are suggesting is achievable if all things are going your way but there are some risky tracks too and the ability to back out of some situations could be problematic. Enjoy the HC, a great place to kick back and have some fun!
AnswerID: 475754

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:09

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:09
Thanks Leigh.

That suggestion of a base camp was starting to form in my mind. That is, get somewhere easy-ish & radiate on day trips from there.


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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:36

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:36

May I give you an example of how things change quickly. The photo and video below were taken in Bendethera in October last year. Absolutely perfectly day with just a few light fluffy clouds while we were having lunch and then not ten minutes later when we were leaving on the Merricumbene track, the storm hit. We had to continue as we did not want to get caught at Dry Creek with a flooded river.

I will not comment on trailers apart from; what happens if you have to reverse a fair way is of concern to me.

Yes you can take them into the hills but you must choose your way carefully.

Enjoy It's a magnificent place.


AnswerID: 475759

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:59

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 09:59
Nice day for a picnic indeed!!!!!

Thanks for the advice about weather & reversing.

I have told my travelling mates to be prepared for the worst in terms of local weather and importantly the rapid fluctuations of local weather.

I usually back almost anything on the mirrors & have no issues; but a slippery track with twists & turns & drainage lines, humps, etc & etc for some kilometres ??? Dunno about that.


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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:48

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:48
Getting into Wonnongatta via King Billy and Zeka Spur should pose no problem for you, a bit rough along King Billl past Bluff Hut.

Getting out of Wonnongatta is another matter, Hart Spur is probberly your best option, less used and not as rough as Wombat/Herne Spur. You can still exit to Dargo via Crooked River Track if you want or go via Talbotville.

Herne Spur is very loose and getting ruts worn in going over the water diversion humps.
AnswerID: 475767

Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:32

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:32
Thanks all.

AnswerID: 475870

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