opinion please - can I take my camper trailer on the CSR?

Hi all,

I know this is going to get some strong opinion so please do as I want to hear it.

Q - Can I / should I take my camper trailer on the CSR? (A Discovery 4 and a Kimberley Kamper) I think they are capable.

Q - Most suitable direction if towing ie. North - South or South - North?

What do you all think?

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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:38

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:38
Hi zigdog
Yes you'll get strong opinion for sure.

The only section of the CSR where trailers are not permitted is between Wells 1 -5. Its the Stations owners right being invoked.

Now as a veteran of numerous trips up and down the CSR and the owner of a suitable off road camper, here’s it is from my point of view.

It wouldn't take a camper trailer, no way on this earth;
the corrugations the big holes part way up and on top of dunes caused by previous drivers with or with our without trailers will cause many problems
Including being forced to reverse down the dunes and try again
then there’s damage to the trailer and it contents by constant corros, holes. washouts over 1800 kms
What about pressures and stresses on the draw bar.

You’ll soon tire of the above and wish you either weren’t there or took a tent. You’ll have a fair more enjoyable time with a tent.

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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:47

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:47

I would also agree with Phil.

The CSR is best done with another vehicle and swag.

As far as direction goes, I have done all 7 trips south to north but it does not really matter. It is still the CSR.

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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:42

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 13:42

You most certainly can take your camper on the CSR.

How it will all end up is another thing altogether.

North - South or South-north is a bit like Heads or Tails - always a winner if call it correctly.

Make sure you post your experience on the Forum so that others may benefit.

AnswerID: 479277

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:05

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:05
Hi Zigdog

While many do take their trailers, the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council request that people don't. I have travelled on three kilometres of the route, but if going further, i would respect the request as shown hereunder.


Plan to use your swag or tent and leave your camper trailers at home. More than the usual wear and tear caused by travellers towing trailers is of great concern to our fraternity and the locals. Part of the attraction of this route is the challenge of driving through such a vast wild natural area. The track is not maintained and for the few who drive it each year this great experience is being lessened by track and roadside damage caused during attempts to haul trailers over dunes in particular. Nobody wants a highway through this area but it does need suitably set up vehicles to traverse its challenges. With improved durability in camper trailer design, the track is now the weak link rather than the equipment. The damage caused by towing trailers highlights that these are not appropriate for this route."

From Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council


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Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:09

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:09
Just my opinion, no I wouldn't take a trailer. We did the trip about 14 years ago north to south with a couple of 1HZ powered (poetic licence..lol) Landcruiser utes without any dramas. We only met two vehicles travelling south to north with trailers and both said that if they did the trip again they would leave the trailers at home. They were only carrying extra fuel and water on the trailers. The dunes did not seem to be presenting any greater problems back then for travel in either direction. The corrugations were a different matter however and I have heard they haven't got any better.

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Follow Up By: 3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:07

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:07
I have tent swagged it twice and had a hassle free experience both times. I have seen people towing campers constantly putting themselves and the equipment under pressure - and not enjoying it and using up a lot more fuel.

I reckon campers on the CSR are a dumb idea.

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Reply By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:24

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 14:24

I have made two trips along parts of the Canning. I won't buy into the argument about whether you should take trailer, I'll leave that to others with more expertise.

As for direction of travel, I have travelled in both directions and the feeling is that the north side of the dunes are easier to climb. More an issue for me if I had a choice would be driving into the sun every day for a couple of weeks as it is quite low in the sky at the time of year most people are on the CSR. That would be for me a good reason to go north to south .


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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 15:10

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 15:10
We have been on the CSR in two different vehicles, both time travelled north to south. We took our camper to Newman on the last trip and left it there, and did the CSR with tent and swag. Much easier on the vehicle and the track.

Meet a couple of vehicles with campers at Durba Springs, one a KK and had a lot of damage to the water tank and rear of the camper. Yes your vehicle and camper are proberly capable, but I reckon leave the camper, do the trip then pick up your camper when you finish.
AnswerID: 479288

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 17:46

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 17:46
Don't take this personally Ziggy but I 'm begining to think anyone who needs to ask on a public forum if they have the equipment & skills to do any remote trip probably shouldn't.
While Kimberly Kampers are a quality unit, the very long draw bars can cause some rampover issues.
Sand conditions change from year to year depending on the wind & rain so impossible to say how difficult it will be towing this season.
North to South slightly easier but if you're not capable of going the hard way you shouldn't be there.
"(A Discovery 4 and a Kimberley Kamper) I think they are capable"
If you don't know if they are capable or not I'd suggest serving your apprenticeship 1st by getting to know the capabilities of your equipment on an easier trip
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 479299

Reply By: Will 76 Series - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 20:27

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 20:27
Ziggy, we did the CSR South to North it was a great trip. We had three vehicles in our party and two vehicles had a camp set up with awnings and swags. The third vehicle had a roof top tent. No major problems on the trip but I would definaely not tow a trailer on the CSR. All the reasons have already been stated. The joy of this trip is driving all day and seeing this magnificent outback serenrity. At night a camp fire, cans, chair, shelter and food is about all you need, as you will sleep well. Leave the camper.
Regards Will
AnswerID: 479327

Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 20:58

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 20:58
A few years ago we did the CSR South to North as far as well 33, we followed the rules and bypassed the first 5 wells. We had a LC 100 series automatic and an Ultimate Camper Trailer. We did the whole trip in high range and had no trouble on any of the sand dunes, we never had to back up and have another go on any sand dune.

There was another convoy heading in the same direction as us and we could hear them on the UHF radio insisting on being in low range second gear, they seemed to get bogged on just about every sand dune they tackled.

I would take the Kimberley and ignore the nay sayers. The ability to keep your truck within its GVM and the having the extra comfort are worth it.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: lizard - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 23:50

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 23:50
I have done the canning twice , 1992 & 2010 , I didn't take a camper trailer , in '92 us blokes swagged it , in 2010 me & the missus took a ute back slide on - comfort .
Who are you taking with you - is it the partner - wants the comfort - if this is the case & you are prepared to let tyres down to ~ 16 psi - then take the trailer , take your time & enjoy .....the only good thing about a trailer is that you can spread some of your load over more wheels .......
AnswerID: 479348

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 11:53

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 11:53
Hi Zig Dog

I did it last year in a Patrol towing a Tvan, so it is possible. We were in a party of 4 vehciles and i was the only one towing. Overall we had the least troubble than the others. That was mainly due to me being prepared to drop my tye pressures lower.

The point is that it is not wether you take a trailer or not, it is the preparation, understanding and experience to tackle the trip.

Backing to me isn't an issue as I am failry competeant and only had to do it 5 times in the whole trip.

There are lots of corrugations, and we found the best way was idling along in second gear at about 10kph was the easiest way on vehicle & gear. Lots of single vehciles flying along and breaking things.

Travel direct North to South was better, as the dunes were easier to climb, the south face of most were badly cut up from vehciles running tyres to hard.

AnswerID: 479410

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:04

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:04
Hi Zigdog
Wife and I towed our ultimate south to north two years ago with our 70 series V8 cab chassis.
No problems at all and thoroughly enjoyed the Journey over 23 days. We did side trips to Carnarvon Ranges and Calvert Ranges.
I did post and asked the same questions as you and got similar replies.
I have done prior trips over all the Simpson tracks and the Hay river.
Two vehicles that has past us going like there was no tomorrow we came across further up the track with serious chassis and suspension failure.
I did back down once where we caught up with a tagalong of 14 vehicles and waited our turn to negotiate a tall dune. I don't think they paid any attention to tyre pressure as 4 out of the fourteen (none had a trailer) had to back doun more than once.
The most important detail is tyre pressure.
If you do combinations of tyre pressures using the CORRECT METHOD on a hard surface fully laden before you go and write the combinations down for reference it will keep you in good stead.
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Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:12

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:12
Also Zigdog
We were away from the east coast for over two months and spent a lot of time in the WA outback and roughing it in swags etc was not on the agenda for us.
We travelled both directions on the Great Central road. We travelled the Gunbarrel and Heather Highways on the way to Wiluna
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: aragon - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 16:25

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 16:25
Hi zigdog-dont listen to all crap about not being able to take a camper trailer on the canning-i done it last year with four other vehicles-two of those where towing campers and my own vehicle which towed a standed round town 6x4 trailer with my dirtbike and enough fuel to do the entire trip-the only real problem with the trailers we incounted was a crack where one of the spring mounts was welded to the chassis on my trailer-as i said its not even an offroad trailer which dosnt even have wide tyers on it,this was easrly fixed by drilling a hole and putting a bolt thro it-yes the canning is very corragated but if you are going that fast that you are destroying a purpose built off road camper than you are simply are going to fast-i had no trouble as did any of the other in the convoy towing over the dunes-just keep those pressures down an down and dont go to fast and you will be fine,it never ceases to amaze me too that it always seems to be the tour operaters that charge 3-4k to use a free track(apart from the permit) that keep tell people you cant do it with a camper-i wonder are they trying to make out it is more difficult than it relly is to try and jusitify there ripoff pricetag-just do your homework mate prepare well and get a couple mates to join ya and you will have an amazing time..
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