Crossing the Simpson with a Camper Trailer

Submitted: Monday, May 21, 2012 at 20:00
ThreadID: 95715 Views:3252 Replies:11 FollowUps:22
This Thread has been Archived
Explorers, i can remember it being discussed many times before.....but im trying to get up to date info
background
A friend is planning a trip across east to west a few weeks time, and is planning to take his camper trailer unless i can manage to change his mind. Its a well setup camper, and he has a descent gu td6, but i think he is going to be flogging it all the way, and his company will get sick of snatching him out.
Maybe you can help me by giving your first hand reports and opinions...
Please try and keep it civil....maybe im worrying for nothing.....what say you?
Guessing he will be taking the main routes across....
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, May 21, 2012 at 20:27

Monday, May 21, 2012 at 20:27
Hi Dozer,

Yes it can be done but you must be very experienced at desert travel or you can do damage to the track and generally have the worst time ever. You get sick of snatching.

Ive crossed the Simo 6 times when I did it with a mate who took his camper (he'd crossed 6 times with me as well) we struggled, got there in the end but I didnt enjoy it. I snatched him over every dune.


Cheers Wilko

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 17:56

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 17:56
"I snatched him over every dune"
Every dune Wilko???? After the 100th recovery surely he would have reasesed his tyre pressures ;-))

We crossed with a novice family of 8 towing a heavily loaded camper during the peak touring season & they backed up 4 times in total missing Big Red by just 10 metres.! If your mate was really getting stuck that often then either his tow vehicle was not suitable, the trailer was grossly overloaded, his tyre pressures were way too high, the desert conditions at that time were completely unsuitable or he simply had no idea what he was doing. In any of those cases he shouldn't have been out there towing.
"...you can do damage to the track... " What exactly did this damage your mate do to the track while towing look like? My mate barely left a mark.
Cheers Craig............
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 07:34

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 07:34
Wilko
Leave it alone mate !

You will go blind.

Are yo ua member of the 55 lb club ?.

12-15 psi (hot) in your tyres and you will do the dunes no probs, towing.
No damage either.
All you need then is a little momentum, and keep 1/2 to 3/4 a tyre width to one side, and you will not porpose, (bounce) and the whole adventure is easily doable.

Cheers
Bucky






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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 19:26

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 19:26
Hi Gents,

I run my tyres at 14-18 psi depending on loads, Agree with you Crackles, My mate shouldn't have been towing, Old mate didn't have enough power in his 3lt pootrol to tow. My mate didn't damage the track, but he could have if I'd let him.

One thing. When I give advise to people, You've got to remember that they are inexperienced and that telling them that its easy just do this and that and you'll be right is dangerous. The Simo will bite anyone who isn't prepared. Ive seen people with damaged trailers and 4wd's cause they took things lightly. If your prepared to fork out 4-5k for a trailer rescue go for it.

Towing should only be done by experienced people, If they have to ask they arent experienced enough. If you are experienced enough go for it

Bucky you must have 2 You cant be that silly playing with one.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 20:30

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 20:30
Do dah
Do dah
Must be !
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:05

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:05
Knew it, You seem the type.

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, May 21, 2012 at 20:38

Monday, May 21, 2012 at 20:38
Hi Dozer,

I know it's not your camper trailer, but you better get ready to duck...
The subject tends to get a bit narky at times.

A mate of mine took his CT across The Simpson west to east and got stuck once. He's very experienced and takes his trailer just about wherever we take our wagon.

It's really up to your mate, and if he has all the info and confidence it will be hard to change his plans. Especially this close to going.

hooroo,

Steve
AnswerID: 486423

Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Monday, May 21, 2012 at 21:02

Monday, May 21, 2012 at 21:02
Dozer,

Thread 95430 from 10th May has recent info.

Latest Simpson bulletin

AnswerID: 486424

Follow Up By: dean e - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 15:30

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 15:30
That post is about fuel use in a Pathfinder, nevertheless useful.
Dean
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Reply By: GT Campers - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 00:24

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 00:24
Do you live anywhere near a beach (eg Stockton) for a practice? Give your mate a few runs - backwards, down - a dune with the trailer on. Then get him sunk/bogged with the trailer and have him shovel it out. That might subdue any unreasonable aspirations of a trip with his CT ;)
AnswerID: 486432

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 05:41

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 05:41
I agree with GT. It's one thing to tow a camper or plain old trailer over a dune, but it's another to try and back one down when the thing just wants to bury itself.

Take spares....hubs, wheel bearings, some flat bar, angle iron, fencing wire, portable welding plant, leaf spring etc. and be prepared to suffer breakages.

The Golden rule would be to ask "Are you prepared to abandon the CT in the bush?". Depending on if and where a breakdown occurs, it may be uneconomically viable for a recovery. Maybe get him to ring Barnsey at Birdsville Auto and enquire what sort of $$$$ he charges for a desert recovery.

Confucius say: "The probability of not making it and the damage caused is directly related to the time taken to accompish the trip and the pre-trip preparation done."

Me personally .....nope, no way. (Others will disagree...after all, you did ask for opinions).

Fab.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 06:42

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 06:42
I cant comment about the Simpson but i can about the TD6. They are very underpowered and suffer from lack of real power, torque and turbo lag! I reckon you are correct, he will be struggling!! Michael


Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Follow Up By: GT Campers - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 08:14

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 08:14
errr... the TD6 is one of the torquiest and well-respected 4WD powerplants ever... unless I'm not quite getting your humour...? (However the Patrol's low-range could be deeper and tall tyres make the situation worse)
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:00

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:00
"the TD6 is one of the torquiest" - Hmmm well no 114kW@3600rpm & 360Nm @ 2000rpm. Is pretty lame really for its engine size and pretty average overall.
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Follow Up By: GT Campers - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 13:26

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 13:26
Yeah, that's about the same as an old carby Holden V8, and less than today's crop of 2-litres.

But it's the way it ladles it out that is important, especially when towing a trailer in arduous terrain

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 16:48

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 16:48
Garry! Two good things about the 4.2 TdI, its totally mechanical and its throughly reliable.. It stops there!! And yes taller tyres and the lack of decent low gearing doesnt help.. I can imagine that Patrol loaded to the hilt and the camper on the sand dunes. He would soon wish he had left it behind. Michael
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 18:20

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 18:20
Hi Michael - I have no issues with the 4.2 it is a very low tech engine that just chugs along but tends to be put on a bit of pedestal - ok for those reasons but not because it is torquey. My brother had one for a few years and was disappointed with its performance but not its reliability.

Lets accept it for what it is, not what we hope it can do.

As far as the dunes and towing a trailer - I think it the 4.2 will do quite well as long as the driver knows what he is doing.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 00:53

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 00:53
The turbo 6 in a Patrol is real good in first and second gear.
If they fall down its their lack of power at highway speed.
I fixed mine with an AXT Turbo upgrade.

However we did the top 1/2 of the Canning in September, from the north, and the mighty Partol (with low tyre pressures) and camper in tow, was 4.7 Tonne.
She ate the dunes, in very hot and dry conditions.

All the power and momentum you could ever want.

Would really love a v8 Brunswick diesel, but oh the $$$$$$$$

I am still a hoon at heart, but these days a slow one.

Well worth putting on a dyno, to help things along
Cheers Bucky
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Reply By: Pushy - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 08:58

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 08:58
Dozer,

A few years back my cousin did the the trip and advised me NEVER to go with any body with a trailer based on his experience. They went with 3 other couples 2 with tents and 2 with trailers.

Unfortunately not a great deal of 4wd experience ( for those well travelled experts who can in fact do it with no troubles) and had up to 20 bogs a day. Also extensive damage to draw bars, bottom panels and the trailers.

But what upset him the most and really tested some friendships was that the two couples who had the trailers, who were assisted by the people with the tents at every recovery, would pull up every evening, set up there campers and sit down a have a drink whilst the others put up their tents. The tent people had young children so a number of tents.

So I think you would need to set some ground rules before you go.
AnswerID: 486443

Reply By: toyotarules - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 18:12

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 18:12
Man some people carry on we just got back from the Simpson like only a week ago now we went east to west witch is the easy way. there are may be four dunes that mite be a concern but for the rest should be easy make sure ya mate airs the tyres down on the camper as well. I'd have no hesitation on towing my kk that way. We had a bloke behind as who busted he front diff not far out of dellhouesy spring and drove it all the way to birdsvill on the back diff not a bad effort.
AnswerID: 486479

Reply By: David16 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 19:29

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 19:29
Your mate won't be the first to go across with a camper and he most certainly won't be the last!
Most people who bag a camper being towed across the Simpson and claim they damage the dunes bla bla bla do so cause they can only afford a tent!!
AnswerID: 486484

Follow Up By: GT Campers - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 20:52

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 20:52
*with Dr Evil voice*

....Riiiiiiiiight
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Reply By: Member - DOZER- Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 21:40

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 21:40
Thanks everyone for your replies. I have never crossed the mighty Simo, so can only guess the possible issues.....as far as spares go, its a hard decision as more weight means more stress on suspensions etc.
Question no 2
Presuming he takes the journey on, what sort of consumption would you expect from his setup?? (tdi 42 with trailer) east to west????

b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Follow Up By: GT Campers - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 23:26

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 23:26
I know it is "you" asking Dozer but your mate really needs to learn all this from a less ambitious trip (such as a weekend beach trip) first...
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Reply By: toyotarules - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 21:59

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 21:59
We took six cars from birdsville to mt dare via the modigan then mt dare back to birdsville via the French line then the qqa we did a full service on all the cars belts hoses wheel bearings and took all the old ones for spares all so we took a spare front and back shocks. With all the cars all we got was about ten flats with was plug and one busted rear shock
AnswerID: 486505

Follow Up By: toyotarules - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:05

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:05
Sorry fuel was mt dare to birdsville was 140l in my 80series ute running 35in tyres and that was playing on big red and running in and out from birdsville to big red twice
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Follow Up By: toyotarules - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 06:56

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 06:56
Fuel at birdsville was $1.74 at one and $1.70 at the ather and at mt dare it was $2.26 l for diesel
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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 20:53

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 20:53
toyotarules,
I am assuming
you mean you did birdsville to mt Dare via Madigan line .
Ii also assume you did the madigan section east to west fromhay river( camp 16) to mount dare .
I 'd be pretty positive you didnt tow anything from east to west in the Qld section in fact I dont know anyone who has driven thel madigan from birdsville to mt dare( east to west crossing) because of the dunes in the Qld section.

in regard the simpson
I lead a trip a trip last year and we had a top of the line camper trailer with us and it took lots of towing and without maxtraxs as well we would have really struggled to get it over some of the dunes. the driver of the tug was basically physically drained each night while the rest of us were having a ball.this was a west to east trip.

Its do able but i dont recommend towing.
cheers
Howard
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Follow Up By: toyotarules - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:08

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:08
No we didn't have the campers with as and we did camp 22 right thru to camp 6 then from camp 6 to camp 2then camp 1A then camp 1 we couldn't do camp 3,4 or 5 as its in abo land and camp 23 and 24 were inaccessible due to water and camp 20 is still under water as well
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Follow Up By: toyotarules - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:21

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:21
Yep east to west the dunes weren't that bad
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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 22:51

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 22:51
Toyotarules
I take my hat off to you ,you did well.wish i had been there with you.

we took 1 1/2 hours to get 4 vehicles over 1 particular dune between c17 and c18 and that was west to east.
Camp 20 was also underwater when we went last july.had to detour south all the way to bypass xing to getover eyre ck,
cheers
Howard
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Follow Up By: toyotarules - Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 12:59

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 12:59
We got to with in 0.9 off c20 had to walk thru about foot off water for about four meters to get to a dry patch put no post in site don't no if the post was never put there or it's fulling over in the mud we did a bit of a walk around in the mud but nothing :(
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Reply By: Member - Richard W (NSW) - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 07:21

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 07:21
Dozer,

2 mates did it in 2010 on the way home after we had been up the CSR.
One was towing an off road camper with a 105 series with a transplanted 1HDFTE.
He did his rear diff and did most of the trip in 2 wheel drive with his locker on. The other mate had to tow his camper most of the way also in a 105 series.
It was a pretty damp trip.

Andrew L might confirm the exact details.

On the other hand I've met a group mostly towing coming down the Hay River track at Poepples Corner who said they had no dramas.

Luck of the draw.
AnswerID: 486524

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