Fraser Island

I'm after a bit of advice, I am wanting to take the family n a trip to Fraser Island we do a lot of 4wding in the Vic high country but have never driven on sand, we would be taking our 2011 diesel Prado & Jayco Swan Outback, would these be up to the conditions of Fraser Island??
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Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:34

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:34
Dooges your setup will be fine. Suggest getting on the island at Inskip Point & running up the eastern beach. At low tide the beaches are relatively hard packed with only a few soft spots to watch generally at creeks or where the track heads up around rocks or headland. Many of the inland tracks will be difficult to tow a wide van like your Swan so base yourself on the east side in a central location then day trip from there.
Cheers Craig........
AnswerID: 487651

Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:54

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:54
X2 on the above information.
we have towed camper trailers and caravans many times up the beach at Fraser, timing it 2 hrs before lowtide for the run North makes it an easy drive.
FollowupID: 762919

Reply By: Rosss- Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:34

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 22:34
If The wheel track width of the Jayco is different to the Prado it will be an absolute pig to tow as it will not follow in the same track, if have never driven on sand I would be getting some practice on a mainland beach first as it is a whole new art of driving for the inexperienced.

Cheers Ross.
AnswerID: 487652

Reply By: thewayes - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 05:56

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 05:56
Hi Dooges,

The set-up will be fine as others have said and inskip would be the best place to go across. It's soft sand to the barge so make sure your tyre pressure are down with both the car and camper to around 20psi. when you get on to Fraser it's good if at low tide I'd plan to get on the barge 1hr before low so you have around 3-4hrs of very good driving on hard sand. i go every year and tow a camper trailer and never had any trouble just take your time and don't forget to indicate to the on coming 4x4 to which side you are going to pass on many people don't do this and they should. Don't stop sudden and watch out for the washouts their are many along the beach. Then have fun.

AnswerID: 487660

Reply By: Dooges - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 08:43

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 08:43
Hi Guys,

Thanks for that, are tyres a big issue as I seemed to be getting mixed views, the Prado currently has the road tyres that it came with, which some people are telling me is probably the best option, otherwise I can swap the BF Goodrich Muddies off my hilux onto the Prado for the trip??
AnswerID: 487670

Follow Up By: Member - peter & dawn m (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 15:47

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 15:47
muddies are a bit argresive for sand tend to dig in a bit . swampy
FollowupID: 762972

Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:09

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:09
You will get 100 posts with 100 opinions but IMHO it doesn't really matter as the pressures are the key issue.
Sand driving is much easier than mountain driving so you should have no problems with stock tyres, in fact as passenger rated they will probably bulge better in the sidewalls.
If you drive at lowish tide the only reason to drop pressure is to get across the dry sand to access the beach.
Just don't take your camper to Central Station or inland as the issue here is reversing when a tourist bus comes the other way.
If you get dry sand bogged , do NOT spin the wheels , but get out and reduce pressures by 2lbs and try gently. If still unsuccessful drop another 2 until maybe 10PSI. And to help, dig the sand hill out from in front of the tyres.
And watch out for all the creeks crossing the beach as you cannot see them until on top of them, so keep the speed down.
have fun!
Regards Philip A

AnswerID: 487674

Reply By: Dooges - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:15

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:15
Thanks Phil...

Cheers Dooges
AnswerID: 487676

Reply By: blue2u - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 11:48

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 11:48
Hi Dooges,

Agree with everything Phillip just said.

I've been driving on the sand for years without a trailer. I have recently acquired a Modcon camper (~1.4 t) and a Prado 120 to tow it with.

If you are going to be doing much sand towing I'd recommend that you consider the acquisition of a tyre compressor and two sets of Maxtrax if you don't already have them. The Maxtrax will get you pretty well out of any trouble you may strike.

As suggested previously time your travel to within a couple of hours of low tide. That said the biggest problem areas are the soft sand at the start (Inskip Point) and the end (wherever you setup camp).

Inskip Point is flat but has very soft sand, I'd be more cautious than what has been suggested and drop the front tyres and the camper to 15 and the rear to around 18 psi, the rear should look like it has the same elongation as the front. Do not buy your barge ticket in town (pay for it on the barge) as that will increase the probability that you have to stop on the soft sand on your way across to the barge. With a bit of luck you can drive straight across through existing tracks straight onto a barge with no stops.

There are flat camping options available on the beach without any sand dunes to cross. If you are going up a sand dune to a camping site or a bush camp then approach it at a right angle so that you do not have to turn the steering wheel (and lose momentum) as you are going up the dune. On steep dunes I drop to 12 F, 12 C & 15 R and gun it with as much run-up as I reasonably get.

Cheers John

AnswerID: 487692

Reply By: Penchy - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 12:38

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 12:38
mud terrains are no better in the sand than HT's. AT's are they way to go for sand with 16lbs or so. good luck getting to the barge from Inskip towing a trailer. Sand there is extremely soft and if you dont keep momentum up your going to get stuck. I've pulled out a few Prados amongst others pulling trailers from there. But as they say, get the tides right and the east beach is the preferred run.
AnswerID: 487697

Reply By: arofs1 - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 16:54
I spent several years working patroling the beach in the Tin Can Bay, Rainbow, Inskip, Fraser Island areas quite a few years ago. This is one of the times when years of experience does not matter, the whole secret to driving on the beach is tyre pressure and as always anywhere, common sense. It is also a benefit to have soft walled tyres, but I guess these days most now have that.

As said previously pick your tides, but just as important is to pick the moons, as the big tides are around the full and dark moons. If you pick the neap tides and the borrom of the tide it will still be a real pain as the tide moves out so little. and all you get is deep soft sand that everyonbe else has used and sut up.

Follow the four main rules: 1. Pick the Moon, Pick the tide, Reduce your tyre pressure and and USE COMMON SENSE as well as drive to the conditions.

Have a great time!

Brian DJ
AnswerID: 487714

Reply By: Dooges - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 21:56

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 21:56
Hi guys,
Thanks for all the advice, would be taking a compressor & maxtrax as well, from what I've seen on you tube with people pulling some of those fishing boats I reckon the camper should be ok, better stop asking questions as the wife is getting more nervous every time she see's a response.
Cheers Dooges
AnswerID: 487759

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