Crossing the simpson

Morning Guys ,
i would like as much feed back as possible on the subject of crossing the Simpson with a camper trailer .

I have been told not to do it , but the more you look around the more photos you see of people doing this .

Can someone please point me in the right direction on this subject .
Thanks guys have a good day .
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Reply By: Julie S2 - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 08:55

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 08:55
We have crossed the Simpson 17 times in modified and lifted Subaru Foresters, so far no mishaps and have experienced the Simpson in all conditions from very dry to very very wet and a dust storm.
We have seen many people crossing with camper trailers of all varieties. As long as you have a very strong towing rig and are prepared to back down the dunes from time to time, you should be able to do this. This year we noticed many people backing down and getting stuck with the drier conditions.
We NEVER tow anything, as the Subaru's are so light, we just would not put that pressure on them. We try and keep them as light as possible and have rarely had to back down a dune in the whole time we have done these crossings.
Towing an extra set of wheels is just something more to be concerned about and it makes the crossing more stressful. We had someone with us who was towing a camper trailer with a Landcruiser, he found the going quite tough, and his rig was very strong. I guess in the end it is a personal choice.
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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:17

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:17
Hi Kim
Suggest you do a search using .... Simpson camper trailer.... as the key words, heaps of info there
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:43

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:43
Towing any kind of trailer/van is not recommended for the Simpson. That is both from private sources and I believe from the SA Government on their Desert Pass page.

Read the link below from the Mt Dare staff. They know the place and also what vehicles get stuck etc.

We just had an enjoyable drive through the WAA, Knolls and QAA tracks. The tracks are getting quite cut up by people getting bogged and stuck. One tripper was so proud of how it took him one whole hour to get up one dune on the WAA line. Idiot. All he did was rip it up and make it hard for others. We just breezed up it.

Phil

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:54

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:54
"We just breezed up it."

What! With those "skinny" tyres and excess weight :)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:05

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:05
I just found the reference I was after from the SA Parks mob.

On page 18 of the handout that you get with your desert pass it says in bold dark type:

Caravans and trailers
"It is strongly recommended that you leave your caravan and trailers at home".

It goes on to say

"You may be experienced in towing and are able to get your trailer or caravan through difficult terrain but you will cause detrimental environmental and track damage".

Yes I agree that does not say that you cannot take them. It's a free world and if I came acroos someone with a van and is stuck I would "feel like" leaving them there after a call to some commercial mob to come and extract them. Then again I am not a mongrel and would of course help.

Please don't.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:12

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:12
Greg

How did that help this bloke? Very constructive.

Phil
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:20

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:20
Sorry - was trying to be funny, between you and me (in relation to a previous thread where someone was having a go at you for having skinny tyres etc while in Simpson). My attempt at humour has obviously failed. Apologies.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:46

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:46
All cool Greg

I am not really in a good mood today. Really bad news from my elderly sister. And then I was tidying up and found a notice in the Desert Parks booklet that said basically no more camp fires in the Desert and then we get some people still saying its fine to damage it with trailers. And I totally missunderstood your post.

Read my thread that I just stated about it.

Catchya and we should have a cuppa one day. I just made one to calm down.

Phil
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 11:40

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 11:40
No worries

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 14:42

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 14:42
Kym,
We crossed the Simpson last month (roughly our 12th trip over 25 years) - left the TVan at home - we just swag/tent like we used to.
Averaged 14 l/100k for the crossing, ran pressures of 18Front/22Rear and had a nice relaxed trip.

For comparison, we just back today from a trip up Googs Track where we did take the Tvan (300+ dunes vs 1000 on the Simpson), but similar driving required. We averaged 19 l/100k needed pressures of 10psi/16psi and 10 psi in the Tvan tyres. Big difference.

My point is you can do it - but it increases the stress level on you and your vehicle. You obviously will need to carry more fuel, and more likely to have something go wrong. Seen a couple of vehicles (dual cabs) with bent chassis after towing across the simpson .

I still wouldn't bother towing on the Simpson or Canning but happily tow elsewhere.
AnswerID: 494872

Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 18:28

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 18:28
Kym a few questions to help with your specific case.
What is your tow vehicle/engine?
What brand/weight is your trailer?
What is your offroad towing experience?
Are you travelling with others for this trip?
What time of year are you considering?

Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 494893

Follow Up By: kym c1 - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 08:02

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 08:02
Hi Craig ,
The answers to your questions are as follows .
DMAX 3L TD .
Engineered Offroad trailer with cameron top .
750 kg
NO.
June after Finke race .
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 13:11

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 13:11
Kym the DMax has sufficient power & clearance to tow a light trailer over any of the popular Simpson routes (Except Madigan) so long as weight in the vehicle is also kept down. I asume 750kg would be the unladen trailer so try to keep gross weight under 1 tonne.
In general there are engineered trailers & ENGENEERED TRAILERS. Many are simply not up to the job & the reason Mt Dare don't recommend towing them. (They are often welding or recovering them) If unsure possibly have a 4x4 workshop inspect it to ensure it's suitability. Don't forget to include the usual spares for the trailer along with basic welding equipment.
I'll asume as you're asking this question you have limited experience towing offroad so suggest a weekend trip somewhere like the Vic SA border track to give you an idea what you & your vehicle are up for. Towing while not travelling in a group can be a problem but June historically is cooler & the track at it's easiest (depending on rain). For a vehicle not overloaded running low tyre pressures there will be about 5 or 6 dunes that may require a 2nd go, the trick being not to get stuck right on the top from where you can't back up as this could hold a few impatient people up while you extricate yourself. If you can travel with someone else all the better.

As a rule I don't recommend inexperienced people tow accross the Simpson on the 1st go no matter how good the equipment but can understand where the crossing is just a small part of a bigger trip so the trailer is required.

Good luck. Craig...............
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FollowupID: 770623

Reply By: kym c1 - Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 08:32

Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 08:32
Thanks Craig .
I have decided not to take it so i have more fun as for the boarder track i have done this numerous amount of times on Dirt bike and car .
You are spot on with saying it is a good place to go for experiance.
Thanks for your help .
AnswerID: 495067

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