River Crossings 101

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 15:23
ThreadID: 9815 Views:1650 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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Hey all

I am a bit of a fair weather fairy 4wheel driver and have not had much (read any) experience in river crossings. We, about 6 vehicles of all makes and models, are about to attempt the Wonangatta valley and believe there may be some crossings of note.
Basically aside from getting out of the vehicle and wading to pick your route, what would be best procedures to follow, i.e first gear and just go go go, put a small tarp acroos the bullbar to create a bow wave effect, H4 vs L4 etc.
Any hints and tips will be appreciated. I drive a 60 series with a mild lift but the shallowest vehicle will be a pathfinder with a nervous driver.

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Reply By: Member - Bob - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 15:28

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 15:28
send the Pathy through first. If he makes it you all will :-)Bob
AnswerID: 43339

Follow Up By: Andi - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 15:29

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 15:29
ROFL!!!!!!!!!! I'd love to see the look on his face if I could get all other drivers to support that vote.
FollowupID: 305647

Reply By: navaraman - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 16:05

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 16:05
Low range is the way to go IMO, choose the gear to get you over any banks,ridges etc at the other end and don't try changing gear till you are across.
AnswerID: 43346

Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 16:50

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 16:50
The rivers are very low at the moment, in fact the Avon River & Valencia Creek are hardly flowing! Generally 2nd low range is OK, but as the previous post said check your exit path.
AnswerID: 43347

Reply By: Member - Peter (York) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 17:35

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 17:35
If you have a vehicle with a winch send it over first ,if it gets stuck it can winch out ..if others get stuck he can winch them to the side you want to end up on ..
Take it slow the big shower of water looks great , but is also great for forcing water where you dont want it ..
Make sure you take a can of WD40 or similar with you for drying out electrics..
If you stall in deep water DONOT restart motor winch it out and make sure you have no water in engine IE remove spark plugs and turn it over
Put an experianced driver in the front with the novice for the crossing ,this will give them peace of mind and they will have someone there to stop them panicing or doing something dumb or dangerous99 GU Patrol 4.2 TD
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 43351

Reply By: Brian - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:11

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:11
Good advice above..... what works for me, and I am a novice at water crossings as well, is Low 2nd, steady entry without the big splash, keep revs at high torque, follow the bow wave and DON'T change gears! Also DON'T stop unless you really have to
Just my opinion
AnswerID: 43356

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:46

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:46
Dialling up the hand throttle a little can help too.
AnswerID: 43361

Reply By: Will - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 20:41

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 20:41
Its pretty much covered above,

walk first
steady as she goes
low range 2nd
windows down (especially if electric)
never change gears
dont touch the clutch
maintain the bowwave and use a tarp if water level high i.e above tyres
dont stop (if you do then winch out)
hmmm what else, pray? good luck
AnswerID: 43367

Follow Up By: Dmitri - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 19:11

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 19:11
And what about the fan ?
FollowupID: 305740

Follow Up By: Hankster - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 00:34

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 00:34
I live in the Kimberley and do a lot of river crossings in the wet. I always have the windows up with the aircond off but fan on high. This helps pressurise the cab and stop water entering through the seals. Works for me...

FollowupID: 308156

Reply By: markaroo - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:14

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:14
Hi Andi
all good advise.Best investment you could make is to fit a snorkel.Looks good,fresh air,engine saver.
Although they may want to sent you through first to see how deep it really is.
Have fun
AnswerID: 43385

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:37

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:37
Put on some fishing waders, walk the creek. Mark the route with Sticks.. Drive between the sticks. Is there that much water at the moment?

Put on a Blind UNDER THE BONNET, right back to the rear of the engine bay, and out under the back of the bonnet (so water goes up windscreen and off the side), tie to side mirrors, Close bonnet, Tie the bottom of the blind to under the car making sure it goes around the side of the car a little...

The snorkel YOU ALREADY HAVE will save most.

Drive across with some momentum up to create a bow wave, this will assist keeping the engine compartment dry...

Dont stop... if you do, turning donk off can be good, no water will get in the inlet, but will come in the exhaust.. :(

Pathfinder - I thnk they have the air intake behind the headlight, that could be an issue... Not sure if Snorkels are available, if they are, Cheap insurance, GET one.. if not, maybe see about making up a pipe that mounts on airbox opening, and you can hold above the roofline somehow.. Not sure how you would get it out of the engine bay area without opening bonnet.
AnswerID: 43395

Follow Up By: pedro - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 17:49

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 17:49
Be very carefull with the fishing waders I use them but also use a long stick to test the ground in front a few people have fallen into deep holes in the hip high waders they have filled with water and can hold you down
FollowupID: 305737

Reply By: Wazza (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 07:30

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 07:30
If unsure, attach a strap (even just a tree protector) to the car before you get into the water. A lot easier than doing it if it was to stall half way over. Even if you do not do this, at least have a look at yours and other's cars to see where the recovery points are before they are underwater. Took us about 20 minutes to find the one on my mate's Explorer. Not much fun as the water was freezing. Eventually found it was an eyelet on the front diff.~
AnswerID: 43402

Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 09:04

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 09:04
That's a good place for it, just rip the diff out.Regards Bob
Where to next
FollowupID: 305702

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 12:42

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 12:42
all of the above is good advice
but here is some more
alow 15 minutes before attempting the crossing to alow the car to cool down
safety belts off
send all kids across with an experanced driver the less presure on the novice the better
attach a strap to the vehicle before crossing if it is a deep fast crossing connect it to the recovery vehicle as well with enough length to make it to the other side
dont forget to dry your breaks when you exit the crossing
& check for water in the air cleaner diffs extra at your earlyest chance

now if it goes wrong
if the car begins to float open the doors on the down river side flood the interior as this will sink it to the bottom & hopfuly give you traction to drive out

if you stall DO NOT RESTART THE MOTOR Recover the check for water

if you are washed off the crossing try & get the vehicle to face up streem as this will alow for safer exit via the already open windows it wil also stop the vehicle from rolling over
& remember if you cant walk it you cant drive it
ps always walk the crossing your self dont rely on what other people say about the crossing the safest way is to know your self
regards Bruce
AnswerID: 43505

Reply By: Phil P - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 22:58

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 22:58
All of the above & if you love buying bits & pieces

AnswerID: 43594

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