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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Tarra 2155kg
    Keep in mind that Tarra means empty main fuel tank too...
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by biltong View Post
    Keep in mind that Tarra means empty main fuel tank too...
    Nog meer in my kanon in....

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    With the risk of opposing Tony, I just want to state that I have towed my trailer to every destination from Cape Town to Kunene and Kaokoland as well as from Windhoek to Inhambane in Mozambique or from Gaborone to Livingstonia in Northern Malawi.
    This would confirm that a trailer does not compromise any destination.

    As for the extra costs, nothing at borders, some for insurance, little on fuel and on more than 300'000 km I had more flat tyres on the vehicle than on the trailer.
    Now I have TPM all round and works like a charm.

    Okay then, let Tony give you his arguments to travel with heavily overloaded cars and lack of space. I have some comfort as often travelling with clients, so running a fridge and a freezer in the rig, solar panels included when in the Kaokoveld or the Kalahari for extended periods.
    I also have two RTT, one on the vehicle the other on the trailer sleeping 4 adults easily and comfortably.

    Good luck and enjoy the planning and preps.
    Walter has the most helpful response IMHO to this thread and i agree entirely with what he says. As a photographer i spend upwards of 3 weeks in places like the CKGR and Mabua, and would not be able to do so without a trailer.

    Dryzie.

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  5. #24
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Firstly I would like to thank Ozranger for the interesting topic, and I am sure we all can learn from each other here.

    We have done many trip in Southern Africa, with groups and solo.

    We have done trips without any trailer/caravan – and yes, the vehicle is overloaded, which has its own very dangerous challenges, but that is another topic.

    We know that we have to tow to avoid overloading, and honestly – then Swambo enjoys the trips a lot more with a kitchen and some protection against the weather when needed, not always easy to make food in the rain ….

    We have been on tour through very rough terrain with a few different trailers and caravans, and had our fair share of challenges, like pulling a trailer with brakes in very thick sand – try and reverse when you get stuck – not possible.
    Now we have found our solution, an “Ultra-Light” trailer, without brakes, Tara of 320kg, GVM 750kg, body totally out of fiberglass, and we are extremely happy with it, and our reasons are:
    1. We get the vehicle lighter, and do not have the challenges of a heavy caravan behind us.
    2. Swambo has is happy – the most important reason.
    3. We are able to carry enough water food, needed.
    4. We don’t have to break up camp just to go for a drive.

    But as an earlier post suggested – a Winch is a very good insurance, as it help us out of many difficult situations, especially when you drive solo.

    The bottom line is, always try and stay as light as possible – this will make your trip just so much more enjoyable.

    "Happy Overlanding!"
    Elly
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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    My 2c....

    Having done basically all the various modes, we're finally settled with an Oryx behind the Defender as for us all the benefits do outweigh the disadvantages....but then we tend not to do the really hectic stuff any more as we already have done most of what we want to do (but that could change)

    We towed a light (<750kg) trailer all over the place for 8 years and only issues were throwing a bearing outside Arusha and popping a leaf-spring outside it's slipper on the way to Hobas. Both events presented only minor delays in progress, but I do carry spare bearings and tools...... I also fitted a manual boat winch to the front of the trailer to assist with dongas and difficult places....but only really used it once to "get out of jail"....

    Now with the Oryx I'm a bit more careful where we go, but last year did 5 fairly big trips with it with only one "incident".....we took a wrong turn in the Richtersveld and ended up driving up a dry river bed the wrong way. After about 2km with the river getting narrower we realised we needed to turn around and go back....not too easy with the river bed being too narrow and the track too sandy to just swing it around. Do remember that Defenders were designed (and I use the term charitably) before Land Rover knew how to make a turning circle...turning octagons and turning pentagons yes, but not circles....). Anyway, with just the two of us (well 1.5 actually as SWAMBO is only little...) we managed to do it by swinging as far left in the river bed as possible then full lock right until it started to turn, then as far right as possible till could go no further. Reverse into jack-knife, stop, unhitch, and recover the vehicle using "octagon" method! Attach snatch strap and then drag the caravan nose around whilst mastering the art of ploughing with a jockey-wheel . Re-hitch, and we're on our way again. Took about half an hour so no big deal really. Ten minutes later we encountered another family similarly stuck who had followed our tracks in, so we stopped and helped them recover using the same technique, and both of us on our way with a story to tell. (Note to self, next time lift the jockey-wheel and put a sack over the tow hitch - the caravan has a plate under the A-Frame for just this purpose.)

    So yes, there can be issues with a trailer, most of which have been illuminated in this thread, but for us, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

  8. #26
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    We've towed our offroad trailer to the Serengeti and Ngorogoro. More than 10,000km in three weeks. Have towed my Offroad Caravan through the Okavango in flood to Guma Island. Towed through the whole of Namibia to the Kunene, Sossusvlei, Otjitheka 4x4 Trail. Towed through Mabuasehube and the unexplored areas of Jack's and Drom Pans, done the Central Kalahari in the rain and endless mud all in Botswana.

    I've never had a puncture, and never had a problem I cannot fix with a shifting spanner or a piece of bloudraad. I have used nearly every model in the range of the supplier's caravans and trailers and never regretted a trip because of it.

    I always consider my wife and her chores of cooking, storage of groceries and fridge/freezer, and packing appropriate/sufficient clothes for herself.

    Its fine with just a rooftent, but then be prepared to spend more time in B&B's and Chalets than you will in your tent. Unless I take a trip to the Skeleton Coast and the Dunes of Namibia (like I'm doing in April), my trailer comes with. It uses more fuel and goes a bit slower, but I'm on holiday and there are no deadlines.
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  10. #27
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    We have been towing for 6 years now (echo4, light) and it can go and has gone everywhere we have wanted to gone
    We will never be able to go back to tents and unpacking the planet to setup camp.
    Old days setup...off the bakkie to the ground setup and many hours later we are ready to sit and relax. 2 days later all that must go back in and repeat over 3 weeks is very tiring.

    Get a light trailer that doesn't feel like you dragging the house behind.
    You need to enjoy the drive
    Happy better overlanding :-)
    Riku
    2011 Echo4 with Blinkgat Nose cone and

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  12. #28
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Good evening everyone,
    Just my 5c on this, we have a SUV with a light weight trailer and the one great advantage is that my SUV tired and my trailer tires are the same size, so at any point we have 3 spare tires, 2 on my SUV and 1 on the trailer, then the axel width on the trailer is the same as my SUV, this does come in very handy when we travel.

    I love towing the trailer as it gives us some more packing space and also a much lighter SUV,

    There is not much that I can add that Elly and Biltong already said.

    But what a great topic

  13. #29
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by JDW View Post
    We toured Namibia (via Botswana) with an off-road trailer covering 6000 km over 2 weeks in Sossusvlei,Swakopmund and Etosha without any problems. Get a trailer that is not to heavy and easy to set up.
    With all due respect, that is a very, very easy route with no serious offroading. Corey is going to be doing some hardcore offroad, and that doesn't mix easily with towing a trailer.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

  14. #30
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Zackely, nice smooth gravel roads cannot be compared to going offroad.
    3 out of 5 times Ive missed my trailer in the bundus but Ive never been sorry for leaving it at home.
    If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right. SJ

  15. #31
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Very interesting comments and feedback ; thank you all !
    In my case years ago and when we started doing longer trips and camping we did namibia with a gls pajero towing a small trailer ; that was what i had at the time ; the pajero ( various with colts and tritons as well ) being a company car ; when we got to ais ais after etosha , skeleton coast , walvis , nauklift , etc the wheels of the little 6 footer pick and pack almost felt apart ; had to go and buy bearings in keetsmanhoop; made it back to jhb ; then on a trip to moz bought a new larger trailer - a conqueror in load box config only ; fantastic ; we did jhb to pemba across to malawi lake and down to zim , bots , and jhb ; later used it for zambia ; mozambique a number of times .; still have it and being kept in a closed garage ; finally last year we purchased a trailvan and have done a couple of local trips and the knp ; planning now a longer trip to namibia in sept 2017 to do caprivi, (zambezi,kwando and okavango) ; bushmanland , and a trip down to mata mata and the ktp for the last week of holiday ; so i want to say i have used trailers in the past and found them usefull ; sometimes did not use them at all and travelled faster (eg botwana , mabua, kgalagadi , kruger) ... i think all depends on the occasion and number of people ; duration of the travelling ; country /area etc .... these days the intention is to use our new trailvan as much as possible which is very convenient with the set up and less pt with ground tents and other camping stuff ...; rgds to all !

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  17. #32
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Walter, I always love debating with you because you are one of the true overlanders on this site... I just think that a trailer limits where you can go, limits ferry crossings, limits donga crossings etc. I also believe that you can fit everything you need for four people into a Land Rover, Cruiser or Pajero (which Corey has bought) and that a trailer just encourages you to carry a whole bunch of extra crap that you don't actually need. Anything that increases the chances of a break down in a remote area needs to be eliminated, and for me, a trailer is one of those factors.
    Tony, As stated I was on every ferry and pontoon in Zambia's West and had to cross the trailer separately, reversing onto the ferry on several occasion and been on hand operated contraptions more than once, the trailer was never a limiting factor, but time and costs were a bit higher.
    On the other hand, the trailer saves me from overloading my vehicle by distributing the stuff on 3 axles.

    I am sure I carry lots of stuff seldom needed (2 spades, 4 batteries, 2 fridges, 120 lt of water, 4 Jerry cans, apart from 210 ltr under the belly of the vehicle and lots of recovery gear as well as workshop equipment and tools for reps) So far I only needed assistance twice as everything thrown at me I was able to sort out in remote areas to make it back to base.
    So I fancy my trailer just for that, pay a higher insurance and fuel bill but have some sort of peace of mind.
    And I like a cool drink cool and some ice cubes in the G&T fresh strawberries for breakfast, but then I am not a teeny anymore, travelling with a back pack and a sleeping bag (no tent). Done that when I was younger .

    As for break down of a trailer, I rolled it once and continued after strapping it together again and completed the mission, once I had to limp from Savuti to Katima with a broken wheel bearing and that sums it up in exactly 20 years of towing the same trailer and 300'000 kms mainly bush tracks.
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  18. #33
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    bump.


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  19. #34
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    As someone who is looking to explore the overland thing more, I to have considered a trailer. In addition to the stress management of trying to get up a tricky hill and risk the jack knife thingy, the other worry for me would be security. If one is planning a 6 month trip for a family of 3 ( SWAMBO, Dad and mini SWAMBO), then how safe is your trailer in a camp site in far removed countries. It would be a disaster to arrive back at camp from a drive to find your trailer is gone. You guys who have done the overland thing for a while, how safe are remote campsites in countries to the North ?
    Last edited by Slowones; 2017/01/26 at 07:13 AM.

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  21. #35
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowones View Post
    You guys who have done the overland thing for a while, how safe are remote campsites in countries to the North ?
    Remote campsites are generally very safe - it is the ones close to urban areas that aren't. I have seen plenty of trailers in campsites in various countries, and the owners chain them to a tree or post or whatever is available when going on a drive.
    Tony Weaver

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    Cooper Discoverer STT tyres, four sleeper Echo rooftop tent
    2012 Mitsubishi Outlander.

    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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  23. #36
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    We tow the Echo 4 where we need to go.
    Planning the route must be done carefully or you could get yourself in a bit of trouble.

    We prefer using the trailer as everything is where you need it and camp setup easy and comfy.

    Some trips we have decided that a trailer is not the answer and some places do not allow trailers.

    So adjust.

    Overland, think with careful planning a trailer will work if you stay on the planned route.
    Danie & Marinda - die wiele is rond, dus moet hulle hardloop - afgetree nou leef ons net.
    2017 BL - Kewer B1115 RUS WA GP - bos en kamp tyd
    2016 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost - daaglikse ryding
    2013 Ford Ranger 3.2 DC XLT 4x4 - nuwe rondloop ry ding, nou sleep ons! (2017)
    2011 Echo 4, die RUSWA-ZN - (verkoop 44 000 km)
    2010 Ford Ranger 2.5 DT DC XLT 4x4 - rondloop ry ding met "bietjie ekstra" krag (Verkoop 177 000 km)
    2005 Chev Aveo - Afgeskryf (2016 130 000)
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    2003 Opel Corsa 17DTi - Geruil (warm enjin 150 00)
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    1998 Opel Kadett - Dogter se wiele geword in 2003 (baie warm enjin 116 000 km)
    1990 Datsun 1800 short wheelbase - Pa se ou plaas bakkie, na die Nissan die pad gevat het met sy probleme in 2003 (117 00km)
    1990 Hilux 2.4D - en hy kon loop, pomp en top gewerk aan.
    1984 Opel Commondore - het gehardloop
    1983 Safary 3 karavaan - verkoop en begin tent in 2000 (51 000 km)
    1980 Ford Granada 3.0 - warm enjin afgeskryf
    1969 VW 1600 TL - geen einde nie, warm enjin en geruil
    1968 VW 1600 L - geen einde en baie warm enjin, verkoop in 1998 (328 000 myl/525 000 km)

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  24. #37
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Thanks to all who have contributed to this most interesting post.
    Many, many valid points for and against and as has often been said,
    Everyone has their own requirements and preferances.
    Mine however side with Biltong against the trailer, because,
    We seldom spend more than one night at any single camp site.
    We only need to cater for two people and not four,
    We need not religiously stick to our route as we more than not travel alone,
    We take the road that looks interesting or the short cut which more than likely takes more than double or tripple the time of the longer faster toute,
    We have a quick up, quick down no hassel system,
    We do not need to resort to B & B's.
    We only unpack the chairs, braai wood, cooking utensils and refreshments,
    We keep everything else packed, so just pack the chairs before going to bed,
    We have Ostrich Wing Awning, so always have shade and shelter from rain,
    We have lights in all doors as well as awning, so just switch on or off,
    Game drive means closing roof and back door and awning (5 mins max),
    We have perfected our system for our use, but have no passenger space.
    We are happy campers,
    I fully concur, more than two people will be happier towing,
    Even with the towing difficulties, but,
    Kitted trailers, caravans have longer set up time.
    Safe travels.

  25. #38
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    I have been looking at the very same problem for more than a year. And what it comes down to is
    the fact that it is always a hassle to pack my bakkie for 4 people , two adults and two kids, no matter what i do
    there is always stuff on the roof and inside the cab. End of last year i decided that i would rather have a capable trailer than to
    pack like a idiot and battle to unpack the whole lot every 2nd night or day.
    At the end of the day i did not need a heavy caravan only something to make life more bearable with regard to packing and unpacking.
    You will give up some nice routs or trails but most of the times you can camp close by and still do them if you want.

    I opted for the Xt140 and will collect it tomorrow.

  26. #39
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    Love a trailer, had one, but deep sand sent me back to basics and I am back to 'lite'. A few months ago we visited the Richtersveld as part of a longer trip and I discovered no fewer than 3 trailers abandoned in the workshop area near the gate. Closer inspection revealed cracked chassis and in one case, the axle had come adrift. Further reflection on 42 years of driving is that the things that come attached to the car when it left the factory generally stay put, whereas the bolt on extras we gather as time goes on are cause for 95% of future breakdown and pain.

  27. #40
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    Default Re: Towing a trailer overland

    I agree that in some cases a trailer is a pain.
    But as said in my post we prefer the comfort - note we are only two.

    We did the Rigtersveld with the Echo with no issues, some turns were a bit tight and sand requires some skill.
    Did not break anything nor got stuck.
    Visited De Hoop, Kokerboom kloof, Tatasberg and die vlakte.
    Went out via Helspass

    A lot depend on driving style and speed.

    Should you not have a fixed route, rather use ground tent.
    We plan a lot and make sure we have 2-3 alternative routes to our destination.
    It saves a lot hardship and take a decent paper map with, that GPS does some times talk in circles

    We started at Kgalagadi, Sesriem, Hobas, Klein Aust, Lutz, Rigtersveld and back to Dbn.
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    Last edited by Danie S; 2017/01/30 at 11:58 PM.
    Danie & Marinda - die wiele is rond, dus moet hulle hardloop - afgetree nou leef ons net.
    2017 BL - Kewer B1115 RUS WA GP - bos en kamp tyd
    2016 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost - daaglikse ryding
    2013 Ford Ranger 3.2 DC XLT 4x4 - nuwe rondloop ry ding, nou sleep ons! (2017)
    2011 Echo 4, die RUSWA-ZN - (verkoop 44 000 km)
    2010 Ford Ranger 2.5 DT DC XLT 4x4 - rondloop ry ding met "bietjie ekstra" krag (Verkoop 177 000 km)
    2005 Chev Aveo - Afgeskryf (2016 130 000)
    2005 Opel Corsa 17DTi - Geruil (warm enjin 180 000)
    2003 Opel Corsa 17DTi - Geruil (warm enjin 150 00)
    2000 Nissan Hardbody - Geruil (pyne by die duisended 52 000 km)
    1998 Opel Kadett - Dogter se wiele geword in 2003 (baie warm enjin 116 000 km)
    1990 Datsun 1800 short wheelbase - Pa se ou plaas bakkie, na die Nissan die pad gevat het met sy probleme in 2003 (117 00km)
    1990 Hilux 2.4D - en hy kon loop, pomp en top gewerk aan.
    1984 Opel Commondore - het gehardloop
    1983 Safary 3 karavaan - verkoop en begin tent in 2000 (51 000 km)
    1980 Ford Granada 3.0 - warm enjin afgeskryf
    1969 VW 1600 TL - geen einde nie, warm enjin en geruil
    1968 VW 1600 L - geen einde en baie warm enjin, verkoop in 1998 (328 000 myl/525 000 km)

    .

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