Towing down Sani Pass





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  1. #1
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    Default Towing down Sani Pass

    Is it possible to tow down Sani Pass? We are driving a Fortuner 4x4 & towing a Bush Lapa Kewer. We would enter Lesotho at Caledonspoort, travel along the A1 to Sani. We are planning the trip for May this year.

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Low range 1st gear I don't see why not?

    If there is a lot of snow and ice, however, things may be more interesting. In that case I would not attempt it without some chains on the tow vehicle, probably on the rear wheels, but preferably on all four if possible.

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Quote Originally Posted by David&Heather View Post
    Is it possible to tow down Sani Pass? We are driving a Fortuner 4x4 & towing a Bush Lapa Kewer. We would enter Lesotho at Caledonspoort, travel along the A1 to Sani. We are planning the trip for May this year.

    Yes it's possible to tow down Sani. The switchbacks at the top are your only real concern; pick your line and start wide so that you don't have to do a three point turn around the bends.

    Low range to save your brakes.

    Monitor the weather and keep an eye on the Sani threads on this forum for current conditions closer to the time.

    Sani is steep with sharp turns and can be fairly rocky and rutted, but in dry conditions it doesn't require any major skills.
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyAndy View Post
    Yes it's possible to tow down Sani. The switchbacks at the top are your only real concern; pick your line and start wide so that you don't have to do a three point turn around the bends.
    This wood be my concern

    Is the BL braked?

    What will the weight be?

    Are you alone or in convoy?
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    The problem I have with my Bush Lapa, any big braked trailer for that mater, and a steep decent like Sani, is that it would actually be better if one could over ride the brakes, disconnect them and run on the vehicle only.

    Your vehicle runs against compression,gears,what ever, but the Lapa is running on it's brakes the entire time and they get hot and smoke start pouring out of them, yes I have done it before.

    The switch backs will be fine, you will find that taking corners like those your trailer will be locking up a lot, like in a lot.

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    ... and is the Fortuner manual or automatic? More difficult with auto.
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    This wood be my concern

    Is the BL braked?

    What will the weight be?

    Are you alone or in convoy?
    Wood in the road would also be my concern ...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike N View Post
    ... and is the Fortuner manual or automatic? More difficult with auto.
    Why? Care to explain?

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    [QUOTE=Makaira;4307519]Why? Care to explain?[/QUOTEI think 1st gear in the manual is lower and slower than the auto.

    Diesel vs petrol certainly makes a big difference. On some trails my petrol auto Fortuner needed significant braking down steep hills where the manual diesels required none.
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    [QUOTE=LandyAndy;4307521]
    Quote Originally Posted by Makaira View Post
    Why? Care to explain?[/QUOTEI think 1st gear in the manual is lower and slower than the auto.

    Diesel vs petrol certainly makes a big difference. On some trails my petrol auto Fortuner needed significant braking down steep hills where the manual diesels required none.
    Maybe on the petrol. I had a diesel auto. Never any issues.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    If the towing vehicle is in 1st Low, it will act as an obstruction that the trailer will want to overtake, resulting in the possibility of it swinging/sliding out to the side if the wheels lock and its on a very slippery surface which can be the case on the steep hairpin sections.

    On the other sections this can be compensated for by shifting up a gear as the straights are slightly longer than on the hairpins and less steep.

    If it has been raining and the hairpin sections are particularly slick, caution would be advised
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    I dont have the experience that many on the forum has. I however wouldnt try it. When i drove the everest up the sani, i had to make a 3 point turn at the 2nd last hairpin turn to the top. On the way down it wasnt an issue. But towing a trailer, those hairpins may be an issue. Also driving down on compression whilst towing a trailer, if the trailer is moving faster on than the car it may cause issues such as overheating on the car hydraulics or even slipping? I'm not sure as this is more of a theoretical hypothesis. I have no experince in it

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Donít forget someone drove up there with a Ford serreria many years back towing a standard caravan.

    I think the main issues is that it is a cakewalk in good conditions, but snow, ice and rain can turn things challenging very quickly.

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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Itís doable if itís dry. Just use 1st low on the top section, thereafter 2nd and 3rd low on the long straights, but always keep speed in mind, and make sure you never need to do any sudden breaking.

    if your trailer brakes can be overridden/disengaged, I would do this after the hairpins to avoid overheating. If you canít, just take it really slow, and it shouldnít be an issue anyway. If the trailer brakes do overheat, it wonít cause any immediate issues, as the speeds you are doing should be slow enough that the vehicle engine braking and then the cars brakes, should be sufficient, but I would then replace the wheel bearing grease once I reach the bottom, or as soon as possible thereafter.

    if itís raining, donít do it. If there is snow/ice, definately donít do it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    Hello,

    Thank you so much to everyone who posted their thoughts. You gave us things to think about for the future. We have decided to take another route home for 2 reasons. The first being the time of year and the chance of bad conditions. The second is that we will be travelling alone and are fairly new to 4x4ing. We feel we need to play it safe until we are more familiar with the vehicle and with towing.
    Many thanks.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Towing down Sani Pass

    If it's dry, I am sure it's no problem at all.

    If there's black ice, not so much. I would not try it if there's snow on the ground, and would think carefully if it's wet.
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