Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny





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  1. #1
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    Default Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Good Morning All

    Last year July the family did a 6500 km round trip from Cape Town up to Epupa Falls and back.

    I towed my Conqueror Comfort with my Patrol, my brother-in-law towed his Bushlapa with his Cruiser, and my parents-in-law followed in their Suzuki Jimny.

    If you consider the vehicles and the trailer and caravan we towed I'm sure you'd agree that we created a great platform to compare arguably some of the most discussed 4x4 vehicles as well as caravan and trailer brands in South Africa.

    Before we did the trip we probably watched all the content we could on YouTube about the trip and specifically the Van Zyl's Pass so in my opinion I believe we have created one of the best quality videos of us descending the pass using various camera angles to view the descent from different sides of the vehicles and get a really good idea of how challenging it is to descend while being pushed down the hill by your caravan or trailer.

    Some points about the descent:

    - The Conqueror had a busted leaf spring at the time and still made it down without a hitch. You'll notice some squeaking in the video attesting to the broken component.
    - I pulled up the handbrake of the Comfort before the descent to help reduce the amount of pushing, but that didnt help that much once the auto-reverse kicked in, which disables the brake. My brother-in-law couldn't use his handbrake on the Bushlapa because it's one of those brakes which is either completely on or off.
    - The grinding noise heard from the Bushlapa during the descent is the sounds of the front right corner of the chassis being dragged across the rocks. The difference in distance between the Patrol's rear axle and Comfort vs. the Cruiser rear axle and Bushlapa is 800mm where the Cruiser is longer, which played a significant roll in traversing terrain with severe acute and obtuse angles.
    - Both my brother-in-law and I had our feet 100% on the breaks while making the descent at the steepest part despite it looking as if we came down too fast. Brakes and tires dont mean much at all when you've got 1.5T of load pushing you from behind on loose gravel on a rocky surface.

    Here is the link to the YouTube video of the event https://youtu.be/_BvpDqax80c

    Feel free to take a look at some of the other content of the trip.

    Cheers
    Hugh
    Last edited by HKirby; 2020/04/27 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Spelling and grammar


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Cool video. It does make it look quite easy, especially with talking the driver down. I’m keen to go!

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    My next big trip. For sure
    _______________________________________
    Dum vivimus, vivamus!
    With a mild case of "Camping Personality Disorder" or CPD

    I drive a five cylinder bakkie and tow an army inspired van.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBob View Post
    Cool video. It does make it look quite easy, especially with talking the driver down. I’m keen to go!
    Having someone help you who is outside the car with a radio is an absolute necessity in my opinion. The drop is severe in a few places and depending on the car it impossible to see where you are driving or where to put your wheels because your bonnet is in the way. The other challenge is if you are towing because now you have 6 wheels to watch and they dont follow the same travel path so you need someone else to watch that all for you.

    I suppose you could use hand signals, but we've been touring for a few years now and we know from experience that hand signals are not always that great at communicating the finer details and different people have different ways of signaling.

    P.S. When we drove the pass last year there was an old green cruiser at the bottom of the gorge, but now I see from the latest Top Gear Review of the new Land Rover that there is a new white vehicle down there.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    why do I have a feeling we will be seeing a few caravans and big trailers lying around along the pass in the future...

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Very nicely done!
    Loved the video.
    2018 Ranger DC 2.2 XLS Auto 4x4

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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Very nice van Zyl's video. Excellent filming and editing!.

    The only thing that worries me a little are the regular remarks that the pass was relatively easy. I fear this might give the wrong impression to those still to follow that road. You drove it very well despite the obvious hazard of towing and were very well directed. In July the pass will usually be at its very best. In your video one can see all the packed rocks from the many that preceded you, since the last rain that April. I assure you that earlier in the year those steps, gullies and wash-aways are significantly more difficult.

    I remain convinced that I do not want to tow on van Zyl's. We all say after the event if undamaged, that van Zyl's was easier than expected. Watchers just have to watch the video and see the respect that parts were accorded, to realize that the potential for problems is just below the surface. There is not much room for error. Well done!
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Very nice van Zyl's video. Excellent filming and editing!.

    The only thing that worries me a little are the regular remarks that the pass was relatively easy. I fear this might give the wrong impression to those still to follow that road. You drove it very well despite the obvious hazard of towing and were very well directed. In July the pass will usually be at its very best. In your video one can see all the packed rocks from the many that preceded you, since the last rain that April. I assure you that earlier in the year those steps, gullies and wash-aways are significantly more difficult.

    I remain convinced that I do not want to tow on van Zyl's. We all say after the event if undamaged, that van Zyl's was easier than expected. Watchers just have to watch the video and see the respect that parts were accorded, to realize that the potential for problems is just below the surface. There is not much room for error. Well done!
    Hi Stan.

    What I can say is that I will never tow down Van Zyls again now that I've done it. Towing added a lot more stress to the journey and that part where you get pushed down the pass by the trailer was very scary. White knuckle stuff I assure you.

    If I remember correctly, the drive from Van Zyl's Camp to the bottom of the pass took us about 4 hours whereas the vehicles behind us who were not towing did it in almost half the time.

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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Thanks for sharing your post with us.
    Van zyls is definitely way up on my bucket list. Your filming was of a very high standard indeed.

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  15. #10
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    A lot of things very well done:

    1. Rigs are top notch
    2. Proper planning
    3. Due diligence - getting out and plan before committing the decent
    4. Communications and trust was key
    5. Filming, really nicely done
    6. People placed safely way from possible danger - aka not trying to support vehicle or van on the leaning edge

    Still high on my bucket-list, however not with the Ratel in tow.

    Loads of memories made on that trip
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Dankie julle, ek het dit baie geniet.

    Het al baie van die pas gehoor maar die eerstekeer wat ek nou kan sien wat dit behels, NEE dankie ek sal hom skip.

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  19. #12
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Waar kom jy nou eers vandaan? jy het meer dankies as posts en is al hoe lank lid,.

    Uitstekend video baie dankie. Jou manier en styl van rigting wys is van die beste wat ek nog gesien het, geen wonder dit klink maklik.

    Op die video het jy gevra watse sleepwa daar lê wel die eer gaan aan Metalian. Net sy A raam het gesneuwel en kon seker met 'n nuwe monteer plaat uitgesleep word alhoewel ek oortuig is die eienaar het die regte ding gedoen om dit daar te laat. Hier onder is die pos wat meer vertel.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...%20zyls%20pass

    Hoop om baie meer van jou bydraes te sien
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtber View Post
    Very nicely done!
    Loved the video.
    Ok so I watched the rest of the videos... hope you’re planning on making more 😁
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by hbannink View Post
    Waar kom jy nou eers vandaan? jy het meer dankies as posts en is al hoe lank lid,.

    Uitstekend video baie dankie. Jou manier en styl van rigting wys is van die beste wat ek nog gesien het, geen wonder dit klink maklik.

    Op die video het jy gevra watse sleepwa daar lê wel die eer gaan aan Metalian. Net sy A raam het gesneuwel en kon seker met 'n nuwe monteer plaat uitgesleep word alhoewel ek oortuig is die eienaar het die regte ding gedoen om dit daar te laat. Hier onder is die pos wat meer vertel.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...%20zyls%20pass

    Hoop om baie meer van jou bydraes te sien
    Baie dankie Henk!

    Nou meet ek oor slaan na Engels...ek praat mooi Afrikaans, maar my spel en tik is n bietjie rusty��

    The honour of the film editing must go to my brother-in-law Juan who you can see in the video. He drives the LC. It's his 1st attempt at editing video and I think he's done a really good job.

    Both of us work in IT and the year that as passed was so busy for the both of us that we couldn't get a chance to edit all our footage until now. I guess the lockdown has some advantages.

    Thanks for the link to the trailer.

    When we went down the pass there was a old green LC at the bottom of the pass, which had obviously rolled down there during the descent for some or other reason. Looks like it had been there for a long time and I now saw on the Top Gear review of the new Defender that there appears to be a new white vehicle down at the bottom with the old LC.

    Cheers
    H
    Last edited by HKirby; 2020/04/27 at 07:14 AM.

  23. #15
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    HKirby, could I suggest that you should publish the links to all your other Namibian YouTube episodes from this trip? They are all well worth a watch.
    Forum members will love them.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Great video HKirby. Thank you for posting.
    Watching it brought back many memories of when my wife and I did about 17 years ago in an 2.8 Isuzu DC.

    Looking forward to watching more of your videos.
    Sam
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    HKirby, could I suggest that you should publish the links to all your other Namibian YouTube episodes from this trip? They are all well worth a watch.
    Forum members will love them.
    Hi Stan

    Good suggestion. Thank you.

    Below is the link to our channel where viewers will be able to view all the videos. My brother-in-law will probably be posting more content from the trip in the days to come.


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr8...cTUT8CcEKFDK_w

    Cheers
    H

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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Respek en baie ysterballe vir julle met daardie waens agteraan. Ek kan dink dat jy dit nie weer gaan doen nie.

    In 2012 is ons met 7 GSe en bystand-4x4 daar deur. Skrikwekkend maar, oooooooo, so lekker.

    Foto van die eerste step na die uitkykpunt.
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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by HKirby View Post
    Hi Stan

    Good suggestion. Thank you.

    Below is the link to our channel where viewers will be able to view all the videos. My brother-in-law will probably be posting more content from the trip in the days to come.


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr8...cTUT8CcEKFDK_w

    Cheers
    H
    Good morning.
    Yes, we still have about 3 videos remaining for the trip.
    - Camp Syncro to Marble via Jouberts Pass and then to Ongongo via Hoarusib Riverbed 4wd trail
    - Ongongo to Etosha via Khowarib Trail (very unique trail)
    - De Hoop in Richersveld on our way back to CT

    Previous trips also on the bucket list for editing.

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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Down Van Zyls Pass Towing Trailers and Caravans: Patrol, Cruiser, and Jimny

    Quote Originally Posted by HKirby View Post
    Hi Stan.

    What I can say is that I will never tow down Van Zyls again now that I've done it. Towing added a lot more stress to the journey and that part where you get pushed down the pass by the trailer was very scary. White knuckle stuff I assure you.

    If I remember correctly, the drive from Van Zyl's Camp to the bottom of the pass took us about 4 hours whereas the vehicles behind us who were not towing did it in almost half the time.
    Ons het daardie aand in Camp Syncro besef hoe baie beplanning in die Van Zyl's pas dag gegaan het en seker hoekom ons op die oomblik gedink het dis nie so erg nie. As 'n opsomming van my ondervinding:


    • Die Van Zyl's pas kan jou vinnig in die moeilikheid bring as jy nie voorberei is nie
    • Voorbereiding is ook ondervinding. Ek, Hugh en my pa (Jimny) het al baie ware graad 3 en 4 klip en sand roetes gedoen wat baie help met besluitneming en die lyn wat jy kies om te ry
    • Ek dink Hugh het dit ook genoem, hand radio was verseker brood nodig. Met die angle wat jy is in die voertuig kan jy omtrent niks onder jou sien nie
    • As jy nie goeie remme het nie, don't do it. Ek het standaard remme op die LC gehad en die Bushlapa het my laat hard werk. As jou remme jou daar los, los jy alles daar.
    • Om te sleep deur die pas vat baie aandag en dus dat ek weer wil gaan sonder om te sleep sodat ek kan sien hoe van zyl's pas lyk :-)
    • Die roete na Van Zyl's kamp is rof. Ek dink dis die D3703 (Ombuku). Veral die laaste "rocky climb".. en sleep daar was nie pret nie


    Sien uit na dievolgende trip.

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