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  1. #1
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    Default Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Hi All,

    Hope this is the correct forum, but I need some advice from the Pros out there who pull trailers in tricky places.

    I missed a gear going up a steep hill while pulling trailer, and so defaulted. The hill was very slippery with loose dust and rocky surface. Neither trailer nor hitch nor landy were grounded out. I could not proceed up the hill but I could reverse.

    The question is, how do you reverse downhill with a trailer? 4x4 text books say, put both feet on the floor, put car in gear with engine off, then start the engine with car in gear and let it roll back under engine braking. But thats way too fast for steering a trailer, and then the rough road, makes it all harder.

    I would love some advice for next time.

    Alex

    PS I was using a Discovery2 and an XT140 Trailer

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by kavirondo View Post
    Hi All,

    Hope this is the correct forum, but I need some advice from the Pros out there who pull trailers in tricky places.

    I missed a gear going up a steep hill while pulling trailer, and so defaulted. The hill was very slippery with loose dust and rocky surface. Neither trailer nor hitch nor landy were grounded out. I could not proceed up the hill but I could reverse.

    The question is, how do you reverse downhill with a trailer? 4x4 text books say, put both feet on the floor, put car in gear with engine off, then start the engine with car in gear and let it roll back under engine braking. But thats way too fast for steering a trailer, and then the rough road, makes it all harder.

    I would love some advice for next time.

    Alex

    PS I was using a Discovery2 and an XT140 Trailer
    Would low range reverse be too fast?
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    It will end in disaster. Unhook the trailer and lead it down. Secure it with rope to the vehicle.
    Mercedes W123 300D, runs on Mother Natures Goodness.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    It will end in disaster. Unhook the trailer and lead it down. Secure it with rope to the vehicle.
    I'd say this won't end well unless you chock the trailer wheels first.
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    I'd say this won't end well unless you chock the trailer wheels first.
    Also weight and load on tow hitch ball and socket makes it harder to disconnect,
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    This seems like one of those situations where you really really want a winch on the back of the car...
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    This seems like one of those situations where you really really want a winch on the back of the car...
    Just run the cable under the vehicle.
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Unhitching on a steep incline, up or down, is a very easy sure fire way to lose your trailer or damage vehicle. That XT140 is too heavy to unhitch, it will run away.
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    I have never been in this situation.
    I think I would start by deflating tires to maximise grip if this is an option.
    I would take weight off the trailer if possible. Empty water tank and take off jerry cans, that sort of thing.
    You could chock the trailer wheels, unhitch and then drive the Disco forward and when ok attatch a rope to the trailer to pull it but not sure if this is doable.

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  15. #10
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
    I have never been in this situation.
    I think I would start by deflating tires to maximise grip if this is an option.
    I would take weight off the trailer if possible. Empty water tank and take off jerry cans, that sort of thing.
    You could chock the trailer wheels, unhitch and then drive the Disco forward and when ok attatch a rope to the trailer to pull it but not sure if this is doable.
    Yes, if the tow vehicle on it's own can get going on the incline, a snatch rope might just do it if the steep section isn't that long.
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    How long is the hill?
    What kind of fauna is next to the hill?
    Is it a rutted two spoor path, with a middel mannetjie?
    Or sand?
    Or just a loose graveled rocky hill?
    Are there big rocks next to the hill that you could tie a strap too?
    What recovery equipment do you have?

    Send some photos
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    It will end in disaster. Unhook the trailer and lead it down. Secure it with rope to the vehicle.
    Thanks ZuluCowboy.

    This is exactly what I did in the end, glad I was on the right track. I set up a 2:1 purchase with a rope to the tow hitch of the car.

    Others are right, unhitching was difficult as the trailer draw bar was extended and hooked on the hitch. I had to chock the trailer weels and apply trailer brakes, then rock the landy back to push the drawbar in a little, then jack it off with hi-lift jack.

    I also opted to lower the trailer down with the skid plate on the bottom of the hitch touching the ground and acting as a bit of a plough.

    Everyone is right though the potentional for catastrophy was high, I ended up making camp by the road for the night to have a think about it.

    Cheers,

    Alex

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  19. #13
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    How long is the hill?
    What kind of fauna is next to the hill?
    Is it a rutted two spoor path, with a middel mannetjie?
    Or sand?
    Or just a loose graveled rocky hill?
    Are there big rocks next to the hill that you could tie a strap too?
    What recovery equipment do you have?

    Send some photos
    Hi,

    Photos below.

    Re fauna, not much sadly. Hyaenas came close in the night. This was the north west Matchews Range in Kenya.

    For recovery equipment, I have Hi-Lift Jack, Panga, Shovel, Ropes and Snatch strap, and Samburu Warriors (with AK 47).

    We recruited some excellent Samburu lads to help out. The rope system worked well that they werent really needed, but good to have more control. Besides, its imported to leave some $$$ behind in the communities.

    Click to make larger:

    Its amazing how the photos make the hill seem less steep.

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    Below: Obligatory Baraza (meeting) to "hows your father" remark of the price of goats today and agree a labour price.
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    Below: If you look carefully you can see the green rope with 2:1 purchase here.
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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
    I have never been in this situation.
    I think I would start by deflating tires to maximise grip if this is an option.
    I would take weight off the trailer if possible. Empty water tank and take off jerry cans, that sort of thing.
    You could chock the trailer wheels, unhitch and then drive the Disco forward and when ok attatch a rope to the trailer to pull it but not sure if this is doable.
    Hi,

    Tyres were deflated, tried that.

    I actually quite like your idea to get the disco going and then drag the trailer up on its hitch skid plate with a snatch strap.

    Has anyone tried that?

    Alex

  22. #15
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    This seems like one of those situations where you really really want a winch on the back of the car...
    Ah ha! Finally a reason to get permission from SWAMBO for a winch. I think getting 2 (one on the back) is too much so will run cable under the car as suggested below.

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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Would low range reverse be too fast?
    Yes, for sure.

  25. #17
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    That Disco II pre face lift, does it have hill decent and does it work in reverse. Is the car auto or manual.
    Glad you came right and a very interesting topic for future reference. Thank you

  26. #18
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    It always amazes me that some say a winch is too much weight and not an essential item.

  27. #19
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgwinduna View Post
    That Disco II pre face lift, does it have hill decent and does it work in reverse. Is the car auto or manual.
    Glad you came right and a very interesting topic for future reference. Thank you
    Its a 2002 td5 manual with HDC. Yes it does work in reverse, but for any of you that have tried it, HDC can be quite fast, and the pucker factor when you first get going before HDC kicks in can be quite high

    Its all a moot point as reversing a trailer at anything above a crawl goes wrong v. quickly.

    Alex

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  29. #20
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Tried HDC a few times... It's stupid in my opinion. If you have that right feel for your vehicle you can control the brakes yourself.

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