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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by kavirondo View Post
    Going in to this hill the following was true:

    Tyre pressure on car and trailer reduced
    Low range selected
    HDC engaged

    More facts:
    it was 18.30 or so and late dusk, lights on.

    I went in to it with insufficient speed as I was tired and hungry, and in wrong gear - 2nd Low as I remember it.

    Sorry you didnt read it all.
    It is unlikely that I would ever unhook my trailer in an uphill scenario because the trailed handbrake is almost useless in reverse and would inch the combination down to where one could get grip, or retire for the evening so that one could assess the situation during the day.

    Tyre pressure reduced, - to me depends on many factors, as to how much one should reduce this by - If stuck, it might mean that one might have to reduce pressure even more and one might have to inflate again after the "obstacle".

    The Pre-facelift Discos did not have a Centre Differential Lock. Have you modded the centre difflock? If not, I would suggest that this should be your first "must do's" (If your transfer case could be modded. If the bolt is there, you could also just manually engage/disengage this with a spanner) even sooner than a winch. I can imagine battling with the open diffs, with the vehicle at that steep angle, all power going to the front axle and traction control also hampering forward momentum.

    With the right line, 2nd Low, centre diff engaged and the necessary momentum you should not have battled.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    I had an "exciting" experience somewhat similar a number of years back on a rocky slope on the track to Matusadonna GR in Zim.
    Also early evening and starting to get dark with predators nearby, so handled the situation as fast as possible.

    In my case one of the bolts on the gooseneck snapped and before I became aware of it the other had worked its way loose (not entirely off).
    I had no choice but to unhitch - but plenty of rocks around for "chocking" the wheels.
    Fortunately I had ONE spare nut and bolt which could fit to replace the snapped one.

    I left the safety chain on, unhitched and dropped the trailer (slowly) onto it using the jockey wheel winder so as to take the weight off the gooseneck.
    Replaced the nut & bolt and tightened all up as best I could with normal spanners.
    Some bloody knuckles in the process!

    It was "interesting" getting the trailer re-hitched properly onto the ball, but managed after some struggling.
    By this time it was pitch dark and had to do the rest of the trip to the campsite in off road conditions (rocky terrain mainly) which was also "interesting".

    Scary at the time, but good experience for self education.
    This is how we learn.

    The next morning the staff at the office informed me that they were about to send out a search party for us when they noticed that we had finally arrived.

    They did not penalise us for late arrival at camp and in fact offered their workshop to assist in tightening the bolts fully.

    At that time the "road" was in poor condition taking us about 7 hours to do the 70 odd km from the main road to the campsite.
    As mentioned, pictures seem to flatten out the terrain so do not show the actual gradient.
    SWAMBO did not take any of the actual event due to said nearby predators, in this case, hyenas.

    I will post one or two pics showing the general sate of the track at the time.
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    Peter Hutchison
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    [B][SIZE=2][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=2][B]ISUZU KB 280 DT LE
    Modified Glider Hunter trailer fitted with RTT.
    Platkar = Chevy Spark 1.2

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  5. #43
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Here's a thought: If you had a winch, and if the vehicle could carry on up the slope without the trailer weight, you could chock the uncoupled trailer, drive the vehicle 10m or so up, winch the trailer up to the vehicle, repeating this until you have enough traction. I know this was not an option with the OP
    Mike Lauterbach

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  7. #44
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    I have been photographing 4x4's on hills for ten years. That hill is flippen steep. Look how much the front suspension has un-loaded. I have seen photos taken on Koos se Klip (a 43 degree incline) that don't look much worse than that.

    I have fortunately never been in this situation, but I would also have been hesitant to try reversing. The problem is that the moment you start jack-knifing the situation obviously becomes immeasurably worse. With a narrow trailer like that it is very difficult to see when it starts swinging, making it very difficult to correct in time. For what it's worth (which is nothing) I applaud you on a well-executed plan. Waiting a while was definitely a good move.

    I am actually wondering now whether I can make provision for connecting a snatch block to my trailer's chassis, such that the weight can be taken up before un-hitching it. My other concern would be what to do if the trailer's balance point is exceeded and it starts tipping over backwards.
    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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  9. #45
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    The LROC Gautengs advice was if it won't go on the vehicle or in the vehicle, leave it behind. No trailer.

  10. #46
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    After struggling [by myself] to winch my boat onto its trailer with the hand winch, I finally bought my wife a Warn 9000 winch for Mothers day.
    Best present I ever gave her.

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  12. #47
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    After struggling [by myself] to winch my boat onto its trailer with the hand winch, I finally bought my wife a Warn 9000 winch for Mothers day.
    Best present I ever gave her.
    Lucky lady

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    And I bet the locals drive up that hill with old well worn 2wd platkarre

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  15. #49
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    An actual 4x4 thread for once!
    very interesting, and makes one wonder what I would have done in that situation.
    I think unhitching would have been very low on my list of things to have done though.
    The road surface looks reasonably hard, so I probably would have spun the sht out of the tyres and steering wheel trying to get some traction.
    When that failed, id probably have asked all those men to help push while I spun the tyres some more.
    Then I think I would have attempted a slow reverse in low range and/or on the brakes.


    maybe Im lucky it wasnt me on that hill but you though
    Graham Robertson
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  17. #50
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    What I learnt about trailer towing on beaches and hill sections, you have to get it right the first time.

    What i have done to my trailer to help; during a recovery is, I fitted a back tow ball.

    For a few reasons:

    The early days of driving to Sodwana bay the road was so bad that we normally took the beach. and I often did a recovery of stuck vehicles without unhitching my trailer or ended up towing two trailers to help people get going.

    The other reason was if I got stuck I could be recovered backwards without unhitching. It keeps the trailer going straight backwards and something to hitch to. And if I have to unhitch the trailer can be recovered backwards without having to turn the trailer around until solid ground, making a trailer recovery much, mush easier.

    A hill recovery like towing on the beach in soft sand, it is almost impossible to reverse backwards without the trailer jackknifing. But with assistance with a second vehicle - a tow can keep the trailer going straight back. The tow vehicle does not "tow" the stuck vehicle:- it just keeps the trailer going straight. it's easier on a flat beach section. But it does work on a hill recovery. huge discipline, communication and trust is required on a "tow" like this. I normal use a longer rope, to allow for mistakes.

    The second vehicle just tugs the trailer straight, with little gentle tugs. Even just to get the trailer in a straight line again.

    First don't get stuck with a trailer.
    Last edited by K-9; 2020/12/07 at 01:08 PM.
    Current off-road vehicles: *** Great family accommodation. See Facebook, Google maps and airbnb. Mkulu Kei at Wild Wind Ranch
    * 1975/8 SHREK LAND-CRUISER FJ40 DIESEL P/U, BFG 31x10.5 muds. 1.6 ton tirfor winchs
    * 1994 LAND-CRUISER J70 DIESEL P/U, my truck recovery vehicle. 15000 warn winch. And 3.5ton tirfor winch. Back full of appropriate sized recovery gear. BFG31x10.5 muds
    * 2014 LAND-CRUISER LX V8 76 DIESEL STATION WAGON, BFG's 285 all terrain.

    * 2011 HILUX 4X4 P/U, BFG 31x10.5 all terrain
    * 1999 PAJERO 3.5 V6 Mitsubishi (sorry not a Toyota), BFG 31x10.5 all terrain
    * 2006 FORD ranger 2.5 diesel. 4x4, (what was I thinking, also not a Toyota!) I have a spare 5000 warn winch I might fit.
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  19. #51
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    YES!
    A good off-road / overlanding issue thread.
    Thank you OP.

    This is also done in flood type emergency river crossings.

    One vehicle in front (the towing vehicle) and another behind with a strap, rope or whatever available attached to the back of the trailer / caravan to keep it in line and (hopefully) stop it from being swept off to one side and so taking the towing vehicle with it.
    Also helps for trailer / caravan / towing vehicle and assisting vehicle to all have tyre pressures lowered right down if practical under the particular prevailing circumstances.
    Peter Hutchison
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    [B][SIZE=2][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=2][B]ISUZU KB 280 DT LE
    Modified Glider Hunter trailer fitted with RTT.
    Platkar = Chevy Spark 1.2

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  21. #52
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    About a year ago, I towed my Explorer off road caravan with my Hilux, in the Anderson mountains near Lydenburg. Gravel road with some very steep passes. I drove into a proper thunderstorm. I kept driving and just before another steep incline, an idea pop into my head that say, stop! I stopped and decided to walk the steep incline first, to check if it is slippery. It was VERY slippery! If I tried to drive that pass, the Hilux with the caravan could have slipped backwards whilst totally out of control. It would have been a disaster!
    Last edited by Laevelder; 2020/12/07 at 02:10 PM.

  22. #53
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    [QUOTE=JP vd Merwe;4534278]It is unlikely that I would ever unhook my trailer in an uphill scenario because the trailed handbrake is almost useless in reverse

    I dont know how the brakes work on that trailer but I discovered much to my disbelieve that the hand brake on the Echo 4 does NOT work when it is going backwards.
    Luckily I discovered it on a fairly slight gradient in a camp site and not in our drive way which is a 1 in 5 slope.
    ONLY Chocks will stop it from rolling back when it is on a incline. In my opinion it is a very dangerouse setup.

    When I queried it with the manufacturer they told me that it is against the law to have a trailers brakes work in reverse.
    It seems that this law like so many others nowadays were created to protect ourselves from our own lack of ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
    Historically braked trailers & caravans were fitted with a little flap between the tow hitch coupling and the body of the trailer that could be flipped over the hitch push rod to prevent it from braking when you needed to reverse.
    Apparently many people then forgot to flip the little flap out after they have reversed so that the brakes will engage when they resume forward motion.
    In effect they then had an unbraked trailer.
    Instead of solving the design problem axle manufacturers simply made the system so that the brakes or the handbrake will not work when the trailer is moving backwards.
    This "improvement" allow you to reverse any time you like without having to get out to disengage the brakes and when you are done reversing you can proceed forward again without having to get out to re-engage the brakes.

    If your trailer is fitted with one of these braked axles and you dont know it the following will happen if you did not chock the wheels to prevent it from rolling backwards.
    When you unhitch it on a steep incline even after pulling up the handbrake it would simply run backwards down the hill.

    We have to be very careful when we get stuck going up a hill becasue only the tow vehicles brakes will prevent it from running backwards.

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  24. #54
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Dawie;

    Interesting what you have said. My 2017 Explorer has rear brakes. When you try to reverse, the brake engage and the caravan stop. If you want to reverse with the caravan, you need to follow the following process: You reverse a bit, stop and then move forward a bit. Then the brake disengage and you can reverse.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    [QUOTE=K-9;4534798]What I learnt about trailer towing on beaches and hill sections, you have to get it right the first time.

    What i have done to my trailer to help; during a recovery is, I fitted a back tow ball.


    A tow hitch on the front of the vehicle is mandatory working on beaches. 'Pushed' boats around for years, much easier going forward than reversing. I don't tow much, so have never been in the Op's situation, no idea what I would have done!
    Nissan Hardbody 2.5cdi
    Nissan Terrano II

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    There were enough hands. Tie a rope to the front recovery point. Let the locals pull on the rope while you crawl in first. Youd be amazed at the extra oomph you get from 5-10 bodies pulling on a rope.

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  28. #57
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laevelder View Post
    Dawie;

    If you want to reverse with the caravan, you need to follow the following process: You reverse a bit, stop and then move forward a bit. Then the brake disengage and you can reverse.
    Thank you, I will try and find out how that works mechanically.
    I wonder if that is an improvement on the brake design I have?

  29. #58
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeml View Post
    Here's a thought: If you had a winch, and if the vehicle could carry on up the slope without the trailer weight, you could chock the uncoupled trailer, drive the vehicle 10m or so up, winch the trailer up to the vehicle, repeating this until you have enough traction. I know this was not an option with the OP
    Thats a strong sales pitch for a winch! Is that your day job? Ha ha...

  30. #59
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    After struggling [by myself] to winch my boat onto its trailer with the hand winch, I finally bought my wife a Warn 9000 winch for Mothers day.
    Best present I ever gave her.
    OK, solution now found. I never thought to buy my Wife the winch!!! Brilliant.

  31. #60
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    Default Re: Stuck on a hill with trailer, how to get out?

    If you had a winch just winch the car and trailer without unhooking the trailer. Another reason for a proppa winch
    Willie Knoetze

    2019 Nissan NP300 2.5tdi d/c 4x4

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