Towing Jayco Outback to Gibb River Road

by Kim
(Grafton, NSW)

In reading the stories I see you are saying it is accessible to most areas. Does that include the Mitchell Falls area or would it be advisable to leave the Jayco at a major camping area, and travel lighter?
Could you tell us, is it necessary to take 2 spare tyres for Jayco as well as the vehicle?

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Related Reader Pages:
Spare Tyres for the Gibb River Road
Gibb River Road with camper trailer?
Gibb River Road Adventure with Jayco Outback Swan (trip report)

Re: Towing Jayco Outback to Gibb River Road


Hi Kim,
Jaycos are not the toughest trailers out there. With one of them in tow you have to take it very easy, but as long as you drive to the conditions you should be ok. Tyres and suspension are the biggest trouble points, so drop tyre pressures and go slow. That are the two main things that will avoid trouble. Ignore them at your own peril.

(Seriously, trailers DO rattle apart if you ignore this advice.)

If your trailer will be ok at the Mitchell Falls depends on the time of the year and the state of the track, which can vary wildly. One problem would be the river crossings, especially the King Edward River, early in the season. As long as the water is low enough to cross with a trailer you should be fine.

If the track up to the Mitchell Plateau is rough I'd suggest to set up camp at the King Edward River.

Definitely do not attempt to take the trailer down to Port Warrender.

Well, ideally you would carry two spares for the Jayco as well. In part it depends how much you tend to worry. It is stressful to put on the spare and then drive on a rough road, knowing that if something goes wrong, there is no other spare...

But of course it also depends on your load, on how you drive, where exactly you will go, the pressures you run, how good the tyres are to begin with... Murphy says if you take one you will need two. If you take two you will need none.

Do you know what to do with a puncture repair kit? You could also get a can of "Slime" (the liquid stuff you can put inside a tyre that seals holes up to 6 mm from the inside). That would get you out of trouble and to the next repair facility if needed.

Drop the pressure in all tyres when you leave the bitumen, to minimise problems.

Also, the slower you drive, the less likely you are to have problems.

Comments for Towing Jayco Outback to Gibb River Road

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Apr 22, 2008
Thanks 4 information
by: Kim

I'm a little concerned about the tyre scenario as we are traveling as a 4 person family and space is scarce. We have a new Outback Jayco with LT235/75 tyres Cruiser new Goodrich all terrain 275/70 R16s. We would like to travel the Gibb River Road and detour to Mitchell Plateu and other semi remote areas. With the wealth of knowledge of your readers do you suggest 1 or 2 spares per vehicle?

Apr 22, 2008
Difficult decision
by: Birgit

Starting out with new tyres is good. But with four people and all their gear on board the vehicle and trailer may be heavily loaded. Unfortunately that increases the risk of punctures.

(You may also need slightly higher pressures than the usual offroad ballpark figures.)

I understand you want to take as little as possible. It makes sense. Nobody wants four spares on board. As I mentioned in the original question, there are other ways to keep you rolling, apart from taking full spares.

You can take spare tubes (very little weight and space) and learn how to put them in, or you can learn how to use patches to repair tyres. And you can buy a can or two of the stuff that seals them from the inside.

Does anyone in your area run 4WD training courses? I would think they would usually also offer classes on tyres and how to fix them.

If I was in your situation, I'd still take two spares for each, simply because I can't be bothered doing repairs at the side of the road in the middle of the day. I just don't want the hassle.

But that's just me. Others might think differently about it. (Actually, I would have had the trailer modified so it can take the same tyres as the car...)

If I could only take one I would definitely have a puncture repair kit and spare tubes, as well as some of the spray can stuff.

But I'm not you. Obviously you would need to know what to do with all that stuff.

If you want more specific information, specific for your particular set up and tyres, you could post on the exploroz.com forum. The guys there have a lot more technical knowledge and they usually like debating that stuff. (But I warn you, it can get a bit technical.)

You know all the factors that come into it and the options you have. In the end you have to make the decision. There is no perfect solution.

Apr 12, 2009
Gibb River Road
by: Anonymous

Hi

We traveled the Gibb with an outback Jayco Hawk all the way to Mitchell falls. No flat tyres just some loose screws and a broken door handle. We live in the Pilbara and regulary "drag" our Jayco over some rough tracks.

I believe my success in 4WD over the last 6 years with no flat tyres is due to tyre pressure. 20 to 22 psi and never over 80km/hr on dirt.

My friends now agree as I have witnessed over 20 flats tyres over these years on trips with them and I still change my tyres when it final goes bald. BF Goodrich AT 85,000 kms and Pirelli Scorpion A/T

May 11, 2009
Jayco Caravans on the Gibb
by: David T.

The last thing I want to do is to knock any brand of Caravans, but to take a Jayco( any type) on the Gibb and more particularly to the King Edward River and beyond, is asking for trouble.

Sure if the road has been recently graded, you are taking your time and your tyre pressure has been lowered, then you may well get through.

There are many examples of suspension problems, frame breakages, cupboards falling off, doors falling off etc etc. These things happen to dedicated off road vans as well, when driven as if there is no tomorrow.

If you have a young family and expect to do the Gibb in a Jayco, my advise is to rethink your strategy. If you still want to go have installed a UHF in your drive vehicle so contact with other travelers is possible. You may well need assistance! Good Luck

Jun 21, 2011
Not in a Rush and Think
by: Johnno

I have a 2006 Jayco Eagle Outback clocked up a few kilometers in areas (NT, Kimberley, Goldfields) that need a bit of prior planning and mind set. Keeping an eye on weight distribution, bearing temperatures, tyre wear, tyre pressure and lubrication schedules regularly can set your mind at ease.

If you see a wash out coming, slow down and creep over it. Drop your electric breaks down so you do not drag sharp rocks under the tread. If you cannot slow down in time, you are driving too fast. Take your time and the van will make it.
An expensive van can break as well if a clown is at the controls.

If after a days travel, you open your van and the doors are smashed, food everywhere and dust - think about what caused it (too fast and overinflated tyres)and how you can fix it for next time?

Have fun

Oct 19, 2011
Jayco Penguin Outback 2008 model
by: RobL

Starting in late May 2011 we went via Tanami track to Halls Creek then spent 2 weeks on Dampier Peninsular and a full month (2,200km) on the Gibb and nearly all its attractions.

Even the road into Bungle Bungles was OK (42 creek crossings and some idiots chewing up the exits etc). No tyre problems and I still have the original tyres which went to Cape York 2 years ago as well. I carry 1 spare wheel and tie 2 spare tyre carcasses under the Jayco - 1 for the Prado and 1 for the Jayco (plenty of room to attach them to the chassis).

I carry tyre pliers and tubes and a "spagetti" tyre repair kit.

Advice: watch your weight in the van, run at 25psi in van tyres, don't exceed 80kph, don't believe what you are told about road conditions - they are almost universally wrong and often stupid, talk to real locals for reliable info, Mitchell Falls road was easy 90% and need slow crawl over some rocky bits in the last 10km or so.

Cheers and good management(not luck).

Rob

Apr 26, 2012
Outback by name
by: Grant

Let me know how you go. I pulled a Kimberly Kamper along the Gibb and seemed to be the slowest out there. I now own a Dove Outback and want to do the trip again but know the consequences. Bad! LOW speed will prevent many dramas.

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