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Post Info TOPIC: the alpine way


Newbie

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the alpine way


Looking at taking a trip from Adelaide eventually, crossing the snowy mountains via the great alpine way, looking for advice, is the road suitable for a caravan, and is the last week of October okay, meaning will the roads be clear, towing with a ford ranger , not a big caravan 18 ft thank you



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Welcome to GN's archy.

I have towed 6.5M Evernew behind Patrol over - take it slow, use your gears keeping revs to a minimum and you should be OK with your Ford. As you have already intimated the road should be clear in October, although weather pattern is hard to predict of late.

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Yes, I have done it with my Ford Ranger towing a bigger van than yours. The trip is certainly one of the more challenging ones in Australia and I would not recommend it for someone without a fair bit of towing experience. And absolutely not for anyone with override braking system. If using your gears for braking and adjusting the brake controller is second nature, and you have means to watch your transmission temperature, then you should be fine.

National Parks caution against towing a van there, but it is not banned. I spoke to them personally at the Thredbo office and their advice was "if experienced you should be fine".

The road is narrow in places and I was glad not to encounter a truck in some of them. But trucks and buses do use the route. There is about 15km of steep descent that will give your brakes a workout. But I only needed to drop back to 1st gear occasionally from memory. You want the engine to do as much of the braking as possible. You probably should stop a couple of times to let the brakes cool. The uphill slog is about the same and will blow the cobwebs away as you work the engine. I always monitor the transmission temperature, and it gets hot on both ascent and descent. Plan to stop part way and idle for a while.

With your smaller van it should be a bit easier.

A note on stopping to allow the brakes to cool. If the disks and drums are baking hot, stopping causes then to cool unevenly. This is because the metal in contact with the friction material cools more slowly. This risks the disks or drums becoming distorted. The solution is to only stop for a few seconds before rolling a few inches, and do this a few times until they have cooled to normal operating temperature.


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Guru

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Excellent advice from previous posters.

The only thing I have to add is to say under *NO circumstances whatsoever* take a caravan along the Barry Way which runs south from Jindabyne to Bairnsdale. Parts of it are a narrow, unsealed mountain road often only one lane wide.



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