Tips For Towing Your Trailer or Caravan Along the Beach

The thought of towing your home on wheels down a beach or soft track can be daunting, it certainly took us a while to build up the confidence to do solo trips along remote beaches on our trip around Australia. However, these days if we stumble across a remote beach you bet, we will be dropping the tyres and searching for that perfect camp. Having the confidence to tow your home up the beach opens up a whole new world of camping options and will often get you to that picture-perfect camp spot without another soul around.

Beach camping has always been our go-to, our first trips were in our old and trusty single cab Hilux which we’d sleep in the back of. The formula back then was simple, drop your tyres and give it plenty of right foot! But as our camping/ touring set up has evolved we now have an extra pair of wheels dragging behind us, which makes beach driving a little trickier, but certainly still do-able. So, we thought we’d save you a little bit of pain and share a few tips we’ve learnt along the way. Admittedly most were learnt the hard way.

When it comes to beach driving tyre pressure is your best friend. Something a lot of people overlook (we too were guilty of this) is the pressure in your trailer tyres. If your tyre pressures are too high you will find the tyres dig into the sand and you will be pushing a mound of sand in front of your tyres, so your essentially just dragging an anchor.

This means your car is working a lot harder than it has to pull you through the soft stuff. The rule we follow is to put half the pressure of the car tyres in the trailer tyres, so if the cars on 18psi we will run 9psi in the trailer.

If we plan on driving a beach, we are unfamiliar with, we will drop the car to 12psi and run 6psi on the trailer. Most people will think that’s quite low but every tyre is different so for our Nitto Grapplers that’s the sweet spot. If we find that combo isn’t doing the trick and it’s time to turn around, then we still have a bit of wiggle room if we need to go lower to get us out of trouble.

When your towing along a beach it always pays to plan for the worst and drop the tyres a little lower, I’d rather spend an extra 5 minutes airing up than 2 hours on the shovel.

Something we didn’t have to worry about with the old Hilux was traction control, but these days most 4WD have it, ours included.

When you’re on the road or tackling a technical track traction control works wonders, but when you hit the soft stuff it can quickly turn against you. So, make sure you turn traction control off before you hit the beach.

We will also slip our car into low range before towing along a beach. This takes some stress off the car and allows the transmission temperature to stay at a better working level.

Another simple trick we learnt is lowering the setting on our brake controller when beach driving. If the brake control is set too high and you apply the brakes your trailer wheels will dig into the sand and may cause you a little strife when you drive off. It will also make cornering a lot safer, if you accidentally apply the brakes on a corner on a high setting the trailer tyres will lock up and slide around the corner and could leave you in a sticky situation.

Of course, things don’t always go to plan when 4WDing especially towing, but we think that’s half the fun. As a bare minimum we always take sure we have 2 pairs of Maxtrax, a shovel and a quality air compressor on board that can handle pumping up 6 tyres on a summer’s day. This will get you out of most sticky situations!

We hope these tips give you a little more confidence to tow your camper or caravan along the beach. We are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to beach camping in Australia so make sure you take advantage of it and get your home on wheels to that hidden gem you’ve always dreamt of parking up at!