Camper trailer at rocky plains campground in winter?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by BrindiCruiser, Jan 29, 2017.

  1.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    hi folks,
    I am checking on the experiences of the forum.

    I am considering camping at Rocky Plains campground, near sawyers hut, off the snowy mountains highway. It is kinda close to Selwyn, where I will be skiing with kids and also starting XC and telemark in coming season.

    I will have a jayco swan and soft roader, Kia Sorrento. Will prob have 3 kids with me.
     
  2.  
    ladycamper

    ladycamper Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    It'll get cold there. Are all the others as committed as you?
     
  3.  
    Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Active Member

    Are you sure it's open during winter? Many camp grounds are closed. I haven't been able to determine if this one is - it is designed for people with horses, presumably outside winter months?
    I have camped at numerous National Park camp sites near the snow and it can get hairy in terms of (a) wind gusts sufficient to take out the middle canvas section of a Swan, (b) snow and the issues of weight and (c) extreme cold (down to minus 15 degrees. The temptation to stay warm can result in dangerous warming methods on occasion, so you must be very careful. I would seriously consider driving the extra distance down to Adaminaby? Some of the winter gusts (bullets would frighten the bejesus out of kids. Getting the Sorrento (particularly with a camper trailer in tow) could get tricky on the dirt road down to the camp if it is snowy or icy. I would call the National Parks guys for advice - they are very helpful.
     
    :thumbs: coolair likes this.
  4.  
    Gimp

    Gimp Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Delaneys hut is just around the corner. Sweet little catchment system. What about bunkering down at 3 mile, few little protected sites in there as well.
     
    :thumbs: crackson likes this.
  5.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    Definitely not as committed. Hence, I left my wife off list of potential attendees. My younger girls may not be keen either.

    If just my son and I, then tent camping it will be. I have a good little some tent.
     
    :thumbs: ladycamper likes this.
  6.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    Not sure it is open in winter. Can't see info online, so will call rangers at tumut. Winds and snow could make it a non starter in wrong conditions; which can be a lot of the time.

    Planning to put a diesel heater in.
     
  7.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    I spoke to rangers last year and they said parking and towing at 3 mile dam not a good idea because it often gets blocked by debris from snow plough.
     
  8.  
    Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Active Member

    Yes, not cheap but well worth it if you intend to do cold climate camping. I put one in my van and it is heaven. remember to use alpine diesel to prevent problems?
     
    :thumbs: BrindiCruiser likes this.
  9.  
    Belly

    Belly Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Interesting thread Brindi, I'm probably 3 to 4 years away from this but Selwyn looks like the most economical lifted solution to teach the little ones to ski/board (other than walking :) ). I've taken my soft floor camper trailer to Island Bend once, it really suffered in the wind (but survived unscathed). Hadn't really got to the thought process about camping options near Selwyn and don't know the area that well other than the occasional drive through the northern KP.
     
  10.  
    skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Do some Summer practice runs.
     
  11.  
    crackson

    crackson Dedicated Member 30 Day Pass

    Parks is full of dunny scrubbers pretending to be rangers. Do not take advice from them without ID.
     
  12.  
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Why not the camping area on lake EUCUMBENE NEAR PROVIDENCE PORTAL. mUCH MORE PROTECTED. mUCH LESS SNOW ACCUMULATION. pLENTY OF FIREWOOD. Sorry about the caps.
     
  13.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    I had not thought about needing alpine diesel but I think I itnis standard in canberra in winter. Which is where I live.

    Still debating costs, also thinking ahead to camping at THREDBO diggings and ngarigo in future.
     
  14.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    Is that the Denison campground? A mate and I are investigating options and he found that one today.
     
  15.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    I was thinking just that and riding some of the places where we plan to xc ski on my mountain bike.

    I could look at possible camping sites then with an eye to winter.
     
    :thumbs: skifree likes this.
  16.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    I have spent quite a bit of time at selwyn in last 3 years. Happy to answer questions or have a chat. I reckon it is fantastic for your families.
     
    :thumbs: Ubiquitous Steve and Belly like this.
  17.  
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Not sure what it is called but the turn off is just west of Gang Gang Creek. I went down there looking for some and then realised i had misread the sign. Very empty every time i have been there in winter.
     
    :thumbs: Kieran likes this.
  18.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Yep, SB is talking about Denison.
     
  19.  
    BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser New Member

    For all the help
     
  20.  
    Lord Back Country

    Lord Back Country Active Member

    I camped twice at 3 Mile Dam last winter and had a great time offering super easy 5 minute access to Mt Selwyn.

    You could only camp on the east side of the dam, as the gates on the west side were locked.

    Camp sites are free but basic: flat ground, fire pit and a pit toilet.

    Key lessons were to take: dry firewood; matches and; toilet paper.

    I had no issues with a snow plow blocking me in, but you can see how it might happen. A shovel will assist.

    Only major problem was a few noisy 4WDers ripping thorough the soft soil surface... I'll be better positioned next time.

    Mt Selwyn is a great option for those with learning kiddies.

    cheers
     
  21.  
    Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Selwyn is a nice place for beginners and has some reasonable routes for cross country skiing.

    Depending on your confidence levels you have 4 mile Hut not to far away if you decided to be more adventurous...there are Pole lines around the back of the resort...that would take you out to the point on the track where you would normally proceed to 4 mile.Just take care of navigation down there as you go through trees to four mile and back...
    Good luck ..have good winter.

    I am out of here before I get abused again!:thumbs:
     
    :thumbs: coolair likes this.
  22.  
    Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

    I see nothing wrong with using a decent camper trailer anywhere.
    Almost anything can be modified to cope with a litle snow ie anything under a metre of it.
    First off remember it is cold and those things bleed heat, you really need the sleeping capsule awning they sell as an option at a minimum
    Even better would be a full size canvas fly over everything as well.
    Big guy ropes 4mm stainless steel is good and at a minimum 8 star pickets as stakes, don't forget the sledge hammer to smash them in with.
    You get strong towel rail brackets and mount 3 of them to the roof to keep the canvas separated from the roof.
    If the snow is deep you may need extras or a sheet of weldmesh
    Weldmesh is good, second hand foam fruitboxes work well as roof insulation too as does Foilboard in 25mm thickness.
    Happy to assist
     
    :thumbs: Ubiquitous Steve and Belly like this.
  23.  
    Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

    Very few places sell real Alpine diesel. Most of it is what is called 'icebreaker' and is only good to minus 3. Canberra would mostly sell the lesser version. Even Omeo only sells icebreaker and many get stuck on Hotham because of it. There are some good additives to help but you need to make sure the entire tank is full of the good stuff and not just a top up. Personally I would not want to tow anything on potentially icy roads.
     
  24.  
    chicski

    chicski Active Member

    All the servos in Cooma and Jindy advertise Alpine Diesel.
     
  25.  
    Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

    The most importantthing about towing is the stability and traction of the tractor vehicle, in this instance it may be, that all that will be needed is chains on all wheels
     
  26.  
    Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

    Omeo also advertises Alpine diesel but it is only icebreaker additive. I have had this discussion with them many times but they continue to falsely advertise and people get stuck. I think you will find this to be common all over but I cannot say if Cooma or Jindy are like that. You also need to be almost empty when you fill with Alpine diesel as the fuel already in the tank will dilute the additive. Real Alpine diesel has either kero or heating oil added and is about 50/50. We have used additives from the spare parts shops with success over the years.

    Traction on the drive vehicle is very important but it does not take much to jack-knife a trailer on icy roads. Often you can't see the ice and running chains on bitumen is not a good idea for any length. The slush from a recently ploughed road can be a problem as well. Some people may want to risk it but I would not with the family on board. If you have plenty of experience towing in these conditions and prepared to take the risk then go for it. I would park the van in Cooma and drive up each day or just take the son and pitch a tent. If you have to stop on an icy uphill then you need to know your car can get going again towing the dead weight or more than a tonne. I am not saying it cannot be done but questioning the need for the added risk. Does the Swan have electric or hydraulic brakes or non at all? Too much brake on the trailer can cause problems as well. There is a bit to consider and good you asked the question.
     
  27.  
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Sounding a bit like a conspiracy Xplora. To keep people at home so you can have the campground to yourself.

    Whilst it gets cold at night most day time temperatures get over 5 degrees in those lower valleys east of the divide. Add to that a daily drive to the ski area (heating up the engine) and the chance of having fuel freeze is very low. I've only ever had my diesel freeze on one occasion when i fueled up at a different servo at Wagga and then didn't fuel locally on arrival at Jindabyne or Cooma. It's not a biggy, just light a small fire or stove under the tank and lines to thaw out the frozen bits.
     
  28.  
    Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Bears have woolen football beanie over diesel fuel filter normally.Perhaps place woolen blanket over the fuel side of your engine for overnight....

    remember it's there though when you start it up....

    bang in newspapers or anything that provides engine with insulation...though cold air will still get at underside of your engine.Any of those things that carry the diesel to engine try to insulate.....this is secondary to the alpine diesel or correctly mixed additive to prevent it turning into viscous gel.

    Team Bears pour close on a litre of kero into tank half an hour prior to arriving in snow....
    Caltex techs told me once no more than 3percent by volume...

    Rodeo even with glow plugs still does not like the cold starts and requires half a dozen turn overs sometimes.....so I would ensure your battery is in top condition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  29.  
    chicski

    chicski Active Member

    All I know is that I drove a diesel last winter and never had a problem in all sorts of weather. Always fuelled up in Jindy or Cooma.
     
  30.  
    telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I fill up in Canberra, and even on those crisp -10 mornings, no probs at all.
     
    :thumbs: Ubiquitous Steve likes this.
  31.  
    tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker Season Pass Gold

    Never had a problem with diesel.
    Fill up at the Caltex on the Monaro going out of ACT.
     
    :thumbs: NewTurns and Ubiquitous Steve like this.
  32.  
    neilmny

    neilmny Active Member

    About 8 years ago the Alpine Diesel at Jindy was real. Just ask anyone who was following in the black cloud behind our Hilux on the way up to Perisher. :)
     
    :thumbs: NewTurns and Ubiquitous Steve like this.
  33.  
    Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

    Had a quick look around and could only find the major companies selling 'highland' diesel in Canberra but Alpine in diesel in Jindy and Cooma. Good to know but unlikely to help me. I do like a camp area to myself but not sure how anyone would think I would be conspiring to keep one to myself. Just offering some advice and the OP can take it or leave it. Not likely I would travel all that way when I have just as good at my doorstep. Not all cars react the same in the cold. My Peugeot never has a problem but the Patrol and farm Rodeo do. Cannot comment about a Kia Sorrento and any advice to the effect 'I do it so you will be OK' is really subjective at best. I probably should have taken the advice of lighting a fire under the Patrol but not a small one. Seriously, would anyone still do that? Even a small fire? Maybe it was a joke but it is hard to tell. I should probably leave this to those with more experience on these matters. Hope Brindi can make it out for some quality time with his family this winter and keep safe.
     
  34.  
    SMSkier

    SMSkier Active Member

    I don't buy any diesel that time of year unless it's from my local servo in Jindy. Have seen too many vehicles unable to be started due to having the wrong winter fuel. Cheers.
     
    :thumbs: ladycamper likes this.
  35.  
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Scrunch sheet of newspaper. Light and throw under fuel tank and line. Wait until burnt. Repeat. Fire not hot enough to burn anything but hot enough to melt solid fuel. Couple of gas stoves under there at the same time and 20mins later we are on the road. Certainly beats waiting for the sun and missing out on a day of skiing.
     
    :thumbs: coolair and Ubiquitous Steve like this.
  36.  
    Belly

    Belly Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    You have done that?
    Man, I made a diesel rookie mistake at Hotham in 08, had the safety of easy access racv, touch wood no problems since.
    In Vic I was anal about fuel after that, in ACT region I checked the fuel the first year but been pretty relaxed about it since as an alpine mix variant is standard fare up here in winter.
     
  37.  
    Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

    Not fuel but many many years ago I had a Ford Escort that needed new rings and bearing. I made the mistake of filling the block with one of those Wynns products and the engine would not turn over.
    I had to get the shovel, dig all the snow away and wriggle under the engine with my trusty little SVEA 123 in hand and thaw out the oil, and this was pre-season at Perisher back wen I was working in Khancoban. Some mistakes you only need to make once, since then I've had to lend my Pocket Rocket or XGK to others to do similar things
     
  38.  
    Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

    The point of all this??
    Make an engine blanket, a couple of old Op-Shop woollen dog blankets and some scrap RFL from a building site, cobble it together with string and a bag needle and put it over the engine block. Get some coreflute to protect the radiator. Get a few emergency hand warmers; you can then slowly warm the whole thing up a little by tossing the handwarmers under the blanket on the fuel lines and then making and drinking a cup of hot chockolate
     
    :thumbs: Ubiquitous Steve likes this.
  39.  
    Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    All sound like good suggestions....I would talk to a good 4x4 mechanic and ask his/her advice......I suppose if you do an oil change/filter before winter you might want to use a less viscous oil (thinner oil).
    And buy a set of good jumper leads for winter too.

    Hot chocolate sounds a very good idea.
     
    :thumbs: ladycamper likes this.
  40.  
    AndrewA

    AndrewA Active Member

    Reminds me of years (35) ago when my mother used to put an eiderdown under the bonnet of her Hillman Hunter to keep it "warm" at night down at Sorrento. Very good recollection of a trip to Tooradin, from Sorrento, when engine overheated ( and smelled terrible) and realised that she had forgotten to remove the eiderdown!
     
    :thumbs: coolair, piolet, whether and 2 others like this.
  41.  
    Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I have done like wise but I broke my power steering belt as a blanket got between the pulley and belt...not one of my brighter days!

    So while it is good to keep moisture and cold out of your engine bay........DONOT forget it's in there..........
     
    :thumbs: ladycamper and NewTurns like this.
  42.  
    stansi

    stansi Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Re Diesel additive,


    Try this.
     
  43.  
    Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

    That is what we use in all our vehicles and generator. It was also used by the other local service station which had the government contract and anyone who filled up there did not get stuck at Hotham. Even the Nissan would start with this stuff. Sadly that station was sold to the owners of the other station so now the only winter fuel available is crap. You can add a bit more than recommended on the instructions and it will not hurt.
     
    :thumbs: ladycamper likes this.
  44.  
    Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

    This thread has suddenly gotten very interesting to me with Selwyn advertising early bird season passes for $399/$249/$99 (adults/kids/Under 7s)...
     
    :thumbs: climberman and Belly like this.
  45.  
    chicski

    chicski Active Member

    Or $199 for locals ;)
     
  46.  
    Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

    Can anyone fake me a NSW drivers license with an Adaminaby address?

    #justkidding #notsolicitingacrime #ohgodthecopsarehere
     
  47.  
    Belly

    Belly Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    What's the postcode range - does Queanbeyan work? (Does for KNP locals pass)

    My partners reaction when I suggested the camping / Selwyn beginner combo in 3 or 4 years time with the boy was not positive :(
     
  48.  
    chicski

    chicski Active Member

    Do you need a licence? Or just a postal address? BTW it includes all of Jindabyne and surrounds as well.
     
    :thumbs: Belly likes this.
  49.  
    Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

    Don't think StruggleTown is in the zone - it's 2626-2633, 2642-2653, 2720-2722, 2729-2730 and 3700-3709.

    I'm fortunate that my other half is probably more gung-ho on camping at Three Mile than necessary...
     
    :thumbs: Belly likes this.
  50.  
    Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

    License.