"Don't get stuck in the mud" - is this correct?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by The Dude, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Just read an article from Caravan Guard which talks about getting out of muddy fields. One subscriber wrote the following - is this correct regarding front wheel drives? I thought the opposite would have been true. Just getting prepared mentally for arriving at Peterborough!!!

    "Having owned both front and rear wheel drive motorhomes over the last 25 years, and done it in all weathers throughout the year, I have found that the rear wheel drive is far better in soggy wet slippery conditions and if I found myself in similar conditions in a front wheel drive I would drive it in reverse. This certainly improves traction considerably. Once whilst on a sloping grassy site on the east side of Loch Ness, in a front wheel drive Swift Kon-tiki, when it was absolutely teeming with rain, my first few attempts to reach the higher ground failed miserably, I then tried it in reverse, the result was instant success with no scarring of the site grass. I have used this reverse practice to retrieve a fair sized French motorhome which had sunk into soft sand, made worse when the french man had tried to’power’ his way out. Again I was in a front wheel drive Kon-tiki."
     
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  2. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    We parked on flat wet grass a few days ago. Wheels slipped in reverse, drove off ok forwards.
    Don't really know the answer here, it just depends what works at the time but keep the revs low
     
  3. Chipster

    Chipster Funster Life Member

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    Guess it's a lot to do with weight over the driven axle. As mentioned reversing front dwheel rive up to higher ground would put more force over the front as opposed to being on the flat. Front drive/heavy garage won't be the ideal.
     
  4. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Yes that makes sense. Forward driven then reverse off. Rear wheel drive ,drive off. Normally works for me though I did get towed off at Chester.
     
  5. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    You'll need a fiver to tip the tractor driver.

    I don't think anyone without dual rear wheel drive and m+s tyres is going anywhere judging by the forecast, forwards or backwards! :)
     
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  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    It should be remembered that in a RWD vehicle the majority of weight is over the drive wheels
    In a FWD vehicle it is not,.
    Therefore reversing a front wheel drive vehicle will not put it in the same class as a RWD
    Imagine the ground having a grain like wood, You cant see it, but sometimes the ground can give more traction in one direction than another
    That would go some way to explaining why reversing a FWD seems better and why Allunm's post above going forward was the best option as the poster said "it depends"
    Geo
     
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  7. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Reverse is often a good gear to use - I believe that it has a ratio equivalent to between first and second gear so drivers are less likely to apply too much power when moving.

    If you have to go forward in sandy conditions, use second gear and if really stuck, drop the tyre pressures down by at least a half, if not lower. I guess that is the same technique for mud and maybe grass. Trying to power out makes conditions much worse.
     
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  8. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    A lot will depend on the tyres you have fitted. Summer tyres will give almost no traction on slippery surfaces, regardless of what you do, all seasons tyres will give you some traction.
    Trick is, try not to spin the wheels, that will just dig a hole
     
  9. MichelleRyall

    MichelleRyall Funster

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    We race motocross and have a FWD. We also tow our bikes, as a result we are on first name terms with the farmers at the race tracks :LOL::LOL:
     
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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If you are trying to go up a slope then reversing will be slightly better if the vehicle is FWD as the slope will put a little more weight on the driving wheels than if the vehicle was on the level. However, the increase in axle weight will be small and may not be enough to overcome the resistance of trying to move the MH up a slope. On the level reversing will make no difference.

    I think the quote is from someone who thinks they are an expert but I shudder to think of the damage they must do to sites with "my first few attempts"!

    If it's wet and soggy either don't move unless you have to in which case ask the site owner, if there is one, for help. Trying to get up a slope should be avoided if at all possible by choosing a suitable spot to park when rain is forecast.
     
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  11. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    When you try to set of forward in a rear wheel drive vehicle there is a reaction about the rear wheels which tries to raise the front of the vehicle as well as propelling it forward, the effect of this weight transfer is to effectively make the load on the rear axle higher and this will increase grip slightly.

    For a demonstration of this effect watch a dragster or a motorcycle "wheelie" as it tries to get off the line.

    To answer you question, if you reverse this effect to a FWD vehicle going backward yes you will get a little bit more grip from the reaction, as @The Dude says if it's uphill the effect of weight transfer will put more weight onto the wheels at the bottom of the hill.

    If all this fails get a RWD with 4 wheels on the rear axle and you have 4 wheel drive.

    Oh and decent tyres.

    Martin

    Edit, it took ten minutes for me to post this.
     
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  12. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Thanks for all your replies. Hubby said he knows what to do so I'm just going to keep my gob shut and let him get on with it. Suspect we'll still end up on first name terms with the tractor driver though. :)
     
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  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Seezy....drive UPHILL to a pitch, drive DOWNHILL off a pitch....then it doesnt matter whether you reverse or not
     
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  14. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    The op answered his own question, when going forward he was trying to reach higher ground, so we can deduce from that he was trying to go uphill, so reverse must have been downhill, end of as they say(n)
     
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