Using escape tracks on wet grass

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Using escape tracks on wet grass Empty Using escape tracks on wet grass

Post by MarieJ on Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:13 pm

After one night at a club site our van got stuck on the water logged grass.  After trying to wedge various items under the wheel, turning the wheel, reversing etc my husband jacked up the van and placed broken slabs under the front wheels.  This worked and we managed to escape, but jacking up the van was a long job with the supplied jacking system.

We have several sets of escape tracks which never worked to allow our previous transit van to escape wet grass.  Having read about using cut up bread baskets to park on wet grass IO wondered if anyone has used escape tracks to park on grass etc.  Any thoughts would be most welcome.
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Post by rogerblack on Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:13 am

On soft (wet grass or sandy) pitches, to prevent sinking in and to get a start when leaving, I use Monster Mats*, in conjunction with levelling ramps if necessary. I set the ramps so that when rolling down off them I am always heading for the edge of the pitch and once I am moving I aim not to stop until the front (driving) wheels are on the firm road surface (even if reversing).

I also have TOYO H09 M&S tyres fitted all year round.

*  http://smartoutdoors.biz/3in1monstermat.html

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Post by roli on Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:46 am

We have always used 1/2 bread trays under the drive wheels. The raised sections grip into the grass better than the commercially produced mats. You can easily daisey chain them if needed with cable ties

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:36 am

I use grip mats under all 4 wheels when on grass unless its rock hard.

Which site was it? Its irresponsible of the manager to put a motorhome on grass when soft.

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Post by Quilter on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:25 am

We're with Peter on this. Grip mats under the 4 wheels when on almost any grass. It prevents sinking in which will happen, over a relatively short time, on any soft surface.

We have had several sets of Fiamma levelling ramps which have been manufacturer's replacements for an original set which cracked. Fiamma state that they should not be used on " uneven or gravel surfaces" so we always use the grip mats under the levelling blocks, no matter what kind of surface we are parked on.

It's a good idea to get into the habit of walking over the proposed grass pitch before you move the van onto it. Dig your heels in a couple of places and look for previous skid marks, tyre marks or craters.   Better safe than the embarrassment of having to be towed off !   Look for slopes and don't park so that you have to go up one to get off. Sometimes, if it is a bit " iffy" you can leave your front wheels on the tarmac.

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:56 pm

A good point re levelling ramps needing support. One of mine was undermined by a mole in France last year and split in the middle.

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Post by PennyandDerek on Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:36 pm

I carry some short lengths of 8 x 2 and pop the front wheels onto these to help spread the load. This also has the added advantage, that if you need to make a continuous getaway, after rain for instance, the rear wheels will just ride over the top (bit difficult with ramps!).

By the way, my level-ups have the bolt-on plate on the bottom. The sticky-out lip is excellent when on smooth tarmac or similar.

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Post by rogerblack on Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:46 pm

Peter Brown wrote:A good point re levelling ramps needing support. One of mine was undermined by a mole in France last year and split in the middle.

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Post by MarieJ on Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:04 pm

The site did not have any hard standing, the owner would have driven out and towed us out if we had rang him.  It was good practise using the jack - not a very good design but it did the job. 

A great deal of the sites we will be using are grass only sites. We have arrived in the past to a field so flooded that our sons paddled their kayak, a few days later the ground was fine, quite common on the Gower.  I don't mind being towed off grass apart from the amount of time wasted.  We had a mole moving around under our tent, he was found a few days later squashed, poor chap.  I was given some bread baskets by a baker today.  I will experiment with these and perhaps the 8 x 2 .
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:57 pm

Having spent around an hour changing a wheel on my transit autosleeper I bought an electric jack and carry a speed brace to wind down the spare wheel. I bought an electric impact wrench but didnt check the voltage... :scratch head:It'll be ok on the driveway!
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Post by MarieJ on Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:52 pm

On our recent trip to a club site during the first wet week of Easter our van once again required a tractor tow onto the site.  We managed to get the van parked onto bread trays which allowed us to leave the site without a second tractor tow.  We are now looking at fitting some winter tyres, does anyone know if  it is best to fit winter tyres on all four wheels or just the drive wheels?  An electric jack is also on our list.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:59 pm

You don't need winter tyres for all year use. I have CONTINENTAL VANCO FOUR SEASON M+S on my Gloucester.

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Post by meanchris on Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:32 am

My own experience only:

We need winter tyres on the cars, where we live. When I had a rear wheel drive Mercedes I found that I needed winter tyres on all four wheels for safe braking. My wife had a VW Polo (FWD) and now has a Touran (FWD) I drove those with winters on the front axle and normal tyres on the back and couldn't tell any difference in handling, even under hard braking.
I now have a Volvo (FWD) and have had winter tyres on the front all this winter.

There are lots of heated discussions about this iquestion, one axle vs both, on Pistonheads.  biggrin
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Post by Dutto on Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:14 am

Hi there,

We have owned Transit vans for many years and have learned to NEVER expect the van to drive off soft soil, wet grass, ice or snow. tap_fingers tap_fingers 

Regardless to the tyres, the only way you can guarantee getting off is by getting a tow or by fitting snow chains .... allthumbz allthumbz

.... which is why we NEVER go anywhere that doesn't have at least a stone track and a hardstanding! look here look here

Check out what we did in France to make sure that we could get on and off the bit of land we have out there!

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There's about six tons of gravel packed in between the tiles to help support the van!! allthumbz

Best regards,
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Post by rogerblack on Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:37 pm

I fitted TOYO H09 M&S tyres initially to the front (driving) wheels only, for extra grip during warmer months, then in time for winter I bought a new pair to go on the front with the part-worn pair then moved to the back.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I keep these on all year round.  I also fit winter tyres on my car as we spend much of the winter in Scotland but then swap back to regular tyres for the summer.

As meanchris mentioned, there are loads of debates on various forums about this but some fairly persuasive test videos showed that in snowy/icy conditions, it is argued that only having them on one axle can be potentially dangerous when braking or even cornering.

Apart from the obvious advantage of special treads with sipes for gripping in snow, the additional benefit of M&S or winter tyres in cold weather is that the compound used stays flexible at low temperature hence maintaining grip whereas 'normal' tyres start to become rigid below about 7 deg C. 

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Post by MarieJ on Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:43 pm

Thanks for all of the advice, especially from Roger,   As much as we appreciate the ease of hard standing we will probably visit many sites with grass only, winter tyres on all four seems to be a possible answer.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:51 am

MarieJ wrote:Thanks for all of the advice, especially from Roger,   As much as we appreciate the ease of hard standing we will probably visit many sites with grass only, winter tyres on all four seems to be a possible answer.

To emphasise Dutto's post, winter tyres will not aid you on soft ground at all.  If the ground is not hard your wheels will sink and only chains, grip mats or a spade full of gravel have a chance to get you out without a tow.

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Post by MarieJ on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:20 pm

An electric jack and bread trays will be added to the list.  The electric jacks we have looked at online don't look up to the job, need to do more research.
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Post by daisy mae on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:28 pm

I have winter tyres on the front driving wheels, will try to get some bread trays.

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Post by Jools on Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:42 am

I think it's tires that are marked M+S that will help. These are "Mud and Snow" and will have a more aggressive tread pattern.

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Post by m8form8 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:36 am

Dutto wrote:Hi there,

We have owned Transit vans for many years and have learned to NEVER expect the van to drive off soft soil, wet grass, ice or snow. tap_fingers tap_fingers 


I don't know if you read the 1988 brochure posted on here, but it amused me that the write up for the transit base said they were better on grass! I think these days such boasts would see them in trading standards lol. I had a hell of a job getting bertha up a little slope which was wet grass to get near the water tap last week. She did it but it took a run up to achieve in the end.  celebrate1
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Post by Dutto on Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:47 am

m8form8 wrote:
Dutto wrote:Hi there,

We have owned Transit vans for many years and have learned to NEVER expect the van to drive off soft soil, wet grass, ice or snow. tap_fingers tap_fingers 


I don't know if you read the 1988 brochure posted on here, but it amused me that the write up for the transit base said they were better on grass! I think these days such boasts would see them in trading standards lol. I had a hell of a job getting bertha up a little slope which was wet grass to get near the water tap last week. She did it but it took a run up to achieve in the end.  celebrate1
Ah, the joys of advertising! wave wave

The 1988 model was probably better than the 1987 model; the one that wouldn't climb a 1% slope on Autumn leaves!  allthumbz   allthumbz

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Post by dandywarhol on Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:32 pm

I fitted M+S Gislaved tyres to the front on the Clubman after our first trip on wet grass - the standard Continentals were hopeless. 

Agree with the soft ground comment but M+S will help if you haven't sunk too much.

The Winter M+S tyres were perfect for all year round running for 4 years, including high 30 deg. of Euro weather

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Post by daisy mae on Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:50 pm

daisy mae wrote:I have winter tyres on the front driving wheels, will try to get some bread trays.
Mine are M AND S up to now very pleased with them.
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