I have this thing, that I like to spend the night in a beautiful places like at a lake or up in the mountains. I never thought I will spend the night in the middle of a muddy road totally unlevelled. This is a story, what happened and how we got the van out of the mud.
Must remember next time. If it has been raining one day and ahead of you is just a small mudroad in the middle of nowhere, DO NOT DRIVE THERE. Or if you already did, be wise to turn around right way after you feel, that the van is not in your control. Good to stop and go outside and walk to see the road condition and then decide, does it make sense to drive forward.
We did decide to take the muddy road in the middle of nowhere. The GPS was giving us wrong directions and wasn’t working. We had no idea of the area, but still we continued driving. It was raining cats and dogs and probably all kinds of other animals too. It was late at night, totally dark and the road just got muddier and muddier.
Mikael couldn’t control the van anymore and I was totally scared that the whole van is going to fall since the road was so uneven. The van was basically just sliding down the road.
We drove until there came a steep downhill. Then Mikael went out to see the road and came back desperate. The situation was worse than bad and Mikael got angry at himself and us, that we had been so stupid to drive there. Such a tourists.
At this point I got my surviving mode on and said that we should just spend the night in this very spot. The van was in down hill, but since the tires just went deeper into the mud when we tried to reverse back, we decided to stop trying until the rain would stop. We knew that the next day should be okay.
We made lines for the water to go around the tires, so that it wouldn’t get even more muddy under the tires. We also collected lots of sticks and big pieces of wood and put them under the tires, so that the van wouldn’t start sliding down.
In the morning we put the wood and parts of some bushes behind the tires. Mikael drove and I was outside watching what would happen. After 10 minutes of trying Mikael managed to make a u-turn and got the tires out of the deep muddy lanes. A head was now only the up hill and road was looking bad from all the rain. Our old tire marks were also deep and there was a lot of wet mud.
I watched with horror, when Mikael drove the van up. For me it looked like the van was very close to fall on the side and the back wheels were totally just sliding and not turning around any more. Still he managed to drive the van up and out of there. He is my hero of the week because of this.
Because I almost fainted of being so scared, I decided to just write this story and drink wine for the rest of the day. I am also happy, that we had got the Spanish internet connection and found Riesling white wine just the day before. It felt, that everything was going to get better for now on.
In case you manage to drive into deep mud, here is some tips of Mikael what to do:
- Relax, get out of the car, check the situation and then make plans
- If there is no traction, do not desperately floor the pedal, you will just dig yourself deeper.
- Try to find anything to give traction. Sandplates and 4WD would of course be nice, but then you wouldn’t really be stuck would you? Branches, wood, bushes, floormats from the car, basically anything will do, keep in mind they might brake, because of the power.
- If front wheel drive, put the stuff under the front wheels, and try to get grip that way. Reversing a front wheel drive car also gives you the best traction.
- If rear wheel drive, you want to get as much weight on the rear axle as possible. In our case there is plenty. Then stuff the things under the wheels and try to get it going.
- If moving but just a little, you can try to wiggle (back and forth) the car, and with the momentum get it moving.
- Try to drive on the higher spots of the road, not in the tyremarks. It’s drier.
- When out are of the mud, check if any damages. Probably not, but good to check. Also, maybe clean the car and tires from mud before heading on a motorway, otherwise mud might fly and break someone else’s car.
- Learn from you mistakes.