Solo Trip of West Coast and NT- planned end April 2013

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 00:34
ThreadID: 101216 Views:1874 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Hi All
I am leaving next month (hopefully) for a solo trip of the west coast and NT. I have a Millard Micro van I have renovated still a few last min things to be done before packing. I have been looking at every dual fuel 4wd on the market it feels, within my budget which is pretty light. I have two vehicles I am selling before I can (Which is taking forever any hits?)
I am leaving from Albury towards Adelaide Perth Darwin where my daughter will fly in to meet me and we shall travel to Alice in the school hols (June/July)...then on to home before end of Oct for my daughters 21st.

I feel I am allowing enough time to see as much as I can?
I'm planning to free camp majority of the time and stay in parks when I need to, any advise on some good secure spots would be great?

My main concern is security free camping on my own? For this reason I have decided to take my Bella (Maltese cross Shiatsu) she follows me everywhere and will be great companionship?
Any advise traveling with your beloved dog?

I have researched a lot from this site and others and have a folder full of info in which sometimes says one thing and then I suppose I'm here to ask advise from members that have recently or currently traveling the same route I intend to?

Thanks for reading and look forward to maybe meeting some of you fellow members along the way :)
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 07:56

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 07:56
Just a word on you comment about looking for dual fuel car. There is not much gas in the outback. My son couldn't get rid of his dual fuel Prado quick enough. He now has a 4.2TD 2008 Patrol. Heaps of diesel around.

But if all you are doing is sticking to the bitumen then you may be okay. That eliminates a lot of the real Australia though.

AnswerID: 507242

Follow Up By: Member - Toni A - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 02:56

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 02:56
Hi Phil
I agree...thou my budget doesn't go that far for a really good diesel rig...I did weigh up the pro and cons and price of fuel/gas/diesel and I figured...I do hope I'm on the right track here...that at the end of the day/trip...where gas is available it might make up for the high cost of fuel down the track?

Gee I hope that made any sense..

I found the one I want in Sydney has 900 ks on gas and average fuel. But got to sell my vehicles first or going no where all ready to go..but the rig!

Fingers crossed this weekend :)
FollowupID: 784557

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 09:33

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 09:33
I think if you want to go Dual Fuel, make sure your petrol tank can give you a range of around 600k, just in case gas is not available at every stop.

as for security when camped, a lot of "known" camp areas will have other like minded people stoping there as well. Somtimes you may wish for no-one to be around.

Happy planing and bset wishes to the daughters 21st.
AnswerID: 507250

Follow Up By: Member - Toni A - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:06

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:06
HI Tony

Thanks heaps I think I was concentrating more on the gas
and economical side of things.

Yes the fuel tank needs to be long range as well I will check n view that one?

Is it funny to say that I am dreaming about being out there after seeing all the pic on forum and blogs?

Thanks again :)
FollowupID: 784558

Reply By: pprass - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:50

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:50
We camped at various spots across the Nullarbor, then up the west coast to the Gibb River Rd, across to Darwin and then down the Stuart Hwy in sometimes very remote locations and more often than not there were other campers there each night. At the really isolated spots there was no one at all - not even the noise of a passing car during the night and we still felt very comfortable. There really is a lot of scaremongering talk that gets passed around - usually stemming from one or two incidents that occurred maybe 50 years ago!

If you base your stops on say Camps 7, then you will find that many other travellers are doing exactly the same and will be stopping at the same places. In some spots along the west coast, if you are not at your camp site by around 4.00pm, you will be squeezing in between the smelly toilet and the fence line, or on the roadway!

Regarding taking a dog - we wouldn't. The WA National Parks don't allow dogs, so you may be limited in where you can go.

Regarding fuel, from memory nearly every roadhouse along the major route had Gas. But you just need to make sure by getting a map that tells you what is available at each RH.
AnswerID: 507267

Follow Up By: Member - Toni A - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:19

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:19
Hi pprass

You make it sound so doable...thankyou for that x

I do have the Camp 7 on order (local prices silly) thanks to all you guys on exploroz.

I reckon I should chance it with gas/fuel (the prices now are just insane compared to O/S)

I am do I/don't I with Bella....I think I will make my mind up when all packed and I know I will cave.......maybe.

Thanks for replying

Cheers Toni :)
FollowupID: 784559

Reply By: Member - Toni A - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:28

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 03:28
I will post pic of my van reno soon and my hopefully tow vehicle as well :)
AnswerID: 507316

Reply By: Rod W - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 14:34

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 14:34
Hi Toni,
As you'll be travelling with your dog are you aware of 1080 poison baits to control feral animals. Can't speak for other states but this is prevalent were in WA. So if you will be in areas where there are signs stating it has been laid then put a muzzle on you dog to prevent a tragedy. You dog will sniff out the meat bait and eat it before you know in. So take precautions and enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 507363

Reply By: hazo - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 15:25

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 15:25
Dont be put off taking the dog, we've just spent the last year on the road full time with two spaniels and no problems.
We come from WA but are in Vic. at present.

Just be aware that not everyone loves them and a yapper/barker can be a bone of contention with many, even dog lovers !

And also you would be amazed at the number of "little fluffy dog" owners that think they only poo little bits, so no need to pick up ! Always do the right thing !

National parks, well, we don't bother, but that's a small price to pay for the companionship of your best mate.
There's always local boarding kennels for that not to be missed location.

As for 1080, well the risk is there, but my dogs are always on the lead, and I am very vigilant in those areas.

The advantages are you are never truely alone and the regular walks keep you fit and active.
The disadvantages, already mentioned really.
AnswerID: 507365

Follow Up By: hazo - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 15:32

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 15:32
Should also mention, don't forget gas is extortionately priced in the outback too ! that's if you can get it.

I had a mate who was stuck at Auski Roadhouse for 4 days awaiting the tanker to come, as they had ran out of gas, and his measly 35ltr petrol tank would get him nowhere in his 4.8lt Patrol towing a 25' full caravan.
He had two gas tanks fitted but only the small petrol tank for emergency use.
FollowupID: 784607

Reply By: Member - JTM Dirt - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 20:24

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 20:24
Hey Tone,

Honestly the dog will prevent you from getting the most out of your trip heading the route you want. If you can leave the little fella at home, then i would, you wont regret it, anyhow if you are one to be lost without the dog............just turn around!

As for the dual fuel, the gas is very exy on that route, and for the sake of a thousand or two, if you havent' purchased a dual fuel ride, just stick to the tried and tested diesel rig!

All the best.

AnswerID: 507382

Reply By: Grubby - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 21:26

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 21:26
Hey Toni

I am a solo traveller (and a chick at that) and I had no problems with free camping all the way up (I'm currently in Darwin so feel free to yell out when you get here - I'll probably still be here lol). Because I was usually first in the camps (all chosen out of camps 6 bible) I would wait still hooked up etc until others came in and I would have a yarn and make sure they were reasonable people travelling just like me. So no 'happy hour' until I ensured I was comfy with the spot. I had some fabulous times and met a lot of wonderful people. I heard a good rule - which really makes sense - use the 40/60 rule - that is 40 to 60klm out of town. It's usually only scumbags from towns that will give you drama's and they can't be bothered going out that far. :-). Can't help you regarding the dog - but you have to be prepared to pay out bucks in places such as Tom Price for Kennels, as the only caravan park won't take dogs and you will not be allowed in Kurrajini with it either. That's just one example that I know of.



AnswerID: 507384

Reply By: mikehzz - Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 09:39

Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 09:39
On the fuel issue, I've had 4 dual fuel cars over the years and I've also done those roads you are planning. The price of lpg sky rockets out there to the point where there is little value in using it. Sure it's great around the city where the price seems to be around 1/2 petrol, but it used to be around 1/4-1/3 the price of petrol. When you get out there the price will be more like 75% that of petrol. If its an older rig then the lpg system won't be as good as the latest and you will get worse fuel economy and less power on the gas especially towing. It's hard to beat a big tank Prado for range and reliability. The fuel economy is reasonable.
AnswerID: 507398

Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 21:35

Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 21:35
I'll second that Mike. I buggered up a wonderful Prado by converting it to LPG. The high price of gas away from the city destroyed most of the fuel cost advantage and whenever I towed anything it used twice as much gas as petrol which meant I had no range. I could barely get 300km out of an 80 ltr tank (which you could only get 65 ltrs in).

It spent most of its life in workshops being tinkered with because I thought either there was something wrong with it or something wrong with the way I was driving it, but it was just how it was.

And for every person I've ever spoken to who had a good run out of dual fuel in a 4WD there were 5 who like me, vowed never again!
FollowupID: 784692

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