Simpson Desert - Early Season

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 17:49
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Just wondering has anyone done the Simpson in early season and if so how early? We did East to West last year in August (QAA-French Line) and cant wait to get back to go the other way. We were thinking June but can go anytime from now on.

Regards
David
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Reply By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 18:15

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 18:15
The first group was Vic Widmans Great Divide Tours on the 16th of March, & there have been quite a few since.

By all reports so far the going is pretty good but already starting to get chopped up due to high tyre pressures & people towing trailers (Flame On!).

I will be going to Birdsville & back at the end of the month & will travelling on as may of the tracks as I can, so will have first hand knowledge then.



AnswerID: 508680

Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 06:22

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 06:22
Hi Jeff,

No one has bitten, Maybe they're starting to agree with you bout trailers and the Simo.

Uh oh I shortened it to Simo another no no.

Cheers Wilko

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:23

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:23
It says in the Deserts Pass package that you get from he SA Government that they don't want trailers in the Simpson. I can only gather then that anyone who goes witha trailer either doesn't have a pass or if they do they don't care about what a towing can do to the place. You only have to follow one up any of the heaps of dones to see how the sand is dug out pulling all that weight up and over them.

We are not experienced and well travelled Simpson Desert people but we have seen what happens.

We have a relative and a bunch of their friends going through this year from Wagga and surrounds with T-vans. They ignored what is in the package and simply do not care. Grrrrr

My rant

Phil
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:46

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:46
Exactly PJR,

Ive done the trip a few times and wouldnt dream of taking a trailer, It'd be hard work and I'd wreck the track doing so. Maybe I'm not experienced enough.

But Jeff , and he would have done the trip a thousand times, says dont do it, Ill take his word for it.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 09:31

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 09:31
Hey Wilko

Keep it quiet and don't tell anyone, but the last time I saw Jeff he was on the WAA line with a tandem trailer behind him. Heading westward with a lovely little dune buggy on it. I think they broke a valve or something. Sprung!! Nah He was recovering it. A bit hard without towing hey!

Phil
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:13

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:13
Oi! Ease up! lol,

Had no choice on that occasion, Dune buggy was not towable, plus I stayed on the Rig road AND I wrecked the trailer in the process!

Cheeky bugger!

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:09

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:09
If my memory serves me right Jeff, you broke the brakes on the way back from Alice (?) the day before. You weren't too happy about it either.

Alls cool. We all know that you had a good reason for taking it in. Thats why I mentioned the recovery stuff.

Mate!! What would it be like if we didn't have a joke now and then. I am making the most of it seeing that I am crook.

Time for a cuppa.

Phil

PS Recently slid off a dirt track in the high country - $11,000 damage bill. Not sppeding. Just dirt and VERY slippery. Luckily insured off road. No injuries. Bloody ouch.
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Follow Up By: jo b1 - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:21

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:21
Wether you think it's ok to tow a trailer or not....it's a bit like climbing Ayers Rock....it's advised you dont just like towing across the Simpson.....it's a grey area not against the law.
Someone, I suppose a politician or big wig advisor needs to have the balls and remove the grey area and ban towing trailers, climbing Ayers Rock....simple.
J
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:04

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:04
Lets be clear on a couple of points. At the moment trailers are not banned in the Simpson so please stop bashing your fellow four wheel drivers that legally choose to do so until they are! Your comments are in a similar vein to banning bullbars......ill informed. Hundreds of people every year successfully tow the Simpson, should we penalise them because a small percentage have problems?
When there is an issue it's not just with the trailer rather people not reducing tyre pressures all round lower than usual, not having an appropiately powerfull tow vehicle, towing when conditions are not appropiate (too wet/soft), overloading the trailer/tow vehicle, taking a poor quality trailer & having insuffient driver experience. Rather than ban trailers all together possibly a little more education in how & what to tow would be benificial.
Of all the trailers I've travelled with on the Simpson, never have we had an issue, never have we chopped up the dunes, in fact we've passed many non towers who were & got further over Bid Red.
It surprises me Jeff you're pushing to "ban trailers" considering they would contribute to a large part of your business. Don't push too hard or you'll have to retire your hypercrytical trailer & buy a truck like your counterpart on the other side of the desert ;-))

Rather than getting your knickers in a knot over trailers perhaps we should all focus our attention & apply some pressure on the Land Managers to re-open the Warburton Track that is still closed despite being trafficable since last July!!!! That's what I call a real issue.
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:32

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:32
Crackles,

Pull your head in bloke! Where do you get the impression that I'm "pushing to ban trailers".

If you actually read my original reply to the OP then you will see that I made a simple statement about the fact that people crossing the desert with high tyre pressures or towing trailers have already started to chop up the dunes!

And if you've ever talked to me about the "towing trailers across the Simpson Desert" subject, then you would know that I am against Banning anything! I would much rather people were educated in the pros & cons of doing it as well as the consequences if things go wrong.

I have towed broken down trailers as well as broken down vehicles out of the Desert, as have Dave & Barrnsey & I would love to have Barnseys M.A.N. but I make do with what we've got & if that means that I have to tow a car trailer into the desert to recover a broken down vehicle then I will.

What I will not do is tow a trailer into the desert just for the sake of having some home comforts, for those that do, good on 'em, as long as they do it with the right attitude & experience.

And for your information we offer to store trailers here at no charge for as long as people need to, so that they can enjoy their Simpson Desert crossing unimpeded!

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:16

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:16
Sorry Jeff my misunderstanding just your web site strongly discourages towing & you certainly haven't disagreed with the ban brigade above (up until now).
Cheers Craig..........
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:45

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:45
Where did I say or infer that they should be banned.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:59

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:59
I'm not a fan of bans of any sort, be it the Summer closure of the Simpson Desert, the Witjira fire ban, or & it will probably come some day, trailers in the Simpson Desert.

I don't personally think it is a wise decision for some people to tow some trailers across, but, if that's your decision then go ahead, just don't whine about the cost if it does go belly up!

And as Gump said, "That's all I've got to say on that".

Jeff steps off soap box & goes to have a Bundy or two.

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:41

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:41
"I'm not a fan of bans of any sort"
Then we're not that far apart Jeff as I spend alot of time opposing track closures & public access restrictions. Problem I see is the more some sectors of the four wheel drive fraternity agree with these restrictions, the quicker it will happen.
Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: David16 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:51

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:51
Hmmm I might step back in here, the reason I am doing the Simpson again in a few weeks (25/4/13) is that last year I towed an Ultimate camper East - West across the Simpson - QAA - French Line, I was extremely well prepped and was one of two campers in a group of 9 4x4s.
It was bloody hard work!

We had no trouble however i had to get snatched 4 times the last 5-10m on some dunes as this was going to be easier than backing down and trying again at a silly speed!
As far as wrecking dunes/tracks, well this was already done (August), this was not purely the fault of trailers but wrong tyre pressures etc. and speeds.

I can see the frustrations of those that know and spend their lives out there (Jeff) of silly things people try to do on a budget, if you have the correct gear it is possible and quite easy, well manageable any way.

In summary, towing a trailer is not a sin but a right! But it is Bloody Hard, I have done it and won't do it again, this time I want to look around rather than monitor every bloody inch of the track!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 20:36

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 20:36
Hi David

Thanks for the "user" impression. No one is saying that it cannot be done with a trailer. Rather it would be better for the place if people didn't.

I could have taken the truck in the photo below (mine was the same) through the Simpson with a 40 ton load on it's tilt trailer behind it. But at what cost. The mind boggles. Where the tanks went so did we!! (now that was off road!!)

Not all towing setups do damage the place, but from what I have read and heard it seems to be an increasing number of towing setups do.

Maybe it's the result of the "supposed" greater capability of the vehicles these days and the ease at which people can just hook up and go. None or little training. Yet believing that the extra technology and mechanical enhancements will take the place of driver skills and experience.

And a good post, thanks mate.

Phil

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Follow Up By: David16 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 20:47

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 20:47
That's one heck of a rig!
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Reply By: Member - Chris (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 19:39

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 19:39
Hi David
I was the first to do the east-west crossing this year, passed Vic Widmans group on the way across. Never planned it that way just went for a drive, got to Birdsville and thought, never done the full lenght of the French line before so why not.
Went across solo and had no drama's, it was pretty hot and some of the dunes had fairly big sand blows but these would be fairly well flatened out by now.
To me, earlier in the season is better, less people and a bit more of a chanllenge, so go for it and enjoy.
Chris
AussieHF touring club. 1089
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AnswerID: 508686

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:21

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 08:21
Gerday Chris,

Shhhhh! we won't talk about the Canadian fellow & his F350 that crossed the day before will we!! lol! ;)

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Follow Up By: Member - Chris (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:50

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:50
Hey Jeff, didn't he do west-east? if not I will have to head out earlier next time, maybe before the desert opens like he did.
Thanks again for the hospitality.
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 14:47

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 14:47
Chris,

He did it east-west, then went back west east!

No prob's, see you next time!

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Reply By: David16 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 19:58

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 19:58
Great, thanks for the info, starting the planning tonight to get up there asap!
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