The Big Lap - rig vs tracks

Submitted: Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 20:38
ThreadID: 103047 Views:2396 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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Hi everyone
I'm interested in any feedback from those who have travelled this big country for an extended period.
We are planning to do the Big Lap for 12 months with 2 kids (10yo and 12yo) and are going to use our 2008 Landcruiser 200 series V8 Petrol, after we upgrade it's suspension and add a winch, 70l fuel tank and full length roof rack.

We have narrowed down our "home" selection to either a hard floor camper (eg. Kimberley Kamper or Complete Campsite Fraser, 1300kg tare) OR a hybrid hardtop like the Complete Campsite Exodus 14 (tare 1800kgs).

My concern is, will the LC200 have the grunt to pull us around Oz so we can visit the 'out of the way' places? We love the beach (and also the bush) and because we live in Brisbane, we plan to spend as much time as possible doing the WA coast and into Kimberley/NT and Cape York.

Would using Exodus 14 hybrid at 6.1m long x 2.3m high x 2.0m wide at probably 2.2t be too much and limit our choice of roads? (note: we don't plan to cross the Simpso or do the Canning !)

Would love to hear from the seasoned veterans, as newbies like us simply have no idea on what to expect in this big beautiful country we call Oz !

Thanks

Stu

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Reply By: Rod W - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 20:58

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 20:58
Grunt... it will have enough grunt to tow a fleet of roadtrains...
AnswerID: 514104

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 08:59

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 08:59
Hi Stu,

Toyotas are all over Oz towing all sorts of rigs including seriously big vans so can see no reason why you would think you might be short on pulling capacity.

Im perplexed though when you say "newbies like us simply have no idea on what to expect in this big beautiful country " but then say you are going to fit a winch. Why? The question of winches comes up pretty often on here an most agree that its something that is seldom used. Unless you plan to do serious off-roading, touring as you propose is unlikely to call for a winch. Much better to drive so as to avoid getting stuck. We have done a fair few trips including into remote areas and in the 20 years that we have had a winch have only used it once in a "real" situation.

BTW good on you for planning to give your kids a great experience at an age when their education will be enhanced by travel.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 514120

Follow Up By: Member - Stu A - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 09:09

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 09:09
Thanks Val for your feedback

I guess what I am trying to say is, will towing a hybrid type van (in the 2t range) with a V8 Petrol LC200 limit some of the 'out of the way' places we can visit? Will we risk getting stuck regularly? We don't want to travel just on the blacktop, we want to be able to go down the narrow winding track to find those more secluded spots. However, we are not hard core 4WD's and we don't go looking for the "mountain" to climb !

As for winches, I agree with your comments and I plan to never use it! It is more of an insurance policy if we became stuck.

We are "newbies" to long term touring but we have been camper trailer and 4wd'ers all our lives.

Cheers

Stu

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Follow Up By: Skulldug - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 10:16

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 10:16
Val,

I agree with your comments but not the final decision. I have used my winch twice for recovery in anger and while there is often another way, easiest and safest available method is the one I look for. It has also has a number of other uses. It made getting my caravan into its sloping driveway possible and I have used it to move a pizza oven as well as various logs.

While it doesn't get used often, I still prefer to have it. Same with a fire extinguisher.

Cheers

Skull
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FollowupID: 793013

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 11:16

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 11:16
Stu,

Ok you have plenty of experience, hardly a "newbie" then! The worst limitation you are likely to encounter is narrow twisty tracks with spiky vegetation encroaching on the track.

Skulldog, yes we have used our winch for other tasks too - pulling out stumps etc. But we only used it because it was available; we wouldn't buy a winch for those purposes! I dont want to start the whole winch debate again!

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 11:43
If I had a chunk of money to spend on recovery gear, personally I'd install diff locks before a winch..... but that's me.

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FollowupID: 793021

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 12:54

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 12:54
Stu...

Most winches on 4WD drive vehicles die from under-use.

Unless you actually "plan" to use it regularly I'd suggest you'd be better saving your money. There'll be plenty of other things to throw it at...

And whilst going into areas where winching is likely is enjoyable to some, most will find it stressful, hard work, and not usually worth the trouble. And I speak of the average tourer, hardcore four-wheel driving is a specialty pursuit, usually.

If you are after a better insurance policy, this one is free, simply don't go anywhere unless you are confident of your ability to get out without a winch. And I can assure you, there will be plenty of remote places you will be able to access without the need for a winch.

Bearing in mind if you have a winch, you'll need a bullbar to go with it. It all adds to weight that is usually unnecessary.



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FollowupID: 793024

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 22:02

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 22:02
You sort of did start the "whole winch debate again", Val.

The Landcruiser is more than capable Stu but fuel cost will be an issue. Check where you'd like to go and work out your fuel range. More fuel might need to be carried, so you might need a long range tank, or a few jerry cans.

Two spares are good to have if you're travelling remote and good tyres are necessary. Good All Terrains with a LT rating and a tyre repair kit can keep you moving.

We don't have a winch on our Cruiser and we've been all through this place but we do carry a Tirfor hand winch, just in case. The two boys can help out with the Tirfor if need to get it out. Another option is to travel with people that have a winch.

You'll all have a ball whatever you do.

Have fun,
Steve


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FollowupID: 793062

Follow Up By: Sandman - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 20:45

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 20:45
Well out here in the middle of Australia there are roads and there are roads..The Tanami in some places is like a 4 lane highway, the Gary Junction rd ends up in a rubble track...The Davenport ranges has a good road to get in and a very tough road so to some degree the question is like "how long is a piece of string"...

Personally as has been posted before, I'd spend the money on suspension and diff lockers. All you should be leaving behind is tyre tracks, not gouge marks and yanking on trees..

Whatever you buy you will find out how well the combination works, what tyre pressures you need off the blacktop and as others have posted, an LC200 will pull roadtrains !

If you want to get technical, the shorter and lighter your setup, the less challenges you **may have**. By shorter I mean the potential entry and exit angles you have to enter into river crossings etc....

You are going to spend 12 months on the road with kids, make sure it is comfortable and maybe a less aggressive setup and one more for comfort because its 52 weeks, 365 days.. your patience will run short with too frugal a setup...

Pete
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FollowupID: 793147

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 01:06

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 01:06
A winch is good, but gearing and tyre selection is critical.
Forget about "grunt".

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 514171

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 01:09

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 01:09
When I say "tyre selection", I mean size, not brand.
Modern 4WDs are being "killed" with low profile tyres.
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FollowupID: 793074

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