Comment: Oodnadatta Track

Hello, we are planning on driving the Oodnadatta Track in September, but have been told that we can't take our caravan the full length. Is this correct? Many thanks
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:27

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:27
The OT is usually classed a very good gravel road for virtually the entire length (but there are a few stony sections where reduced speed is best). 'On road' vans do go up there at times, but 'off road' vans are probably most suitable (less stone chips etc.... tyres probably more robust). Regardless of your van type, suggest you check road conditions with the locals before going that way.... try the William Creek pub and/or the Pink Roadhouse.
AnswerID: 515127

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 19:29

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 19:29
Just towed our offroad van the full length of the Oodna. 'Track'...we found roughly 85% of that road to be very smooth...10% a little rough (slow down a bit) and the rest of it quite stony in parts ( slow down even more). We did see a couple of on-road vans there too. In my view, due to those shorter stony sections, light truck tyres and stone shielding is a wise move.
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FollowupID: 795506

Reply By: Member - John F (VIC) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:58

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:58
Hi Lorraine and Geoff. We travelled the Oodnadatta track about 5 weeks ago with car only and tent.
I would not have had a problem towing my semi off road caravan to Mt Dare, however what I consider to be ok may not be satisfactory to yourselves.
There were conventional caravans on the track and seamed to be handling conditions.
Best to take previous reply advice and ring ahead to find out what conditions are like as they continually change.
Here's wishing a great trip and enjoy what this great country has to offer.
Best Regards
John
AnswerID: 515128

Follow Up By: KevinE - Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 07:34

Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 07:34
I agree with John!

You can easily take a van up there, I wouldn't personally - we have a CT, for dirt road trips - but its quite do-able with a van if you drive to the conditions.

The OT is really a gravel highway & is usually a good road, except after rain.

Like John said, we're all different when it comes to where we would & wouldn't go with our car/van/CT etc & what we consider to be rough roads.

Just be aware that unless your van has done long gravel roads prior, its never going to look the same again after the OT or any other long gravel road (stone chips & red dust)


Cheers,

Kevin :=)
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FollowupID: 794305

Follow Up By: Lorraine/Geoff - Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 09:08

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 09:08
John and Kevin,

Thank you both for your advise.

I mentioned that we have decided not to put our van to the test, and prepare for it next year with a new tent set up. Back in the early 90's we travelled the Strzelecki track in our old Nissan and loved it, but we did it with a tent.

Once again, thanks
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FollowupID: 795008

Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:58

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 16:58
I'll say it first......it would help if you let us know what type of van you're towing.

On the whole, it isn't at all difficult but keeping you're speed down will make it even less likely to damage your van. It is mainly good dirt but a bit stoney and you'll see people bombing along at 100 ks but if you stay around 70, you'd be unlikely to suffer any stone damage. You'll also find it more relaxing.
AnswerID: 515129

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:08

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:08
....forgot to mention; the aforementioned speedsters are a bigger nuisance as their tyres kick up stones which can fly over your way. We copped a couple of minor dents on the side of the van as a result but you'll see a fair few vans along the track. When we first did it, we had an on-road van and the brake cables weren't properly protected by either split convoluted plastic covering or tape and as a result the cables were shredded by constant battering by stones. We still had car brakes and took it easy.
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FollowupID: 794274

Follow Up By: Lorraine/Geoff - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:38

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:38
Steve, sorry about that ...we have 16foot Windsor Trustar Pop top and we drive a 2011 Ford Ranger 4WD.
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FollowupID: 794277

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:59

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:59
as far as I can tell that is not an "offroader" for what that is worth but still, as long as you take in the comments on here you should be fine. The northern section can be a bit more rugged from the William Creek Rd turnoff onwards, so if in doubt you can always bail out there and come out at Coober Pedy. As somebody suggested earlier, I'd check at the William Creek hotel just before deciding, even calling in and asking the proprietor or other travellers who have come the other way. Shouldn't be a problem really.

Have a great trip.
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FollowupID: 794278

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 09:06

Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 09:06
The Oodnadatta Track is just a good gravel road. Sure it gets corrugations, sometimes very bad, corrugations and can have lots of loose gravel. A heap of people go overboard when talking about it, the Strezleckie and the Birdsville tracks. They are just long intermitantly maintained remote gravel roads. Tracks in name only. If have good (not bald) tyres and you drop your tyre pressures the car should be fine.

The van is another matter. I do not have any knowledge of your van. So! Would you park it on a vibrating bed for hours imitating 6" corrugations and think that it would survive in one piece then go for the drive. If not then either leave the van home, upgrade to a stronger one or find a different place to go until you can go back.

Just remember if you need a tow, especially a tilt tray for the van, then it would be a good idea to upgrade to the top NRMA etc coverage as a type of "insurance".

Phil
AnswerID: 515157

Reply By: Marts09 - Monday, Jul 29, 2013 at 16:52

Monday, Jul 29, 2013 at 16:52
Hi - just got back from doing the OT and it is hard packed and dusty. Some corrugations, soft sand, but generally a dirt highway. We were pulling a camper trailer (semi-off road) and no troubles at all. We actually had a Falcon pass us, so it is fine for 2WD. William creek is worth a stop over, a feed and a few beers, however the Pink Roadhouse and campground at Oodnadatta is in need of an over haul. Others that we met all agreed. Many saying that they would skip it next time! Hopefully the new owner will inject some life, but it must be a hard gig. Enjoy!
AnswerID: 515544

Reply By: Lorraine/Geoff - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 09:17

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 09:17
Would like to thank you all for your comments. We have decided not to put our caravan to the test! Will spent the next 12 months setting our 4wd up for a camping trip on the Oodnadatta Track. In the meantime will stick to what we know our 'van can handle.
Once again,
Thanks
AnswerID: 515634

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