Crossing the Simpson desert

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 07:52
ThreadID: 106737 Views:2100 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Thinking of buying a Navarra 4x4 diesel .Would this vehicle be ok to cross then big red and Simpson desert john
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:30

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:30
Yes, and a suspension lift and a better set of tyres wouldn't hurt either
AnswerID: 528440

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:49

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:49
johno59
Yes, don't worry to much about the lift to much but go here http://www.direct4wd.com.au/tours/TYRE%20PRESSURE.htm
And read and understand how to set tyre pressure in your individual loaded vehicle.
Of all the things that desert travelers come adrift with it is tyre pressures. Get them right and you will be ok. You will avoid flinging your vehicle at sand dunes at speed bouncing your way over resulting in damage etc.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:53

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:53
That link didn't work johno
try this and click on tyre pressures.
www.direct4wd.com.au
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:53

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 08:53
G'Day John,
I'd say providing the car was in good mechanical order - I'd say it would do it easily.

HOWEVER......don't let this allow you to become complacent. Carry the usual set of spares (hoses, belts, tyre repair kit etc), lots of water, communication devices like a sat phone (if doing it alone) or UHF in a group, sand flag and recovery gear (shovel, snatch straps, load rated shackles etc).

If the weather turns sour be it dust storm or rain (pffft.....it does happen) ensure you and your passengers will be capable and equipped well enough to sit it our for a few days.

Assume the worst, and enjoy the best.

Fab.
AnswerID: 528444

Reply By: KevinE - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 09:13

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 09:13
Yes, but you don't mention which model Navara you're thinking of buying?

We did it in a stock D22 with Dunlop AT3 tyres. The D40 has a little less clearance stock, especially on entry angles, but should still be OK.

As stated above, tyre pressure is the key.

But your question has me wondering if you have much experience driving a 4WD?

If yes, do as Fab says & take it easy with the tyre pressures down, take spares & comms & have a sand flag up. Most importantly, make sure you have enough supplies to last several extra days on top of your planned trip, in case of a breakdown.

If no, I'd recommend you either do a course, or go out & do a few safer shake down trips with someone who does have experience before you go, especially in sand driving, to get an idea of what your up against.
AnswerID: 528450

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 10:46

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 10:46
I will agree.

Phil
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FollowupID: 810985

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 09:14

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 09:14
Hi John

The most important thing that you need for the Simpson Desert, regardless of what vehicle you drive, it the correct tyre pressure.

Get this wrong.....like a lot of Simpson drivers and you cut up the approach of the dunes that you are crossing, making it harder for all other desert travellers.

In most places travelling across the desert, you will be travelling around 40 kph, so it is no speed trip. If the sand is powder fine, then sit around 14psi and if it is firm, then around 18 psi are good tyre pressures to go by, with higher pressure cutting up the dunes.

Those that argue with these facts are the environmental vandals and have no idea of how to drive in sand conditions.


Cheers


Stephen
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AnswerID: 528451

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:31

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:31
Yep, I would agree !!

If you are asking if a Navarra will do the Simpson, then I'd suggest you have little 4wd understanding, so I'd strongly suggest you get a 4wd and do either driver training ( 4wd ) and /or practice on a beach before going anywhere near the Simpson desert..

It is 100% easier to drive on sand if you have a basic understanding of how to do it......pressures, momentum ( when to AND when not to ) and practice !!
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FollowupID: 810993

Reply By: johno59 - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:31

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:31
Thanks everyone, not a lot of experience here.Spent a few days in some sand with the tyres down to 18psi in our x trail and found the experience a good one. I was surprised just how tyre pressure makes a huge difference even in a small RV. I can see why it is the most important thing, apart from food and water . What's a good ,non petrol guzzling 4x4, if there is such a thing that would do the job and also pull a 17ft van thanks
AnswerID: 528466

Follow Up By: disco driver - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 12:42

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 12:42
When you hang a caravan on the back, most petrol vehicles fuel consumption increases by up to 50%.
There's not much you can do about it, correct tyre pressures and a steady speed of around 90-95kph, anything much over that will scare you as you watch the fuel gauge head rapidly toward empty.

Any half decent single/extra cab ute in diesel should fit the bill

In my opinion your tow vehicle should have a towing capacity at least 500kg more than the caravan's loaded weight.

Disco.
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FollowupID: 811003

Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 13:57

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 13:57
disco driver
I like the insurance factor of 500kg less than the vehicle tow rating.
I sometimes listen to the ABC on Thursday night when Motor mouth Hagan is giving his spiel. It's always good for a laugh.

When asked by a phone in person, "What ute would be ok to tow a 3 ton van:? he said all of them will, and he also said (his words)

This is an Absolute Classic.
The Hagan reply,

" The manufacturers tow ratings are quite conservative so you should have no trouble".

People listen to this type of comment and buy accordingly.
No wonder there is unexpected out of control situations encountered by some towing motorists when advised by such people.

LR mention that if used off road the tow rating is halved to allow for the difference between road cruising and off road situations.

It seems a lot of people don't see anything wrong with the ability of the tail to wag the dog.

Cheers
Ross M
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FollowupID: 811005

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