Great central road

Can you take a normal leaf spring caravan along road or do you a full off road van
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - johntoyo - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 11:54

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 11:54
Billsam, yes you can, just drive to the conditions. I drove Laverton to Yulara in October.

Main issue is rocks and the peppering the underside of the van is going to get. Of course dust so try and make sure you have sealed any holes and entry points under the van. Take off the lower outside fridge vent and wrap it with a some cling wrap before re-fitting.

I fitted a 12mm thick piece of foam again wrapped in cling wrap between the door vent and fly door. This worked vey well.

Consider protecting the rear of the tow vehicle as well as the van. I had a stone stomper which I highly recomend. A friend of mine had a very expensive respray job to the rear of his cruiser after doing the great central with no stone guards.

Allow 3 days, and I would recomend purchasing a copy of the Outback way.

All the best.
AnswerID: 543568

Follow Up By: billsam - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 16:45

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 16:45
Thanks for the info from you and the others
Will be with 3 other vans and we are not in a hurry so will take time and let tyres down to 25 psi??? Is this about right
Good idea re dust entry points and van has pressure hatch
Have stone guard on van but will cove rear window of twin cab canopy
0
FollowupID: 830569

Follow Up By: Member - johntoyo - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 18:13

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 18:13
Yes, I ran 26psi all round, tug and van. I would normally have 45 in van and 38 in LC. (Dunlop Grand Trek AT3)

Carried spare tyres for van and tug, but no tyre issues until I was on the tarmac around Yulara.
0
FollowupID: 830572

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:09

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:09
Be a good idea to carry a spare spring an U/Bolts .
whilst we were out in the Simpson in june ,we heard a call on the HF to the
operator for assistance to a broken down very big C/van on the Anne Beadell for
recovery as it had broken a spring an unable to continue .
huge recovery cost
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 543569

Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 13:52

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 13:52
Pete, cheers and happy new year.

The Anne Beadell is a very different kettle of fish to the GCR. Cannot imagine what a person was thinking to attempt it towing a caravan of any sort. A robust trailer is difficult enough. Our vehicles took a pounding this year from the corrugations on the ABH and suffreed damage accordingly.

While a spare spring is always a good idea (and I carry one for the Quad trailer), in my opinion it's probably not a necessity for the GCR providing Bill takes it easy, has the correct tyre pressures and drives to the conditions.

Regards

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 830563

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:14

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:14
Couple of pics for you. Condition will vary according to when the graders went through, and the NT section is pretty corrugated.

Cheers,

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

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 543570

Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 13:55

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 13:55
Bill, from my experience, the 200km from Docker to Yulara are generally the worst. As John and Val have said above, it will vary greatly depending on the maintenance occurring.

My recommendation would be a good tyre monitoring system for the van and tug to keep you well abreast of a leaky tyre. Early warning of an emerging situation can save you a lot of worry down the track.

Cheers

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 543572

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 18:19

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 18:19
"Can you take a normal leaf spring caravan along road or do you a full off road van"?

I take our "normal leaf spring" OKA where "full off road vans" don't go.
It is not the 'type' of suspension that is important, but how well it is built and how fast you drive.
Anything can make it OK if treated with respect and anything can be broken.
Good shockers are strongly recommended.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 543579

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 19:41

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 19:41
Something worth checking with "cheap" suspensions is that the pins are not 'frozen' in the bushes and that they are getting proper lubrication.

I had a pin freeze in a bush on this 'borrowed' boat trailer which resulted in the hanger eventually cutting through the pin half way between Alice Springs and Marble Bar.



Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 543580

Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 22:11

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 22:11
Billsam - You will need a minimum ground clearance of 180mm for the GCR or the underside will be regularly hitting rocks in the centre windrow.

The corrugations are pretty constant, make sure everything is well secured.
I went through the GCR in October (East to West) and I found plenty of stuff that had fallen off vehicles.
My set of wheels was just a 2WD, 2004 model, bog-standard Hilux, and I encountered no problems.
I found the section from Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) to Docker River was in pretty reasonable condition and it got better as I headed West, because the graders had been maintaining the road, starting well East of Docker River and working back towards Docker.

Here's some pics of my trip. I wasn't holidaying or hanging around, I went to Alice and had to get back to Perth pronto.

Cheers, Ron.

Road trip - Tjukaruru Rd - GCR (you can adjust the photo size by clicking on the selections at the bottom of the pic)
AnswerID: 543585

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 23:44

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 23:44
While it does depend of when graders went through billsam, you can always expect bad sections. I would not risk taking a normal caravan all that way, but this can depend on the quality and durability of the construction.

If you do have a breakage, costs are extreme out there.

As others have said, the "flotsam" on the road is a testament of how it damages vehicles.

If you still decide to go, heed the advice given on tyre pressure and drive much slower while using low pressures. Every time you stop check your rig inside and out and check anything that can come unscrewed.
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 543587

Reply By: billsam - Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 13:32

Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 13:32
Thanks for all the advice
Hope to go in May
AnswerID: 543665

Reply By: Lonelycruiser_au - Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 20:09

Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 20:09
I used to work at a Minesite about a year ago at the start of the great central rd, seen heaps of leaf spring vans coming of it. My advice would be to call Laverton Shire and see if they can give you an update. The road is graded from time to time. I have travelled the road 3 times in the past 20 years without a trailer with no problems. My suggestion is to make sure you have a couple of spare tyres at the minimum.
AnswerID: 543997

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)