Oodnadatta- 2WD

Submitted: Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 12:25
ThreadID: 11195 Views:6493 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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Hi I am interested in the oodnadatta track. Is it ossible with 2WD pulling caravan? Or is it really a 4WD track? Also any problems with taking a dog on the treck?
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Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 12:31

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 12:31
If wet no, if dry it will probably shake your car to bits depending on corrugations. I wouldn't take my good car there. Best bet is to check the condition of the road when you are ready to travel by ringing Pink's Roadhouse at Oodnadatta
AnswerID: 50073

Reply By: Willykj - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 12:49

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 12:49
Hi cbass,

About 4 years ago we towed a 17ft pop top with a Holden Commodore down the Oodnadatta Track & had a fantastic time with no problems whatsoever. I know that the conditions can change but if you take your time & drive to the conditions you will be fine. But, agree that you cant go if wet (& neither can 4WD).

At the time I was advised by many people not to do it - but I checked with the Pink Roadhouse - & they had no problem with it provided I took some precautions - eg a 2nd spare tyre - UHF radio (there are repeaters down the track) - & plenty of food & water in case of getting caught by rain.

Even the roadhouse ar Marla advised me not to go but I checked with the Police at Marla & they said to go for it & as it is a great trip.

The South Aust Roads people issue a daily road condition report & you can get these by telephone. I monitored these up till we went down the track.

Go & do it - you will not regret it & take your time as there are many things to see.

AnswerID: 50076

Reply By: Vince NSW - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 13:11

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 13:11
Just do it.
It is a great trip with a wealth of things to see, so make sure you leave time to stop and look. There are also short side trips to the mound springs just off the track between Maree and William Creek.
If you stay in Marree you can make a day trip to Lake Eyre Nth via Muloorina.
The track can be a bit rough at times but if you take your time it is well worth the efffort.
AnswerID: 50079

Reply By: ianmc - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 13:12

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 13:12
4wd is only used very occasionally in the outback UNLESS you are tackling sandhills
mud & steep trails.
Good ground clearance is the key generally & air shocks & possibly HD springs to give a lift & handle the potholes is most desirable & makes the trip more worry free.
In heavy rains I, with a few other 4wds came from Camerons Corner into Tibooburra & it was almost impassable. It did not matter whether I was in 2 or 4wd, there was so little control or traction & for much of the time I drove in 2wd as the front end was not fighting the back & the steering for directional control if you get the drift.
I see that Mitsubishi & I think Rodeo now have utes built on the 4wd chassis but without the transfer case & front drive & the holes in the front end for the axles blanked with plugs.
Saves a lot of $$$ & gives you a good clearance ute with less maintenance & better accessibility to front components.
Maybe someone who has one might like to comment????
AnswerID: 50080

Reply By: Member - Luxoluk - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 14:16

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 14:16
Subject to weather conditions, the trip would be quite easily achieved provided you take it quietly, watch out for dips and creek crossovers which can be a bit rocky. The more clearance the better however if caution is exercised it should be ok with the family sedan. There will be a lot of stones flying up so think about the van and if you are in a stationwagon, watch the rear screen! Consider essential supports! I would do it with my van and Commodore! Cheers
Len Beadell

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AnswerID: 50085

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 15:51

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 15:51
sure i remember a doco on slim dusty doing oodnadatta with his falcon and van many years ago.
given the right conditions
AnswerID: 50096

Reply By: The Banjo - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 16:54

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 16:54
Amen to the above......if you there's no rain, you have good comms, a well set up car and van, water and tucker aplenty, that leaves tyres as the only snag - the Oodna ranges from "sweet" to a real bugger at times - those blasted stones on the lower half can be no trouble at all, or take a tyre out when you wouldn't believe it.
Only thing to do is have extra rubber on hand....an extra for the car and the van....only van I've seen up there was stopped with tyre failure on the tow vehicle....had soft shouldered "town" tyres on and they probably didn't like the tail load, stones combo.......choose good rubber, extra spares and then enjoy the trip....its great (but those damned flies...........)
AnswerID: 50101

Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 17:40

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 17:40
Once apon a time: A friend of mine drove the Oodnadatta track in a Holden Commodore becoming stuck in a shallow creek as the elecrical system was flooded. After being pulled out he continued only to have the exhaust fall off then a little way further on the air cleaner clogged up requiring a tow into town. On the return trip 2 flat tyres.
Yes a 2 wheel drive will often drive on outback tracks without any trouble but they really aren't designed to. Little ground clearance. soft tyres, inadequate motors for water or dust. If you like to gamble on your holidays roll the dice and good luck.
AnswerID: 50111

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:33

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:33
Once upon a time, when our parents and grandparents were driving around this countryside they did it in Austin 12, Ford T, Dodge, Studebakers, and whatever else was around. They had no air conditioning, no fridges, no communications, not much in the way of spare tyres, a box on the running board which contained their food and camping gear. They had a ball. Many a honeymoon started in this manner (leading one to ask how the marriages survived when they married city girls). Sometimes , I wonder if we have become a little "precious". No I do not take lightly travelling in this the real outback. I live out here I know about it, but I also know that in the "olden" days the roads were atrocious - we have very good dirt roads now - very good. No matter which way I go I have to travel on between 300 and 600 klms of dirt/stones/gibber/mud - before I reach the tar. You can take a 2WD drive vehicle (and caravan or trailer) almost anywhere in Australia these days (and luckily people do) - it just requires a little commonsense. It is very rare to require 4WD (as pointed out above) unless duning, mudding or cross country and not always necessary in the SD either, if your tyre pressures are correct. Always have two spares for the vehicle, and two spares for the towed vehicle, plenty of water, some food, warm clothes (for cooler nights) and know how to change tyres and not be afraid to do this. Do not be afraid to lower tyre pressure when bogged in sand - very easy . Always correct tyre pressure when coming off the tar - in rocky/stony country we lower our pressure to allow some movement of the tyre rather than higher pressure which could allow stones to puncture. Drive according to the road conditions - allow yourself plenty of time - cruise along quietly and enjoy the view and fresh air. That's another thing we have become "precious" about - too much to do and too little time to do it in. I do think it important to have some communications - but satellite phones can be hired now at small cost. I hope you enjoy your trip and have a safe one.
AnswerID: 50131

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:37

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:37
P>S> Most importantly, cover the back windscreen of your vehicle (if towing) with a beer carton to prevent stones thrown up by your vehicle hitting the front of your van/trailer and throwing forward and bleep tering your back windscreen. Do not trust nets under the tow hitch or over or whatever - a cheap carton saves a lot of anguish.
FollowupID: 311931

Follow Up By: Dexter - Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 13:14

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 13:14
Ruth, You're a gem - and sooo right.
My first "offroad" experience was in the late '50's with my dad and an Austin A30 travelling (admittedly very slowly) up Cape York.
Like then, planning, preparation and "taking it easy" will get your 2wd most places in comfort and safety.
FollowupID: 312175

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 14:04

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 14:04
Hey Dexter, in the late 60s I had a Morris 1100 and it took me everywhere in outback Queensland - used to get bogged in the sandy creeks all the time - as I was governessing I would just put the littlest kid in to steer and the other kids and I would push. Kept us quiet and busy and we had lots of fun. (Those little bush kids could already drive by the time I got to be the governess).
FollowupID: 312179

Follow Up By: Dexter - Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 14:50

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 14:50
Sorry - I don't believe you Ruth,
In the late 60's you would have only been around 5 years old!

You see Ruth, we've actually met. Last July, My two boys and I turned up at your place, desperate for a shower, with a Hilux with the engine held in with tent poles and fencing wire. You were kind enough not to be too offended by our appearance.

Another "when I was a lad story"
My uncle had a Chevvy Blitz on the farm up in FNQ. When we kids drove it, one stood on the seat to steer and change gears, the other sat on the floor and operated the clutch, brakes and accelerator.

And I get worried when my boys drive!!
FollowupID: 312184

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 19:00

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 19:00
Oh Dexter, you're such a little pet. I remember you and the boys coming in! I love those 'remember when' stories but it always amazes me the number of people who chime in about the dangers we faced and the hazards and the irresponsibility and now the workplace health and safety issues. Generally, I think we are becoming too precious. Mind you, it was very difficult for me to let my boys drive when they were 10 - but by then I had found out about predators, deviates, junkies, mutilators, perps and all the other nasties whereas I spent my childhood riding my horse from daylight to dark and no-one had any idea where I was, playing in the creek with all the snakes and stingers, trapping finches (I'm so ashamed now) fishing with meat on string and mucking around outside building things with all Dad's tools (he used to get a bit bleep ty about that - if we lost them), hammering, sawing - i broke a few bones in fingers riding and playing netball, cut a toe off jumping over a creek and landing on a broken milk bottle. We were pretty wild in our cars - but we had been taken out and shown how to handle them also (doing wheelies on the claypans!!) and driving down the range getting a thump from big brother if you touched the brakes - only allowed to use the gears. Still here to tell the tale. What fun.
FollowupID: 312222

Reply By: Graham & Ann - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 17:40

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 17:40
The replys given seem to cover your query. If your used to caravanning along dirt gravel formed roads then it wont be a problem if you keep the speed down and lower the pressures to suit the conditions.. If you've not travelled any dirt formed gravel roads towing a van before, then I suggest you do some trial runs close to home to see how ypour van copes with dust, stones and corrugated roads.

Our van copes easily with these types of roads when prepared for them and towed at a speed to suit the conditions and efforts are taken to keep dust out and stop damage from stones.
AnswerID: 50199

Reply By: Brian - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 21:21

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 21:21
Just watch for the odd clown in a 4WD (and I mean only the odd one) who thinks it is a 4 lane highway and drives at 120kph plus and showers you with rocks. I did it in a Commodore 3 years ago with no worries except for this unfortunate minority ofbleeps. You will see them coming so can pull off in time to let them pass and then drive past them with a smile on your face as they are changing their flat tyre from driving too fast for the conditions. Once again they are a VERY small minority but alas THEY are out there lurking around. Enjoy your trip.
PS. I am now a 4WD owner and can't wait to get back out there. But I will take it easy as I respect other road users.
AnswerID: 50228

Reply By: uther - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 23:18

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 23:18
I did it once years ago with a wheel barrow, and the only problem I had was with the variable chromatic condensing alternater, diffribulating the compensatory reactory impulse module. Apart from that , no prolems.And it was able to be fixed at the next town. If it was me I'd go for it....Uther
AnswerID: 50250

Follow Up By: Member - StevenL - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 23:24

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 23:24
Were you able to make it on Impulse Power or did you occasionally need to get Scotty to give you some Warp Drive??????????????
FollowupID: 312061

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