Great Central Road

Has anyone taken a motor home from Eridunda through to Laverton on the Great Central Road?
We have a four wheel drive towing a Bushtracker off road caravan but our travelling companions have a motorhome.

We plan to leave Melbourne end of May to travel to the Pilbara.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 20:40

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 20:40
Hi Sheryl

Like any mode of transport, drive to the conditions, keep your tyre pressures down and they will be fine. There are road trains out there that do the fuel and stores run, and the road is kept it reasonable contrition as it is the mein road up to Winton.

It's a great drive and some great interesting scenery.


Cheers




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Reply By: Zippo - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 23:18

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 23:18
As you'll find on this site if you search for Great Central Road, the corrugations on the NT side (Olgas to Docker River) are usually far worse than the WA side (certainly were in mid-14 and mid-15). The worst bit is probably the first 20km or so after you leave the bitumen at the Olgas.

Follow Stephen's advice re driving to conditions. Also if your companions own their m/h they should know how to care for it, but if it's a rental they had better check if they are permitted to travel that route.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 23:27

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 23:27
There are motorhomes and motorhomes. If it is a two wheel drive, it may depend on the conditions through the sandy section on the Northern Territory side. People have become sand bogged there. There is no need for a high clearance vehicle, and usually no real need for four wheel drive. The corrugations can do damage to any vehicle.

As an alternative you may prefer to consider the Gary Junction Road. With less traffic, you only get corrugated patches near the communities, and it is a lovely drive. You can check My Blogs from 2009. We came home via the Great Central Road in 2008 and returned to continue our lap via the Gary Junction Road the following year.

Have a look Sheryl; and you are welcome to contact me privately for extra information.



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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 12:46

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 12:46
.
I agree with MH Sheryl. Gary Junction Road is better for touring than the Great Central which carries heavier truck traffic.
Gary Junction Rd is still a fairly main road and well maintained so no travel difficulties. A motorhome should be OK so long as it is robust and in good condition. As with any outback road, corrugations inflict pain on vehicles and passengers so be sure that the shock absorbers are in good condition.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 16:21

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 16:21
If you did take the GJR in a 2wd MH where would you drop down to Laverton?
The Gary Hwy is pretty good and in the main 2wd (able) down to Everard Junction but the Gunbarrel Hwy from Geralton Bore west up to nearly Mangkill Claypan (Cnr DCR & Eagle Hwy) is atrociously corrugated. From there onwards is a doddle, albeit a bit scratchy in places. Also the MH may not have the fuel capacity and have the ability to carry excess fuel?
cheers
Dunc
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 16:47

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 16:47
Hi Dunc, as Sheryl is looking at a route from Melbourne to the Pilbara, there is no need to go to Laverton (unless they want to go there specifically). It is a better alternative than the Great Central Road, less corrugations, and no sandy patches (like the NT side of the Great Central), so no worries for a two wheel drive. No problems with plenty of fuel stops. Even better scenery than the GCR.

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Reply By: wombat100 - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2016 at 17:27

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2016 at 17:27
From Ayers Rock to Laverton June last year in Mercedes Sprinter Campervan 2WD.
No issues- as recommended dropped tyres about 10%.
Great trip. Took us 5 days and saw heaps.
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Reply By: LandCoaster - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 12:43

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 12:43
.
If the MH is over 4.5t, ie HV, your best to check the "Restricted Access Vehicles" publication.

Your insurance company will check this form if anything happens...
AnswerID: 596903

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 14:06

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 14:06
Main Roads W.A. have three classes of Restricted Access Vehicles.

RAV's are specifically vehicles that are overwidth, overheight, over axle-mass-loading limits, or in a special concessional licence category (tractors, cranes, farm equipment).

Motorhomes are not included in the RAV list, unless they are overweight on any axle, overwidth, or overheight.

RAV types - Main Roads W.A.

I passed several motorhomes when I traversed the GCR in late 2014. Most were ute-based motorhomes.
I'd be wary about the potential damage to the interior, in many 2WD motorhomes - such as cupboards or shelving.
After having hired numerous motorhomes from 2 berth to 6 berth, I wouldn't be taking any of them on badly corrugated roads - the construction of the interiors is pretty shabby, they are designed for sealed roads only.

I reckon a few hundred kms of bad corrugations would see cupboards and shelving and many interior attachments, come apart on most of the motorhomes I've used or inspected.

All the motorhomes I've ever hired are specifically banned from travelling on unsealed roads.
There's a reason for that - and it doesn't necessarily mean that the company is worried about them getting bogged!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: LandCoaster - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 15:57

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 15:57
sorry Ron,

The form is relevant as to the currently reported conditions, weight restrictions and type of build the road is...

As an example, Fisheries Road down near Esperance, is only partially gazzetted, there isnt a sign saying "non-gazzetted from this point on".

Fisheries Road is also classed as a "shire road", ie in Qld a "Local Traffic Only". Not suitable for HV because it is not built to a standard to carry HV. Local busses and fire-engines get a pass, because they are local. There is not a "Local Traffic Only" sign on these roads.

Unfortunatly that road links Le-Grand National Park and other very popular tourist destinations...

Personally, i don't think it is possible to build a corugation-proof vehicle or camper...
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 17:46

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 17:46
Landcoaster, I think you've still failed to grasp, that RAV refers to Heavy Vehicles only.

Yes, there are RAV restrictions on the GCR - but they only apply to Heavy Vehicles, special concessional licence vehicles and overweight or oversize vehicles.

Main Roads W.A. - RAV - Heavy Vehicle specific road restrictions

The GCR is a gazetted road for its full length (and 40 kms of it is now bitumen) - but it is maintained and upgraded by the Ngaanyatjarraku Shire.
Where it has been upgraded, it has been upgraded to "all-weather, all vehicles" standard.
The only restrictions on the use of the GCR relate to the possibility of the road being closed due to rain.

In that case, the road is either closed to all traffic or open to light traffic only (under 4500KG GCM).
Heavy vehicles are allowed on the GCR once it is fully dry, and Main Roads advise when it is open to Heavy Vehicles.
This is all part of the RAV network control, that governs where you can drive your heavy vehicle.

For operators of tri-drive prime movers and tri-axle trailers (and heavier), permits must be obtained from both MRWA and Ngaanyatjarraku Shire, to travel on the GCR. See LGA607 below.

RAV tri-drive combinations restrictions

All trucks must have permits to use any Local Government road, that runs off the GCR.

I might add, I hold a Heavy Vehicle licence, and have driven low-loaders for nearly 50 years, so I do know a little about the RAV restrictions.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: LandCoaster - Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 20:23

Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 at 20:23
Ron, I should have explained myself more clearly so you could grasp what I was saying...

The form is relevant as to the currently reported conditions, weight restrictions and type of build the road is... the relevance as to what sort of HV was traveling it was immaterial in my case

MH HV owners would benefit by checking that form 'cause their insurance company will, that is all I meant to say
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