Kimberley Kamper on the Simpson Desert

Submitted: Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:33
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Hi all, we have watched the DVD of Simpson Desert crossing over the weekend and nobody had a Camper Trailer. We have a Kimberley Kamper and we are now questioning should we take a Camper or a Tent?? Would appreciate any feedback on this dilema.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:51

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:51
Take a tent, easier on you and your vehicle and you don't damage the track for others.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:56

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:56
Take the tent - much easier on you, your vehicle, other travellers, and the track. We left our TVan at Maree and did the Oodnadatta/Simpson/Birdsville loop back to collect it.
Did see a couple of trailers being towed the other way on the Simpson, one after breaking both the drawbar and tow hitch and having to send back to Birdsville for help - though I suspect that was due to driver behaviour rather than the degree of difficulty.
It's certainly do-able with a trailer, driven competently, but not recommended.
Cheers
Wildmax
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:14

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:14
Thanks Wildmax, so you can leave the camper at Maree? I thought that may have been the case of the camper as the videos we watched they all had either swags or tents...Thanks for the advice. Kristine Harrower
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:18

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:18
Hi Kristine, yes, we just paid a small fee to park our campers (3 in our group) in the corner of the caravan park at Maree. You could probably do the same out the back of the pub, or at caravan parks in Birdsville or Oodnadatta, if that suits you better. Lock up securely of course, and we also use a hitch lock when leaving the camper for any length of time.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:43

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:43
I've done the same.

Don't expect the CP to keep much of a watch though.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:57

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 13:57
It is generally recommended you don’t...

Whether you do ultimately comes down to a personal choice, but consideration needs to be given to suitability and experience in sand towing a trailer. Don’t underestimate the level of difficulty in towing a trailer across the Simpson or overestimate your capability…

But if you give those two factors appropriate consideration the answer should be clear.

Mind you, I suspect there will be 30+ responses and they will be 50/50 on the answer…so good luck, both with your question and the trip into the Simpson.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:18

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:18
Thanks Baz, i am hearing all the comments and it looks like the Camper will have to spend a few days on its own at Maree.
We are not very experienced in sand towing so i will heed the warning.
Thanks
Kristine
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Reply By: Member - TonyL2450 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:02

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:02
Yes, a tent, I agree.

I did it last year with another vehicle and both of us camped as the Simpson was great to be in but they were all over night stops.

Unless your a Bird watcher or Naturalist but the flies and the heat rank it as NOT one of the best places to camp.

Mate it depends also on who is aboard and your creature comforts.

Having that trailer out the back on our trip would have been catastrophic as the cave ins on the track not to mention the re run ups.

Leave it at home.
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:16

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:16
Thanks Tony only me and the good hubby heading there and then off to the Alice so it may pay to leave the Camper at Maree and tent it across....

Thanks
Kris
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:51

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:51
Hi Krishar

Definitely the tent way, but have you thought about swagging it?

Nothing more enjoyable than looking up at the best sky show from your bed.

We have used a swag lots of time out in the Simpson, and to be honest, we have only ever used a tent one night, when it was quite wet.

Keep you tyre pressures down and you will have a great trip.



Cheers





Stephen
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 15:03

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 15:03
Thanks Stephen, i just turned around in my office to see if there was a camera....I was looking up swags and boy is that confusing...Which one do you recommend?
Kris
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:01

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:01
Hi Kris

Asking that question is like asking how long is a piece of string.

We have 2 types of swags, both 100% Australia made quality swags and very different.

The first type is an Adelaide made tradition double swag with open end with zippers each side the full length and a head flap and now more than twenty years old, and still like new. It has travelled many thousands of kilometres through our great Australian deserts. All we would ever do is put a ground sheet down first and put the swag on top of that. Because it is the tradition open swag, we would never open it up until we were ready to go to bed. The only down side with this type of swag is that because it is open at the head end, mosquitos can be an issue, but we used to carry some fly net for situations like that. If it was windy, it would be critical to place the end of the swag into the wind, so your swag does not fill with sand, which had happened on more than one occasion.

A few years ago, we went up market with the double enclosed swag by Southern Cross from Melbourne. Yes it might take a couple of minutes to set up, but has features that give it the feel of a mini tent, but still a great swag feeling.
Because it is fully enclosed, we can open it straight away, and if windy, just zip it up and everything is safe and sound. To see the full stars like the open sway, just fold up the canvas sides and leave the mesh cover open and you can lay back, see the stars but safe from any bugs etc.

Next morning it is a very simple job on either swag to just roll them up and you are ready to go.

Swags are great and get a good one, and it will last you your full camping life.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:52

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:52
Thanks Stephen, we are looking at the double swag...here's hoping.
Kristine
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 18:49

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 18:49
Hi Kristine

Once you have enjoyed the experience of sleep in a sway out in the desert, you will see that they are the way to go and will have many years of great use.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:28

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:28
Krishar

A lot more sensible not to tow .

I have done the Simpson crossing 3 times and I couldn't imaging towing a 1.5 ton sand anchor behind me .

cheers
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 16:00

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 16:00
Mark, i think you may be right, and imagine how much fuel it would eat up...

Thanks
Kristine
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:52

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:52
Hi we towed an old Campomatic across in Sept 2015 with another couple also with a trailer. Went E to W so up the steeper faces. Bogged 4 times between us but had each other to help. Kimberlies are tough so your rig should cope. Check all the pix in Places for the Rig Road and you will see our adventure...... W
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:40

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:40
Less damage when you don't get bogged. Wouldn't brag too much about looking after the environment then.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:42

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:42
Your KK will be fine, but that high ball weight might wreck your car's chassis. You don't mention what vehicle, but if a dual cab, I'd definitely not tow across the Simpson. All those chopped up dunes.
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:46

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:46
Thanks Phil, dual cab Hi-Lux and after a discussion with the better half last night we have both decided to leave the Kamper somewhere and just tent it across.
Thanks for the tip.

Kristine
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Reply By: Anthony G1 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 09:52

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 09:52
We did a double crossing last year with two other vehicles. One vehicle towed a Cub Off Road Camper, had to be pulled over one dune and by the time we got to Mt Dare had blown both shocks. Never made the return trip.

So much easier on both driver and vehicle when not towing.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:25

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:25
It really depends on which track you are using. Or very first trip in about 1991 we towed a Campermatic and our friends a Cub, but we went via the Rig Route and it was fine. Next we went via the French Line and swag and tented. The next time we had a Troopy set up with a bed etc. I would not tow over the French Line or the WAA Line. The very last trip we did was the Hay River and we, along with friends towed Vista RV Crossovers, but that was quite different from the French Line,

In 2009 we left our campers in Birdsville at the Caravan Park, they were Kimberley Kampers. None of us wanted to tow them over the desert, too difficult and too much wear and tear on the vehicle and the camper.

We've worked out we have crossed the Simpson six times and have seen it absolutely parched as well as lush and green with incredible bird life.

Take wood with you. Ensure you have a two way radio and have it on Channel 10 and be on the lookout for other vehicles cresting dunes. A sand flag is mandatory.

Di
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Follow Up By: krishar21 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:45

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 15:45
Thanks Bruce & Di, six times, wow great effort. We want to go to the Alice after the Simpson so still trying to work out which way to go, east/west or west/east...Thanks again for the tips we are defiantly going to tent it across the French line.

Kris
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Reply By: Kate J2 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 at 23:26

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 at 23:26
Curious to know what DVD you watched? ??

We are crossing in June and aleays up for a few tips!
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