Off road camper trailer on the Sandy Blight Junction Road

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 13:51
ThreadID: 135209 Views:2587 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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My wife and I plan to drive the Sandy Blight Junction Road (south to north) in the second half of August this year with our 120 series Prado and Pioneer Onyx trailer (GVM 2 tonne) in tow.

I'm looking for advice from people familiar with the track regarding the wisdom of towing our trailer. Some sources I have read seem to suggest that, on the northern end in particular, the sand hills may present a challenge when towing. I can do without the stress of nursing the trailer up sizable sand hills, nor do I wish to destroy the track by having to engage in undue speed to gain sufficient momentum to crest the hills.

I would particularly value the thoughts of those who have actually towed a trailer on the Sandy Blight.

Ray
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 14:19

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 14:19
Hi Ray

Not sure where you have heard that from, but the Sandy Blight Junction track has no large sand dunes as such to cross over.

The track is a two wheeled track, yes sandy in sections and then other sections a very good firm surface.

The only thing, as with any of these great outback drives can be corrugations, but just drive to the conditions and drop your tyre pressures.

The only place that I would never advise anyone towing is the side track to the top of the Sir Frederick Range......it is low range first and very large rocks.

Other than that there is lots to see and enjoy one one Len's great roads.


Enjoy your great drive



Cheers




Stephen




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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 15:03

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 15:03
Hi Ray traveled the road this time last year. Southern end north of Tjukurla Community turn-off is a bit tight and twisting between the trees and if it's had any decent rain through there then the shadows will hold water but there are chicken tracks around the muddy /wet bits. As Steven said the sand dunes are nothing to right home about although one section was a little softer than the rest but still a doddle to drive. The scenery is spectacular and the desert oak groves are almost park-like in appearance. Do not miss Pangkupirri Rockhole a true oasis in the middle of a harsh environment. Corrugations in the north were by far worse than the southern end but not bone jarring or persistent. Would say one of the nicest desert drives you will do.

BTW the only vehicles we passed were travelling north to south and were all towing trailers.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Ray S - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 15:42

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 15:42
Thank you Stephen and Dunc. The responses of both of you provide me with a solid dose of re-assurance re the trailer.

Stephen, I had overlooked the fact that you wrote the Exploroz trek notes for the Sandy Blight: maybe you should have been my 'go to person' in the first instance.

Dunc, the relative currency of your experience and advice is an additional confidence booster for me. And thanks for the tip on Pangkupirri.

Ray
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Reply By: Member - Roger K (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 22:20

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 22:20
Ray,
I have towed a camper trailer along this road (S to N) and had absolutely no issues whatsoever. The first two replies have summed it up perfectly.
The drive to the top of the Sir Frederick Range is not to be missed, and there is ample parking space at the bottom where you can dump your CT before starting the climb.
Depending on the amount of native vegetation evident at the time of your trip, the turn-off from the main road onto the track leading up to the Range could easily be missed so you might need to be vigilant when you are getting close.
Whilst each of Len's roads have their own special appeal, I too think this one is a stand-out.
I would like to see a post of your thoughts on it after you get back home.

Roger.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ray S - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 23:28

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 23:28
Thanks for your response, Roger. Not that I wasn't already looking forward to it, but your observations (along with those of Stephen and Dunc) have whet my enthusiasm for the journey even more.

Thanks also for the tip on watching out for the track leading to Sir Frederick Range. I'll plug the coordinates from Exploroz Places tab into my GPS and hopefully that will do the trick for me.

Incidentally, what make and model of CT did you tow up the SBJ road? What month and year did you do that?

Your suggestion to post my post trip thoughts are noted and I'll do my best to act upon it.

Ray
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Reply By: Member - Andy M (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 11:47

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 11:47
I did a few of Len Beadell roads in Sept last year and had a great drive. Sandy Blight Junction track, Great Central Road, Connie Sue Highway and Anne Beadell Highway to east. All great fun albeit slow at times with corrugations.
Sandy Blight one of the best.

As others have said you should have no probs with trailer. I had a Drifta Offroad Tourer behind my Navara and had no dramas. A couple of small dunes in the north from what I remember but no big deal and option to go around I think, though I went over.

Have fun counting the wrecks along the side of the track... I lost count!

Cheers Andy





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Reply By: Member BarryG - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 12:02

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 12:02
Hi Ray,

We drove N to S on the SBJR in late May this year.
We have a 100 Series TD Auto and towed our Ultimate camper - no problems at all other than those mentioned above - a beautiful drive. At the northern end in the dune area, the main track goes around the end of each dune, but there are "shortcuts" over a few. We always took the drive around, rather than over.
Also, stop (or camp) at Bungabiddy Rockhole, not far from the southern end.

As for traffic, we met a group of four vehicles also travelling south, but saw no oncoming vehicles at all.

Have fun!
Barry
AnswerID: 612378

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:17

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:17
Good pics Andy.

Ray, a heads-up about shocks on the Onyx. If they're the Pedders they don't appear to hold up well on rough roads. I would be checking their current state and making a contingency plan if necessary.
AnswerID: 612392

Follow Up By: Member - Ray S - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 23:11

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 23:11
Thanks everyone for your tips and advice. It's great to have a community like Exploroz where we can share thoughts and experiences.

I think we can close the discussion off now. I'll take it from here. I'll probably get the last word on the condition of the SBJ road when we visit a friend in Wingellina in mid August: he has a staff member driving it (for work) to Kiwirrkurra in a couple of weeks.

Ray
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Reply By: splits - Friday, Jul 07, 2017 at 23:01

Friday, Jul 07, 2017 at 23:01
Ray

I drove over the Sandy Blight three years ago going from north to south. From memory this was the largest sand hill. I doubt if you will have any trouble getting over it.

I would advise anyone going to the top of the Sir Fredrick Range to walk up each of the three hills first. The man running the shop at Kintore on the northern end told me he could not get his Troop Carrier up the last hill. It kept spinning its wheels near the top. His car looked standard except for larger tyres.

With that in mind I walked up each hill first. I was 68 at the time but it was easy enough to do it. The surface is all loose rocks from about tennis ball to football in size. They have been packed down into two deep groves by countless cars leaving a raised flat surface between them. There are plenty of holes and I decided to fill one that looked too deep for my standard suspension Hilux with its stock size 205 x 16 tyres.. There are countless rocks lying around for you to do that if you think it is necessary.

The car rolled slowly and easily up each hill in second gear low range without any problems. It has an auto locking front diff but I don't know if it helped or not. On the way down it lightly touched one rock. That was the only contact with the rocks in both directions.

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