Simpson Dessert

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 17, 2004 at 17:18
ThreadID: 13860 Views:3070 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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Well we finally crossed the Simpson Dessert, Off-Road trailer included.
After some of the dreaded heart break stories we heard, it really was not that hard.
Big Red was no problem at all, see 2nd photo attached.
Our biggest problem were the clay pans, they were quite boggy, especially with the trailer.
The sand dunes were easy enough, we let all our tyres down to 18 and sometimes down to 12 psi. The trailer tyres were down to 10 psi for the whole length of the Simpson. We did it from East to West.
We did notice a number of cars that failed to reduce tyre pressure and just gunned it up the sand dunes with the resulting ruts left behind by spinning wheels.
I would be happy to provide information to anyone about to tackle the Simpson

Cheers
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Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 17, 2004 at 18:08

Thursday, Jun 17, 2004 at 18:08
Ya did'nt reverse up the easy side DID YA !!! lol

Baz.

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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Thursday, Jun 17, 2004 at 18:18

Thursday, Jun 17, 2004 at 18:18
Straight up from East to West, no problem
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 00:03

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 00:03
From East to West you don't even have to lock in the hubs, easy as.
Now try it from West to East, Then you would be telling a different story.
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Follow Up By: madcow - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 07:20

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 07:20
I must be mistaken but West to East was the easy way when I crossed back in "99" towing a camper trailer. ??????
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen (WA) - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 09:12

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 09:12
Not for Big Red itself......
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Follow Up By: duncs - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 10:10

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 10:10
I'll back that up Stephen

Duncs
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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 13:51

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 13:51
John,
Noticed you were not towing a trailer
Cheers
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Reply By: duncs - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 10:09

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 10:09
George,

Good to see someone else with the courage and skill to take the trailer across the desert. Like you I did not find it difficult on the sand but the lakes were interesting.

I did not actually get to the top of Big Red from west to east (cant even lie when Stephen WA is listening)it did seem more difficult than it looked the other way.

Stephen, how is it going in the west? My kids still talk about that trip. Have you got to any more points of confluence like on the way down from Tib to the Hill? Oh and is that Daniel in the background on the top of Big Red?

Hope things are working out for you and the family
Duncs
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Reply By: GaryW - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 13:46

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 13:46
Very refreshing - we are going in Sep with Off road trailers. Now I can't wait.

How long did you take George? Where did you overnight? We are going West to East on the understanding that its the easier way generally.

Gaz
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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 19:06

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 19:06
Hi GaryW,
We left birdsville around 3:30 pm, and camped about 6 Km East of Big Red.
We then camped 2 nights along the French Line track and the next camp was at Purni Bore.
On one day we travelled less than 90 Km due to the number and height of the dunes slowing us down.
There are plenty of good camp sites along the whole length of the track with ample dead wood for a camp fire.
You may find that by September the track may be cut up and deep ruts due to the number of cars now travelling the Simpson.
If there has been no rain the sand will most likely be soft.
However let your tyres down to 12 psi if you have to and you will have little trouble getting over the dunes.
We found it difficult to get up to any speed when approaching the bigger sand dune due to the deep scalloping of the track caused by cars not letting down tyre pressure, gunning the motor and bouncing up and down the track.
Enjoy your trip, it is worthwile doing
Cheers
George
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Follow Up By: Member- Peter & Mrs Peter, Lez - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 18:23

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 18:23
And I presume you didnt get any wheelspin towing your camper over the dunes and therefore contributing to the creation of corrugations. Personally I would say that towing a camper trailer thru the Desert is just as irresponsible as not letting your tyres down. Also not a popular pastime, burning the timber in the desert.many creatures rely on this Dead Timber to survive.

Cheer peter and Lez.
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 18:45

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 18:45
Dear Peter and Mrs Peter.
I fully agree with you sentiments, however I must tell you that we did not spin our wheels.
We let our tyres down to 12 psi where required, the trailer tyres were down to 6 psi on occassions, we were mindfull of track damage which is more than I can say for some cars that passed us.
We understand that some little creatures use the dead wood for shelter that is why we camped no further than 20-30 metres from the track and collected our wood within that distance from the track.
This leaves thousands of hectares for the little creatures.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member- Peter & Mrs Peter, Lez - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:17

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:17
The sand must be quite firm then compared to when we crossed last year. I am glad you are also mindful of the sensitive environment.

Cheers Peter and Lez
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Follow Up By: duncs - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 12:35

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 12:35
Peter,

We travelled last October with trailer and did not spin wheels either. Whilst this does reflect the condition of the track which was frimed up by rain while we were there, it also reflects on the attitude and skill of the driver. Once the wheels start to spin in soft sand and on steep dunes, there is little benefit in keeping the foot down. You only dig your own grave.

At Easter I was in Coffin Bay and found the condition of the track much worse than anything I came across in the Simpson. There are very few trailers taken into that area but I was advised by many that I did not need to reduce tyre pressures, "just floor it" this advice came from one guy who passed me as I was reducing pressures.

When I learnt ot drive in the sand 4x4's did not have huge amounts of horsepower and if you did not drive properly and set the vehicle up right you did not get there.

Many on this forum are happy to call anyone towing a trailer irrisponsible, that is simply not the case. Most of us who tow trailers have come to that point through experience and necessity. Also a reasonable invetment in the vehicle and trailer as well as the value of the cargo we carry (wives and children) neccessitate a cautious approach. An irrisponsible attitude will damage far more thatn a trailer.

Duncs
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