Stuff to take on an off road lap

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 00:10
ThreadID: 140569 Views:2080 Replies:11 FollowUps:17
We are leaving soon for a clockwise lap ex Sydney, as soon as the borders are open and I am wondering what recovery gear to take and what to leave at home, as I like to be self reliant. We have the usual spares and tools and a spare tyre for each axle. We will be towing a genuine off road van I built myself (2.5 tonnes loaded with 400 litre of water and the same width and track as the tow) with a lifted and locked 200 Series with 33s and small GVM upgrade. We will be travelling solo.

We won't be doing any silly tuff truck stuff or any extremely isolated tracks, but will carry a satphone anyway and have a long range fuel tank. I have a garage full of recovery gear and am wondering what to take, as overloading might be an issue.

On Board Winch: Yes
Collection of straps and shackles plus snatch block: Yes
Long handled shovel: Yes
Four Max Trax: Yes
Spare hydraulic jack: Yes
Compressor: Yes
Odd bits of wood: Yes

Dunno about:
Extra Jerry cans?
Electric chain saw?
4.5 tonne air bag jack?
Sand anchor?
Snig chain?
Off road chains for rear wheels if it gets muddy?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Keith




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Reply By: Alan H11 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 04:46

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 04:46
Extra Jerry cans? - with a long range tank I don't think so. Calculate your range and work with a 100 Km safety factor. If you find yourself starting a trajectory which will require more than you carry, buy extra cans, use the fuel in them as soon as possible, and give the cans away once you no longer need them.

Electric chain saw? - in 53 years I have needed to deal with fallen trees across the track on only three occasions - we carry a machete and a wire saw and these are all we need. Once we would have been incapable of continuing but another group were sorting out the tree with a chain saw.

4.5 tonne air bag jack? - we had one in Africa on a "big trip" - never needed it, they're bulky and fairly heavy - I wouldn't bother.

Sand anchor? - if you ever need one, dig a hole and put a spare wheel in it.

Snig chain? - Never heard of this. We've covered a lot of Km in a lot of the world and so we've never needed one (whatever it is).

Off road chains for rear wheels if it gets muddy? - heavy, bulky, a pain to put on and off. Plan your trip so that you avoid "muddy season", if you find yourself approaching serious mud, think hard about whether you want to tackle it. Only once (Eastern Uganda in Wet Season) were we in a situation where chains might have helped, and we got through without extreme effort.

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Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 07:43

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 07:43
Keith, Electric chain saw, yes, 4.5 tonne air bag jack, maybe, Snig Chain, yes, Spare Hydraulic Jack, no, Empty some of your water tanks, 400lts is a hell of a lot. Good luck and enjoy your journey.
John

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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:38

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:38
It's a lot of water for sure in a caravan. But we plan to stay off grid for extended periods and my wife loves washing her hair. So do I for that matter. Much less hair for sure, but the principle is the same.
Keith
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 10:12

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 10:12
Keith
Using that dry shampoo women use may save close to 200 litres in the tanks. DO you carry a couple of spare water pumps for the hot water system? they seem to get some punishment.
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 12:17

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 12:17
Each of the three tanks has its own filler and its own selectable switch. We are getting on a bit and aren't too keen on roughing it. We even have enough solar and battery to run a little aircon overnight in the sleeping area if it gets too hot.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:05

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:05
Hi Kieth B2,

Even with your long range fuel tank, I would consider taking one empty plastic Gerry Can. You need to work out your fuel stops for your itinerary, and if you find that you have a particularly long stretch that might see you at or near your fuel range, you can fill it for a “safety” margin.

Electric Chainsaw yes. You might not want it to clear trees from a track, but if you decide you want a camp fire, then it will be useful. If it is a Makita, then you can buy a battery charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket that will charge your 18 volt batteries.

As for the rest, I would say no. However, I would consider an extra set (2 of) Max Trax for the van. If you strike heavy sand/bull dust on any of the outback roads, a set under each axle including the van will make recovery that much easier.

The other thing I might mention is are you set on a “clockwise” direction? Crossing the Nullarbor, the prevailing wind direction is generally from the west, which means you will be heading into a head wind. An “anticlockwise “ route might be less expensive on fuel, just a thought.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Alan H11 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:58

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:58
re clockwise versus anticlockwise, you'll recall that anticlockwise is shorter as well...
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 13:26

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 13:26
.
But only about 3 metres shorter in 14,500 km!!!!!
Sorry, that should read 30 metres.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:34

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:34
"We won't be doing any silly tuff truck stuff or any extremely isolated tracks,...."
Leave all the "dunno" stuff home along with the Max Tracks and the spare jack.
Add a tyre repair kit.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: lkyphl - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 09:30

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 09:30
Keith,

I would be including the second hydraulic jack ; a couple of years ago on our annual Pilbara trip I staked a tyre, and after struggling for a good hour trying to remove the 200's wheel, the only way we could free the wheel from the hub was to use a second hydraulic jack horizontally between the chassis rail and a second jacking plate on the inside of the tyre/rim. This is a known problem caused by a build-up of good old W.A. dust between rim and hub, more common on 79's than 200's according to the Newman Toyota blokes.

Phil
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Reply By: Mark C9 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 10:13

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 10:13
400 l water? Is a huge amount of weight to lug around. I set up in the bush and use 3 x 25l water containers to top up the tanks.
Learn to minimise and reuse water
No on the fuel jerry cans if you have long range tanks
Yes on the chain saw. I assume you will be bush camping (self reliant) so you will get sick of using a bow saw to collect wood. I used to snig the larger logs to site
Forget the mud chains
Forget the air bags - I carried air bags on the 1st trip. They work well in the garage at home but blew out when I bogged out on a beach due to the suction
Odd bits of wood? Assume to slip under the jacks? Tell us more.
Weight is your enemy


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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 12:24

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 12:24
I like to carry bits of 30x70x300 mm coated construction softwood to put under corner jacks and slide-out jacks. Or for use when jacking up a vehicle. You can criss-cross stack them for heavy weights. They don't weigh much and come in very handy. For jacking up in really soft stuff, I'd use them on top of a couple of Max Trax. So I guess that also answers the air bag question.

I am still wondering about the rear wheel chains. On greasy ground with the rear diff locked the traction becomes incredible and can minimise jacknife oversteer if caught out in really muddy conditions. They stack in easily between the drawers and the wheel arch, so take up very little usable space. I originally bought them for high country travel towing a camper trailer but have never had them out of the bag.

I should put the loaded rig over a weigh bridge to see how close we are to the limit for the tow. The van has a 1,000kg rated payload and only 7.5% ball wight.
Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 15:15

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 15:15
Agree : 400 litres is huge weight ..plenty of water around the country .
air bag jacks are hard to use but have huge lift & don't weigh much .. i like the high lift jack but weigh a lot .
battery chainsaw are great .. stealth , no smell , lite . Chains are too much weight aswel
treads for sure once again weigh very little & are very handy for a lot of things like jacking etc
i do carry an extra jerry >empty . one good hydraulic jack .
lay everything out on your shed floor & start culling . sure these items are handy but the chance that you will need them is most likely low speaking for my experience .
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )
Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 16:57

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 16:57
If your vehicle has a turbo then ditch the airbag.
The extra backpressure can stuff the turbo seals
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 17:28

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 17:28
That's an interesting point that I bet not many have thought of.
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 22:37

Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 at 22:37
Mine won't fit on the exhaust pipe and has to go up with a compressor which will probably take forever. Good advice on the turbo though. So the airbag stays home.
Keith
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Reply By: Benn V - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 05:25

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 05:25
You need to stay connected to mobile network for uploading your instagram pictures while on trip and mobile signal is not always good. So you should take along a Mobile Phone Signal Booster that will ensure you have strong enough signal for your live videos and instagram moments to share with friends and family instantly.
AnswerID: 633597

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 06:42

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 06:42
We lashed out on a Celfi Go a few months ago following suggestions on this forum.
Just on the matter of water here's how we budgeted when camped in one spot:

Showers for two people every day: 25 litres
Tea, coffee, drinking, rinsing cups: 5 litres
Washing dishes and hands plus housework and cooking: 10 litres
TOTAL per day: 40 litres

This is enough to camp for 10 days in the one spot, which is the plan. I know there are folks who can have a big shower using just half a cup of water and still have plenty left over to wash the kids. But that's not us.
400 litres jumps to loaded weight from 2100kg to 2500kg which is no big deal.
It's the weight of the tow that I am most worried about because there is very limited space to stow extra stuff in the van, which in only 14ft with the slideout in.
Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 08:41

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 08:41
Just a comment re water usage. Do you really need a shower every day? We mainly camp “Off Grid”, and we find a “baby wipe” shower an excellent replacement for a water shower. You may be able to stretch your water usage out a bit more.

We also use the non scented baby wipes for “minor” washing up. As an example, for the breakfast & lunch cutlery and cups. We also use heavy duty paper plates, and find we can use the same plate for toast at breakfast, sandwich at lunch and main meal at dinner time. You need to use the thicker heavy duty ones for multiple use. They are available from KMart, we use the oval shaped ones as they seem to hold more., you can buy them in packs of 25 or 50. They do not take up a lot of space. We also tend to cook on an open fire, so we burn the plates when we have finished with them. So that basically means that we only need to wash any dishes, cups, cutlery, pots & pans after dinner. If you have a cooked breakfast, then these plates will need to be disposed of after breakfast,. This will stretch your water even further.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 09:29

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 09:29
Thanks Macca,
We wipe everything down with paper towel before washing both to save water and to keep the grey water tank clean. Our water budget is for comfortable long term living. But we can stretch it if we have to. I understand that in some areas clean drinking water can be hard to come by and in other places it is sold via a dispenser like petrol.
The whole underbody of our caravan is water tanks, which I fabricated with structural baffles and they are bonded in as a load carrying part of the body. The water tanks can take the full weight if the caravan if we get hung up. The whole thing is made from epoxy honeycomb composite.
Keith
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:01

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:01
.
Let me just say that I spent the first couple of years of 4WD activity adding stuff to my vehicle .
Then the next 20 years taking stuff out!! Anyone want a free high-lift jack?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:31

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:31
I gave mine away too. Bloody dangerous things. The bloke I gave it to has never used it either.
Keith
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:51

Friday, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:51
.
Oh I have used it several times Keith...........
Bloody wonderful for pulling star pickets out of the garden.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Oct 03, 2020 at 11:25

Saturday, Oct 03, 2020 at 11:25
Hello Allan
If you were a chemist the dispensing seems to take a long time. A bloke on another site has a Dmax and BEFORE he fills the water and aux diesel tank it weighs 3 Tonnes with "necessary" everyone has to have this, additions. Some are dripping with recovery gear, mostly/all unused.
However, I would not give my High Lift jack away, it is very handy in the garden and offroad too. Never had a problem with the danger aspect.
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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Saturday, Oct 03, 2020 at 11:40

Saturday, Oct 03, 2020 at 11:40
I'm a babe in the woods compared to most here but I have travelled a fair bit on outback and desert tracks in company with some who carry a high lift jack.

Only time I have seen one used was for the one thing many people say it should not be used for: to jack a vehicle to change a tyre.

cheers

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Reply By: Mark C9 - Sunday, Oct 04, 2020 at 11:26

Sunday, Oct 04, 2020 at 11:26
I too carried a hilift jack for years. I used to do some heavy duty off roading. I found it invaluable to raise the vehicle so I could stack logs etc under the wheel.
I can say they can be dangerous if you try to lift too high in one go.
I use TJM bullbars with the T section cutout for jacks.
It got me outr of many sticky situations.
You can get an attachment that goes on the hub that allows you to lift the wheel. Cant change tyres like that but they are good
I don’t carry one any more because I don’t do the rugged offroad stuff anymore
I would say leave it behind
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Reply By: Member - Gordon B5 - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020 at 19:56

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020 at 19:56
I use a high lift jack to break the bead on my split rims when I need to. Put the base on the tyre & jack under the bull bar easiest way I know of to fix a puncture, also carry tyre levers and rubber mallet.
He who hesitates is lost

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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020 at 22:29

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020 at 22:29
Thanks Gordon.
I have one spare for the single axle caravan and two matching ones on the tow plus a puncture repair kit and compressor. So here's my thinking on the other stuff.

On Board Winch: Yes
Collection of straps and shackles plus snatch block: Yes
Long handled shovel: Yes
Four Max Trax: Yes
Spare hydraulic jack: Yes. I also need that for levelling up the 1.5m slide-out.
Compressor: Yes. Two actually. One for the lockers on the tow an identical one for the suspension on the van.
Odd bits of wood: Yes
Extra Jerry cans? No. We have two 10 litre tanks on board for the diels water/space heater plus a 10 litre jerry to fill them from. We can use that in an emergency. The tow has 180 litres.
Electric chain saw? Yes
4.5 tonne air bag jack? NO!
Sand anchor? NO!
Snig chain? NO! Can use a old snatch strap instead.
Off road chains for rear wheels if it gets muddy? Yes. I have found a hidey hole in the caravan for them so they won't be on the tow.

Many thanks everyone.
Keith
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