Article Comment: Anne Beadell Highway

G'day Explorers! ABH has been on our list for a while, which we are planning for next year. But.....we now have a off road (Lotus Trooper) caravan and wondering about the viability of doing this trek with the van in tow. Has anyone done it with a van or is it just a tad ambitious to consider it. We didn't want to leave the van at the start of the road, as we probably are not coming back the same way. Thanks for any info.
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Reply By: Gramps - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 16:02

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 16:02
If you value your caravan, I would'nt. It can be done but!!!!!

Regards
AnswerID: 638147

Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:36

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:36
Thanks Gramps, I do think I may have a bit of damage if I go this way.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 16:57

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 16:57
We towed a boat from Vokes Hill Corner and west in 2006, but I suggest that the road has deteriorated since then?

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 638148

Follow Up By: Gramps - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 17:19

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 17:19
Peter,

Definitely has'nt gotten any better when I did it in April '21.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:42

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:42
Thanks guys for the pics, I looks great. I am confident in driving it in the Landcruiser, just a tad worried abut the sides of the van. I know it will handle the conditions from an engineering aspect, it is more the body and surface damage that concerns me.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 17:11

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 17:11
Hi Stewart,

Haven’t done it myself, but from the photos of those that have, be prepared for massive “pinstripes”.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:40

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:40
Thanks Macca, I am prepared for that. We did buy a van that will get us to some obscure areas. It may be the price to see some of our iconic areas.
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Reply By: Briste - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:32

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:32
A few years ago Zone RV published a series of videos they did to document a trip with a customer who drove his new van right across the country from east to west, including the Gunbarrel. They made it, and put a brave face on it. You make your own judgement. I regard it as having been courageous, in the "Yes, Prome Minister" sense. I assume it gives you some idea what the Anne Beadell would be like.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eHc61eMN2ig
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:38

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 18:38
Yes, I t is a worry when you see the terrain.
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:47

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:47
Great video, but trust me, the Gunbarrel can not be compared to the Anne Beadell Highway.

Auto Skin could be an alternative to protecting the side of the van. Pain in one nice and thick, and after it, give it a big hose down and it should peel off like gladwrap.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 20:03

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 20:03
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I agree Stephen. They are very different tracks. The AB is the AB, but the Gunbarrel depends on just which sections you are able to do. Mind you, there are few opportunities to travel some of the Gunbarrel these days. Glad I did it when I did.

And I was hoping that you would come in with the reference to your Auto Skin goop. I know thyat it has served you well from stripping all the Duco off the sides of the Prado.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:07

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:07
Had a look at the AutoSkin video, looks pretty good. Might be worth investigating further.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:56

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:56
I have used an alternative product with great success. Road Warrior Paint Protection. It looks and smells like PVA woodworking glue, applied with a small foam roller. 2 coats gives great protection. I'd caution against leaving it on too long as it can be difficult to remove. I had it on for 3 months on a long trip and while most of it came off in sheets with a pressure washer, there are some stubborn edges around window sills that are difficult to remove. Much better than pinstriping, of which I had none on either the Karavan or the tug.
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Reply By: Member - LeighW - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:24

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:24
Forget it!

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Reply By: Member - Duncan2H - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:27

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:27
You are really going to struggle to make some of the chicken tracks towing your very large caravan. Some of them have very sharp turn ins with little trees in the way as you weave in and out of the chicken track route.

It might not end in tears, but it'll come close. I did it in July this year for the second time.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 22:59

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 22:59
Had a look at the video of the Gunbarrel as suggested earlier with the Zone vans, looks a little hairy!! Our van is 20'9" so a bit on the larger size, both height and length. But we bought it to go places, but don't want to destroy it in the process.
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Follow Up By: Briste - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:19

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:19
There is a series of the Zone videos from that trip, and IIRC some of the longer ones provide more detail of the difficulties they got into than the short clips do. It's been a while since I watched them. My recollection is that they were having to cut a path through the vegetation for some exrtended sections.

However more experienced people than I say that the Gunbarrel is not nec a guide to the ABH. While I was looking at the zone videos a short while ago, Youtube helpfully gave me a pointer to this five year old ABH video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__Wni9T_DAM
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:34

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 19:34
So I made a little video. :)
The first 2 clips are south of Voakes Hill Corner. The second 2 clips are on the Anne Beadell, heading west in 2006. Wow. 15 years ago already :)
The OKA camper section is 2160mm wide and 3050mm high.
The HD version is probably still processing.
https://youtu.be/0EdVn3P_0mM
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 638154

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:14

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:14
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Good one Peter. That shows it as it is and should satisfy Stewart's question.

It was not much trouble to my Troopy as it is relatively skinny and was already battle-scarred but my companions examined their bodywork at each stop with accompanying moans!

Stewart, the foliage you see is not just leaves.... there are pretty solid and stiff branches poking out.
The Lotus Trooper is 2.5m wide with aluminium composite panels and exposed windows. It will come out the other end as a very different looking vehicle!!!

It is evident that the tight sections maintain clearance only through the 'pruning' actions of the passing vehicles. I would expect that the aluminium and fibreglass bodies of caravans would suffer even more than the steel bodies of cars.

Other than that, lots of corrugations and a few washouts, it is a great drive. But if I ever did it again, Roz would not be with me!!!



Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:32

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 23:32
The OKA camper section is fibreglass sandwich panel that is now 16 years on the "road".
It has suffered no damage in that time that could not be polished out.
Aluminium on the other hand will crease and that stays there.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 09:51

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 09:51
Thanks Allan. You are right, there may be some serious "modifications" done to the van, and I think my navigator would kill me if I ripped a branch down the side of Trixie (the Trooper)!! Might look for a less demanding trek.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:42

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:42
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Yes Stewart, we are constrained by our 'Car', our 'Competence', and our 'Courage'. lol

In my case, the 'Car' has recently changed and will limit our travels. The old Troopy could, and did go almost anywhere. However, our transport has recently become a Mercedes Sprinter van outfitted as a motorhome. It does have 4WD and a good-sized V6 engine but I would be foolhardy to attempt the treks of yore. So I am being pushed toward the trails of the Grey Nomads...... but then I guess, heaven forbid, that I have become one!

There still are many tracks available to you and Trixie, (and the "navigator" of course) but just not the AB Hwy. Pick your track and ask here on the Forum for advice as to accessibility and there will be plenty of members who will advise...... as you have just found out. LOL

As an alternative to the Anne Beadell Hwy I could suggest going west from the Stuart Hwy near Kulgera on the Mulga Park Road which becomes the Gunbarrel Hwy and will take you to Warburton and the Great Central Rd. It has been some time since I travelled that route but I think it would be suitable for you. Others with better memories will doubtless advise. Another good area is the West MacDonnel Ranges west from Alice Springs.
The problem is that with the Covid thing these 'Aboriginal lands' zones are limited access.
Good luck.


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:57

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 10:57
Aaaahhh....... Memories.... :)
The Mulga Park road between Curtin Springs and Mulga Park in 1974.
4 adults and 2 kids on board.
We fitted a set of snow chains and drove on.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 11:02

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 11:02
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Yeah Peter, but clearly there was no 'pin striping' was there?
Must have been fun getting the snow chains on!

I may put those pics on my dashboard to remind me that the 'blacktop' is perhaps not so bad after all. lol
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 11:07

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 11:07
Took 7 days of driving to get from Alice to Adelaide via Uluru and we wore the snow chains out.
They would lock you up if you did that these days.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 15:36

Friday, Oct 01, 2021 at 15:36
Thanks Alan for the track info, will follow up on those. And for Peter & Margaret, that looks one horrendous road, and in the venerable Combi!! Back when adventuring was by the seat of the pants, lol!
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 08:40

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 08:40
Hi Allan,

I am not sure if you can get a permit to travel the full length of the Mulga Park Rd/Gunbarrel Highway, as it passes through the AYP lands. Even without the current COVID-19 issues, I didn’t think they were issuing transit permits.

Macca.

PS, would love to see some photos of your Sprinter.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 10:15

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 10:15
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Macca, I'm sure that no permits are available for APY or any Native Title Lands at the present time.
That's why I told Stewart .... "The problem is that with the Covid thing these 'Aboriginal lands' zones are limited access."

The Sprinter? Yes, well it's a waiting game.... a long one. After waiting 9 months for it to arrive from Dusseldorf I then had to wait in the queue for the cabinet maker who has just called for it on next Friday. In the meantime I have installed the electrics, awning, roof vent etc and sourced the appliances. It is a long process. Oh, and do major modifications to my garage to get it in!!!

Photos? I suppose so. I'll need to take it up Big Red (lol) to get a photo to replace the Troopy as my Forum profile pic. But as a teaser, here is my electrical control panel. Yes it looks like an industrial Motor Control Centre but really is little more than what most RV's have scattered under the beds. It will be housed in its own shallow cabinet.
The unusual bits are the Sterling 3A charger (green arrow) that keeps the cranking battery topped up from the house lithium and solar and the Simarine module (blue arrow) containing current shunts for solar and alternator together with the interface for tank levels.



Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 11:04

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 11:04
Good work Allan on the setup, looks nice and neat. I must admit, wiring and all of the circuitry does confuse me. That's why auto electricians do so well, lol!
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 12:34

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 12:34
In spite of the current COVID-19 issues, I was under the impression that they still do not issue transit permits for the APY Lands. At least they didn’t back in 2017.

The control panel looks the goods, was it a “drop in” unit, or did you build it yourself from components?

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 13:07

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 13:07
Gday Allan,
You must have had hours of fun planning and building that lot!!
I found one mistake - you have a red cover on the battery earth - haha

Lithium is a game changer. I have 200Ah in the Troopy now and it's behind an Enerdrive DC2DC too. Recharging at 40A takes no time at all and running 2 fridges is a breeze. I'm currently converting my caravan as well. I'm guessing your dashboard has plenty of gauges!

Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:19

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:19
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Macca, I did get an assembled panel from Enerdrive but I re-configured it and also added the section on the right.
It is now quite a bit different from the original. It is configured to look after itself but will alarm any issues.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:32

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:32
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Hi Phil,
Yes, It did take a while but then, what else was I going to do with my time?
Ah yes, the red terminal boot. Talk to Derek Bester from ABR Sidewinder about that! He only stocks red ones.

The Sprinter dashboard has only the speedo and tacho as "gauges". All the rest is on interactive screens.
It seemed challenging at first but is pretty ergonomic and works well.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: gke - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:38

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:38
You win ,Allan. Beats my second battery, portable solar panel and multimeter setup !
Stay safe,
Graham.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:46

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 14:46
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Graham, I'm sure that your system works to complete satisfaction. I spent many years in my Troopy with no more than volt and ammeters on the batteries. Never failed me.
But the Sprinter was a challenge that I could not resist!

Actually, the Sprinter system may look complex but in fact it is quite basic in operation. DC-DC charger with solar, 230v mains charger and a few breakers and fuses.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 17:38

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 17:38
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Phil, it just occurred to me, did you mean my "dashboard covered in gauges" associated with the auxiliary battery system?
If so then no. No aux data available from the driving position...... unless you were to Bluetooth access on the phone. The only "gauge" is the Simarine interactive screen in the 'house'. But if there were any attention needed the piezo alarm would be clearly heard from the front seats.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Phil G - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 18:40

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 18:40
Allan,
Yes I was thinking you'd have plenty of dials with ammeter, voltmeters, capacity etc - usually next to the TPMS, Rearview camera, Navigation screen, dashcam etc etc but it's good to see you are keeping it uncluttered and simple!
I'm a bit of a sucker for stuff on the dash. I monitor volts on start, auxillary and caravan batteries, and measure amps on auxillary and trailer batteries. The trailer battery info is in the overhead console and the others are built into the lower centre console cupholder. I use Hall Effect meters so I can move it around if I get bored with the info :-)
In the years gone by I used to say you can get everything that matters with just a voltmeter on the aux battery, but I guess something has changed in my brain :-)

But a Merc should be nice after your many years as a Troopy faithful!!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 20:21

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 20:21
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Phil, I've spent my working life dealing with process control technology. I'm retired now and have little desire to peer at instruments anymore. The data is available if I wish, but not 'in my face'. Vital parameters are alarmed and will alert me if need be but otherwise it should just run itself. We shall see... hmm?

Yes, the Merc should be nice but it was more Roz's desire than mine. There was something very fundamental about an old Troopy that seemed to sit well with the deserts and I will miss that. But it certainly should be more comfortable.




Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 22:25

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 22:25
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Actually Phil, there is a TPMS in the picture... perched on the RH end of the dash, just above the air vent. But its small as I configured it myself. And the little red button on the top of it is the garage door opener.
There is an OEM navigation screen. In the centre of the dash. This of course displays the reversing camera. But there is a second rear view camera that I installed to replace the optical rear vision mirror to display the more distant road view. And not fitted in this photo is my Samsung tablet for EO Traveller. that sits nicely just above the OEM screen.
So there are a few extra bits but not obvious.

But sorry Stewart, I think we have hijacked your thread enough.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Phil G - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 06:39

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 06:39
Agree with the others above. I've done the ABH many times and you won't get a full size caravan around the overgrown and twisty bits.
I know someone who did it with a top quality narrow hybrid van and managed to break off the side awning and break off their door. And the corrugations will test out the suspension on a heavy offroad caravan.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stewart M1 - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 11:02

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 11:02
Thanks Phil, and to everyone else who replied. It does look like after all the info received, that it may be better to do it sans van. We are well set up with the Cruiser to do it swag style, so will look at that as an option and lay up Trixie at a caravan park or storage for that portion of the trip. Will look at a round trip back to the start point along some other tracks.
Thanks again to all the members for all the good advice.
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