Touring Australia

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 29, 2001 at 00:00
ThreadID: 162 Views:2237 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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I have read various questions and answers on this site and find it all so interesting and exciting, so much so that my wife and I have decided to do the big trip starting about march 2002 and being away for at least 12 months with no kids but we have a jack russell dog.
At this stage we are planning to do the trip with a 4x4 and a 18ft pop top, neither of which we own right now, can someone please give me any information at all on what to look for in a 4x4 EG petrol or diesel, size of engine to pull the van,and any other information that may be usfull at this stage before we actually get set up.
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Reply By: Joe McDermott - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00
Boy, you certainly ask the big questions ! Actually you question is not at all easy to answer and before you make any decisions I would recommend that you :
1) Take a look at your budget. We are also planning a 12 month trip around and my draft plan has us spending close to $30k and that is without including the 4WD and the camper trailer ! When you factor those in you may end up with a bit of a shock. Then again, you may be richer than I am :+)
2) Where do you want to go ? There are many places around this beautiful country that you would not get an ordinary pop top in and out of. At least not in one piece ! If you even think of venturing off the bitumen you may be in for a nasty surprise. Then again, you may be lucky enough to be two days behind a grader and towing something custom built to survive, but . . .
3) Check out your local 4WD and caravanning clubs. They will be full of people who have done it and be able to give you some solid advice. An off road training course, such as provided by most 4WD clubs, is an absolute must if you have no experience. This applies even if you think you are never venturing off the bitumen - I can guarantee that there will be a camp site somewhere that will tax your abilities if you dont get some knowledge.
I am happy to respond to any specific questions, but the big one you asked is just to broad to realistically address.
So good luck.
AnswerID: 335

Reply By: Greg - Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00
Hi David. I agree with Joe that your question is too broad so I will attempt a broad answer. Firstly I think the dog is out of the question although I am sure plenty have taken animals with them. Secondly a mid sized (I prefer petrol) four wheel drive towing a quality off road camper trailer is the way to go. 12 months will just be enough to circumnavigate the country with maybe an excursion to the centre. Travel anticlockwise and arrange to be in the northern part of the NT and Kimberley during May to August and the SW of WA in the spring. Leave your home state and adjacent areas for later trips.
AnswerID: 339

Reply By: ron - Sunday, Apr 08, 2001 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 08, 2001 at 00:00
If you have the time to spare before you do the big trip then yes join a 4x4 club i am a member and we go on very big trips as a group which is a lot safer & you learn new things all the time . There a lot to learn.
AnswerID: 342

Reply By: wendy - Thursday, May 17, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, May 17, 2001 at 00:00
Big questions! We did a 3 year trip 1/98 - 12/00 and there are still plenty of places we will visit on future 6 month trips, so it is good to see you allowing time - too many people rush around and miss the best places. Our rig was a Landrover Defender 110 towing a 14 foot Trakmaster offroad van. Also carried tent camp gear for places we couldnt tow (e.g. Simpson Desert) or didnt want the hassle of something on the back (e.g. Telegraph Track Cape York). Over the three years did a fair coverage of all states. The dog will really restrict you - will bar you from many caravan parks, all National Parks etc. In many areas there are baits laid for wild dogs so you would worry about that. Am happy to give you further details of our rig/travels if you wish. Good luck.
AnswerID: 494

Reply By: Graham - Thursday, Jun 28, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Jun 28, 2001 at 00:00
As most of the replys you had indicate its a broad question, answer depends a lot on the $$$ you have available for 4x4 and on/off road van (check out Coromal Seka Pioneer)...If you want van with shower then 18ft is smallest so that means full size 4x4 Landcruiser or Patrol ...and todays diesls are tops....If you dont need shower in van 16ft plus will do the trick so then you can down size the 4x to mid range try diesel Prado or Pajero or petrol Pathfinder, we have Pathfinder and 16ft 6" van and you wont take a rig like this to the Cape, Simpson and CSR, but most other places is fine...take some camping gear to access the places like these...

my .02c worth
AnswerID: 703

Reply By: Ruth Doyle - Wednesday, Jul 04, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 04, 2001 at 00:00
David, you've plenty of answers about the "boy" things so I'll go with the important ones - come to Birdsville Caravan Park the Jack Russell is more than welcome. The only week animals are not allowed is during Race Week. We have lots of animals visit - birds, dogs, cats, husbands - opps sorry. There is a publication by Life Be In It which lists camp grounds and Caravan Parks which are dog friendly. Even in dog friendly parks it is nice if the owners advise the park people they have a dog (in my case I'm counting the dogs) and just ask that the dogs be on a lead if the go walking up town or through the Park. Also, do think about getting off the bitumen and seeing Australia - you can tow just about anything anywhere - especially to Birdsville. We have lots of 2-wheel drive towing big and small vans. Make sure you have 2 spares to car and 2 for van and 'READ THE ROAD CONDITIONS' - take your time and don't have your tyre pressure too high in the stony country. Pack up, head out - you'll have a ball and you'll meet some great people and see some good sites.
AnswerID: 725

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