Simpson v CSR

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:34
ThreadID: 20299 Views:1862 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Just starting some preliminary planning for a CSR trip possibly in 06. I'd love some input from people who have done both the CSR and Simpson comparing the 2 trips. I get it that the CSR is longer and requires good planning (fuel etc..) even more so. But having been across the Simpson last year I'd to like some relative comments.

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: signman - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:56

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:56
There is really no comparison. Where the Simpson probaly took you 3 to 4 days- the CSR can take 3 or 4 times that. Preparation would be about the same for both- apart from fuel availablity and tucker/water.
Degree of difficulty for an experienced driver (like yourself) would be about the same- however what I felt after the Simpson was, however after the Canning the thought was. Mind you that later thought lasted til the next day.
There is lots of info on the CSR, and the more preparation, planning & information gathering before the trip will make it heaps more interesting.

Have a good one,
AnswerID: 97652

Reply By: signman - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:46

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:46
I think the system edited my Reply to you:
What I was indicating was
after the Simpson- the thought was 'I wouldn't mind doing that again'.
after the CSR- the thought was 'I'm NEVER going back there'.
Mind you the latter thought lasted til next day.

I hope that makes sense now.
AnswerID: 97675

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 09:07

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 09:07
Thanks signman.

Was the different 'thought' because it took much longer, was less interesting or did you have more trouble?

You say above that it was about the same - I understand it takes much longer but is it more difficult? than say the Simpson 5 times over?

I trust it is more interesting than 5 trips across the Simpson?

FollowupID: 356361

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:28

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:28

It looks like I will be doing the CSR and the Simpson back to back this year. June for the CRS and the first 2 weeks in July for the Simpson.

When I get back from the Kimberleys, about the end of August, post the question again and I hope to be able to answer.

AnswerID: 97681

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:37

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:37
We have a dvd on the canning that could help your planning.
Ring Peter Ikin on 07 4094 1745

All the best
AnswerID: 97683

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:33

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:33
Gary, the difference is the Simpson can be done by most standard 4x4s with a little preparation in just 3 days. The Canning however needs a bit more respect. It's remoteness to help means you need to be prepared. It's one trip I probably wouldn't do solo. Spares, food, health checks, vehicle preparation & fuel calculations all need to be right. A little thing like a tooth ache at well 17 would be just a big nuisence but on the last trip the old man had a heart turn climbing to Canning's Cairn at the Durba hills. 3 weeks later he had a quadruple bypass so I can't stress enough the need to be fit. Key difference to the cars is the weight you need to carry. Extra food, water & huge fuel loads will in most cases see the car overloaded. This & driving too fast often leads to breakdowns so a reasonable mechanical knowledge is essensial.
The best part of the Canning is that it's a journey through history with reminders of the past at every turn. Study up on the explorers & guide books & it will make the trip more than just a challenging drive. Unlike the Simpson which is one sand hill after another, the CSR continually changes from station country, salt lakes, dunes, hills, gorges & plains.
PS. You have the best outback touring 4x4 made so enjoy the trip. Hope the lower control arms hold out ;-)) Towing the trailer on this one???
Cheers Craig.....
AnswerID: 97772

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 08:48

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 08:48

Thanks for your comments.

One of the reasons for the question was to assess the viability of taking the trailer.

We would much prefer to take it as it means 2 more tyres to spread the weight over and of course we are coming from Melbourne so the CSR is only part of the trip and the trailer would be better for the rest of it.

As I read your comments the CSR is no more difficult than the Simpson it is simply the remoteness and time it takes meaning you need much better preparation. Please confirm I have read you properly because if it is no more difficult we would take the trailer in a heart beat - we found the Simpson a challenge but no real problem.

I'm planning to have the lower control arms welded up and the ARB or Pedder strengthener added to try and prevent the problem some HDJ's etc are having.

Your point about learning as much as possible is a very good one - and is noted - thanks again.
FollowupID: 356357

Follow Up By: Disco200Tdi - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 12:57

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 12:57
It's 10 years since I have done the canning stock route but things haven't changed that much other than fuel is a bit more available.
(we arranged a fuel drop at well 23 and carried our own fuel transfer pumps).

I think that the canning is much harder on the car than the simpson purely becuase of the weight you have to carry. This places a lot more strain on your cars' suspension. Shock absorbers cop a pounding.
We carried welding equipment and had to use it a couple of times on someone elses suspension and on a roof rack.

I carried 225 litres of diesel, 60 litres of water and food for 3 weeks. It took us 16 days and water was only available about every 3 days.

My advice, travel as light as possible, in a group, and leave the trailer at home.


John D
FollowupID: 356388

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 16:04

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 16:04

Your comment on the weight issue is a very good one. Thanks

Is that the only reason you say its harder - or is the terrain harder as well? - Take my example of 2000k on the CSR v 2000k of Simpson - Which is tougher?

I can't see us leaving the trailer at home - but we might freight it forward for the CSR leg of the trip.

FollowupID: 356402

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 21:32

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 21:32
Gaz the CSR is just as challenging as the Simpson but not much more difficult. Conditions do change & on my first trip had to flog the car a few times to get it over the big ones. On the other hand if it rains the month before you barely need 4x4 as was proved when an Oka tour bus did 3/4 of the trip with a blown front diff. As John mentioned keeping the weight down is the main issue & many recomend "if it doesn't have 2 uses don't take it". With the TD100 you will have sufficient power to tow & as you have practiced sand driving before should have little trouble. One thing to watch for with your trailer is unlike the Simpson the Canning has multiple top dunes so if you back off you can get caught between them. When heading North & refueling at 23 unforntunatly you have to climb the biggest dunes shortly after fully loaded but they are certainly not impossible.
Do some study on the Calvert ranges. Certainly worth the detour for a couple of days.
Cheers Craig................
FollowupID: 356488

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 14:35

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 14:35
Thanks Guys

Looks like we might go in Jun/Jul 06.

FollowupID: 356772

Reply By: Member - Martin- Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:26

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:26
Hi Gary,

I personally have not done the CSR but have a good friend that has completed it twice and according to him you can not tow a trailer of any type, apparently one or two of the stations that you have to pass through wiil not let you through with a trailer as they are sick and tired of having to recover them. You should look into this,maybe you could get your trailer freighted to your destination and pick it up from there and carry on with your trip.

Martin and Sam
AnswerID: 97850

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 16:07

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 16:07
As I understand it you cannot take the trailer between Well 2a and Well 5 - but there is an alternate route which we would take for that bit if we took the trailer.

FollowupID: 356403

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Feb 12, 2005 at 06:56

Saturday, Feb 12, 2005 at 06:56
Hi Gary

I concur with everthing that Crackles said. The Simpson is a breeze, the Canning more complicated.

We did a solo trip, north south, and it was definitely the harder option. We did it in 94 with a then 15yo Tojo. There were lots of repairs done along the way. We took four weeks for the trip. PLEASE CARRY xtra shockabsorbers as the vehicles take a pounding even if you are driving carefully. Go to my website below and read my Canning Diary if you have not done so already.

AnswerID: 97984

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 14:49

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 14:49
Thanks Willem - Appreciate your comments. Just one clarification - You say you agree with Crackles who says they are about the same but then say the CSR is more complicated. I'd like your comments comparing the difficulty of the terrain only - I have got the message loud and clear that the extra remoteness is a real issue meaning more weight therfore meaning much better preparation and more careful packing.

I know you don't like trailers - but can you give me a straight up response on whether the terrain is tougher, everything else being equal?

The other guys are all saying its about the same. I obviously have a great deal of respect for each reply particulary yours.


FollowupID: 356774

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:12

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:12
Hi Gary

The sand soil structure is different. In the middle of the day you can have problems crossing dunes due to the sand particles crumbling. South to North and the track is quite chopped out by larger vehicles(Unimogs and OKA's)....not sure if this is still the same. The Canning is also a longer drive and therefor needs more time and lots of rest stops. Not all the wells have drinkable water especially if a goanna or snake has fallen in. We took a galvanised bucket with to get water from the wells and had to tie a heavy shifting spanner to it so that it would sink.

On our North to South trek we had to approach each dune crossing on a bend as the track runs along the dune corridor then turns left to cross the dune. Invariably there is a lot of churned up soft sand on the corner which slows the progress down. Even at 15psi in some places I had trouble but ran on mainly 18/20

As to the trailers I still disagree with you but respect your opinion on the matter and agree that if you are well prepared and set up then towing a trailer shouldn't be a problem. Others have done it successfully so with your experience it should be a breeze for you.
FollowupID: 356837

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 08:26

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 08:26
Thanks mate.

FollowupID: 356893

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