Simpson Desert

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 20:26
ThreadID: 24886 Views:1910 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Hi everyone first submission so here goes.We are going to travell the B/Ville to Mt Dare treck in a Nisssan 4.2 GU Turbo Diesel Ute towing a Kimbeley Off Rd Camper late August.Any information on which is the easiest route and what tyre pressure to travel with would be greatly appreciated.This is our first major trip and we cant wait.If there is anything else we need to know that would also be a bonus to us.
Thanks.

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Reply By: Member - Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 21:27

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 21:27
Harv,

Can't comment with any first hand experience, but do know of one member out that way now with a 4.2 t wagon towing an ultimate camper so keep your eyes peeled on this forum for Roachie's trip report when they get back. No doubt he will give you up to the minute information.
Have a good trip.

Regards Trevor.
AnswerID: 121213

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 21:51

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 21:51
Harv,

Did the SD a couple of years ago in a 4.2TD GU towing a Trak Shak.

We went west to east came in from Mt Dare to Dalhousie, then via French Line, Colson Track, Erabena Track, WAA Line, Knolls Track and then French Line to Bidsville. A total of about 600km and used 130l diesel. We did the majority of the driving in low range, as much for comfort as anythig.

Most of the trip I had about 20 psi but this dropped to 17 on the WAA line and down to about 14 for Big Red.

There are plenty of people who blame trailers for track damage in the Simpson so please don't give them any more amo. I personally believe that most of the damage is caused by people travelling too fast and with high tyre pressures.

If in doubt lower the pressures first. Down to 14 is pretty safe provided you aren't racing along at highway speeds. Keep your right foot under control. If you start to spin back off and re-think your approach. Keep your overall weight as low as possible and get your coupling as high as is practical. The Kimberly should be level behind the tow vehicle.

Have a good trip.

Duncs
AnswerID: 121214

Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 22:20

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 22:20
Harv I'm not sure how to break this to you gently but I'll go out on a limb here and say if this is your first outback trip and you don't know what tyre preasures to run at I don't believe you would have all the skills required to cross the Simpson towing a heavey trailer like a Kimberley.
Trailers are difficult to tow at the best of times in soft sand and are not recomended by the National Parks due to the number of break downs. (Amoung other reasons)
The questions I ask prospective Simpson Desert trailer towers are......
*Can you back a trailer straight 50m in soft sand?
*Are you travelling with any other cars to help tow if you become stuck?
*Is your trailer under 1.2 tonne? (preferably 1 tonne)
*Can you bush weld / repair tyres?
*Have you practiced on an easier patch of sand like Stockton beach or the Vic/SA border track?
*Are you ready for the abuse of fellow travellers you may hold up?

If you can, are,is & have then drop you tyres down (including the trailer) to between 15 & 18 PSI depending on the sand conditions & take the rig road.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 121219

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 22:53

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 22:53
"Have you practiced on an easier patch of sand like Stockton beach or the Vic/SA border track?"

Sorry Crackles, I agree with everything you have said except the bit about an easier patch of sand like Stockton...

I was on Stockton again just over a week ago and it is still very very soft. Much softer than anything I came across on my Simpson crossing. I did the Simpson with a fully loaded GU and CT as I said above, each time I have been to Stockton it has been on day trips with a light load on board.

But what you say iis right, if you are going to tow a trailer across the SD then you had better know what you are doing.

Duncs
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FollowupID: 376268

Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:51

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:51
Of couse you are right Duncs that there is alot harder sand driving in places at Stockton but was really only suggesting that one could have a play to test the car & hone driver skills in an area that isn't as remote & doesn't have the dire consequences should something go wrong.
I always find it difficult to recomend the Simpson to a driver with a camper trailer that has little if any desert experience particually after I've seen how hard the desert can be following heavy rain or even just a dust storm. Instead of 3 easy days I've had it turn into 4 hard days that would have been a nightmare if I was towing at that time.
Cheers Craig...............
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FollowupID: 376485

Reply By: slave - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:10
Can I please ask that when approaching other vehicles on the road slow down !!

Travelling between Mt Dare and Dalhousie a couple of weeks ago our group of 3 met another group of three who were all towing camper trailers. Our lead car had the windscreen smashed by a rock throw up by the CT because of the speed that the other 3 were travelling. A replacement windscreen was not available for at least 11 days ( provided the roads weren't closed in the mean time, which they were)
AnswerID: 121278

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 18:32

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 18:32
15psi for your truck 10psi for your trailer No need to rush the dunes from either sides Stop at bottom of dune and idle up
AnswerID: 121344

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 10:25

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 10:25
Willem,

You old fox. You have obviously done this before.

While my pressures were harder than you suggest, but not too much, my approach tothe right foot is the same as you suggest.

Use as little throttle as you can to achieve the job.

Duncs
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FollowupID: 376536

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 10:42

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 10:42
Hello Duncs

Cold enough in the Hill?

A bloke in Birdsville who does lots of forays into the desert reckons that 14psi in the truck and 8psi in the trailer is the go.

It is amazing how surprised people are when you get them to drop the tyre pressures low down and they drive with ease over the dunes.

In WA when entering dune areas in National Parks there are signs stating "Drop tyre pressures Now!!"

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FollowupID: 376539

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 14:44

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 14:44
Yeah Willem it has been a tad cool over the last week or so. Pretty good at the moment though, 18 sunny and a gentle breeze.

The tyre pressure thing is something people don't seem to understand. Most of us were brought up being told about the dangers of underinflated tyres. Which is fair enough on the SS Comode or the Porche. Then we jump into a 4x4 and the placard says 36psi so we stick to it. I spent a lot of time on the end of a shovel learning my lesson.

The other thing that I have found is many don't have compressors. When people ask me what is the first accessory to put in the new 4x4 I always say a compressor. This is usually met with a stunned look and "What about a .....?"

When travelling the Oodna track a few years ago my travelling companion was stunned when I dropped pressure to about 24psi, but gee it made a difference.

Usually in the sand I drop to 20 as a starting point and go down from there depending on how it feels.

The sign at the entry point to sandy tracks should be standard. Some would still ignore it. The thing I liked in WA was the ranger at Steep Point was only charging the park entry fee to people with hard tyres. There were a lot of people dumping air that day.

Catch you around Willem

Duncs
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FollowupID: 376568

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