Forester to the desert

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 09:35
ThreadID: 3153 Views:1733 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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A VERY experienced 4WDer mate is considering crossing the Simpson Desret in a Forester in company with 2 Landcruisers and a Pajero.

Can it be done?

Has anyone done it?

Will the reduced ground clearance be the limiting factor?
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Reply By: Will - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 10:05

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 10:05
G'day happy camper...

It is possible (nothing is impossible), the ground clearance will be a limiting factor as the ruts created are deep in places.

To make it easy to compare I give you this example:
We crossed it last year with a Patrol in convoy with other vehicles, when observing a Ford Courier it was collencting sand on the suspension wishbones and into the splush guard in the middle...
The courier is considerable higher than a forester.

Make sure he has a very good recovery hook.

Will
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Reply By: Member - Chris - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 12:51

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 12:51
At least the cruiser can tow it!!!!
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Reply By: Mr Bean - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:38

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:38
The answer is yes it has already been done on a number of occaisions with this vehicle. At least if anything does go wrong he has the others to help him. But he probabaly won't need to ask for help if he has the relevent experience. The last time I read about a forester doing this trip, the driver reported that the whole trip went with out a hitch. Its not that hard these days, you just have to be careful.
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Follow Up By: Mick - Friday, Jan 31, 2003 at 00:31

Friday, Jan 31, 2003 at 00:31
Mr Bean, "These days" is not really applicable to desert travel as conditions can vary so much from day to day. On my last crossing of the Simpson there had been rain and the sand was firm. Eyre Creek was high and 2 Landrovers and a Troopie were stuck in it (The Landies for 9 hours) A car based vehicle like a Forrester would have been absolutely inadequate. I'm afraid tha people who attempt true off road trips in sedan based vehicles are really inconsiderate - the golden rule is to prepare well and using an unsuitable vehicle is VERY poor preparation. By the way, clearance isn't the only problem, in fact entry and departure angles are probably even more important. A Forrester wouldn't have got into Eyre Creek when I went, to say nothing of getiing across and out the other side!
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Follow Up By: Mr Bean - Friday, Jan 31, 2003 at 09:18

Friday, Jan 31, 2003 at 09:18
Mick, If you or the others had "the relevent experience" what were you doing out there in those conditions anyway? I'm afraid I know who is really the inconsiderate one here. Its best to keep you mouth closed and have people think that you might be a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
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Reply By: Waz - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 19:39

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 19:39
Why even try in a vehicle like that. If you want to do some serious 4Wdriving, buy a serious 4WD like a troopy. Lets see if the Forester can do the Cape York!!
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Follow Up By: Tim - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 20:16

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 20:16
last year i seen a tribute at bamaga!!!! - the cape is not limited to the big cars
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Follow Up By: Stephenf - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:57

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:57
True, and, unlike the Flintstone-technology "real" 4WD's, the Tribute (and other soft-roaders) has some degree of comfort, handling and economy.
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Follow Up By: Matt M - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 23:19

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 23:19
It was about two years ago that two Mazda 626's were taken up to the cape for a new car launch. Apart from an extra inch in the suspension and rally tyres these cars were off the showroom floor!vOne of the drivers was one of the writer from 4x4 Aust or Monthly (not sure exactly now) so Im sure the Forrester would walk the cape in!!!

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Reply By: Waz - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 19:40

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 19:40
Why even try in a vehicle like that. If you want to do some serious 4Wdriving, buy a serious 4WD like a troopy. Lets see if the Forester can do the Cape York!! Not much in the price either
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Reply By: kezza - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:22

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:22
Its been done with far less a vehicle than the forrester

Cripes how easily we forget 35+ years ago the bloody nation was traversed by 2 wd vehicles because with the exception of the odd 4wd truck thats all there was - sure they got stuck and had a terrible time but they did it.
Main problem now is the tracks can be rutted deeply and the distances involved will mean it will be slow going. (1200 dunes can be a lot of snatching)

I assume the 'very experienced ' mate is doing this for a valid challenge not just because he is an experienced 'city' driver - because he could choose a much less expensive toy to break. (personally I think a very experienced 4wd er would be really silly to take a forrester unless it was just for the challenge and the fun - to prove a point etc - in which case WHY NOT?)


As for ground clearance its the main problem but a GOOD driver will get his vehicle where he likes - depends on how bad he wants to go somewhere and wether he can drive the vehicle like he hates it for a long time.. and wether the suspension can hack the pace (thinking of the drought and the condition the track is in)

Personally nowdays I wouldnt take a forester (because there are far better choices less stressful less fun too!!) - but if I had to or wanted to Im sure I could get a raised 2 wd car (preferably a datsun 1600) most places let alone something like a forester. Go for it lads youve got the support vehiclesand a couple of snatch straps - just budget for some sort of damage and plenty of time or more time if something breaks bigtime.

just an irresponsible opinion

kezza
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Reply By: Jol Fleming - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:51

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:51
A 1" lift and some 205R16 Tyres os 215/75/15 Tyres would be good and take the rig road as its a bit better, i get out there a couple of times a year, last time took a Rav over with stock every thing.

i am going in july again if your keen

jol
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Reply By: Eric - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:52

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 22:52
Happy camper.
Sounds like fun, the trip has been done in a Porsh. The best time would be after rain when the dunes can be crossed without low range. the main dificulty would be if you had to pass a broken vehicle or some one coming the other way who would not go of the track for you. Eric.
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Reply By: happy camper - Monday, Feb 03, 2003 at 02:33

Monday, Feb 03, 2003 at 02:33
Thanks all, good advice. I will let you know how the trip goes.
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