The Simpson & Fuel Usage & Trailers

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 07:45
ThreadID: 33248 Views:2394 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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I have been reading and searching this forum for some time and have found it to be a wealth of knowledge about all things camping and touring – It’s great.

I have searched and been unable to find information about fuel consumption when crossing the Simpson towing a trailer. I understand that there are some among us that think that this is an unacceptable way to cross the Simpson but after discussions with SA Parks I have found that their concern seems to be directed at those with inappropriate set ups, inappropriate experience and most of all inappropriate tire pressures.

Having said all that there must be a few of you that have towed trailers across and I’m interested to know about your fuel consumption. I will be driving a GU 3.0 towing a trailer that will weigh about 1.1 tonne plus extra fuel.

Thanks in anticipation

Michael
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:47

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:47
Michael,

"Roachie" is your man. He's done it in his 4.2 GU and Ultimate Camper Trailer.
(He's currently on holiday though)

Unacceptable?......says who?

The only "negative" is that should you break down somewhere out there, the cost of retrieval would be considerable, but as you mention above, appropriate tire pressures and appropriate preparation, (as you are doing) equals appropriate experience.

Oh, and by the way, 1.1 tonne is nothing mate, compared to "Roachie's Rig".
Bill


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AnswerID: 169034

Reply By: Longreach - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:02

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:02
We did it in 2004 with a Petrol LC100 and Trak Shak no problems. From Mt Dare to Birdsville we did 691 km and used 162.51 litres. There would be shorter tracks as we zig zagged a little between the Rig road and the French lines. I agree with your notes about trailers, correct setups and preparation.
AnswerID: 169040

Reply By: madcow - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:03

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 10:03
I had an 80 series petrol (4500) with a Southern Cross camper. From Mt Dare to Birdsville via the French Line and used 160 litres of fuel. Wouldn't take it again but it was great to pull up and have a beer after 5 mins setting up and was very hard on the trailer.
AnswerID: 169041

Reply By: scoof - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 12:55

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 12:55
We did it 2005 V6 paj(3500)Petrol 140 litres, DiD Paj (3.2)Diesel 69 litres all towing C/T. Mt Dare to Birdville.Had no probs, we were lucky the sand was damp and the going was pretty easy.Seen a couple of trailers that didn't make it along the way and shouldn't of been taken on a trip like that.Both looked like your garden type trailer not a offroad camper trailer.
Cheers Scoof
AnswerID: 169060

Follow Up By: Dean (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:16

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:16
Scoof,
Thats an excellent comparison of the same vehicle, it just shows how much more economical diesels are in the sand.
Dean
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FollowupID: 424405

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:36

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:36
3.2l diesel on 69 litres, Mt Dare to Birdsville towing a camper trailer? ..... I'd like to see that!!!
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FollowupID: 424462

Follow Up By: scoof - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 10:24

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 10:24
Shaker I wouldn't of believed it myself if we didn't fill up at the same servo in Birdsville.
That's wy I bought one after we got back.

Cheers Scoof
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L- Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:29

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:29
Michael,
Lots of people do tow campers across the Simpson. I my self would not recommend it, but if you do take one, never travel alone. I have never heard of any vehicle towing a camper to get over every dune without having to be snatched over some of the larger dunes. Make sure you drop your car tyre pressure lower than normal and you trailer ever lower again. The Simpson is VERY DRY this season and there will be some good stories to tell in the months to come.
We are leaving for a double crossing in 10 days time. When are you planning on going? If you contact me at the end of May when we are back, I will let you know just how soft the desert is, and how much extra fuel we used. Most people that do tow across the Simpson would have aroung 200 lites in total of fuel.

For me the ultimate is laying back in the swag and gazing up at that unreal night sky.

Enjoy you Simpson trip, the bug will bite and you will want to get back again and again.

Regards

Stephen
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AnswerID: 169073

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:55

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:55
G'day Stephen,

"the bug will bite and you" which one - there were so many of them!

We did our crossing in Sept last year in our fully loaded Patrol and trailer. Used 168.05 litres from Mt Dare to Birdsville.





Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L- Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:39

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:39
Hi Beatit,
What I ment was once you have been through the Simpon, it gets in your blood and you will want to go again and again. By September there are hot days in the Desert.
For me the best times are between May and August.
The last 2 years in the Simpson have been very wet in the desert and must not be compared with a normal crossing, where there is little or no moisture in the sand.
Every crossing will be different from your last crossing.
My advise to anyone wanting to do a Simpson crossing is take your time and make the most of that unreal enviornment.

Regards
Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 08:21

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 08:21
G'day Stephen,

Sorry mate, I knew what you meant. It is just that on our trip we were confronted by every bug imaginable on our second night. They were attracted to our yellow light and we even had a blind snake crawling arround under the light. A memorable experience because we thought we had finally rid ourselves of the daytime flies. We ended up cooking in the dark to stop the blighters swimming in our dinner.



Kind regards
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Reply By: scoof - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:44

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:44
We made it over EVERY dune and also made it up the chicken track on big red with the C/T's.
Their was 3 @ 4X4 all towing C/T 2 @ Pajero's and 1 Prado None of us got stuck.
But there was people getting stuck ?????? we had our tyre pressure down and we are farmers that have driven on sand all our lives.

Like I said we were lucky the sand was damp down about 150mm.
Kind Regards Scoof.
AnswerID: 169079

Reply By: Member - Loco Locums - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 15:45

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 15:45
Thanks for posting that question Michael....we have Kimberley Kamper and a V8 petrol Landcriuser and it has been in the back of my mind...that same question.

We can carry 200 litres of fuel between the 2 tanks in the cruiser and 3 jerry cans on the front of the KK and have often wondered if it would be enough for an East-West Simpson crossing...also Birsdville to Poeppel Corner and down the K1 to the birdsville track and on to Mungerannie.

We're leaving Brisbane on Wednesday next week for 2 months in Central OZ....Our travelling mates have had to pull out at the last minute unfortunately...Ahh well, we'll probably meet up with some other travellers along the way.

Enjoy your travels
Rick & Julie
AnswerID: 169106

Follow Up By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 23:59

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 23:59
Rick & Julie - My 4wd mate and myself & partners did Simpson 2 years ago from West to East. No major problems. Did part on WAA Line and part on Rig Road. Probably easier than the French Line. We also have Kimberley Kampers. My mate is on his second. Lower your tyre pressures. We also set the latch on the brake so it does not keep dragging the Camper as you go over each dune. We both had Polyairs - they really help on the dunes. We both have turbo diesels, so cannot help with fuel for you to compare. Have a great trip.
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FollowupID: 424572

Follow Up By: Member - Loco Locums - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:16

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:16
Thanks for sharing your experiences Peter...all helpful hints...especially the over ride brake latch...I hadn't thought of that one.

Our KK has the gullwing box, but where KK suggest to store the Jery cans is where we have our Honda EU20-i Generator so we had the 3 jerry can rack installed up front. You have to love the KK for it's strength of construction and "Human Engineering" and subsequent ease of use. We have had 2 Jayco Off Roaders??? previously and just not a patch on the KK in any area.

We also have Polyairs on our new 100 series...we took them out of the old 100 series and they're still doing the job well.

Again, thanks for the info.
Happy Trails
Rick & Julie
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FollowupID: 424578

Reply By: Tony J - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:36

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:36
In 2004 we travelled Mt Dare to Innaminka via the rig road. 80 Series 1hz with turbo and camper. 13.5l per 100k. Didn't touch a jerry and had fuel left in the sub tank when we filled at Innaminka.
AnswerID: 169134

Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:50

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:50
It is the driest for my 10 years here in the Simpson Desert - I do not wish to enter into any discussions/arguments about the moral implications of any of it but I will tell you that people travelling the Simspon this year are having problems. Three days is not enough (this year), the dunes are very difficult (this year), trailers are making a mess (this year - information supplied by people following. Remember also that not everyone listens to the people who know about what tyre pressures to have and that the trailers should be lower than the towing vehicle) and I can report by those who have towed trailers over this year (west to east) that the knowledable ones have been as low as 14 in vehicles and 10 in trailers and still had difficulty (this year). It is much harder travelling east to west (this year).
Why - because of the driest summer and winter and howling southerly winds for months during the summer and blistering temperatures for 13 weeks.
There has already been one rollover (night driving) and one very expensive retrieval.
AnswerID: 169146

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 01:46

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 01:46
Ruth,

Thanks for the info (this year) LOLOLOL I know what you meant.

Regards
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FollowupID: 424576

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:29

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:29
Sorry, Gramps, was a bit tired from all the questions (yesterday) in the camp! Heh heh.
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FollowupID: 424579

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 15:38

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 15:38
hahahaha thanks Ruth. We all appreciate your advice and words of wisdom. Nothing like up to the minute news on conditions and experience.

Regards
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FollowupID: 424640

Reply By: GUPovertyPack - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:58

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 07:58
Thank you all for your comments and advice, it is greatly appreciated.

There are three of us heading across from West to East in September. We all have pretty well set up rigs with suspension lifts (3”), large tires (305/70/R16) which we are happy to run at low pressures, winches and all the usual accessories.

If it was just adults going we would probably just use the swags and have that “sleeping under the stars” experience but each vehicle will have a couple of kids and we plan to spend a couple of weeks in and around Alice before heading over to Birdsville and then back to Melbourne. We plan on taking at least 5 days to cross so that we will have plenty of time to appreciate the surroundings and if necessary winch up some of the larger dunes.

Thanks once again for you assistance

Michael
AnswerID: 169256

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