Sand Dune Driving

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 11:07
ThreadID: 3355 Views:2340 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,
Going to Innamincka via Broken Hill, Camerons Corner April next year. Will be towing an off road trailer behind a petrol Jackaroo. Been through the archives, trek notes etc on this site. As far as I can see, in terms of offroading this trip is not going to be a big deal (unless it's wet). Later on I want to do some of the desert tracks.

The only thing I'm not sure of is the sand dunes. Done a fair bit of offroading but never done any sand driving. Is it that big a deal? Is it simply a matter of common sense and reading of other peoples experiences in sand or should I go to the extent of perhaps doing a day with a commercial tag along tour operator at Stockton beach (NSW) Didn't really want to do that unless i had to.
What are your thoughts?
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Reply By: Clarry - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 12:20

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 12:20
The Broken Hill/Innamincka run should be great - roads no big deal as you say, but they may not have been maintained for quite awhile
(the graders need moisture to help in the process). You would just have to take it easy in those places. Keep in mind that it could still be really hot in April. I reckon sand is great fun, but a bit of light duty introduction would be a good idea, especially with the trailer - to go into serious dunes with no practice might be disappointing. Generally, most people take the tyres to 18psi all round (incl trailer) and have a go ! With an escape route or plan as back up if you do dig in, you should have a great time. The Jack certainly has enough power, but tyres and momentum are the main factors.
AnswerID: 13026

Reply By: Member - Andrew O - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 12:48

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 12:48
The sand dunes around Cameron Corner won't present any problems - the roads are quite well formed. Its not until you get into the Simpson that driving on the sand becomes and issue.
Andrew O
AnswerID: 13028

Reply By: Member - Mal - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 13:09

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 13:09
Clarry certainly knows his stuff. It's no fun having to dig your self out and reverse a trailer down a sand dune. Make sure you have a good compressor and a back up hand or foot pump. If you get stuck on a sand dune accept that when the vehicle has stopped you are not going anywhere. don't sit there and spin your wheels. you only make it worse for yourself and bugger up the track for others. Let your six tyres down more, even to 5psi if necessary, dig the sand away from your tyres in the direction you wish to travel and you should be OK. It is also amazing how much assistance someone pushing, even a kid, can be.
The three important aids in sand driving are tyre pressure, momentum and gravity. It is also polite to fill in any holes that you have created.
Also when towing a trailer it is sometimes necessary to un-hitch the trailer, drive the vehicle out and then tow the trailer out with a rope or strap. Don't forget your sand dune flag.
See you on top of a dune somewhere.
Mal T.
AnswerID: 13030

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 13:44

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 13:44
Hi John,

I think understanding your limitations/capabilities and general feel/handle of your rig in all conditions is absolutely essential. Wouldn't you rather learn about these close to home rather than risk spoiling your trip?

We recently upgraded to a new campertrailer and although we had plenty of experience with the old one, in a sense we are starting from scratch because the new trailer is bigger, heavier, different suspension etc. We've been doing a lot of weekend trips across a variety of conditions to test ourselves and the rig out. Last trip was a sand dune and beach weekend for exactly this purpose. Freinds heading off around Oz joined us and they had their car and trailer loaded as they expect it to be for their Oz trip so feel/handle would be comparable. Also, you should be considering recovery techniques.

If you've got to go on a tag-along trip to get this experience, then so be it. Or you could try the offroad campertrailer group at as a few of their members live near Stockton so you may be able to organise for another member to join you.

Hope this helps.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 13037

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:12

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:12
Forgot to mention in my earlier post that my folks took their Kingswood out to Cameron Corner about 8 years ago. Went via Broken Hill, Innaminka, Tibooburra etc. Didn't get bogged or anything but did hole the sump.

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 7667

Reply By: Kriss Betcke - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 17:49

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 17:49
Hi John,
Can't help you out much with the sand dune driving but I do live in Broken Hill & have family in Tibooburra. I can tell you that it's very dry out here and there doesn't seem to be any relief in site. I hope that things are looking better for you by April. The drought is suspected to break in March and I do know that the road to Tibooburra will close fairly quickly with rain so it might be a good idea to kep on top of the weather leading up to your trip.
AnswerID: 13057

Reply By: Clarry - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 20:57

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 20:57
Forgot to say earlier that following Oz's worst drought (ever, I think it is)
the inner regions you have mentioned will simply be dustbowls. It can be so good up there following a bit of rain, it might pay to consider a different trip if you only have April free (and there is no rain prior). The Cooper is great to relax by, but last April the water quality was very ordinary and there has been no flow since. Just a thought.
AnswerID: 13064

Reply By: adrian - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:00

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:00
john, i did the innaminka trip last september, sand was never an issue, various tracks were very rough,rutted and very rocky in places, the area was and still is extremely dry and dusty, coopers was flowing and the fishing was great, camped at a spot called ski beach, dont know why they called it that, no motors allowed on coopers, coongie lakes road was interesting at times, make sure you have a good compressor for sandy areas, bull dust was a real pig on some tracks, it could be hot, not much fun if you have kids onboard in those temps, and if it rains, it's a whole new ball game, good luck, you'll love it. adrian.
AnswerID: 13112

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