Another successful Simpson crossing

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:37
ThreadID: 34726 Views:2112 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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After departing home and travelling to Birdsville via Broken hill, Tibooburra, Cameron Corner, and Innaminka we decided to have a good rest at Ian and Ruth's caravan park for a couple of nights.
Their hospitality is second to none and their coffee is great. Highly recommended by all members of our group.

The bakery at Birdsville has good bread, ours was still fresh after 7 days without any traces of mould.
It was good to be able to catch up with an old work colleague (Helen) who now resides in Birdsville and works for a company who own 5 stations in the area.

Starting our trek at Big Red we witnessed a fellow in a BMW attempting to return back over the dune. He had only come out to play from Birdsville and was not going to cross the desert. There was no way he was even going to get back over the dune, so after several attempts and then asking for assistance, he was told that after all of our group cleared the top he would be snatched over. But unfortunately he was too impatient and cursed our leader and was left there to wait for other assistance.

The desert was certainly a lot softer and had some great drifts on top of the dunes since our last crossing. We did have to do one recovery which used two cars for a double snatch on a dune along the French Line that has been cut up quite badly.

We did a bit of zig zagging spending six days in all before departing to Dalhousie.

Not a lot of traffic there this trip, but maybe it is still a little early for the main stream tourists.
The desert is very dry, and it was a good experience to see it this way.

My vehicle managed the crossing quite easily, and when we filled up at Oodnadatta it took 110 litres after 808 K's. The vehicle is a 3.0L TD Patrol.
13.6L/100K's, or 20.7 mpg.

We returned home last Sunday (June 4th).

Cheers,

Geoff.

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Reply By: Member - Malcolm P (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:47

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:47
Sounds like a good trip Geoff,
I'm taking my boys to Cameron Corner from Melbourne at the end of next week in our camper.
How cold was it overnight in that area?
AnswerID: 177426

Follow Up By: Squizzy - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:59

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:59
Malcolm,

The overnight temps are quite cold, around 2-3 degrees, but the days are very moderate.

The payment of your camp fees at CC are very unique, and I am sure your family will get a laugh watching you pay.

Firewood is not plentiful in the area, so it may pay you to gather some before arriving.

Diesel was $1.74/L while we were there about 3 weeks ago, not sure about ULP.

Enjoy your trip, the corner country is a great place.

Geoff.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:33

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:33
Geoff,

The "gentleman" in the BM should have been directed to go around to Little Red. This is the "normal route" along the main track and he should have managed that.

Good to read you had a great time. It's a special part of Australia isn't it?
Bill


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AnswerID: 177436

Follow Up By: Squizzy - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:45

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:45
Sand Man, I agree with you, and he had tried that already.

That was the Big Red he actually got over to cross to the western side.
Only problem was he couldn't get back over either one. The sand is quite soft this year.

I imagine he would have eventually been rescued by someone. Ruth may know who he was, he was actually camped at the caravan park.

I would imagine our names were mud.

Regards,

Geoff.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian S (NT) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 23:24

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 23:24
HI All.\,

The important thing for all Big Red enthusiasts to remember is that there is a third crossing, the "no" crossing. I've experienced problems at both Big Red and Little Red but you can go about 7kms north of Big Red and waltse around the end of the dune and come back down the other side as the dune ends there.
No testosterone needed!!
Cheers
Ian @ Mt Dare
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:26

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:26
Never mind. It was HE who was the d i c k h e a d!

I'll hazard a guess he still had his tires inflated to highway pressure.
He shouldn't have been out there in the first place. What was he trying to prove?
Bill


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AnswerID: 177447

Follow Up By: Squizzy - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:48

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:48
Your hazardous guess was correct, he said he couldn't deflate because they were low profile tyres and would be running on the rims.
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Reply By: Patrol_Driver - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:37

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:37
Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the post, our group will be leaving for the Simpson at the end of this month and we will be doing an east to west crossing of the French Line as well, thanks for the update on the track conditions. Did you get over Big Red (proper) without any problems?

I too have a 3.0L TDi Patrol ao thanks for posting your fuel consumption, gives me an indication of what to expect.
AnswerID: 177448

Follow Up By: Squizzy - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:56

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:56
Big Red proper is not really a problem, and yes, we all managed it on the first attempt.

You will find some of the dunes in further can be more of a problem, but with correct tyre pressures you won't have any hassles.

I drove the best part of the trip in high range, using 3rd low for the more serious dunes.

Have a safe trip and I'm sure you will be more than impressed with the 3.0L's performance.

My trip all round was an average of 12.8L/100, or 22 mpg, with a pack rack loaded.

Geoff.

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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:08

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:08
What tyre pressures did you run Geoff?

I'll be in Birdsville on 05/07/06 and leaving to cross the Simpson on 07/07/06. I'll be in a 4.2TD Patrol
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Follow Up By: Squizzy - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:51

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:51
Sam,

I have Cooper ST's 265. 70 x 17.

I ran 20 psi in the front and 22 in the rear. (hot pressures)

Didn't have any problems.
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FollowupID: 433543

Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:35

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:35
Thanks for that Geoff

I'm running ST's but 285x75x16's.

cheers,
Sam.
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Follow Up By: brian - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:42

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:42
Sam just curious do you find any benefit of 285 vs 265 tyres or any incease in fuel consumption or noticeable affect in gearing,etc
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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 19:23

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 19:23
Brian,

I can't really say as I put the 285's on only a matter of weeks after I bought the Patrol. From memory it did have an impact on the gearing. Low range isn't quite as low as it was (nothing too drastic though). Fuel consumption I can't be sure of as I was used to driving a 2.8 diesel hilux and adjusting to the big 4.2 took some time.

Over all it hasn't been a massive impact. The two larger tanks, _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, rear bar, dual batteries I have just put in have had more impact than the tyres ;-)

cheers,
Sam.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian S (NT) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 23:34

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 23:34
Hey Squizzy,

Of course you had no problem on Big Red, you were coming from Birdsville. You could get your pram up that side, its coming the opposite way that you have the problem as the BMW discovered. In early March the lip on the western side, ie BMW side was 6 or 10 metres high at 60 degrees, depending where you wanted to sacrafice your vehicle!!

We were in the desert in early March, a full crossing Easter Monday and a small cameo trip this week.

Its a doddle now by comparison, so all you folks ouy there experience it now.
Just lpv it!
Ian @ Mt Dare
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Follow Up By: Squizzy - Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 17:10

Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 17:10
You are correct Ian,

But we did conquer it from both sides after playing there for a while.

I still feel that some in a bit further are more of a challenge than Big Red anyway!

Geoff.
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FollowupID: 434118

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