Is a Snorkel Required For NT/Kimberley trip.

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 18:34
ThreadID: 54787 Views:3804 Replies:19 FollowUps:1
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My wife and I are currently debating the issue of a snorkel and whether it is required for a 100 day trip from Melb to Darwin, then thru the NP's and then onto the GRR and down the Sth coast of WA and then home. We will be driving a 2000 TD Prado towing an offroad Jayco Eagle. I have to do other mods to the prado ie suspension and tyres. I have the go ahead for these just the snorkel is up for debate. Thoughts on this would be appreciated and the debate might finish!


Graeme and (SWMBO Minister of finace love and war!)
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Reply By: A J - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 18:57

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 18:57
pheonix - would not go to the extra expense - travelled the GGR in 1970's. 1980's and again in 1990's all with standard air filter - no problems to any vehicles. Most of your travel should be in tar except for side trips. Just void travelling in other peoples dust.

Worst dust ever encountered was Edward River Mission to Kowanyama to Normanton in 1980's still with standard air filter - no problems.

AnswerID: 288657

Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 19:21

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 19:21
My Troopy has snorkel, it was on it when I bought it Standard for Troopys , BUT if your only going to fit it because of water ...that deep you shouldn't be driving in it anyhow , secondly eourists seem to flock north in the dry season, when everything is dry and dusty, I travelled the GRR in a December , road was graded, things were beginning to green up, fantastic Storms but the gorges were then closed.

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:19

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:19
Whats the fording depth of the Prado ex factory ? There is a water crossing or two on your trip, but they are usually down to about 300mm most winters - but that could change easily and alternative routes up there would involve great distances. For $600 installed I wouldn't think further, seeing that your air filter will stay so much cleaner for so much longer - dragging dusty air in from the wheel well on hundreds / thousands of k's of gravel roads can be a pain. Was up there 2 years back - came down the Tanami - going again this year - now that we have a different vehicle, I will get an Airtec snorkel fitted by TJM before we go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:46

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:46
I wouldnt be doing it so much for water, but I would certainly be doing it to suck clean air as it will be dusty everywhere you go.
Quite amazing how much cleaner your air cleaner stays with one on.

Cheers Pesty
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:32

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:32
No not neccessary
AnswerID: 288685

Reply By: Member - Terry D (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:11

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:11
Hi phoenix
No simple answer to any such questions (that's my experience). I asked same question at 3 4WD shops (one each TJM and ARB and another independent) - they all said yes get one, even if only for the clean air intake when driving on dirt roads (it might be advice based on securing a sale.... I don't know). I have no intention of crossing deep rivers in my cruiser, but heading off April for 12 months round Aus with some off road trips (Bungles, Karajini, Cape Leveque and part GRR), so erring on the side of caution, and on the advice of the 4WD shops, I am considering getting a snorkel fitted - albeit there apparently aren't any on the market at moment for the 200 series.
Good luck with your deliberations!
AnswerID: 288704

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:16

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:16
I'd say no as well. The deepest crossing you may encounter would probably be the King Edward River and it will probably be no deeper than the top of your wheels. Take a tarp for a bra just in case, a lot cheaper than a snorkel. I'd keep an eye on the filter though..

AnswerID: 288706

Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:20

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:20

Have done Tanami, GRR, Simpson, Oodnadatta Track, Gulf, Kakadu etc without a snorkel and without any problems. Will be doing Kimberley and Pilbara this winter, also without a snorkel. In winter any water across the road is not usually particularly deep, even going into the Bungles, crossing the Pentecost etc.

J and V
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AnswerID: 288709

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:28

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:28
Graeme, if this is the only trip of it's type you are likely to do in this vehicle, save your money and use it on the trip. You can always check and clean the air filter every couple of days.

Just means you have to be a little more cautious on water crossings, but if your are not going up to the Mitchell Plateau, I doubt this will be a problem. 400mm or so (the max you are likely to encounter) will not be a problem. On our 2006 trip, the King Edward River (Mitchell Plateau) was about 700mm and dropping into a hole might have been a problem without a snorkel, but along the GRR and into the Gorges, I doubt there will be a problem.

You mention suspension mods as well. I'd treat that the same way. If you are just doing the the GRR and not likely to want to do off road work or join a 4WD Club, I doubt you need to spend money on that either, providing current suspension is in good condition.

The GRR can be a bit rough and corrugated. It can have some water to cross in the Rivers and creeks. But it is a road. It is not an off road trip.

AnswerID: 288711

Reply By: pheonix - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:44

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 21:44
Thanks everyone for the replies, the suspension is toyota and at 135,000 it needs replacing. I will concentrate on it and not the snorkel at this stage. Tyres are also important so I wil replace them as well.


AnswerID: 288720

Reply By: Member - Derek L (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 23:02

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 23:02
Pheonix adhere to Pesty advice a snorkel is not get for water crossings. The standard air intake under the front gaurd is not enough. The air that is down there is very dusty and very hot and we all have noticed how much our engines performance drops on a hot day. But when having a snorkel fitted the air up high is cooler and cleaner. Plus you will find you will get better fuel economy too.
AnswerID: 288745

Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 23:46

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 23:46
Hi pheonix,

There will be as many saying "no" as "yes" in answer to your enquiry. Try this Snorkel information link.

1. Cooler air.
2. Less road dust.
3. Very dusty conditions, can fit a Donaldson pre-cleaner.
4. Deeper fording depth.

1. Cost.
2. Air intake resonance... on some vehicles/systems.
3. Over confidence in water crossings.

Just a few ideas, and people may add others to my (basic) list.

If you are considering longer future trips, the cost to protect your vehicle is justifiable. IMHO.

AnswerID: 288749

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 04:54

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 04:54
2 spare air filters will do the job nicely, if you cannot afford a snorkel, but be careful on creek crossings, and know your air intake height.

AnswerID: 288756

Reply By: Member - Stuart W (NSW) - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 06:22

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 06:22
Recently fitted a safari snorkel myself to 2003 TD hilux. Very happy with fuel economy and extra grunt above 100 kmh. I intend to keep this car for many miles so should see value for money. I do'nt view it as essential.
AnswerID: 288759

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 06:39

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 06:39
Dont forget a snorkals only 1/2 of it
if you need a snorkal then you also need extended diff breathers
AnswerID: 288760

Reply By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 08:43

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 08:43
Hmmm... well it depends on when you go and where you go and how much rain there has been prior.

Pentecost River can get pretty deep... Durack River can get pretty deep (both are tidal so sometimes you can wait with the crocs)... certainly King Edward if you are going up to Mitchell Plateau and a couple of the other creek crossings in there can get high if it rains... similarly I have forgotten the name, but the main creek into the Bungle Bungles too can get pretty deep...

Certainly if you are going in April or May then I'd be thinking fording depth can get an issue for a standard Prado - but then your Jayco probably won't be going to B-Bs or Mitchell Plateau.
AnswerID: 288769

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 09:53

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 09:53
Matter of choice really. After crossing 90cm creek into Bungles
without one (used canvas bra) last April, I have no intention of
buying one as I wont cross anything deeper than that in the Jack.
Not sure about dust thing, didnt notice any particular build up over 13k, including Mereenie,Tanami & GRR. Buy a lot of filters for
the price of a snorkel. I vote no, but its your call...oldbaz.
AnswerID: 288780

Reply By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 10:52

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 10:52
I'll chuck my humble opinion in Graeme....I would without a doubt fit a snorkel and a low coolant alarm the first of any accessories to a vehicle that will go offroad.....I've been bitten by the low coolant one, big dollars, and have been lucky with water crossings. While a lot of the replies above are valid, and most crossings are only 3 - 400 mm, drop the front wheel into a hole or deeper wheel rut and it could be very expensive....I was very lucky with a puddle to a popular local waterhole, used to be shallow, and many used to get bogged going around it but you could get through easily in 2wd in the middle. Then one year, it got deeper, and hydraulicked a couple of engines and did 3 radiators in.

I don't like water crossings, and the std intakes are at about my comfort level for both safety and vehicle damage. goinig through a std depth crossing is ok without a snorkel, but the heart races when the front drops a bit into a hole.....

I'd buy a snorkel...

Hope this may be of help, but possibly just adds to your confusion
Cheers Andrew
AnswerID: 288788

Reply By: Member - Pixie - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 13:46

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 13:46
isn't dropping back a few more seconds from vehicle in front a good way of getting cleaner air?
AnswerID: 288807

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 21:24

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 21:24
I have 4 100 series and all have a snorkel, I simply wouldn't leave home with out them.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 288879

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