GIBB RIVER ROAD, TANAMI TRACK, AND CARAVANS

Submitted: Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 16:03
ThreadID: 56854 Views:3434 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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G'day All

We are in the throes of planning a trip ex Canberra and Melbourne to the Kimberley. We have a Tvan. Our friends have a raised and strengthened (suspension), but NOT off road, pop top caravan.

I tend to believe what I read, and everything I read says 'no', at any time of the year, to caravans on both the GRR and the Tanami Track.

Our thoughts are to plan around not taking the caravan on either road. Any comments would be appreciated.

Cheers
John G
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Reply By: Graham & Ann - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 16:40

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 16:40
We've taken our 2002 single axle 17ft Evernew 'all roads' van (has coil/shocker suspension) on many many dirt roads/tracks, including the GRR & Tanami Rd. no dramas, especially if your used to travelling dirt roads, both these roads are formed gravel roads for the main, so are really just another dirt road, how rough depends on how long since the grader went thru. (and how many speeding vehicles with high tyre pressures have passed since the grader) Corrugations no worse than parts of roads like the Meerine Loop, etc.. we drive to the conditions and find keeping the tyre pressures & speed down makes big difference. We enjoyed the GRR took us 4 weeks & 3000km to go from Wyndham to Derby (including up to Kulumbaru and a week at Fitzroy xing) and loved it... some further comments can be found on an old web site in messages with Kimberley Trip in the header.

Enjoy the trip we sure did, and dont give El Questro a miss, even though it is a tad exy, well worth a few days we booked for 3 stayed 5...
AnswerID: 299657

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:43

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:43
Thanks Graham and Ann

We've done the Oodnadatta Track and the Mereenie Loop with our friends in their van so you reply is encouraging. Summary of replies is two 'for' and two 'against'

Cheers
John
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Reply By: mfewster - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 16:41

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 16:41
The Tvan is fine of course, but I would strongly advise against the caravan on either of these roads at any time of the year. Even if the strengthened suspension was OK. (and that's hard to assess) the kind of light aluminium /poprivetted bodywork on the average caravan is likely to shake to bits. You will regularly see abandoned vans and trailers along these roads where people have tried it.
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Follow Up By: Member - John G- Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:44

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:44
Thanks mfewster
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Reply By: Member - Jon W (QLD) - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 18:18

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 18:18
John,
We pulled a heavy duty CT up there in late May/ early June 2006. The GRR was opening just in front of us. There was many a small eroded floodway where the tail end of a lightly constructed caravan would have come to severe grief. We did not see a caravan in the three weeks that we were in the area. In some sections where the road had been ripped it was a 1st gear crawl through rocks the size of a soccer ball with very jagged edges.
If you are there later in the dry, you might be OK.
For what it's worth.
Jon W
AnswerID: 299676

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 21:27

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 21:27
Take it easy and you'll do it easy. Most of the worry warts will say don't. Using common sense when towing, check the trailer and vehicle often is the key. I have towed vans all around the Kimberley in a previous life, in the 90's, to very remote areas and never had an issue and when I got on the Tanami or GRR it was a main road in comparison to the other station tracks etc. Just remember there is a van or trailer on the back. Don't expect to pound along at 100kmh and just drive to the conditions. TVan will do it easy so you travel behind so the van sets the pace. That way the van driver does not feel pressured to keep up.
AnswerID: 299719

Follow Up By: MARIC - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 00:32

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 00:32
Hi AJB, I agree completely with you. took van on GBR and up to kalumbaru, 2 years running and also jayco camper van same and mitchell falls, no blow outs just driving to conditions and watch the hoons go roaring past and blown tyre down the track

It is only when you see mosquito land on your testicles that you find another way to solve problems without violence

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Follow Up By: Member - John G- Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:46

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:46
Thanks AJB
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Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 22:38

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 22:38
We did the GRR in July 2002 in our 2000 Ford Explorer, towing an 'On Road' 1978 Jayco Dove camper van, albeit with a slight lift. No problems. Just drove to the conditions,and enjoyed the scenery. Still using both the veh. and the van. That was the year that Jacks Waterhole met its demise. If you feel comfortable, do it. It's no wilderness. If you come to any grief, wait about 5 minutes, and a vehicle will come by.Travel Safe.
Roger B.
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