Kimberly and Gibb River Rd

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 00:09
ThreadID: 58876 Views:2726 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hi there
We are planning a trip to the above area. I will have a 4WD camper trailor and have read that it is not advisable to use one on this road. We plan to visit Aug - Sept. I have a Discovery TD5 with snorkel is this suitable for this area. Any tips really welcome. hoo roo
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Reply By: EscapeArtists - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 00:22

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 00:22
"it is not advisable to use one on this road"

Why? and who told you that? go for it as long as you know what your doing. Seek advice if/as needed.
Can you be more specific with what you plan to rumble down there with.
AnswerID: 310436

Reply By: Scubaroo - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 01:02

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 01:02
Just finished towing a Kimberley Kamper the entire length... and a lot of the road hadn't been graded - once section up north were still a single lane (basically a bush track) with grass growing either side of the wheel tracks. Towing vehicle was a Pajero.

The roads into the Bungle Bungles and Cape Leveque were far worse than the Gibb. We found the challenge in this road isn't because the road is particularly difficult in itself - the challenge is consistently driving to conditions along a very long gravel road - slowing down for the corrugations, approaching floodways and dips with care, and dealing with dust from other vehicles. UHF is a must - handy being able to communicate with other drivers to request passing, or let them past if you're travelling at different speeds (dust being the main issue).

Speed was key - the first dip or two remind you that braking on gravel for surprises like potholes or washouts is *not* going to stop you in time! We stuck to 60-70km for much of the track, and some sections required 40-50kmh for some distance. Given that usually you're only driving short distances between features of the track.... no need to speed like the Fritz in Britz brigade who take it at 100kmh.

Only drama we had on the road was a blowout on the trailer, from running too low pressures (followed someone's recommendations that were WAY too low!). Corrugations, overheating and a hard bump broke the bead, and even though I reckon I pulled up within a hundred metres, the sidewall was rooted. (Goodyear Silent Armour - 7000km old).

You won't need the snorkel on the Gibb itself - only place we required it was on the Mitchell Plateau Track crossing the King Edward River (100km north of Drysdale) - the river was at 90cm when we crossed. The Durack and Pentecost (as of 14th May - a month ago) were both <50cm. We didn't tow along the Mitchell Plateau track - we left the trailer at Drysdale.
AnswerID: 310437

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 05:13

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 05:13
Scubaroo, I'm just interested to know what pressure you had in the trailer tyres. With corrugations you always feel like going lower hey.

PS Got family up there now. Had a tread puncture yesterday on the Gibb - 70k old Cooper ATR though. Also mentioned how bad the dust was. Cheers JD
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FollowupID: 576475

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:17

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:17
26psi - however on the Kimberley Kamper that's a LOT of weight on each tyre, the sidewalls were visibly bulging at this pressure. I'd been advised to run 20-24!!! Both tyres were bloody hot when the blowout occured - seems obvious now that the sidewalls were simply flexing too much from the low pressures, and corrugations would simply have sped the heating process up.

Mechanic at Drysdale recommended minimum 30psi, and I spoke to a couple of other Kimberley owners over the next couple of weeks that ran anything from 30 to 40psi offroad. I ended up sticking to about 34psi on gravel, the tyres "look" right at that pressure - no bulged sidewalls but a decent footprint. No trailer damage or breakages of any sort as a result of the pressures. Kept speeds on corrugations to a max of 70kmh while towing. Tyres no longer burn the hand to the touch!

Pajero has BFG ATs - running these 40psi front & 50psi rear on road, which heat up to 44/54 after a while - the recommended 4psi increase. On corrugations I ran them at 35psi front and 40psi rear, which was a good compromise between comfort and overheating. On some really stony tracks however I had them down as low as 20-25psi, but limited speeds to 40kmh. Bungle Bungles (pre-grading) and parts of El Questro required this.
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FollowupID: 576525

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:41

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:41
Wouldnt have thought 26 too bad (I know people who use about that pressure in the car front tyres, or lower, whenever off road)! Good luck with things, JD
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FollowupID: 576632

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:55

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:55
It just looked low - the sidewall bulges were "unreasonable". I think the Kimberley is about 1300kg, so with three jerrycans, Engel fridge, bedding, 130L water... that could easily be 700kg per wheel taking into account some ball weight. The Goodyear Silent Armours were LT rated.
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FollowupID: 576638

Reply By: VH-GU4 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:21

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:21
imjames,
Go for it, dont let others scare you off, your car and camper will be more than adequate. Just drive to your ability. That road is busier than the M1 at the moment so you are not alone.
AnswerID: 310608

Reply By: Mintabie - Friday, Jun 20, 2008 at 07:08

Friday, Jun 20, 2008 at 07:08
Drove it last Dec towing 14ft no worries lot of fun just watch out for the britz and other hire vehicles they pay by the hour and drive accordingly
AnswerID: 311115

Follow Up By: Mintabie - Friday, Jun 20, 2008 at 08:59

Friday, Jun 20, 2008 at 08:59
Had a bit of a seniors moment we travelled the kimberlys in oct 07
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