Jayco Outback Eagle offroad use GRR etc..

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 09:37
ThreadID: 6145 Views:4196 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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I am purchasing an Eagle Outback and are planning a trip to the kimbery next season.

I had done the round australia trip about 10 years ago without the 3 kids I now have and without anthing under tow.
The GRR and northern Kimberly tracks (mitchell plat.. , warender bay etc..) as I remember were quite mild as compared to FNQ eg: the telegraph track ( would not suggest anything under tow for that route due to steep bank crossings, stick to the corrogated road) or victoria high country.

Anyhow I would appreciate it if anyone who has an outback could let me know how this camper travels, where you decided to take it and not and why, what speeds were comfortable etc..

I know this question has been posted before however they are now archived and I noticed a few people who replied were due to complete this trip about now.
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Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 10:02

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 10:02
I travelled GRR with Jayco Swift Trailer which was really on road but raised spring over axle. If you tow it like you own it you should have no problems.

Speed is a concern over corrigations, some people recon that with more speed will stop feeling the corrigations . I think it's complete nonsense , specially if you tow a trailer. That's why there is so many of them wracked on the side of the road.

Tyre pressure is very important and if you stick to 25 - 28 psi that will save your tyres from cutting on sharp stones and ride will be more reasonable.

Dust is the major problem and pressure wents could be helpfull .
AnswerID: 25760

Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 10:24

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 10:24
Thanks for your reply andrew, Im on the fence about the speed over corregations, it does seem there is always a sweet spot. Where Have you taken your swift ? I am interested in what speeds you would travel a road like Gibb River ie: long (days to complete) badly corrigated roads ? where 20km/h may not be practicle

I have seen a lot of good ideas on dust proofing in this and other forums.

Thanks for your tips.
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Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 11:42

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 11:42
Section between Barnett Station( Manning Gorge) and Derby was very good . El Questro to Manning Gorge was really bad.
Usually you will find that one side of the road has less corrigations then the other and on straight sections you pick the side and its not to bad but
gets really bad at the corners. Sometimes 20km/h is all you can do.
It will also depend on graders on which sections they are working at the moment.

To be honest we really enjoyed travelling along Top End Road even more .
Hardly any corrigations, great drive, lots of wildlife , great people you meet on the way.
We travelled with 2 young kid aged 4 and 2 and they had a great time.
Will do it again in 2005 before youngest goes to school.
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:40

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:40
It would not be possible to provide reliable information regarding speeds and condition of the GRR unless you have been over it within the last couple of weeks of the question being asked.
There are too many variables to consider with the GRR such as time of year, road maintenance, flash flooding etc.
Notes on track and road conditions on the Exploroz web site is probably as accurate as you will get
Hope this helpsJust made it, King Edward River
AnswerID: 25778

Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:50

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:50
Thanks for the insight on road conditions, I will check it out before I do the trip.

Do you have any experience on jayco outbacks offroad ?
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Reply By: Member - Raymond - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:56

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 12:56
Hi Peter
I have just come back from travelling the GRR. The road was in good conditionand you should have no problems towing the camper, just reduce the tyre pressure and keep the speed down. On the Mitchell Plat. You may be better camping at the King Edward River Camp site and doing a day trip to the Falls. It will be a long day as it is 2 hours (80klms) up to the falls from the camp site, but much easier without the trailer as that is the worst road we came across.
Raywanderin' in retirement. victor 2010
AnswerID: 25779

Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:07

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:07
Hi Peter,
I do not have any experience with the Jaco outback.
All I can say is that the GRR can be very rough and corrugated at times
I have seen caravans, trailers and so called off road vans, literally fall apart, mainly due to excessive speed.
If you take it easy you should have no problems, but check the water depth at the river crossings.
I prefer to increase my tyre pressure to 40-45 lb when travelling over gravel or stony roads, however this is open to various oppinionsJust made it, King Edward River
AnswerID: 25780

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:28

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:28
Just a follow up regarding my tyre pressure, increase to 40-45 lb.
When you travel over soft sandy ground, you deflate your tyre pressure to increase the tyre footprint and get better traction.
This is OK for sand, but be carefull of stakes.
Remembering that the thickest and stronest section of the tyre is in the tread area.
The weakest part of the tyre is the side walls.
Therefore, if you reduce the tyre pressure on gravel or rocky roads, you increase the footprint whereby the wall of tyre is in touch with the road and more likely to damage.
By increasing the tyre pressure, on gravel or rocky roads, only the thickest and strongest part of the tyre is in touch with the road and less likelyhood of damage or punctures
Hope this makes sense.
Cheers Just made it, King Edward River
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Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:39

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:39
Dissagree with your pressure view.
If very hard tyre strucks hard sharp rock it will cut the tyre because there is no flexibility in the tyre.

Did 20k and no single puncture around Oz inc. GRR , Top Road, and sections of Cape York for 4WD or trailer .

Met a guy who had 7 on GRR and he ran high pressure.
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FollowupID: 17513

Follow Up By: Member - Wherethehellawi - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 16:14

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 16:14
mmmm?
I NOW run standard pressures 38 psi and dont seem to have a problem...no punctures as yet.

However
Took car to bo? Jan? tyres and had wheel balance a few yrs back and got staked thru the side with a bit of 12mm seasoned salt bush. Changed tyre and next morning went into Pt Augusta and the first thing they did was check the tyre pressures...the front right was at 50 psi and also staked (approx 5mm thru bottom) but not going down???? dunno why, and the back two were at 55psi. The tyre retailer up there said it most probably would not have happened if the pressures were lower.

I dunno but running lower pressures I have not since had a puncture where-as the other 2 cars in the party,2 trips have had a puncture both times.

Am I lucky???? or what....make up your own mind! Wow! am I cute
Richard
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FollowupID: 17515

Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:48

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 13:48
Hi Andrew,
Like I said before, oppinions vary on this subject.
It also depends on the type and pattern of your tyres.
I also prefer to use 6 or 8 ply tyres on rough roads.
CheersJust made it, King Edward River
AnswerID: 25783

Reply By: pacer - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 17:47

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 17:47
Peter, I don't know much about the Eagle outback but on other threads and talking to other travellers it is said that they are great dust catchers.
About tyre pressures on off road conditions. Today I went into Bob Jane tyres in Strathpine, Brisbane to get a set of BFG all terrain tyres and the bloke there told me not to alter the pressure under any condition. He said that reducing pressure is an old furphy ( I bet that raises a few hackles), and is not required on modern tyres. He also recommended to inflate tyres with nitrogen instead of air. next week I am going down the GRR so will check out his theory. He denied that only tyre sellers say "don't deflate your tyres." So what is it? Old wives tales or new technology waffle?
Say g'day to Hadley and his dog Fantum at Imintji store on the GRR.
Regards Kevin.
AnswerID: 25812

Reply By: Member - Dave (Pilbara) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 22:55

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 22:55
Peter I have just returned a few weeks ago from the GRR towing an Eagle outback. Not a problem at all. I will give you my opinion about tyres etc but it seems to be a very hot subject. I put brand new Coopers on before we traveled and I rang all round the state to get prices. I was after BFG's but every retailer I called said they could no longer recomend the new BFG'S as they were getting heaps back with seperation problems. I started with low pressures (28 psi) and staked one of these brand new tyres going down the lichfield rd to Fitzroy crossing.the tyre guy in fitzroy crossing said he would never travel those roads with less than 45 psi. all the damaged tyres he saw were staked in the sides and not very offten in the tread. Remember though coopers are 10 ply and very tough. I went back to Derby and brought two new coopers and the dealer there said exactly the same thing. Any tyre that is more than half worn will be very prone to damage.
As for speed I found generaly in light to moderate corrigations the sweet spot was about 80 k/h. In very heavy corrigations as found round the centre of GRR it was impossable to find a good speed and we just had to grin and bear it.
The Eagle handled the trip with no trouble the only problem I had was the little screw that holds the door lock on the fridge vibrated loose and the door opened, But thankfully none of the beer was damaged so no worries. We traveled 11000 ks with lots of off road , other roads which were corrigated were the Edward Giles south of Alice and the centre part of the creat central.
AnswerID: 25859

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