Petrol consumption on the Simpson

Submitted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 18:49
ThreadID: 68901 Views:3763 Replies:12 FollowUps:17
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I'm planning on doing a west to east crossing of the Simpson in about 12 months. My current vehicle is a 100 series petrol - in standard form - apart from an OME suspension upgrade. I have travelled over 100k's of bitumen and sometimes dirt road - plenty h'way, strez, Oodnadatta and some others. So I have a reasonable handle on what the fuel consumption is under these conditions.

The unknown is the conditions - sand - of the Simpson.

The vehicle will have 4 occupants, and loaded to the max with whatever is necessary, including a roof rack with second spare. I've read all the treks notes, which are enormously helpful.

Is there anyone out there that has done the same trip, in the same vehicle?

Appreciate your comments and feedback,
Brian
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:45

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:45
Brian,

What the Simpson desert will be like in 12 months time is anyone's guess. 12 months ago who would have thought that it would be closed because of Eyre Creek being in flood.

As far a fuel consumption goes no one can tell you that. What I would say is if you still have the standard tanks on the 100 Series you might not make the crossing.

You have 12 months to work out the best way to carry more fuel. With 4 in the vehicle there will not be much room for luxury items like extra fuel in jerry cans.

A long range fuel tank could be a better option. The spare tyre will have to be moved to a wheel carrier and if you plan to do a bit more touring in this vehicle a dual wheel carrier might be another option.

Wayne
AnswerID: 365283

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:52

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:52
Wayne,

all fair comments.

Just how much extra fuel is the question. I believe if anyone has done the same trip in the same vehicle, I can use that as a guide as to what my usage could be like. Of course there is always the chance that one could get 3/4 of the way across, and be forced to turn around. All things obviously need to be considered.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:53

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:53
Brian,

The reason why no one can say how much extra fuel is required is because we would need a bit more info.

What track/s do you plan to use?
How fast do you plan to drive over the dunes?
What tyre pressure do you plan to use?
How often do you plan to use the air con?
How many attempts have you planed for each dune?
Do you plan to get bogged in the sand and how many times?
Do you plan to use high range and how often?
Do you plan to use low range and how often?
What gear do you plan to use?
Will you leave the gear box in drive if it is an auto?
What gear will you use if it is a manual gearbox?
Where do you plan to fill with fuel before the start of the Simpson crossing?
Do you plan to have a clean fuel filter before the crossing?
Do you plan to have a clean air filter before the crossing?
Do you plan to assist an other vehicle if it is stuck?

After you have answered all of the above I will need to know the following.

How hot will the sand be?
How many vehicles have been through before you?
How deep are the wheel tracks in the sand?
How soft will the sand be?
Which way will the wind blow?
Will the clay pans be soft?
Will there be any rain?

After all that I can tell you how much extra fuel you will need.




I am not having a go at you but to answer you question on how much fuel is required for this trip is an unknown.
I would say that on past experience the standard tanks on you Cruiser will not make the crossing. Fitting a bigger after market tank and you should make the crossing.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:02

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:02
Wayne,

yes.

thanks
Brian
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Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:46

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:46
Geeeeeezus Wayne,

Asking your self all those questions, It's a wonder you even leave your house!!!!!!!!! LOL
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 22:12

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 22:12
Ingo57,

And you thought that is was easy doing what I do for a job.

Wayne

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Reply By: RobAck - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:03

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:03
Yes there are plenty of unknowns regarding what the Simpson's tracks may look like in a year's time but there are also plenty of constants when crossing the Simpson. For example we always require a petrol vehicle to carry 220l as a minimum. If you are using the French Line then add another 40l given your vehicle configuration. But that may change.

You need to get a detailed understanding of the fuel consumption of your vehicle in its planned configuration for the crossing and that is the only way you will get any idea of its actual fuel consumption. This can be done in a weekend away sand driving but you need to do it

Regards

RobA
AnswerID: 365286

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:10

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 20:10
Thanks RobA.

I have made plans to do a weekend of sand driving at Stockton Beach. It will give me some idea of consumption.

When you say "... we always require a petrol vehicle to carry 220l as a minimum.. " does that mean that you are involve in "tag alongs" or something similar?

Thanks for the figures.

Brian
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Follow Up By: RobAck - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 10:51

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 10:51
Brian we have been doing 4WD club trips and tours for around 12 years and average two Simpson crossings per year. We also operate a remote area risk management consulting service so we spend a lot of time in the bush. We use a 120 V6 Prado which weighs around 2900kg when it leaves Oodnadatta and if we use the Rig Road, Knolls Track and QAA to get to Birdsville then we use around 160l. Our planning figure is 20l per 100km and we normally average around 17l per 100km. So 200-220l is about right, Check out the Treks section of this website for some excellent information on fuel consumption for all types of vehicles on all sorts of tracks. If you also look at any of the commercial tour operator websites you will see all of them use a planning figure of 200l for a crossing. This allows for all of the variables already mentioned in this post, including how well the vehicle is set-up, tyre pressure, track conditons and most importantly the skill of the driver in the conditions. Those with not a lot of experience tend to over drive their vehicles in low or high range and this increases fuel consumption and stress levels considerably. We do the tracks mentioned above in high range, albeit their may be specific occassions where low range may be called for such as some of the descents on the QAA.

If you have not done one then I suggest a good 4WD training course to understand the key to good off-road driving and that is this thing called "momentum" and to understand your vehicle in a wide range of situations. I know a little of Stockton beach and from what I have seen it is nothing like the Simpson, apart from the sand. But with the right trainer I am sure you would get a lot from a sand training weekend there.

I hope that helps

Regards

RobA
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:50

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:50
Thanks RobA.

All good info and advice. The same sort of advice that I knew was "out there", so I appreciate you taking the time and sharing it.

Regards
Brian
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:34

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:34
You need to know how much fuel to take. I've travelled many times with people who share the same 4.5L petrol 105series as yours. If you were coming on one of my trips, I'd tell you to add 4 jerries to your standard twin tanks if we were going Oodnadatta to Birdsville, or 3 jerries if we were filling at Mt Dare. Alternatively, if your subtank was replaced with a 170L long range tank, you'll have enough.

I don't think a drive around Stockton will give you good info - more likely to scare you. When you cross the Simpson on the common tracks you will do a lot of mileage on good track where consumption is normal. The dune country needs to be taken at low pressures - I always run at 20psi or lower - it will actually improve your consumption because the vehicle rolls over the sand more easily. If you are going in April/May you'll get softer sand than say July/August.
AnswerID: 365297

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:25

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:25
Hi Phil

We have a 2005 LC 100 seires diesel. You mentioned replacing the sub tank with a bigger one.

Would this mean moving the spare from underneath?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:04

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:04
Phil,
Yes, you have to put that spare elsewhere. Can become a very expensive exercise - $1200 for the tank; $3000 for the twin rear wheel carriers, and then you find the rear springs sag too much, so you fit heavier rear springs. Ends up costing you $5000 to carry extra fuel for the rare trip where you need it. And all the extra weight is behind the rear axle which is not good. I know some people who have baulked at all that and just put 2 spares on the roofrack.

The other downsides are that the gauge will never work as well as a factory gauge; aftermarket tanks often crack; and big tanks are more likely to grow a bit of algae because they don't get emptied as often.

Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:36

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:36
Thats what we thought.

OUCH.
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Reply By: bardenboy - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:37

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:37
WE did the crossing 2 years ago Mt Dare to Birdsville, The 100 Series Petrol with 2 people in them with there gear used 200 Li, you will need a long range tank, Both 100 series on our trip had 275 L tanks



Enjoy the trip

dennis
AnswerID: 365299

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:37

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:37
Brian depending on all those things that Wayne has mentioned you could expect to use between 22 to 30 litres per 100km.
You then obviously need to work out the distance of your route which could vary between 520 to 800 km's. Add to this some reserve fuel for emergency or to detour wet salt lakes, claypans or the Eyre Creek should it be flowing. (Currently a 65+km detour)
To minimise the fuel one needs to carry obviously Mt Dare on the west side would be preferable to Oodnadatta being over 100km shorter.
Relying on others previous fuel usage has got us in trouble in the Simpson with a petrol Pajero in our convoy using nearly 30% more fuel than expected simply as the driver had a heavy right foot & used more power than needed to get over each dune.
Taking a relatively direct route accross I'd suggest carrying around 220 Litres, 250 if early in the season when the sand is very soft.
See how your consumption goes at Stockton remembering you'll be alot heavier in the desert.
Cheers Craig................
AnswerID: 365300

Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:58

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:58
Gday Brian,

I would suggest carrying around 200 - 220 liters petrol and you should be fine.
My 4.8 petrol Patrol used 130L to cross the French line, I ran my tyres at 15psi and had no probs what so ever (tyre pressures is everything).

Enjoy the trip


AnswerID: 365303

Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 22:01

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 22:01
Gday Brian,

I would suggest carrying around 200 - 220 liters petrol and you should be fine.
My 4.8 petrol Patrol used 130L to cross the French line, I ran my tyres at 15psi and had no probs what so ever (tyre pressures is everything).

Enjoy the trip


AnswerID: 365305

Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:28

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:28
This is all petrol.

Has anyone got any comments re diesel consumption, storage or extra tanks?

Phil
AnswerID: 365340

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:52

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:52
Phil,

Again it would depend and there are a lot of variables.

120 Lt's should get you across with a 6cyl diesel.

What vehicle do have? It will make a difference as to carrying fuel.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 09:30

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 09:30
2005 land cruiser, 100 series 4.2 turbo diesel. All up weight is around 3000kg when fully loaded. Just the standard main and sub tanks with total fuel about 140Lt. Sorry that figure is a guess as my memory is not the best and the book is in the car with my wife on a training course. Only the two of us in the car. All extra seat removed to make room for us to sleep in the back when setting up in bad weather.

We get 12lt per 100km on good dirt such as Mildura up to Menindee and then to Canberra via the dirt roads.
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Follow Up By: Holden4th - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 14:34

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 14:34
My NP diesel used 95L from Birdsville to Mt Dare in 2006 on a very soft crossing. The few time I got bogged was by not using enough power to get to the crest. I carried 130L.
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Reply By: Member - John G- Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 11:23

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 11:23
G'day Brian

Go into Treks, Fuel Supplies & Usage, Trekfuel and you will get a cross-section of members' fuel usage. Might help you with your planning

Cheers
John
AnswerID: 365357

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Kerry W (QLD) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 11:53

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 11:53
Hi Brian,
ExplorOz has a good database of Fuel Consumption figures for most treks.

Trek Fuel

Scroll down till yo fine the engine type you need.
You can add your figures to the database afterwards.

cheers

Kerry W
Kerry W (Qld)
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AnswerID: 365362

Reply By: Wherehegon - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:43

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 16:43
Our friends run a tour guide company and recently come back from this trip. They had two 100 series 4.5 petrols, plus another few different vehicles, they had the long range tank fitted as well as reserve tank, I think for memory was 240L all up on board + two gerries on the roof, they come close to running out apparantly calling in to some place (not sure where or what) but managed to grab an extra 20L to be on the safe side. They didnt end up using the extra gerry. I think the fuel was like on average 26L per 100. I can find out for sure if you like........ WHG
AnswerID: 365394

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 17:13

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 17:13
Wherehego,

thanks for the offer to chase additional info, but I think I now have enough examples to make a decision on what I'll actually carry.

Brian
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Follow Up By: 4berock - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 22:33

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 22:33
Hi stev how u hows the new prado t/d going do u like better than petrol ?gee never thought you would cross over,an i mean from petrol-diesel lol not the cloths lol
cheers rusty
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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 23:42

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 23:42
Yeah all good. Buying a caravan later this year so wanted some thing that will tow without being tooooo heavy on the fuel like the V6 was. Get around the 10L per 100 highway cycle so extremely happy with that. No doubt it will be around the 13/14's when towing going by the replys I have had/read etc. The turbo motors make a huge difference compared to the old hilux 2.8D bit like the old Navara eh LOL. Looked at an 80 series TD in Melbourne (rare as rocking horse sh@t with the multivalve engine (95 to 98) but was a bucket so went with the prado. While it wont have the off road capability of the cruisers or the patrols like yours it will do what we want it for. Snorkel going on in a week or too then the suspension, then bullbar. Need to save a few more $$ again. Can contact me via same home email address, dont like chatting on line on this forum, would send you private email but as your not a member (not been rude) I cant send them to you privately and will get pinged on here for using it like a chat forum. Take care speak to you soon.... Steve PS will never see me crossing over, cloths that is lol.........
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Reply By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 17:17

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 17:17
To everyone,

thanks heaps for all your constructive comments. You have all given/shared very valuable info and experiences. That was exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Probably a long range tank and wheel carrier is what's required. Either that, or finally bite the bullet and buy a diesel.

Regards
Brian
AnswerID: 365398

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