Road Conditions for Caravans

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 716 Views:1975 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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G'day all, can anyone help me out with a few road reports/conditions and whether or not vans ( 2 x vechiles, Patrol & Disco, and 2 x conventional vans @17.5'ea )can safely travel on these routes, subject to local conditions. 1. Mereenie Loop - 200klms Kings Canyon to Hermannsburg ( 1999 I towed a 24'van back through Erldunda upto Alice, I was strongly advised against doing the loop then........still got the permit and went out to Mt Solitary about 70 klms out from KC seemed OK up to there. ) 2. Davenport Range NP from Devils Marbles Don't know much about this one ? 3. Camooweal (QLD) to Lawn Hill NP via Gregory Downs about 300klms. Don't know a lot about this one either ? Naturally these would all be checked locally prior to and at the time of travel. Thanks in advance
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Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
This qn was asked on 2nd Feb but had to be deleted by us due to some unfavourable replies. I have re-entered the qn for Neil and ask that you pls be considerate and or helpful in this forum, or don't say anything. I'm not saying you can't disagree, but being rude is not helpful - it is childish.
AnswerID: 1946

Follow Up By: Steve - Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
Sorry Michelle, its not difficult to get up a head of steam over this one,

but I think I got the message across!

This site is for the lucky ones who wish to connect with those who have been there--OUTBACK, and who can help those who really appreciate some info from out there..

but as we know some only want to pretend to seek accurate info..

It can be a trifle annoying to say the least, that this arena is trifled with by those who only wish to show off in a truly obnoxious way...

PLEASE DON'T TRY TO TAKE CARAVANS INTO THE OUTBACK , you will do an irreparable amount of harm to the environment and give the 4wd community a bad name... that it does not need ... keep your 'vans to the bitumen...

If you are not going to take any notice, try bringing your rig to the foot of the Chambers Pillars, its only a day trip from the 'Alice'..

FollowupID: 666

Follow Up By: Michelle - Exploroz - Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
Steve, I hear what you say, and of course in some instances this can be true. However at least Neil is doing some planning and "asking" in a 4WD forum about specific roads he is considering travelling. I really do think that in general the popular routes are becoming more and more friendly to vans - many are so well graded and if travelled during the peak of the dry are easily travelled with vans - a lot of it depends on driver ability/commonsense and most importantly road/weather conditions. The tourism trade in the outback depends on good road access and councils are under a lot of pressure to keep roads accessible or upgrade them to allow buses and caravans access. But back to Neil's specific qn which is a relevant and fair enough one... The fact that he is actually asking the qn is proof enough that he may not fall into your generalisation that because he drives a caravan he is going to be unfriendly to the environment. I think more harm would be done to his van before he damaged the environment. I hope someone will answer his specific qn or suggest (as I am) that he make some local enquiries.
FollowupID: 667

Follow Up By: Rich - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00
Hi guys,

Neil mailed me, following my heated response. For debates' sake, I post part of my more reasoned reply to Neil:

"If you followed the post you would realise the frustration we all
experience when ridiculously intrepid caravanners head down totally
inappropriate tracks. I was surprised and shocked you asked about the
Mereenie Loop, which is a goat-track.

We all should have been a little thoughtful and perhaps given yourself
the benefit of the doubt, at least you asked first before heading off.

What I do ask is, if you must drag half a house with you on holiday, be
prepared to make some significant sacrifices on accessibility, just
because you CAN get down that road with the van doesn't necessarily
mean you should."

FollowupID: 681

Reply By: Ray Charlton - Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Neil
Pleased you are asking ahead of time.
We have towed a 17 Evernew Caravan poptop around Australia including on many 4WD roads (but not on 4WD tracks) The Evennew was purposed built and had no problems handling the corrugations and had good entry and exit angles. We learnt to check wth people that had just come from were we were headed for information re road conditions. We also put in a small tent and stove so that if the trek in and out was not recommended we would leave the van and drive in camp for the night look around and travel out. The van will slow the trip down and you will have to be prepared to pull off and let others go ahead. The water tank and the wiring to the electric breaks need protectong. I found a sheet of tin under the tank protected it and we rewire the van putting the wires into garden hose and ran them seperately down either side of the chassis not across the axle. We came across a few Caravans with the wiring completely destroyed by the stones.
PS Sorry Michelle that some did not want to be helpful, after 30 years on the road including 10 as a professional coach driver there are good and bad drivers in allsorts of set ups on the road. The Forum is great keep up the good work
AnswerID: 1954

Reply By: Roger Lowry - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Neil,
I too am a 4wd Caravanner and have an off road van. I have found that with a little planning and checking on road conditions on can travers most unsealed roads but not the Genuine 4wd tracks as Others have done I travel with a small tent and leave the van behind when going into the real rough country. Make sure you stone proof your water tanks and elec brake lines.
Remember also that the aditional weight and stress of towing also tests the towing vehicles capabilities to the max.
However with a sensible approach you should be OK.
AnswerID: 1965

Reply By: pen - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00
I'll answer 1. & 2. as I travel these regularly with my work. Mereenie Loop is OK, but take the usual care as a lot of traffic use this road & can be badly corrugated & potholed. Davenport Ranges: On the north side you would be able to access Whistle Duck & Policemans Waterhole with care & they both have campgrounds and toilets (no drinking water). The through road to Murray Downs is a poorly maintained rough track ONLY & even towing a trailer would be extremely difficult. The ranges were almost completely burnt out in the bushfires last year, but are coming back with recent heavy rains. If you would like to do the round trip, suggest leave your van at Wycliffe Well caravan park & take camping gear.
AnswerID: 1973

Reply By: Neil - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00
Michelle,Steve,Rich, Ray & Pen,
I accept what has been said and appreciate ALL comments, and also that the nature of my question and comments was probably not well worded. And yes I did get a permit for the Mereenie road but I didn't take the van out there, I realise it may have read like I ignored local advice and vanned on out there anyway, but this was certainly not the case.
And yes we always have the tent and camping gear along with us....... it seems very likely we'll be unpacking it next trip.
Again sorry for any misunderstanding and thanks.
AnswerID: 1984

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