Taking a caravan to Birdsville

Submitted: Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 22:03
ThreadID: 75243 Views:8495 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Fellow adventurers
I have a 17 ft coromal caravan (single axle type setup) which has independent suspension, no shockers. Has anyone taken one of these vans through this type of country and how did it go?
Thanks in advance
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Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 22:44

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 22:44
If you intend to come in from Windorah there is every chance you will have an uneventful trip. That road is usually well maintained and if you take your time and look after your tyre pressures you should be all right. To approach from any other direction would be inviting disaster. In saying this, you should check the condition of the road immediately before you leave, because things can change very quickly out there. One thing you will have to be careful of, in any event, is the possible damage to the rear of your towing vehicle from stones bouncing back off the front of the caravan. If you intend to tow the van with a normal 4wd or station wagon shape vehicle,you should cover the rear window with some sort of protection from the flying rocks which will inevitably be projected forward off the front of the van - tape a beer carton over it, or as I have done make up a cover of wetsuit neoprene or some other material to protect the window.
The Birdsville races see a large number of "on Road" vans make the trip so it certainly can be done. But it is usually done very slowly compared to the speed of the other vehicles in attendance.

AnswerID: 399648

Follow Up By: time waster - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 07:19

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 07:19
Stone protection is a must, an idea for caravan and car protection here www.stonestomper.com.au as said by Teege the roads are usually in good condition, main thing to remember is to lower tyre pressures and speed, take your time and you will end up with very little damage.
FollowupID: 668636

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 07:38

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 07:38

Stone protection, would be the first thing I would do.

Get some LT tyres, (all round) they are tougher all round, and have stronger sidewalls.....
On those dirt, and corrugated roads don't forget to drop air pressures, in all tyres.. 25psi in vehicle.. 22 on van..

Slow down a little 75 -80 km/hr max at those pressures..
Just kick back and enjoy the drive
AnswerID: 399681

Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:23

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:23
Hi there, Lucky. I too own a Coromal 17ft. I live in SA, and can only speak about the Birdsville Track, not about any Qld roads to Birdsville.
I would not dream of taking my van up the Birdsville track, at any speed. Our van is 20 years old, and I expect there'd be nothing left except the chassis!
The Birdsville Track has caused me strife in the past due to travelling too fast for conditions. I have learned that 25psi at 70 is about right for the Prado WITHOUT the van.
I have also experienced driving on the Track with others towing trailers that won't slow down when meeting other vehicles: broken glass is the result!!
But I can't speak for the roads to the North of Birdsville.
AnswerID: 399713

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:57

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:57
Hi Lucky, I agree with Chris in that I wouldn't take an onroad caravan to B/ville if I respected or wanted to keep the van after the trip. You may well get in and out but you equally may regret having a go. I think the B/ville track is probably the kindest access rd to B/ville. The road from Windorah was very stony giving the caravan I took (offroad Supreme Getaway) a real hammering. You can see in my rig profile a couple of photo's of the damage to the water tank stone gaurd if you go looking through my profile. It took me a very big day to get from Windorah to B/ville and would take at least two days to do the same trip when I go back next time. Don't get me wrong, B/ville is certainly worth the effort to get there but leave the blacktop van in Windorah if coming from this direction.

Maybe try somewhere like Innaminka first if you do want to take the van to gauge how it all works. The road in here from Thargomindah (the Adventure Way) has less dirt, will be kinder to van and tug and give you a feel for what to expect if you do decide to head out to B/ville. Innaminka is also well worth the effort to get to, with plenty to see and do around there (I spent 5 days there and would have liked another 5 at least). Access roads to Birdsville were harsher than access roads to Innaminka when I went (except for a stretch along the Strez which was equally as harsh as any into Birdsville). I did see onroad cars and caravans at Innaminka but don't recall similar setups at Birdsville, don't know if these setups got back from Innaminka unscathed though????

Regards, Trevor.
FollowupID: 668744

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 22:04

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 22:04
Trying to make it easier for you to find those pics. Have a look at an old thread where I posted the pics here.

Hope this helps you understand what to expect.
Cheers, Trevor.
FollowupID: 668745

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