How far can a RAV 4 go.

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:05
ThreadID: 75931 Views:8662 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Hi Guys,

I'm heading to the Cape in June and a mate wants to tag along in his RAV4. I imaging he will go ok on the bypass roads.

Hoiwever, we intend to do the southern part of the OTL and also run out to Captain Billy Landing.

How do you think the RAV 4 would go on those tracks without low range, he has fitted higher tyres for extra clearance.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:17

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:17
Hi Geoff
Good question you asked. Two years ago while out at Palm Valley in the NT, the track is designated 4 wheel drive only. A few people out there talking with limited off road experience when out comes a RAV 4. The people that were saying how hard the track in was (To me it is a very easy track anyway) did not know what to say and asked the RAV driver how did they get their vehicle in. The look on their faces was quite funny.

From what I have seen they are a capable little vehicle and in the end it will come down to the drivers ability.


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AnswerID: 403612

Reply By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:35

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:35
Toyota reckons they can go there!

If I recall rightly, their original advertising for the RAV4 was based on a successful journey to the Cape and back (this was an attempt to debunk the (IMHO: accurate) perception that the RAV4 was not a serious 4WD... perhaps you remember seeing the magazine ads with the RAV4 sitting in a stew in a saucepan?

It obviously made an impression on me! (but I still never considered buying one though) LOL.
AnswerID: 403621

Reply By: timothy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:45

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:45
What model RAV4 is it? The later model ones seem to be lower and don't have a centre diff lock like the early models (~1994-2000). My wife's 2001 model RAV is pretty capable, we've had it on Stockton Beach and Fraser Island I think if your friend has some 4x4 experience and knows the RAVs limits it'll go fine. Most difficult sections have a bypass track that is quite easy.

I think not having low range won't be a big deal, I did very little low range work on the southern end of the telegraph track. I would be most concerned with the depth of the creek crossings, especially Cockatoo Creek which was about 60cm deep and the amount of wheel travel the RAV has for Gunshot creek - even the chicken track was quite chopped up when I was there.

Gunshot creek chicken track
AnswerID: 403626

Follow Up By: Member - Longtooth (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:41

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:41
You could at least put a photo of a RAV4 with this story :)
FollowupID: 673138

Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:47

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:47
Yeah need to know what model it is, I think from 03 onwards they had stability control fitted which can cause havok when offroad, the shire I worked for had them and we used to pull the relay out before going offroad so it didn't interfere

Also, these things are hopeless in soft sand, even with the tyres deflated, the 2000-2003 model used the 2.0 Celica engine, a revvy sports car motor which lacked down low torque for keeping the wheels going without getting stuck at low speeds, the newer ones with the different engine are probably better but I'm pretty sure all the small bodied RAV4's had a centre differential??

And yeah, ground clearance was an issue too from memory, and the factory plastic "bash plate" (more like a splashguard lol) will get holed easy from rocks and tree branches

FollowupID: 673181

Follow Up By: Voxson - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:15

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:15
That photo looks a lot like the southern entrance into Cockatoo Creek...
I could almost bet 20c on it..

We saw a RAV4 with an elderly lady cross Cockatoo in June 2008 with no hassles..
Wheel placement and walking it has a lot to do with success..
Just go there and inspect and decide....
FollowupID: 673241

Follow Up By: CJ - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:50

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:50
I also recognise the spot, and the year
(It changes year by year)

It is Gunshot, heading north, this was the chicken run on the far left, the pic is down the bank but not over the creek just yet..
And it was 2009

I would double that bet ;-)

FollowupID: 673249

Reply By: CJ - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:03

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:03
I think in MHO that I am somewhat qualified to at least give an opinion.:

I have a Landcruiser and a Subaru Forester

I have been to the Cape twice (OTL both ways both times) and have been 4x4 for many years including the CSR.

I do not mind getting bush pinstripes or even a few departure-angle bumper scrathes - it is a 4x4 after all

I would perhaps consider the Forester (read RAV4) on the bypass roads IF it has proper tyres and lightly loaded,

But I would NOT even consider taking it to any part of the OTL.

I can just imagine bits of plastic underbody stren all over any of the creek crossings

Hope this helps

AnswerID: 403663

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:35

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:35
This is a slide show and includes a few pics of the OTT.

Re Captain Billys Landing, a Coaster bus will get in there, but might need a small bit of assistance to get out the first 50M, 'cos it is a bit steep. The RAV4 won't have a problem. There is a LARGE resident croc.

OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 403684

Reply By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:43

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:43
I have a X-Trail and it has its limitations. Great on Stockton beach actually left the bigger heavier Cruiser and Patrol for dead.

I am going on a center trek and decided to go and buy an old HJ80 IHZ to do the trip in rather then the X trail. The x trail will go most places where ground clearance and ability to carry a little bit of speed ( Run up) are not to restrictive.

You cant crawl over rough bits in the x trail. I would think the RAV would be much the same. The new V6 has plenty of grunt though.
AnswerID: 403688

Reply By: Member - Geoff H (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:13

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:13
Thanks Guys,

It's the earlier small bodied model, he manages to tow a trailer to Fraser so he's a determined adventurer. I'll pass on the info and let him decide if he wants to attempt the OTL. Looks like Captain Billy Landing will be ok.

Thanks again
AnswerID: 403715

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:15

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:15
Probably get through OK with a bit of help. One issue might be rated recovery points.
We had a fairly stock SWB Pajero on our trip last year and it didn't need any help. Admittedly it has low range.

AnswerID: 403718

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:42

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:42
On our trip to Cape Melville in 2008 we had a tag along friend that was driving a late model RAV 4 his aim was to to go to Bamaga. He followed us over Kalpower crossing (he was going to do a day trip from Kalpower and left his gear set up there) and made it as far as one of the more difficult creek crossings where the clearance was a problem due to large rocks.

He did make it to Bamaga and had a great time. He had a Tirfor for back up but did not need it. He is no novice and lived on the Cape for a number of years - he used to do work for Telstra on the old line many years ago. So from his experience I would say that it is possible particularly if he has back up.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 403725

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:23

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:23
Took a Rav 4 through the Simpson Desert from East to West(the most difficult) with two lady drivers (not being sexist here) with no problems ...with the Rav !!
FollowupID: 673377

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