What is the minimum gear you would use to go from Alice Springs to Boulia qld?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 11:40
ThreadID: 77663 Views:3517 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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The reason for this question is that the handbag and I went to boulia for the weekend and met a couple of 4WD's complete with camper trailers that had just done that stretch of road.

They told me that they were at the point of no return when they got to the plenty as the road had been closed while they were on it.

The plenty was rising when they got to it and said they only just made it across.

What puzzled me was that neither vehicle had a snorkel and they only carried one spare wheel each.

In total there were 11 people in the group.

Given the wet weather the area has experienced did they have they have the right setup for that particular trip.

One of the camper trailers had about 50mm of mud all over.

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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:18

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:18
Lots of us don't have snorkels and the Plenty is just another gravel road, not particularly challenging or remote.
Having said that, they should have at least been carrying sufficient supplies to cater for being trapped by floodwaters for a week or so at this time of year.
AnswerID: 412628

Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:51

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:51
when you say 1 spare wheel each I assume you mean 1 for 4x4 and 1 for trailer
it may be that the trailer ran same tyres as towing vehicle (I know mine does) and therefore they had 2 spares
depending on the makes vehicle involved the wheels may also be interchangeable at a pinch ,especially if 6 stud pattern.
again something I consider when travelling in a group.
agree with John The Plenty is hardly a remote track just a major gravel road.
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Reply By: CJ - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 13:29

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 13:29
I and many do not have snorkels, yet I and thousnads have done the Plently and other similar gravel roads. To cross or not to cross a river or creek depends on many factors, such as the vehicle, lifted or not, flow rate of water, depth of water, rocky or sandy, snorkel, etc. Just to state poeple are ill prepared by not having snorkels is wrong. Many of us do Cape York without snorkels.

Spare - 1 spare each is plemty. They are travelling in a group, and can help one other out. I think that in itself is the best preparation.

I think it is a very long bow to suggest they are ill prepared based on your reasons stated. Mud on the camper trailer is indicative of the road and not of being prepared or not.

AnswerID: 412637

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:11

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:11
Please red my post again I was not critical and did not state they were ill prepared!

I was merely asking a question.

I described what they had and what the vehicles looked like. ie covered in mud.

I reading some of the posts on this site I presumed you might have needed more gear considering the state of the road.

I was basically gathering other peoples thoughts should I ever travel that type of road in wet conditions.

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Follow Up By: CJ - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:31

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:31
You are right BooBoo, you did not state that they were ill prepared, I have made the wrong deduction there - sorry,

I am still puzzled though that you were puzzled (This time I am quoting you ;-) and my comments on number of spares, snorkel etc. remain unchanged. The BEST preparation is to travel in groups as they have. A snorkel is hardly relevant

Apologies again for misquoting you
FollowupID: 682684

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 13:50

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 13:50
My comment is all second hand. I have done quite a number of Plenty crossings but never in/after serious rain. Local friends when I lived in Alice however had told me that they regarded the Plenty as dangerous in serious water. It wasn't creek crossings that bothered them, they said that long sections of road were liable to be under deep water and that this could happen quickly. You could be out there with rising water and just nowhere to go. One said he thought he was lucky to be alive after having been caught like that along the Plenty.
As I said, I haven't seen this, just passing on someone else's claimed experience.
AnswerID: 412638

Reply By: Voxson - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:17

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 14:17
Because everyone is entitled to an opinion here is mine.

Plenty, Donahue, Birdsville, Strz, Ood etc etc,,, Are all remote enough to warrant two spares for each vehicle.
On all of these roads there is a decent chance of getting a flat tyre...

Double the chance of getting one between Adelade and Melb...

I have been with someone who has shredded a tyre and then another 100kms later...
Not a nice feeling knowing you are out of options if another one goes...
AnswerID: 412642

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 17:19

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 17:19
I totally agree with your opinion. I have travelled the Plenty with only one spare left and felt totally at risk of major headache. Any rocks on the road start to look like razor edged boulders.
FollowupID: 682700

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:01

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:01
G'day Boo Boo, I dont have a snorkel either & would have only had 2 spares for
my wagon/camper combo with matched wheels. I couldnt see the Plenty being more than a 2 day trip & would have been quite happy to travel it equipped as
above. Perhaps I may have taken the time to carefully consider the likely weather
conditions & would not have attempted it if rain was imminent. Outside of the more extreme tracks I am quite happy with 2 spares & as I wont cross any
water over 1m I dont need a snorkel either, but I have no problem with people
carrying as much gear as they wish. It is all a bit of a compromise I suppose
but I prefer to travel light........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 412647

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:06

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:06

That would be my minimum.

I suppose using second, even third, as a minimum would increase comfort levels.

But definitely first would be my minimum. I couldn't go any lower.

Unless you were looking at actual ratios then reverse would be the minimum. But that would give me a huge crick in the neck.

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AnswerID: 412648

Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 08:49

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 08:49
Low or high range?
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:10

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:10
Very good, I didn't get it until I reread my thread LOL
FollowupID: 682771

Reply By: JAX W - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:44

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 15:44
A lot of the comments from people without snorkels refer to water crossings as the main reason for needing/not needing them.

I have fitted snorkels to my 100 and 200 Seies Landcruisers to reduce dust in the air filters. I don't mean from following a vehicle either!! The dust generated by the front drivers wheel causes a lot of dust to be drawn into the air filter on dry dusty roads. Using a snorkel dramatically reduces the load on the filter and the need for frequent cleaning when travelling on these roads.

I live and work in the country and believe it is prudent to fit a snorkel to protect the filter and consequently the engine from dust.

Regards, Jack
AnswerID: 412653

Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 16:05

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 16:05
The plenty is only a 2wd track now most of the time - The rain was unseasonably late.

So all in all you will get caught out on the roads somewhere sometime in a vehicle not equipped to the conditions you face.

So the minimum I would take is a car and enough food and water to allow for the trip. Given the weather they made it through..so they had enough for that trip :-)

When working remote in the Gulf Black Soil Country before and after the wet all the Council supplied was a stock standard Hilux with no snorkel and extra spare. We had to traverse many soaked black soil roads and flooded creeks.

It was always enough.

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 412654

Reply By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:13

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:13
Thanks for the reply fellas.

It looks like the setup I have already is more than sufficient for those type of conditions.

AnswerID: 412731

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