Travelling to Cape York - Caravan or Tent?

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 10:51
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Hi Everyone,

This may seem like a very silly question but I need some help. My partner and I are leaving in 1 week for the big journey around Oz. We are heading straight up to the Cape. Can we take our Van on any road up to Weipa and the tip including the development Rd or will the corrugations rip it to shreads? We have a Jayco Flamingo ST Outback. We are fully aware of the road conditions we just need some friendly advice.

Many Thanks,

Dani & Greg
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 10:53

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 10:53
Take the tent
Leave the van behind because the road is not suitable

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 422670

Reply By: Member - Geoff H (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 11:38

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 11:38
We saw a few off road camper trailers and Caravans up that way, Kedron and Bushtracker mainly. We did see a few household trailers but I would be reluctant to take them.

If the Jayco is a true off road outfit it would be ok. We travelled at about 80 to 90k on the Development road with about 20k of corrugations on the southern bypass road. I wouldn't do the OTL but you could leave the van at Bramwell Junction before you hit the corrugated part of the road or go along the OTL.

Regards
Geoff
AnswerID: 422674

Reply By: Member - John G- Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:08

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:08
G'day Dani and Greg

Quotes from Ron & Viv Moon's book Cape York An Adventurer's Guide:

Trailers - " In most of our trips to the Cape we've towed a well constructed trailer (Tvan judging by the pictures in the book) with a good suspension and 16" wheels. We've had no trouble with it at all, but many people who take trailers up this way end up with a load of scrap metal"

Caravans - " It's best to keep your caravan on the bitumen roads, unless it is a dedicated offraod van and you don't mind getting it knocked around a bit. The Peninsula Development road to Weipa is a reasonable run, while the OTL track will be more than challenging."

We're heading that way this month, and plan to leave our Jayco Eagle Outback at Lakeland and tent it from there. If you google Cape York river crossings on utube you will see folks towing trailers, mostly though they are more rugged than the Jayco.

Good luck with the decision

Cheers
John
AnswerID: 422682

Reply By: Graham & Ann - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:21

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:21
If your used to outback travel and dirt roads and you drive to the conditions you shouldn't have a problem, we ( and quite a few others) took our van up in 2009. Trip route can be seen here 2009 Cape York trip and photos here 2009 Cape York trip photos

Going up thru Lakefiled NP with side trip into Pandanus Park had the most water crossings etc. Next time I'd not take my van into Fruit Bat & Twin Falls area unless we were camping in there as it was the roughest of the trip. there is a cleared spot on the east side of the road at the turn off suitable to drop the van off for a few hours if you just want to head into the falls area for a cool off and a llook.

Just take your time and 'smell the o roses' so to speak and you should have a drama. ENJOY we did.
AnswerID: 422685

Follow Up By: Graham & Ann - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:27

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 14:27
oooopsss...should be....

"and you shouldN'T have a drama."




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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 17:37

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 17:37
Hi Graham, What would the deepest water crossing you would have crossed up that way?? regards Michael
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Follow Up By: deserter - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 18:02

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 18:02
Yep - agree with the above. The development road is fine if you take it easy. We were at the top and needed to get back urgently. Came down the D road in 2 days. Its just corrugation !!
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Follow Up By: Graham & Ann - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 18:59

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 18:59
Majority of crossings when we went were about 30-45cm. Deepest was heading off the Dev Rd down the Old Telegraph Track from Fruit Bat Falls to Twin Falls area the creek there was about 70cm deep. It washed out all my wooden blocks used for packing/leveling etc. but depth would epend on time since last rains that you went thru, we timed this trip around just right re water, graders etc... our Cape York tip route on google has all the trip notes etc...
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 20:12

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 20:12
Our rig photo was taken on the Old Telegraph Track between Fruit Bat Falls andTwin Falls
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Follow Up By: Graham & Ann - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 15:34

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 15:34
Looks like you had a bit of water in it at the time, this link is as we approach going in Creek Crossing b/w Fruit Bat & Elliot Falls another snap a few shots on shows us following another van out as it enters the water.
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Reply By: Member - Josh (TAS) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 19:11

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 19:11
If you are prepared to take your time and drive to the conditions the van will be fine up to Weipa. To Seisia if you take it easy you could do it. The best thing would be to ring someone like the croc tent and ask for the road conditions as they can change quickly. When we were up there a young girl in a holden ute camped next to us so at the right time it is not that bad. The biggest problem is usually corrugations which if you lower tyre pressure and drive slower aren't a problem. Most people have problems cause they are driving to fast for the conditions.

Josh
AnswerID: 422708

Follow Up By: Ian & Sue - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 20:42

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 20:42
Quick reply as the battery is out - we are currently in Coen on our return journey from the Tip towing a coromal Pioneer Corvair 5.4 caravan. Road is rough and corrugated in places great in other spots - we have had no problems with our set up seen at least 6 Jayco camper trailers although most seem to stop at Bramwell station and go on from there with a tent. Cant see why they dont go the whole way just have to travel to conditions.

Plenty of Jaycos at Weipa too.

Cheers
Sue
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Reply By: Member - ken b (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 23:03

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 23:03
hi. if you plan to camp in a tent, near any waterhole or river. be aware of the crocodiles.
AnswerID: 422731

Reply By: deserter - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 08:46

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 08:46
Don't forget to chat to the people at the link below

http://www.capeyorkforums.com/forums/index.php
AnswerID: 422750

Follow Up By: Graham & Ann - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 13:54

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 13:54
Yes they do have some good info there on where to go and what to do in the Cape, we included them in our research before we headed off. Met a couple of them while up there, call in and say Hi to Geoffjy at 'Cape York Traders'. Its opposite the power station.

Just be aware that like on most forums many members aren't caravanners or used to caravanning on the outback tracks/roads so comments must be taken in context with their experience and expectations. What in one mans view maybe a very rough road can be a pretty good road to another. In general if travelleing up via the Dev Rd. during the dry you don't even need a 4x4, when we went up a guy drove his small toyota? sedan up with no problems, (to start work at Loyalty Beach for the rest of the season) he just drove to the conditions and we crossed paths with him more than once on the way.

Enjoy
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