Simpson Desert Feedback

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:16
ThreadID: 80203 Views:5005 Replies:8 FollowUps:25
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Any issues crossing the Simpson with no lift on a Prado? I have good tyres, good compressor, MaxTrax and recovery gear. Just a question about ground clearance and belly down on the dunes.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:38

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:38
Hi Paul
We are off in about 2 weeks times as well but from friends that have just returned last weekend, it had been a very slow wet trip trough the whole Simpson. They went the French line and were travelling solo and bogged many times, not in the sand , but mud!!. After being helped out by other travellers using their MaxTrax, he said they this is the first thing that he is going out to buy. Eyre Creek Crossing was about 450mm deep, but very firm.

To answer your question, you will have not problems at all, the most important factor is tyre pressure.

Have a great trip and be prepared for mega water stretches out there.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:41

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:41
Thanks Steven...I believe we are both going about the same time...I am sure we will bump into each other.

Good to hear about the Maxtrax but rather not have to use them at all :-)

It looks to have been pretty muddy lately as I have heard on the PradoPoint forum but hopefully will not rain we we go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 13:52

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 13:52
Hi Paul
When they went through, it was very heavy rain and the mud was in the swales.
By the times they got to Birdsville it had not rained for 2 days and the track had started drying out quite well. You will not miss me, solo Black Prado with yellow kayak on top.

Be prepared for a very green desert.

See you out there.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:10

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:10
Definitely looking forward to all the contrast of red/green Stephen!
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:09

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:09
I had a look at the MaxTrax site - certainly a good product.

However if you've got time - check out the gallery on the site. Didn't see many vehicles with correct tyre pressure for the sand - suspect half of those in the gallery wouldn't have needed the recovery gear if pressure was correct ...

My 2c worth

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:57

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:57
Hi Scott....you are spot on with tyre pressure and I honestly hope I don't have to use the things in all honesty. Just a bit of insurance.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 21:18

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 21:18
Hi it's a case of 'better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them'

Cheers

D


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Follow Up By: Member - Myles F (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 07:33

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 07:33
G’day Scott,
I agree about the importance of tyre pressure but even with them correct you can still come unstuck. I carry Maxtrax on every trip. I’ve only ever been bogged twice in many years of off road experience. Once on Fraser and this time last year on Big Red. I cruised easily up Big Red while others struggled. I was the first in our group and pulled off the track at the top of the dune to clear the way for the others when I promptly bogged down. After the others had passed I used the Maxtrax… no digging, no snatchem strap…. easy self recovery. Mine have been used more often to recover others and I’ll go nowhere off road without them. I highly recommend them especially if you're towing a camper.
Regards,
Myles.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 11:10

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 11:10
Not arguing about the product - thinking of getting a set myself. Agree there's times when correct tyre pressure doesn't help.

Just remarking on the fact that a lot of those in the gallery seemed to have fairly pumped up tyres.

Prevention is always better than the cure........
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 14:09

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 14:09
Hi Scott
Exactly right and if travelling solo, they are a must. I purchased a set after an incident while travelling solo about 3 years ago.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:53

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:53
Standard jap shocks tend to go limp very quickly on hard work like this, as has been extensively reported by various magazines.
The Most recent was a test of the new model Prado in this month's 4x4Australia.
So a good set of shocks would probably help as the minimum ground clearance in sand is usually the rear diff, which doesn't change unless you put bigger diameter tyres on.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:43

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:43
Thanks Rangie....I am getting tyres fitted tomorrow and only just about an inch taller. I don't see I'll be able to upgrade the suspension as well just yet so hope we can avoid the worst.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:59

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:59
I have to disagree with Phil about standard Prado shocks. After owning 2 prados with standard shocks (and heavier springs) and having done most of the outback tracks and deserts, I thought the standard Tociko brand shocks were very good - didn't fade as much as many of the aftermarket shocks. And the bushes that came with factory shocks were better than any of the aftermarket bushes.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:12

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:12
I have been on some rough tracks in SA and although the factory shocks don't stick to the corrugated roads as well they were ok. My main concern was with ground clearance more so than reliability of the shocks.
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Reply By: George_M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 13:03

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 13:03
Hi Paul.

We did a trip across the Simpson in our first 90 series Prado. We had planned to spend about eight days criss-crossing various tracks, so were carrying three jerry cans of fuel, and four jerry cans of water.

During a (fully loaded) trial run in preparation for the trip we found that the rear suspension sagged, so that even getting out of our (city) driveway we bottomed-out at the rear.

A set of Polyair Springs in the rear fixed that. Other than that our Prado was stock standard.

George_M
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:15

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 16:15
Thanks George! We won't have to carry any additional fuel. A refuel at Birdsville with 180 liters of diesel I won't be concerned plus we will not criss cross quite as much.

Just the usual stuff of fridge, food, water swags and some beer :-)
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Reply By: Adey - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 17:50

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 17:50
Just got back from Simpson (French Line) and no issues at all. Vehicle with no after market lift should be OK. There are numerous 'chicken' routes over most of the larger dunes. Excellent trip.

Good luck.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:58

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:58
Sounds great Adey! Much appreciated!
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:14

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:14
"Just got back from Simpson (French Line) and no issues at all."

When, before or after the 75 mm + of rain on the 12th and 13th last week ?

Scrubby,
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: Adey - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 23:52

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 23:52
Before.
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Follow Up By: Treading Lightly - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 10:49

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 10:49
Hi Guys,

Heading out to the Simpson next Month. Heading to Birdsville from Oodnadatta. 105 LC petrol / Auto towing a Cub Brumby, 4"lift, BFG MT
with a total of 297 Ltrs, in a convoy of 6. How am going to go.?

Should I tent it or take the camper?

JD
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Follow Up By: Adey - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 11:40

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 11:40
I wouldn't take a trailer but we saw plenty that did. I enjoyed the simplicity of tents (Malamoo 3 second pop ups) and thermarest mattresses as apposed to taking my camper trailer. Made fuel economy much better (100 litres used Mt Dare to Birdsville via French Line in 3.0 litre Patrol) and no stress on vehicle or trailer.

Good luck.
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:05

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:05
G`day Paul,
We crossed the Simpson last week from West to East on the French Line and the QAA line. It rained the first night out and from then on it became very difficult in some places. We were bogged for 7 hrs trying to return to the track from our camping spot, burned out my winch on the process.
Further on we came across a Father and Son bogged in a long wet section ( say 300 to 400 mtrs ) who had been there for 28 hrs, we joined with others and eight of us managed to get them out.
Another couple and grandchild in another long boggy section blew out two tyres at once about half way across and needed help changing wheels before being rescued, all these wet and boggy sections were about half way up to the knee deep of mud.
There is a long and rough detour around the salt-pan at Poeppel Corner.
The Eyre Creek crossing was closed and the alternative crossing approximately 500 mtrs downstream was knee deep with a hard bottom but the exit up the bank on the east side was cut up badly and difficult to traverse.
The track over Big Red from the west is closed as there is a very large lake in the swale immediate before it and so a long detour is necessary here also.
The wheel ruts in some places were so deep that a lot of vehicles, including my 60 series L/C with a 50mm lift, dragged on the bottom so I am not sure how you will go. As the wet areas dry out new tracks will be made through them so you may be ok.
I would think that if any further rain falls in the near future that the track would be closed.
Regards,
Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:29

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:29
Thanks Scrubby. Goes to show how things can change when it rains.

We went to Arkaroola a couple years a go and it busted loose when we left....must have had about 20 water crossings! When it rains in the ranges it floods quickly! Got to Leigh Creek and could go no further...roads all closed. Next morning they working scraping the rocks (large ones!) off the road.

I hope it doesn't rain anymore now....fingers crossed.

Sorry to hear about the winch.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 19:36
Hi Scrubby
It sounds like you were the ones that helped the people out from Clare (The Father and Son) They have done it before but all that mud made it a trip that they would rather not have taken and were glad to see Birdsville. Water was 800mm deep at the River Frome, just north of Marree. He had no snorkel, so had to make a makeshift set up so he did not take in any water.

When I asked how did he get bogged, he said that they just slid in the wheel tracks and that was game over. He said that when it dries out there will be some very big ruts out there

Thanks for helping them out.


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Trevor H (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 23:10

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 23:10
Hi Paul

back from the Simpson week and a half now in a lifted prado we ran down the rig road to the bottom and up the K1 to Poppels Cnr and in to birdsville.

When we hit the french line we followed a prado as i could see the fuel tank imprint on the top of the dunes. I was loaded up fairly well and tested the suspension and ripped the rear bar off on a step due down the bottom of the rig but other wise not a problem.

If you are loading up the car then yes strongly recoment a lift if you are going empty you will make it. How ever the standard suspension will need regular resting to cool the shocks and avoid shock fade.

what a great time to travel the simpson (out of holidays)

Regards

Trevor
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 14:22

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 14:22
Thanks Trevor and good tip with shocks
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Reply By: fuji - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 09:57

Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 09:57
Hi ya

As a Prado owner, I did the Simpson last year on standard suspension. I have good tyres Procomp and did not encounter any probs. Just remember to air down when required.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 08:33

Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 08:33
Thanks Fuji....I just got 6 new Cooper STT's which I hope will do well aired down in the sand.

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Follow Up By: playdoe27 - Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 17:40

Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 17:40
Mate not only the sand but the gibber. Our frinds on the Gibb River only aired down in the sand and when he hit the rocky stuff he had two flats.

Wayne :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 20:50

Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 20:50
Hi Wayne, agreed, tires can take a real beating on the gibber roads especially with a loaded vehicle.

A entire thread can be created on air pressures and opinions but I reckon with my vehicle and weight about 26 psi is a good point to start. Check after a bit if they appear to be getting some rough play maybe 24.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 10:03

Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 10:03
Mate of mine bought a new Cruiser in 2006 and first thing he did was take it across the Simpson as a support vehicle for Desert Mums Charity walk.

NO mods no nothing Standard Grandtreks and never got stuck once.

The only problem they had was, it was too dry to tow the trailer with the fuel and water in it so they had to make buried fuel dumps and just take the car.

Would be a bit different this year with the big wet I guess but it can be done.

PS its still got red dust in it.


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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 08:34

Saturday, Jul 24, 2010 at 08:34
doesn't seem to be to dry as late! Hope it doesn't rain while I am there.
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