Refueling on the Canning Stock Route

Submitted: Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 20:19
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I would like to hear of your experiences refueling on the CSR. Did you fill up at the Kunawarritji Community, or arrange a fuel dump from Capricorn? Do you see advantages either way? I thought that with the community being approximately half way it would make sense to refuel there. Would also like to hear some recent fuel consumption stats, particularly for a 4.2TD.
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Reply By: Flynnie - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:28

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:28

Travelled south to north in July 2010 in a cruiser trayback V8. I used nine jerry cans giving total fuel capacity of 360 litres. My travelling mate used the Capricorn fuel dump and he carried four jerry cans. Others we knew of refuelled at the Kunawarritji Community.

My calculated fuel usage was 272 litres for 2,015 k. Allowing for something in the tanks when they were low, carrying 300 litres would have got me through. (ON THAT OCCASION, AT THE LOW SPEED I TRAVELLED ONLY). Fuel consumption was 13.5 litres per 100 k. This is a little higher than I get on the highway (12-12.5) and about the same as the figure I got on the Nullarbor going over. By comparison I used 16.78 litres per 100 k on the wet Simpson Desert crossing returning from the west between Mt Dare and Birdsville.

Pros and cons

Relying on jerry cans is only really an option on a lightly loaded trayback. I had to pack on the Spartan side and the jerries took up a lot of space and cramped my tray area. Nine cans was two or three too many. I had overestimated fuel consumption. Though successful for the purpose there are better options than carrying heaps of jerry cans.

Capricorn dump fuel worked out at $2.75 a litre more or less. The fuel was there as expected. Loading was slow and wasted much of a day. Surplus fuel from the drum was stored in the jerries that were empty. I went back up to almost full fuel with 350 of 360 litres capacity in use. Travel companion was maxed out. Have heard of theft and have come across Capricorn drums empty very far from the dump point. The chance of theft is real, though how likely I can not say. The dump is located a bit closer to the southern end of the track than might be ideal.

At the community fuel was available at $3.20 per litre. Though expensive it saves a lot of fussing around. There have been suggestions that fuel sometimes is unavaible due to the tanker being bogged. This could be true but can also happen at the towns such as Halls Creek. The community is just about ideally placed near the middle of the track.

Doing it again I would take 2 jerry cans to cover contingencies and would refuel at the community back up to maximum fuel. If the tanker was delayed I would just camp for a day or two nearby. I would plan, for my vehicle, on the basis of using 15 litres per 100 k for 2,000 k. A bit of rain would get it up to that figure. I would refuel at the northern community near the Tanami Road, as well, if needed.

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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:57

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:57
"Though successful for the purpose there are better options than carrying heaps of jerry cans."

A mate's parents who did the CSR ohhh about 15 years ago had a GU Patrol wagon, and they removed the back seat and made up a timber bracket and cradle to mount 2 60 litre fuel drums in it. Seemed like a good idea at the time but knowing what I know now about carrying volatile substances in the passenger compartment I couldn't recommend it.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:51

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:51
No real issues - except it was cold / some drizzle when we filled up at the dump a couple of weeks ago Russler at $2.85 a litre.

Howard (ACT) organized it for our 2 petrols cars and we split the fuel as didn't need that much.

The drums were heavy and a little hard to manage , and Tanami type hand fuel pump seemed faulty , so 2 of us used a siphon hose (good idea to carry one) to get first bit out.
Then tilted and rolled drum sideways causing fuel to flow into a normal bucket Howard had - much easier than trying to fill my jerries directly , and you could see the small amount of water in the fuel easily and not use the last 1/2 litre.

We also filled up at community , but took longer here and you couldn't be sure of fuel quanity or amount , the hose from the compressed air driven pump seemed to read 1/10 of a litre per pump stoke regardless, and as above post says it was dearer at $3.20.

Fuel consumption was lower than expected , my petrol logging in @ 18.3lt/100km compared to Russ(NZ) V8 troppy diesel which logged 14.5lt.

All in all both were worth doing as part of the Canning experience.


Robin Miller

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Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:29

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:29
My recommendation is to share a drum of fuel at the dump then top up at Kunawarritji thereby reducing the amount of weight needed to be carried particularly over some of the bigger dunes North of Well 23. On both occasions we have found our fuel at the dump. To get the fuel out we made up a drum cap similar to a Taminai pump where we pressurize the drum & the fuel simply transfers without the need to move them. Transferred 600L in less than an hour, far quicker than the wait at the community.
Cheers Craig...............
AnswerID: 426800

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 04:20

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 04:20

We did the CSR in a 4.2 TD patrol, towing a Trak Shak camper trailer (weight 4.7 tonne)

Left Carnegie Station with 340 lts diesel on board.
Took on 6 Gerry's at Well 23 (120 lts )

Nill at Kunawarratji..

Went out to Marble Bar via Carowie Gorge, Eel Pool annd Nullagine.

Took on 140 lts at Marble Bar. and went up through Broom, Derby, the Gibb River Road, ect ect ect ect.

Coming back from Halls Creek to Kunawarratji used 260 lts, I topped up the long range Tank with 100 lts there. No need for gerry's after that as there was plenty of fuel on the Gary junction Road, back to Alice

Overall I was amazed at our economy in the heavier going in the Canning, but when you think about it, we were only just ticking along, and rarely had to gun the motor above 2100 revs.


AnswerID: 426809

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 05:37

Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 05:37
I forgot to mention the dramas with the long range tank, splitting along a weak point, the main weld...

So of that 100 lts we got at Kunawarratji, a lot of it got sprayed on the Gary Junction Road, back to Alice. But that really did not effect our economy, just my hip pocket. And at $3.20 a lt it hurt a bit more.. (could of happened at Kintore, where it was $1.60 a lt ..)

What the hec, it was my effort at arresting the dust in the area.


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Reply By: Member - Thomas H (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:03

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:03
Hi Russler

Have just returned from the CSR in 2x 4.2L Troopies, travelling south-north. Agree with the others in that our consumption was less than anticipated at about 15.8L/100km (this is the total consumption figure for both vehicles). We took on almost 180L (90L each) at Kunawarritji, which while expensive at $3.20, would still have been marginally cheaper than a 200L drum at the dump which we wouldn't have been able to decant (at Well 23 we would have had capacity to use less than 180L). We were each carrying 2 jerry cans giving a total capacity of 220L each, which we filled at Carnegie and then entered the CSR at Well 9. We didn't fill the jerry cans at Kunawarritji. So our individual consumption was a bit less than 130L over the slightly more than 800km from Carnegie-Kunawarritji.
One car had a turbo, one not, but the consumption was similar. The turbo was marginally more thirsty, but had a roof rack and a bit more weight on board.
The people at Kunawarritji were waiting for a fuel delivery when we arrived, and were getting very low on supplies. May have been a bit inconvenient if we had arrived the day after to find we had to cool our heels while waiting for a tanker to arrive.
Hope this helps with your preparations, and have a fantastic trip.

AnswerID: 426842

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:53

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:53
Just to add to the good feedback you've already got, we fuelled up at Kunawarritji Community as we have done previously. Took the opportunity to also buy a few supplies, use the pay phone, drop off rubbish. It was considerably more expensive and really put a dent in the wallet that was very hard to tolerate, however we needed the flexibility of knowing we could simply pull into the bowser and take on board whatever fuel load we needed as our route plan unfolded as we saw fit during our travels. We then headed west and the Punmu community was cheaper and open so in hindsight we needn't have taken on as much as we did. We were travelling solo, so the fuel dump option is a bit of a waste for us as we'd have to leave some. We would also have had to change our route plan somewhat so the extra driving may have not compensated for the fuel cost saving? Horses for course I guess and every trip is different.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!

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Follow Up By: Member - Russler - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 19:37

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 19:37
Traveling solo? What are you up to this time next year?
FollowupID: 697556

Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 23:08

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 23:08
umm not thought about that. With the Silverton gathering in Sept we may have to miss a July trip or just settle for a quick run up to Ningaloo.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: Member - Russler - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 18:58

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 18:58
Some great info here guys, thanks a lot. I can only guess that Road Warrior's mate's parents didn't smoke.

Whilst they are practical, we're averse to carrying fuel in jerries, but it looks like we will carry one for backup (although it'll get emptied at the first opportunity, then the empty can ride on the roof rack). We'll be upgrading the sub to a long range tank, which should give us around 175 litres in the tanks, regardless of whether we refuel at Kunawarritji or the Capricorn fuel dump.

On long range tanks, who would you recommend around Melbourne?
AnswerID: 426865

Follow Up By: Flynnie - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 19:27

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 19:27
Long range tanks can introduce problems of their own particularly when subject to heavy pounding from corrugations. They can crack and leak fuel. From what I can work out some flex is needed in the mounting. If too rigid they can crack. Came across one case of this in recent travels.

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Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 22:52

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 22:52

Did Willuna/Halls Creek 4 weeks ago.
141L in the tanks and 150L on the roof in plastic jerries.
Took on 97L at Kunawarritji @ $3.20/L.
Used 230L average approx 15L/100KM
AnswerID: 426908

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