Caravan to Birdsville

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 at 08:15
ThreadID: 88492 Views:2339 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,
There has been a lot of activity on OE re the Outback, Birdsville etc ATM - just wondering what people thought of the idea of taking a small caravan (Coromal 3.9m) up there in October?
It has good clearance and is a pop top - the review we read on it before we bought it said that it handled the rough stuff ok - ("The Compac has been put through its paces on the Canning Stock Route, the Gibb River Road out of Derby, and even the army testing ground in South Australia,” he said.")
Having said that though - what are people's experiences with vans up that way, knowing how the land lies, better than I do?
Regards, Smokey.

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Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 at 08:35

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 at 08:35
The Birdsville, Oodnadatta and Strzelecki tracks would all be fine. They are good roads providing the weather is good but quickly become impassable if it turns bad. There is always danger of stone damage on all of them and can affect your tyres and windows. Towing a van can get your rear window smashed from rocks thrown up by your own wheels, hitting the van and then your rear window. There are quite a few references on here about ways of avoiding this. Tyre pressures are also very important. Most experienced people would lower to mid 20's on those least that is what a panphlet at the Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse recommends and he has fixed more tyres than most in those conditions.

No way would I venture out into the Simpson with it. Cheers Mike
AnswerID: 462711

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 06:42

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 06:42
Good answer Mike!



FollowupID: 736577

Reply By: arofs1 - Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 14:32

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 14:32
Hi SmokeyD, We towed out Jayco Freedom 14ft poptop to Birdsville in 2005 from Bribie Island via Windorah.

Practically all of the advice I received was negative, but we did it and with minimal damage. It is all about making good preparations and driving to the conditions.

Be warned that if you don't prepare your van well and drive faster than prudent, you will certainly have a damage bill in the thousands, caused by gibbers which are for most of the dirt section, which from memory is nearly 300km.

My suggestion is a very large stone shield in the front of the van and it has to go lower than the Aframe, otherwise the stones will come up under it and bash sh.. out of your bottom front corners.

Sit down in front of your van and look underneath and if you can see anything that might be damaged by stones then it certainly will be. I had water tank covers and protection in front of any exposed plumbing.

We are going again this year, but this time we are taking our camper trailer that we took to the Cape last year, as it is less likely to be damaged. I might also add that I have also done extra protection on it especially for the gibbers.

Have a great trip!! Brian DJ

AnswerID: 462790

Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 19:51

Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 19:51
Take it easy and you'll be fine. I did it with my grandparents in 1978 in a 1970 Kingswood station wagon towing a 16 foot Viscount. Only trouble we had was a broken spring just outside Betoota. No trouble, we cut a bit of mulga from a creek bed to jack the chassis off the tyre and some wire given to us by Sigmund at Betoota and away we went!
FollowupID: 736708

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