Is my vehicle suitable for Cape York trip?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012 at 23:27
ThreadID: 96228 Views:3170 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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My young family and I are planning a trip to Cape York for mid May next year. I plan on taking my 2002 Hilux 4x4. Other than being lifted and having b/b, t/b, snorkel and driving lights it's all standard.

My main concern is fuel consumption - factory tank, 3lt efi (non-turbo); especially as I plan on towing a camper trailer.

Is it worth investigating long range tank, after market turbo, power chip, etc or be ok as is?

We haven't tackled a big trip before, so have started the planning early!
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Reply By: disco driver - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 00:22

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 00:22
As long as you are prepared to drive to the conditions and the Hilux is in good nick, the only thing I would consider is either a long range tank or an extra tank plumbed into the fuel system and a set of new tryes of your preference.
Personally I would fit an extra tank as insurance against holing one and loosing all fuel. It's not all that likely for that to happen but it can.

AnswerID: 488327

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 06:32

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 06:32
Hi trentm,

I reckon your vehicle would good. There is plenty of fuel on The Cape and it's not overly expensive.

As Disco said, make sure your tyres are in good nick before you go and change your pressures according to the conditions when you're away.

Take at least basic recovery gear with you and make sure you have good strong recovery points on your vehicle in case you need them.

If you stick to the main road, instead of the Old Tele Track, you could almost do that in a Commodore when it's graded, but there's many interesting side tracks.

It's a great part of the world and you'll have a really good time, I'm sure.

Hoo roo,
AnswerID: 488336

Reply By: Member - Josh- Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 07:19

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 07:19
All depends on when you plan on going and the road conditions. Cape york is not that remote and rugged anymore. When we were up there a lass in a holden crewman ute was camped near us at Pundsand Bay. There are plenty of ordinary cars up there. If you drive to the conditions and allow plenty of time. Remember in the early days before the roads were graded they did this trip is old model T fords and the like. We are so soft now aren't we.
You don't say how far you get on a tank of fuel but I don't think you need a longrange tank. Just keep the tank topped up when fuel is availble or carry a jerry or 2 as insurance. Unless your planning on using a longrange tank for future trips then it's just fuel money being spent.
The main road up is pretty well maintained in the tourist season. June/July is usually the best time but I would reccomend to get up there before the school holidays if possible as it gets pretty rough with the holiday traffic doing a million miles in 2 weeks.
If your doing the OTL then maybe a winch would be better unless you have others travelling with you.
Drive to the conditions and you'll have a ball.

AnswerID: 488338

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 08:27

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 08:27
Hi Trentm, I was their 2 years ago in a 20 year old triton twincab. only put new tyres on it. There is plenty of fuel up their, but would take a jerry just incase of a hole in the tank. I was their in mid September and the rat race had slowed down with plenty of room to camp. Have a great time up their.
AnswerID: 488343

Reply By: Member - Greg H (NT) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 12:09

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 12:09
Trentm. I have a 2003 TD Hilux and tow a camper trailer. I thought about the long range tank option but decided to go for jerry cans. 3 in the tub with 2 on the trailer. In round figures this gives 160l of fuel. This has served me well for the last 3 years and gives you a excuse to stop, have a break, stretch the legs, have something to eat and put a jerry in. Your Hilux will handle it but it is always nice to have a little bit more power. If you go turbo,get a pro to do the work.
Cheers Greg
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AnswerID: 488364

Reply By: Trentm - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:04

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:04
Thanks everyone, I think the mind's at ease know with the fuel. However still not sure about beefing things up with turbo/chip?? Is this worth it or are the benefits outweighed by the costs on an older vehicle?
AnswerID: 488375

Follow Up By: GT Campers - Friday, Jun 15, 2012 at 13:14

Friday, Jun 15, 2012 at 13:14
Get the engine serviced etc but don't change its specification. Also (and I am prepared to be corrected on this!!) May might be quite early for a tropical trek; road conditions might be quite savage, especially if you are a first -timer, towing, and with a young family. Maybe you could aslso plan/consider another destination that will be just as much fun but with less chance of weather or experience related Disaster with a capital D! Then choose next year depending on conditions
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 17:15

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 17:15
Because you are towing a trailer, you should have some room in the ute back, why not just use plastic jerry cans, save all the grief of aftermarket tanks!! Michael

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Reply By: Kimba10 - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 22:50

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 22:50
I had the 2.8D non turbo (not much less power then the 3Litre) it did 3 trips round oz with out turbo and no big tank, just as mentioned above 3 jerrys across the back of it (inside canopy). Unless power bothers you I wouldnt be spending $$ just to do one trip, extra oil cooling lines and with some extra water hoses as well to worry about and for minimal extra power and taking away the reliability. I looked into geting myn turbo'd and after asking on here and reading here and there on other forums etc I decided against spending approx 4g for a bit of extra power, would rather buy factory 1kz if that was the case at the time. I had ARB steel bar, OME lift, snorkel and canopy that was it and never ever missed a beat. Towing the camper did annoy me at times pulling up hills but then just had to remind myself Im not in any screaming hurry so sit back and enjoy. While I since updated up to a prado this was mainly due to comfort, some thing the wife would drive when ever not just when I was in the car and a now 4 year old so wanted extra safety which my 89 model definately didnt come with BUT miss it big time for the harder off road stuff and been able to just throw crap in the back and not worry about getting carpet dirty and scratching plastic trims..........
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