Gibb River Road and Cape Leveque in a Tiguan

Has anyone here ever taken a Tiguan over the Gibb River Road or up to Cape Leveque? Do people think a Tiguan would handle the journey?

I am planning on heading up there towards late July, early August. I would not intend on doing any "difficult" side roads and would mainly just be sticking to the GRR itself and main road to Cape Leveque. I do have a set of MaxTrax to get out of minor bogs. More than happy to lower tyre pressures and take it slowly.

I have the 103TDI, DSG, without Off-Road Assistance. Currently wearing the factory fitted Desert Duellers on about 25000km.

What do people think?
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Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 11:38

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 11:38
I took a mk2 cortina over the gibb river road back in 1971, 23 holes in the fuel tank later[no sense except adventure], I got to Kununurra, and heading for Darwin, I can't see any reason a tiguan wont make it through as there is more traffic on it now days, but drive to the conditions of the road. Cape Leveque, you should do that easily. Enjoy the drive.
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:29

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:29
If the GRR is anything near as like the road was in 2010 not a problem. The Kingswood have done it easily and without holes in the fguel tank.

Cape Leveque: Wouldn't take the Kingswood anywhere near it. The corrugations almost made a trip up there with a tour mob in a troopy just bearable.

The Tiguan. No way as standard. Even though I do not know the car and have just rushed through the specs, it is still an SUV so if the Kingswood wouldn't do it neither would the SUV.

Sorry mate. Go on a tour if you wish. Lovely spot and the colours at sunset are tops.
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:35

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:35
Sorry Broodie

my post was supposed to be a direct response to Peter not a response to your post.

I agree with you.

But I do not think that they should do any side trips. We pulled a falcon out of Tunnel Creek which had the starter motor and stuff shaken off the side of the motor by the corrugations down there. At least Peter is asking. Good thing.
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Follow Up By: Peter O17 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:18

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:18
Thanks for the tips.

It's interesting - some reports say that the Cape Leveque road has been improved significantly in recent times and is more accessible than the GRR. It's hard finding consistent info on the net!
FollowupID: 766578

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:36

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:36
If that is the case and the road has improved then you should ask the locals when you get there. The tourist people will give you the "safest" report.

You will not find a consistant answer on the net. All you can get are a lot of experienced (some more than others) opinions. We had a recent course in the 4WD club we belong to and it was interesting after the course how diverse the opinions still were. This is not a science that is why regualtory bodies err on the side, very big side, of caution.

I hope you get up there. All-be-it in your own car, a hire 4wd or even tour car. It's a long way back.
FollowupID: 766581

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 15:39

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 15:39
Hi Peter, I have just completed the GRR, and up to Cape Leveque. You should have no problems with the GRR, but on the way up to Cape Leveque I past two cars broken down and a trailer that was abandon. It is bad compared with the GRR. It has shaken my radio loose and a light bracket is broken from all the shaking around.
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Reply By: Peter O17 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:04

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:04
Just to clarify, the tyres are Dueler HP Sport, not AT, OR, or LT.
AnswerID: 491136

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 13:51
Some tips from 3 outback trips with the Forester; things go OK if

1. The vehicle track and clearance is close to proper 4bies.
2. You use Light Truck construction tyres in at least AT tread. These can be hard to source for light SUVs. Take a spare wheel with that form and a spare tyre at least. Along with compressor, noodle repair kit etc.
3. Drive conservatively and be prepared to stop and wait.
4. Take a good kit of spares. Waiting for one to be flown in is frustrating and expensive.

FollowupID: 766582

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 14:22

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 14:22
hi peter
it all comes down to common sense and each individuals personel ability and only you know what that is
i believe if you apply the above and seek advice from the real locals on the current existing conditions then you should be able to get there with out much effort providing you dont take side tracks that have been carved out by high clearance and extreme set up 4x4s as your tiguans ground clearances are a lot less
give it a go
i have been on and along a lot of tracks over the past years where i was told by others with bigger and more capable vehicles that i wouldnt be able to get through in that thing mate!
so times the owners of the more capable vehicles lose track of what the lesser ones can do and a lot of it is about the individuals personel ability as said earlier
coming from a farming background where we had to negotiate loosely ploughed soils of all types wet and dry in rear drive utes it is amazing when i think back where we managed to go and sometimes using reverse instead of forward gears
there was very few 4x4s around landrover inter scouts and austin jypsy and army jeeps
patrols and toyota hadnt been invented
just a small amount of encouragement and hope you enjoy the adventure
FollowupID: 766584

Reply By: Tim - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 14:59

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 14:59
Yeah I would be taking a lot of caution, your nearest VW dealerships are Darwin, Alice and Kal. Could be a long tow.
AnswerID: 491145

Follow Up By: Muntoo - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 13:02

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 13:02
Nearest Mazda dealer to Broome is Carnarvon and Darwin. Does that mean i shouldnt take my BT50 offroad? I dont think so.

He will be fine.

FollowupID: 766647

Follow Up By: Tim - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 13:13

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 13:13
The word was "caution", not "shouldn't".
FollowupID: 766649

Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 15:16

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 15:16
While your choice of vehicle, is not mine..... you have a capable vehicle to do the GRR & Cape Leveque.
If you drive to the conditions, have a well serviced vehicle & dont try anything your not comfortable with you shouldnt have a problem..... go & enjoy what this wonderful country has to offer.
Should you be unlucky enough to have a problem on either road there will be many other vehicles using the same roads as this is tourist season & help wont be far away.... get out & enjoy!!
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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AnswerID: 491146

Reply By: Member - nick b - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:01

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:01
Peter : I guess you can , But why would you want to shake the crap out of a ......" nice car ".....

watch out for large rocks and creek crossing...and yobbos that dont slow down showering you with rock ....

This one had some trouble !!!!! No driver to be seen , just plenty of water running from the subaru , it was facing the Pentecost river so I think it didnt make it !!!

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good luck

Cheers Nick b

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AnswerID: 491147

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:38

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:38
As someone who actually owns a Tig (ours is a 103Tdi 6 speed Auto), I'd have no qualms about the Tig being capable of doing those roads. Just a few issues I'd be wary of:

#1 tyres, you'll need to purchase a full size spare and take both that and the space saver. The full size spare will fit in the same spot - it just raises the floor by about 70mm. The more tread the better, and at 25,000k, your current tyres are over half worn. You'll need to air the tyres down a bit on those roads and drive to the conditions. Because of the Haldex system, you'll need tyres to be evenly worn (i.e. same diameter).

#2 Not sure what your plan is (?camping) but you can't put much weight in a Tig (can't put much of anything come to think of it!) - point is that if you overload the Tig, you'll have problems. And if you want to be properly equipped, you'll need water, a small compressor, probably a fridge, tyre plug kit, a few tools, a tow rope (not a snatch strap), and ideally a sat phone. If you have one of those electrical gremlins happen and the engine warning light comes on (which it can do in a Tig for lots of different reasons), you'll have to phone a dealer in the big smoke to ask for advice.

#3 I don't think you'll need the Maxtrax. If you get stuck, it will be from lack of clearance, not from lack of traction. Fuel tank is plastic and in the middle - from my recollection of where it sits, I'd prefer not to hit it with a rock. Otherwise the Tigs are pretty solid underneath.

#4 Not many Tig owners take their vehicles offroad or on corrugations - as soeone who following the Tig forums, they seem to be more interested in lowering them and fitting bling. So I doubt that you'll get many opinions from anyone who has done what you're planning in a Tig. I'd like to take our Tig bush, but my wife vetos it everytime I come up with a great suggestion, like "lets take it to the Flinders".

AnswerID: 491150

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 18:11

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 18:11
Good answer. I was going to mention the pram wheel spare. I followed a Tig on the Birdsville Track, it was towing a camper trailer and the road was in bad condition due to rain and being chopped up. The car had no trouble at all. He did have an extra full sized spare lashed onto the camper, and he was taking it nice and steady.
FollowupID: 766594

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 09:16

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 09:16
Good one Phil. I had also forgotten about the spare tyre issue.
FollowupID: 766625

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 16:33

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 16:33
Also, should have added #5 - The approach angle is woeful - too easy to scrape the front end on the Tig. European models had the option of an "offroad front bumper" which had much better clearance.
FollowupID: 766727

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 16:55

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 16:55
That shouldn't be a problem unless they want to get off the beaten track. That is providing it doesn't get shaken apart on the way. I will not deny that it would m,ake it. But in what shape now and in the future when the loose bits start causing a peroblem unseen at the moment.

Personally I would not want to damage it if it was mine and maybe hire one.

FollowupID: 766732

Reply By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:59

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 16:59

Simple answer is the vehicle will do both roads.

It is your vehicle of choice and must be nice to drive so these are my thoughts.

Don't try and stay in front or keep up with dedicated 4wd vehicles. Take it easy, pull off and stop to let them pass you. On the highway you can blow them away.

Use quality LT construction tyres and lower the pressure to give the shocks a rest.
I don't know what tyre/wheel size they take so be mindful of this as you can't get odd sizes away from major places.

Also be prepared to get stone damage to the vehicle.

You would be surprised where you can take any vehicle with patience, light hands and feet.

Enjoy your trip and don't worry about something breaking, cross that bridge if you come to it.

AnswerID: 491151

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 19:06

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 19:06
Gday Rockape,
Just to expand a little on your good comments, the standard size tyre on the Tig is a 215/65R16 which is used by other small SUVs like the Xtrail, but unlikely to be commonly available out bush. To fit the wrong size tyre on one corner of a Tig will stress and overheat the Haldex all wheel drive system, so best to have the right spare. I was thinking after I posted above that a full size spare plus spare casing would be better than wasting weight and space with the space saver.

Not a lot available in LT tyres - closest option is to go for the Bridgestone D697 or D693 in the standard size. But an upsize to 215/70R16 will make stronger tyres available. Tyres in the lower profile 17" or 18" wheels used on Tigs are not worth considering.

If it were me, I'd be fitting new D697 tyres before the trip, using two of the used casings as spares. That way you'd get the extra protection of full tread and a good Bridgestone casing, and have a good holiday.

FollowupID: 766597

Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 20:52

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 20:52
you have just given the OP some very good info. I hope he takes it in.

FollowupID: 766605

Follow Up By: Peter O17 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:13

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:13
Thanks for the tips!
FollowupID: 766612

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 07:52

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 07:52
Yeah, on our last trip we ran Dueller 697 ATs and found them a very good investment. Ours are 215/65/16 which is the same size as a std Falcon tyre but small for a 4WD tyre. And also marginally bigger than is legal for the Forester but it's the only LT unit available for it.
FollowupID: 766617

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 18:30

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 18:30
Looking at the specs online, you'll have 195mm clearance. Presume that's unloaded. That's a smidge under a Prado and the like and may cause probs if you have to drive in dried ruts.

You _will_ need a good sump guard. If the std one is like a piece of limp cardboard like many SUVs see if you can source a decent alloy aftermarket unit.

Your track is about 1560mm. Check this against a Prado and the like.

I've not been in that part of the country but if you anticipate long stretches of corrugations I hope the VW build is up to it. Your fillings may not be ;-)

If your Duellers are down to half depth of tread or below, replace them.
AnswerID: 491158

Follow Up By: Peter O17 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:15

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:15
Thanks for the advice.
FollowupID: 766613

Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 22:15

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 22:15
We saw a Tiguan at Cale Leveque in August last year, and also in Palm Valley in march last year.
Take it ease and you will be fine. An extra spare would not hurt,
Most forum members are Nissan, Toyota owners, so to them there is no other vehicle capable in the outback, which of course is a load of rot. If you have travelled the bush as long as I have all brands will break down, if not treated with respect.
AnswerID: 491173

Follow Up By: Peter O17 - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:16

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 23:16
FollowupID: 766614

Reply By: Muntoo - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:59

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:59
Gibb Road not a problem.

Cape Leveque not a problem.

Locals do them both in Falcons etc.

Keep speed down, drop tyre pressures a tad and you will be fine.

I have just done both, and the Cape Leveque road is in normal condition, which is pretty rough for some. But nothing your vehicle cant handle.

I suggest you get some LT tyres though, as the Gibb can throw some decent punctures at passenger tyres. On the Gibb we seen 2x Jeep SUV looking things towing massive vans. They did it no worries and they had no idea at all about anything. Both vans and cars were indentical right down to the steering wheel covers and air freshners.

Its only 100kms of dirt on the Cape road, take it easy and allow 1.5 hours , have a rest, take your time. No problems at all mate.

Im a local too, so your not getting an opinion about the one time i went to the Kimberley 10 years ago.

Enjoy it mate. You wont have a problem.
AnswerID: 491195

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 16:15

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 16:15
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Chit Chat Rule .

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