Caravanning the Tanami

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 04:10
ThreadID: 124945 Views:4293 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Am just planning my last leg of our tour around oz. We are thinking of crossing the Tanami in a few weeks on around the 20th of August from Alice. Will I make it in my 92 80's series cruiser towing a 12ft 92 model roadstar conventional caravan? Does anyone want to convoy with us on this trip? How bad are the corigations along this road? If anyone could help with this it would be great. Regards Dan
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Reply By: Willie - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 05:24

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 05:24
Dan ,

I came down three weeks ago in a 16' BT and busted the springs on one side and one set of brakes . Corrugations very bad and over a long distance . I had 25 lb in the tyres
.
Before I left Halls Creek I talked to two camper trailer owners and they had both broken springs .

Motherhen is coming down there very soon in a BT, so you may well get an update then .However , I do not think it will not improve until after the next rains - after which they will grade it .

If I do it again , it will be with empty water tanks to cut the weight .

Cheers ,

Willie
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 06:23

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 06:23
I will let you know how we survive - when we eventually get away! After Willie's report, i started on a new plan, but eventually decided to risk it. We have been stalled for 5 weeks in Kununurra, with another to go if all goes well, before we can leave.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 18:43

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008 at 18:43
Mrs Hen ,
Have you been letting the Old Rooster off to go fishing ?
Willie
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 at 06:21

Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 at 06:21
Hi Willie

He caught a huge Mulloway at the Pentecost River and was elated. Almost as big as the Dhufish i caught at Kalumburu (well we caught - because he had to pull it in for me)

Mh
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008 at 14:38

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008 at 14:38
Go for it Dan...be a devil not a man.......ooops....sorry and apologies to Frankie lane.

Plenty of vans do it....even Kedrons hohohohoh

Ern
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Reply By: Dan Wyer - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008 at 18:40

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008 at 18:40
Thanks for your replys. I think I'll access the situation when I get down to Alice. Could be a solid challenge though. Although after a very costly replacement engine already on this around Australia trip (due to a new timing belt throwing off while on Moreton island!..Kid you not!) The extra pain of broked spring and axles may be a bit too much....We'll see.
Thanks again! Dan
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 at 06:30

Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 at 06:30
Dan, A brand new caravan (so called off roader of a lesser breed) was brought in from the Tanami a few days ago - needs full new suspension. Tyres were at 40 psi. Let them all down to 25 and go slow. Check everything that can come undone or break frequently. I don't know how tough conventional Roadstars are, but i as it has been reported (by Willie and others) that the Tanami is really bad now, i wouldn't tackle it without a real off-roader.

If you are thinking of it as a short cut to save time - i would stick to the bitumen.

If we ever get our electrics sorted out (flow on effect from the replacement of the dodgy solar panels) we plan to leave Kununurra tomorrow and take a few days on the back roads before starting the Tanami - very slowly! We may see you on the road (as per rig pic). Call us on channel 40.

Mh
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Aug 17, 2008 at 07:19

Sunday, Aug 17, 2008 at 07:19
Hi Dan

We are now in Alice Spring, minus a couple of water tanks which were coming loose on the last leg of the Tanami. I would not tackle the Tanami with your type of van.

Basically, there is a single lane of bitumen to Tilmouth Roadhouse - but you have to get off each time a car approachs or wants to pass. After that it is rather corrugated to Yuendumu. Basically an average dirt road to Tanami mine (corrugations bad only in patches), then corrugated patches to Coyote mine (25 km WA side of state border - where they have maintained the road between their camps and mines for a few kms). Then it is a HORROR stretch to Balgoo turnoff. It hasn't been graded in decades, and apart from being badly corrugated, there are ruts across it from wash when it has rained some time in the road's history. Average dirt road again for a while (although the road into Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater if you want to see that is fairly corrugated). Then much of the way towards Hall's Creek, the road is being re-aligned, and the old road used as a detour is serviceable.

We stopped and checked everything during the day, and tightened screws each day. We had dust come in like we had never seen before, and we usually travel on dirt roads.

Take the long way round - it will be quicker, and save you on possible (probable?) costly repairs, and time off from travelling to get repairs done. Getting spare parts in the NW is a battle - people in Perth do not understand what urgent air freight means.

Motherhen

Enjoy your travels - stick to the bitumen
Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Dan Wyer - Sunday, Aug 17, 2008 at 22:38

Sunday, Aug 17, 2008 at 22:38
Thanks A heap for that one!

Well I think I will be sticking to the main roads! I thought as much..

Camped out in Yulara at the moment after a 5 day haul from the Daintree.

We will then head to kings Canyon and north via Darwin...!(Now!)

Say G'day if you see us on the road. Silver 80's series with 10ft roadstar van with postie bike on the back..

Cheers, Dan
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Follow Up By: Turist - Monday, Aug 18, 2008 at 00:48

Monday, Aug 18, 2008 at 00:48
Mind the Mereenie Loop, it's a bit cranky at the moment, especially at the Hermansburg end.

Bob
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Aug 18, 2008 at 07:07

Monday, Aug 18, 2008 at 07:07
HI Dan

We will be here for a few days, getting everything in good order as well as going to the Desert Park and Reptile Park. Then we plan to go to the East MacDonnells for a few days, then the West. What is the park like at Yulara? Hugely expensive? Have a beaut trip.

Hi Bob

We are thinking of giving the Mereenie Loop a miss, and go back to Alice and out again, rather than tackle any more nasty roads. The Great Central on the way home will be bad enough.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Dan Wyer - Friday, Aug 22, 2008 at 17:28

Friday, Aug 22, 2008 at 17:28
Bit of a rip. $18 per person / night powered. About 15 un powered.

There is a free overnight stop about 30km out before yulara but I wouldn't leave the van there..

Good luck..

Thanks

Dan
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Friday, Aug 22, 2008 at 18:29

Friday, Aug 22, 2008 at 18:29
Historical comparison here!
We camped there in July 1995 @ $9 per person for unpowered site on lawn - were there three nights, with 2 adults and son = so 3 x 3 x $9 = $81 for the stay - we made sure we used the camp kitchen for all hot water, cooked on their gas stoves and used the camp kitchen fridges. So charge has doubled in 13 years!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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