BT travel speed in convoy with camper-trailers

Submitted: Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 18:30
ThreadID: 125238 Views:3268 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Good morning oh wise ones....

Our first big trip as part of a group of other couples (old friends) with their camper trailers (10 of us in total) will be to the Kimberleys for 6 weeks (from Bne) next June/July.
We'll have the only full size van, so I think we'll stay down the back of the convoy.
I'm trying to get a feel for how much slower we might end up being than the others. Our 20 ft BT seems quite comfortable staying on the legal speed limit on good roads, but on rough roads and esp on corrugations I'm expecting us to be fairly slow, probably slower than the campers.
Has anyone been in this situation?
Any advice or comments?
Any ideas on roughly how much slower (kph) we might end up averaging compared to camper trailers?
I resent the thought that they'll have finished their first beer or wine each night by the time we arrive (but then again, it takes them 30 to 40 minutes to set up camp??)
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Reply By: Motley - Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 19:00

Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 19:00

We have completed two trips travelling with friends with either camper trailers or just tents. Both were long trips, 3 months to WA and 3 months to the Gulf and NT). Both involved dirt road travel and bitumen. We decided, like you, to be tail end Charlie and not hold the others up. We were continually amazed at how little difference there was in our overall travelling speeds (and we sat between 90 and 100 km/hr).

I cannot remember a time when we were out of UHF radio range with the lead vehicle. So that's a spread of about 5 km over the whole convoy.

If they pulled into a town, we were a few of minutes at worst, behind them.

In northern QLD, it proved to be a benefit to us to be at the back. The lead driver would radio that a road train was coming and we had time to find a place to pull over.

We had talked to the other travellers about us not holding them up and we'd catch up. As it turned out, it was never a problem.

Life's too short to drink bad wine.

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Reply By: F Troop - Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 19:16

Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 19:16
Hi Rick,
When you hit the dirt drop your tyre presure down on the van to 30 psi hot or if cold 25psi then drive to the road conditions. there is no set rule each track is unique, a track you drive in on easy may change in a week to a shocker, you tell the next bloke bad track mate he goes down in a month and its a hwy.
Drive to your comfort leavel and ability to control the rig with a little more margin for a supprise.
I have traveled in convoy on dirt at 100kph and down to 10kph.
Do not try to extend your comfort zone to keep up with someone elce (recipe for disaster) again don't slow down for them if slower than you, drive your own road your way and meet for lunch etc.
You may get a nice supprise after a few days driving and getting settled with how the rig travels.
One tip adjust side mirrors down to see your wheels on the van makes it easy when rock crawling.

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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 21:07

Monday, Dec 08, 2008 at 21:07
Never travelled on convoys other than when running leadership courses in the bush. Then the rule was "keep up with the person behind you"

I would ever - ever only drive to my comfort zone and I have been in the bush all my life. Drop your tyre pressures as suggest above and drop your speed on the corrugations. In your situation I would hang right back - well out of their dust.

Take the van up to Mitchell Plateau - great up there last May.


John and Jean
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 09:54

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 09:54
Hi Rick and Julie

We travel solo, but are amazed when we see convoys or caravans or campers travelling almost touching, all but the leader shrouded in clouds of dust. Spread out - if you lose two way contact it will only be until you cross the next hill. Keen photographers will want to stop regularly, while others will want to keep going. Set the next meeting point and all go at your own pace, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

So long as your friends aren't like so many of the people we came across on the Gibb River Road with camper trailers (driving like a bat out of hell - or on a fast track to hell) you shouldn't end up too far behind. Optimum speed all depends on road conditions, which can vary greatly over a few days on the busy GRR.

I find it stressful driving and watching to maintain a set distance between vehicles, which we need to do when moving farm machinery (i am usually leader). Here the two ways are essential and we even use small hand helds successfully in vehicles without a working built set. When spread over a few kilometres were are all still in touch. You will be on holiday - take it easy, even if you miss the first round of drinks! Your sightseeing, relaxation and your rig are worth more than that.



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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 19:08

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 19:08
With you there MH -
Cb is good (as mentioned) for a good few k's, spacing of vehicles and of course the dust settles and animals are more easily spotted. Plus legally we are supposed to keep 60m apart, but see heaps of caterpillar convoys as we travel.

Have done some convoy travel in the past and we just set off when we are ready, (is't it good to stir up the "trained trip leaders" who are doing Sergeant Major impressions trying to gather the troops - maybe they are all Alpha whatevers - and we just doodle along at our relaxed pace coz we are on HOLIDAYS)
We see what we want to see and catch up at night to compare notes. We have ALWAYS been the envy of the camp fire discussion each night as we divulge our days treasures with some folks getting huffy with their other half for not looking at this or that along the way!
Now come to think of it - maybe that is why we seem to be 'loners' these days!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 20:54

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 at 20:54
Loners is good :-) We too are predominately solo travellers

Travel at own pace, stop when you want, change mind at any time, stay longer, stay shorter.

We have a chuckle when the convoys go past, there was a time when 6 x 4WD's & camper trailers went by, we had been listening to them for a while with their banter of Copy 1, Copy 2, Copy 3 etc ..... i couldn't resist it to throw in a Copy 7 .... and then there was silence ...... you could imagine them scratching their heads thinking 7 ?? LOL
Mick & Vickie

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