How Experienced are our Outback Travellers.

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 09:06
ThreadID: 135384 Views:1804 Replies:18 FollowUps:29
Good Morning All

Just a question for those that continually ask questions on the forum about.....what are the conditions like for such and such road that we plan to travel on.....

Any person that travels regularly out off of the bitumen will be aware that any dirt road will change due to many contributing factors including use and weather conditions.


Any experienced traveller will be aware of these changes and will usually drive to the conditions and get from A to B in their usual fashion.

A couple of roads that we have heard various repots from fellow travellers during the last week or so have been the Tanami and Duncan Roads.

At Tilmouth Well, 2 Caravans came in and we chatted as you do. They both said how relieved they were to be back on the blacktop and to leave the worst and most shocking road behind and referred to it as "Bloody Horrendous"....the Tanami Road that is.

Leaving Tilmouth Well we were waiting for their horror road to take effect, but kilometre after kilometre for us was no big deal and we found it very safe and comfortable to sit between 80 - 90 kph.

It was the same as the Duncan Road, with far less traffic. we only came across 1 vehicle after the Wave Hill turnoff, and again the driver was towing a caravan. It was the same scenario, the road ahead of of was just shocking and wished us all the best and hope we get through OK.

If you are one of these type of drivers that have a great dislike to dirt roads, my question to you is this....

What speeds are you travelling at?

What tyres pressures are you running?

Why venture away from the bitumen if you can not drive to the current conditions?

How is your vehicle set up for dirt road driving?

It seems like that regardless where you drive around Australia, you can ask 10 drivers what they think of any Outback road and you will get 10 very different replies.

So come on guys, if you are one of these drivers that is going to complain about dust and corrugations, stick to the bitumen and stop complaining.

That is my rant for the day.



Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

Back Reply Expand Un-Read 17 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Len & Rhoda - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:13

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:13
Well said, as the old saying goes, believe half of what you hear and even less of what you read. It is all down to personal perception, that's why I always try and say that in my opinion this is how I saw it.
AnswerID: 612998

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:09

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:09
Hi Len

You are spot on ans well said.


Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883364

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:44

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:44
An interesting topic Stephen, and one that will probably get a lot of various opinions, especially on tyre pressures.
So many say they run road pressures at all times, and have no issues, which may be correct in their cases.

This may certainly be the case when using (what I feel) is the number one rule . . .
Drive to conditions.
This is in relation to road condition, weather, other traffic on the road, and probably a few more factors you could name.

Myself, in answer to your questions . . .

What speeds are you travelling at?
Whatever works best in relation to all conditions.
For example you almost always have to find the sweet spot speed for corrugations.

What tyres pressures are you running?
Usually I run fairly high bitumen pressures, with the AT LT tyres about 4psi over placard (40psi), better econ on long trips, and not too much difference with comfort or handlng.
Dirt I usually drop to around 32psi if just good gravel, 28psi or so if corros / stones, but again this is going to vary a lot with heavier rigs etc, it suits my vehicle, usual loads, and touring.

Why venture away from the bitumen if you can not drive to the current conditions?
Correct, obviously a statement.

How is your vehicle set up for dirt road driving?
HD suspension for constant load, AT LT tyres so I can lower pressures a little to make ride slightly more comfy, and protect tyres from sharp rocks on such roads.
I also have the Rancho RS9000 shocks which can be set from 1 (very soft) to 9, and this helps so much with corros.
All heavy stuff like extra fuel and water tanks are up from of tub n front of rear axle to maintain handling, and I manage to keep well below std GVM for even the biggest of trips with 200 or so lt of fuel and 80lt of water.

Enjoy your travels over there.
AnswerID: 613001

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:13

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:13
Hi Les

Once again you are on the money, cheers.

I personally believe that tyre pressures play a very big roll in a comfortable drive.



Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883365

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:30

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:30
Cheers Stephen, yes being open to seeing what others do, and trying them out is a great way to learn what works, and what isn't as good as you hear.

Oh, and another item in the 'set up for dirt road driving' I forgot about is my TPMS, a Digoptions Masten 8 sensor model with 4 on the vehicle, 1 for each spare, and a couple of spare sensors for when I do get a camper one day.

These systems are awesome, you can save a lot of $ not wrecking tyres, being able to see issues fast and plug before damage is done.

I only just got it before Geos NT Simpson trip in June, and it saved a lot of mucking about when I got some minor stakes in the 2 front tyres at various times.
Easy to pick up from about 2 psi difference and note pressures heading down slowly, monitor it and reinflate when needed, or plug when convenient.
These stakings were so small (and wouldn't you know it, on the inside wall !!), I had to take wheels off, dig a hole and plastic line, half fill with water, to find the leaks !!
To be honest, I'd rather have a 1/2" dia spinifex root sticking out the outer wall visible than find those obscure ones.
1
FollowupID: 883373

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:55

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 10:55
Have found similar comments on this forum, Stephen, and talking to the occasional traveller about road conditions.

Met a party on the French Line back in June, on my way to meet up with with Les, Joe & others, at Mt Dare. When I asked about the condition of the Bloods Ck road, "they were the worst corrugations he'd seen it years". Thought maybe I'd take the short cut to Mt Dare(not recommended!) due to his comments, but I didn't and the corrugations weren't too bad after all.

Similar comments are rife about "speeding" too. Got abused, on UHF but the abuser wasn't on Ch 10, east of Dalhousie 'cause I was doing between 40-50 kph! Should have given him "the finger".

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 613002

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:17

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:17
Hi Bob

Knowing you have lived in the bush all your life, I bet you can tell countless stories on this topic and you have seen it all.

I bet you have had many a chuckle to yourself on some things you have also heard.


Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883366

Reply By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 11:35

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 11:35
I suppose it all comes down to experience. I am a novice compared to Stephen and many others here but I was fortunate ( maybe) to encounter just about the worst right at the start of my Outback travels with a trip along parts of the Canning Stock Route a decade or so ago.

That prepares you for just about anything.

I travelled some popular tourist roads in the Pilbara in June and met a few people complaining about corrugations and dust. To me the roads were OK, a bit bumpy in places, that is all.

When you see someone dusting the outside windows of his caravan in Port Hedland you have to wonder.

Cheers

AnswerID: 613003

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:21

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:21
Hi Rocco

You say you are a novice, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things and have listened to other people's sound advise.


The ones that complain are the novice in my books.


Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883367

Reply By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:01

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:01
G'day Stephen, we traveled back from WA, and followed the hema, which took us along a small dirt road between the west and east entrance to Fowlers Bay, went past an old school building, and joined onto the west entry road, a few kilometres out of Fowlers Bay, was an interesting drive in.
After 4 nights stay, we had been told how shocking the east road out was, and in turn we had said how decent the road we came in on was, and others towing vans had decided to go out the way we came in. Leaving early in the morning, we decided to air up the night before, and just take it easy on the way out, to our surprise, the east road out was brilliant... thought to ourselves, if anyone took the road we came in on, would be in for a shock! Just goes to show how different everyone's opinion can be.. we were towing a cub camp trailer at the time.. to us the east road out was so great, even at highway pressure.... totally agree with what your saying.. everybody's cuppa tea ain't the same... guess some like to make a big deal over minor things... cheers Owen
Some people want it to happen, some people wish it could happen, others make it happen!

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 613004

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:32

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:32
Hi Odog

Once again, well said.

As you and many of us know, you will always get a different road report for every driver.

A very good example was when we went out to Sawpit Gorge, south of Halls Creek. As we were still running lower tyre pressures from the Tanami, we were sitting where we count around 70 kph.

Then rounding a corner we came to a large dust plume that had us sitting back and down to 20kph, and then the car in front was still not getting any further in front.

It seemed to take for ever to get out to the gorge at that speed and when we arrived, the driver in front said how bad the road was and how did I find it. I said it was fine and he looked at me in a very strange way.

He then went up some people camping there and came up to me and asked what tyre pressures I was running. The people camping there said he should drop to 30 psi and when I said I was running 28psi, he then said purhaps he should drop his tyres down from 40psi...but again he was all talk and drove off again very slow without dropping any air from his tyres.



Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883369

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:52

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:52
Perhaps 'cutting your teeth' on driving such as SA dunes of the border track, and beaches of the SE Limestone Coast is a good way to start 4WDn / touring.

You virtually HAVE to drop pressures or you'll go nowhere fast, so you learn there is nothing wrong with going to pressures that work without damage.
Again, driving to conditions and in this case tyre pressures.

One day that bloke running 40 on Tanami might just drop 10psi and realise just how much nicer travelling such roads can be.
1
FollowupID: 883370

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:37

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:37
The Duncan Rd was a beautiful drive last
When i drove it cheers mecpete
mechpete ,, retired mechanic Shepparton ,

Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 613005

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:27

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:27
Hi Fig

Yes we started at the Halls Creek end and went up to Kununurra that way.
It was a great drive and in the upper northern end, just inside the Western Australian Border, they are doing massive road works. The finished dirts sections were like driving on concrete, so I wonder with the dollars that they have sent doing it, they might even seal it.

We did feel sorry for this little fellow on one of the creek crossing converts.


Cheers


Stephen

Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883383

Reply By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:29

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:29
I don't often ask about road conditions because opinions of the same road conditions vary so greatly. I simply drive to conditions. Recently we were travelling the Alpha to Tambo road in light rain and my wife was driving at a steady and comfortable 60-70. We had aired down as we were expecting corrugations. Some way along two caravans passed in the opposite direction doing no more that 40kph. As a bored passenger, and not hearing anything on CB from them I scanned to hear the last of their discussion about us to the effect we had no idea of the horrendous conditions ahead of us, I did not respond, but it turned out that the road ahead was as good (or bad) as that we had already travelled, comfortable for us but obviously seriously bad for them.
AnswerID: 613007

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:43

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:43
I wonder just how much difference towing makes to these scenarios, so many comments here have been example with caravans.
I've only ever towed trailers etc in the 'burbs, resisting towing on 4wd trips etc thus far, until the day a hard floor or offload cara comes into the picture :)

Surely the extra towball weight, dynamics of pulling over (or rather 'through') coros, etc, MUST have an effect on handling.
Of course from what I've gleaned from other peoples experiences, you should also / can deflate the towed vehicles tyres similarly for gravel / stone roads, soft sand and corros.
1
FollowupID: 883371

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:35

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:35
Well said Mike and you know what it is all about.

Hi Les again

On the towing of trailer and vans, I use the 2psi lower than what the tow vehicle is using.


Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883384

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 10:00

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 10:00
Since the trailer is dead weight it's normal to drop its pressures as well and like Stephen I go lower than the tug but it's important to calculate the weight on each axle in setting them as it can often be higher than the tug's.

You can expect a whole lot more weight at the very rear of the vehicle - hundreds of kilos in some cases. That's one reason to be wary of buying a ute as a tug as that weight can be well rear of the rear axle.

Some folk opt for stiffer springs at the rear but that just turns the axles into pivots lifting the front end. And you can feel in your bones what light steering will do when you're starting to slide on a corrugated bend!
1
FollowupID: 883400

Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:47

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 13:47
I find a hell of a lot depends on the car and how it is set up. I've grabbed a lift in plenty of cars and thought how bad they were even on good roads so any bad road would be a real horror. If people want to ride around in cars setup like that then that is their choice, same as tyre pressure preference. I always run as low as I can get away with even on tar and I haven't had any tyre trouble to speak of in 45 years at over 100k a year. The only thing I have noticed is that some tyres wear out quicker than others.
The only question I usually ask about a road is if it is open or closed. There's not much wiggle room on the answer to that.
AnswerID: 613008

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 17:52

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 17:52
Wiggle room ? In most places IF you know the actual road and drive it on a very regular basis there is wiggle room , not often a 'local' gets in trouble ,up to date information is the key , not the 3 day old report that seems to be the norm on yes even Govt web sights ....
1
FollowupID: 883376

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:42

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:42
Hi Michael and Alloy c/t

Well said and another member that know how to drive to the conditions.

The strange part so far, is that we have not heard from people from the other side...those that complain....lol



Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883385

Reply By: Gronk - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 14:17

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 14:17
Type of vehicle can mean the difference between "having" to lower pressures or not.
I have ridden in a Patrol running 45psi on a dirt road and it felt like a billycart, but the same road in a 200 series running 40psi felt like a limo !!

Towing can make a huge difference as well, from the increased towball weight to just not wanting to smash the front end of the van with rocks. If it's a rocky type road ( isn't that all outback roads ? ) I'll set the cruise for 70 k/ph and sit back and enjoy the scenery.
AnswerID: 613009

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:47

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:47
Hi Gronk

Yes vehicle type can make a massive difference.

As I call it...our old girl (the Prado that is) is 11 years old and for us, has spent nearly all its time on dirt.

All car manufacturers come a long way and I bet a new Prado would do it even better than ours.

As for the towed vehicle being smashed, I use the fantastic Stone Stomper and that do a fantastic job of keeping our camper free from flying stones.



Cheers


Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883386

Reply By: Member - Blue M - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 15:03

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 15:03
Stephen,
I much prefer to drive on dirt roads to bitumen. Bitumen is boring.
I was born and bred in St. George Qld. There was not a lot of bitumen around when I first got my licence and I had an old EH Holden.
When I drive on a dirt road now I think back to my younger days and compare it to Bollon road, or the Dirranbandi road, or better still the road from Dirranbandi to Lightening Ridge through Hebel, often driven in the EH with just road tyres fitted. Wasn't to much letting down tyres back in the day of the hand pump, before compressors were around.
Now I have a U Beaut 4x4 with beefed up suspension and LT AT tyres and all the rest of the goodies.
I think today's dirt roads, with the vehicles we are all driving are not to bad, just some a bit rougher than others. I think the secret is knowing how to judge the road conditions and drive accordingly.
Stephen, the only time I like driving on bitumen is to get to the next dirt road.
To answer your questions,

What speeds are you travelling at?
What ever I think is safe, minus 10% due to slower reflexes and less than 20-20 vision.
I always drive with my window down so I can hear what happening outside and underneath vehicle.

What tyres pressures are you running?
Unless it is more than a couple of hundred K's, or in extreme conditions, I rarely adjust tyre pressures. I run 250 kpa in front and 350 kpa in rear.

How is your vehicle set up for dirt road driving?
Just a GVM upgrade, EFS shocks and Toyo at2 tyres. Nothing special.
I am just glad I have driven a lot of the dirt roads before they bitumen them.

Cheers





AnswerID: 613010

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:58

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:58
Hi Blue

Like you and I bet every country person right across Australia, we were brought up on dirt roads and that was where we learnt to drive.

These conditions teaches you the feel of dirt road driving, what it feels like to come into a corner too fast with loose gravel, and the general feel of country road driving.

One question to ask country kids is what age they first got behind the wheel to drive? For me it was 8 and I know that it is even younger for farm kids that drive farm machinery at a very young age.


Cheers


Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883387

Reply By: Member - Roachie - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:36

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:36
I've only ever had that scenario happen to me once.....back in about 1998.

We had one little tacker just born (now he's a sailor in the Navy!!). I wanted to go away for the weekend with the camper trailer and two other sons. We lived in Cooma and I thought a nice trip down to Bendethra would be a great place to take the 2 little blokes.

After camping the night down at the camp ground I decided to take the longer but quicker route back home. Quicker because there would be less bush tracks (back to Moruya) and then I could just "fly" down the Princes Hwy and up Brown Mountain, back to Cooma.

Well, anybody who knows me, knows that I have a bad habit of becoming geographically challenged.

I still blame it on a Parks Dept sign that must have been knocked over.....but instead of taking the quick way out, I ended up on the Merricumbene Track (a pretty tortuous track that had several drop-off and jump ups. Fortunately I had a diff locker in the Patrol and was able to crawl my way through all the obstacles.

Eventually, after about 4 hours of low range driving, I reached signs of civilisation (I had no real idea where I was going to end up at this stage) in the form a gate. As I got out to open the gate, a young couple arrived from the other direction in a 75 series Cruiser ute.

The young bloke asked me what the track was like and I told him it was challenging, but that he'd get through....he didn't have a 1200kg camper trailer on the back like I did.

I asked him how far I had to go until I came out "somewhere". He responded by telling me that although it was only about 500 meters to the Moruya to Araluen Road, he didn't think I'd make it and recommended I turn around and go back the way I'd just come!!! There was also a river crossing I'd have to attack!!

NO WAY I was going back!!!

I had two little blokes with me who were starting to get a bit sick of the roller coaster we'd been on.

So, I thanked the young bloke, gritted my teeth for the rough track ahead and set off.

Well, that 500 meters was like a 4 lane highway compared to what I'd been driving on for the last 4 hours and the river crossing was about 6" deep.

As I headed back home, I wondered how the young bloke would get on with what I'd described to him as a bit challenging!!! hahahaha

Roachie
Roachie....Don't follow me....I'm lost!

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 613012

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 18:03

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 18:03
Ahhh, the Merricumbene . A great drive, but pretty steep and now closed to trailers as are most other tracks around Bendethera - which is a beautiful camp. The only trailer access now is via Moruya.

If you ever go back there, Roachie, the Araluen Rd entry/exit is now at Dry Creek. The old one is through private property and has been closed by new owners.

Cheers



1
FollowupID: 883377

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:07

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:07
Hi Bill

Another good example of how you compared the road ahead compared to what you were told about.

It makes you wonder if indeed the other people did get through.



Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883388

Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:44

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 16:44
Hi Stephen,
I have long given up asking other drivers about road conditions because they can mislead you because of their perceptions of a road differ so much from mine.
As far as comfort goes modern cars like the LC 200 may seem to be handling conditions well but the suspension is most likely working overtime and heating up
Sometimes to breakpoint.
Regular checking of tyre and shock absorber temperatures on bad roads will tell the story.
Ross
AnswerID: 613013

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:19

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:19
Hi Ross

As you say, most times asking for condition is not worth it for the fact that every driver will drive different and will interpret driving conditions in a different manner.

The best way is to drive in a manner that you feel computable and safe at.



Cheers


Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883389

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:53

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 21:53
In many ways it's often pointless asking for road conditions on social media as the accuracy is more often wrong, not only telling you how bad a track may be but also many so called experienced travellers big noting themselves by under stating the difficulty. I find by speaking to people face to face I can better judge their experience & ask a few pointed questions to get the track detail I'm after.
As for complaining about people complaining about dirt roads "Pot calling Kettle" :-)
AnswerID: 613019

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:28

Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 at 22:28
Hi Crackles

To be honest, I have never heard anyone on this forum big note themselves or under state true driving conditions.

Those that do complain are the driver that seems be having problems, and the question that I was asking was "How Experienced are our Outback Travellers "

Cheers


Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883390

Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 03:17

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 03:17
Shocks are a wear item and I see degradation from about 30 K kms of rough road driving. I've also seen a high rate of early life failure - 25% with one brand of standard units, 100% with another.

So if my experience is at all common there's people experiencing corro with suspension no longer up to the job.

It's also the case that basic shocks have valving that doesn't cope with corro from the off. Hammering and floating are the result.

And people complain about the road.

Tyre pressure has been mentioned.

I ran 24 psi (down from 40) on the northern section of the Tanami last month. The difference even from 28 was huge in terms of comfort and traction. 80-90 kmh was no problem. The TPMS showed no overheating (but it's a cool running tyre). Fuel consumption was up however as you'd expect with increased rolling resistance.

The expectations from experience thing has also been mentioned and explains a lot. If your benchmark is bitumen any corrugation is a negative. If it's the Mitchell Plateau road the rest is silky smooth!
AnswerID: 613020

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:25

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:25
Hi Zig,
Just curious.

Are your TPMS sensors internal or external ?

Either way, what sort of temps do they normal show say avg road driving gravel and / or bitumen ?

My Masten HD sensprs are external valve type, I feel the temp part is useless as it only ever shows temps of around 20c or so, figure it's because they are external and just exposed to air cooling, not much temp reading ability with the external sensors perhaps.

They do show temp differences for wheels / tyres in the sun, usually 2 - 3 c higher sun side as you'd expect.

On shocks, my Ranchos (9000 adjustable) now have a good 120k - 130kon them.
Was thinking of replacing them again with new, but they still do a great job from setting 2 or 3 for rough stuff, to usually set on 7 or 8 on bitumen.
Half the time I don't bother changing back to bitumen setting until I get time.

Remember that time I did the Mt Dare - Chambers Pillar run, leaving Mt Dare at 1400, think it was about 2030 arrival at campground to meet you and others ?
With the torsion mount repair, Mt Dare advised run shocks really low and tyres at low 20s to take pressure of suspension.
Think I ran 2 on the shocks and 22psi all round, some places I think I went a bit hard (70 - 80 km/hr), like near Mulgrave, got that bad blowout but was up hard left / right avoiding coros, think I hit old rail spike.

Cheers,
Les
0
FollowupID: 883392

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:42

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:42
They're external Les and the retailer's advice was that the best reading would be found after a stop of 10 minutes. You can of course watch the changes in both temperature and pressure which are of course linked, which is what I do especially after starting off.

Any shock can potentially be serviced - new oil, bushes, seals and O-rings. I've been having it done on the motorbikes for years. Some 4wd shocks like the Dobinson MRRs are designed for it.

Wasn't your tread depth low at that puncture?
2
FollowupID: 883394

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:06

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:06
Yes, the pressure is a great indicator, it was quite noticable how fast they cool and drop a little, and vice versa.

I will check the shocks out properly before the next major trip, which may be mid next year.

That was about 50% Dunlop AT22, side wall though was taken out, about 3" ripped right out.
Another reason I think it was spike.
0
FollowupID: 883395

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:30

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:30
Hi Sigmund

One of the guys that complained and was going real slow with high tyre pressures was in a new Ford Ranger, so I would have thought that his shockers should have been in top conditions, but you never know.


Cheers



Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 883397

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:51

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 09:51
Stephen, you should assume that any mass produced vehicle will be built to a price, and IMO shocks is where the maker often skimps because Joe Public frankly hasn't got a clue or because Joe Public never really puts them to the test.

As you have shown here, they put a bad ride down to the road. And bad corro is hard for any suspension but especially for one with el cheapo valving or poorly chosen spring rates.

Then there's wear. That happens progressively, not with a bang, so folk don't get an obvious comparator - until they replace or rebuild that is. Meantime they adjust their driving style unconsciously and think it's just the road that's crap.
1
FollowupID: 883398

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 06:47

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 06:47
Actually Stephen, what you touch on is one of the reasons I still loiter on EO.
The track conditions and treks that have GPS tracking such as many of yours are an invaluable planning tool.

I often use the comments on track reports as a guide to what I can expect. Even with the varying opinions the database is very useful. I even use a few members such as Phil G, and yourself as benchmarks. After going on a few tracks with reports from users you can calibrate people's opinion. That's the beauty of EO verses meeting people on the road and asking for opinions.

Of course getting opinions on track conditions are just part of preparation. With appropriate adjustments such as tyre pressure, and speed to personal preference and setup, most trips should be safe and enjoyable.

Lack of time is the enemy. I have fallen into that trap a few times and had to slow down too.
Tony
200 with 2012 Tvan Canning.
Happiness >= your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be.

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 613021

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:37

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 08:37
Hi Tony

You have raised a very good point.

Those that know how to read Ozi data, like yourself can obtain a wealth of information on track and driving conditions.

Like you I study that data and that gives you an indication on how fast the driver is going, when they stop, for how long they have stopped and so on.

I will have lots of user tracks to add when we get home and will give others the opportunity to open them up and study the data.

The main reason why I started this post was purely my point of view how you will never get the same answer from 2 people on track conditions.

So as they say, keep posted for when we get home.....lol



Cheers





Stephen
Roxby Downs Special

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 883393

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017 at 07:38

Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017 at 07:38
As you say Tony, time is the enemy, or maybe the trap.

I expect we all started our outback ventures with a carefully planned itinerary, and maybe felt obliged to drive harder than expected so as to cover it.

But the outback is a good place to practise the Buddhist doctrine of non-attachment!
0
FollowupID: 883470

Reply By: Nacho - Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 16:38

Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 16:38
Who cares, it's a forum ask many dumb questions as you want.
Better still leave your computer home when travelling the outback.
AnswerID: 613071

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 20:20

Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 20:20
Who are you replying to, Nacho?

Your Reply sits in isolation with no context. If it was a Follow-up things would be a bit clearer.
0
FollowupID: 883462

Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 at 06:37

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 at 06:37
My road the Dowling Track has many different surfaces and conditions. Out of a morbid curiosity I ask our visitors what the road is like. And get many different answers too. Ranging from pretty good to horrendous. The ones who amuse me are the those who reckon the road is soo crook their caravan started to fall to pieces. It's always the roads fault. Always. It is only in the last 3 or so years that we have seen so many caravans pulling in to our place, so the travelling public has certainly changed their modus operandi in that time. Cheers Toni
Kilcowera Station Stay

Business Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 613106

Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 14:54

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 14:54
Experience?
Agree completely Stephen L - but it goes further than just judging road conditions.
Experience with vehicles generally in the first place is the major issue.
Advertising and marketing ads show softroader vehicles swooping through creeks up hills and through mud and sand.
Many vehicle buyers are hoodwinked into buying something that is really not suited to going fully offroad - let alone towing something whilst doing it!

Cant blame them! There is little for them to compare on the market these days. They were not even driving 20 - 30 years ago when 4x4s were dedicated offroad vehicles and built to last.

Too few vehicles manufactured these days are even suitable for all kinds of conditions. Hence the need to check things out before challenging a vehicle that is a poor compromise between a comfy road vehicle and a true offroader!


Just one relevant example - you mention.

What tyre pressures do they use? or better still - What tyre pressures CAN they use?

The trend towards better on road performance, aerodynamics, ground clearance, larger brake sizes and therefore rim sizes has meant that tyre wall size has changed greatly.
By running 17,18, or 19+" rims you immediately limit how low you can go with tyre pressure before the tyre loses its margins of safety.

There are so many implications.

I still run an older vehicle (by choice) with 15" rims that enables me to run 33" tyres which I can safely, comfortably and consistently run down to 12 - 15 psi (even well loaded) on rocky/corrugated/dirt/sand. (I dont tow a trailer or van). Most times I run 20 to 24 psi on the dirt maybe 30psi on bitumen.
By comparison 32" tyres needed at least 10-20% more pressure to perform correctly. (..and yes I regularly check wear and temp/pressure - been doing this for a while!!)

Many with no experience of these type of tyres look at me with disbelief as their 19" rimmed vehicle is in crisis at 30psi fully loaded.

Times are changing and reluctantly we have to cope with it.


Kerry W (WA)
Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure - or nothing.
-Helen Keller

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 613137

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 19:31

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 19:31
While I mostly agree, I must say I haven't had any trouble running 17's down as low as 10psi over the past 10 years. They were a bit rare 10 years ago but far more common now to the point where I don't have an issue with them. Anything larger is a problem and I wouldn't buy the car because I wouldn't want to reward the designer's stupidity in sticking large rims on a car designed for off road. We all draw our lines in the sand. :-)
0
FollowupID: 883534

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 20:01

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017 at 20:01
Yes, it is all about the larger brake disk / drum sizes now, 17" is almost mainstream now, 18's are getting more in oem now, a pita to find decent off road tyres apparently but that will change.

Of course it's the the profile that suffers and this is important in an offroad tyre.
70 or 75 profile is by far most popular.

I've only ever had the 15 and 16 " rims, think I'd avoid going larger if possible, even if I liked a particular brand vehicle otherwise.
0
FollowupID: 883537

Popular Content