Birdsville to Poeppel corner

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 16:17
ThreadID: 136555 Views:1950 Replies:8 FollowUps:13
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Hi Guys,

We are planing on visiting Poeppel corner on the way back home this year from Birdsville (BRB) with OFF Road caravan (Lotus Trooper) in tow.
The question i have is which way would be the best way of getting there with the caravan?
1 Birdsville to Poeppel corner via QAA line?
2 Birdsville Inside Track to Warburton Track to Poeppel corner?

Thanks
Stan
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 16:53

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 16:53
I'd be leaving your van either at BRB camping area, or if you might be worried about it's security, at Birdsville 'van park.

The QAA Line isn't a van friendly track, regardless of how off-road your van may be. The Warburton should be still closed in early July, though it is 3 months away, but the cooler months take longer for wet conditions to dry out.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Nacho - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:13

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:13
Warburton is open at the moment but of course once the northeast water gets there who knows how long before it reopens.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 17:12

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 17:12
You mean One of these?

That ain't gunna happen.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 13:45

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 13:45
But it says "Go Anywhere"...
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Reply By: gerard m2 - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 17:16

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 17:16
I’d be leaving the van
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 08:00

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 08:00
Oh. ok, great.
Tony
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Reply By: Jon W (Toow - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 18:41

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 18:41
Hi. I can only comment on the QAA Line option. Your first major obstacle is going to be Big Red and or Little Big Red. Following these you will need to conquer several hundred dunes.
The issue is going to be maintaining enough momentum and then having to reverse around the inevitable dogleg corners on the approach to many of the dunes. Many of the dunes have a sharp turn at the crest which is another momentum sapper.
From my experience, without towing, forget it.
Although "only" 165 km, even a return day trip is not easy. We started off very early one morning and then, on the return journey, camped for the night on the Eastern boundary of the N P.
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Reply By: stasik-a4 - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 19:10

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 19:10
Ok so QAA Track is a no goer, what's Warburton track like towards caravan?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 20:44

Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 at 20:44
When we went up that way in Oct, 2015, from Birdsville Track and onto the Rig Road, it was pretty good as much of it had been graded earlier in the year. There were some powdery sections across the Warburton flood plain, but with a good tug you'd be right.

Couple of sandhills to cross going up the K1, from memory, but otherwise a good track.

And may I reiterate that I feel the Warburton Crossing may be still closed, with the peak of the current Diamantina flood yet to reach Goyders Lagoon and Warburton Crossing. I'd be happy if it was open by late July, so we can travel across there and up into the Simpson.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 07:26

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 07:26
It's a pretty sharp dip down to the Warburton Creek crossing and a sharp steep climb up the other side, all of it soft sand. I'd be skeptical that you'll get past it with a dual axle van, it's not very wide and you'll probably bottom out the towbar and the rear of the van. Be prepared for much cursing and insults if you get stuck and block the track. Frankly, taking a dual axle van to Poeppel Corner isn't a good idea.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 11:14

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 11:14
stasik-a4, you say you wont take it in at 5PM, then ask a similar question again 2 hours later.

No matter how many times you ask the question, that caravan
a)Wont make it in and out to Poeppel Corner
b)Isn't allowed to be take in into the Simpson Desert.

While there is much debate about camper trailers, Caravans and Motorhomes are not permitted at all.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:38

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:38
".........Motorhomes are not permitted at all........".
My permit is for an OKA motorhome....there are plenty of other 4WD motorhomes (including many Canters and the like) that make the journey too.
This is a problem with "one size fits all" rules, but I would like to see all towing completely banned (.....unless the 'trailer' has driven wheels :)......)

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 ......."motorhome"
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 17:28

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 17:28
In other words Peter, you are ok with what you drive, - even though it is not permitted by Parks SA but not ok with Trailers, even though they are permittted?

Is that what you are saying.

I don't know about tne size fits all thing and not at all concerned about it. I am just quoting Parks SA's documents. I guess you should take it up with them
Tony
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 18:08

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 18:08
That is what I am saying.
The problem is with vehicle capability Vs type definition.
An OKA bus with 13 people on board is OK, but an OKA camper with 2 people is not? Exactly the same vehicle on the outside. How does a stove and bed inside make one not suitable?
Same applies to Canters and various others, not to mention the many hundreds of Landcruiser motorhomes.
Then again, I saw a 4WD Canter with standard wheels (duals on the rear). Its performance suggested that it was an inappropriate vehicle.
I would also suggest that a Range Rover with 20" low profile tyres is inappropriate too.

Maybe there should be a "test"? Can you drive up Big Red without ANY wheel spin? If you can, your vehicle is OK. If you can not then it is not.
These are my opinions.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 19:08

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 19:08
Yes you have a valid point Peter, who knows. Certainly not me, I've never had a motorhome. But an Izuzu or Canters look nice.

I am pretty sure the SA Parks are talking about standard motorhomes, like from rental companies.

I would have thought that a Range Rover in totally unsuitable for any serious off roading with the lack of off road tyres and low profile of 20" rims but I am sure that will spark another debate.

To be clear, I am just quoting the SA parks park note. No Caravans or Campervans.

I suggest that you call a ranger like I did about the campervan recommendation. You may get a more specific answer.
Tony
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 19:59

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 19:59
You'd be surprised where you can take a Range Rover on those big rims and low profile tyres if you know what you're doing....we had one on an ex 4wd park property whilst planning a 4wd Qld Corroboree event a few years ago, the vehicle was offroading over the rough stuff really well right up until the owner of the vehicle let one of our mates have a drive. Our mate sliced the sidewall of a tyre not long after getting behind the wheel, he was driving a pretty easy going area, just wasn't watching where he was putting the wheels like the vehicles owner knew better to do....one expensive tyre destroyed in a split second, though i have seen someone up at Somerset Ruins at Cape York do exactly the same thing with a new Cooper STT on his Patrol, all comes down to who's driving I guess as to where it will go.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Apr 19, 2018 at 09:04

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018 at 09:04
Boobook, you wrote;

"stasik-a4, you say you wont take it in at 5PM, then ask a similar question again 2 hours later."

I can't see anywhere that he said he wouldn't?
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:04

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 16:04
.
Stasik, There is but one answer to your question.....
Caravans and motorhomes are not permitted in the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve, and trailers are discouraged. Do some homework, look up the SA National Parks webpage and particularly click on 'SAFETY'.

Quite apart from the Regulations, take the van, get stuck and require rescue and it will cost you thousands.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 20:45

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 20:45
Hi Stan

If you are dead set on visiting the corner, buy a small tent or some swags, leave the van in Birdsville and take your time and experience the Simpson in a relaxed state, and not stressed to the max wondering how the hell you are going to get there and if you can get back in one piece.

We are no strangers to the Simpson, having travelled in many, many times and I have been searching through my photos to try and give you an example of what the dunes are like and showing that it is not just an afternoon drive in the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world, but will test any first time visitor and learn how to drive over the dunes without cutting the hell out of them.

These are typical Simpson dunes and do not show their true extent of how cut up they can be.






This image shows some of the way the dune surface is cut up with usually soft sand. Then at the top of many dunes, you will not know if the track goes straight over, or at the last moment takes a sudden turn to either the left or right.



This image will show you that the tracks are narrow, cut up dune face where speed will not get you over the dune, but low tyre pressures and experience. Sand speaking of experience, if by any chance you still went out there, what tyre pressures would you run?

If I to to in your vehicle, I would most likely by running around 8psi in your van and 10 to 12 psi in your tow vehicle. You might think these figures are a lot of bull, with trust me any higher that that and you will not 10 feet up a dune without bogging down.



This image shows that the inter dune corridor is in many places not just an simple drive. There are many mini small dunes that will slow you right down and then there is the larger and softer dune in the background to try and safely get over.



Look at the track leading to the top of the dune in the background. Cut up slow going and get your gearing wrong before going over the background dune, you will be stuck one again.



This dune shows that it is not flat going and the constant rock and roll will damage your vehicle, tow bar and caravan. I say tow bar for a very good reason, from experience that I have see on the Anne Beadell Highway.



I told the owner of this converted to be made off road van he would not get through in one piece.

The end result on when he reached Coober Pedy was nearly every side window broken from constant hard hits from very close vegetation, both side of the clearance lamps smashed, cracked chases on the van, but worst of all, a brand new tow bar cracked from the constant beating. Then to add to the trouble, the tongue bent with the constant un and down pressures. As we know, if you tried to bend one in a workshop, you would need an oxy and lots of very hard work, yet nature made easy work of it. The van was inspected at a workshop when they arrived in Coober Pedy, Insurance Companies where involved and the end result the van was a right off.



This example of a large inter dune swale showing the dune that needs to be crossed and you can make out the change in direction near the top of the dune, which no way of a fast run up.



There are many things in life that we would all love to do, but in reality sometimes it is just impossible, so if you are still sure that you can do it, the next question to answer is.....who is going to snatch you constantly over hundreds of dunes?



Some food for thought.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 23:20

Monday, Apr 16, 2018 at 23:20
Another thing to keep in mind that ties in with Stephen's excellent post is that the max tow weight for a vehicle is usually drastically reduced in true off road conditions. Land Rover reduces the Defender's 3.5 tonne tow rating to 1500kg when off road. The extra stress on the vehicle is considerable.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:47

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:47
Stasick.
Leave the van somewhere , it would be stupidity to take it on the Simpson with no experience in desert travel

If you had desert experience you would not be asking the question .!
Cheers
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