Iconic Mallee Drive with Camper

Hello fellow Explorers.
We are looking at doing Murray-Sunset and Wyperfeld, and are most interested to see if anyone has done the designated "Iconic Mallee Drive" with a Camper in tow.
We have a D-max towing a 2.5Ton Off road Camper, but not sure if the sand will be an issue?

Any help at all would be great, or likewise are we better off to do a couple of different camps and day trips?
https://www.4wdvictoria.org.au/iconic4wd/images/tracks/info/info_mallee.pdf
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

Back Reply Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Alan H11 - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 09:37

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 09:37
We've driven only a bit of this route - from Underbool to Rocket Lake and then north - however I'd say that it would be no problem, as long as you are driving with "normal" sand driving techniques. I guess if other sections are more challenging then this advice is worthless obviously, however if the trails are similar everywhere on the route then no problem.
AnswerID: 635113

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:13

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:13
Pheenys Track, March 2020.
https://youtu.be/4gEXiUWUs-Q

Rocket Lake from the south March 2020.
https://youtu.be/2Lu6lcwGOAE
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 635116

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:01

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:01
Thank you, will definitely watch these.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912614

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 06:35

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 06:35
Great view from being so high. thanks for sharing.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912623

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:27

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:27
G'day,
Towed a camper thru all those tracks many times but not as heavy as yours.
Lower the tyre pressures on vehicle & camper& should be fine.
There is one steep sandhill on the Milmed track heading from East to West that has a right hand bend before the ascent so bit hard to get a run up.
If it rains watch those claypans.
Enjoy
Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 635117

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:01

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:01
Great advice thank you,
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912615

Follow Up By: Outbackogre - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 09:39

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 09:39
I agree with Stu about that steep east to west hill on the Milmed Rock Track. I traveled this track with a group last November. We were not towing but we did have a couple of younger guys out for their first 4x4 trip. In my opinion, that hill will be a real challenge for you. And remember, if you don't make it up, you'll need to back down. Perhaps better to do a day trip along Milmed Rock Track. Great country out there and I was stoked to get up Big Dune (not far from Big Billy Bore camp).
1
FollowupID: 912626

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 17:41

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 17:41
Thanks for the feedback and we are going to camp now at Wonga and do trips out from there.
The big dune near Big Billy, is that north or south do you remember at all?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912636

Follow Up By: Outbackogre - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 17:58

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 17:58
As I recall, Big Dune is north of Big Billy Bore, along the Nhill-Murrayville track, then east along a track I don't remember the name of.
1
FollowupID: 912637

Reply By: GarryR - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:58

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 15:58
Coming down from Murrayville south, there is a nice camping area to west side ( cannot remember its name at present),but Big Billy Bore is a good camp site with toilets, but you have a bit of a walk to collect firewood. Camping at Lake Albacutya is also good with toilets. You can drive across the dry lake bed to 2 other campsites with ease as long it has not rained, otherwise slippery. The drive north around the lake from the camp ground can have many soft sand patches if it has been dry for a while. When I last drove that section, I came across a 200LC towing a large camper trailer bogged to the axles. He had no gear for recovery hence, We managed to turn him around and sent him on his way. Yes I will admit he was a newby to 4x4 driving and did not understand. He appreciated the help and advice. That is what this forum hopes to achieve. I have only come in from Hattah past the pink lakes and travelled south to Underbool. Once again we had very deep sand ruts as it had been dry for a long time. We did not tow any type of trailer. The other thing I noticed was some of the track signage was either missing or pointing the wrong direction. May be some silly buggers having their bit of fun.
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 635118

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:02

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:02
Thanks so much for your advice, really appreciated.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912616

Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:52

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:52
Hello there nellyjr

We also have a D-Max ( Auto) , and a 1T camper, and very interested in the route/trek you are proposing.
Look forward to later comments if you do make the trip.

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 635120

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:54

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 16:54
Will post some notes after we do it for you,
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 912617

Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 18:17

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 18:17
Nellyjr
I agree Jim above has a 1ton camper and probably can do sand . Is yours really a camper or caravan at 2 1/2 times Jims unit? To tow another loaded Dmax behind yours is what it is. On reasonable ground ok, seeing you are near max towing anyway for a Dmax for road use, if heavy soft sand is encountered how do you think you will go then? Then there is the issue of wheel sink in sand. Is your 2 1/2 ton "camper" a two wheel or( I presume) 4 wheel unit? A 4 wheel has less force per tyre area but is heavier of course. Also, can you turn it all around if an impassable section is ahead? I have riden motorcycles along some of those roads and the sand can be troublesome.
AnswerID: 635121

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 06:31

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 06:31
Thanks for your reply, and very valid points. The beauty of this forum is exactly this, good honest feedback which is why i have asked the brains trust. It is a Hybrid off road camper with great clearance, but only 2 wheels. 13ft so no longer than most soft floor campers etc, but the weight was my concern for sure.
Is the sand worse on the west side?
I was thinking now of leaving the camper at Underbool and doing a possible day loop around the top half.

would be interested to see if this is an easy enough option?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912622

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:42

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:42
Nellyjr
That was my concern, if the the wheels of a Dmax have to plough through sand and sink a little, All the weight of a loaded Dmax on two wheels alters the equation quite a bit I would imagine. A 1 ton camper is similar, possibly less wheel patch loading than a Dmax has.
1
FollowupID: 912628

Reply By: Matthew G3 - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:38

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:38

I did this trip last year with a Dmax + Tvan, we came in from Hattah -NawingiRocket lake Shearers Quarters then down across to the Pink lakes. The last 5 or 6 km of the Millewa South Bore Tank there is one sand dune which you mite have a bit of fun with if heading south, the dmax was dragging its diff up all the way [people have to have 35s on and go flat out and ruin tracks these days]. If you went south to north along this track you would be alright.
Matt
AnswerID: 635124

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 11:10

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 11:10
Thanks for the info. We are also carrying about 1 - 1 1/2 ton more than the T Van, so i reckon that Dune would sort us out. I think we are going to go South to North and just stay on the East side of this loop drive and do day trips from Lake Crosbie and Wonga camp this trip and spend the time to check out the tracks.
Cheers,
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912629

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 15:08

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 15:08
[people have to have 35s on and go flat out and ruin tracks these days].

G'day Matt - Interesting comment.

First of all I will say that I don't run 35's, have never run 35's and will more than likely never run 35's.

But what I've noticed with all the different groups I travel with is the guys running 35's do less damage than the guys in standard vehicles with factory fitted tyres. The blokes with 35's always air down to about 20 in the sand and just walk over sand hills like they are on bitumen with no wheel spin at all. Then the guys with standard size tyres air down to about 15 and struggle to make it up some hills and find themselves having to rev more and go faster to make it over which in turn makes them bounce more whilst throwing rooster tails out behind them. It's about a bigger footprint here.

My personal opinion of what or who does the most damage to tracks is the first timers or novices to 4wdriving who DO NOT air down then brag about how they did that track in 2wd or not having to air down at all ( probably because they don't carry a compressor and or haven't allowed enough time to enjoy the trip they are doing )

Yes there will be idiots with 35's who go fast but there are also idiots with stock tyres going too fast as well !

Then there are the people who just have no idea how to drive full stop and would be better off on a bus tour somewhere :)


Cheers
Gazz



4
FollowupID: 912632

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 10:06

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 10:06
.
Gazza, there is truth in what you say.

There has always been soft sand and steep gradients but my observation is that the scallops on dune faces began to appear coincident to the popularity of turbo V8's with heaps of torque. I rarely had a problem in a naturally aspirated Troopy with its 1HZ engine and 18psi tyres other than it was like riding a buckjumper on the dune faces in the later years.

I have watched these monsters leapfrogging up the dunes, excavating sand with every bounce, and I cursed their ignorance and very existence. But now, the Troopy has gone, and I have seen the last of the dunes, so I curse no longer. Merely smile wryly.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912650

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 19:28

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 19:28
G'day Allan

Yes there is also truth in what you say as well - but once again I think it's the new to 4wdriving mob doing this ( and numerous low IQ idiots as well )

But doesn't really have to be turbo'd V8's these days as a modern day 2.5 litre turbo'd or twin turbo'd four cylinder can send half a tonne of soft sand rearwards faster than I can scull a schooner of beer after repairing a kilometre of fence line on a 43 degree day lol.

Re: naturally aspirated Troopy - too true ! A couple years ago I took an overseas guest who purchased a 1978 ? HJ something down the Border Track. This friend had never driven on sand and after a few quick tips off we went - well the old Tojo plodded along at what wouldn't have been more than 1500 rpm and not a sign of wheel spin ( doubt it had the power lol ) but he did the trip effortlessly and you couldn't hide his enjoyment !!!

"But now, the Troopy has gone, and I have seen the last of the dunes" ... bit sad I reckon !! Have you now joined the EV vehicle brigade and cruise around the Sunshine Coast looking for the best Latte making coffee shop ???

Take care and keep smiling Allan !!

Cheers
Gazz
0
FollowupID: 912656

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 20:15

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 20:15
.
Yair, G'day to you too Gazz.

My "turbo V8's" was really a throwaway expression intended to embrace all such vehicles.

The story about the Troopy is that my sons were getting worried about the 'Old Man' poking about the bush in his old rust-bucket that did not even have safety airbags. And maybe if I did get bogged I could well incur a heart failure trying to dig her out. I considered upgrading to another 4WD off-roader but maybe the sons were right. Perhaps it was me, rather than the vehicle that was past it. I mean, the Troopy was 20 years old but I am now 88!

But not quite ready to explore the coffee shops and resorts, Roz and I decided on getting a motorhome!!! Yes, me who has scoffed at those big boxes rocking along the highways and lined up in free-camp stopovers with Darby & Joan sitting under the awning sipping chardonnay. But an alternative presented itself. We coughed-up the moolah on a Mercedes Sprinter van. Not just any old courier van but a spanking new medium wheelbase with the V6 engine, 4WD (or at least AWD) upgraded suspension, and all the fruit.

I will miss the Troopy and those remote desert places it took us to. This new machine may not do Madigan's but we are still going to get off the blacktop, and in more comfort than the old Troopy. It has been a 5 month wait but it should land within the next few weeks then a month of fit-out. Most of the internals are sitting in my garage and I am getting very impatient.


"keep smiling"? ...... Mate I'm grinning from ear-to-ear. Those two sons can watch their inheritance diminish before their eyes!!!
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

4
FollowupID: 912657

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 20:59

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 20:59
Well young Allan - if that Mercedes Sprinter ever drives thru the Murraylands region and can make it up my $hitty driveway then please say G'day and the Latte's are on me !!!!


Cheers
Gazz
1
FollowupID: 912658

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 23:21

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 23:21
.

Your'e on Gazz. .
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912660

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2021 at 08:44

Sunday, Feb 21, 2021 at 08:44
Hi Allan,

When it comes time to register that new “beast” of yours, see if you can get SKI 1. Spending Kids Inheritance. :-)

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 912662

Reply By: Marcela V - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:53

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 10:53


We didn’t even air down...
AnswerID: 635126

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:51

Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:51
G'day Marcela,
Having travelled Little Desert, Big Desert & Sunset country for the past 40 years that photo is not representative of many of the tracks.
By not airing down & as some people do, not engaging 4wd till they get stuck it is just ruining the tracks for others using the area.
Cheers
Stu
7
FollowupID: 912631

Follow Up By: Alan H11 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 09:06

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 09:06
Yes good point - we always air down when warranted and don't wait until stuck to engage 4x4 (we do have a bit of experience elsewhere - Simpson, Sahara, Oman, SW Bolivia, Kalahari...). I'm sure that we didn't do any damage to the track, however take your admonition seriously - we probably sent a poor message with the post - apologies.

Looking at other posts, and taking your point, although the photo doesn't do justice to the conditions, it seems that the limited travel we did in the area was in more benign conditions than can be found.

Stay well!

Alan and Marce (we posted last evening from one of the phones, which automatically sent from "Marcela", however we're normally posting as alanymarce).

2
FollowupID: 912649

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 11:19

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 11:19
All good.
Seems that you have plenty of sand travel experience.
Not at all suggesting you did not engage 4wd when required.

Doing our annual Mallee Fowl count a few months back & came across a group in a deep sand section that got annoyed because they had to engage 4wd because they stopped to let us past & could not get started again!

Cheers
Stu
1
FollowupID: 912652

Follow Up By: Marcela V - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 12:43

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 12:43
This reminds me of crossing the Lençois Maranhenses and being held up behind a vehicle not just stuck, but whose front wheel (the whole thing) had come off : )

Thanks and stay safe!
0
FollowupID: 912654

Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 13:16

Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 13:16
As mentioned, some soft stuff on the Milmed Track. Campground at Round swamp is well prepared although you'll need to cart your own firewood in.

Blog with some detail is HERE: - Big Desert Weekend

Hope that's of some help to you. Great area. I hope to spend more time out there come Autumn. Cheers



''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 635137

Follow Up By: Member - nellyjr - Monday, Feb 22, 2021 at 14:52

Monday, Feb 22, 2021 at 14:52
Hi Mick,

some lovely looking spots in your video there. Thanks for sharing.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 912689

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (12)