A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

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Zaychri
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A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

Unread post by Zaychri » September 8th, 2015, 6:33 pm

Hi all,

First time poster. So the missus and I would like to drive from Gladstone QLD to Darwin. We would go through emerald, Mt Isa, then Tennant Creek to Alice Springs, check out Uluru, go to Darwin and then back to Gladstone. We have allowed ourselves 3 weeks. We have two boys 3 and 1 and a half. I'll probably also taken my sister along.

Now, I've never owned a 4wd and I currently own a VE Commodore wagon. It would probably be cramped with 5 people, but would a car such as this be adequate? Or will I go and wish I had a 4wd to take advantage of certain tracks?

I've been looking at 120 series Prados in petrol as there are decent ones in my price range of 15 to 20k. Would a Kluger go well? Any other 4wds to recommend?

Lastly, I could do it on the cheap and by a 90 series prado. My only concern is reliability with an old car.

Thanks

Peter Aawen
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Re: A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 8th, 2015, 7:20 pm

How old is your Commodore Wagon, but probably more important, what overall condition is it in & what servicing has it had?

You haven't identified any roads that you couldn't do quite comfortably in that vehicle, IF it's on good tyres, has a good spare, is in pretty good nick all round otherwise & has been serviced regularly; altho I'd still be getting a full cooling system service & a complete & thorough engine/chassis/running gear service & check over well before heading off (gotta give yourself time to sort any issues identified)

You'd probably be better off making sure that your current vehicle is up to doing the trip well than you would buying a 2nd hand anything (4By or otherwise) shortly before heading off on a trip like that!! As for the comfort factor, do you really need to take your sister?? It'd be a lot more comfortable with only 4 people in the vehicle (unless you've got an extra row of seats already fitted up the back & you've got the room to fit all your gear/luggage in as well!!) You really don't want to overload whatever you take; & to make sure you don't, you might need to plan where you are staying/stopping & what you are going to do pretty well so you don't hafta carry anything that isn't necessary or won't be important for safety's sake - and carrying a jerry of spare fuel & at least 20 litres of water/some emergency food 'just in case' out there will be very important!! ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Zaychri
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 4
Joined: September 8th, 2015, 6:26 pm

Re: A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

Unread post by Zaychri » September 8th, 2015, 7:36 pm

Thanks for the reply. I have a 2010 VE Commodore wagon. It's in excellent condition and has been extremely reliable. It probably wouldn't be a big deal taking my sister if I had a prado with the 8 seats.

I'll have to look at roads I'm taking an post back but it won't be too much off beaten track. Just wanted to have a 4wd just in case I'm out there and want to make use of it.

Peter Aawen
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Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 8th, 2015, 9:14 pm

The thing about travelling remote is that it really isn't just a case of buying a 4By & heading off!! :eek:

Firstly, you'd need to consider the vehicle, if you get something 2nd hand, how do you know it's going to be reliable?? For all you know, you could be buying someone else's lemon that's never made it around the block before, & without putting some serious kms into testing it, you won't find that out until it puts you & your family at risk!! :petrified:

Then there's the matter of actually knowing how to use a 4By safely, let alone whatever you might end up buying!! It's not just like driving a car, almost every year someone ends up in trouble off the beaten track out there simply because they didn't know how to drive their 4WD safely in the condtions they met, usually perfectly normal conditions for that sort of country, but not normal for the Eastern Seaboard or along our major inland routes; and sadly, some of those people who get into trouble out there have perished simply because they didn't know some of the absolute basics about their vehicle, how to drive it off-road, &/or the country/terrain they encountered!? Do you know from experience how to get the best from a 4WD? What about THE 4WD, whichever one it is that you might end up buying?? It might have some peculiar/unique features that catch out the unwary, & the only real way to learn that is to do some 4WD training & then putting some serious kms into applying that training to using your 4WD & learning how to get the best from it in a variety of terrain, & if you don't do that, you won't necessarily know what it is that you don't know until it puts you & your family at risk!! :eek:

And I could go on (& on, & on.... ask anyone here, I have been known to do just that! :sillywink: ) Seriously, unless you are talking about doing this trip maybe September next year, after you've had time to buy a 4WD, get some 4WD training, & put some serious km on it in a variety of conditions, then you'd be far better off sticking with your current vehicle, getting it properly set up & serviced for that sort of trip, sticking to the major roads (all of which are fine for well prepared 2WD's & drivers) and taking it - besides, it'll be far safer for you & yours that way than it would be to buy a 2nd hand 4WD & going off unknowing & ill-prepared. :whyme:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Zaychri
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 4
Joined: September 8th, 2015, 6:26 pm

Re: A trip from Gladstone to Darwin?

Unread post by Zaychri » September 8th, 2015, 9:31 pm

That's a fair call and I appreciate your comments. I have done 4wd training and we drive 4wds for work in rough terrain. I haven't done extensive 4wding but I know practice perfect and what better time really. I would buy a 4wd months and months before going on this trip and probably do another course as a refresher. But thanks your comments are helpful.

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