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Gibb River Road in a 72 Kombi

Discussion in 'WA' started by Kate, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Kate

    Kate Member

    Wow, it's been a while since posting...

    We are a matter of days away from heading west to WA from Lakes Entrance, VIC. :D

    Plan is to be up the top of WA in June, we're pretty flexible though, it might be later, who knows.

    We are not spending time in Broome. It is booked out nearly a year in advance (all 11 places for camping-yes) and honestly, if that's the case it's not our cup of tea...I think Perigian Beach was quieter in the spring/autumn!

    Anyway, has anyone done the Gibb River Road before in an air cooled Kombi?

    I have read some articles of some crazy backpackers doing it in old ford station wagons. It is recommended for 4WD's, but also most info I read say 2WD's depending on the vehicle (mechanical maintenance and ground clearance) should be fine once the dry season has well and truely kicked in and the two major rivers of concern are low enough to cross and one drops the pressure in the tyres for all the sharp rocks and possible potholes and corrugations AND drive slowly and simply, you're not a bloody idiot when it comes to driving in remote areas or on dirt.

    Pretty much Chris is my protector here. Engineer at sea, mechanic at home, he know's Rocky inside out, has done loads of driving on dirt and creek crossings in Kombi's. I don't doubt a minute his experience. I would just love to hear if anyone else has done it before.

    I would appreciate only positive helpful comments. "Are you crazy" I'm sure some people may think. Well, mates here know the answer to that :lol:
    We are grown Adults and have read loads about the risks as well.
    We are simply considering it as I know a few Nissan urvans or similar that have done it but, they are not an awesome Kombi :D
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  2. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    Excellent idea Kate.

    Wish I could join you.

    My neighbour across the road did this trip in his Mitsubishi 4wd truck with caravan on the back of the truck - kind of like a syncro on steroids. He said the corrugations were the worst part of the trip by far.

    His truck is non-turbo diesel and does a max of 80km/hr with a tail wind. Hence he couldnt go fast enough to skip over the corrugations.

    But if you did go fast enough you would probably rip your front and rear suspension off in the wash-aways.

    Slow and steady is the safest way to get there - there aint much help out there if you have an accident. My neighbour said one day the section of road was so badly corrugated he only did 30kms in 1 whole day - nearly drove him insane.

    The other problem is shocks get hammered, tyres get hammered and everything rattles loose and some welds fatigue crack.

    I would recommend (if you can) to team up with someone and do the trip with two vehicles - just in case.

    Carry lots of spares inlcuding lots of thick tie wire to temporarily strap things back together just in case. Watch a few episodes of the Bush Mechanics - some good tips to get you through.

    Take heaps of photos for us not so fortuate buggers sitting at our desks for the rest of the year.

    Enjoy it.

  3. jennifer lane

    jennifer lane Member

    Caiguna R/House Nullabor
    Hi, went up 2 kalumbaru.2years ago in new toyota 4wd,glad i,ve done it but never again corrugation, dust really really bad.down to 5 to 10 ks 4most of the way.cant strss enough how bad that road is.i have lived in kimberly for last 20 years.cant see why anyone would want 2 take a kombi on 4wd track that bad.one grader driver does all the road,he will tell u its hopeless,couple creek crossings r just biggest rocks u crawl down into crossing n slowly up other side.after turnoff 2falls u got no chance.
  4. mirracoman

    mirracoman New Member

    please dont do that road in a kombi it is harse and the weather can catch you out eapecialy with the way its been up top here,,,if that is your kombi in the pic it will never be the same ,,,backpackers do it in vans because they are not in there van they love ,,they sell there vans in cairns a couple of weeks after that trip and go home never to see that van again,(good life),,do the highway ,i know its boring but it probably wont give you any griefe,,have a good one
  5. Terrordales

    Terrordales Active Member

    I would suggest that if you are going to do that trip get hold of a RFDS radio &/or sat. phone. I'd hate to be stranded out there without communications.
  6. vwcamper76

    vwcamper76 New Member

    Risdon Vale, Hobart, TAS
    listen to the locals when you are there.
    If it has been graded it is like a highway they said but does not last. There is two big river crossings too which maybe difficult. There are sighs saying 4x4 only and if you need to be rescued the locals will sting big $$$ as you have ignored the sighs and there advice.
    The locals said when we where there stay away it is for 4X4'S ONLY.
    But Good luck.
  7. Kate

    Kate Member

    Thanks guys....

    If we did we would have a sat phone, lots of spare everything, safety in numbers of course, research on when grader last went through, water levels etc etc etc.
    Depends on so much. The whole 4x4 issue seems to be if you want to explore every single turn off, all are not suited to 2wd's. The main rd itself sounds terrible by the end of the dry season, as said we'd look into when the grader last went through..... We are thinking of going earlier in the season, dependent on water levels of course but road should be better, so many variables.....will let you all know if we do it and I will call my Mum to say good bye !!

    Thanks for all your advice, most appreciated.
  8. vwcamper76

    vwcamper76 New Member

    Risdon Vale, Hobart, TAS
    If you go take lots of pic's and keep us all informed.
    Best wishes and take care.
  9. karstan

    karstan Member

    Newcastle, Merewether
    Only do it if your prepared to video the whole thing for us too watch ...
  10. Zombi

    Zombi Active Member

    Camooweal QLD
    I guess people have already said it already, but as somone who travels roads in similar conditions to the GRR I would strongly suggest you don't do it in your kombi for the corrugations alone, graders do roads when they do them not necesarily to a predictable timetable. KOmbis are actually good at creek crossings but as i think about the corrugations my mind turns to the carby linkages and things like that will take a beating big time, and if there is any weakness in your spot welds it may be the time they give up.
    Anyhow which ever way you go you will have a great trip. If you come through here make sure you send a pm before hand.

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