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Off road vans on the Gibb River Road and new reader submissions.
November 25, 2008

26 November 2008, Issue #012

In this issue:

** Off road vans on the Gibb River Road
** What Other Readers Say


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Hello from steamy and hot Kununurra where it keeps raining just enough to maintain the sauna conditions.

A few weeks ago I had an inquiry from a reader about his upcoming (November!) trip to the Kimberley. After reading the free guide he wrote back that he had changed his mind. He now wants to go May next year.

Smart move!


Cruel. I think I used the word cruel in the weather chapter of the guides...

It's been well over 40 here every single day for weeks in a row, and it rains just enough to keep the place a steam sauna. Half a millimetre or so it rained last night. A quarter of a mill, if that, the previous night...

Do you know the feeling at the end of a sauna session when you pour some more water on the hot rocks? That's EXACTLY what it's like.

But I still love living here :-). Wouldn't want it any other way!

Ok, let's move on to some more useful info for you!

Off-road caravans on the Gibb River Road

Lately I've been getting many questions about off-road vans on the Gibb River Road. Nearly every single day I type out more or less the same response, over and over again.

So maybe we can cover this here and save me a few emails:

The Gibb River Road section of the website already has two public questions and answers that discuss off-road vans on the Gibb River Road:

There is nothing much to add too that. Vans aren't recommended, but tough, dedicated off-road vans can make it through ok, provided the stars are aligned correctly.

I can't predict any more than that.

There are too many variables.

Some, like the state of the road at the time, can't be predicted at all.

Others, like the age, the quality of the workmanship on the van, the suspension fitted, the experience level of the driver etc. are things that you know a lot better than I do!

It's up to you to judge how much abuse your van can handle and to decide whether you want to take it or not. What I can tell you is that it better be tough!

If you think your van is tough enough, and you are sure you would enjoy the trip so much more with it, and if you are prepared for it to cop some damage, then take it. But please drop your tyres and take it VERY easy.

I hope you'll have a great and smooth trip!


A quick comment about something a reader said in on one of the pages above:
"...just back from the Gibb. It was destroying 4x4s (incl Prados) suspension in particular..."

He is of course right (especially about suspension being a vulnerable point), but let's get this straight: it's not the Gibb that destroys vehicles or vans or suspensions. It's the drivers. Too heavy a load, too much air in the tyres and too much speed will eventually destroy even the toughest car or van...

The first rule is to drive according to the conditions, and it's the most ignored rule of all.

What Other Readers Say

Madeleine had submitted a comment about her recent Gibb River Road trip. I loved her infectious enthusiasm so much (and she wasn't actually commenting on the existing submission), I moved it to its own standalone page:

Hope you don't mind, Madeleine! (I can't see email addresses for commenters, so I couldn't ask or let you know.)


Harry was lucky enough to be able to spend 8 weeks on his trip, and he is sharing many tips and some great photos:


Geoff is not sure whether the side trip to Wolfe Creek Crater is worth the big detour or not. Neither am I... If you visited the crater, what's your opinion?


Tina is getting excited about her upcoming move to Broome:

(Tina, hope I didn't worry you with my opening remarks. Broome does not get anywhere near as hot as Kununurra!)


And just to confuse everyone and cancel out everything I said about the Gibb River Road conditions previously...

Some people do it in sports cars...


Keep planning and dreaming, the next season is only five months away!

More from the Kimberley soon.

B. (Birgit)

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(c) 2005-2008, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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