Outback 4WD Travel In Australia 

By (WAM)  Western Australia Multimedia

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Table of Contents

  1. How do I tell battery condition ?
  2. Where can I find outback camping gear ?
  3. What type fuel can I get in the outback ?
  4. Who can help regarding top 4WD mechanic ?
  5. What is fuel required to go between ?
  6. When is the best time to Travel  ?
  7. How do I protect my Batteries ?
  8. Are battery chargers all the same ?
  9. What are recommended  Maps or books to use ?
  10. Emergency bush repairs
  11. Diff and Gearbox repairs
  12. Recommended Batteries 
  13. Eating Places

How do I tell battery condition ?

  • 1    Is there someway to tell what the condition of a battery is?

                Usually test batteries using a Hydrometer. It will instantly tell you condition. 

                 Another method to monitor condition is available from REI called a Battery Monitor. 

                It does tell you when the battery is starting to lose its grunt. .]

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Where can I find outback camping gear ?

  • 1    Outback Camping gear ready made or made to requirements? 

            OUTBACK CAMPERS (Perth)   PH:9409 7433.]

  • 2    Outback Camping ready made supplies?  

            [ ARB 4x4 Accessories (Perth)   Ph: 9244 3553 ]    

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What type of fuel is available in the outback ?

  • [ 1  ] Can I get diesel in all of the WA outback?

            [ In short YES. The only fuel type not available all over is GAS  ]

Gas is carried by all the major roadhouses and service station stops, but if you intend on doing one of the trails you can only arrange a diesel or petrol drop.

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Who can help regarding 4WD mechanic ?

  • 1     Can any one recommend a top 4WD mechanic in Perth?

                [  Bill Browns Automotives PH:  9345 1900 ]


                [  Midas : Craig & Kellie  PH:( 08)  8447 7844 ]

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What is fuel required to travel ....?

  •     1    Any idea how much diesel a 4.2. Nissan Patrol would use to go from Wiluna to the           fuel dump and then to halls creek.

                     A Nissan if it is a diesel should need to carry about 200L of fuel to get from Wiluna to the fuel depot midway 

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When is best time to travel the outback ?

Perth winter or between June and December and early January. Avoid the wet and cyclone season which is Perth's Summer. 

June and July is the wet season in Perth while In the North it is not hot but comfortable. From November to middle January the North is very nice and the evenings are also very warm. 

It is the time I like best as the fishing is good, the waters warm, calm seas, perfect for swimming. From middle January to early June it gets fat too hot in the North for most people and it is recommended not to go. This is also the time for tropical storms and cyclones. I have never been in these times, any way I really do hate wind, lol. 

The further you go North the hotter it gets. The weather from Perth to the Murchison river is much the same, but once you get to the Overlander you will notice the difference and again when you get to Carnarvon. In fact every 500km north you will notice a big difference. Umm usually. I have had the misfortune once of going north to find heat and wherever I went it was no different to Perth. The rain and cold simply followed me. I know for sure as the locals asked me to leave so the good weather would come back, lol. By the way. Do not be fooled between June and November if you intend to visit Sharks Bay as the weather here can be pretty wet and miserable. The turn off is at the Overlander which will be nice and hot and no rain in sight and Sharks Bay is about 200km down the road from here.

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How do I protect my batteries ?

  • For a second battery there are numerous voltage monitors available which will look after the battery. The original and the best I know of is available from REI called a Battery Saver. It will prevent the battery from starting a flat cycle and save the fridge from burning out due to low voltage. There is a heavy and light duty model.

  • For the main battery REI have the Battery Monitor. This ensures that the main battery is in a charged condition before allowing the Alternator to be loaded to charge the second battery.

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Are battery chargers all the same ?

  • No. There are numerous one available with different methods of charging. The cheaper ones simply charge at a given rate of current and need to be manually watched. Recently there are automatic types, but they too need watching as they can tend to overcharge if left too long. The better types are the pulse and the Float charger. The pulse is better for a rapid charge and gentle to the battery and at the end of the charge cycle it goes into a trickle mode. Usually it will bring a bad battery back to life. It also will let you know within a hour if the battery is going to charge.

  • The float is ideal for batteries left permanently on charge in a backup situation i.e.: as a generator starter. It applies a heavy fast charge to the battery and tops it up better than the other types do but requires a good battery to partner it. I like it as it tells me instantly if a battery is good or bad without using a hydrometer and so you know if you going to waste your time trying to charge it.

  • Both types are available from REI   I have no idea on cost these days. I have 1 of each type as they are for somewhat different purposes. I believe they now have a model that does all the charge type modes in one unit (Normal, Pulse, Float) Must get me 1 lol.

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What are recommended maps to use ?

  • For the outback  I suggest maps of the local area. There are a series of these and they are available from Roadhouses, RCA, Almost all petrol stations. Unlike maps that cover all of WA they go into detail on the local area covered and show trails not shown on general maps. These maps are the Street Smart Touring Maps and cover I.E.  Gascoyne, Pilbara. 
  • The Books on Travel W.A. For Free or Where to Camp Free are no longer available due to new rules of Pay To Stay.  All free places are fast disappearing.  
  • For more information see GENERAL INFO and follow the tourist guides. We can send you maps if you would like to plan your holiday before arriving in WA. E-Mail us if you want this service.
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Emergency Bush Repairs

  1. CRC Epoxy Putty is strong, flexible, Fast drying and ideal for patching cracks and holes on most surfaces. Ideal where often a weld would normally be required. Oil free surface required for repair. Good for cracked casings eg: gearboxes, manifolds, diff housings, etc. not strong holding on some plastics.
  2. Gaffa tape is ideal for ripped tents or anything that needs something strong to hold it temporary in place. 
  3. Contact adhesive for those bits that let go like door rubbers or trims.
  4. Some carry welding rods and use the battery to weld with. Ideal for jobs CRC cannot do like broken trailer towing bits.
  5. Liquid nails. Strong and water tight. Sticks to most surfaces. Very flexible. Good on most plastics.
  6. Gasket Silastic or high temp silastic. Comes in useful for lots of odd fills, especially exhaust.
  7. Self Amalgamating Tape. Useful for rubber hoses that slip, repairing burst water pipes (use in conjunction with Silastic or liquid nails, then wrap up. Undo radiator cap so pressure does not build up if no liquid nails used. Main use is airtight waterproof insulation.
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Diff and gearbox Repairs

If you find yourself in trouble in the Northern Territory and need Diff or Gearbox or engine repairs / rebuilds then the people to contact is Liberty Diff's Gears & Engines. They will  even arrange collection of your vehicle for you. They are situated at 5 Martin Crescent, Coconut Grove, .0810, DARWIN. Phone 08 89481133. E-Mail diffsandgears@ozemail.com.au

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NOT the charge discharge type,  NZ 70 15  plate made by Century for trucks are the best for batteries, You pull 5 years and more usually out of them, they quick to recharge and run the fridge easily  for a few days without recharging. They must be used though with a low voltage cutoff  monitor.

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Dockside Tavern Port Adelaide

Adelaide: one of the few places left where you can enjoy a great tasting meal in the Port Area next to the Port Markets and it is cheap. Yes $5.00 gives you a choice of menu from Fish dishes to Meat Dishes which includes chips and salads. Only lunches at this time is available.

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