Outback Trip - Prep, advice

Nissan Navara Forum

Help Support Nissan Navara Forum:

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
Team I am planning an outback trip sometime in the new year. This will be the first time I have done it in the Navara and we are not doing a highway drive. It's a 2021 and I'll get it serviced before I head away but are there any common problems things I should look out for with the car that anyone knows of? With a new car I am not expecting too many problems and I have already upgraded the tyres and suspension, I'll put together the usual list of parts and liquids for the trip but any specific recommendations on what to look out for or take are welcome. Thanks
 

OldManBeard

NF Supporter
NF Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
110
Location
Mount Evelyn, Vic, Australia
I can off no info on the vehicle but, in my opinion, the item most commonly missing item when people head out is some means of long-range communication. Don't be like that idiot who got stuck in the Simpson and had neither HF radio nor sat phone. Sure he had a PLB (as we all should) but that's an absolute last resort item. I can only wonder what his bill for that rescue will be.

My personal choice is an HF radio (Barrett 4050) but others choose satellite phones. HF is more expensive upfront while sat phones have a high ongoing cost. Using my HF on the Austravel network I can send my GPS coordinates and have them show up in a mobile phone app that my family and friends use to monitor our journeys. Using the same radio and app combination we can message each other as well. Not quite as convenient as a phone call but far more versatile. On the same network, I can hit the "panic button" on the radio (which is actually a combination of two buttons on my model) and have an emergency message, which includes my GPS coordinates, sent to all the networks' base stations and channels, which then automatically send text messages to a group of volunteers who will take actions as required.

The PLB comes with us when we wander away from the vehicle. That way we're still covered in an emergency, even if we can't get back to the radio.
 

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
I can off no info on the vehicle but, in my opinion, the item most commonly missing item when people head out is some means of long-range communication. Don't be like that idiot who got stuck in the Simpson and had neither HF radio nor sat phone. Sure he had a PLB (as we all should) but that's an absolute last resort item. I can only wonder what his bill for that rescue will be.

My personal choice is an HF radio (Barrett 4050) but others choose satellite phones. HF is more expensive upfront while sat phones have a high ongoing cost. Using my HF on the Austravel network I can send my GPS coordinates and have them show up in a mobile phone app that my family and friends use to monitor our journeys. Using the same radio and app combination we can message each other as well. Not quite as convenient as a phone call but far more versatile. On the same network, I can hit the "panic button" on the radio (which is actually a combination of two buttons on my model) and have an emergency message, which includes my GPS coordinates, sent to all the networks' base stations and channels, which then automatically send text messages to a group of volunteers who will take actions as required.

The PLB comes with us when we wander away from the vehicle. That way we're still covered in an emergency, even if we can't get back to the radio.
Thanks OldManBeard. Yes completely agreed. Next years trip is part of a convoy so between all the cars I think we have all of the above covered. I know one is on the HF network and I carry a sat phone.
 

OldManBeard

NF Supporter
NF Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
110
Location
Mount Evelyn, Vic, Australia
Thanks OldManBeard. Yes completely agreed. Next years trip is part of a convoy so between all the cars I think we have all of the above covered. I know one is on the HF network and I carry a sat phone.
That's good and should give you peace of mind. I tend to be particular about this aspect of travelling because we (the wife and I) always travel alone. Have a great trip.
 

Scott52

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
57
Location
Australia
As OMB says it's important to have the means to contact the outside world. When I go to extreme remote areas I hire a Sat phone for about $10 per day which is cheap. You have that part covered as other members of the convoy are equipped with HF radio and Sat phone.

From experience it seems tyres are the main source of problems when on these expeditions. The first thing when leaving the asphalt is to drop your pressures to increase puncture resistance. Have six wheels with six good tyres (two spares) all the same. Because you're so remote you may have to drive thousands of kilometres with the spare so it's better if it's the same. You can't have two second rate spare wheels. Have tyre plugs, compressor etc.

Plan for the unexpected. You can't have enough water so take plenty. You may have to travel at night so have a good pair of driving lights.

I was on the Canning Stock Route and one of our group broke a leg. We had to get them 600km to Newman Hospital which meant driving at night on unsealed remote roads with all sorts of wildlife leaping out from the bushes. That was a stressful drive arriving at the hospital at midnight.
 

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
As OMB says it's important to have the means to contact the outside world. When I go to extreme remote areas I hire a Sat phone for about $10 per day which is cheap. You have that part covered as other members of the convoy are equipped with HF radio and Sat phone.

From experience it seems tyres are the main source of problems when on these expeditions. The first thing when leaving the asphalt is to drop your pressures to increase puncture resistance. Have six wheels with six good tyres (two spares) all the same. Because you're so remote you may have to drive thousands of kilometres with the spare so it's better if it's the same. You can't have two second rate spare wheels. Have tyre plugs, compressor etc.

Plan for the unexpected. You can't have enough water so take plenty. You may have to travel at night so have a good pair of driving lights.

I was on the Canning Stock Route and one of our group broke a leg. We had to get them 600km to Newman Hospital which meant driving at night on unsealed remote roads with all sorts of wildlife leaping out from the bushes. That was a stressful drive arriving at the hospital at midnight.
Thanks Scott. I've only got the one spare for this car but most recommend two as you have. We do try to avoid night driving but if you have an emergency as you did you do what you have to. Thanks
 

OldManBeard

NF Supporter
NF Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
110
Location
Mount Evelyn, Vic, Australia
I agree with what Scott said about tyres but have to say that I generally just repair punctures on the car I'm able to pull over out of the way of any traffic. By running the compressor and filling the air tank while I'm plugging the hole, it takes very little time to reinflate the tyre.

On the subject of water, most people allow for drinking and washing but few seem to allow extra for the vehicle. Over the years I've experienced several radiator leaks, burst hoses, etc. Even when you can remedy the problem on the spot, you still need water to refill the system again. We carry spare hoses, belts, hose clips, etc. and a few tubes of epoxy repair putty (ours came from Aldi) to suit the various material we might need to patch, including one to suit our camper water tank.

One of those plastic emergency windscreens is not a bad idea either and take up almost no room. It's pretty unpleasant having to drive around with a broken windscreen at any time, let alone along dusty tracks.
 

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
I agree with what Scott said about tyres but have to say that I generally just repair punctures on the car I'm able to pull over out of the way of any traffic. By running the compressor and filling the air tank while I'm plugging the hole, it takes very little time to reinflate the tyre.

On the subject of water, most people allow for drinking and washing but few seem to allow extra for the vehicle. Over the years I've experienced several radiator leaks, burst hoses, etc. Even when you can remedy the problem on the spot, you still need water to refill the system again. We carry spare hoses, belts, hose clips, etc. and a few tubes of epoxy repair putty (ours came from Aldi) to suit the various material we might need to patch, including one to suit our camper water tank.

One of those plastic emergency windscreens is not a bad idea either and take up almost no room. It's pretty unpleasant having to drive around with a broken windscreen at any time, let alone along dusty tracks.
Thanks again OMB, hoses and belts are definitely on the list. As are the standard liquids for the car. I have not carried epoxy repair putty before or a plastic emergency windscreen. They are both going on the list now. Cheers
 

Tappet

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
1,632
Reaction score
66
Location
North of 16 deg.s South.
My kit consists of spare belts. Tools to change them and not much more. Epoxy repair. Amalgamating repair tape, Fencing wire. cable ties. Roll of electrical wire. Couple of spare wheels complete. Say 5 litres of oil. If you get a leak you can't fix just keep pouring it in to get to help. If you can't fix it on the side of the road with that. You never will. Keep the weight down as much as possible. Seen some take a ridiculous amount of spares which only just increases the chances of a breakdown because of weight. I even look at things like why take a full socket set when the only ones you may use are what is suitable for your emergency repair. Water is a given but no spare coolant. Water will exchange heat better anyway and you can drink it.
 

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
My kit consists of spare belts. Tools to change them and not much more. Epoxy repair. Amalgamating repair tape, Fencing wire. cable ties. Roll of electrical wire. Couple of spare wheels complete. Say 5 litres of oil. If you get a leak you can't fix just keep pouring it in to get to help. If you can't fix it on the side of the road with that. You never will. Keep the weight down as much as possible. Seen some take a ridiculous amount of spares which only just increases the chances of a breakdown because of weight. I even look at things like why take a full socket set when the only ones you may use are what is suitable for your emergency repair. Water is a given but no spare coolant. Water will exchange heat better anyway and you can drink it.
Thanks Tappet. Your list is similar to my old list accept Epoxy Repair which OMB mentioned as well. Fencing wire is new also. I carry a "travel size" socket set. As you say you don't need all of them. Agreed on weight. I have seen some vehicles which have to be close in not over their GVM.

I'm pleased to see no one seems to be mentioning anything specific to the Navara to look out for. Just looks like the normal spares kit you would carry for any vehicle on this type of trip with a few new ideas I had not previously thought of. That's good news. Thanks
 

Billy54

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
70
Reaction score
8
Location
Abermain
Dont forget to add the fuel additive. As well as improving milage it will help with any diesel sludge or moisture in the unleaded. Because of covid there has not been as much travelling and the small remote fuel stations have not had a turnover of customers. I use Fuel Doctor, buy it at Super Creep when on special [half price] Tappet's advice on fencing wire is spot on, I was on a trip where we had to 'borrow' some from a fence. Great time to travel, the countryside is green and all the dams are full.
 

Old.Tony

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
16,337
Reaction score
290
Location
Mid Coast Region, NSW, Australia
Great time to travel, the countryside is green and all the dams are full.
Absolutely right, apparently even Lake Menindee has water in it. I'd love to get out there, but we've had a few mishaps that are stranding us at home.

My fuel lines have also started to crack, the car started yesterday morning but then stalled, a quick attempt to start it failed so I popped the bonnet (so I didn't run the pump too dry) and gave the primer a few squeezes - easily went past 10 squeezes without getting firm, so I kept going until it had some resistance then tried starting again - no problems.

That's a lesson for everyone: if the car starts then stalls, don't try starting the car again, immediately pop the bonnet and try priming the fuel, 3-4 squeezes before it's firm is fine, any more and there's a leak somewhere.

I couldn't find the leak in mine, it must be somewhere down there, but my arthritis is killing me and I can't take any more Meloxicam (which is like a miracle cure for me) until I see my doctor again, so I'll book my car in to the local mechanic and get them to replace all my fuel lines. Until then, Ill pop the bonnet and prime the fuel system before attempting to start the car.
 

OldManBeard

NF Supporter
NF Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
110
Location
Mount Evelyn, Vic, Australia
I couldn't find the leak in mine, it must be somewhere down there, but my arthritis is killing me and I can't take any more Meloxicam (which is like a miracle cure for me) until I see my doctor again, so I'll book my car in to the local mechanic and get them to replace all my fuel lines. Until then, Ill pop the bonnet and prime the fuel system before attempting to start the car.
I'd start by ensuring all hose clamps are still tight. It's not at all unusual for clamps that were originally tight to become somewhat less so due to the settling of the hoses under the clamps. I've been bitten by this too many times.

FWIW, I use Arthrexin and it does wonders for my aches and pains.
 

Old.Tony

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
16,337
Reaction score
290
Location
Mid Coast Region, NSW, Australia
I'd start by ensuring all hose clamps are still tight. It's not at all unusual for clamps that were originally tight to become somewhat less so due to the settling of the hoses under the clamps. I've been bitten by this too many times.

FWIW, I use Arthrexin and it does wonders for my aches and pains.
I could try tightening them, but I visually noticed some cracking of the outer layers of the hose that runs from the filter down to the side of the engine, and since none of my fuel hoses have been changed in 12 years and 365,000km it's probably time to do it.

We're also considering selling her (and the caravan, as a unit together - possibly within the next 12 months) so I'm going to make sure that everything is either 100% or new before I hand over the keys.
 

KevinE

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
446
Reaction score
8
You don't say where you're going, but your car is nearly brand new! You'd be extremely unlucky to need any spares on all but the most arduous of trips in a new car like that. We've travelled the outback in all states & most of it has passing traffic. The only time I've ever felt like I needed 2 spare wheels was out on the Nullarbor regional reserve, because of the sharp limestone on the tracks. We still didn't need even one spare tyre in the end though. My D22 is comming up 9 years old, so it's time to change the belts & hoses as preventive maintenance. But up till now, it's still on factory everything except fluids, filters tyres & batteries and it's done a LOT of unsealed roads. We carry a toolbox full of spanners/a hammer/screw drivers/wire/tape/a multi meter/spare globes/fuses/sharp knives/wire cutters/nuts & bolts/screws etc. We also carry a portable air compressor & a tyre plug kit. I have recovery boards, but have never had to use them. I used to carry much more, but have never needed any of it.
 

Birch

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
NSW
You don't say where you're going, but your car is nearly brand new!
Hey Kevin thanks for the response. I was talking to a friend of mine who actually works at Nissan who pretty much said the same thing as you. "It's a new car, you won't need to worry about too much.". The trip itself is still in the planning. Leaving Sydney heading to Lake Menindee initially. Nothing to strenuous on the car as we are pulling a trailer. Just the typical corrugated outback roads. Thanks
 
Top