Expanda weaknesses in rough and remote country (think Birdsville track)

Jul 31, 2016
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Sydney
#1
Hi all

I am thinking of taking my family into Central Aust this winter. I have done the Simpson etc so an very happy with my vehicle but have never taken the family or towed the van in that country.

Does anyone know of the key weak points with the Expanda's that corrugation at 80kph will reveal?
 

DRW

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2013
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Beautiful Burrum Heads QLD
#3
Dust, dust and more dust, we taped the bed ends with duct tape, bought a tube of silicon at Birdsville trying to fill everything I could. We did a lot of miles on the dirt after the meet at Cameron corner, wore out a set of tires on the van (probably driving too fast) lots of stone damage under the van, nothing serious but the floor looked like it had been used for target practice with a shot gun, the water tank guards were the same. Cover the bits you can, heaps of info in here with pictures, seal the bottom of the guards where they meet the chassis and put the plug in the sink (we only found about these tips when we arrived home. SLOW DOWN and if you plan on doing it more than once invest in a Stone Stomper to protect the front of the van, they are the only thing that works. In hind shight we probably did more miles than we should have in the time we had, hence driving too fast on the dirt, I would do it again in a heart beat, but the bride has different ideas lol but do it it's the best part of the country by a country mile!!
 

MDS69

Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2014
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#4
As @DRW has said dust and stone damage. We haven’t done the Birdsville Track with this van but have done Mungo NP and Darling River run and I purchased a sheet of corflute from Bunnings and made panels to cover all my vents except the top fridge one for when we were travelling secured with duct tape and removed when camped.. If you have a wall/cupboard mount AC unit don’t forget the air intake in the floor. For under body protection I secured steel mesh between floor braces to protect plumbing and electrical.
It might pay to remove one at a time all the accessible screws in your joinery and coat in silicone or PVA glue then reinsert to try to stop doors and drawers falling apart.
 
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crackacoldie

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Jan 8, 2013
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Newcastle NSW
#5
Like the others have said, dust is the big one, look under the back bed where the fibreglass ends, it needs sealing.

Don’t attempt to do corrogations at 80, you will shake the van to pieces, slow and steady wins with the van on rough roads.
 
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Jul 31, 2016
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Sydney
#6
Thanks all, clearly dust management is crucial. Has anyone ever rigged something to create positive pressure?

Like the others have said, dust is the big one, look under the back bed where the fibreglass ends, it needs sealing.

Don’t attempt to do corrogations at 80, you will shake the van to pieces, slow and steady wins with the van on rough roads.
Interesting. When 4WD'g (without a van), you need to find a sweet spot speed where, with slightly deflated tyres, the vehicle travels "comfortably" along the tops of the corrugations. Last time i was on the Oodnadatta, this was around 90kph. Any slower than this and things shook around a lot more.

I'd have thought this would be the same with the van in tow? Tyre pressures all round down to 25-26psi and try to rise to the top of the bumps? Obviously stopping distances and vehicle dynamics change so you need to drive to the conditions but i always thought too slow was the bigger vehicle killer?
 

Bluey

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Mar 31, 2014
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#7
We just did 200 odd ks on the dirt out to Eldee station and back from silverton then west side of darling river 80ks from broken hill old pooncarrie road to mungo nat park then south to Balranald
SEAL UP in the wheel arches where the frame meets the van this is a must do
My rear tank stone guard looks like its been shot with a shot gun and some very big dings in it .... Stone stomper and protect your pipes and hoses under van or anything that looks like it mite cop.it i also went the coreflue over vents
Went on some very bad sections top hut rd to mungo was the worst of it all 50ks of pain and suffering but the van took it in its stride allthough the cupboard door came open few things fell out broke the monty carlos spuds all rolling around floor lucky i stoped just to check things out the hole pantry would have ended up on floor
20180403_121036.jpg 20180330_100746.jpg
 
Jul 31, 2016
45
89
18
44
Sydney
#8
We just did 200 odd ks on the dirt out to Eldee station and back from silverton then west side of darling river 80ks from broken hill old pooncarrie road to mungo nat park then south to Balranald
SEAL UP in the wheel arches where the frame meets the van this is a must do
My rear tank stone guard looks like its been shot with a shot gun and some very big dings in it .... Stone stomper and protect your pipes and hoses under van or anything that looks like it mite cop.it i also went the coreflue over vents
Went on some very bad sections top hut rd to mungo was the worst of it all 50ks of pain and suffering but the van took it in its stride allthough the cupboard door came open few things fell out broke the monty carlos spuds all rolling around floor lucky i stoped just to check things out the hole pantry would have ended up on floor
View attachment 60450 View attachment 60451
what were conditions like? I hear its dry as out there at the moment
 

crackacoldie

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2013
2,415
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Newcastle NSW
#9
Thanks all, clearly dust management is crucial. Has anyone ever rigged something to create positive pressure?



Interesting. When 4WD'g (without a van), you need to find a sweet spot speed where, with slightly deflated tyres, the vehicle travels "comfortably" along the tops of the corrugations. Last time i was on the Oodnadatta, this was around 90kph. Any slower than this and things shook around a lot more.

I'd have thought this would be the same with the van in tow? Tyre pressures all round down to 25-26psi and try to rise to the top of the bumps? Obviously stopping distances and vehicle dynamics change so you need to drive to the conditions but i always thought too slow was the bigger vehicle killer?
When you look at the road trains on corrogations they travel slowly, to protect their loads. The van has not got the suspension on all corners and tends to “bounce” through the corrogations rather than ride over them. Definitely drop the Tyre pressures, but trailer suspension mixed with the solid connection to the car. Driving to the conditions is the key.
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#11
If you can do 80k on a corrugated road it isn't very corrugated, speed is what destroys vehicles on dirt roads..............dust proofing has been well covered as said earlier go over the van seal all hose/cable entires, especially the rear light cables, their entry into the van never seem to be sealed, rear pod needs to be sealed underneath, don't cover the fridge vents if the fridge is fitted properly it is sealed from the van interior and hardly any dust goes in there, if all the holes are plugged and the sinks and shower have plugs in them I have found bugger all dust entry.
 
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Bluey

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Mar 31, 2014
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#12
what were conditions like? I hear its dry as out there at the moment
Dry is not the word very very bloody dry people on far out farms running out of water didnt see many roos out from silverton sign of not much water went up from silverton about 150ks never been there but id say its like Mars
 
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Crusty181

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Feb 7, 2010
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Mentone, VIC
#13
Hi all

I am thinking of taking my family into Central Aust this winter. I have done the Simpson etc so an very happy with my vehicle but have never taken the family or towed the van in that country.

Does anyone know of the key weak points with the Expanda's that corrugation at 80kph will reveal?
Jayco's key weakness is their quality control. Out of the factory Jayco's can be great or sh!t, and everything in between. When all the planets align and its a good day at the Jayco factory, they are equal to mostly everything on the market; but they unfortunately have off days, and some occasional shockers.

Short of checking, inspecting and modifying every single area of potential damage, you'll likely not know what will break until you've completed the trip, and the damage is done. For example all my doors may have been installed properly, but your Jayco build line monkey stripped out the screws on 3 of your doors. Thats why your doors could up on the floor but mine dont. You'll of course wont know my doors didnt fall off, youll only know your doors did. The effect will be Im happy with my robust van, and youll think Jaycos are all pox.

We use empty 1ltr ice cream and yogurt tubs in the pantry to stop stuff banging into each other, falling over, and from moving about too much
 
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Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
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Mentone, VIC
#14
I have an article (that Ive hidden from myself very well) that was written by a guy who lived in one of the Indigenous communities on the longest shortcut. The road there develops the typically similar corrugations that the other well known tracks develop. Whilst living there he did a series of controlled experiments with a series of runs at varying speeds and tyre pressures. There isnt a lot else to do out there apparently. He monitored the effects of the corrugations on the vehicle using some high tech vibration gadget and the result were interesting, and not consistent with the advice Ive generally found elsewhere. Ill try to find the article and add it.
 
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Lach

Member
Jul 31, 2016
45
89
18
44
Sydney
#15
Jayco's key weakness is their quality control. Out of the factory Jayco's can be great or sh!t, and everything in between. When all the planets align and its a good day at the Jayco factory, they are equal to mostly everything on the market; but they unfortunately have off days, and some occasional shockers.

Short of checking, inspecting and modifying every single area of potential damage, you'll likely not know what will break until you've completed the trip it, and the damage is done. For example all my doors may have been installed properly, but your Jayco build line monkey stripped out the screws on 3 of your doors. Thats why your doors could up on the floor but mine dont. You'll of course wont know my doors didnt fall off, youll only know your doors did. The effect will be Im happy with my robust van, and youll think Jaycos are all pox.

We use empty 1ltr ice cream and yogurt tubs in the pantry to stop stuff banging into each other, falling over, and from moving about too much
Thanks all. I guess the reality is that i bought a Jayco as i wanted something light weight as I live on the east coast and towing over and along the GDR is par for the course. we also hit the beach so lightweight is ideal. I considered something like a Bushtracker in great detail but opted for the Jayco for weight and the fact i did not expect to take it too far from home.

Of course, now that the family has been introduced and love it, we are looking to spread our wings more and are coming up on the limits of what the Jayco was designed to do and was purchased for.

Given i don't really have the time to reinforce the van, we might limit the van driving to the blacktop and just use the vehicle to access more remote places. We can always stay in pubs etc o'night if we want to get some range away for the van...
 

Lach

Member
Jul 31, 2016
45
89
18
44
Sydney
#16
I have an article (that Ive hidden from myself very well) that was written by a guy who lived in one of the Indigenous communities on the longest shortcut. The road there develops the typically similar corrugations that the other well known tracks develop. Whilst living there he did a series of controlled experiments with a series of runs at varying speeds and tyre pressures. He monitored the effects of the corrugations on the vehicle using some high tech vibration gadget and the result were interesting, and not consistent with the advice Ive generally found elsewhere. Ill try to find the article and add it.
Would love to see it. Just did a quick search in the app store and there are plenty if vibration apps around. Would be fascinating to have one in the vehicle and one in the van and compare.
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#17
In the truck I would start slow then build up speed till I found the sweet spot and wander all over the track looking for that smooth run, could be anywhere between 10kph and 60kph, sometimes even higher but painfull when you lost it.....................with over a dozen odd wheels dropping tyre pressure wasn't on the cards........once had the mounting bolts for the seat fall out and used trailer brakes to stop as I slid under the steering wheel.................I hate dirt roads.
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,479
10,090
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Mentone, VIC
#18
Thanks all. I guess the reality is that i bought a Jayco as i wanted something light weight as I live on the east coast and towing over and along the GDR is par for the course. we also hit the beach so lightweight is ideal. I considered something like a Bushtracker in great detail but opted for the Jayco for weight and the fact i did not expect to take it too far from home.

Of course, now that the family has been introduced and love it, we are looking to spread our wings more and are coming up on the limits of what the Jayco was designed to do and was purchased for.

Given i don't really have the time to reinforce the van, we might limit the van driving to the blacktop and just use the vehicle to access more remote places. We can always stay in pubs etc o'night if we want to get some range away for the van...
Its a very personal thing, and everyone has to make their own judgement call, but we made the decison to not baulk at anything just because of the van. We dragged our 3t 20.63.1OB everywhere and it survived without any catastrophic or long term issues
 

DRW

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2013
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Beautiful Burrum Heads QLD
#19
We probably averaged around 80K, yeah we had some dust, yeah we tore the tyres to pieces but that was from it hanging out on corners, the road was absolutley dreadful, the Strazleki was off limits due to earlier floods so we had to go via Condilla Downs Road which is very rocky. The road to and from Birdsville was really corrugated due to the races a week before, all that fell off the van was the shower door because one pop rivit let go, nothing else. I did check all the cupboard screws and put some PVA glue on them but the van held up really well. I am by no means going to knock Jayco, there were plenty of other vans out there that had major problems don't worry about that. In fact on Friday we are going to look at a new Journey 18 footer in the full size model (much to the brides displeasure)
Just go, be careful and take your time you will be fine