Hopefully this write up will give you a good idea as to how it performed on our last trip away.
Plans Go Awry
Our initial trip preparation had us doing a big loop in the Simpson Desert before heading back down the Oodnadatta Track. Amanda’s brother Peter had expressed a desire to get onboard so we discussed the plans of what we’d been planning.
Well that was before the rains hit in the northern Simpson Desert and the Channel country in QLD. To cut a long story short it meant we couldn’t cross the desert from the east or alternatively from the west either.
Peter pulled out as he wasn’t interested in back tracking and we had to sit down and re-think our own plans.
Whatever we planned meant that we’d need the long range capability of our diesel Prado. Enter the 136L capacity of our new Long Range Automotive fuel tank coupled with the existing 87L and we have a combined total of 223L.
Our new plan included taking some of the lesser used tracks from Mt. Dare like parts of the WAA Line, the Rig Road, some of the French Line and then up to the Geographic Centre of the Simpson Desert. From there we would return to Mt. Dare our start point for this leg of the journey.
The first leg of our journey was from the Riverland of SA up to Alice Springs for my daughter’s wedding reception. I filled the tanks, headed off and landed in Alice with 500km still left in the tank!
It’s a bonus when you find that stopping is required to simply stretch your legs and not to fill up at sometimes expensive fuel outlets.
Once the festivities were over we headed south along the old Ghan Railway track towards Finke community. The weather was warm and the flies were keeping us company.
We travelled to Finke and then Mt. Dare without incident and stayed overnight. The next day we filled the tank, obtained our Desert Parks pass and left for the desert.
Without going into detail for the purpose of this update, we did indeed do the WAA line, the Rig Road, part of the French Line and then the untracked drive up to the Geographic Centre. We then returned to the French Line headed west and then at the last minute (luckily we had obtained a Madigan permit as a backup plan), drove up the Colson Track to where it met the Madigan Line.
We continued westwards onto Mac Clark Conservation Reserve, old Andado Station, Mayfield Swamp and then back to Mt. Dare. The total distance covered was 1160km and this was only possible due to our Long Range Automotive fuel tank.
Fuel consumption varied from around 10L/100km up to over 30L/100km according to our trip computer. Overall this averaged out to around 19L/100 over the distance and, in particular a couple of days of driving, over trackless terrain.
From the desert we returned along the Oodnadatta Track and then visited Arkaroola and the Flinders Ranges. From sand to rocky and dry dirt we found having the fuel reserve was an ongoing benefit to our travels.
On road the original tanks gave me up to around 1200km but the fitted long range tank now means I can get between 1600-1800km depending on how I drive.
Offroad, the original setup gave me about an 800km range but, to its credit, this new tank now means I can make up to about 1200km. This is an enormous increase when you consider you simply can’t get fuel in some areas.
Most importantly, over varying terrain from sand, dirt to extremely rocky terrain the tank has withstood it all. There are no scrapes or dents which is testament to how well the tank has been designed to sit under the rear of the Prado.
Sure, it has a few stone chip marks on the tank but then so has everything else under the car. I couldn’t be happier with the tank and the increased range I now have and can’t wait to plan the next trip.
A con of the new Long Range Automotive fuel tank is that it reads under capacity. The trip computer in my Prado does not “read” the increase in capacity of the new tank.
What does this mean? In my case it means that I do not get a true indication of the range available to empty.
You get used to the discrepancy on your trip computer so therefore when I need to be sure I can see around the 500km mark (the point at which it accesses the main tank) whether or not I need to fill up at the next opportunity. I doubt now whether I’ll even bother connecting up the Scan Gauge to maintain an accurate reading.
So, if you want to be less reliant on fuel stops or simply want peace of mind in your journey take a look at what’s available for your rig at Long Range Automotive.
Long Range Automotive fuel tank supplied by Long Range Automotive, Lilydale, Victoria.