Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton





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  1. #1
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    Default Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Hi everyone,

    We are in the final planning stages of our upcoming roadtrip to Cape Town and back to Potch and I was wondering if the R356 from Sutherland to Loxton via Fraserburg is drivable with SWAMBO's Ford Ecosport particularly regarding punctures etc.

    Any advice will be welcome.

    Thank you !
    Riaan
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Yes, it's driveable with an Ecosport.
    But ! , there are many unseen ditches in the road and if you have more than 1 puncture ( very likely)
    the you are stuck without reception and the local tyre places will rip you a new one for the tyre repair.
    But a lovely stretch of road if you take it easy.
    There's only 3 reasons to stand up : to get the remote , to go to the bathroom or because you're the Real Slim Shady.

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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by GunRunner View Post
    Hi everyone,

    We are in the final planning stages of our upcoming roadtrip to Cape Town and back to Potch and I was wondering if the R356 from Sutherland to Loxton via Fraserburg is drivable with SWAMBO's Ford Ecosport particularly regarding punctures etc.

    Any advice will be welcome.

    Thank you !
    Drove that road at the end of July. You should not have any problems as most of the road is in good condition. Just take it easy and avoid the "middelmannetjie".
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by GunRunner View Post
    Hi everyone,

    We are in the final planning stages of our upcoming roadtrip to Cape Town and back to Potch and I was wondering if the R356 from Sutherland to Loxton via Fraserburg is drivable with SWAMBO's Ford Ecosport particularly regarding punctures etc.

    Any advice will be welcome.

    Thank you !
    Apart from a general observation that Karoo roads are usually some of the best dirt roads in the country, best advice is to keep speeds down (< 100 km/h). Slower speeds also assist in spotting embedded sharp rocks. If you want to make 100% sure, just take a cheap small compressor along, with a basic tyre repair (plug) set, should come in below R1500 for both.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by GunRunner View Post
    Hi everyone,

    We are in the final planning stages of our upcoming roadtrip to Cape Town and back to Potch and I was wondering if the R356 from Sutherland to Loxton via Fraserburg is drivable with SWAMBO's Ford Ecosport particularly regarding punctures etc.

    Any advice will be welcome.

    Thank you !
    I will find out from the police who drive these routes every day and from the roads department (Streekdiensraad) tomorrow. The state of these roads change rapidly due to heavy trucks using them especially for droogtehulp and the grader working to keep them serviceable. What tyres has the Ecosport got (Size and type)?

    Let you know the conditions tomorrow.

    Edit: The route you are referring to is in the Northern, not Western Cape.
    Last edited by Olyfboer; 2019/08/27 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Information
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    I will find out from the police who drive these routes every day and from the roads department (Streekdiensraad) tomorrow. The state of these roads change rapidly due to heavy trucks using them especially for droogtehulp and the grader working to keep them serviceable. What tyres has the Ecosport got (Size and type)? 205/60R16 Road tyres

    Let you know the conditions tomorrow. Thank you !

    Edit: The route you are referring to is in the Northern, not Western Cape. When I typed the thread I KNEW I was going to get into trouble for that
    Thanks for all the helpful replies !
    Riaan
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by GunRunner View Post
    Thanks for all the helpful replies !
    Spoke to the police and the roads department. The Sutherland - Fraserburg stretch is recently graded and an easy drive. The Fraserburg - Loxton stretch is in a good condition. When the police asked me what car and I mentioned Ford Ecosport, they said it wouldn't have a problem.

    Enjoy the trip.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Spoke to the police and the roads department. The Sutherland - Fraserburg stretch is recently graded and an easy drive. The Fraserburg - Loxton stretch is in a good condition. When the police asked me what car and I mentioned Ford Ecosport, they said it wouldn't have a problem.

    Enjoy the trip.
    Baie dankie vir jou moeite - ek waardeer dit !
    Riaan
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Did this road on Tuesday. No problems, can easy do it in a car. Many small (FWD 1/2 ton) bakkies came screaming past. I just took it slow and had no problems.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Good morning forum members.

    Can someone give me an update on the road conditions from Victoria West to Sutherland? Planning on driving the route on Saturday.

    Would also like an update on possible routes from Sutherland to Ceres. Driving that on Sunday.
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendel1986 View Post
    Good morning forum members.

    Can someone give me an update on the road conditions from Victoria West to Sutherland? Planning on driving the route on Saturday.

    Would also like an update on possible routes from Sutherland to Ceres. Driving that on Sunday.
    Which route are you using from Victoria West to Sutherland? I trust you will be using the Pajero? You can use the R 354 from Sutherland to Ceres. I haven't driven it for a while. I will be in a meeting with the police in the morning and I can ask them for the condition of the roads as they drive them often. I can also ask the Roads Department responsible for grading the dirt roads. There has been sporadic rain toward Loxton so the road may have been affected. I will post information tomorrow late afternoon.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Thanks Olyfboer. That would be great. We are planning to use the R63 (tar? Would assume potholes will be present?) from Victoria West to Loxton, then from Loxton to Fraserburgh and on to Sutherland we will be taking the R356 (all gravel?) . This will all be on Saturday.

    Then Sunday I am contemplating the two routes in the attached picture. Some info will be appreciated!

    The R354 is all tar?

    Yes, will be driving the Pajero Sport (2015) and so too will my dad (2018)
    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Which route are you using from Victoria West to Sutherland? I trust you will be using the Pajero? You can use the R 354 from Sutherland to Ceres. I haven't driven it for a while. I will be in a meeting with the police in the morning and I can ask them for the condition of the roads as they drive them often. I can also ask the Roads Department responsible for grading the dirt roads. There has been sporadic rain toward Loxton so the road may have been affected. I will post information tomorrow late afternoon.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendel1986 View Post
    Thanks Olyfboer. That would be great. We are planning to use the R63 (tar? Would assume potholes will be present?) from Victoria West to Loxton, then from Loxton to Fraserburgh and on to Sutherland we will be taking the R356 (all gravel?) . This will all be on Saturday.

    Then Sunday I am contemplating the two routes in the attached picture. Some info will be appreciated!

    The R354 is all tar?

    Yes, will be driving the Pajero Sport (2015) and so too will my dad (2018)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The route in blue from Sutherland is via the R354 toward matjiesfontein. It is tar until it turns off onto the R356 which is all dirt until a bit before Ceres at Karoopoort. The red route is on the R355 which is known as a tyre eater and the longest dirt road in SA between Ceres and Calvinia. Ensure your tyres are at the correct pressure, don't drive too fast and ensure you have proper AT tyres.

    From Victoria West to Loxton the R63 is tar. From Loxton to Fraserburg and then to Sutherland the R356 is all dirt except for in Fraserburg and the last 13 km to Sutherland.

    Reports are that some of the Loxton - Fraserburg stretch is a bit rough but nothing your vehicle won't handle. The Fraserburg to Sutherland section is bad in parts with some stones but mostly easy for your vehicle. Just be careful between Fraserburg and Sutherland as there are three narrow bridges. Take it slow on seeing the signs as hitting them at speed could bounce you causing a loss of control.

    Here is a link to the road numbers and indications of tar or dirt: https://www.africanbudgetsafaris.com...ca-street-map/

    I have no info re the condition of the R354 but if it helps, here is a pic of my 1973 Series 2A Landy after changing a tyre on the R355.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Many thanks Olyfboer, much appreciated. Valuable info. Will drop some pictures over the weekend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    The route in blue from Sutherland is via the R354 toward matjiesfontein. It is tar until it turns off onto the R356 which is all dirt until a bit before Ceres at Karoopoort. The red route is on the R355 which is known as a tyre eater and the longest dirt road in SA between Ceres and Calvinia. Ensure your tyres are at the correct pressure, don't drive too fast and ensure you have proper AT tyres.

    From Victoria West to Loxton the R63 is tar. From Loxton to Fraserburg and then to Sutherland the R356 is all dirt except for in Fraserburg and the last 13 km to Sutherland.

    Reports are that some of the Loxton - Fraserburg stretch is a bit rough but nothing your vehicle won't handle. The Fraserburg to Sutherland section is bad in parts with some stones but mostly easy for your vehicle. Just be careful between Fraserburg and Sutherland as there are three narrow bridges. Take it slow on seeing the signs as hitting them at speed could bounce you causing a loss of control.

    Here is a link to the road numbers and indications of tar or dirt: https://www.africanbudgetsafaris.com...ca-street-map/

    I have no info re the condition of the R354 but if it helps, here is a pic of my 1973 Series 2A Landy after changing a tyre on the R355.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendel1986 View Post
    Many thanks Olyfboer, much appreciated. Valuable info. Will drop some pictures over the weekend.
    Thank you. I'll be interested to read your comments. Enjoy the trip.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Thanks Olyfboer. This could not have been more accurate.

    The first dirt section from Loxton to Fraserburgh has a few rocky sections bit nothing too rough, just some cattle gates where the section before and after the gate that is badly rutted - it will shake your fillings loose!

    The second one is a bit better from Fraserburgh to Sutherland, less rocky patches. Those bridges are pretty narrow as you mentioned and needs some care to negotiate safely.

    Talking about safety - we averaged around 85km/h that we found was best for the corrugated section (not many though). We had one guy however that felt this was too slow and sped past us in his Jeep GC and in the process kicked up stones that unfortunately caused some damage to my father's vehicle. Also, care should be taken not to try and drive over the "middelmannetjie" too often as some are quite high and might cause some instability.

    Overall the road is in good condition. The long stretches in between the short bad patches make it worth it when your vehicle just sings over the dirt.

    Still was an enjoyable experience and would recommend it over the crazy N1 any day.

    Will report later about the section of dirt between Sutherland and Ceres.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    The route in blue from Sutherland is via the R354 toward matjiesfontein. It is tar until it turns off onto the R356 which is all dirt until a bit before Ceres at Karoopoort. The red route is on the R355 which is known as a tyre eater and the longest dirt road in SA between Ceres and Calvinia. Ensure your tyres are at the correct pressure, don't drive too fast and ensure you have proper AT tyres.

    From Victoria West to Loxton the R63 is tar. From Loxton to Fraserburg and then to Sutherland the R356 is all dirt except for in Fraserburg and the last 13 km to Sutherland.

    Reports are that some of the Loxton - Fraserburg stretch is a bit rough but nothing your vehicle won't handle. The Fraserburg to Sutherland section is bad in parts with some stones but mostly easy for your vehicle. Just be careful between Fraserburg and Sutherland as there are three narrow bridges. Take it slow on seeing the signs as hitting them at speed could bounce you causing a loss of control.

    Here is a link to the road numbers and indications of tar or dirt: https://www.africanbudgetsafaris.com...ca-street-map/

    I have no info re the condition of the R354 but if it helps, here is a pic of my 1973 Series 2A Landy after changing a tyre on the R355.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00371.jpg 
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    The road between Sutherland and Ceres was an interesting one. The quality varied a lot. We stayed on the R356 all the way and had a mixed bag of wide open stretches that the vehicle just wanted to run and you had to stay mindful of the speed you are travelling. Then we had some bone jarring, deep rutted, sharp turn stuff that was a bit rough.

    All in all a nice scenic route and I am happy that I can tick them off now. Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Road Condition: R356 Sutherland to Loxton

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendel1986 View Post
    Talking about safety - we averaged around 85km/h that we found was best for the corrugated section (not many though). We had one guy however that felt this was too slow and sped past us in his Jeep GC and in the process kicked up stones that unfortunately caused some damage to my father's vehicle. Also, care should be taken not to try and drive over the "middelmannetjie" too often as some are quite high and might cause some instability.
    Glad I could supply you with relevant information and you enjoyed the drive. You always get the guy who goes too fast. I blame the electronic aids vehicles have. Not having them forces you to slow down. The locals also slow down and pull over when passing. Then nobody gets stoned. Then you get the 4x2 guys who usually end up in the veld with the wheels in the air when they go too fast. And you have to stop and check nobody is still in the car on these lonely roads.

    Enjoy your trip.
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