Offroading question

Offroading question




Hi all -

I am returning to OBX for a second summer with my family. Super excited. I am thinking about bringing down my lifted Bronco to drive on the beach. My question is do the passenger occupancy laws apply on the beach? More specifically, my Bronco has 5 seatbelts. Can I legally get my wife and seven kids inside?

Thanks in advance!


OBX Connection Sponsored Links




RE: Offroading question




If you are talking about driving on the Hatteras National Seashore, It is my understanding all rules of the road (North Carolina) apply. Check out this website: https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/orv_faq.htm

I can't help you if you are talking about the beach north of Corolla, but stay tuned, someone will step up. Either way, don't forget to "air down". Best wishes.


RE: Offroading question




Thank you very much for the reply. I had seen that link when I was researching my question, before I posted here. I understood that the car had to be registered, etc. I didn't see any clear statements regarding occupancy, seat belts, etc.

Maybe someone knows from experience what is tolerated/allowed?


RE: Offroading question




ALL Rules of the road apply. How strictly they're enforced could vary from ranger to ranger.. And at some point, you'll be on paved Rte 12 to get to the beach ramp.youll be in violation then, too.
You're aware that you need a beach driving permit, and several safety items, like a shovel, and a few others..read the list.
This refers to NPS beaches.
Can you get away with it? Maybe, maybe not.


RE: Offroading question




Thanks for the reply!

I have a second vehicle to get to the access ramp.

Also, my truck is fully equipped:. 1.5 ton and 2.5 ton jacks; shovels; even have snapon impact if I need to remove the tire; air; etc.


RE: Offroading question




My VA cousin has a coming 10 year old kid who is still required, for some reason, to be in a child safety seat. As already stated, the rules of the highway apply to NC beaches. Whether you are on Park Service or Carova 4x4 beaches.
smiley with shades


RE: Offroading question




One word of caution, but it sounds like you are savvy.
Once you get on the sand, do not let the kids sit on the tailgate while driving. They'll get you quick for that.


RE: Offroading question




I've been told that everyone seated inside must be belted. When asked about carrying someone in the bed of a pickup or rear cargo area of a vehicle I was told they had be someone 16 or older and seated on the floor. They cannot be standing, kneeling, or seated on coolers, beach chairs etc.

I have passed both rangers on the beach and Dare Deputies traveling on the hard road and never been given a second glance. Of course it goes a long way if you are obeying the rest of driving laws.


RE: Offroading question




I've been told that everyone seated inside must be belted. When asked about carrying someone in the bed of a pickup or rear cargo area of a vehicle I was told they had be someone 16 or older and seated on the floor. They cannot be standing, kneeling, or seated on coolers, beach chairs etc.

I have passed both rangers on the beach and Dare Deputies traveling on the hard road and never been given a second glance. Of course it goes a long way if you are obeying the rest of driving laws.


Yes, What Smeeky said!


RE: Offroading question




oops, now that I am on the correct thread and see you have received helpful advice:

Opinion on occupancy, unless you are driving carelessly or folks are hanging out the windows or dragging feet off the tailgate, you should have no problems. Common sense approach works fine.


RE: Offroading question




I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am definitely a cautious driver and my kids are well behaved, so I don't think I would be drawing attention to myself. Still undecided...


RE: Offroading question




I live and work from Carova to Corolla and have never worn a seatbelt on the 4x4 beach in 15 years. I also obey all the beach driving rules to a T and I wave at all the sheriff's I know. However, once I get on the hard road it's "seatbelts fastened" before I go any further.


RE: Offroading question




I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am definitely a cautious driver and my kids are well behaved, so I don't think I would be drawing attention to myself. Still undecided...


Not sure where you'll be staying and if you'd be driving mostly on the Corolla or HI beaches. I'm not sure if you've ever done any beach driving in NC. However, as a 1st time beach driver on HI, I'd say take your truck. It's worth it. Head out on ramp 48 at 6am (assuming no closure). It's amazing.


RE: Offroading question




I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am definitely a cautious driver and my kids are well behaved, so I don't think I would be drawing attention to myself. Still undecided...


Not sure where you'll be staying and if you'd be driving mostly on the Corolla or HI beaches. I'm not sure if you've ever done any beach driving in NC. However, as a 1st time beach driver on HI, I'd say take your truck. It's worth it. Head out on ramp 48 at 6am (assuming no closure). It's amazing.


We'll be in Hatteras Island. Never done beach driving. I have a 5 spd Bronco 5.0L with a 4" lift and 33s. I assume what I lack in experience, my truck will compensate for. Like I said before I am (overly) cautious. Any videos/tutorials to give me some pointers, or am I being overly concerned?


RE: Offroading question




Sign up on Facebook for the group "Oregon Inlet Idiots" where you can see others hard tires & the ensuing mayhem. Air down, keep your speed up & over the ramps & don't cut your tires too hard. Most say 19 psi is good. Watch out for red sand. Don't forget a tide chart!
smiley with shades


RE: Offroading question




I am used to driving in the snow, where I put my truck in 4H and usually don't lock my hubs unless the streets are real bad. On the beach should I keep my hubs unlocked?


RE: Offroading question




I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am definitely a cautious driver and my kids are well behaved, so I don't think I would be drawing attention to myself. Still undecided...


Not sure where you'll be staying and if you'd be driving mostly on the Corolla or HI beaches. I'm not sure if you've ever done any beach driving in NC. However, as a 1st time beach driver on HI, I'd say take your truck. It's worth it. Head out on ramp 48 at 6am (assuming no closure). It's amazing.


We'll be in Hatteras Island. Never done beach driving. I have a 5 spd Bronco 5.0L with a 4" lift and 33s. I assume what I lack in experience, my truck will compensate for. Like I said before I am (overly) cautious. Any videos/tutorials to give me some pointers, or am I being overly concerned?


If you search Youtube you'll find many vids showing the right way to drive and many more showing what can happen if you don't drive the right way. Also many of the rental companies will have videos and driving information on their websites that can be useful. Below is one from Twiddy showing the importance of airing down. What is not mentioned is that it not only helps you get around when you air down but airing down will also cut down on the washboard effect left in the sand by those who don't air down. Those of us who come after you will appreciate that.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTnkxrEnt7A


RE: Offroading question




I am used to driving in the snow, where I put my truck in 4H and usually don't lock my hubs unless the streets are real bad. On the beach should I keep my hubs unlocked?


I recommend the opposite on sand. Keep the hubs locked and shift to 4H while going over the ramp into the beach.

79 bronco in my profile pic. What year is yours? Enjoy.


RE: Offroading question




Air down, air down, air down before you cross the ramp. I see people with jacked up trucks on the beach all the time that don't air down because they have a big bad, high riding, 4x4. Start out at 20 psi cold, lock your hubs and put it in 4x4 while crossing the ramp and just let it there till you leave. I have seen people get stuck because they were running in 2 wd on hard packed areas and forgot to switch back to 4 wd in the softer stuff. I air down when I get to Hatteras and don't air back up till I leave to go home, just drive sensibly on the road and keep your speed under 45mph. You should be able to feel your bronco riding on top of the sand and not pushing through it. If it feels as if it's pushing stop and drop the tires to 18 psi. Hope this helps and have fun during your stay.


RE: Offroading question




A lot has been covered but this thread may help.
http://www.obxconnection.com/outer-banks-forum/forum-thread.aspx?Thread=53010
Looking forward to my first trip to Hatteras in August. Trying to convince my wife that we need the truck for this trip. To fit everything of course Wink smiley


RE: Offroading question




I live and work from Carova to Corolla and have never worn a seatbelt on the 4x4 beach in 15 years. I also obey all the beach driving rules to a T and I wave at all the sheriff's I know. However, once I get on the hard road it's "seatbelts fastened" before I go any further.


I am surprised you wouldn't wear your belts all the time. It's a simple and easy device to use designed to save your life. A life threatening accident could happen any where.


RE: Offroading question




I am used to driving in the snow, where I put my truck in 4H and usually don't lock my hubs unless the streets are real bad. On the beach should I keep my hubs unlocked?


It is a bit different than snow. My suggestion is that if you feel your front or back "drop" - don't try to rock it, or power out. It won't work, you'll just dig in deeper. Grab your folding camp shovel you picked up at Wally-world, remove the couple of inches of sand from in front of your tires and drive out.

I don't think you're being overly concerned. It's different. I'm a well seasoned snow driver also, and just had my 1st beach driving experience. It's not the same. But it sounds like you've got your wits about you. Know your truck. Don't be stupid. Be prepared. Air down. Don't be hard on the gas peddle, but don't be afraid to use it. I also found it helpful to stay geared down to keep my engine RPM up. Never went higher than 2nd gear. Know your ramps, and which ones are priority. When they say "May be impassable at high tide" - they mean it. Download a tide app and have a general idea where it's at while you're on the beach. Most of all - have a blast!


RE: Offroading question




Air down, air down, air down before you cross the ramp. I see people with jacked up trucks on the beach all the time that don't air down because they have a big bad, high riding, 4x4. Start out at 20 psi cold, lock your hubs and put it in 4x4 while crossing the ramp and just let it there till you leave. I have seen people get stuck because they were running in 2 wd on hard packed areas and forgot to switch back to 4 wd in the softer stuff. I air down when I get to Hatteras and don't air back up till I leave to go home, just drive sensibly on the road and keep your speed under 45mph. You should be able to feel your bronco riding on top of the sand and not pushing through it. If it feels as if it's pushing stop and drop the tires to 18 psi. Hope this helps and have fun during your stay.


Yep......^^^^^^


RE: Offroading question




I am used to driving in the snow, where I put my truck in 4H and usually don't lock my hubs unless the streets are real bad. On the beach should I keep my hubs unlocked?


I recommend the opposite on sand. Keep the hubs locked and shift to 4H while going over the ramp into the beach.

79 bronco in my profile pic. What year is yours? Enjoy.


'96 (Last year they were made) with a 302; I really wanted a 351 5.8L, but I could not find any with a manual tranny, which I wanted.


RE: Offroading question




Your Bronco is made for Beach duty....Get a permit, air down the tires, lock hubs, 4WD high and 1st or 2nd gear and keep the revs up and follow tracks....Enjoy the experience with your family....Unforgettable for all!