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Driving in the Sand Info

By: cane pole
1/28/2012 10:12 AM

thanks for keepin this thread going...i have learned a lot from this... Thumbs up

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By: 14 hours away
2/11/2012 7:11 PM

I have been reading though this posting and am really gathering incredible amounts of info!!!

I have never driven on the beach in all the years I have visited HAtteras Island, but we are getting to the age and health issues that may require us to drive.

we have a little 4X4 and have never taken it down here...14hr trip in it does not seem like the most fun!

But not having the experience, and lookiing for opinions, if we would bring it down in the future, do you think a Chevy Colorado 2005 4x4, regular cab, would do ok, aired down of course. Being a small truck and not a full sized truck i did not know if that would cause issues.

I appreciate this forum...tons of great info!!!! Many thanks!!!

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By: 64doors
2/12/2012 10:26 AM

To 14 hours away:
Your Colorado should do fine, mine does.
Ours is an 08 Crewcab that we've been driving on the beach since we bought in 2009. The only time we've had trouble with it was a malfunction in the 4wd that was a warranty issue, not a beach issue.
Prior to that we drove an S10 Blazer but several of the friends we traveled with drove S10 trucks.
Much of what has been posted in this thread particularly applies to you (and I) in "small" American-made (Shrevesport LA) trucks.

That particular truck will be more of an issue on the 14 hour journey on the highways than on the beach.

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By: Salvo Jimmy
2/12/2012 11:13 AM

To sort of bottom line this for you

Salvo Jimmy's 10 rules for a beach vehicle in priority order.

1. Ground clearance
2. More ground clearance
3. Really jack it up
4. Air Down
5 Air down some more
6. Really drop the pressure
7. Sufficient tire sidewall height for a good
balloon and flat footprint
8. No agressive tire tread
9. Wide tire tread
10. Ability to lock in 4WD so all wheels pull
together

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By: FreshFish
2/12/2012 1:25 PM

To sort of bottom line this for you

Salvo Jimmy's 10 rules for a beach vehicle in priority order.

1. Ground clearance
2. More ground clearance
3. Really jack it up
4. Air Down
5 Air down some more
6. Really drop the pressure
7. Sufficient tire sidewall height for a good
balloon and flat footprint
8. No agressive tire tread
9. Wide tire tread
10. Ability to lock in 4WD so all wheels pull
together



And just follow Salvo Jimmy Big grin

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By: Salvo Jimmy
2/13/2012 7:41 AM

To sort of bottom line this for you

Salvo Jimmy's 10 rules for a beach vehicle in priority order.

1. Ground clearance
2. More ground clearance
3. Really jack it up
4. Air Down
5 Air down some more
6. Really drop the pressure
7. Sufficient tire sidewall height for a good
balloon and flat footprint
8. No agressive tire tread
9. Wide tire tread
10. Ability to lock in 4WD so all wheels pull
together



And just follow Salvo Jimmy Big grin


Keep in mind I can't tow ya 'cause of my front and rear racks. I can only watch as you use my shovel digging Wink smiley Wink smiley

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By: Laszlo
9/14/2012 9:03 AM

Hey guys

Anyone have any experience with a Honda Ridgeline AWD? My 4Runner and Tundra were no problem at all, I have not tried the Honda yet.

Thanks

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By: Neil S
9/14/2012 5:52 PM

Joe Gallager has one and takes all the pictures for the CHAC tournament. has had no problems that I know of

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By: Salvo Jimmy
9/15/2012 6:43 AM

Hey guys

Anyone have any experience with a Honda Ridgeline AWD? My 4Runner and Tundra were no problem at all, I have not tried the Honda yet.

Thanks


Recommend you read my post above on drive systems, then consult your owners manual to see exactly how your AWD works. Doing so can keep you out of trouble and maybe avoid damage to the AWD, depending on how it works.

Bottom line, There is AWD and then there is AWD.

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By: Ed from the Village
9/17/2012 7:01 AM

the Ridgeline's system works fine - I see them all the time. I helped a guy out that was stuck in one yesterday. Just let the air down and it will go great!

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By: Salvo Jimmy
9/17/2012 7:30 AM

The reason I say check the owners manual is because many times sub models within a model line can have drive system differences.

For example my 04 SR5 4Runner is slightly different from a Limited in that same year as standard equiped.


And there can be differences year to year as well

And then there are options that might be on a given vehicle

Don't know if that is the case but there could be Ridgeline differences based on year, sub model and options.

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By: misswindyc
11/29/2012 8:16 PM

seems like a lot of rules for something that generations have just used common sense for. i would hope people would use their brain before attempting to drive on the beach. pretty much all there is to it is to air down and drive it in four wheel drive. unless you're driving for hours every day, it doesn't matter what kind of four wheel you have.

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By: Rodanthepier
1/27/2013 8:42 PM

or , just go to a pier

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By: Salvo Jimmy
1/28/2013 8:10 AM

it doesn't matter what kind of four wheel you have.


There is 4WD and 4WD wanna be. There is a difference.

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By: Gunpowder
1/28/2013 10:24 PM

I drove about 15 miles yesterday in 2 wheel drive with no problem. The tide was way out and the sand was hard. I still felt some slippage in the soft spots.
Getting up the beach access ramp I choose in Pine Island was a different story. It took me three attempts.
It was a steep access and I broke traction 1/2 way on the first attempt. I rolled back down. I tried again, slow and steady and still slipped about 3/4 way up. My tires are big and new and meaty and designed to dig which is not the best scenario for driving in the sand. The last attempt I backed up straight to the water to get a running start. I pretty much rolled almost to the top and then steadily gave it gas without slipping until I creasted the dune. Some times some momentum helps.

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By: izzymcgee
10/1/2013 10:07 AM

I like to bring these two with me in case I get stuck !!!



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By: Alexy
12/29/2013 3:12 PM

Just a bump to this sticky. Today we were headed up RT12 at the 38 ramp and saw a mom and 2 teen girls trying to flag someone down. We stopped and come to find out they had gotten stuck at the tideline in a F-350 crew cab with the tide coming in it raining sideways and the wind lowing 30 MPH. We aired down and went over in our Suburban offering to try and pull them out. Upon seeing the truck it was buried up to the axles and up to the bumper in the front. Before I tried pulling them I asked dad how much air they had aired down.
The reply " I am down to about 30 PSI"........ We dug down to the valve stems and put our tire buddies on the tires and with one reverse and a gentle run forward they were out and over the dune and back to the pavement.
They had called and the tow service ( Jarvis) who wanted $175 to pull them out. Just remember to AIR DOWN folks....

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By: Rick
12/29/2013 5:54 PM

Just a bump to this sticky. Today we were headed up RT12 at the 38 ramp and saw a mom and 2 teen girls trying to flag someone down. We stopped ....


Bless you you will be paid back in karma some day Thumbs up

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By: Alexy
12/30/2013 9:18 AM

Just a bump to this sticky. Today we were headed up RT12 at the 38 ramp and saw a mom and 2 teen girls trying to flag someone down. We stopped ....


Bless you you will be paid back in karma some day Thumbs up

YES I will...You get paid back everyday Thumbs up

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By: sigman
5/4/2014 8:25 PM

yummy on those prior pics. Banana

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By: Bob54
6/6/2014 9:29 AM

I encourage others to experiment with airing down. Be conservative at first, but experiment. Especially if you have a 4WD with locking differential, airing down can be adjusted to where you can run a pressure suitable for both on-road and on-beach. It also depends somewhat on where you are going and what ramps you intend to use. With our Toyota Sequoia, I rarely air down below the manufacturer's recommended 32 psi. With this vehicle in low range 4WD and traction control turned off, it simply isn't necessary. It is delightful to drive off the beach and run home without heading for an air station first, or running low pressure on the road. The Isuzu Trooper we had, with manual transmission, was another vehicle that did well with minimal airing down. OTOH, the Mercedes ML320 we had for a while, with full time 4WD system and highway tires, did much better when aired down. It all depends!

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By: bosoxtodd
7/10/2014 10:13 PM

Does anyone have any info/feedback/experience driving a newer model Explorer on the beach? 4WD systems have changed quite a bit since this very informative thread was started.

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By: mattglo737
11/12/2015 9:41 AM

It looks like it has been a while for a post but I'm considering taking my 2015 Subaru Outback on IBSP in NJ. It has what's called an "X-Mode" that is supposed to help off-road... The ground clearance is higher then previous models at 8.9" I think. I am a little worried about having 18" wheels with the smaller tires. I have plenty of experience on the sand when I had a wrangler. Thoughts, ideas, recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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By: CatfishStevens
4/13/2016 10:37 AM

Just a bump to this sticky. Today we were headed up RT12 at the 38 ramp and saw a mom and 2 teen girls trying to flag someone down. We stopped and come to find out they had gotten stuck at the tideline in a F-350 crew cab with the tide coming in it raining sideways and the wind lowing 30 MPH. We aired down and went over in our Suburban offering to try and pull them out. Upon seeing the truck it was buried up to the axles and up to the bumper in the front. Before I tried pulling them I asked dad how much air they had aired down.
The reply " I am down to about 30 PSI"........ We dug down to the valve stems and put our tire buddies on the tires and with one reverse and a gentle run forward they were out and over the dune and back to the pavement.
They had called and the tow service ( Jarvis) who wanted $175 to pull them out. Just remember to AIR DOWN folks....

Nice work... The fees the towing companies charge are crazy, but I guess they have a "captive market" so they can do it.

We always stay in the same place on Swan Beach and almost every time I have offered to help someone who is stuck they always refuse... It's usually someone in an AWD who didn't air down (or occasionally a passenger car.) Clapping smiley

I always keep boards, a couple of tow straps and DC air pump in my Tacoma when we visit.

Good advice in this thread, especially about airing down. It really is the key. I usually keep the truck about 20psi all the time unless we head south of Duck for a longer excursion or something... In those cases I'll go ahead and put highway pressure back in until we get back to Corolla.

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By: Salvo Jimmy
5/21/2016 8:43 AM

The link in the air down post for optimum footprint no longer works, so here is the info.

The optimum footprint for sand.

It is not a one size fits all so you will have to experiment a little to find what fits your setup. Your vehicle should roll (float) rather easily over the sand and not require a lot of extra power (torque). And remember street pressure is not necessarily exactly what is on the door placard. The placard is nominal for a nominal load (usually indicated on the placard). Both street and sand pressures are load dependent (including passengers, gas, etc) and may vary front to back, depending on how you are loaded.

Here is a place to start on airing down. Works for radials; don’t know about others.

Load your vehicle, including passengers, like you will have it in the sand. On level pavement with the tires at street recommended pressure, measure the height from the pavement to bottom of the rim. Remember recommended street pressure on the door placard is nominal so more or less load means more or less pressure. And the height can vary front to back, depending on load, so measure both.

Then drop the pressure until the height is ¾ of the street pressure measurement. This will give a nice flat footprint that will roll (float) easier over the sand rather than pushing down into the sand as hard tires tend to do. Lowering the pressure more generally does not gain you much and it can concave the center of the tread in toward the rim and thus you are riding more on the edges and that can also tend to dig you in.

With the flat footprint you can also drive on pavement without fear of excessive tire wear because you are not riding just on the edges. Now that said you want to keep speed down on pavement because the extra flex in the sidewall can generate excessive heat and that is where damage can occur.

I have used this for decades, staying aired down for weeks at a time, and have seen no noticeable degradation in tire wear. Just keep my speed at about 45 mph max, particularly in hot weather and don’t do long trips. But never hesitate to do a 60 mile round trip up and down Bodie, Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

For my 4Runner this works to about 20 +/- 2 psi, give or take on load.

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