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Old 06-03-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
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Sandy beach driving

Been looking through the forum and can't find a thread specific to driving on beach sand. I read a few things about decreasing tire pressure and using certain gears but I'm just curious about what advise there is for driving on a sandy beach. I live in Cape Breton so there are lots of beaches around and I plan on taking advantage ! I have a 2003 Tj 4.0 5 speed. No lift and 31" tires.

How likely am I to get stuck on a beach? Is it common to get stuck or do most stock jeeps do fine?

What tire pressure? 4low..? 4..high? (When should I switch my jeep to 4wd? When stopped? In N or while driving? )

General tips about driving in the sand and how jeeps react?
Just planning ahead and you guys always seem to mention things I would never think of until I experience situations first hand.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:21 AM   #2
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For sure air down. Don't start fast. Just thoughts. Hope you have a great time!

Some tips HERE.

It's hip to be square.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:31 AM   #3
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Put in 4wd before you get on the beach and take the tires to like 20psi stock jeeps do awesome in the sand I live at the beach the key is when you feel you are starting to get stuck keep your foot on the gas as long as to are going forward the moment you are stopped and have tires spinning stop or it's very hard to get back out stay on the hard pack and you don't have to worry

Some people use 4low I don't I use 4high never had a problem also never get stuck and have pulled out many jeeps and trucks and cars
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:51 AM   #4
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Desert sand is different, but I find airing down, 4-high to be fine. I have an automatic and using first gear helps sometimes. I also prefer to turn off "ESC", but I don't know how much of a difference that takes.

I can't predict the right PSI for you, too many factors, but if you do start to lose traction, stop, and let more air out. Just one PSI makes a huge difference at low pressures. I would start higher, maybe 12, and go down if I find it necessary. You can go down to at least 7.5, at least I can on 245/75/16 Hankook Dynapro ATMs, and maybe my gauge doesn't read the same as yours. Eventually you will find the PSI that lets you go through almost anything by gradually lowering.

Don't go alone. IF you get stuck all alone you can:

1. Dig out the center from the four sides of the Jeep. Keep digging until it is 100% clear if you are alone, resist the temptation to just do "good enough". Should take around 45 min. if you are healthy.

2. Use sand tracks. I used the rubber ones once when I got stuck exactly the same time as the vehicle with me, even though we were 50m apart. I tied them to the wheels and was out in 5 minutes.

3. Try to rock out by moving a SLIGHT amount back and forth in 4-low. How you turn the wheel or if you turn it depends on the situation. Avoid any wheel spin until you are really sure you can get out.

Not the only or best ideas, this is just how I handle sand driving which I do and see a lot of.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #5
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Different beaches will have different sand. Different tires have different effects. On a beach, they say a mild tread is better.

On Island Beach in NJ, I air down to 12psi. The regulars are saying the sand is "softer" than usual, maybe due to Sandy.
"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…” -Hunter S. Thompson
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
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i drive on the beach in south county RI. what i have found works best for me is to air down to 18 psi and i also use 4wd low. my rubicon is completely stock, but the tread pattern on the rubicon seems to always want to "dig in" to the sand, so that's why i use 4 low.

other than that, what the others have said. especially keeping your foot on the gas when you feel like you are floating around corners.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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Abdul, I read a post from somewhere in the middle east and that poster said they use water to get unstuck. Pour the water around the tire let it get sucked up, it will harden and allow you to drive out. I never had to try it.

FWIW, I like 4 low so I can get into the power easier without speeding.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
Abdul, I read a post from somewhere in the middle east and that poster said they use water to get unstuck. Pour the water around the tire let it get sucked up, it will harden and allow you to drive out. I never had to try it.
In theory, it could work, but I tried it and it didn't do much. I felt like I would need a LOT more water than I was willing to use. I didn't really want to use my water on that, especially stuck in the desert. On a beach, you have so much water that maybe you could try it and figure it out. You should post a video if you can do it.

Water does firm up the sand, at least the sand here, much more than you may think. The desert is like a paved road after the rain, apart from the mud spots. I had a friend who is a good sand driver, but after the rain the dunes were so hard and traction so good, he hit one too fast and flew. The d-35 was destroyed along with all shocks. In my experience, sand with salt becomes even harder, almost like concrete. But remember, every area has different sand and so many factors affect it from sand composition to moisture to heat, never mind tires, gearing, driving style, etc.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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Also note, beaches permitting over sand driving recommend things like:
- Airing down to 18psi.
- Bring 18"x18" 3/4" plywood so you have a solid surface to jack on.
- Bring tow strap.
- Bring shovel, small folding kind is fine.
- Have matching size spare tire.

Makes sense, following the above should allow people to get out of most any situation. the park rangers don't need to help dumb tourists. Also most beaches post 35mph speed limits. That feels like a safe speed in any sand conditions however I've seen people fly down soft sand beaches like it's a highway.

Lastly, I've got the 6 speed and prefer using 4 low. In low, it'll just glide across the sand without barely pressing the gas.

...and stay out of the salt water, it'll really accelerate corrosion.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
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Also before u leave check your oil. I went to Silver Lake Dunes and spent the whole day there. Three times I had a hot oil light come on and then my oil light came on. Later that day I decided to check my oil and it was black. Remember if u beat on it make sure you take care of it when u get home. Also, I do 12psi my Rubicon has no problems eating through the sand.

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