Will my Bridgestone Dueller Alenza H/Ls P255/75R17s have enough traction for beach driving at Hatteras? I am traveling several hundred miles and am concerned about handling and safety on the interstate if I install my spare set of the stock BF Goodrich Mud Terrain BSWs that came on the 2011 Mojave.
For dry sand, floatation is more important than lots of traction tread(unless you are running paddle tires and have the HP to turn them)....so your Bridgestone tires will be fine if you air them down to 10-12 psi.
I have the trail grapplers on mine and 4hi works well on the FL beaches even without airing down. Just don't bury it. Take a snatch rope in case and some boards for traction. The dry lake I live on is sugar sand and I have had to air down for better flotation if I am really playing. I am going to do the 4hi locker conversion for dune driving later this year.
All good advice here, so I'm largely echoing what's already been said, but it was my experience that any AT tire, aired down appropriately, will provide plenty of traction. I live on Pleasure Island NC (Carolina Beach), & frequently drive out on both the north end at Freeman Park, & the south end at Ft Fisher. 4H seems to work better, as the low range seems to dig the tires. A gntle foot on the skinny pedal is advisable starting out, but in a really soft section don't be afraid to use enough throttle to keep some momentum. I also will frequently stop without brakes, just coast, and after I've stopped I back up a foot or so, that way when I start back up I'm running in my own flat compacted tire tracks rather than a soft spot.
4wd beach driving is a funny thing- I've seen bone stock sport cutes trundling merrily along, and just tonight on my way off the beach I saw a JK Rubicon buried up to the axles!
I live in Eastern, NC (born in Wilmington) and spend a great amount of time in the sand. Oddly enough I rarely ever air down my 35x12.50 BFG KM2's unless things look super fluffy, the I drop down to about 15lbs or so...depending on how far I have to drive for air. I basically just drift along never punching the gas, swerving, or using the brakes. I have never once been stuck. Of course I don't drive like a nut job, my Jeep isn't over-loaded, and I don't cut up in the deep stuff near the dunes, or get near mushy wet slop that looks super sticky.
On most parts of the OBX I see full size 4wd trucks loaded down that drive right out to surf fish without any issue...but they aren't "exploring."
Things have changed a lot here in NC and just "going for a ride" on the beach is becoming increasingly harder to do. Google "driving on the beach in NC" and read up. And a word to the wise, if you are drinking DO NOT drive on the beach or anywhere near Howard's Pub after having a few drinks.
01 TJ Sahara 4.0 Auto
35s, 4.56s, D35/44, Locked, Lifted,
Dented, Scratched, Broke Windshield,
Warn M8000, 12voltguy, KC's
2 much crap/mods to list
I was just in OBX in may and depending on where you're staying there are plenty of places to air up and most are free. I know just as you come in to Buxton from the north on the right side is a place called Dillons Corner they have free air and are just down the street from the main access ramp to the point. The new orv laws and closures are severely hurting the local economy and even the birds they are "trying" to protect. The bird populations have already started to drop since there are now no people to scare away the predators. Anyway enough of that I would air down but I've gone out before without and had no problems. Have fun and be safe enjoy the sand I miss it everyday.
BTW here's the fancy $120 sticker you get with the annual permit.
I promise to be nicer if you promise to be smarter.
I'm hoping to have a selectable rear locker the next time I go to the OBX, I was just wondering if you guys lock it in as soon as you hit sand, or only lock it when you get stuck. What's the general rule for normal OBX beach driving with a selectable rear locker?
Well as far as lockers are concerned, we've been here in Hatteras for awhile and just watched a fully loaded Subaru, not aired down, not 'offroad tired', not prepared for an extrication in the the sand should they get stuck, turn off the highway and charge onto the beach. They did not get stuck.
The locker would help should you get bogged down, but I wouldn't engage it right away. Our TJ has detroits f/r and locking hubs. We did not air down and used 2wd most of the time, BUT it was low tide and the sand was hard packed.
Just follow the advice everyone has given and you will be okay.