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Old 01-22-2012, 08:55 AM   #1
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Beach Driving Experts, need advise?

I'm taking my jeep to the NC Outer Banks and I would like your input. I plan on deflating my tires to 12lbs or so for sand driving but I'm interested to know if my 35" Nitto Trial Grapplers w/ alot of tread be problem. I don't want them to grip into sand too deep forcing the engine to work harder and getting stuck. My question, do knobby tires work as well in sand? Any tips?

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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I had buckshots on last summer and drove in the sand every other weekend. Just use 4 lo and go easy on the skinny pedal and you will be fine. Also don't stop too quickly or you will create a mound of sand in front of your tires that will be hard to climb back over when you stop.

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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You'll be fine. I spent two days in the sand at pismo with 31" street tires
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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I have 33" mudders and the sand is my favorite I was running circles around every body else I think thats where the these little power houses shine and its so nice and smooth!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Air way down, like to 10 psi, and don't use your brakes to come to a stop. Using your brakes in soft sand will form a sand berm in front of your tires making it much harder to get started again.... possibly even causing you to dig in.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
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27 Years In SoFL Sand.

Sand differs greatly from place to place, and one condition to another. Coarse ground shell beach sand is much different than white FL sugar sand. Wet sand is pretty easy to drive on. No matter what kind though, it's soft, so don't drive like grandma, but don't roll either. 4WH is fine.

Keep it going straight for the most part, unless you find you're not having any traction problems. Just get up some momentum through the soft stuff. Ease up slowly on the throttle if you start to spin rubber, and rock back and forth if you get stuck, then roll up and out gently. Once you do, keep it moving and don't stop until you hit some wet stuff, or grass. Momentum is your friend, wheel spin is your enemy.

Bring boards, like 2x12's. Bring 2 of them, about 2 feet long. You can shove these under the tires to get traction if you get stuck.

HiLift jack, shovel, cell phone, and/or CB.

You can air down and that will give you a little more floatation on loose sand, but with 35's, you should be just fine all aired up.

Paddles are best in sand, but anything with a tread will do. The Trail Grapplers will be good.

If you need anything else, just PM me. Have fun and we expect pics!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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One thing I'll pass along about driving in sand. I am in Mexico fairly often and the Mexicans regularly drive their beater cars out onto the beaches to sell things to us touristas. They don't know they shouldn't be doing that without airing down, having the right type of tires, etc. and indeed, probably over half of them are driving on bald or nearly bald tires.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
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I play primarily in sand. The tires you have will be just fine in the sand and as stated above dropping pressure will be a must. I ran a set of 31x12.5 15 thornbirds on my first tj with a 4 banger and had to drop pressure to around 6 psi to get enough foot print to run test hill.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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Like said above just make sure you air down and take caution when braking. I loved driving on the beach in the outter banks its was well worth the noisy drive from NJ to there lol.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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Nice, Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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I have 33" BFG's and have no problem running around in the sand. I have never aired them down and still no problems. In fact, none of my buddies air down either and don't have any issues but just plan on getting stuck so you don't worry about.

Make sure to bring a shovel, a bucket to run down and get water and some boards as mentioned. As long as you don't bury it down to the axles you will be fine. Once you feel stuck, STOP, don't bury yourself further.

Speaking of Mexico, I watched these hispanic guys down on the beach in a truck get stuck. It was two wheel drive and they had a great system. They would get stuck, three guys in the back of the truck would jump out, two would start digging one on each side, the third ran down to the water and filled a bucket, then came back and poured it under the tires to pack the sand down.

Then the driver would ease up and out and all would jump back in the back for about 100 feet where this happened all over. It was like watching a NASCAR pit crew.

The point, if you prepare yourself for any situation you won't worry about the outcome.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #13
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Just a little info about driving on the beach at the CHNSRA. The NPS (as a result of lawsuits filed by Southern Environmental Law Center, National Audubon Society and others) has drastically reduced the amount of beach accessible to ORVs and pedestrians. These beach closures can be seasonal or yearly and will vary dependent on the way NPS wants to administer the closures. They have new guidelines and rules that will be implemented on 2/15/12. Among these new rules is a Required Permit that must be purchased before driving on the beach. Cost ranges from $50.00 for a 7-day permit to $120.00 for a 1-year permit. This is a very tough situation for the locals as most of their economy is tourist/fishing driven.

More information can be found at the following Island Free Press - Hatteras and Ocracoke Island online newspaper Click on Beach Access and Park Issues
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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i've been all over the beaches in delaware and it can't be that much different than NC, but i don't know for sure. I never really aired down but it definitely helps. i also found 4hi to be better than 4low.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I am in Mexico fairly often and the Mexicans regularly drive their beater cars out onto the beaches to sell things to us touristas. They don't know they shouldn't be doing that without airing down, having the right type of tires, etc. and indeed, probably over half of them are driving on bald or nearly bald tires.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:20 PM   #16
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my goodyear duratracs did awesome in the sand, just make sure to air them down! because i didnt (like an idiot) and i ended up blowing a hole in the top of the radiator 2 miles down the beach and cost me $250 to get it towed back!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:25 PM   #17
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haaa!! we actually did that when we went to the outer banks two years ago lol. it was not that high though lol my dads is the same color as this one haha
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doolyd View Post
I have 33" BFG's and have no problem running around in the sand. I have never aired them down and still no problems. In fact, none of my buddies air down either and don't have any issues but just plan on getting stuck so you don't worry about.

Make sure to bring a shovel, a bucket to run down and get water and some boards as mentioned. As long as you don't bury it down to the axles you will be fine. Once you feel stuck, STOP, don't bury yourself further.

Speaking of Mexico, I watched these hispanic guys down on the beach in a truck get stuck. It was two wheel drive and they had a great system. They would get stuck, three guys in the back of the truck would jump out, two would start digging one on each side, the third ran down to the water and filled a bucket, then came back and poured it under the tires to pack the sand down.

Then the driver would ease up and out and all would jump back in the back for about 100 feet where this happened all over. It was like watching a NASCAR pit crew.

The point, if you prepare yourself for any situation you won't worry about the outcome.
Thanks for spenting the time with your writeup and story! That's fun has hell, I'd pay to see those mexicans in action.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #19
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I'm not going to air down, 4" lift with 35s, I decided to take a chance. Cause I don't want to pay $200 bills for a portable air compressor. Unless I find an air station close by, then I will air down.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:58 PM   #20
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I have the 35 mickey thompson MTZ and love playing in the sugarsand down here in FL. "Should" you air down, yes definately, "do I" air down, not usually lol. everything everyone else is saying about sand is correct take it easy, no fast braking, and 4hi usually works well for me since there are wide open spaces down here. 4lo would just kick up sand and force you to drive slower.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #21
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Air down. Get your air pressure as low as you can. I used to go with 5psi in the front and 2-3psi in the rear. 33x12.50s on 15x8" rims. It makes a huge difference. Like with most off road situations, get the tires aired down as low as you can.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:36 AM   #22
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I drive the beach all summer in Delaware. Most of the time I airdown to 17lbs use 4hi and have no problems. Sometimes I will go on without airing down (that beach only has one air station and gets backed up) but it is much harder on the Jeep and I end up using 4low. Like all the other posts you want to avoid hard stops, sharp turns and if you get stuck don't keep digging yourself in, stop and backup over you tracks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #23
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I'm not going to air down, 4" lift with 35s, I decided to take a chance. Cause I don't want to pay $200 bills for a portable air compressor. Unless I find an air station close by, then I will air down.
If its hard pack sand you probably don't need to air down, but if you plan on playing in the sand (crawling through beach trails/hills) or the sand is dry...air down.

Carry a $26 12v Harbor Freight air compressor to throw some air back in your tires before heading to an air station.
12V Air Compressor - 120 PSI, High Volume
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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Carry a $26 12v Harbor Freight air compressor to throw some air back in your tires before heading to an air station.
12V Air Compressor - 120 PSI, High Volume
Don't anyone take that "High Volume" phrase Harbor Freight says seriously.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
If its hard pack sand you probably don't need to air down, but if you plan on playing in the sand (crawling through beach trails/hills) or the sand is dry...air down.

Carry a $26 12v Harbor Freight air compressor to throw some air back in your tires before heading to an air station.
12V Air Compressor - 120 PSI, High Volume
Yes, Harbor Freight $26 air compressor sounds great but we all know that you get what you pay for! Thanks for for info. I might just buy one as a throw away. I don't want to pay $200 bills for one I may use or may not.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #26
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I go to silver lake every year, last year with the jeep i used 4-low the whole day and ran 15 PSI in my 31" tires. didn't get stuck all day. everything was reversible if the jeep did come to a stop. The sand at silver lake is very soft and fine when dry and packs up nice and hard when wet. It was alot easier then i thought it would be, go have fun!

PS, i have a very small air compressor i got from walmart for 20 bucks. i have used it to air my tires back up. It took close to an hour but its nice to have just incase the compressor is unavailable at the dunes.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:08 PM   #27
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Lots of places on the outter banks have air stations close to the ramps. I havent had to air down in jeep out there yet. I use that option for if I get stuck. Jeep is light enough to float on top. Only have 31X10.5's.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #28
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Lots of places on the outter banks have air stations close to the ramps. I havent had to air down in jeep out there yet. I use that option for if I get stuck. Jeep is light enough to float on top. Only have 31X10.5's.

Nice, but I've seen one gas station in the local area (5 miles), so they must be close by in a plaza! Great info thanks!
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:52 AM   #29
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Are Road Tire OK for Hatteras Beaches???

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.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:10 AM   #30
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find a gas station or service station to air up. those little compressors work in a jam but you'll be standing there for 3 hours to air up 35's...

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