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Old 06-24-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
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OBX...driving in the sand

Do you mess with the tire pressure when driving in the sand in the OBX? I have yet to get the Jeep on the sand but will hopefully do this towards the end of the month and I am curious if I have to mess with tire pressure at all.

My truck is the F-350 diesel with E rated tires and I have to take the pressure from 80 lbs to 20 lbs to do okay on the sand. Before that I had a F-150 that was regular cab short bed and I didn't touch the tire pressure and it did great.

This will be a new experience!

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Old 06-24-2010, 11:31 PM   #2
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When I'm sand-riding, I'll usually air down to 20PSI, nothing extreme and you should probably go lower, but I need enough air to get to the closest gas station.

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Old 06-24-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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Just got back from OBX and I run 28 PSI in my 33's and didn't air down at all. Had no issues, ran it in 4 hi out there and was fine, have fun its great up there, or down there in your case
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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yeah i usually air down to about 20 but that kinda unnecessary with all terrains because of their width.

i do love me some beach driving, especially taking it outta 4 wheel drive on the packed sand, makes for some wicked drifts.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:35 PM   #5
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What size tires are you running? I found that in the really fine dry sand that my 30" tires would sink if I ever stopped. I could drive the dunes with the dew on them first thing in the morning, but could not after the dew evaporated. My 31s were a better, but letting some air out helped the most both in the ride quality and traction.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:22 AM   #6
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For playing in the sand dunes I drop my 35 12.50 MTR's down to 8 lbs. Lower than that they can slip on the rims.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:39 AM   #7
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I run 33 lbs at Oregon Inlet in the JK and 30 lbs in the YJ and never have any problems.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:01 AM   #8
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For me it depends on the time of the year, 60F v. 115F. During the hot summer the sand losses all of its moisture which will get you buried in a heart beat if you’re not aired down and in 4high. But a safe bet I think is 20-25psi.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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I normally run about 8-10psi in the Jeep, and only 2-3psi in my sandrail. Completely depends on sand condition. Avon seems to always be really loose. Just remember you want to float across, not dig down! The wider the footprint is, the better it will support the vehicle, and the easier it will be on your drivetrain.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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Well at the Badlands I ran stock 35PSI in my old 31" AT's and that was sand/pea gravel.

I could stop and turn and everything you can do on a road just fine. Ive never aired down yet.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:00 PM   #11
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This question came at the perfect time. I drive on the beach in Delaware and have always aired down to 18lbs. I'm running 31x10.50. While airing down a few weeks ago another wrangler pulled up to me and said they never air down and don't have a problem. My friend that has a YJ just tried driving on the beach without airing down and didn't have any problems. I'm now wondering what to do myself.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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I don't air down, but with the 4cyl I have to say in 4lo unless it's all packed down. If it's not packed down and I try in 4hi I burn the clutch. Oh and that's with 31x10.50
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:13 PM   #13
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When I was first learning to drive on sand(happened to be at OBX last summer, Avon to be exact) I aired down. eventually you get used to it, so I stopped. After that I ran 28 psi in my 33's(km2's).
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:45 PM   #14
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Depends on the condition of the sand. I have driven in deep sand at 28psi and never even noticed it. Also depends on the tires you run. I run BFG 31 x 10.5 x 15 KO's. It will never do any harm to air down to 15 or 20psi as long as you have a pump to get the pressure back up for the roads.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #15
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Just bring a shovel and if you sink....well ya didn't air down enough. Dig yourself out, air down somemore, and keep on truckin.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #16
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good tips....thanks all!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:58 PM   #17
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I drive on the beach a lot and never air down.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:15 PM   #18
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I think the consensus is to air down when the sand is really fine and dry and leave it alone when it is course or moist. This has been my experience too.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #19
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i run 8psi rear and 10psi front, but thats on major hills in the dunes. On the flats you could get away with airing down less or not at all, but it really makes a heck of a diffrence.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:47 AM   #20
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Not having to airdown would be great but maybe a starting point is needed. I run my BF TO's at 32lbs on the street I see some of you run at a lower pressure.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:16 PM   #21
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Flatlands does not matter as much, but if you on Dunes like Silver Lake, you really need to air down. I air down to 5 psi. As Rrich said, if you are not careful, you can slip the tire on the rim and if you turn really aggressively, you can roll the tire off the wheel. I have gone as low as 3 psi and the difference between 5 and 3 is huge, but turning very fast makes me a bit nervous.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:17 PM   #22
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I've had my 10 Rubicon JK w/stock BFG MT's and my 02 TJ w/BFG AT's 32X11.5 up and down the OBX to Corolla and the VA line on several occasions and haven't had to air down yet, now that I say that I'll probably have to this weekend when we head back down there...
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:39 PM   #23
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I was just in OBX at the end of May and drove on the beach a couple times without airing down at all and had no problem.

I have 30x9.5 Firestone Destinations and once they are warmed up have about 35 psi (in an attempt to save some gas for that long drive)
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:38 PM   #24
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I agree on the weather conditions. The dryer the sand the more difficult it is. A fellow I met who lives at Carova year round told me it's your best bet to drop the tire pressure to around 18 lbs. As he said; "Air at the gas station is 50 cents and a tow is $200. Take your pick."
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:07 PM   #25
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The beaches I drive on all have air pumps at the exits. I tend to agree with wvwrangler, I would rather take the time to airdown than pay to towed out.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:09 PM   #26
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You guys can buy a neat little compressor for around $50 and carry it in the Jeep. It inflates your tires from 15lb to 28lbs in a couple of minutes. I got mine a Pep Boys but they are also at Kragen and others. There is even a thread here about it somewhere. Search the name.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:20 PM   #27
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This is it - Masterflow 1050

Inflates a full size truck tire in about 4 minutes - Inflates a passenger car tire in about 1 minute. - Powerful 12-volt motor. - Powers directly from a car battery. - Quick release 16ft coil air hose. E-Z twist brass inflator.10ft power cord. - Convenient nylon carrying bag. - Includes 2 adapter nozzles for inflating sports balls, rafts and toys. - Max Amperage: 30amps; Max PSI: 150psi; Flow Rate: 2.54cfm; Air Volume: 4,389 cu. inches/minute; Voltage: 12-volt only.

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