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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone towed RV camper on soft sand with a JK or JKU? If so how big/heavy was the camper? Any problems, how did it feel? To what level did you air down? Did you tow with JK or JKU?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
20psi or less in tires, 4 low, and always point it downhill if stopping.
Someone on the beach told me 10 psi. It seems low, I'd be concerned about the beams if I get stuck. On the other hand I plan to tow 18-foot camper, 3500-4000 lbs with the gear and tanks filled. My plan is if I can get comfortably to 20 mph just keep rolling until I reach the camping spot. My concern is that 20 mph may be a bumpy ride. How fast do you usually go on sand when you tow similar load?
 

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Someone on the beach told me 10 psi. It seems low, I'd be concerned about the beams if I get stuck. On the other hand I plan to tow 18-foot camper, 3500-4000 lbs with the gear and tanks filled. My plan is if I can get comfortably to 20 mph just keep rolling until I reach the camping spot. My concern is that 20 mph may be a bumpy ride. How fast do you usually go on sand when you tow similar load?
20 is pretty fast without a trailer. I do plenty of beach driving and there are always massive ruts from people doing donuts that fling you around. Just an opinion here, but I think you're going to get stuck with that load. My trailer is all in at 1500 lbs, and I'm still not sure I'd want to take it on the beach with me.
 
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Don't know that I would attempt to drag a trailer down the beach but if I did, I'd get a tide table book and you might want to install a snorkel on the camp trailer just to be on the safe side. I've done a lot of stupid shit in my life and learned some hard lessons along the way so now I tend to listen to my inner party pooper.
 

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Whether or not you are going to make it towing a trailer depends greatly on the condition of the sand. I have driven the exact same beach 2 days in a row and they were completely different drives. The first day it wasn’t much different than driving on a loose dirt road, the second day there were vehicles stuck everywhere and it was a struggle to get through the sand without pulling anything. My biggest fear would be getting to the camp site without issue and then not being able to get back out.

I assume you plan on lowering the tire pressure in the trailer tires as well as on the Jeep. Most trailer tires are fairly narrow, which isn’t going to help you any.

I personally would not want to pull 4,000 pounds with my Jeep on the road let alone in the sand, but that’s just my opinion. I would rather over equip myself for the task than push the limits of my equipment.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've seen a guy tow 33 ft, 8000 lbs rig on the same beach. True, he was towing with F250, and his camper had two axles. His truck is one and a half times the weight of my Jeep (big deal), but the rig was more than twice what I plan to tow. Difficult to compare, but it is encouraging that he had no problem. Many people would look him it and say "no way!!".

I've talked to other guys who tow on the beach and everyone says that the game is in the tire pressure. I'm well prepared for recovery if I get stuck (barring any mechanical failures), but I want to avoid. Better to have a cold one than to dig in the sand, who wold disagree?

The tides are not a problem there, I know the beach well. It's wide enough that the tide never covers all the sand in the summer. There are also ruts that you can use most of the way. And yes, of course, I plan to drop tire pressure on the camper too. My question is what pressure should I use on the Jeep. If I drop it to 10 psi and I get stuck I can break the tire bead getting out (with max trax). If chose to stay at around 15 psi I'm much more likely to get stuck. I was hoping to get some input on that. I never broke tire bead, how hard is that?

I'm aware how the conditions of the sand change, I'm there almost every weekend. I'm trying to prepare for the worst. If it has rained in the past 24 hrs I'll be cruising with no problem. But I can't plan the weather.

BTW, the snorkel comment was funny. I hope you meant it in a good way.
 

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Not with the Jeep, but I once towed a 18' inflatable with 70hp outboard on the beach with a 1988 Toyota Longbed Pickup. I had 31" tires that were about 10" wide. The owner in his Dodge Ram 2500 (with cookie cutters) got stuck pulling it. I was able to hook up and pull it with no issues.

20 mph is fast for sand that is rough. There is definitely a difference driving at speed with low tire pressure. If it's safe to reduce pressure in the trailer it might be OK. Plan your route carefully and hope that nobody gets in your way causing you to slow or stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not with the Jeep, but I once towed a 18' inflatable with 70hp outboard on the beach with a 1988 Toyota Longbed Pickup. I had 31" tires that were about 10" wide. The owner in his Dodge Ram 2500 (with cookie cutters) got stuck pulling it. I was able to hook up and pull it with no issues.

20 mph is fast for sand that is rough. There is definitely a difference driving at speed with low tire pressure. If it's safe to reduce pressure in the trailer it might be OK. Plan your route carefully and hope that nobody gets in your way causing you to slow or stop.
Do you think the Jeep would have managed to tow the same load? The stock tires are kind of the same as that Toyota truck - 32x10 vs 31x10.
 

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Just noticed you have a JK in your picture. Do you really plan on towing 4000 pounds with a 2 door? Is the trailer going to be at the beach already?
 

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The Pickup is about 1,500 lbs lighter than the Jeep. It floated over the sand even with 32# of air.

Yes, I do think the Jeep would have had no trouble "IF" aired down. But I have driven many miles in the sand on several vehicles from a stock VW Bug in the 70's to the Jeep today. I had a 2005 Audi Allroad with the 4.2 liter V8. It never had any troubles even on Goodyear Eagle GT tires ;). It was as heavy as the Jeep.

I have been stuck and confused in the sand with the Jeep though. One day I didn't want to air down and was intending to cruise around the level parts of the local Dunes (Sand Lake, Oregon) at low speed just having fun in the Jeep.

I got stuck in what appeared to be the same sand (visually) as the sand I had been driving in for 30 minutes. It was a slight incline that I thought nothing of, until I came to a halt. Then I backed up and tried again with a little more throttle, then again with more speed and throttle application. By the 6th or so time I finally gave it all the beans and got through it. This was inland and no where near the Ocean, but must have been a large pit of sand without a solid base just below (somewhere) ;).

With enough momentum and better than average conditions for the day you could probably make it. But have a back up plan to help get out if you don't.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just noticed you have a JK in your picture. Do you really plan on towing 4000 pounds with a 2 door? Is the trailer going to be at the beach already?
It's more like 3200 lbs dry. Add gear, still less than 3500 while on the road. Fill the tanks up (before I hit the beach) and probably around 3600-3700 lbs on the sand. What's the difference between 2 door and 4 door on sand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Pickup is about 1,500 lbs lighter than the Jeep. It floated over the sand even with 32# of air.

Yes, I do think the Jeep would have had no trouble "IF" aired down. But I have driven many miles in the sand on several vehicles from a stock VW Bug in the 70's to the Jeep today. I had a 2005 Audi Allroad with the 4.2 liter V8. It never had any troubles even on Goodyear Eagle GT tires ;). It was as heavy as the Jeep.

I have been stuck and confused in the sand with the Jeep though. One day I didn't want to air down and was intending to cruise around the level parts of the local Dunes (Sand Lake, Oregon) at low speed just having fun in the Jeep.

I got stuck in what appeared to be the same sand (visually) as the sand I had been driving in for 30 minutes. It was a slight incline that I thought nothing of, until I came to a halt. Then I backed up and tried again with a little more throttle, then again with more speed and throttle application. By the 6th or so time I finally gave it all the beans and got through it. This was inland and no where near the Ocean, but must have been a large pit of sand without a solid base just below (somewhere) ;).

With enough momentum and better than average conditions for the day you could probably make it. But have a back up plan to help get out if you don't.
The sand must be rougher where you are. On the beach where I go the sand is soft, but fairly consistent. What maters the most is the last time is rained. I have actually helped other SUV's that are stuck with the axles buried. I tugged them right out, I had not even aired down. I'm tinking, if I can pull out a buried SUV that weights about 4k lbs with axles acting as anchors then I should be able to pull a camper that is not buried. And that's before I air down. There are other factors of course, we'll just have to see.

The back up plan is equipment to get me out. Plus there are always people on the beach willing to help - with Jeeps, trucks, you name it. I've never seen anyone stuck that did not get help. I made an experiment a couple of weeks ago to get stuck, I wanted to get out myself. Within 30-40 minutes there were 6 people that pulled up and offered to help. (You should have seen their faces when I said "no thanks, I did this on purpose" :) )
 

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It's more like 3200 lbs dry. Add gear, still less than 3500 while on the road. Fill the tanks up (before I hit the beach) and probably around 3600-3700 lbs on the sand. What's the difference between 2 door and 4 door on sand?
The rear is going to squat more on the 2 door with that load and pull weight off the front axle. I'm fully rooting for you to succeed, even though I personally wouldn't risk it. Make sure you take pics and report back how it went! When are you going?
 

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Where I live, you'd get a stack of citations for doing 20 on a beach.

There are about 5 cops for every citizen-peasant at the beaches around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The rear is going to squat more on the 2 door with that load and pull weight off the front axle. I'm fully rooting for you to succeed, even though I personally wouldn't risk it. Make sure you take pics and report back how it went! When are you going?
You are right about the squat. I suppose I can put all my gear at the rear end of the camper once on the beach. This would put more weight on the camper axle, but that should not be that big of a deal. I would not do it on the highway though, as it would create more sway.

I'm going in a couple of weeks. I'll report back how it went, good or bad. Thanks for everyone's input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back to report. Towing the RV over sand was a breeze. Except maybe backing into the camping spot, which was slightly uphill on a dune. Add the fact that my mirrors weren't wide enough to see the sides and it was my first time doing this, and you had a recipe for disaster. But after 40 min of trying I got the camper positioned perfectly. Here is a pic just after I backed in, you can see I'm slightly jack-knifed and tires are slightly dug in, but not stuck.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Transport RV

Tire pressure was at 10 psi front, 12 psi rear, and lowered substantially on the camper. The idea was that the tires should be visibly deflated. I had all lockers engaged, I'm not sure if it helped. I estimate the camper weight to have been around 3600-3700 lbs on the sand.
 
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