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Going on the beach for the 1st time

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:25 AM   #1
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Going on the beach for the 1st time

Finally taking my 09 Tacoma Off road onto the beach tonight. Been doing a lot of reading. Have a few questions.

Do I really need to air down? From what I read turning the traction control off will enable the limited slip differential. This should help if one tire gets stuck, right?

Should I just leave it in 4 high? Should I even bother turning off traction control?

Any other tips you guys can give me?

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:27 AM   #2
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Depends on the beach. Some are harder packed than others, and if you're driving near the water or in the dunes. I mean, you see lifeguards all the time, right, and they don't always have 4x4. I wouldn't air down if you have decent tires unless you're really slipping.

I left mine in 4-Hi (more for piece of mind) and in 2nd or 3rd gear. Didn't turn LSD or anything else off/on.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. I will be by the dunes, and from what people have told me the sand is pretty soft. I have the stock tires on the truck.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #4
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Depends on the sand. If its soft sand and not hard packed sand then yes air down your tires.

Just leave it in 4hi. Keep your momentum but don't be the jackass thats driving too fast.

My '07 SR5 4x4 (no lsd no locker) did fine at the Outer Banks (soft sand) in 4hi with the tires aired down to 20psi.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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All sand is not the same... You can try driving fully inflated until (if) you bog down... THEN you can deflate your tires... Have a good (dial) tire air gauge that reads low pressure, and a air pump to refill when you come off the sand. 15 PSI will turn your truck into a dune buggy in most sand. Yes, H4 (4WD High range) and leave the TRAC on (normal driving)... Do not touch the VSC OFF button... unless you want to see if turning off the LSD will get you stuck (holding in the button while stopped until the VSC OFF light comes on).

The stock tires will do better in the sand than off road or mud tires... Less tread is best in sand. You want to 'float' on sand not dig into it! See my posts on beach driving in Baja. I show a photo of the difference between what the tires at 32 PSI and 15 PSI looks like in the sand...



Before and after deflating... I was heavily loaded for camping (2 ice chests, water, etc.) and the truck was somewhat sideways on the steep beach... As soon as I dropped the pressure to 15 PSI it floated and stayed in line... I circled back to take these photos.



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Old 07-30-2010, 08:33 AM   #6
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Thanks guys for the tips.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:36 PM   #7
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Have fun and report back!!!
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:01 PM   #8
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I would suggest 110% to air down your tires (even more so since you have stock tires)!! I'm assuming you're going on Long Island since you're from Port Jeff, and the sand is VERY soft here. I was on the beach Tuesday, and I had 3 people get stuck in front of me mostly because they did not air down.
Other suggestions: do not go fast, it's not too wide open and you don't want to bottom out on the deep ruts.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the tips guys. Had no issues last night on the beach. Lowered my air pressure to 20 pounds, no issues. Great time. Will post some pics later.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:00 AM   #10
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Did you enjoy the cushy ride once you got back on pavement on the way to fill the tires back up? feels like driving a Cadillac.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macgyver View Post
Did you enjoy the cushy ride once you got back on pavement on the way to fill the tires back up? feels like driving a Cadillac.
Actually the truck drove great on the beach, wasn't that bumpy. I am sure if I was going a faster than 10mph it would have been bumpier.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:54 AM   #12
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Some Pictures
Attached Thumbnails
Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00748.jpg   Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00753.jpg   Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00756.jpg   Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00763.jpg   Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00764.jpg  

Going on the beach for the 1st time-dsc00765.jpg  
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:07 AM   #14
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Might be a good idea to wash the truck's underside and around the wheels as soon as possible after leaving the beach to prevent any corrosion from the salt residue in the sand.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommo View Post
Might be a good idea to wash the truck's underside and around the wheels as soon as possible after leaving the beach to prevent any corrosion from the salt residue in the sand.
Did that this morning. Put the sprinkler under the truck for a few minutes, Also washed the whole thing. No salt on this truck anymore.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:19 AM   #16
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Looks great. what beach is that?
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FO.STUNNA.505 View Post
Looks great. what beach is that?
Smith Point Beach on Long Island NY.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:32 AM   #18
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Like it was mentioned depends how deep & how hard/soft the surface is. If your tires are stock you may end up airing down but theres a lot of variables besides the driving surface, how fast you approach makes a huge difference, its not all that different from driving thru mud (without all the mess). David K, one of our local guys here in San Diego has a ton of "beach cruising" experience, having hosted alot of trips into Baja California, he can probably give you the best info you need.....have fun....
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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Thanks Doug, that is very nice of you to say!

Yes, I am happy to help with my own years of 4WD experiences to anyone who cares to listen. It all started with trips to Baja California back in the 1960's...
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