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Beach Driving Equipment

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by jim3456, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:09 PM
    #1
    jim3456

    jim3456 [OP] Member

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    I've been searching for awhile and haven't found answers to a few beach driving questions. Our family would like to take our Double Cab TRD Off Road down to Cape Hatteras to drive on the sand. I have brand new Cooper Discoverer A/T3s, the stock jack, and a shovel. I also have fresh Mobil 1 oil in my transfer case and diffs thanks to help from this forum.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Air compressor. I plan to air down to about 20 psi to drive, and it seems like it would be easiest to just bring a compressor. Are there any that work with the power outlet in the bed? I don't need anything elaborate, I just want to air up without hassle afterward.

    2) Sand ladders. I've heard mixed reviews. I could buy the Smittybilts but I've heard sand ladders may not be necessary for this type of trip.

    3) Anything else you all would recommend?

    I'm familiar with the standard advice to stay out of the wet sand by the shore and to thoroughly wash off the underbody once we're done.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:13 PM
    #2
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 Well-Known Member

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    You could honestly air down a little more if you don't gas it, turn hard, try to do donuts or something dumb like that. Tow/recovery straps wouldn't hurt either in case you get stuck for some reason.
     
    jim3456 [OP] likes this.
  3. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:18 PM
    #3
    TacoMitch93

    TacoMitch93 Tasty Taco

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    A recovery strap is a MUST (along with shackles and other basic recovery equipment).

    I would recommend taking another buddy.. I've never been where you plan on going, but sand is easy to sink into.. You may want to consider taking a second truck. I never wheel without a buddy!
     
  4. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:19 PM
    #4
    WATaco

    WATaco Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I've taken my truck to the Washington and Oregon coasts a few times, driving on hardpack/wet sand to dry dune sand. I'm still on stock BFGs. I carry a compressor, however I've yet to air down. I've got maxxtrax, but have yet to use them for myself (but they've come in handy getting those that should not be on the beach unstuck).

    With the many modes of 4WD this truck has, I've not yet been able to get myself out of any mess I got into. I try to knowingly avoid soft/deep sand, and if I've started to dig in I try to back out quickly.

    That said, it never hurts to be prepared - hence the compressor, maxxtrax, straps, etc.
     
    ReAch likes this.
  5. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:19 PM
    #5
    Fishinbum802

    Fishinbum802 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nps.gov/caco/cape-cod-national-seashore-oversand-beach-driving.htm

    I've only been beach driving once.. This is a link to the cape cod national seashore oversand requirements (where I went). Check out their requirements to get an idea. Maybe add a tow strap and some 2x8xvarious length boards to create a base to jack from. They also had airing stations you could use, so I never got an air compressor. I believe they also require you to air down to 11psi (double check, it's been a couple years) so you may want to consider going a little lower.
     
  6. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM
    #6
    jim3456

    jim3456 [OP] Member

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    What compressor do you use? Does it work on the outlet in the bed?
     
  7. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM
    #7
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Rule #1 when wheeling in the sand: Don't floor it. You do this, you're done for.
     
  8. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:22 PM
    #8
    WATaco

    WATaco Well-Known Member

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    I carry this one - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BM8RT8 - as it was recommended by others on the form, however I've only used it in the driveway to learn how to use it. It connects to the battery directly.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2016 at 5:33 PM
    #9
    Hank4444

    Hank4444 Member...?

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    jim3456 [OP] likes this.
  10. Feb 21, 2016 at 9:20 PM
    #10
    FreddyFlintrock

    FreddyFlintrock Well-Known Member

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    I've never been in a smaller (taco sized) truck on the beach, but based on my experience on Hatteras, Ocracoke and Portsmouth Island, I can't imagine a taco having much trouble. As a kid our summer vacations ('79-'92) were on Ocracoke and Portsmith Islands in a '79 Ford E-350 supervan converted to 4wd with 32's-33's. We aired down and rarely had issues (and that was a heavy vehicle). I don't recall every needing to be helped out, but I do remember dad earning his fair share of adult beverages (that recue-ees offered) for pulling them out when they buried themselves up to the frames. The only recovery gear we had was a recovery strap, wooden handled military surplus entrenching tool and a small compressor.

    I should get my taco this week and I am itching to take it to the beach myself.
     
  11. Feb 22, 2016 at 4:00 AM
    #11
    chipper78

    chipper78 Member

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    I go down there every year my absolute favorite place for vacation. There is some pretty wide variance in the sand at the different beach accesses so just understand that while 20 psi may work on one beach you may have to go lower on another, and 20 just a base recommendation.Definite take a snatch strap, you may not get stuck but other people do all the time. Also a hitch shackle and a couple of 3/4 bow shackles, I have the smitybuilt. The ARB strap is good for the money. I've never personally needed a jack, but it is a requirement. I'm pretty sure the stock jack is acceptable by their standards. Viair has several models of compressors that hook up to your battery and they are worth every penny, I have a 400p. I know that there is free air at SOME of the accesses but not at all, and driving at 15 psi on the road is not only bad for gas mileage, but it's dangerous as well. Plus with your own compressor you don't have to wait in line. I've never used or seen anyone use any thing like treds or maxtracks, or whatever version you want, but they couldn't hurt if you have room. I found Atrac to be pretty awesome last year in our 4Runner, better than the e-locker even, but I only needed it a few times. You may also want to consider a deflator or two to make airing down faster. There is a lot of beach traffic, pretty much if you stay in the existing tracks you'll be fine. All the gear I have I got off Amazon BTW.
     
  12. Feb 22, 2016 at 4:24 AM
    #12
    muddytacos

    muddytacos Now own '16 F150 - 16 Taco drove me to Ford

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    Get some Salt Terminator to aid in your wash-down and use it liberally. I put a cup or two in one of those hose mixing units and hit the topsides and brightwork with this after coming in from a day of fishing fun. If my truck ever saw the beach it would definitely get the treatment on all exterior surfaces.

    [​IMG]

    CRC SX128 Salt Terminator
     
  13. Feb 22, 2016 at 7:27 AM
    #13
    huachuca

    huachuca Well-Known Member

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    The Coopers will be fine. Carry a couple of 2"x8"x12" boards to use as a base for the jack. I take both a short handle and a long handle shovel (the short one works better as a loaner to the dummies that lose forward momentum and stay on the gas until the chassis bottoms out) . At least two 30' straps with appropriate shackles. Good quality tire gauge.

    Get a decent 12V compressor; 110V will be too bulky. Lots of places with free air; the store across from the entrance to the NPS Frisco campground and Ramp 49 is great. Sand ladders aren't necessary.

    You'll need a beach access permit which can be purchased ($50 week / $120 annual) online ahead of time or from an NPS office once you arrive.

    If you have small kids or just want a spot with a bit more privacy, check out the back roads that lead to the sound. Usually these end with an area just large enough for a couple of vehicles, the water is shallow, calm and warm; sunsets can be awesome. Be sure to take the free ferry over to Ocracoke. Have fun and post back with a trip report and photos.
     
  14. Feb 22, 2016 at 7:57 AM
    #14
    chipper78

    chipper78 Member

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    Frisco Rod and Gun is the store you're talking about, I love that place! I have to buy something from there every time I go just because. I second going to Ocracoke, some of the most beautiful beaches are there, and the town is worth checking out. The sound accesses are nice but if you go late in the summer or it's been hot for a few days the water can be too warm, depending on where you go. My daughter, who is now nine, still calls the sound side "the little wave beach" from when we'd take her there as a baby.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    Fenwick1993 likes this.
  15. Feb 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM
    #15
    conifers4

    conifers4 Tired and Broke

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    If you get stuck just lower your air pressure more... You will get unstuck.
    Oh and stay away from the water, we've all seen the videos.
     
  16. Feb 22, 2016 at 6:24 PM
    #16
    jim3456

    jim3456 [OP] Member

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    Thanks for all the help everyone. I'll post a trip report when we get back!
     
    Fishinbum802 likes this.
  17. Feb 22, 2016 at 6:37 PM
    #17
    chipper78

    chipper78 Member

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    You're going to love it. You'll never want to go to the beach without driving to your spot again. It's so convenient having everything right there, and when the day is done and your tired and the kids are melting down, just throw the stuff in the truck and go. Not to mention how much fun it is to drive in the sand.
     
  18. Feb 22, 2016 at 6:53 PM
    #18
    silverpataco1968

    silverpataco1968 Tomorrow isn't Promised!

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    Plenty of great products so far !
  19. Feb 22, 2016 at 7:10 PM
    #19
    silverpataco1968

    silverpataco1968 Tomorrow isn't Promised!

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    Plenty of great products so far !
    Top two pics are from Saturday 2-20-2016 got my new pup GSP on the beach for the first time! Third pic is just showing hard pac when the tide was out last fall! I've only wheeled on the beach on Cape Cod, MA- Island Beach State Park, NJ - Outter Banks , NC . But, a few things are constant. Completely hard pac beach people don't air down. Where I frequently go in NJ are mixed ! Very soft in most enterance areas! This is where I pull most people out! Also close to restricted areas at the dune bases are very soft. If your on a beach with soft sand anywhere you'll be driving do yourself a favor and run 12-15 psi! I've never been stuck with this range and never rolled a tire off the rim! I have pulled guys out at 20 psi stuck up to the frame. Air them down to 12 and with a winch or snatch strap pull them 4-6 feet and usually they're good! See ahead of time if air up stations are near where you enter and you won't need a compressor. unless of course you'd feel better with one! I 've been Wheelin on beaches for over 30 years I truly love it! More for the back up the truck unload and enjoy with my kids who are now grown! Anymore questions people enjoy helping out on here ask away!
     
    JPinFL, jim3456 [OP] and chipper78 like this.
  20. Mar 2, 2016 at 12:55 PM
    #20
    Blackntan

    Blackntan Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg I go beach combing quite a lot over sand dunes and down to my local beach Just bought a deflater
     

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