Friend wants to buy a jeep to drive on the sand

berb

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A friend of mine wants to buy a jeep to drive on the beach. Nothing intense just a slow drive on the beach. Is there a difference between the Sport S Model and the Rubicon Model as far as protection from the sand. I know the Rubicon's have skid plates but is the engine and parts sealed differently to keep the elements out. Is the Rubicon worth the extra money just to drive it on the beach?





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Zandcwhite

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Absolutely not. In fact a Sport with lighter and less aggressive tires will be better for beach driving compared to a stock Rubicon.
Common old wives tale that is only partially true at full street pressure (and you shouldn’t be driving in the sand at street pressure). “Conventional wisdom has dictated that all things being equal, a mud-terrain tire isn't as good as an all-terrain tire in the sand because they'll tend to dig down, but we don't find that to be the case unless you're running the tire at full street pressure. If you're airing down to increase your tire's potential contact patch we actually find that, much like in mud and rocks, a mud-terrain tire offers more grip and bite in the sand than an all-terrain tire.” Direct quote from fourwheeler magazine. The widest most aggressive tire at the lowest air pressure you can run without rolling a bead will always perform the best in the sand. Of course the same is true in nearly every type of off road terrain except ice, as traction is traction wether Accelerating, turning, or stopping.
 

bigbaozi

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Your friend should be more concerned with how he is going to get all the sand and saltwater out from under it afterward... The skid plates and frame rails bring home half the beach.

And if they decide they want to go fast, I got tossed around in a Gladiator Mojave this weekend and I can definitely recommend.
 

jessedacri

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Common old wives tale that is only partially true at full street pressure (and you shouldn’t be driving in the sand at street pressure). “Conventional wisdom has dictated that all things being equal, a mud-terrain tire isn't as good as an all-terrain tire in the sand because they'll tend to dig down, but we don't find that to be the case unless you're running the tire at full street pressure. If you're airing down to increase your tire's potential contact patch we actually find that, much like in mud and rocks, a mud-terrain tire offers more grip and bite in the sand than an all-terrain tire.” Direct quote from fourwheeler magazine. The widest most aggressive tire at the lowest air pressure you can run without rolling a bead will always perform the best in the sand. Of course the same is true in nearly every type of off road terrain except ice, as traction is traction wether Accelerating, turning, or stopping.

That, and running highway tires on a Jeep is criminal.
 

moparcruiser

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I am new to Jeeps as far as owning one but have been wheeling in beach sand every year on vacation for decades (hardly an expert but its experience).

We just got don a couple weeks ago shopping for our Wrangler and the Islander package os really just an appearance/convenience package, as is the 80th Anniversary we picked up.

The Rubicon package adds a more robust, offroad oriented transfer case, lockers, bigger tires, etc etc ....more "off road" worthy stuff. Including red tow hooks which I cannot for the life of me figure out how the color red makes a difference when it comes to using them. LOL

But lets not forget that a Wrangler is still a Jeep at its heart.

What kind of wheeling you want to do factors in as to whether a Rubicon is "necessary" or not.

For simple beach driving, I would say it is NOT necessary.

What matters on sand as far as traction is "flotation"....we air down our tires to 12-16 lbs of air to get a wider footprint on the sand and so the tires do not dig in as much.....makes it way easier on the power train.

There are locals where we go that drive old 70's 80s rear wheel drive station wgaons as beach buggies and they do just fine.....they just know how to drive in sand. And they stay out of the very soft/deep/red sand etc.

Have had a 92 Dakota V8 4x4 pickup, 85 D50 4x4, Ram Crew Cab pickup (HEAVY)......all with more or less "normal" sized AT tires. I also had a CJ for a short time on the beach (HANDS DOWN the best experience I ever had on the beach vehicle wise!) with very wide aggressive tread tires back in 2000.

And never any real issues in sand.

The softer and deeper sand gets trickier but can be navigated.

Ground clearance is your friend in beach sand and IMHO the stock wrangler has PLENTY.

I wasnt aware that the Rubicon was "sealed" any better than the other Wranglers.....?

Sand will get EVERYWHERE....depending on speed driving it and conditions etc.

Skid plates are nice, but looking under my 80th Anniversary (basically a stock Wrangler with painted fenders and a subwoofer LOL) there is enough protection for beach driving. Just dont drive over chunks of driftwood etc......those can pop up and speer the underside...bad stuff can happen.

Just stay away from running the water's edge.....It is FUN and makes for dramatic photos of water spraying everywhere.

But seawater seemingly almost instantly rots steel. LOL

The CJ I mention above was a rental and the engine bay was one solid rust colored mess because of people running the surf. LOL

And make sure you have a good quality tow strap (I like Keeper) or two.
 

Arterius2

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A friend of mine wants to buy a jeep to drive on the beach. Nothing intense just a slow drive on the beach. Is there a difference between the Sport S Model and the Rubicon Model as far as protection from the sand. I know the Rubicon's have skid plates but is the engine and parts sealed differently to keep the elements out. Is the Rubicon worth the extra money just to drive it on the beach?
FYI Sport S and Rubicon has the same skid plates btw
 

Strommen95

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Common old wives tale that is only partially true at full street pressure (and you shouldn’t be driving in the sand at street pressure). “Conventional wisdom has dictated that all things being equal, a mud-terrain tire isn't as good as an all-terrain tire in the sand because they'll tend to dig down, but we don't find that to be the case unless you're running the tire at full street pressure. If you're airing down to increase your tire's potential contact patch we actually find that, much like in mud and rocks, a mud-terrain tire offers more grip and bite in the sand than an all-terrain tire.” Direct quote from fourwheeler magazine. The widest most aggressive tire at the lowest air pressure you can run without rolling a bead will always perform the best in the sand. Of course the same is true in nearly every type of off road terrain except ice, as traction is traction wether Accelerating, turning, or stopping.
The stock Michelins are not an All-Terrain tire on the Sport. The Kevlars that come with LSD are All Terrains but are as mildly aggressive as All Terrains get. Anybody that has a lot of experience driving in deep or loose sand knows tires like KO2s or similar will perform as good as street tires. I'm getting the sense neither you or the reviewer do. Emphasis on deep and loose sand, hard sand is irrelevant, any Jeep or 4x4 will have no trouble on hard sand.
 

Zandcwhite

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The stock Michelins are not an All-Terrain tire on the Sport. The Kevlars that come with LSD are All Terrains but are as mildly aggressive as All Terrains get. Anybody that has a lot of experience driving in deep or loose sand knows tires like KO2s or similar will perform as good as street tires. I'm getting the sense neither you or the reviewer do. Emphasis on deep and loose sand, hard sand is irrelevant, any Jeep or 4x4 will have no trouble on hard sand.
A wider and more aggressive tire will always perform better, especially in deep sand. A 285 is wider than a 245. Any all terrain is more aggressive than a standard lt tire. Wider helps with floatation and more aggressive means more traction. Hard pack, wet sand is a dirt road, thus the guy in the Subaru outback fishing next to you. There's a reason why paddle tires exist, digging down is only a problem if you give up momentum. More traction is always better. If it is a beach only rig, I'd get the sport and upgrade to a wider and more aggressive tire, but stock for stock, the all terrain wins.
 

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