Newbie with a beach driving question

Pumping4Jane

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I'd much rather drive beach than a Buffalo winter's street. Nah...your Atlantic Vacation wont eat away your jeep. Salt is basically an acid which can be neutralized with clear water. Just saying, after your beach trip, give her a good undercarriage spraying.
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xtopherm

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Also, as a side note, you might want to consider rinsing off any salt that you may encounter during your days on the beach.
Here's a tip on that from wheelers in Australia: when you get back from the beach, run a lawn sprinkler under your jeep for 30 mins - eventually gets in everywhere and gets the salt out.
 

xtopherm

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I’m m interested as well. I don’t do a lot of beach driving, only twice so far. Once in Galveston where it was a somewhat “muddy” sand that was very firmly packed. No problem at all. Once more in the Florida panhandle where the sand was more “dusty” - loose, fine, and deep. I immediately felt that I was bogging down and had no traction. I stopped and didn’t go further so as not to get stuck. I was not aired down and I wasn’t in 4 LO.

Also, is it legal to drive in every public beach in Florida (unless there are signs restricting it) like it is in Texas?
Hi everyone. First time Jeep owner (2020 Wrangler Unlimited) since last Friday. So far I've done nothing to the Jeep so everything is stock. I have two very newbie questions:

I live in Gainesville, Florida, and love heading over to Crescent Beach. Does anyone have any experience driving on the sand out there? The sand up where you drive tends to be looser and less packed. I'd appreciate any thoughts on taking it out onto the sand with just the stock tires. Am I just asking for trouble? Another thread from a couple of years ago recommended reducing the pressure to about 12 psi and keeping it in 4L and said that this was all that was needed. Is that still good advice?

Second, I really don't want to lift the Jeep. I was told that I could go up to 33 inches on the tires. Is there anything I need to worry about if I do that?

I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks for your help.

Alex
It's really critical to air down - makes all the difference in the world - the tires float above the sand with much less resistance and don't dig in. Truly a night and day difference - worth the trouble. In terms of how low to go, there is no one answer - depends on the type of sand, type of tire and load of vehicle. But here are a few hard-earned lessons I've accumulated over time:

(1) you are looking for a pronounced swelling out at the bottom of the tire - that wider foot print and softer profile is what allows you to float
(2) flexible sidewall tires (C rated passenger car tires that come stock on jeeps) will bow out sooner (i.e. at a higher psi) than stiffer sidewall tires such as the E rated truck tires many of us upgrade to
(3) if you don't go low enough, there is no point in doing it at all
(4) if you go too low, you can separate your tire bead from the rim - not fun.
(5) to give you a sense that is applicable to most tires: 8-10 PSI would be considered very low and you would not want to go lower than that without beadlock wheels. And when you are in that inflation range, corner gently! 11-13 PSI is where stiff E rated tires will show a nice floaty bulge. 14-18 PSI is probably going to be low enough for very flexible sidewall C rated tires, but if you feel yourself digging at all - get out immediately and drop them a few PSI at a time until you feel really reliable traction.
(6) keep in mind that the tires really heat up when extremely low and flexing a lot, especially over hot sand. As tires heat, the pressure goes up - you might leave the parking lot at 10 psi, and arrive at your picnic spot at 14 PSI. That could be just enough of a difference to get you stuck if you don't air those hot tires down further.
(7) know where high tide comes up to and drive and park above it (no explanation necessary)
(8) momentum is a beach or dune wheeler's best friend - look way ahead and plan lines to allow you to gather and maintain momentum on uphill stretches
(9) a sand anchor is a beach or dune wheeler's other best friend - if you get stuck and the tide is coming in and you are alone, you can winch yourself out. Other vehicles make acceptable tree substitutes if you are not alone.
(10) if you do not have a sand anchor and things suddenly get real, grab a shovel and bury your spare tire (deeply) with your winch line attached to it - makes a pretty decent sand anchor in a pinch
(11) if you are trying to pull someone out, a kinetic recovery rope is a great choice - allows you to keep your momentum and multiply your force
(12) if you are attempting to winch someone out and they are starting to pull your vehicle and risk getting you stuck, park another next to yours, throw a snatchblock on the stuck vehicle, and connect the end of your winch rope to the vehicle next to you - not only have you doubled the pulling power of your winch, you have also doubled the weight of your anchoring system.
(13) as I noted in a different reply on this thread, when you get back from the beach, run a lawn sprinkler under your jeep for 30 mins to flush the salt out from all the pockets
(14) if you wheel on the sand a lot (as I do in the summer) making or purchasing an air hose system that allows you to air up and air down all four tires at once will save you about a lifetime per summer - a fraction of the time and all four tires at the exact same pressure - like magic.
(15) if you don't own a fast compressor or don't want to wait in line at the airing station by the beach, an inexpensive 10 gallon air tank can hold enough air to get reasonable sized tires up to roadworthy inflation very quickly - you can then drive to the gas station in town and fill up with no line or fill up slowly back at your house
(16) if you carry a schraeder to schraeder air hose and want to stretch your airtank, over fill your spare tire a bit and there's a few more PSI you can borrow in a pinch
(17) 4-Lo is easiest on the vehicle on sand - higher revs keep the engine fan speed up and it is easier on the transmission in terms of heat build up (though perhaps less of an issue with a manual), plus as a bonus it turns off the traction control which is little use to you on sand and gives you access to your lockers if you have them
(18) if your tires are not aired down enough, lockers will NOT help you
(19) if you feel yourself getting stuck, stop immediately and dont dig yourself in. Sand is extremely heavy to move with a shovel on a hot day and it is hard to remove from under your vehicle if you dig yourself down to the frame rails. Instead stop, jump out, let a few PSI out of your tires and try backing out of the spot you are in (or going forward). You might be surprised what you can drive out of without having to dig half a beach with your shovel
(20) some people swear by traction boards like maxtrax - I don't own any and have never messed with them, but they are relatively cheap and light recovery gear if you are looking to just assemble a minimal kit.
(Bonus) Here's a few photos of where I wheel in the summer, plus some related shots like my co-pilot, a close up of the sticker on my winch, an E rated tire properly aired down, etc.

Sand Wheeling b - 4.jpeg


Sand Wheeling b - 3.jpeg


Sand Wheeling b - 2.jpeg


Sand Wheeling b - 1.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 15.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 14.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 13.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 12.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 11.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 10.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 9.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 8.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 7.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 6.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 5.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 4.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 3.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 2.jpeg


Sand Wheeling - 1.jpeg
 
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xtopherm

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Sheer curiosity begs me to ask ... what if you are by yourself and you get stuck in the sand, how do you get out?
See my other response to this, but short answer, if you have a winch and a sand anchor you can rescue yourself all day long. If you don't own a sand anchor, some people swear by traction boards like max tracks. If you came unprepared, but have a winch, you can bury your spare tire with the winch line attached to it to serve as a makeshift sand anchor.
 

flharleycop

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Hi everyone. First time Jeep owner (2020 Wrangler Unlimited) since last Friday. So far I've done nothing to the Jeep so everything is stock. I have two very newbie questions:

I live in Gainesville, Florida, and love heading over to Crescent Beach. Does anyone have any experience driving on the sand out there? The sand up where you drive tends to be looser and less packed. I'd appreciate any thoughts on taking it out onto the sand with just the stock tires. Am I just asking for trouble? Another thread from a couple of years ago recommended reducing the pressure to about 12 psi and keeping it in 4L and said that this was all that was needed. Is that still good advice?

Second, I really don't want to lift the Jeep. I was told that I could go up to 33 inches on the tires. Is there anything I need to worry about if I do that?

I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks for your help.

Alex
I drive crescent, st Aug, Daytona soft areas all the time with my JKU that Jeep is so light I drove it in 4h at the most and never aired down. Just be cautious when you park I would always back in so I could pull out with the tires straight. You will be amazed how the Jeep handles in that sand.
 

Yogi

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See my other response to this, but short answer, if you have a winch and a sand anchor you can rescue yourself all day long. If you don't own a sand anchor, some people swear by traction boards like max tracks. If you came unprepared, but have a winch, you can bury your spare tire with the winch line attached to it to serve as a makeshift sand anchor.
Thanks, I thought I had read somewhere that when crossing sand, whether it's beach or desert, a boat anchor, sand or plow, is an essential piece of gear.
From boating experience, my choice would be a plow anchor. They are more robust, stay straighter (leveller) and dig in better from a higher angle than sand anchors do. You can also weld an eye on the backside of the crook so you can pull them out backwards a lot easier.
 

xtopherm

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Thanks, I thought I had read somewhere that when crossing sand, whether it's beach or desert, a boat anchor, sand or plow, is an essential piece of gear.
From boating experience, my choice would be a plow anchor. They are more robust, stay straighter (leveller) and dig in better from a higher angle than sand anchors do. You can also weld an eye on the backside of the crook so you can pull them out backwards a lot easier.
I may accidentally have caused some confusion - I am not talking about any variety of boat anchor, I am talking about a specialized type of device made for winching on sand and soil. Just to give you an idea, here's one example of the many varieties available: http://www.smittybiltdepot.com/Smit...A-S-P-Winch-Anchor-Support-Platform-2727.aspx
 

Yogi

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I may accidentally have caused some confusion - I am not talking about any variety of boat anchor, I am talking about a specialized type of device made for winching on sand and soil. Just to give you an idea, here's one example of the many varieties available: http://www.smittybiltdepot.com/Smit...A-S-P-Winch-Anchor-Support-Platform-2727.aspx
Oh, we're definitely not talking about the same thing. I was talking literally about a boat anchor, either the sand style or the plow style. I like the plow style better myself.
 

johnnymiz

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If you dont have a winch and you get stuck and cant back it out, the most valuable tool you can have is a 1ft piece of 2x12..
Dig down so you can fit your jack under jeep....put 2x12 under jack to give firm footing...jack up....fill hole under tire...jack down. Now, let the air out that you shouldve let out before you got stuck...drive off.
Remember, if you stick it, dont make it worse by burying to the frame.
If you dont get out in a few tries, throwing sand with the tires like a snowblower will only make it harder.
 
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AlexOGnv

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Since I'm the one who started the thread, I wanted to give everyone an update. Headed to the beach with the Jeep for the first time this weekend. Stock Wrangler Unlimited on Crescent Beach, FL. Didn't do anything but drive in 4H and didn't have any problem. I did have a tire deflator ready to go but it wasn't needed. So much fun.

Totally hooked on taking the Jeep to the beach. Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.
Jeep.jpg
 

Movenpuck

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Since I'm the one who started the thread, I wanted to give everyone an update. Headed to the beach with the Jeep for the first time this weekend. Stock Wrangler Unlimited on Crescent Beach, FL. Didn't do anything but drive in 4H and didn't have any problem. I did have a tire deflator ready to go but it wasn't needed. So much fun.

Totally hooked on taking the Jeep to the beach. Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.
Jeep.jpg
thanks for the update, I'll be taking mine for the first time this weekend
 

rallydefault

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If you dont have a winch and you get stuck and cant back it out, the most valuable tool you can have is a 1ft piece of 2x12..

Yea, the rangers won't even let you on the sand where I go if you don't have a board with you.
 

Bearded_Dragon

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Since I'm the one who started the thread, I wanted to give everyone an update. Headed to the beach with the Jeep for the first time this weekend. Stock Wrangler Unlimited on Crescent Beach, FL. Didn't do anything but drive in 4H and didn't have any problem. I did have a tire deflator ready to go but it wasn't needed. So much fun.

Totally hooked on taking the Jeep to the beach. Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.
How far can you drive on the beach? 2-3 miles?
 

Sand Flea

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We are required to have the "Five Essentials".

Low pressure tire gauge.
Jack
Jack Pad
Shovel
Snatch strap
 

df007

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Took mine out to Corolla Beach in the outer banks of NC to see the wild horses with the family. I read some tips here before going, so thanks! Everyone had a blast. I was good with 4H and 20psi. Only annoying thing was the traction control pulling throttle out when it got a bit deep. I should have kicked it down to the intermediate setting.
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