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  #1  
Old 01-19-2006, 05:40 PM
Jamie K Jamie K is offline
 
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Default Is 4x4 absolutely required for driving on beach?

I am heading out to look at a used conversion van for my surf treks.

I used to have a 4x4 international that had a busted transfer case so the 4x4 was intermittent, but I really only had problems if I tried to hill climb sandy hills.

So, with the right tires will the beach lets me cruise?
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2006, 08:45 PM
Jamie K Jamie K is offline
 
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I learned from other boards jersey requires 4x4. Furthermore i test drove the van and it is not going ot do the trick.
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:47 PM
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Jamie K
The vehicle has to be four wheel drive. Not necessarilly an SUV.
The tires have to be deflated down to 15 pounds of pressure as well for traction. New York state Parks are the same as well. As is the federal parks like Fire Island and Gateway. All of the towns are strict 4 x 4 at least for buggy access.
Good question though. I used to have an AMC eagle car that had 4 wheel drive. it was like a tank.
Check out Long Island Beach Buggy for more info Click on the links to the beaches.
New Jersey access
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2006, 08:36 AM
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Back in the day(before my time) beach seining crews proweled the beaches with model T fords and diamond rio trucks, I've never read or heard of acounts of the # of times they got stuck (only the #'s of fish they slaughtered)

That said back in the 70's when had a 1967 VW bug fitted with wide oversize tires,external oil cooler and a front mounted winch, the bitter end of the winch cable was fitted with a danforth anchor, the vehicle was very light, traveled well over sand and didnt have enough power to spin the wheels... if it did get bogged down (It only happend twice in its time on the beach) it was a very small matter to winch it out and travel on, was it a good beach vehicle... not realy, but, for a teenage kid wanting to get out on Nauset beach with the "big boys" it worked...

Vans in general dont do well under any thing except on road conditions, they get stuck on virtualy any surface not made of asphalt or concrete...

If driving on the beach is a must, find yourself a good 4X4 vecxhicle, as Jim said cars can work too,make sure that the transmission and transfer case is in good shape, if it is an automatic make sure it has an HD cooler for the transmission oil, it is the units lifes blood, while talking coolant, make sure the cooling system is in good shape, off road driving of any kind is hell on a cooling system, tow trucks are hard to come by on the beach..

Walking's not a bad thing, and if you arn't properly (or legaly) equiped you may be walking anyway... choose wisely..

tight lines
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:39 AM
TonyDB TonyDB is offline
 
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Even if it wasn't required, I'd strongly recommend it anyway. 30 years ago, when I was in school down in Southern Jersey, I got the schools 2-wheel drive International stuck out on the end of Brigantine, 5 miles from the nearest road, in the tidal zone no less. That really sucked.
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Old 02-18-2006, 07:35 PM
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In the old days ,the guys would go out on the beaches with 2 wheel drive. They would let the air out of their tires, down to 10 lbs. Once they got off the sand they would run a hose from a spark plug to the tire and blow the tire up again. ( one end of the hose had a adapter so it fit in the spark plug and the other end had a chuck)
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:02 AM
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CC, I've read that 17 PSI is optimum. Reasoning, it provides the greatest surface contact of the tire without comprimising the strenght of the tires sidewall.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDB
CC, I've read that 17 PSI is optimum. Reasoning, it provides the greatest surface contact of the tire without comprimising the strenght of the tires sidewall.
Could be?
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:40 PM
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Each tire is made different....so therefore I can't believe a Standard 17PSI is accurate. I know people who air down all the way to 10PSI and others who dont air down any lower than 20. Not to mention it depends on what beach you are driving on. you can drive up to Corova on the OBX without airing down at all, but places down in Buxton you have to air down. Expereince will tell you what you need to do. HOWEVER, I would never recommend anything other than the Daytona Strip without 4x4
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:46 PM
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I have seen them on Plum Island. old bread trucks, that type.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:56 PM
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Jeff, you're absolutely correct. It does vary from tire to tire. Here's the correct process for determining how much air pressure is required given a specific set of tires and conditions.

Optimum Sand Pressure
To determine your optimum sand pressure, perform the following test on a flat, level and smooth surface, fully loaded as you would be for a sand run (gas tank and passengers included). Measure the vertical height to the bottom of the wheel (rim) from the ground. This is your 100%, street pressure, wheel height. Now reduce this height by 25%. In other words, let out air until your wheel is 75% of the street height. Measure and record this pressure and depending on your vehicle and loading scheme, front and rear tires may differ.

This is your optimum sand pressure. As the TREAD FOOTPRINT figure shows, this typically results in more than a 250% increase. That is like having ten tires where you only had four. This pressure is only valid for exactly what you tested. Change vehicle, tires, wheels or load and you have to retest.

It?s obvious a vehicle change would dictate retesting. Tires differ in number and stiffness of sidewall plys and rubber compounds, hence the need to retest with a tire change, and in actuality, tire age/wear too. Wider or narrower wheels influence how the sidewalls bulge, so this too requires doing the deed anew.

How did I measure the 250% increase? I measured the pressure, painted the tread, let the tire down onto a piece of paper and ?printed? the footprint for various air pressures. I could see the edge begin to make contact and footprint increase with ever-decreasing pressure.

The results are dramatic, but carefully observe the PRESSURE-HEIGHT CURVE, and understand this is not a universally applicable curve. It is specific to my 4X, tires, wheels and load. Wheel height and footprint are obviously related. Putting the curve into words, the footprint really starts to increase (wheel height decrease) with the last few drops in PSI. Note I measured no height change from 50 to 37 PSI. From 50 to 20 PSI resulted in only 3/8 inch drop in height. The drop from 20 to 12 PSI was about 1/2 inch and the drop from 12 to 7 PSI yielded more than 3/4 inch drop in height. These last few pounds are where the real effect takes place. Give them pudgy cheeks!



I stand corrected. I've seen these Tire deflaters that once you get on to the sand surface you screw onto the stems that take the pressure down to a fixed air-pressure. The deflators I remember seeing were set for 17 PSI and therefore I assumed incorrectly that 17 PSI was optimum.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletjeff
Each tire is made different....so therefore I can't believe a Standard 17PSI is accurate. I know people who air down all the way to 10PSI and others who dont air down any lower than 20. Not to mention it depends on what beach you are driving on. you can drive up to Corova on the OBX without airing down at all, but places down in Buxton you have to air down. Expereince will tell you what you need to do. HOWEVER, I would never recommend anything other than the Daytona Strip without 4x4
12psi is standard on cape cod.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:50 PM
TonyDB TonyDB is offline
 
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Eel nyut, as Jeff pointed out, there is no correct pressure it will vary depending on tire, vehicle, load......

The article that I found and copied out-takes into my previous post recommends a specific process for determine optimum pressure for a give vehicle.

Basically, on a flat smooth hard surface, fill your tires to the recommend pressure (say 40 PSI). Now measure the distance fromthe lowest point of the rim to the ground (say that's 4"). Now reduce tire pressure so that distance is 75% (or in this case 3") of what you originally measured. Record that tire pressure. That's optimum for your vehicle.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Is 4x4 absolutely required for driving on beach?

i whouldnt drive on the brach iegall dont do it!!!!
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Is 4x4 absolutely required for driving on beach?

Just a side note, it's not the width that puts the surface area to the ground,,, it's the length of tread contact that does it.
If you gain a 1/4" in width,, you could easily gain 6" in length.
Radials are designed to utilize a longer print than the older style corded ply tire. (why they often look soft or under-inflated)

As for 4X4 really required?
Just about everywhere I'm aware of,, 4X4 ($X$) is req'd be law.
Appears in Mass,,, some AWD's aren't legal either(?).

Reality is though,,, non-aggressive, wide tires on a light, closely balanced (front to rear) rig can do very well on some beaches. Largely depends on the condition (type) of the sand. and of course driving skills play a major part in this too.

Unfortunately,, 2X4 folks tend to hot-dog it too much. Dig things up, don't fill-in holes, and generally tear up the beach pretty good. This tends to piss off the tree huggers and rules are made keeping them on the pavement.

Finding beaches to drive on and fish are getting scarcer all the time. The 1% of the slobs making messes, trashing, tearing up dunes, etc. get the most attention and make things more restrictive to the other 99% of mature, ethical beach users.
If you see a yahoo tearing things up,, I'd suggest trying other methods of persuading them to change their ways before calling the authorities. A complaint about a beach buggy,, IS a complaint on a buggy. Doesn't matter who its from. Not saying it's worth getting into a fight over,, but maybe told/asked the right way will get the idea across?

Just my $0.02
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