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Old 09-18-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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Re: Driving on sand

First time driving my 2wd on sand was just three months into ownership of 2010 SMB Ford E250 5.4L V8 RB. The beach was crowded, cars were parked side by side for miles on entry. There was one front row of cars and another back row, with just enough room for a narrow two way thorough fare. On driving onto the beach I noticed the front row of cars nearly had their front tires in water due to the tide coming in. I was hoping for a bit more exposed wet sand for driving, but all that was available was being driven on and the on-coming traffic lane was starting to look a little ragged, with some deep ruts in places. On seeing this I found the first front row parking spot to turn around in and began making my way back to the exit. Traffic was now bumper to bumper as folks were beginning to move out before the tide got to them. I had to stop at one point to wait for on-coming traffic to let me use their lane in order to avoid the deep ruts ahead in my lane. As soon as I slowed I could feel the van sinking - along with my stomach! Finally, I just had to roll from reverse to forward gear to keep moving and then gun it into the on-coming lane (Boston style driving - get out of my way, I'm coming thru now). That synched it for me. No more beach driving. The van is just too heavy for it and I'm not properly equipped to dig out.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:31 AM   #12
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Re: Driving on sand

Sand is like mud---there are different types. Hard packed, soft sand, powder sand, deep silt sand, wet sand, ect... . They require different driving styles & you can get stuck in any of them---even with 4wd & lockers front & rear---even if your aired down. A winch & a Pull-Pal is a good idea & also, do not venture out on a beach unless you first know the tide schedule & weather forcast. Youtube is full of "what were they thinking" videos, that include sand/beaches/tides/4wd's & campers.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:08 PM   #13
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Re: Driving on sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2cool
I had to stop at one point to wait for on-coming traffic to let me use their lane in order to avoid the deep ruts ahead in my lane. As soon as I slowed I could feel the van sinking - along with my stomach! Finally, I just had to roll from reverse to forward gear to keep moving and then gun it into the on-coming lane (Boston style driving - get out of my way, I'm coming thru now). That synched it for me. No more beach driving. The van is just too heavy for it and I'm not properly equipped to dig out.

Been there/done that! It sucks. With sand it's reading it and momentum but a lot has to do with weight and traction. With a 2WD just traction might not help pushing a heavy van.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #14
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Re: Driving on sand

Your cautions have caused me to do more research on driving on sand. I haven't found any accounts of other folks camping at Race Point Beach, but I found this picture on Google Earth:

http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com ... 365252.jpg

Lotsa heavy looking, non-4WD vehicles out there.

My SMB was designed for on-road travel, so no thought was given to installing a winch. Would anyone recommend a portable winch, and can such items be rented?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:04 AM   #15
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Re: Driving on sand

So did you go and what happened?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #16
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Re: Driving on sand

Sorry, I should have reported sooner. When I got to the inspection station for oversand driving, the ranger noticed immediately that Shadowfax was not 4-wheel drive. He and I disagreed about whether the instructions specifically required 4-wheel drive. He, of course, won. He said they had never had a vehicle like mine out there, and he was pretty sure it would get stuck. Weight distribution, no dullies, etc. I was disappointed but understood his concerns. Plus, I really didn't want to get stuck out there. I retreated to Nickerson State Park and camped there for four nights in a practically empty campground. It's the only time I have regretted not getting 4WD. (I just noticed that if you mis-type that, you get $WD. Hahahahahah.) Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #17
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Re: Driving on sand

Maybe you could call SMB and see if they could reproduce this modification:

http://www.ltv-vwc.org.uk/wheelspin/ws_ ... -Type2.jpg

Sorry I couldn't upload the pic myself; server said: "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #18
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Re: Driving on sand

Does that thing come with the pop top?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:07 PM   #19
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Re: Driving on sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowfax
... (I just noticed that if you mis-type that, you get $WD. Hahahahahah.) ....
or SMB $X$
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:01 PM   #20
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Re: Driving on sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowfax
My SMB was designed for on-road travel, so no thought was given to installing a winch. Would anyone recommend a portable winch, and can such items be rented?
Airing down is amazing, I wouldn't overlook it for 2wd.

There are such things as hitch mount winches, I don't think you can rent one, but you have to have a hitch-mount, so it's backwards or front mount hitch-mount. Technically it's just a winch mounted to a hitch plate. Once you get all that done, connections and everything you might as well have put an inexpensive 8000 lb winch (MileMarker?) behind the bumper (stealth mount).

Third, your best bet if you don't want to invest is someone else with a winch. If you're going to a popular area that shouldn't be a problem. If you're not going to a popular area, a Hi-Lift cast jack can be used as a come-a-long. We've pulled a full size Scout out of deep mud with nothing but a come-a-long.
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