Oversand Question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Oversand Question


Nick
02-27-2002, 01:27 PM
I really want to get an oversand pass this summer at Nauset. I am just a little leary of my Escape being able to handle it. I know all the reasons why it won't be able too, I'm more interested in a real world field test. Problem lies in that I don't want to shell out big money for a pass, full size spare, etc. when I don't know if I'm even gonna be able to hang. I have read reviews of others that took their Escape on the Cape Cod National seashore and it performed great. I guess my question is there anywhere around where I can try it on the sand for a day and see how it goes? Either on the South shore (Duxbury, Plymouth), the Cape, or even down into RI. I don't mind driving to get there, just want to see how it goes. Thanks for the help!

Nick

juro
02-27-2002, 01:55 PM
Nick -

The Nauset passes run May thru May. Let's get together in April for a little field test. There should be some early striped arrivals on the Nantucket Sound side as well to get a bend in the rod.

Early sand conditions are not the same as mid-summer though, the sand gets pretty fluffed up from people tearing it up all day.

You tend to get stuck most of the time making maneuvers around other vehicles, trying to get too close to the fishing spot off the tracks, or getting on or off the beach to the dune roads over deep, soft passages thru the dunes (marked with a number, e.g. area 5).

For the most part I'm sure you will be fine on the existing tracks, it's the ability to deal with deep, churned up spots that you need to test.

A lot of that is how people drive - even though the vehicle coming off the beach has right of way, on a hill IMHO it makes much more sense for the vehicle coming downhill to yield.

When an uphill driver has to yield onto soft sand it really screws things up for him. The downhill driver has gravity on his side to pull off, then it helps start rolling onward as well. How do we get this driving law changed? :devil:

I have a number of spots on the Cape that would be good test areas other than Nauset, closer to the bridge. Let's go via buddy system just in case.

grego
02-27-2002, 02:23 PM
Nick,

I think your biggest concern will be ground clearance. Between those deep tracks you get a big "Crown". Also, when you put your tires down to 20 PSI, you loose another inch or so. On the plus side, you have a pretty short wheel base, most people don't realize that this is benefitial, cause in a 4X4 you aint stuck till your resting on your frame! So, a short WB SUV can acutally have a leg up over a longer wheel base like a full size PU. This is why the old Jeeps (CJ's, Wrangler) are good in the sand, short wheel base.

I think Juro's Idea of a buddy-system test run is a good one; just bring a Tow Rope!

Nick
02-27-2002, 03:22 PM
Juro,
Thanks for the offer, I'm definitely game. We'll have to pick a good weekend and go for it. I think the buddy system is the way to go. I can't wait for the fish to arrive.

Grego,
I'm with you in that the clearance is one of my fears out on Nauset. I saw some ruts from a great vantage point last summer (Juro's Truck) that made me a little nervous, but I think I should be OK. Like I said, I have no problem putting some money into it(bigger tires, maybe a slight lift) if I know it will be worth it. I probably won't do it more than 5 times a year, so I'm not overly concerned. Just looking for a little adventure. One more thing, another advantage is that my car is pretty light as far as 4x4's go, so that should keep me floating nice.

Nick

grego
02-27-2002, 04:21 PM
Nick,

Bigger Tires is a pretty safe bet. You can usually go up 1-2 sizes without a problem. More then that you can run into problems with your computer controlled emmissions, cause your actual speed versus RPMs will get out of wack (due to the larger tire circumfrence). This can be fixed by getting a special gear for your speedo that corrects for the larger tire size. They have these at the custom truck shops. They'll also know what size you can go up to without interferring with your steering, wheel-wells, roll-over danger, etc.

The next level of $$ is to go to bigger & Wider tires. Wider helps A LOT in sand, cause your weight gets distributed over more tire surface area, which prevents sinking in. This can cost more if you need to go to a Wider Rim & you may need wheel-well extensions to stay legal.

Small lift kits (under 3") that don't require much suspension modification can usually be found. But since the Escape has not been out long, it may not exist yet.

Money wise, I'd look into the biggest & widest tires that you can "safely" put on your existing rims. Your MPG will go down & your ride may be less quite.

JimW
02-27-2002, 04:21 PM
Plymouth is a walk in the park compared to the south side and vineyard. I wouldn't get new tires, in fact street tires will often out perform "off road tires". A tread with a bite to it tends to dig while a smoother tread tends to float. You let the air out to give more surface area so that you don't dig in as easily, think of it like snow shoes. I don't know much about the awd vs 4wd but I can tell you this. I've only used the low gear 4wd once on Wasque, my first time in real sand. I let the air out to 22lbs (they want you to go down to 15) 22 looked pretty low to me and I didn't want to break the seal. The first intersection of paths was very deep soft sand, I yeilded to another vehicle. When I hit the gas I buried all 4 wheels in 4wd high gear. I pushed the sand out of the way as I opened the door and let the air down to 15lbs put it in low and it pulled right out.
Beware of loop-d-do's they are a killer on the back.

Nick
02-27-2002, 04:47 PM
Grego,
Thanks for the tips, if it all works out that's what I'll end up doing when I need new tires. I know the ride will suffer some, but that's alright.

Jim,
I'm hoping to try it out and find my limitations. If I can't make it out onto the outer beaches with the Sugar Sand, then maybe I'll have to look into other options.

Nick

jborkowski
02-28-2002, 07:37 AM
Hey Nick and Juro,

When you guys head out for your test, let me know; I'd love to tag along as well. I just bought an oversand machine myself and am dieing to test it out.

juro
02-28-2002, 07:57 AM
Sounds good Jeff. April scout trip + 4x4 excursion.

Nick
02-28-2002, 08:07 AM
Jeff,
What did you end up getting? I remember you investigating a while ago. Looking forward to our excursion. We should get sponsors to fund the forum. We can have our trucks shrinkwrapped with ads and all proceeds got to forum. :hehe:

Juro,
Thanks for the message. When do you wanna do lunch?

Nick

Tod D
02-28-2002, 08:12 AM
Nick,
I'd echo Jim's comments re Plymouth when talking about Duxbury. While Dux has a few spots (way, way down the south end of the beach) that have some deep sand, it doesn't come close to Nauset and Wasque. In fact, the deepest sand we encounter there is typically right at the crossovers (from the access road to the beach). Also, a nonresident pass is pricy.

2HandTheSalt
03-07-2002, 09:12 AM
I would recommend that you contact the Orleans Parks Dept., and see if that vehicle will even be allowed on Nauset. They have specific guidelines with regards to vehicle/tire size which may prohibit some of these new road suv's.

Your problem is definitely going to be ground clearance. You are definitely going to get stuck. Once you learn the tricky places you can avoid them better and you will get stuck less. Keep your shovel and tow rope handy.

One more time, I would like to say that you guys driving in 4-wheel high with 20psi are the ones who are chewing the beach to shreds during the season! The reason the law says 15psi is so that you will not ruin the buggy trail. 12psi is even better.

There is a very real chance that Nauset oversand trail will be closed to non-property owners in the near future. As oversand permit users we all have a responsibility to minimize our impact on the environment. Drive responsibly, use four-wheel low, and 12-15psi, please!

Nick
03-07-2002, 10:09 AM
2handthesalt,

Thanks for the advice. I have looked up the specs and my tires are big enough to pass. I have every intention of dropping the tire pressure down to around 15. That place of land is a very special thing that we have here in Mass. Some of the most beautiful beach views, unbelievable fishing, and a site to really feel like you have left the civilized world. If it goes away, not only do we lose that, we lose the history that that stretch of land has. I wish I was alive during the heydays of the beach buggies. What a life.

NIck

juro
03-07-2002, 10:22 AM
Jay -

Good points about being cautious and conscientious.

I know it was just a figure of speech when you say "you guys" but as one who did 20-ish trips out on Nauset last year as a non-resident owner but conscientious 4x4 driver with properly lowered pressure each and every time - I have some observations to offer. There are those who give a damn and those who don't. Residence on either side of the canal has nothing to do with it, just as you gave a damn before you moved on Cape a couple of years ago.

Some of us deflate properly even when they shut down the pumps for the season and we have to drive up to rte 28 all floppy risking tire damage. But all summer I see a lot of young sun-seeking locals boogie right through without even a thought of deflation. Sure, many leave their tires slightly lower all the time, but they sure as heck aren't running them at 15! (It's easy to see who's who with the sticker colors) I understand - I was young and reckless once too and did a lot worse things than that. My point is it's about those who care and those who don't. Once again I know it's a figure of speech but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who qualifies as "you guys" in this community.

Your point is taken though, and it's great food for thought. Could you provide more detail in the benefits of 4x4 low over 4x4 high? I run a v8 4x4 pickup truck and have yet to dig in or churn things up. Should I be in low? Should it be made a regulation? I'm all ears (get it?)

:devil:

Nick
03-07-2002, 12:34 PM
Juro,
As far as running on low air off the sand, my solution is going to be (if I end up going through with this) picking up one of those 12V air compressors. They have an exceptionally long cord usually and are only around 20 bucks.

Nick

Something like This (http://www.target.com/common/catalog/product.jhtml?navAction=push&navCount=1&prodid=96622&catnav=8838)

grego
03-07-2002, 12:45 PM
Jay,Juro:

All good points, but there's more to it than just ground clearance, 15 psi, & 4WD-Low.

These rules are put in place but they are an over simplification. First, most (almost All) 4X4 trucks & SUVs come through with general all-terrian or off-road tires & although these tires are pretty good for all around use (mud, snow, rocky trails) they are pretty Bad for Sand, Mainly cause they have Big Deep Knobby Treads. If you look at a "Real" Dune buggy, They have "balloon" tires with only shallow grooves for treads. Also, the ballon tires are Extremely Wide, which distributes the vehicle weight over a lot of area. Also, a real buggy is a strpped down vehicle that weighs a fraction of your typical V8 SUV!

So, if you take your 6,000 pound Excursion With its big knobby tires & drop the air to 15psi & put it into low-range, your still doing a lot more chewing up than a true buggy. But, if you drive slowly & carefully, you'll do a lot less damage than some who plows through like a maniac!

So, we operate within the Law & try to be conscencious. But, is the Town going to change the law to require balloon tires & restrict vehicle weight? I don't think so, because this would Regulate Out a lot of the Locals. And it would also reduce the non-resident traffic to those who could not afford a special purpose vehicle.

JimW
03-07-2002, 06:11 PM
Nick, you may want to test that pump at a gas station where there is a full blown compressor. I had one of those portable pumps and I spent quite a while filling the tires until I found the air station at mytoi.
Jay, good point on air pressure. I was ignorrant to the ways of the sand when I sunk the Jeep :rolleyes: , but I'm a quick learner. Frankly 20lbs looked pretty darn low and I was afraid of breaking the bead.
Probably the best thing we can all do is point out the benefits of low pressure (better for the environment and your vehicle), not everyone will take the advice but it sure beats sand rage. I don't normally use low gear unless I'm pulling one of those Ford Escapes out of the soft stuff .:eyecrazy:
Just kidding Nick.

Good thread!

grego
03-07-2002, 07:35 PM
Ditto on Jim's portable compressor point. I have pretty big tires (265-70-17) & it takes about 5 minutes to go +5 psi in One Tire! But like Juro pointed, if it's late & the Gas stations are all closed, better spending 40 minutes putting in air then a possible problem on the Highway!

2HandTheSalt
03-07-2002, 10:43 PM
Juro, my, ' You guys,' remark was directed at no one in particular, nor anyone from any geographical area. It was directed at the guys who have plenty of power and don't feel the need to deflate their tires. You will see tons of these guys out there in the summer, running with full tire pressure. They keep it in four-wheel high until they get stuck, then shift into low, churning up the sand until they are free, then switch back into four-wheel high. FWIW, I don't think these people are really the, ' Outdoorsmen,' type, they are more of the, ' Let's get drunk on the beach,' type.

I think a lot of people have the misconception that four-wheel low is for getting un-stuck. What it is really for, is for not getting stuck in the first place. Speed limit on Nauset is 15mph, try low sometime. It keeps the engine in the tourque curve better at those low speeds, and just keeps chugging along without getting stuck.

There are three types of vehicles I see stuck out on Nauset the most: Full-size American pickups, cherokees, and mini-SUV's. The full-size pickups that are stuck are usually running street tire pressures. The mini SUV's get stuck due to ground clearance. I have no idea why so many cherokees get stuck. Maybe they are running high pressure, or maybe it is just because there are so many of them around?????

FYI There are at least two camp owners on Nauset who have deeds which say that their property extends from the low-water mark on the beach side, to low-water on the bay side. One of these guys is currently taking the Town of Chatham or the US Park service to court to stop people driving over his property. High-ranking sources believe that there is a real chance that they may win! The argument they are using is that all of the traffic is destroying the beach and accelerating the loss of beach to the ocean. Their facts are correct. Beach buggies do erode the beach and speed up it's loss. This is why it is so important to drive responsibly and minimize damage. This is a public resource that we could lose access to, sometime in the very near future.

So, drive responsibly, smile and wave to the camp owners, catch lots of fish, and have fun out there!

juro
03-07-2002, 10:55 PM
Good advice Jay, I know which areas you are talking about, I once drove between the RV's and the surf and got a real earful from an angry landowner. I wasn't paying attention to the private property signs I guess I was too busy looking at the birds! I sympathize with them although to stop people from passing seems a bit over the top.

What effect do those huge campers have on the beach I wonder... some of them would put Ringling Bros to shame.

artb
03-08-2002, 06:36 AM
:) Being one his is on the beach most of the time that I am fishing, I have a small on board air compressor, which works fine. I can take 4 tires from 18 lbs to 32 pounds in about 20 minutes. Sometimes if I air up at a gas station and if I want to pickup sometime. I also have a set of two air deflators which work great on letting air out of my tires. I do two tires at a time as I work around my truck. I have them set for 18 lbs, and drive on the highway at up to about 55 mph with no problems. The beach conditions are always changing, like the softness of the sand. The only time I got stuck in the sand with my Blazer is when I forgot to put it into 4 wheel drive:( . Shoveled for 2 hours before I realized that it was in 2 wheel drive. One trouble with the Blazer is the led 4 wheel drive indicated is unseeable in the sun. :D

jborkowski
03-11-2002, 06:27 PM
Nick,

After a lot of research I went with Jeep's new Liberty. Came down to the Liberty, Escape, and xTerra. Motor in xTerra was a slug which took it out of the running. The Escape is by far the best to drive on pavement...reason being, as I'm sure you know, it is built on a car chassis. The same attributes which make the Escape the better road handling mini-SUV, gave me concern for those (admittedly rare) off-road jaunts. Rear lower a-arms are particularly low. Escape also was AWD vs 4WD.

The Jeep does not have nearly the "feel" or responsiveness of the Escape on pavement; however, it is an SUV, and none of these things are really driving machines. By the time I decided look for something Nauset worthy, the auto enthusiast in me had surrended anyway. In the end, the Jeep appeared to be a little more off-road tailored. Higher ground clearance. 4WD with Low and High option, 8 in front travel, as well as a host of other off-road add-ons like additional cooling, trak-lock rear diff, toe hooks, skid plates, decent AT tires etc...
Having owned Ford product, fit an finish on the Jeep seemed a little tighter to me as well.

Was a tough choice.

Thing is a tank though. Weighs a ton...literally. Which means when I pull out of the gas station, some little troll pops a drainage plug underneath...and before I know it, I'm back at the gas station filling up again.

Goes without saying I had to supe it up a little. ;) See pic.

Look forward to getting out with you.

Jeff

Originally posted by Nick
Jeff,
What did you end up getting? I remember you investigating a while ago. Looking forward to our excursion. We should get sponsors to fund the forum. We can have our trucks shrinkwrapped with ads and all proceeds got to forum. :hehe:

Juro,
Thanks for the message. When do you wanna do lunch?

Nick

Eddie
03-11-2002, 06:51 PM
I drove around MV for a summer w/ less than 20# in my tires. It felt a little weird going around corners but we never got going that fast any way. Those beaches on the south side have very soft sand. That Jeep lived 10 years every day and loved it...well it didn't complain too much.
A solution for airing up is to get a air canister. A little smaller than a 1/4 keg, you fill it @ the gas station, and fill up your tires in the beach parking lot @ the end of the day.
Ahhh...nothing like frantically digging out a Jeep, burried up to the door sills with waves licking at a tire.

Nick
03-12-2002, 08:11 AM
Jeff,
That was my other choice as well. Problem was I couldn't wait for them to come out last summer, I needed a car in January. I figured that since 98% of the time I'm heading to and from work, the gas mileage and road handling of the Escape was what I really needed. As for what I wanted, that's another story. ;-) So basically, I'm hoping that my Escape is good enough, but if its not, I'll understand. Your right about the Xterra. What a sluggish engine. Even with the new turbocharged engine, I think it barely puts out more HP than my V6, and it weighs around 500 lbs more I think. Ouch.

Nick

Roop
03-12-2002, 10:39 AM
You know, I've been driving on sand since I was 16. I was taught to use 4 HI until you get bogged down, clean out around the tires, lower air pressure (more) and use 4 LO to get out.

I wanted to find something on the web which supported this - I didn't.

Check out the attached link which is a copy of an article almost every 4wd group seems to have on their web sites.

It supports cruising in 4 LO. Guess you learn something new every day.

http://www.jeepmonkey.com/tips/4wd/sand_driving.html

Slugs & hisses,

Roop
:razz:

JimW
03-12-2002, 11:47 AM
4wd-Low - Very interesting. Thanks Roop and Jay for bringing it up. I'll try it this year, or if the roads get much worse maybe on the way home ;)