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Official 5th Gen RAM Beach/Sand Driving Thread

NewLove

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Figured it was a good idea to start a thread on Beach/Sand driving…

A lot to be learned and Discussed on this topic from various aspects.


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Buz

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Well the first thing you need to do if you want to enjoy the experience is to air your tires down to about 15lbs psi when you get there. Otherwise your engine is going to work REALLY hard when you hit sugar sand. Ask me how I know this.
Also, obviously you need to have a good air compressor to air back up when you're done.
 
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RockYacht2020

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I'm actually quite interested in this topic, so I'm glad it's started. Thanks, OP. I really just want a topic on Airing Down, but this is as good as any. I have a few questions:
  1. 15psi: good for sand. Same for dirt roads? I hit more washboard forest roads than beaches. How do you determine the "right" psi for your adventure?
  2. Suspension: seems like your suspension setting could affect how much you air down. I have stock Rebel suspension, but have been considering upgrading to Thuren for the forest road adventures; does this mean I can air down more or less than stock?
  3. Trailers: I tow an off-road camping trailer. How does this factor into airing down?
  4. Speed: if you air down to 15psi, is there a "speed limit" so you don't do anything totally idiotic on the beach? I'm not going all baja and flying anywhere at 60mph off-road, but is 40mph at 15psi on a dirt road stupid?
  5. Compressor: any good recommendations? I've been eying the ViAir 400 Auto, but open to suggestions.
Now let's get this thread really going. :)
 

Scram1500

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Things you should have, air compressor, shovel, jack and jack stands, 3/4" piece of plywood (3 or 4 ft square) and tow strap. If you get stuck or high centered, put it in park. You're only going make it more difficult to dig out if you keep gassing it. Locking diff (LSD or e-lock) is also beneficial. Really knobby tires are not recommended as they like to dig a hole rather than ride on top of the sand.

Reverse level, 275/75 r18 Michelin Defenders

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NewLove

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Anyone try those traction boards they sell?


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cervelo15

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All great info in these posts and those traction boards popped up on my instagram. I'm second year newbie at this, driving my 4th Gen on the Delaware beaches. Hoping to get the new 5th gen out this summer after the lift and tires. But not to beat a dead horse and repeat any of the good info, the best experience I had was to keep yourself moving. I use that in the snow and sand and it hasn't failed me yet. Avoid hard acceleration (not that you would be mashing the throttle on the sand anyways).

Also, my wife got me 2 things that I'm psyched to try: a compact, heavy duty inflator that plugs into the truck outlet and the self-deflators. Some beaches have air compressors to air-up on the way out, but in a busy summer season, you could be waiting a while. For the self-deflators, screw them on the valve stem and it will air down to the preset PSI within seconds.

The places I drive on the sand require a plate with a valid yearly tag, so make sure to check with the local government. I've driven the beaches above Corolla, NC and they dont require a tag down there, but its kind of at your own risk. They also require a list of equipment to even put one tread on the beach. I keep it all stuffed in a duffel bag in the bed of the truck. Believe me, the rangers will check and if you don't have any of the required items, it's a fine. It's also a $500 fine if they have to come tow you out too.

I've seen everything from a Honda CRV trying to get on the beach to trucks bigger than mine getting pulled out. Just keep it sensible and drive calm and you should be good.

Here's a pic of my old 4th gen on the beach last summer:
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cervelo15

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I'm actually quite interested in this topic, so I'm glad it's started. Thanks, OP. I really just want a topic on Airing Down, but this is as good as any. I have a few questions:
  1. 15psi: good for sand. Same for dirt roads? I hit more washboard forest roads than beaches. How do you determine the "right" psi for your adventure?
  2. Suspension: seems like your suspension setting could affect how much you air down. I have stock Rebel suspension, but have been considering upgrading to Thuren for the forest road adventures; does this mean I can air down more or less than stock?
  3. Trailers: I tow an off-road camping trailer. How does this factor into airing down?
  4. Speed: if you air down to 15psi, is there a "speed limit" so you don't do anything totally idiotic on the beach? I'm not going all baja and flying anywhere at 60mph off-road, but is 40mph at 15psi on a dirt road stupid?
  5. Compressor: any good recommendations? I've been eying the ViAir 400 Auto, but open to suggestions.
Now let's get this thread really going. :)
I can maybe provide some info for 1, 4 & 5 above:

  • 15psi: good for sand. Same for dirt roads? I hit more washboard forest roads than beaches. How do you determine the "right" psi for your adventure? From what I have heard, 15-18psi is the sweet spot. I've used 18 as a benchmark for my adventures.
  • Speed: if you air down to 15psi, is there a "speed limit" so you don't do anything totally idiotic on the beach? I'm not going all baja and flying anywhere at 60mph off-road, but is 40mph at 15psi on a dirt road stupid? Don't think there is a speed limit, but in my post above, the experience I had was to keep forward momentum. The key is to keep an even speed and 'float' over the sandy areas.
  • Compressor: any good recommendations? I've been eying the ViAir 400 Auto, but open to suggestions. My wife got me a compressor off of Amazon, GSPSCN Air Inflator. Haven't used it yet (probably should before hitting the beach) but it looks heavy duty. Carrying your own ensures you'll get out without having to wait in line for an air-up station at the trailhead.
 

Buz

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I've driven the beaches above Corolla, NC and they dont require a tag down there, but its kind of at your own risk.
^ This is the exact beach where I learned not to have your tires at 40psi in sugar sand.
Used to drive there as a teenager back in the late 80's when there was very little enforcement.
I remember it goes @ 15 miles north to the Virginia border and was mostly deserted.
 

cervelo15

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^ This is the exact beach where I learned not to have your tires at 40psi in sugar sand.
Used to drive there as a teenager back in the late 80's when there was very little enforcement.
I remember it goes @ 15 miles north to the Virginia border and was mostly deserted.
Yep, that's it! Unbelievably, there are beach houses you can rent along those beaches now. Not sure I'd want to do that because running for groceries turns into a multi-hour chore. A couple times back I was there and a tractor trailer had to be pulled off the beach. He must have thought the road kept going but when he saw it terminated at a beach, he tried to turn around on the beach and got stuck. It's clearly marked with signs leading up to the beach saying if you don't have 4x4, turn around now.
 
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dunehiker

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We hit the OBX every year and will drive on the beach past Corolla a few times throughout the week. Last few years they've changed the traffic pattern during the day to force all traffic to travel in the soft sand along the dunes. Makes for a lot of stuck vehicles and tricky driving.

I still think the real challenge is down at Oregon Inlet, just search YouTube for Oregon Inlet Idiots.
 

cervelo15

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We hit the OBX every year and will drive on the beach past Corolla a few times throughout the week. Last few years they've changed the traffic pattern during the day to force all traffic to travel in the soft sand along the dunes. Makes for a lot of stuck vehicles and tricky driving.

I still think the real challenge is down at Oregon Inlet, just search YouTube for Oregon Inlet Idiots.
That might be another good tip, trying to drive on the packed sand vs the soft stuff (and I could be way off since I've never really driven on harder packed stuff). I've seen the softer stuff get all rutted, so logically I'm thinking you're already digging yourself into the sand if you follow ruts.
 

ExtinctBird

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We head to OBX most summers and stay on Carova Beach (north of Corolla). We took the new Longhorn there last August. I was concerned about the 22" wheels, since they don't leave much sidewall for airing down. I aired them to about 18-20psi, which worked fine due to the amount of rain they had before we arrived. Not too much deep powder. I'd love to get a backup set of 20" wheels/tires for the trip this year, but I really have nowhere to store them.

I was happy I had air suspension to raise it up to off-road 2, since some of the puddles on the interior "roads" were quite deep.

I have a Ryobi One+ Inflator that I used when coming off the beach. It automatically stops when it reaches the set psi. It worked well, albeit alot slower than the compressors at the town park when our travel partners filled up. I was able to refill all 4 tires on one charged battery, though I did carry a backup.
 

Scram1500

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Are those just a similar product to the Stauns deflators?

2020 Black Rebel, Blackout Edition, Quad Cab, 5.7L, no e-Torque
Similar purpose as the Stauns, but do not have any springs or moving parts and aren't adjustable. The Stauns look like they do the trick, but reviews said they could be inconsistent at reaching the set psi
 

dunehiker

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Count me as another fan of auto-deflators, makes airing down before getting on the beach super easy. Now I'm searching for a compressor since my Ryobi Inflator struggled last year on my Big Horn with ORG so I imagine it'll even worse with my Rebel's tires.
 

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