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Sand Dunes - Need Tips

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by mrsicarus, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Jun 16, 2019 at 6:41 PM
    #1
    mrsicarus

    mrsicarus [OP] New Member

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    We have a stock 2010 4Runner, stock tires. I'm noticing it might not be wise to take these on the dunes, though I'm quite tempted. What would you recommend for tires? Paddle? Off road? Where might we find a good deal? We honestly will only be on them a day or two. Not wanting to break the bank. Thank you.
     
    WallyT4R likes this.
  2. Jun 16, 2019 at 7:17 PM
    #2
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    Welcome, just my opinion here. Do not just bust out into the dunes, i don’t care what kind of tires you have, and do not go alone. Start in a area that is not to extreme and practice on your stock tires aired down to about 18-20 lbs no sharp turns so you don’t break a bead on the tires, no stopping fast, as you will bury it, same with take offs. Practice, i used to ride the dunes at Glamis, they are unforgiving. They have slopes on the front sides, and steep drop offs on the other. They call them razors. Practice, have fun, you will learn fast.
     
  3. Jun 16, 2019 at 7:24 PM
    #3
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Agree with @SlvrSlug . An your stock tires will be just fine as long as you follow his advice. Make sure your spare is in good working order. You will need to spend money on a flag mount, I recommend one for the front of the vehicle but it's not needed. It just improves your visibility to others especially as you are cresting a hill.
     
    Starr and 4Runner fun like this.
  4. Jun 16, 2019 at 7:28 PM
    #4
    4Runner fun

    4Runner fun Just the beginning...

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    No advice to give. Never been to dunes...
    Just have fun & remember. Safety first! Never wheel alone.
    Get some pics!!
    P.s. Welcome from Nebraska.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2019 at 6:53 AM
    #5
    4scooter19

    4scooter19 New Member

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    I used to frequent then dunes. Every weekend in the summer to ride dirtbikes and take our trucks out. Ive never aired down and never really had an issue. Got stuck once but wasn't because of not airing down. Just keep in mind you'll have to have a way to air back up. I've seen a lot of trucks leaving the dunes on the side of the road with a tire off the bead trying to make it back to town to air up.
     
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  6. Jun 17, 2019 at 8:15 AM
    #6
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    Sometimes common sense will get you in trouble.
     
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  7. Jun 17, 2019 at 9:58 AM
    #7
    Kyblack76

    Kyblack76 New Member

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    Air down, 4 high, and let it eat...
     
  8. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM
    #8
    MeefZah

    MeefZah ---

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    Stock tires? No fucking way.
     
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  9. Jan 23, 2020 at 4:43 PM
    #9
    Gyoaz

    Gyoaz Rex Kwon Do

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    I've found that an aggressive mud tread really digs in whereas a street or mild AT let's you stay on top of the sand. Stock tires should be just fine. Take a tow strap, shovel and portable compressor to air back up if you need to air down. Keep a good supply of water too, just in case.
     
    WallyT4R and Strandskov like this.
  10. Jan 23, 2020 at 5:24 PM
    #10
    4x Old Guy

    4x Old Guy New Member

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    Aggressive tread in sand can be a problem since they will tend to want to dig in. Floatation is the key. Airing down (assuming you have the ability to air back up) provides a larger surface to spread the weight over so the tire floats on top of the sand. The idea is to keep sand from squirting out from under the tires.

    I remember my first ride on a “dune buggy” as a kid. A touristy “explore the dunes” kind of thing. Some kind of old one and a half ton four wheel Army vehicle with used aircraft tires (no tread at all, and fairly big). As a 10 year old, I thought they had just overinflated regular tires and was sure they were going to pop! Anyway, that thing hauled it’s own weight plus about a dozen people up and down dunes for a half hour without not even a hint of throwing any sand. Traction was amazing!
     
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  11. Jul 23, 2020 at 9:23 AM
    #11
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

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  12. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:10 AM
    #12
    MeefZah

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    Not disputing that it can be done, but ill advised I think for novice operators. If OP asked the question then it's apparent she's not an off road rock star.

    Sending someone into sand without knowledge and equipment is no bueno.

    Knowledge without equipment, maybe ok (as demonstrated by Matt in your links). But you'll notice on his Jeep he's running MT 35s (Patagonia Milestar MT), not OEM HT tires.

    But we're replying to a one year old thread and OP has made 2 posts total on this forum. This thread was her last. Thus I surmise she took the advice, aired down, rolled off the bead, and remains stuck out there even now!
     
    DRobs[QUOTED] likes this.
  13. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:13 AM
    #13
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

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    Pinstripes, lots of em. Plus a couple dents.
    MeefZah likes this.
  14. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:16 AM
    #14
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

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    Pinstripes, lots of em. Plus a couple dents.

    Dang it - old thread.

    Knowledge is power! Youtube is great for getting your head around the basics.
     
    MeefZah[QUOTED] likes this.
  15. Aug 20, 2020 at 10:53 AM
    #15
    atgparker

    atgparker Cal Poly, ETME 1988

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    If you take heed in how Matt's towing does this in the Winder Towing AAA off-road recovery Youtube clips, Matt has used 33's and 35's on 15" rims and often will air down well below 10 psi. The point I am making here is the move to plus sized OEM rims and tires is total BS for off road capability in soft terrain and makes for a harsh ride in rough terrain as well. The side wall height dictates a great deal in allowing the tire to develop flotation on both snow, sand and mud. The other thing Matt has going for him which makes for a great example within off-road recovery are locking differentials at both ends of his Jeeps axles. This recovery exercise is certainly an extreme case as he is often yanking out vehicles that are often more than twice the weight of his Jeep. But the recovery footage is great for getting an eye full in seeing how to finesse a vehicle in the sand. So the takeaway here is:
    • Pack rated recovery gear i.e. kinematic snatch straps or Yankum recovery ropes (not tow straps), soft shackles and know were the hard metal shackles can be attached to the vehicle's frame for solid recovery points.
    • Flotation i.e, low tire pressure to make the tires contact patch as large as can be safely applied without loosing a bead. An air down gauge with a low pressure range accuracy will be useful until you can gage it by eye!
    • Net vehicle weight the less the better with speed and an understanding of what momentum is which will take some experimenting.
    • A good pair of sunglasses will help with gaining some contrast as the sand in bright sunlight all looks the same.
    • A flag mounted that towers well above your vehicles over all height for added visibility as the dunes are anything but flat.
    Momentum, which is more easily maintained with a lighter vehicle, is key as is a single locked differential as well as gaining and maintaining that momentum. With momentum, flotation and a locked diff even in 2D you will get a long way in sand with a lot of confidence. Once you start to lose flotation and are starting to dig in with open differentials and your oem rubber band tires on plus sized rims they they will quickly cross up the axles and bury opposite corner tires even with 4D engaged. Then the game is over usually quit swiftly! Recovery by either snatching or winching or using traction devices under the tires will be the only resort.

    Also important is some understanding of the type of sand you are running in. Depending on where you are the sand grains can have different surface topography which to the naked eye one cannot easily tell any difference. But beach sand is one thing like Pismo, CA and sand dunes in the desert that are truly wind blown like Sand Hollow near Hurricane, UT are another. The angle of repose with which these different sands can obtain changes the tracton game a bit not to mention the steepness for a given razorbacks slope. Finally once you have obtained momentum, keeping it in sand dunes can be very fun but can also be very dangerous for the newbie! RazorBacks are the steepest softest parts to sand dunes because the wind blows the sand to the edge of the dunes overall height and then as the mound grows and the dune migrates the sand tumbles from the lip of the dunes windward side and tumbles down to form the razor back. This is where the angle of repose comes in which is the angle with which the sand grains can stack on each other. This physical characteristic of the sands grain topography will define the angle with which the razorbacks can have. So reading the predominant wind direction shapes the dunes movement. This is key in being able to understand the
    topography so as to know were the razorbacks can be lurking. If you enjoy off roading and stretching your abilities behind the wheel, sand dunes are a whole different game!...
     
    DRobs, Justthemechanic and SlvrSlug like this.

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