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Off Road 4 X 4 - Beach Buggies SUV's, "Beach Buggy" Vehicles, Equipment and Getting Stuck

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2008, 05:50 PM
wjd wjd is offline
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Default beach vehicle question

I own a Subaru "Outback" that I would like to use on the Beach at IBSP. The vehicle has AWD with 8.4" ground clearance.I used to run a jeep thru Gillikin's access so i'm familiar with the terrain & still have the required accessories(rope ,jack platform,first aid kit, shovel etc.) I contacted "Subaru of America" and they sent me a letter stating it should perform well in deep sand. They have heard from owners that have driven their Outbacks over deep sand without problems at the Outer Banks
I would appreciate any info from the Experts, the SS members, on this issue. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

You should do ok providing you don't get hug up in deep tracks with your ground clearance.

Oh and welcome to SSC wjd
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2008, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

That would be the thing. With your wheels in the track you may get stuck if the hump is tall enough to allow it to plow in.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:24 AM
wjd wjd is offline
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

Thanks, Wildbob & Jess Appreciate the info. I thought the AWD system would be the predominate issue not the 8.4" clearance which I understand is more than the newer jeeps. I think I's time to buy that permit and start enjoying the park again.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

What will that clearance be after you air down?
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2008, 01:15 PM
wjd wjd is offline
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

I'm not sure but I guess i'll drop to about 7.7" clearance. I checked on ground clearance of several vehicles and was quite suprised. Some examples: Jeep cherokee--8.3" Jeep Liberty--7.7" Chevy Equnox -- 6.6" Nissan Xterra--8.3" Toyoto Highlander --8.1" Ford 150 -- 8.7" Chevy Silverado 1500--9.0" Chevy colorado--7.7". But wouldn't any of these vehicles lose about the same clearance after airing down ?
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What will that clearance be after you air down?
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

That's what I'm not sure about. It depends on the diameter of the full tire on the rim and the volume of air you have to let out to get it optimal.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

Go for it be very warry take it easy, find a smoother area to turn around I don't think it will do well going across tire ruts and stay off when the sand is real soft

Ground clearance can be a misleading figure, park next to a Cherokee, does it really look like it has more. On most trucks its measured from the ground to the bottom of the differential pumpkin, everything else is up a litle higher, on the Subaru uses transaxeles cv joints or whatever their called and the are kinda tucked up a little more the low point may just be that front air dam/bumper. With other trucks a high point in the sand is no problem the narrow part of the pumpkin is just going to blast thru it, and hope its not hideing a rock, when off roading you can judge or have a spotter help you avoid a high spot by driving a bit to the side of it. With the subaru you may just plow the sand and bog down or have other parts just scraping the whole way because most of the underside is at that 8.4"

Saying that I have seen a few out their, the other problem being the tires, especialy if you have the sporty model that comes with the low profile sidewalls, taking the air out still doesn't give you more float on the sand.
A few years ago I helped a guy out with a Forester he had taken the air out but it didn't help, it could happen to anyone but what IMO hurt him was the plowing effect I mentioned and instead of easing off and backing out he tried to push thru and burid it to the frame, a ranger ended up pulling him out, as he was mubling something about Paul Hogan saying it had more____ and was better at _____ then a _____.
Last fall a lady with a Outback with the hood scoop and road tires didn't make it more then 200' at A7 and had to pulled off by a Jeep.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

I'm gonna go with Pat on this one. I saw an Outback this afternoon and it doesn't look like it has a safe amount of clearance.

I can see it being "okay" when you're driving closer to the surf where the sand is a little packed. But, it's gonna be suicide on those tracks, especially on the turns and also when you leave the beach to get on the even softer tracks heading out to the road.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:59 PM
SANDOLLAR SANDOLLAR is offline
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

Wouldn't the park have a list of buggies that they consider not suited for the beach. I'm looking for one for next year and am confused about clearance why would 8.4 on one be less than 8.0 on another.
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2008, 12:55 PM
wjd wjd is offline
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

thanks guys, this is exactly the kind of input I've been looking for. I went snooping around some new & used dealers and found the following. I measured a 06 jeep laredo Front air dam shroud to ground was 9 3/4". looking at the Jeep you have a tendency not to notice the shroud because it is a dark gray or black not the body color I think this is purposely done to make a lot of vehicles appear higher.
the Pumpkin to ground was 8 1/4". I know this is a good beach vehicle even with these numbers. I als measured a 1994 grand cherokee---bumper to ground 12" {no black shroud} skid plate to ground was 8 1/2" I had this exact Jeep and never had a problem at IBSP. They have lowered the center of gravity for safety and thereby lowered clearance. That 1994 Jeep alway was listing port to starboard.Had to be very careful on exit and entrance ramps. My adult son always said he felt seasick when riding in it.
Two other vehicles I measured were: Chevy Silverado Bumper to ground --9 3/4" Pumpkin to ground 9 3/4"
Chevy Equinox Bumper to ground 8 1/2" Tires were 65 series on 16" wheels. Dealer said it was not a vehicle for the beach.
Let me address some of row4fun's comments His were the ones that had me out laying under SUVs measuring and for this I thank him.
1. The Subaru Forester does not have the ground clearance the full six Outback has. It's th higher roof that is deceiving
2. If you saw a lady with an Outback that had a Hood Scoop stuck that model is an Imperza ,shorter platform , lower clearance,smaller wheels ,thinner tires.
3 The full size Outback measures 10 1/2" of front clearance it has no black shroud below it. So if the newer jeeps don't plow sand I doubt the Outback would.The lowest point is were the torsion bars, ,I think thats what they are called, at the rear wheels and if a Pumpkin or a skidplate will blast thru the sand these should too.
4. No the Outback doesnot have sporty low profile tires what it does have are 55 series on 17" wheels.
Sandollar, I asked the park that very question and their answer was negative, buy a pass see how you do but no refunds if I doesn't wokr out. That is what prompted to pose my original question to you guys.
Thanks again for all your input
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

Good luck and good fishing.
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2008, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

I have seen a few outbacks on the beaches here, never saw one stuck.
If you follow all the rules and stay aware of what you are driving over, you should be good to go.

Worst case, they are light enoungh to pull out fairly easily!

I have a strange suspicion that the beach vehicles will be downsizing..........
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  #14  
Old 07-31-2008, 03:54 PM
plantfinder plantfinder is offline
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

WJD,


Did you try it? Thinking about a Forester.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2008, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: beach vehicle question

Yes without any problems. Just dropped air to 15#. I don't know what the Forester ground clearance, wheel or tire size is compared to the "outback" Biggest problem I had was finding a wheel to put the full size spare on. Suggest you go to a Junk yard In lieu of the dealer. I paid $145 for an alloy wheel, they don't make a steel wheel for the "outback" then I put a new tire on for $95. I think the light weight allows the vehicle to sit up on the sand. Bottom line--NO PROBLEM Good Luck
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WJD,


Did you try it? Thinking about a Forester.
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