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828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been discussed before but I thought I’d bring it up again incase there are any updates.

Will a AWD MO handle the sand dunes at the cape (MA)?

If so, any air-down to recommendations?

Planning on going in a couple of weeks, thanks much.

42 Posts
Sorry about the long post, but I was curious about this and emailed the National Seashore about taking a Mo, MDX, or RX out there. I had found some info online at:

This is the response I got:

"The information located on the oversand website is all the necessary
requirements for a vehicle to obtain an oversand permit. It does not matter
if the vehicle is AWD or 4WD. We have AWD vehicles with permits and they
perform just as well as the 4WD on the open beach. The ground clearance
issue may be a factor at some of the access points such as High Head or
Coast Guard Beach, but I have never received any reports of users having
more difficulty in an AWD vehicle compared to a 4WD vehicle with higher

Many AWD vehicles come into conflict with our requirements with tire sizes.
The Acura MDX has 235/65-17 tires and the Nissan has 235/65-18 tires will
meet our 2004 requirements. The Lexus has 225/65-17 or 235/55-16 and we
could approve a 65 profile tire but we would not be able to approve a 55
profile tire. A 55 profile does not have enough tire on the sidewall to
properly air-down and still provide a reasonable give to roll over the sand
and not dig in while still providing a safe amount of inflated tire on the

We inspect the tire size and not its tread depth, so this is something you
need not be concerned with. Therefore, it does not matter between AWD or
4WD, but just be aware that tire size is a determining factor for issuing a
permit for a vehicle. For wheel sizes that are 15" or larger, the tire
specification at Cape Cod National Seashore calls for a P225/70R15,
P225/70R16, etc. If you are purchasing a new vehicle and it comes with a
standard tire that has a 65 profile, look for the tire width to be 235 or
greater (e.g. P235/65R15 ). Any other questions, feel free to email or
call our office at 508-487-2100 x.100."

I've never been out on the National Seashore so I don't know how well the Mo would do. I've read people taking them out the Outer Banks without issue though.

Another thing to consider is the availability of stickers. This was in today's globe:

If you try it let us know how it does.

828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good info, thanks!

I am not even sure if we'll take the MO, were only going overnight. My buddy who we are visting has a Jeep (TJ). We may take our van.

But if we do, and if we do the dunes, I write it up, with pics.
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