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Discussion Starter #1
Doing a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park this holiday weekend, and from what I can see several of the unpaved old mine roads have substantial amounts of "soft sand" to deal with.

This'll be my first time on any real amount of sand, any suggestions from experience out there? I'm assuming air the tires down to 20-25psi, and don't go fast/crazy or I'll pop a bead but also don't go too slow and loose momentum...any more specific techniques to getting through the soft stuff?

I'm bringing a good folding shovel, should I think about bringing some "boards" too? I was thinking maybe some of those squares of interlocking plastic mesh garage flooring would be perfect...

I'm also bringing a 2-ton comealong and some grade 7 5/16" chain, but somehow I doubt there will be much to attach it to if I need it :rolleyes:
 

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In my limited experience "off roading", I've learned never to go alone, particularly if your going to an area you don't know...you should always have a "buddy" vehicle with you...thats what you attach the chains to...offroading puts extra strain on a vehicle and may result in a mechanical breakdown...it could be a long walk back if your the only vehicle...
 

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MightyMo said:
Doing a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park this holiday weekend, and from what I can see several of the unpaved old mine roads have substantial amounts of "soft sand" to deal with.

This'll be my first time on any real amount of sand, any suggestions from experience out there? I'm assuming air the tires down to 20-25psi, and don't go fast/crazy or I'll pop a bead but also don't go too slow and loose momentum...any more specific techniques to getting through the soft stuff?

I'm bringing a good folding shovel, should I think about bringing some "boards" too? I was thinking maybe some of those squares of interlocking plastic mesh garage flooring would be perfect...

I'm also bringing a 2-ton comealong and some grade 7 5/16" chain, but somehow I doubt there will be much to attach it to if I need it :rolleyes:
Remember the most obvious, portable compressor and tire pressure gauge to fill em back up! Have fun, and we'll expect some great pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good point Senza. I guess my main colsolation for not having a buddy come along is that Jushua Tree isn't huge nor 120F like Death Valley (the longest dirt road we'll be on is in the 20-25 mile range). We're packing LOTS of water and basic survival supplies, so I don't feel too worried for our safety even if we break down.

And yes DK, I'm taking the Nikon and will have lots of pics to share a couple weeks afterwords.

Back to the topic at hand, ANYBODY with some sand driving tips? Please? Bueler?
 

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British Cat Juggler
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Walk ahead to check out soft spots BEFORE driving into them!
Lower tyre pressures.
Get the power up and keep it on.
NEVER use the brakes! You sink immediately.
Corrugated sand smooths out after 60 kmh, but you run the risk of damaging tyres etc
Try to keep the power even. In a manual car that would mean never changing gear or hitting the clutch...not sure how that rule applies to the CVT!

The last time I went driving in the desert was in Saudi Arabia in a Land Rover Discovery. There is no way I'd attempt anything too serious in my MO. Its better than a saloon car, but not on the same planet as a real 4 x 4.

Be very, very careful, drive at a steady pace and if you're not sure, don't try it!

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finally got my pictures back from the trip. The sand was no issue at all, never got worse than this pic, no need to air the tires down or anything. Mostly I just keept it humming along at 40MPH and let her wiggle along the ruts, but there was no danger of getting stuck at any speed. A full trip write up with all the pics coming soon...

 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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Awesome! Can't wait to see more of your pics!
 
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