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Old 07-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AWD in Sand?

My family is booking a vacation house in the Outer Banks of NC. The "road" to the house is soft sand and the realitor says only 4x4 with low air pressure will make it back to the house, without getting stuck, about 4 miles. Does my 2.5i manual, have a chance? Has anybody driven on the beach with an OB without getting stuck?
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes. Just take the usual precautions - lower tyre pressure, carry a tow strap (probably used to pull someone _else_ out heheh), and so forth.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You have better AWD then most 4 wheel drives. Just make sure there is a way to re-inflate the tires. Carry a tow strap as that is basic sand equipment.

What year is your sooby?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was down in the Outer Banks 4x4 section, Swan Beach, mile marker 16, in June. I wrote a long post about it with a video of my 2.5i 6MT Outback doing some fun dune hopping. You'll be perfectly fine. Just maintain momentum.

My previous post (click it!)

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've had mine out on the beach in some pretty deep stuff. It was right after hurricane Alex came through, so I couldn't just drive faster through the deep stuff because of all of the debris(tire punctures suck). The car worked great, just turn the traction control off before hand or it will just bog down whenever you need power. Also bring along some sort of folding shovel and a portable air compressor.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nipper, my OB is a 2010. Have there been any resent changes to the AWD that have been made to improve this type of traction situation?
What is the recommended air pressure to drop to? Is 20psi low enough?
Thanks
jon595, the video was impressive, I assume stopping on a hill of that size would be tough starting back up again, without backing up to a level start.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've seen sites that suggest as little as 12-15 psi in the tires, but they also say that you have to experiment a bit. Considering the idea is to increase the contact patch, and radials can be really low on air and still look fine, i would think maybe 15 psi.

I do not have any expierience yet with the traction control systems on sand. Wet sand or sand below the high tide line is always better then dry If ehtere is a road so to speak, follow the road as the sand most likely has been compacted.

And there is no shame in getting stuck, as sand can be tricky even for the expert. Thats why you need to carry your own shovel and tow straps. The first question asked will be "do you have tow straps" and you do not want to say no as that makes you look ill prepared.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just wondering if anyone drove their 2010 or 2011 OB on the outerbanks....
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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as long as you carry enough momentum like jon595 did, you'll do fine in loose sand. ...but once you stop, game over.
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