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Old 03-09-2015, 02:05 PM   #1
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Tips for beach/dunes/sand camping?

Has anyone camped California’s Pismo beach, now being called Oceano Dunes SVRA?
Any tips on where to park to fully enjoy the beach, dunes and not be in the way?
We will probably rent a couple quads.
I read camping starts after mile marker 2, should I stay closer to the water or go further up into the dunes and how far down the beach should I go?
Is it really necessary to lower the air pressure in tires and if so do I do the TT also?
Should I worry about the TT settling deep into the sand over 4 days? Thought about taking long boards to park on, might make it easier to level off of long boards maybe 8’’x6’-ers.
My truck is all-wheel-drive, it has been used many times and only stuck once do to high-centering. I have descent common sense: no sharp turns, don’t stop in soft stuff, don’t spin tires… I also always carry an air compressor, tow straps, shovels and multiple boards(plus the usual toolsand supplies for an overly prepared camper). Any other sand/beach gear recommendations?
I tend to over think stuff but better prepared than not… I read that up to 1000 campers are let on per day so if 1000s of others can do it I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Thanks to any thoughts
John
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
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I have seen this place on Youtube videos and it would scare the life out of me personally. There is another spot where trucks, trailers and RV's are crossing this surging "creek", usually to observers enjoyment when they get stuck. You listed alot of precautionary items to take and do while there and navigating, which would be very prudent. I would stick to the high ground and walk. I bet the tow truck guys make a killing.

Kevin
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feed back, I think.....
I read a couple of post where cars got stuck in the sand and the tow companies took a $300 deposit over the phone just to show up.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:38 PM   #4
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Ahh good ole pismo!! We love camping out there. Been doing it for years with a good group of people. They had trailers, we had a tent. But no longer!!! Thankfully ive gotten great experience with what they did and didnt do and learned from others mistakes.

There are a couple things about Pismo camping that are crucial. Knowing the tide times is #1!! The river that forms by the entrance is brutal. We try to time it so we get there at lowest tide. Depending on offshore storms, that may not even be enough. Our group likes to camp up by the mile marker 4 pole. Seems to be far enough outta the way to avoid water. Although the last 2 times that wasnt even far enough up. Freak storms caused the water to come all the way back there. Google pismo water level oct 2014 and see the carnage of people abandoning their trailers that had sunk up to the frames from the water. It was nuts. We got out just in time!!

About the tire pressures. I highly recommend lowering pressures on truck and trailer. better to be safe than sorry. The more tread you can have keeping you above the sand the better.

After you are set up. sand settling isnt much of a problem, windy sand buildup does happen though. We just put up boards on the side thats against the wind to keep from getting the funnel affect from under the trailers.

And about getting stuck, ive never seen a tow company out on the sand. There are literally a couple hundred guys with big trucks running around and will usually be nice enough to stop and help a stuck person out. I crack up at how many people drive street cars out there and think they can go where ever they desire.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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Did It twice and will do it again. We got stuck one time while trying to turn the trailer around in some soft sand, someone pulled us onto the hard packed, wet sand right away. I had no problem with the "river" crossing, I just took it fairly slow and in 4X4. If the wind is blowing, you will be finding sand in places that you would never expect... for years to come. Two years after our trip, I still had sand coming out of my AC vents, but it was worth it for the time with the family playing in the sand. The parade of vehicles cruising near the water line just before sunset was great, I pulled up a chair and enjoyed the show. JH
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:11 PM   #6
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WHAT a river crossing, when I looked at the map I thought the river was on the far end. I will be doing a lot more research....I may not tell the wife about this and let it be a surprise.


Thanks for all the great input, its nice to know what Im getting into.
I need to go look at a tide chart and maybe a few UTube videos.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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Sorry, thats what they call it when its high enough tide and its flowing all over the place. Most enter off of Pier Ave. And where i put the red arrow where the sand is darker, is usually water and can suck!!!
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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WOW, the wife wont be watching any of the UTube videos. I know they only post the most horrific videos but I may have to keep my options open to stay at a nice cement pad campground.
I searched "Pismo river crossing" and its not a nice stroll on the beach!!
Always good to be aware....
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #9
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A couple hundred yards up pier avenue is the pismo state beach oceano campground. Cute, quaint little place. We have stayed there overnight waiting for the water to recede. They got power and water hookups. Showers too if need be.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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Have never camped on the beach on the west coast, but here on the east coast it is always best to have something to cover your windshield.

Although seagulls have a brain the size of an ISIS rebel, they have learned over the generations that shellfish crack easier when dropped from above onto TVs and RVs.

Good luck,
Don
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