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Old 09-30-2020, 10:55 PM   #1
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Beach camping - tires???

Weíre heading to crystal beach in Texas with a G19 geo pro being pulled by Lexus GX.

So, anybody know if normal street-ish tires will fare okay in the sand, or if AT tires are mandatory on that beach?

Iím curious about the composition of the sand and/or roads (trails); never pulled two tons on that beach (been stuck solo...but not interested in doing it with wife and kids!!!)

Thanks?!
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:04 AM   #2
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I've never been to that specific beach, but I grew up in Texas and spent lots of time driving on Padre Island and Galveston. I can provide generic information for you.


Your vehicle should be just fine as long as you stay on the compacted road areas. If you camp / stop overnight, make sure you do it between the dune line and the road, and not closer to the water until you know how far inland the tide goes. There are usually random windblown areas of very loose sand, and they are often on the beach access roads. make sure you maintain a steady speed through them. Bring a shovel and a recovery strap. Some type of recovery board is nice as well, but I've personally never needed them.



Airing down all your tires will increase the "footprint" of the vehicle and will help, but don't bother if you don't have an air compressor handy to get the pressures back up to highway specs.


If you get stuck and you have to pay someone to recover you, be prepared for a hefty bill.


Make sure you rinse and vacuum everything. There will be salty sand everywhere!
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:16 AM   #3
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generally speaking the best tires in sand are almost bald tires. highway tires would be better than an all terrain. The idea is to float on sand, all terrains will want to dig.

Also, I would lower air pressure on the trailer tires to help them float instead of cut deep grooves.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:27 AM   #4
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Thanks appreciate the response!

I’ve camped down there 20 years ago, but it was in a small light 4wd suv that couldn’t be stopped.

The 2020 version of me is lame and soft, using a big heavy suv and a trailer.

I have straps, boards and compressor and will air down. Should be fine, just wanted to ensure a compacted area still exists.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:36 AM   #5
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Compacted areas should indeed exist, but to what extent depends on what part of the beach you are on. There will be areas where the tide will come up really close to the dune line, so you may have enough width for a vehicle or two to drive on. Other areas will be really wide and smooth. The local governments often scrape certain areas to remove seaweed and debris from the beach and it can be really flat, smooth, and nice to drive on.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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Being that tires on a TT offer ZERO traction, it doesn't really matter what's on there.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:52 AM   #7
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Agreed re trailer tires, assume the goal is just NOT to have the pizza cutters dig too deep into sand.

Re AT tire comments, I know there’s huge variance in sand composition, but in my experience deep tread with Aired down tires nets best results. When floating on top I agree smooth is fine. But when starting from stop with 10k dead weight across 4 spinning tires, you need something to dig in.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:09 AM   #8
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Automatic tire deflators (Staun, etc) are not necessary, but nice to have if you plan on doing this on a regular basis.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:12 AM   #9
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This thread reminds me of summers where we made lots of extra money and beer pulling out stuck tourists from our local lake beaches
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Old 10-01-2020, 12:52 PM   #10
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Sounds like it might be fun but I would't do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutch606 View Post
Weíre heading to crystal beach in Texas with a G19 geo pro being pulled by Lexus GX.

So, anybody know if normal street-ish tires will fare okay in the sand, or if AT tires are mandatory on that beach?

Iím curious about the composition of the sand and/or roads (trails); never pulled two tons on that beach (been stuck solo...but not interested in doing it with wife and kids!!!)

Thanks?!
Being down here in South Padre Island we have enjoyed our camping on the beach over the years. I encourage it especially if you have kids cause they will have great memories of the experience. Having said all that, you need to realize the chances of getting stuck in the sand are very high and yes the cost to be pulled out can be pretty high too. You didn't say how long you were planning to stay on the beach; but, I can tell you the salt and sand can do some serious damage if not washed off completely. The exposed travel trailer frames, axles, and wheels are extremely vulnerable to rusting faster than one would think in that environment. If I were you I would look for a nearby campground and then go to the beach for the day with chairs and umbrellas and lots of suntan lotion. Also jugs of water to rinse off helps to get rid of most of the sand in all of the nooks and crannies. Coming back to your clean and cool camper is worth a lot. Either way, hope you have fun.
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
This thread reminds me of summers where we made lots of extra money and beer pulling out stuck tourists from our local lake beaches
We have camped at Pismo Beach, CA for over forty years now. The best entertainment is watching the newbies get stuck in the sand and the tow truck drivers making big bucks towing them out. The park rangers have the tow truck drivers on speed dial.
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:48 PM   #12
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If you work your way into the 4 wheel drive zone on Padre Island, the tow bill was at one time at least $1000. Worst case is you get too close to the tide line and you can’t be recovered. At that point all you can do is crack open a cold one and watch your rig become a waypoint.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:34 PM   #13
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Please don't take it personal if I hate you because you get to camp so much more than I do.

Jealous Tom
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:48 PM   #14
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If you decide to go on to the beach with your rig....

Hey Hutch606, if you decide to try your luck on the beach the most important thing to keep in mind is the weather. It has caught a lot of campers finding themselves in deep trouble. It happens.
https://www.rvtravel.com/beachstorm952/
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