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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys,

im going to ocala nat'l park to do some trailing, and i need some pointers in driving is lose crappy FL sand(like dessert sand), other than keeping it in 4wd and dont accel. to fast(spin tires), whats the best way not to get stuck and sink? do you guys keep it in Drive or a low gear like 1st or 2nd?
 

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Quoted from http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/reading/sand_dri.htm

The fundamental theme with sand driving is to conserve your momentum. Since traction is at a premium, any increase in speed can be difficult, if not impossible, and you do not want to lose any momentum, as you may not be able to regain it.

The first thing to do before driving on sand is to lower your tire pressures. This is done to provide better flotation by increasing the size of your "footprint" and thus dramatically improving your traction. It also reduces the amount of strain on your vehicle and minimizes wear and tear on the tracks.

When traveling on sand, you should endeavor to follow in the tire tracks of the vehicle in front as they have already compressed the sand to form a firmer surface than un-traversed ground. Never drive on vegetation as this will destroy it and lead to erosion and environmental damage.

You should avoid rapid changes in speed when accelerating or braking. Braking on sand will cause a mound to build up in front of all wheels and possibly prevent your vehicle from taking off. Rapid acceleration simply digs the wheels in and can actually lead to slower take-off speeds.

Take-off should be performed as smoothly as possible with gear changes done at fairly high revs. Sand driving requires plenty of engine power to get your vehicle "planing" on the sand. It is advisable to use low range as this multiplies the amount of engine torque available and will provide that extra gear if you encounter a particularly soft patch of sand. Check that your tires are pointing straight ahead when taking off to reduce the takeoff effort required.

When turning, make the turn as wide as possible to reduce the chance of bogging. Your front wheels act more like a rudder in sand and turning too sharp has a similar effect to applying the brakes.
The only thing I have to add, is to use 4HI, and 2nd gear. That should reduce wheel spin, especially at takeoff.
 

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if anyway possible don't follow someone too closely. I was on the beach one time (98 Explorer) and we had been there before with no problems but there had been a storm and there was lots of soft sand.

We were doing ok till the F150 in front of us stopped to lock in their hubs.

Once we stopped we couldn't start going forward again.
I didn't know then about letting the air out of your tires. I did have a shovel but by that time I was bottomed out and no one wanted to help.
i ended up getting a piece of drift wood and used it as a platform for my jack and jacked the explorer up and once I got everything up again. i dug some trenches in front of each tire. About the time I was ready to try it a guy offered to tow us out.

By then we had enough so we let him.

If i go again i'll take some pieces of plywood and my jack and let my tires down. It might also be nice to have an air tank or portable compressor to pump your tires back up if there is no station nearby.
 

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Sand 101

Well it depends how soft the sand is but here is my advice:



1. tire pressure reduced between 18 to 24 psi. I go for lower but there is no need if it is not a very soft sand. (you can go to 10-12 in extreme cases)

2. maintain momentum, this can be done by either driving 4Hi using 1st and 2nd Gear (shift based on need). Or the safest option is to drive on 3rd gear 4Lo. the second option is bullet proof, but make sure u dont rev high rps un necessary.

3. do not turn the wheels sharply and no hard pressing on brakes this will let the car sink. if you want to stop, stop on high ground facing downhill as this will make it easier when u move again.

4. Make sure you have basic recovery rope with rated shackles. this is ur best option

5. watch out for the front bumper the first thing to lose in the sand.

This is the basic stuff, are there any dunes there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i wouldnt say dunes, but i can guess there are small mounds, there are obstecles, i.e rock piles fallen trees and such but from what i was told could all be avoided if needed, its pretty much 80 miles through the natural forrest... heres a pic of a past convoy(i havent been yet)

this is the start of the trail, i dont know how bad it does get , just thought be safe than sorry ...


 

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Well if these pics are for the tracks you are talking about, then there is no sand..sure not the desert sand and not soft for sure. The tips I mentioned before wont be valid. Actually do not follow them pls as they can cause problems
Do not air down, and drive on 4Hi. I am sure there are much more experienced guys here than me with such trails.
 

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The posts above are sage advice on how to avoid getting stuck. My pet peeve is how the hollow core (with oval holes) design of the undercarriage, and the oil pan skid plate act as plows and sand traps.

Following the tire tracks (ruts) in front of me places the undercarriage in close proximity to the beach floor and consequently causes lots and lots of sand to accumulate EVERYWHERE. After a fun day on the beach, I hosed down the undercarriage and again the following day. Splashed through all the puddles I could find after the next downpour, and drove 700 miles on I-95. A month later I did the same washdown and cleaned out lots more sand. Way too many nooks and crannies under there, right?

Love the beach - hate sand.
 

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when conditions allow(meaning I'm not worried about getting stuck). I usually drive on top of the ruts as it helps even things out. It gets on my wife's nerves :)
 
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