AWD on OBX beaches?? Need your input please...
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Thread: AWD on OBX beaches?? Need your input please...

  1. #1
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    AWD on OBX beaches?? Need your input please...

    I've been driving on NC's beaches for 45 years so know what to do with my gear, but a friends is coming down and wants to put his BMW "SUV" on the beach. I am doubtful that is a good idea, but would like your opinions. I asked him if it was AWD or 4WD, and he responded 4WD, but I doubt it really is. He's from PA and says it does well in the snow, but I don't think that is relevant.

    I am guessing that ground clearance will be an issue, and that it could go some places some of the time, but when it starts spinning a little the AWD system will outsmart itself and rob all the power to other end of vehicle. What do you think? Thanks for your help...

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  3. #2
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    Not a good idea

  4. #3
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    Not famalier with the Beemer system but some awd vehicles have the ability to be in 4x4 with a button or knob. Otherwise I think your right and it will outsmart itself. If that thing is just awd it's very possible it's really only 1wd and if it feels that wheel slip it shift the power to another wheel. It could just sit there digging in one wheel at a time.

    Sand and snow 2 different animals

    Remember at the bottom of 1 inch of snow he's getting traction on is asphalt....the only bottom on the sand is the bottom of your frame.

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  6. #4
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    I'd imagine it has skinny low pro tires, that's a no. Then the way the AWD system works on those, is another no. If he has lots of money, take a few extra beers to kick bick and relax while you watch him get stuck and wait on a tow.

  7. #5
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    BMW X3 and X5 ARE NOT True 4WD..... They are still AWD... Unless he can switch on a transfer case, its AWD which is basically a limited slip system.

    If he wants to buy a pass to go out on the beach and sport his Beemer around. GO for it. I'm sure the park service would issue him a permit. Air the tires down to 18 psi. If he has low profile tires Scrap the Idea. If he has never driven in sand before not a good idea, as bronzbk said. Think of it this way.... Have you ever seen one on the beach before? There's probably a reason for that.
    I'm reminded by the Volvo X70 that I pulled off the beach last year who's owner thought it could go anywhere...NOPE... He made it about 75 to 100 yards off the ramp onto soft sand and that was it.. I was one of the last ones coming off the beach...Plus the guy didn't have a beach permit. It would have been a very expensive beach trip for him had the park service come around and found him

  8. #6
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    I have gone on several trips with a friend who drives a Subaru and until the last one, he did not have any problems. However two weeks ago, when the sand on Hatteras was extremely soft, he got stuck, mainly because his air pressure was too high. It was not a pretty sight. Even though he shut off the traction control, the wheels would not spin, it was like the computer shut everything down. Fortunately, a Kindly soul (Thanks Rockin Reds) pulled him out. It handled until he got initially stuck, then the AWD system crapped out on him.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    I have gone on several trips with a friend who drives a Subaru and until the last one, he did not have any problems. However two weeks ago, when the sand on Hatteras was extremely soft, he got stuck, mainly because his air pressure was too high. It was not a pretty sight. Even though he shut off the traction control, the wheels would not spin, it was like the computer shut everything down. Fortunately, a Kindly soul (Thanks Rockin Reds) pulled him out. It handled until he got initially stuck, then the AWD system crapped out on him.
    Thanks for the kind words and that neat choker. The two keys to sand are ground clearance and low tire pressure. When I first came to the OBX in 1966 most of the vehicles were two wheel drive with very slack tires

  10. #8
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    Coming off the beach this past Saturday not more than 80 yards off the ramp was this guy and his family buried up to his frame in a spiffly fairly new Mercedes GLE SUV. Proudly displaying their one week pass in the windshield. I always stop and if need be I will pull them out, or offer assistance if necessary. He proceeds to remove a toy sand shovel and try to dig himself out of the soft sand and he thinks that if he can get further down the beach he'd be ok.

    I said to him that his vehicle is not suited for the beach and I'd be happy to pull him back to the ramp. You'd think that him paying 60k for the vehicle it would have some type of recovery hook on the back. NOPE!
    I suggested he call a wrecker to pull him out because I did not want to take a chance of damaging his pricey vehicle... I hated to leave him there with his toy shovel.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBig2na View Post
    Coming off the beach this past Saturday not more than 80 yards off the ramp was this guy and his family buried up to his frame in a spiffly fairly new Mercedes GLE SUV. Proudly displaying their one week pass in the windshield. I always stop and if need be I will pull them out, or offer assistance if necessary. He proceeds to remove a toy sand shovel and try to dig himself out of the soft sand and he thinks that if he can get further down the beach he'd be ok.

    I said to him that his vehicle is not suited for the beach and I'd be happy to pull him back to the ramp. You'd think that him paying 60k for the vehicle it would have some type of recovery hook on the back. NOPE!
    I suggested he call a wrecker to pull him out because I did not want to take a chance of damaging his pricey vehicle... I hated to leave him there with his toy shovel.
    Wisdom is seeing the mistake and not making it again

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBig2na View Post
    Coming off the beach this past Saturday not more than 80 yards off the ramp was this guy and his family buried up to his frame in a spiffly fairly new Mercedes GLE SUV. Proudly displaying their one week pass in the windshield. I always stop and if need be I will pull them out, or offer assistance if necessary. He proceeds to remove a toy sand shovel and try to dig himself out of the soft sand and he thinks that if he can get further down the beach he'd be ok.

    I said to him that his vehicle is not suited for the beach and I'd be happy to pull him back to the ramp. You'd think that him paying 60k for the vehicle it would have some type of recovery hook on the back. NOPE!
    I suggested he call a wrecker to pull him out because I did not want to take a chance of damaging his pricey vehicle... I hated to leave him there with his toy shovel.
    I will be looking for a certain Porsche stuck on the ramps this year

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsurffishing View Post
    I will be looking for a certain Porsche stuck on the ramps this year
    I've been looking for one with Utah Tags, big sand tires and a 15' surf rod strapped to the top, or was it a 17' surf rod, I forget.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBig2na View Post
    I've been looking for one with Utah Tags, big sand tires and a 15' surf rod strapped to the top, or was it a 17' surf rod, I forget.
    I think it was actually 23'

  15. #13
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    We avoided a BMW sinking by getting a permit for my wife's Rav4 and taking everyone to the beach on these two vehicles. That's her Toyota behind my truck. On the way out of Oregon Inlet one day there was a Honda Ridgeline (the kind that looks sort of like a truck and sort of not) buried about 50 yards off the ramp. A really big guy was on his knees letting air out without a gauge, and three more really big people were sitting inside the vehicle. I rode on past to the ramp, parked, and walked back.

    I told him that if the crew inside would just get out and push from the front we could easily move it back to the hard ramp. I also told him to make sure he had it in reverse, locked in 4WD, and to just give it enough gas to rotate the tires, not spin them. To which he informed me you could not lock it in 4WD in reverse. I said "sure you can" and after a little more effort he did it. In the meantime a ranger pulled up to check for a permit, which was one of the mail-in kind taped to his windshield. We had no trouble pushing him out with people power, which I have learned over the years is the best way to get one moving.

    I then went back to chat up the ranger, who I had talked with the previous day also, and he said he had to go stop the Honda because the plate was registered to a Chevrolet. Don't know how that ended.


  16. #14
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    2na, I remember that guy, I think he got stuck and feels silly about it. But I think he didn't like the fact people with knowledge telling him it wasn't a good set up. Tight lines

  17. #15
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    It really depends on the sand conditions at the ramp. If it's mushy and loose at the ramp (beach) then he shouldn't try it. If it's kinda packed then give it a go. I have seen many AWD vehicles on the beach and moving without problems and many stuck at the ramp area.

  18. #16
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    That's the point. You can drive an AWD if you can get it on the beach, But in the long run besides getting stuck. How much damage are you really doing to the AWD system. I'll stick with a real 4 X 4 system. This way I don't have to pray the sand conditions are perfect when I get there.

  19. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1 View Post
    2na, I remember that guy, I think he got stuck and feels silly about it. But I think he didn't like the fact people with knowledge telling him it wasn't a good set up. Tight lines
    You saw the guy in the Mercedes? I hated leaving him there and did not mind pulling him back to the hard surface FOR FREE but he had nothing I could attach a tow strap to on his vehicle. HikesRun was right behind me, and would have also done the very same thing. He would have also assisted me; if in fact I was able to pull the guy out.

    Silly?? Well his wife was in the front seat reading what appeared to be a magazine, and two kids in the back seat. He should have bought a G-Wagon instead of a GLE. IF he can afford the vehicle then he can afford the wrecker bill.

  20. #18
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    2na .No, not the guy in the Benz. There was a guy from out west a few months ago who bought a Porch and put big tire's on it and wanted a 17' or 20' surf rod. Guy went on for 2 or 3 months about what he thought it would do as a mean surf machine. Then he got upset when every body said it wasn't a good car for the beach.

  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBig2na View Post
    You saw the guy in the Mercedes? I hated leaving him there and did not mind pulling him back to the hard surface FOR FREE but he had nothing I could attach a tow strap to on his vehicle. HikesRun was right behind me, and would have also done the very same thing. He would have also assisted me; if in fact I was able to pull the guy out.

    Silly?? Well his wife was in the front seat reading what appeared to be a magazine, and two kids in the back seat. He should have bought a G-Wagon instead of a GLE. IF he can afford the vehicle then he can afford the wrecker bill.
    Saw another one out there Saturday afternoon 2na....Mercedes. It was sitting at what seems to be the "drop zone" for those vehicles.....about 50 yards off the hard road. This one was totally framed out with wheels spinning about 30 mph! Again, no hooks of any kind, not that they would have helped much with that one. He literally couldn't go any deeper.

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes run View Post
    Saw another one out there Saturday afternoon 2na....Mercedes. It was sitting at what seems to be the "drop zone" for those vehicles.....about 50 yards off the hard road. This one was totally framed out with wheels spinning about 30 mph! Again, no hooks of any kind, not that they would have helped much with that one. He literally couldn't go any deeper.
    More money than sense with these people possibly?

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1 View Post
    2na .No, not the guy in the Benz. There was a guy from out west a few months ago who bought a Porch and put big tire's on it and wanted a 17' or 20' surf rod. Guy went on for 2 or 3 months about what he thought it would do as a mean surf machine. Then he got upset when every body said it wasn't a good car for the beach.
    Hahahahahaha...If I'd have seen that I would have had to get a picture of that and come up with a "PRICELESS" quote
    I'd have pulled ole Ronald off the beach anyway, especially if he had the two hotties he gave a ride to at some national park out west.

  23. #21
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    I wonder if those Mercedes are like an Audi (I think it was an Audi. Definitely an expensive import). I pulled one out of a ditch this winter . It took a while to figure it out but there is a little panel on the bumper that you pop open and there was an eye bolt in the glove box that screwed in . That was the tow point. Crazy

  24. #22
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    I wonder if those Mercedes are like an Audi (I think it was an Audi. Definitely an expensive import). I pulled one out of a ditch this winter . It took a while to figure it out but there is a little panel on the bumper that you pop open and there was an eye bolt in the glove box that screwed in . That was the tow point. Crazy

  25. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dialout View Post
    I wonder if those Mercedes are like an Audi (I think it was an Audi. Definitely an expensive import). I pulled one out of a ditch this winter . It took a while to figure it out but there is a little panel on the bumper that you pop open and there was an eye bolt in the glove box that screwed in . That was the tow point. Crazy
    Volvos have the same thing but I think that you need a special T-hook that you push in and turn

  26. #24
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    I found the tread. Latest addition to my surf fishing equipment, By Ronald Levin. This is the guy with the expensive AWD cross over, Biiiggg tires and was getting a 17' to 23' rod for casting to England. LoL.

  27. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1 View Post
    ....and was getting a 17' to 23' rod for casting to England. LoL.
    Wow, a 23' surf rod?!! He'll have to start a separate thread discussing the proper tire and related psi for the required trailer for that beast.


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