In my honest opinion, any Subaru would not last a week on Hatteras beaches, unless it rains everyday. Check out toyota's site, think it was there new tacoma, they have a video of one buried up to the axles in sand, and shows it creeping right out of it. Pretty cool, probably has a hidden tow strap.......
I vote the square body Suburbans. My 1986 was a beast on Padre Island. I have been running up and down PINS for close to 30 years, have had 2 international Scouts, Jeeps of various years, several Samurais, Broncos', Blazers, a Dakota with 5.2 liter, probably 1 or 2 other 4x4's I forget about. Currently running a 13' F-250 Crew Cab gasser, while I really like the room and capacity, the Burb was superior in the sand hands down. So much so, I am trolling Craigslist to find another to make a dedicated beach fishing truck
Wow this is the kind of stuff I daydream about, & I come up with new theoretical insane ideas all the time... M35 trucks with rear converted into mobile patio for the family, Toyota Landcruisers with diesel swap, Camel Trophy style Range Rover Sport, etc. Late model diesels are fun although they're really expensive unless you're using one for other stuff.
I think at the end of the day the square Suburban is hard to beat. The best mix of durability, not too expensive, & not too insane to use for other stuff between trips. For the ultimate, it would have 350 SBC, coated shorty headers, good dual plane intake, & 4bbl. TH400 trans with trans cooler & floor mounted shifter for control. A good wheel & tire package, something like CRagar Soft 8 steelies with a little extra width to run a little wider tire, & spacers to make it work that's about it! Air down & roll. The good thing about 400 trans (besides being tough & cheap to rebuild) is that when they do fail, they often give warning (first gear slipping, loss of reverse, etc). Enough to at least get off the beach.
That reminds me, has anyone had any experience with the 3/4 ton 6.2L diesel milsurp blazers? They look like tempting projects but I'm sure the ones on the market have been wrung out several times by Uncle Sam.
This is my opinion and it is worth exactly what you paid for it. The type of vehicle doesn't matter as much as the type and size of tire you run. Skinny mud tires will get you stuck in soft sand. Fully aired up tires are basically more narrow and hard than when you air them down. When they are wide and soft, you are spreading the weight over a larger area and also giving a larger footprint on the sand. I have a newer jeep Rubicon with the skinny mud tires and they suck on the sand. I air them down to about 7 pounds on the beach just to make it easier to drive and they still suck. I'm not worried about getting stuck but my last Jeep had 40" tall by 13.5" wide tires and I never aired down or even used 4 wheel drive on the sand. Just my opinion of course.
i do just fine with 255/75 bfg mud terrains aired down to 18psi. even yanked out a newer v8 4runner and assisted with a stuck expedition that weighs double my wrangler.
i will say that the ESC and traction control on the JKs is terrible on sand and you have to completely disable it. (hold button down for a few seconds not just press it, the steering wheel dance to turn it off or make a switch to override it)
Old thread but I have to say my ol' 75 Ford Bronco, 3 spd on column with 302. Never drove lower OBX only up Duck way, Carolina Bch and Ft. Fisher. Knock on wood, never aired down, used 4w low and 2nd gear, when trimmed out or on harder sand shifted into 3rd gear. Sure do miss it, those things are like gold now.
Best Truck on the beach is the one that belongs to your fishing buddy, you know the one that has no real sense, but has a lot of extra gas and bait money and wants to fit in with the rest of your crew......
Great gas mileage (you pay zero for gas)
Designated Driver (in case fishing is slow and you need to tie one on)
In case of beach over wash due to storm conditions (your truck is safe at home)
Rust (your truck has to drive through less salt water, wheel bearing maintenance/replacement costs kept to minimum)
Riding Shotgun (since you are not driving you can enjoy the scenery)
Garbo - that is hilarious. Do you write for a living?
Jeep Wrangler if you want to go anywhere! Old Jeep Cherokee with the 4.0 if you want lots of dry space, Toyota or Nissan if you need the truck bed to haul big sharks home!
The actual best 4x4 I ever owned was my slightly modified Suzuki Samuri ! 3 inch lift, 4.56 gears, big Mickey Thompson sand tires, header and some other engine mods. It was a real crawler but it rode much worse than my Jeep JK! The JK doesn't really ride that bad on the road.
Last edited by ncsharkman; 09-12-2017 at 05:48 PM.
My 1999 k1500 Suburban always aired down will carry us all down the beach. It has been used on the beach and its gonna rust away one day. I have stayed on top of the little bit of corrosion that I can. I paid 2500 for it with 138,000 miles. Its not perfect. I have spend good money on the a/c but its always something else. Front end 10 rod and cooler rack, top basket, roof rod holder. 265/75x15 Michelin M/S about half worn down. Bubba cruises down the beach easily and comfortable with room for all. Pulled the flats boat to Corpus Christi, TX and Mosquito Lagoon, FL this year. Mine had been wrecked and repaired and the paint job sucks as most old GMs do by now. It's my extra car and will pull the soft sand of FF without trouble but I do stay on the top level. I see lots of Cherokees running the beaches but the cost along the coast is kinda high. If I was shopping I would look for one inland. Good luck in your search and I'd drive the old one until death was imminent.