Are you ready for your next 4×4 beach drive? If the idea is making you second-guess your driving skills, don’t fret! Even the most experienced off-roaders need to pull back and adequately prepare for a drive through the sand.
And besides, having your Land Rover Defender on the shore is not only more convenient, but you’ll also have a whole lot of fun getting there too! By following our Overlanding tips, you can drive out onto the sand for as long as you need to until you find that perfect slice of a secluded beach.
Read below and get ready to spend summer by the ocean with your friends, family, and last but not least, your beloved Defender.
Tip 1: Your Tire Pressure is Your Make or Break
You need a lower tire pressure than usual to prevent your Defender from being bogged down in the sand. This is because your tire’s contact patch needs to be longer. Therefore, it ensures better traction and that you’re distributing your car’s weight more evenly over a loose surface.
However, this all depends on what kind of sand you’re driving on. Solid sand (due to being well-travelled or high-tide) won’t give your 4×4 too much trouble. But, with loose and grainy sand, airing down your tires is vital.
A great way to determine whether or not to air down is by slipping off those flip flops and testing the sand yourself. If you find your feet sinking into the sand, you definitely need to lower your tire pressure. You can drop it as low as 16 – 25 psi, but this also depends on the type of tires you have.
Tip 2: Take a Dip, But Keep Your Rover a Good Distance From the Water
As a Land Rover Defender owner, you should know by now that saltwater can be extremely damaging to your 4×4. So, if you happen to take your 4×4 beach drive during high-tide, and you get stuck, you’re risking your precious off-roadster getting splashed.
The best way to avoid this is to take a look at some charts and plan your beach Overlanding trip for when it’s low tide. But of course, when the summer heat starts cooking, you’ll want to hit the shore as soon as possible. In this case, and — whether it’s low or high tide — you want to drive as far away from the water as possible.
If your Defender does get splashed, remember to give it a good post-adventure wash as soon as possible.
Tip 3: Slow and Steady Wins the Race (or in This Case, the Shore)
Driving on sand is actually not a race at all, so forgive us for the intro to this tip. Once your tires hit the sand, you want to do everything at a steady pace. And this means switching your gears to turning and even braking.
How low can you go? Well, often, your low gear isn’t even low enough. You can quickly overheat your transmissions by cruising on a loose surface at a low speed. To better prevent getting stuck, keep your Defender in four-wheel-drive at all times.
Tip 4: Bring Along Your Recovery Gear for Your 4×4 Beach Drive
We don’t want to scare you, but the chances of your Defender getting stuck in the sand are pretty high — even higher if you’re a first-timer. So, whether you’re a 4×4 beach Overlanding expert or a rookie, you always need to bring your recovery gear along with you.
Must-Have Beach Drive Recovery Gear:
- A shovel
- A set of traction boards
- A tire deflator
Tip 5: 3 Ways to Get Unstuck From Sand
Like we said, getting stuck in the sand is a major possibility. But, luckily, there are simple things you can try to do to rescue your 4×4 from the clutches of those loose grains.
1. If your tires start spinning, let off the throttle and then back up. Spinning tires allow your car to sink even further into the sand.
2. Too late and already stuck? It’s time to get out your recovery gear. You can use a shovel to dig out the sand from underneath your tires. Then, slide your traction pads under, and try to move your Defender forward again until you’re free.
3. And if you don’t have traction pads, no need to panic either. Simply air down your tires a bit more, and make sure you’re in four-low. Then, rev your engine up to 1500 RMP and start fully turning your steering wheel from side-to-side. This will help bring your tires back up to the surface.
Take on the Sand With Confidence in Your Defender
At Classic Overland, we build Land Rover Defenders that give our clients the confidence to off-road in even the most challenging places. And we know the beach is the perfect place for you to test your Overlanding skills this summer!
Contact us today, and we’ll help you go further with confidence and the Land Rover Defender of your dreams.