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Get the latest facts on the new NY SAFE gun laws that effect you!


Suggestions for an newbie beach off roader

suggestions for an newbie beach off roader

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20 replies to this topic

#1 firemanvin


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Posted May 17 2016 - 09:27 AM

I got the NYS beach permit a short while back via the post from this forum.

I got the Suffolk County outer beach permit yesterday.

I have a 2010 Ford Explorer 4x4 (last year before they went crossover). It's a relatively "real" 4WD vehicle; it has AWD, 4WD-high, and 4WD-low options.

I have very little experience with beach driving - Drove a Jeep Wrangler on a Florida beach a few times, which seemed way to easy (didn't even have to air down).

I read and familiarized myself with the rules and requirements for Suffolk County and NYS.

I live in the areas of Ronkonkoma.

I'm looking to get started with this new pastime. I like to fish, swim, and relax on the beach. I don't own a boat. My wife wants to join me in this pastime, but mainly for relaxing in the sun (she's not a swimmer or fisher). I have some friends that camp on the Suffolk beaches with their campers, so I will likely be trying to get together with them when they are out. I don't own a camper, but if the mood strikes, I may decide to get one in the future.

No kids in tow - their all grown up.

So, with that said, please post suggestions that may be helpful for me to get started. I want to start out cautiously so as to not destroy my truck, hurt other people, kill myself, get arrested, and most importantly, not look like a complete idiot. Is driving on the Long Island beaches particularly challenging? Are their a lot of obstacles and impasses that have to be negotiated, or is the sand fairly hard and flat enough to navigate with relative ease?

If anyone has experience with campers, is my truck capable of pulling a small to medium camper out on the beach without getting stuck?

Is the NYS permit "for fishing only" heavily enforced?

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#2 The Architect

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Posted May 17 2016 - 09:29 AM

Im in Ronkonkoma myself. I surfcast and camp on beaches.

PM me and I can offer my pointers, tips and tricks.

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#3 carguy110


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Posted May 17 2016 - 09:31 AM

The NYS Permit if for "Fishing Only." The beach is not an off road park; just stay in the designated trail and get to where you need to go. Dont ride on the dunes; air down, and have the required equipment in your vehicle.
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#4 Kamakazi118


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Posted May 17 2016 - 09:46 AM

The main thing is airing down at our beaches, it's not like Daytona where the sand is almost as hard as concrete. In terms of pulling a trailer, I have seen a few 8 cylinder SUV's pull them onto the beach with ease. In general, if you feel yourself slipping or getting stuck, don't keep gunning the gas, hop out and grab a shovel (required gear) and figure out where the issue is.
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#5 Rightsholder


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Posted May 17 2016 - 12:11 PM

I love this forum.
Here is some trivia... does anyone know the earliest origins of "airing down" tires in order to get mobile on sand?
(Hint, the earliest origins I have found was military - Jeep)

#6 pgm888


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Posted May 17 2016 - 12:33 PM

Beware the Plovers. They take those birds very freaking seriously. And lots of soccer moms in 4 door Wranglers on the weekends. (Worse than the Plovers)

Edited by pgm888, May 17 2016 - 12:36 PM.

#7 rubbermittens


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Posted May 17 2016 - 12:34 PM

The NYS Permit if for "Fishing Only." The beach is not an off road park; just stay in the designated trail and get to where you need to go. Dont ride on the dunes; air down, and have the required equipment in your vehicle.

you couldnt use it as an off road park even if you wanted to. Way too crowded, and receding beach.........

#8 rubbermittens


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Posted May 17 2016 - 12:34 PM

Beware the Plovers. They take those birds very freaking seriously.

any bird that makes its nest in the ground, well kinda deserves to be extinct LOL
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#9 imrich


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Posted May 17 2016 - 02:38 PM

1-Air Down (about 1/2 the rated pressure as a rule, usually between 15-18 psi)
2-Always 4WD Lo. Less strain on the drive train and the lower gear ratio will help prevent tire spin and getting stuck
3-Go slow. They say no faster than 10 or 15 mph I think but definitely no faster than 20 on the open beach
4-If your tires break free and start to spin/dig, stop immediately and try starting again once you come to a complete stop. Spinning tires will only dig you deeper and once the frame/chassis contacts the sand you're done.

If you stay where you're supposed to (in the tracks that are already there. Never drive across grass or over an established dune line) the chances of you getting stuck are slim to none if you follow those 4 rules. Experience will teach you what to feel for when driving on the beach. It takes a little getting used to but it's a fast learning curve. Always remember to have all of your equipment, have fun, enjoy the beach and also always take out what you take in. Leave nothing but footprints and tire tracks.

Permit is for fishing only so you must have fishing equipment for everyone over 14 or so I believe. State permit (Democrat Point, Sore Thumb, Gilgo entrance, Montauk Point) is for fishing only. No pull behind camper or tents or trailers allowed. Most people get around this by having a self contained slide on camper/pickup truck combo. County permit (Smith Point, Shagwong Beach, etc.)allows camping and a pull behind trailerable camper and tents. Hope this helps.

Also, if you want a great resource go to the LIBBA website. They have a lot of good info and videos too I think that will help you out. They're a really good organization.

Edited by imrich, May 17 2016 - 02:52 PM.

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#10 blue steel

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Posted May 17 2016 - 02:43 PM

Sand? did you say sand?

Here is your surfcasting vehicle

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#11 zzrguy


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Posted May 17 2016 - 03:01 PM

Know your tides and don't get stuck.

#12 mrprovy


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Posted May 17 2016 - 05:39 PM

I used to go out at Smith's point a lot, but haven't in about 10 years. Gonna start heading out again this year, probably Sundays or Mondays... Maybe I'll see you there :)

#13 Yaphank Kid

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Posted May 17 2016 - 08:24 PM

Air down the trailer tires also.

#14 Vycor


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Posted May 25 2016 - 05:21 PM

Most people covered everything you need to know... here are my tips

1) Air down to half the PSI your tires normally do
2) If you get stuck or THINK you are getting stuck. STOP. DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT try and floor it, you will only dig yourself deeper.
3) If you get stuck, no big deal, just stop. As long as you are not up to the rims (a few inches is fine, but the center hub means uhhh ohhh) you can get yourself out. Use the tools you brought with you to get out (see #4)
4) Bring the proper items AND THEN SOME with you. I recommend a hi-lift jack. It's designed to work well on the beach. Also... make sure you have some thick/flat surface with you (that hi-lift will sink into the sand). Also, know your jack points. I purchased the universal wheel connectors. They have 2 clamps that go into your rim so you can lift the wheel out. Also i'd bring some boards with you so you can dig a big, and shove the board under your tire.
5) DO NOT drive with your lights aiming at ANYBODY near the water. During the day this is easy. Once you move to nighttime, the lights stay on while on the trail to the water. Once you are aiming towards the water, please turn your lights OFF (throw the parking lights on so you can be seen). Learn to drive at night on the beach with the lights OFF. You may need to just stop once you see the water (pull to side off the main trail) so your nighttime visibility kicks in... but the worst thing to do (and a guy did this to me) is when you got a nice fish striking and some yahoo lights you up (and the fish) and the fish takes off. It also screws with everybodys night vision when you light them up.
6) Get yourself RED lights to use. DO NOT, please DO NOT use regular flashlights. It only hurts you. Learn to use red lights, they don't affect your night vision.

A lot of that's aimed at nighttime.

Just take it easy. you are not in a rush and there IS a speed limit. Take your time, stay ON the trail. Try and make STRAIGHT lines. Don't go off at an angle if you can help it from the main trail. Try and follow an existing track if you can. Don't weave in and out. Stay ON the trail. You'll see the trail. Usually 2 lanes. One east one west... that's the route people take along the dunes. Try to stay in that, don't try and make your own or go off if you don't need to as you'll create ruts/etc..

Biggest thing is as I said, go easy and have fun.

Also, stay off the coast line. You DONT NEED to drive your truck on the compacted wet sand. Wait till you hit a soft spot and you get stuck... bye bye truck, that tide will come in and eat it.

And once you get near the western post point, watch the tide. You make a right at the jeti and head north... you can get stuck at the very end, if i recall, as the tide sweeps over the sand here (if i recall it's been a few years for me).

Whatever you bring in, you bring out. Don't be THAT GUY.

Also, have all the equipment. There's an unwritten rule amongst us fisherman. If you are not on the beach to fish and are goofing off and you don't have your permit, have aired down and have all the necesary gear... if you get stuck WE WONT HELP YOU. If you have all the gear you are supposed to have (it's on the permit i believe) and you are not being a yahoo and you are there to fish. if you get stuck, a lot of people will help you. We take care of our own.

It's the guys who go there with the family to bbq/race around and have no intention of fishing that nobody wants to help. Same for the surfers (although I heard this year they are allowing surfers, so ehhh i'm fine with sharing the beach).

Also, keep Higbie Collisions # somewhere in your phone. They are, from what I know, the only ones who go onto the beach for a tow.

Make sure you have an air hose as well, at democrate you can air up at one of the 3 air stations but you need to bring your own hose/etc...

It's a lot of fun .Don't sweat all the small stuff, just enjoy it.

#15 Jakef150


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Posted May 25 2016 - 05:43 PM

I know DEC sometime give a ticket for not bring fishing pole.

After the beach, when you get home, use garden hose to water your under truck to get saltwater/ sand off to avoid rust etc


#16 38 sup

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Posted May 25 2016 - 06:51 PM

when you get home put your lawn sprinkler under your vehicle, the more agressive the better.
I put the sprinkler under the front first then under the rear then I use a high pressure nozzel to spray down the undercarrage., take care to hit the wheel wells. next wash the exterior with a good soap, dont forget the interior, sand gets everywhere. after your done you will need a rest from cleaning, and your vehicle will still rot out in a couple of years. I lost many a truck to the salt gods.

#17 Conifers4



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Posted May 25 2016 - 07:59 PM

Great post Vycor! OP just be aware that the hi-lift jack mentioned in his post is a dangerous piece of equipment if not used properly could be extremely dangerous.

#18 scottzilla


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Posted May 26 2016 - 07:36 AM

I never air down, I just spin and maintain throttle until I find the closest available spot. Sometimes I have to drive distances over 25'.
The trick is to never stop. Always keep momentum. While you guys are "Airing up", i'm home. lol

#19 scottzilla


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Posted May 26 2016 - 07:37 AM

Im in Ronkonkoma myself. I surfcast and camp on beaches.

PM me and I can offer my pointers, tips and tricks.


Yeah, the LAST place you want to openly discuss driving on the beach is in a dedicated thread on a discussion forum you own. (?)

#20 DarkStorm


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Posted May 26 2016 - 08:17 AM

1-Air Down (about 1/2 the rated pressure as a rule, usually between 15-18 psi)

Although it varies with truck weight and tire construction, proper airing down will be more like 8-12lbs. You need to see significant bulging on the sides to maximize the footprint. I see a lot of people airing down to 20lbs and in reality, it does nothing. The taller and skinnier the tire, the more important it is. If you have 37x12.5's on a 4000lb truck, you already have a pretty substantial footprint. If you have 31x8.5's on a 6000lb truck, you better air them down all the way you dare.

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