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Old 06-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
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2008 25' Safari
Cedar Park , Texas
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Red face Camping Padre Island National Seashore

I own a 25' Safari 2008 and would like to try camping on the beach in Padre Island. I am nervous about getting stuck in the sand. I have a F350 two wheel drive pickup. Would this combination work or is there a high likely hood of getting stuck. I know only 4 wheel drive vehicles are allowed once you get to the 5 mile marker. How do you go about making a 'u-turn' without getting stuck in the sand. We have camped on Mustang island, but it's always been on asphalt with electrical and water hook up. I have noticed that there are a lot of RV camping spots at malaquite beach that might be better close enough to the beach. Any comments would be appreciated.

Terry Standefer

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Check out utee94's blog. I know he's been to Padre Island!

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
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I have driven on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore bunch of times. I have taken a trailer there with a two wheel drive Chevy Tahoe. All I can really say is "It depends". Sometimes the sand is very firm and would pose no problem at all. Other times, it is softer. Really depends on the tides, traffic and weather. If you aren't 100% confident, drop the trailer in the parking lot of the visitor center and take a drive down the beach to see what the conditions feel like. If the sand is firm, get the trailer and head down there. if it isn't, pick a spot in one of the campgrounds and have a good time anyway. If the sand is too soft at Padre and you really want to stay on the beach, you can try Port Aransas.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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Thank you for your advice and comments.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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I camped for a week on the beach there several years ago. The 2 wheel drive vehicle was no problem

Unfortunately the salt spray is a problem. Rust intantly seems to start appearing any place where paint or protection is thin.

In our case, with an uncoated older trailer I think there was more skin damage and pitting in that week than had happened in the previous 40 years.

Were it not for that it was a great experience
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Malaquite (Beach) Campground is the NPS paved RV site at PINS. Nice. Behind the dune line as well. Easy walk to that section of beach. It's where I would take one of our trailers as the wind carries sand into every corner of a TT and this effect is lessened at this location.

Yes, the beach can change rather drastically in only 45" . . a drive one direction can be quite different on the way back.

No, I do not take my nose-heavy 7,900-lb truck out on the beach. Wrong tires and no desire to accelerate or start rust. On the other hand, a friend who also lives here bought a Jeep Wrangler specifically for business (lucky guy) and beach fishing. 5-years and over 70k miles it shows no problems . . but that is also careful washing afterwards.

PINS is well worth your time. Temps are hot & high today, but after 1600 and in the next five hours the weather and sunlight cooperate quite well. Water temps are said to be at 82F (though you should check).

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Old 06-11-2012, 08:13 AM   #7
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2008 25' Safari
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Thumbs up Thanks for your input

This was the first time I have posted on this forum and I am really pleased with how much GOOD advise I received. I think I will stick with staying at the camp sites a bit away from the salt spray. I was reading horror stories of people being charged 2500$ to be pulled out of the sand and towed. This worried me. It sounds like camping at a designated site and walking to the beach is the better option. It might be too late to get cool enough temperatures during the day and I may need to wait until late August.

Thanks again for all of your advise.

Terry Standefer
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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I drove down the beach well into the "four wheel drive only" zone a few years back (not towing a trailer). The sand can be quite firm near the water line. If you are driving along there during the week, or in the evening, it is usually clear. The problem is, that if it is the weekend, or in the morning, people tend to want to set up their beach chairs in this zone, so you end up having to steer away from the water and into the softer sand. There was also a well traveled "road" away from the water, and near the dunes, but this sand was soft, and had me constantly nervous that I was going to get stuck. I was driving a 4x4 Nissan Pathfinder, and never got stuck. I did see several people who tried to bring 2 wheel drive low clearance vehicles (cars) down onto the beach and ended up with them stuck. If you get adventurous and plan to take a drive down the beach, bring a shovel and some ~2x10 short planks so that if you do get buried, you can dig/ramp your way out of the hole.

It is certainly more adventurous and solitary to camp on the beach, but as was mentioned above, the salt spray and wind blown sand will be more prevalent on the beach than in the camping area. Last time I was there, I did see some folks with trailers on the beach and among the dunes. It looked like they were building a semi-permanent shanty there, so maybe this is what you have to resort to when you get good and stuck.


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