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Old 05-10-2015, 03:50 PM   #1
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Towing in the sand???

We have a county park on Long Island that allows you to camp right in the sand on the beach. Has anyone ever pulled their airstream onto the sand? Worried about sand in the bearings and breaks.

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Old 05-10-2015, 03:52 PM   #2
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Not to mention the damage from salt spray if you park close to the water and of course, getting stuck.

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Old 05-10-2015, 05:26 PM   #3
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Getting stuck is of course a problem but the brakes and bearings should be able to handle it. I haven't had any opportunity to camp out on the beach so taking our AS onto the sand just hasn't come up. Not sure I would without having the opportunity to gain some wisdom from others that have. It's usually advisable to lower the air pressure in the vehicle tires to handle beach driving. Don't know if there'd be any advantage to lowering the pressure in a trailer. For me and my compressor it'd be awhile trying to air things back up again.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:40 PM   #4
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I boondock on a couple of sand beaches on local fresh water creeks. I do have a 4X4 and that helps me safely get in and out. I usually give the trailer a top to bottom rinse after any trip.

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Old 05-11-2015, 05:41 AM   #5
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Personally I'd avoid it unless very hard packed sand and then when I left I'd make sure I took the AS to a commercial wash to get all the salt spray off.

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Old 05-11-2015, 06:21 AM   #6
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My TV is basically useless on anything but hard services. I would worry about burying the TV and trailer up to the axles in the sand. Couldn't be a good thing. Jim
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:58 AM   #7
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if you drive on sand beaches, plan on getting stuck so plan in advance for how to get unstuck. air pressure of about 10psi will help quite a bit.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: Camping on the beach

We camp at Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell (AZ/UT). We don't have to worry about salt water, so getting stuck is the biggest problem. Here's a couple of tips, from personal experience and watching other RVs in the sand.
  • Usually, there is a road or tracks that go from firm ground down to the water. Follow that path to the water's edge. Avoid any routes where there are unusually deep tracks, depressions, or holes in the road, or where there are obvious signs of digging!

  • Do NOT drive across wide open stretches of sand. This almost always results in getting stuck. 4WD won't help you here; you'll just get stuck farther from the road and have farther to go to get out of the sand.

  • If in doubt of the how firm the sand is, stop where you can still back up and/or turn around and WALK your intended route to check it out BEFORE driving down to the water. Also, make sure that your intended campsite has a way to get out when it's time to leave. You do NOT want to have to back up several hundred yards to get back to the road.

  • If you plan to drive along the beach, the moist sand near the water's edge is usually firmer than the loose sand higher up and away from the water. Most campers won't be offended if you drive right alongside their campsite to avoid getting stuck. There will probably be tracks there already from other RVs.

  • If you are camped on the ocean or bay, watch the tides and don't camp in low areas that will flood when the tide comes in. Even at Lake Powell, in the summer, the water can fluctuate due to water releases at the dam. We have gone to bed 10-15 feet from the water's edge, and awakened to step out into a foot or two of water. It could be much worse on the coast.

  • If you do have to drive across an unavoidable short stretch of soft sand, get a running start on firm ground and DO NOT STOP OR SLOW DOWN until you get to the other side.

  • Personally, I would NOT lower the tire pressure on your Airstream. This works great on pickups and SUVs with big fat tires; but on a trailer, this might increase the chances of your tires peeling off of the rims. Also, driving on basically flat tires could damage them; and it will take a long time to re-inflate all of them to 80 psi after you get back onto firm ground. It would be much better to just avoid getting stuck in the first place.

  • Probably most important, don't camp in an area alone. If you get stuck, you may have to rely on your neighbors and fellow campers to help you get out. At the very least, they may be able to go get help, if there's no cell service, etc.

Assuming you don't submerge your wheels up to the axles, your brakes and wheel bearings should be fine. However, salt water and salty sand is very corrosive; so, as others have suggested, thoroughly wash your Airstream (especially, the undercarriage) at the earliest opportunity.

Beach camping is great fun, just use a little common sense. Unfortunately common sense usually comes from doing dumb things at least once.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gpt View Post
if you drive on sand beaches, plan on getting stuck so plan in advance for how to get unstuck. air pressure of about 10psi will help quite a bit.
I go to the sand dunes allot and lower air pressure in the tires help the vehicle float more vs hard tires that plow down into the sand due to the weight of the vehicle. As advised above you may want to carry a shovel and some long boards. If you are towing with a non 4x4 then expect problems. If the sand is soft and you are rolling over it - Keep a steady throttle and power through softy spots. If you get stuck. Don't dig in with your tires - get those long boards out and use them for your tires to roll over to get it going again. What ever you do Have FUN.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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I spun the wheels on my 4x2 TV in a sandy campsite. There was no other way to get out but to disconnect and back in and hook up at a different angle.

My previous experience on sand was with my 4x4 1500 GMC trailer, even with those big 10.5 x 31" wheels it was touch and go.

Phoenix seems to have the experience to be listened to!

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Old 05-11-2015, 01:52 PM   #11
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Apparently it's possible. Here is some proof...

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Old 05-11-2015, 03:50 PM   #12
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We recently spent some time in Texas. While there, we drove on beaches on the Gulf near Port Aransas and at Mustang Island State Park. We did not pull our Airstream on those beaches, but there were plenty of large trailers and fifth wheels set up for camping there. The beach sand there is quite firm... so much so that we didn't leave tire tracks. Camping on the beach near Port Aransas was $12 for three nights. No hookups though...
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Old 05-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #13
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If it's a common activity on that beach you are probably OK - but if the marketing material has been produced by ACME Towing then you might want to be a bit leary ......

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Old 05-11-2015, 05:24 PM   #14
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I have watched the trailers being pulled on the beach at Oceano, Calif, they get stuck and get pulled out by hooking up another tv. I wouldn't do it as I don't like sand in my vehicle let alone in my as .

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