Summer is right around the corner and the days are getting longer and warmer.
If summer weather means you’ll be headed to the beach or out into the desert with your Jeep or truck, there’s loads of fun to be had if you’re properly prepared.
Bigger tires on your off-road vehicle are one of the first mods you’ll probably make; however, to have them yield top efficiency, you need to consider mods like an updated front bumper system.
With the right tires and open fenders plus these practical tips, you’ll have tons of fun in the sun and sand with your off-road Jeep or truck.
1. Air Down Your Tires
Once you’ve got those bigger tires on your off-roader, you’ll probably want to air them down some if you’re going to be riding the dunes and traveling through loose, deep sand.
In these situations, you need a softer tire with a bigger surface area to carry you over the sand, as opposed to a harder tire with less ground contact that will sink into the sand.
2. Stay Aware of Everyone’s Position
When the weather’s nice, driving sites like sand dunes can get really congested as all your fellow off-roaders try to get in a little fun with you.
It’s essential that everyone keep a close eye on each other’s locations, especially when climbing and descending dunes, to avoid an accident.
Pay close attention if you see dirt bike riders out with you as they can be easy to miss.
3. Keep Up That Forward Momentum
The hardest part about getting through loose, low-traction surfaces like sand is getting started.
That’s why once you do, you want to keep moving forward.
Move forward as consistently and quickly as you can without sliding or spinning the tires.
When you find that perfect forward speed, maintain it to keep yourself from stopping and potentially getting stuck.
4. Take it Slow on the Descents
Driving uphill with your aired down tires and a mod like the Grumper from Fab Fours is only half the battle when you’re out on the dunes; you still need to get safely back down the other side.
This requires the opposite of your uphill scale as you want to keep your vehicle in 4WD-low or 2nd gear with a manual, then creep down slowly to keep the weight of the vehicle from causing you to slide.
Try to also stay off the brakes since abruptly slowing your downward momentum could cause the tires to dig into the sand.
5. Regain Your Traction
Even using all the tips above, the time is going to come when you lose traction in the sand.
If you haven’t stopped completely, use rapid side-to-side motions with the front wheels to attempt to keep some amount of forward momentum until you can get up enough speed to stop digging into the sand.
If you’ve stopped and can’t get started again, don’t waste time spinning your tires and digging yourself in deeper.
Try to back yourself out to a more stable area, then try to move forward again.
If you can’t move backward or forward, start trying different recovery techniques like laying down traction mats, wetting the sand in front of your tires, or getting someone to pull you out.
Have Fun Driving the Dunes
The main point to learn to keep dune driving fun is to know how your Jeep or truck will react in the sand and get accustomed to piloting it accordingly.
With your big, aired down tires and something like a Fab Fours Grumper or having lots of wheel room thanks to an open fender system, knowing how much to gas or brake and keep your vehicle moving forward will bring you success more often that not.
If you can become an extension of your off-road vehicle and react properly to the unstable footing beneath you, your day of moving up and down the dunes will be a fun one!