Corolla, NC beach off roading

Discussion in 'LR4' started by andyboy, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. andyboy

    andyboy Full Access Member

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    I haven't been to Corolla beach in NC in years and I booked our family trip there for this summer. Has anyone been there recently? I'm reading that you now have to get a permit to drive on the beach now. Is that true?
    Also, does anyone know where the tire fill stations are located? Since I have Cooper Zeons LTZ tires, I'm not sure how low I should air out my tires. It's recommended 20psi to drive on the sand. That seems a little low to me. I assume Sand mode and low gear is would suffice without letting air out.
     
  2. PaulLR3

    PaulLR3 Full Access Member

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    Ever hear that old saying about the word "assume"? I have never driven on the Outer Banks sand but have spent a lot of time driving on New England sand.

    Airing down is critical in deep soft sand. I usually start out driving on the beach without airing down using low gear, sand mode and DSC off. Most of the time it works fine without airing down as long as I keep steady momentum. But if it hasn't rained in a long time or if I park on an incline and have to get started uphill in sand, I can tell when I'm starting to sink. Then I air down to 20 and drive right out. Don't let the LR4 sink or dig in so deep that you can never drive out. Stop and air down before you get really stuck. (And carry a shovel, recovery strap, shackles and maybe even a couple of maxtrax if you are new to sand driving)

    The Zeons are an issue as well. When new they tend to dig more than float in sand. But the more worn they get, the better they work in sand. I have a set that is really worn, work great on the beach but are really noisy and annoying on paved roads. I only run them in July, August & September.
     
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  3. toddjb122

    toddjb122 Full Access Member

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    Unless something changed over the winter @andyboy , it's still free to drive from Corolla north, year 'round. The beach permits are for all the Hatteras beaches.

    The gas stations have fill stations for air. They are crappy, slow, and there is often a line. But it works.
    Some of the realty companies, though, offer free air compressor fills for their guests. You may want to ask.

    I always air down to about 20 now. Makes a huge difference. Engine doesn't work as hard. Truck floats up top. Don't know the specifics of your tire, though. Maybe I do 20 on the fronts and 22 on the back (or whatever matches the high/low front/rear).

    You can drive without airing down but if you run into a soft pile the engine is going to work and/or you might dig a hole. And then you'll be letting your air out anyway. Just air down. The tires aren't coming off our rims.
     
  4. cperez

    cperez Full Access Member

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    IMG_3588.JPG According to this article, airing down is now an ordinance in Corolla, and getting yanked out by a tow truck could take a serious bite out of vacation funds:

    https://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/article_ff407857-a1ca-53a7-accc-c530511e1513.html

    It's also true that one of the most dicey spots is right when you leave the pavement and get into the deep rutted sand. However if you prepare and use common sense, once you get on the beach it is a blast. We also took some side trips away from the beach on the sand roads that lead to the neighborhoods of homes. There are some cool places to explore up there. If the conditions are right you might also find some very easy and hardpacked sand like in this shot but alot of the time you'll be in the soft stuff.
     
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  5. cperez

    cperez Full Access Member

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    PS: I'm pretty sure that the Citgo at 1150 Ocean Trail in Corolla is the closest air station to the beach access area (about a mile south). Make sure that while you're waiting in line, you use the time to take off all your valve caps so that you don't waste any time when it's your turn and you are on the meter.

    One post I read also suggested getting one of these tanks which should easily top off 4 or more tires after you're done. $35 at Home Depot...

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-10-Gal-Portable-Air-Tank-CT10H/202528456
     
  6. danrhiggins

    danrhiggins Full Access Member

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  7. andyboy

    andyboy Full Access Member

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    thanks! maybe I was reading stuff about Hatteras beaches
     
  8. andyboy

    andyboy Full Access Member

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    I do have a portable compressor. Traveling with a kid, dog and wife...don't know if I have room...we will see.
     
  9. nymoto

    nymoto Member

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    If you get stuck go down to 15 or less and you should be able to drive right out.
    Dont be afraid of letting air out - I have gone down to 12 or 15 to get out of some shit and then just air it back up when I am on the road.

    Last summer when I was on Hatteras Island and its beaches I was running maybe 18psi for all tires for about a week and a half on and off road. The driving distance even on road down there is so short its not that big of a deal.

    Have a great time - The Outer Banks is an incredible place to visit. Bring a longboard for the small waves in the dead of summer..
     

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