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Jeep da Beach

7270 Views 44 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  JustinS
As a follow-up to my recent thread asking about airing-down for "Jeeping" on the beach, I'll say we had a great time last week while on vacation in Kure Beach NC adding that activity to our itinerary.

Wednesday morning, we drove a couple miles south from our rented duplex and bought a beach pass for the magnificent Fort Fischer park. After squatting on the hot pavement to let a whole bunch of air out of my tires :eek: we headed out into "sand land". It was an interesting experience, but my Summit negotiated things well in "Sand" mode. There were places where things were pretty bouncy (the teens enjoyed that for sure :) ) but otherwise it was smooth sailing. The Jeep did work pretty hard for the couple hours of actual driving in the loose and deep sand...temps were up for sure. And it was sucking fuel like it was enjoying a really good milk shake.

At any rate, here are some nice photos of my largely-a-highway-monster playing on the beach and getting a nice "tan"... :)

This dude came flying by where we were enjoying the sand and surf...

The first and likely last time my Summit will actually spend a night inside of a garage. LOL

The traveling rig...we felt that things were way too crammed on the way down, so we stopped at a Northern Tool store in Hampton VA and bought a hitch-mounted carrier (assembled in a hotel parking lot...) and at Lowes for a bin to put all the beach stuff, etc., in for the remainder of the trip. It worked out well and is a nice accessory to have when the utility trailer is too big for a small shopping excursion.

Oh...22mpg for the trip, despite the fuel economy heading into the toilet while on the beach. I can live with that, considering there were four adult sized people and "stuff" along for the ride. :D
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Thanks for taking the time to document and post your trip. Glad it did well in the sand. What pressure did you air down to?
I thought I took it down to 20 based on my hand-held, but the TPMS still reported 24. It worked fine that way.

Glad to hear it went well, I should have told you to pick up a set of Staun tire deflators it would have made life a lot easier for you! Great pics, I'm in Hilton Head SC right now but there is no beach driving allowed down here unfortunately.
That sounds like a handy thing to have for anyone who does this with any frequency. I had to chuckle at my portable compressor taking it's time re-inflating back up to 38 afterward. It's good for nail guns, but certainly nothing like the 60 gallon stationary compressor in my woodworking shop at home. LOL I should have just stopped at the Ft Fischer trading post, but forgot as I drove by. I found out after the fact that their air station is free.

The pictures on the beach sure look better than the garage and parking lot pictures.

I'm happy to hear that all went well

True, dat...same for the 903 other photos (really!) I took over the vacation and have up for friends and family on FB. :) They all look great. The garage photo was just plain hard to tweak in Photoshop and the rest-area shot was over compensated.

Your winter chill Summit looks at home on the beach. Nice pics of the Jeep!
Yea, it wasn't my first choice for a color when I started shopping and I really didn't want another blue vehicle, but it was the only light color available on the MY12 Summit at the time I was ready to buy. I will not ever buy a dark colored vehicle if I have the choice! (I've even refused them for rentals) But WC has really grown on me from the's one of those colors that takes on different personalities as the light changes, too.
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Yea, the Forteras. No issues that I perceived. Sand likes you to float a little, so aired down they were fine with the drivetrain in "sand/mud" mode.

Of course, as noted in another thread, I took a little chunk out of the front-right when I managed to catch the edge of a cast iron storm drain while pulling out of a parking space a few days later. So replacing the so-far-just-fine Goodyears will be accelerated. I don't want to buy just one tire when the rest will have 22K miles on them. (still lots of tread however)
Great pictures Jim. Looks like you had a nice time. The hitch carrier you that the one from Harbor Freight? Regardless, how do you like it for form and function?
I was going to buy that one, but the store, um...disappeared...that was in the area I was cruising looking for one. Or at least it was well hidden. :eek: So I went to Northern Tool. This one is really nice...wider than many...and well built. I could have bought a steel one for about $40, but it required assembling about a billion separate parts. The only gotcha on the one I bought was that the bolts/screws for the two steel supports that join the tow halves require a metric allen wrench rather than a screw driver...something that I didn't see in the online version of the manual before my purchase. So I had to get a set of those while picking up the bin from Lowes to complete the assembly. (I bought wrenches and a screwdriver at NT while getting the carrier...which is now a tool set to keep in the spare tire well)
Andy, that was a really nice are blessed to have access to such nice places. With my wife's brother and spouse (and kids and MIL) living in Wilmington, it's likely that we will visit there again in the future.
I'll let my wife know of your was mostly her money. LOL :D
toifile, when you exit the Ft Fischer area and drive north back toward Kure Beach, there is air available at the "Trading Post" on the left side as you are driving. It's only about a mile above where you exit the beach. The park ranger told me they don't charge for air and that appeared to be true when I drove by the next day headed south to take the ferry over to Southport.

As to the beach was very enjoyable. I'm not really an "off-road" person, but the place is beautiful and you can stop to enjoy the sun and surf. We took a picnic lunch and our teen daughters enjoyed the water for a couple hours. Access fee is $12 for a day or $50 for the year.

There is also beach access at the north end of Carolina Beach. I think the access fee up there is $20, but we didn't go there.
Yes, there were many endangered sea turtle nests staked out during our visit and there were nightly vigils as it was time to hatch.
Well, I'm next to zero experience with beach Jeeping, but it's not a bad idea to have a shovel, a length of board and anything else you might need to get "un-stuck". The park service will not rescue you, although they will cheerfully call a towing company that undoubtedly charge a lot of change for the service! And the usual stuff...water, snacks, sunscreen, a beach chair and a good book. LOL Seriously, you'll really enjoy Kure and the Ft Fischer beach.
It's safe...almost deserted. No worries. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the beach with your family along the way. Do note the time for high tide as there is one narrow place about half-way down that "may" be a problem at absolute high tide. Otherwise, it's a "drive on the beach". Put your jeep in Sand mode and take your time--drive steady. Watch your temps...I found that the deeper sand was tough on the drive train.

BTW, your family may spot porpoises out in the water...keep eyes out for them!
Steven, we really did have a great time in the area, including our beach drive in Ft Fischer. (Which was only a few blocks south of the great duplex we rented for the week) Since we were there the last week of August, it was already "just locals fishing" for the most part, since virtually all college kids were back and many younger kids go back earlier in the south, too. My wife's brother and his wife live in Wilmington as do both of his kids and his three grand-kids, so it's likely we'll be back again sometime in the future.
'Glad you and the family had a great time on the beach, torifile! And yea...that "bouncy thing" going in and out was something else. Very weird feeling!

I hear you on the 14yo has an eye on a bright orange one that cruises in this area. LOL She's love to have one, I'm sure...
D'oh! Must have been the "bounce-a-rama" in that going in/coming out stretch....
One or two folks recently posted about losing this part in other threads...and it may be important to get it replaced "soon" as it may affect performance of the FCW and ACC if it happens to "shape" the radar signal.
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