Sand trap? Heck, we're not golfing! However, a Florida beach road trip can quickly turn into a nightmare when you ride out onto the beach and sink or get stuck in the sand. And it will get worse as you get more upset, rev that engine and spin those tires!
Driving on the Beach in Florida
We are originally from up north so we know a few things from getting stuck in the snow, and thick sand isn't much different. Here are some simple pointers that may help you avoid getting stuck. Keep your beach visit the great day it was intended to be! Some beaches, like Ponce Inlet, will warn drivers about soft beach sand conditions and limit vehicles to 4WD only. Follow that recommendation to avoid ruining your day by spending it with an expensive tow truck and sweaty palms.
Driving on Sandy Beaches in Florida
Got a Front Wheel Drive Vehicle?
Is AWD or 4WD better in sand? Front wheels will dig in almost instantly on loose sand. Rear-drive is better, but there's no substitute for 4WD. A proper part-time 4WD system with a low range and a locked center differential will get you through almost any beach sand (like this photo of Daytona Beach). A full-time AWD road car will get you through but be aware of ground clearance and low gear. Sometimes low gear isn't really low enough, and you could overheat the transmission moving at low speeds. Try lowering your tire pressure. Things are already hot enough on the beach! The heavier your vehicle is the more it will sink in the Florida sand. You’ll also have better clearance if the vehicle is lighter (this seems to apply to more than trucks, in our experience!)
Follow These 5 Tips for Driving on Beach Sand
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers. We write about Florida beaches on every coast. Our opinions only.