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Best ground clearance for beach driving?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What stock SUV's have the best ground clearance and are most suitable for beach driving.
post #2 of 15
This could open an opinion war, however I find that the jeep brand handles itself really well offroad in the sand stock as can be. But then again pretty much every pickup truck (FORD,DODGE, CHEVY, ETC) handles well offroad on the sand as well.

So it would have to come down to the Beach you are going to drive, your driving habits on the beach and possiable tire size, as some SUVs can use bigger tires without changing the suspension or rubbing keeping the vechile still stock.

So what is your favorite brand....or did you have. I am sure someone on here has had it out on a beach at one time or another.

Hopes this helps
Orange
post #3 of 15
Most people will recommend THEIR current brand.

You asked for "best". My Ambulance is FAR too heavy to even come close!

Jeeps, Blazers, Suburbans, Troopers, and Bronco's (NOT Bronco II.)

Stick to those 4 marques.

For the others reading this, the reason that YOUR ride isn't recommended is because IT ISN"T AS GOOD AS THOSE FOUR. That doesn't mean it won't work on sand ....just that it requires someone as skilled as yourself to perform adequately.
post #4 of 15
Most "stock" SUV's have in the ballpark of 7 in. or so.........I've got a 2000 Tahoe with 7 and some change but don't drive it on the beach anymore......got a Toyota Tacoma for that! Not sure of the Toyota 4-Runner clearance...but they've got alittle clearance for a small SUV!

Aired-down.......my Tahoe rubbed the sand on the frame in deeper ruts....not bad...just skimmmed! It did fine!

I think stock....Ford Expeditions probably have the most ground clearance......hope this helps!
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMMO
Most people will recommend THEIR current brand.

You asked for "best". My Ambulance is FAR too heavy to even come close!

Jeeps, Blazers, Suburbans, Troopers, and Bronco's (NOT Bronco II.)

Stick to those 4 marques.

For the others reading this, the reason that YOUR ride isn't recommended is because IT ISN"T AS GOOD AS THOSE FOUR. That doesn't mean it won't work on sand ....just that it requires someone as skilled as yourself to perform adequately.


You have five and they are all great.
post #6 of 15
Hummer 2 and Toytota trucks
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMMO


For the others reading this, the reason that YOUR ride isn't recommended is because IT ISN"T AS GOOD AS THOSE FOUR. That doesn't mean it won't work on sand ....just that it requires someone as skilled as yourself to perform adequately.
post #8 of 15
One of my late friends had a 69 Wagoneer that we affectionally referred to as the "Grey Ghost". The entire body had collapsed on the frame. It probably had about 4" at most of clearance--following him down the beach was like following the plow in a blizzard

One day, when he had a few too many adult beverages out on the beach, he tried every which way he could to get it stuck. The only way he succeeded was by taking it out of 4wd and flooring it

I guess the moral is, don't worry if you're occasionally scraping a little sand. Worry more about rocks at places like the M
post #9 of 15
I beleive the Suffolk County PD uses Ford Expeditions on Fire Island. I would hope that means they have confidence in that vehicle.
JS
P.S My reply has nothing to with being an Expedition owner.....
post #10 of 15
Here's a little research I did comparing '07 SUVs
Chevy Trailblazer = 7.8"
Chevy Tahoe = 9.1"
GMC Yukon XL = 9.1"
Ford Explorer =8.2"
Ford Expedition = 8.7"
Jeep Grand Cherokee = 8"
Nissan Pathfinder = 8.8" (SE model), 9.2" (SE Offroad model)
Nissan Armada = 10.7"
Toyota 4-Runner = 9.1"
Toyota Sequoia = 10.6"

The highest clearance I saw came from a pickup truck, the Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab 4x4 has 12.3" of clearance.

Judge for yourself who has the highest clearance in SUV market.
post #11 of 15
imo there's a little more to it than clearance. small cars have a narrower wheel base causing them to PLOW in the track.therefore if a large follows a large and a small follows a small the ride is much easier{less resistance}on the engine and drive train. we have {finally} a 96 jeep wagon with 15" tires that i think is the best ride on the beach.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat
small cars have a narrower wheel base causing them to PLOW in the track.

Whaddaya mean? My soob has a narrow track and a moderate wheelbase (length). I don't plow when driving on wide ruts. I get one side in the rut and the other side up on the center. Or if there was room to the outside, I'd just straddle the rut.
Its the driver, not the driven.
post #13 of 15
Stock ground clearance numbers mean zip, zero, nada, until you air down on the beach. Rim size, tires size, load..........lots of variables other than clearance make you float. The last XJ I lifted and put 31's on ran worse on the beach than when it was stock height with 225's, go figure.
post #14 of 15
Comfort is a huge part of beach driving imo, much more important than "off-roading ability". Many of my rides are long, 5 miles plus. So I'm riding on the sand often for a half hour to an hour one way.

First I'd go with a standard width wheel base. My old Trooper had a narrower foot print and would not ride smoothly in the track. Since it was narrower it would always be trying to climb out one side. That made it constantly yaw back and forth. Used to make my wife halfway seasick.

I like a longer wheel base too. Smooths out the porpoising and lets you ride a few mph faster. I'm not talking speeding, just say 15 instead of 10 with the same comfort level. All that, the comfort and speed encourages me to go where I need to go to catch.

So for me a larger vehicle is the way to go. Burb, Tahoe, Expie or full size P/U. Plus you get the added benefit of extra room for gear and can climb in the back and stretch out for some real sleep.
post #15 of 15
I have a Toyota truck that I use over the others. It is not that wide, but has great clearance below. I have never had any problems with it plowing. The curb weight is very low and the truck rides well.
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