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Honda Pilots on the Beach?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
For those of you who have driven the Honda Pilot on outer beach environs:

After airing down:

Is it necessary to keep the VTM-4 Lock in position, and should I stay in first or second? Will the Pilot be able to shift from these two gear settings into reverse and stay in VTM-4 Lock mode? I realize there's no need to ever go above 18-19mphs out there as I have experiences w both the 4-Runner and Explorer. I also read here that one of you gents changed to the Michelin Cross Terrain 235/70R 16-How's that working out while back on the pavement?

What other suggestions may you have with the Honda Pilot dealing with outer beach travels?

Keep the hooks sharp and don't forget to split those rinds...see you under the bridge in April...

Thank you,

Fishermatt
post #2 of 9
Matt, I have had my Pilot on the beaches here in MA for 4 years now, and have never used the VTM-4 lock. I am not sure how the conditions here compare to the beaches you are on, but I've never been stuck. If you're a better safe than sorry type, I would go with the lock.
post #3 of 9
I see them on the beach all the time, Just use a little extra caution & you will be OK, Keep out of the soft stuff below the high tide line, Make sure you have front/rear recovery points (Tow Hooks) in case you get stuck & Most of all AIR DOWN!
post #4 of 9
If you air down to 15, you shouldn't need to use the VTM button unless you get stuck. I think it disengages from when moving from 1/2 to R because you have to go through 3 and D to get to R and D because VTM cuts out in 3 and D. Enough letters for ya?

When you say outer beaches, do you mean Nauset, High Head or Hatteras? If you mean Cape Cod - Nauset and Race Point are pretty easy, the dunes at High Head and Coast Guard are tougher.
post #5 of 9
I'm also interested in a Honda Pilot. My main concern is that it only has 8" of ground clearance. Has this affected your driving on the beach?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmon1 View Post
I'm also interested in a Honda Pilot. My main concern is that it only has 8" of ground clearance. Has this affected your driving on the beach?


Clearance can be an issue sometimes if there is a lot of weight in the truck. If you get in some soft sand/rocks, it will definitely scrape on occasion. Never had any damage, but not a pleasant sound.
post #7 of 9
lemmon I have a Pilot, it is definetely not a monster truck, not made for going over major obstacles, thus the limited clearance. But on sand , unless there are major holes its not a problem....let me put it this way its never been a problem for me on the beach or snow, and I have never had to engage the VTM lock. I f you do use the VTM make sure you keep it w/i guidelines as stated w/i the user manual
post #8 of 9
Is airing down to 15 common for the beach?
post #9 of 9
I have a 04 Pilot and use the VTM lock all the time, especially in deep snow. Much of the time I'm out before the plows and have never been stuck. The Pilots limitation is in the clearance. More than a foot or so of snow and she floats. Deep ruts on the sand will be a problem.

When locked, all 4 wheels are receiving exactly the same amount of power. Truly locked. DO NOT drive on dry pavement with VTM Lock engaged.

You can shift between any combination of 1, 2 and R as long as you don't pause on 3 or D for more than instant or two, maybe a second. I've gone up to 20 mph before it automatically disengages. When I see trouble ahead, such as plowed over intersections, I also engage it below 20 mph by shifting down to second and hitting the button. No sense waiting to get stuck before using it.

Over 7 years and 90,000 miles of service, the only part to fail was a front marker light. (knock on wood)
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