dansome1

2020 Subaru Outback on a beach with deep soft sand?

45 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, LouC said:

nice, I wondered about this too since my wife drives a '17 Forester. 

I spent the last four years driving my 17 forester many miles up and down both sides of AI which gets pretty rutted up and hairy at times.  Never the slightest of issues.  

 

Nice pic btw dansome. Always good to see other subies out there!

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I just bought a ‘21 Outback. I traded in my Tahoe. I had concerns about driving on the beach in Hatteras with the Outback. I thought the X mode would be the way to do it, and airing down. The ground clearance is almost the same as my Tahoe, but the Tahoe ate up the beach like nothing. And snow. 
This has been reassuring. I have all my beach tools to bring and I also have some old floor mats laying around. 

So disengaging the traction control is critical?

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5 hours ago, Retainer said:

I just bought a ‘21 Outback. I traded in my Tahoe. I had concerns about driving on the beach in Hatteras with the Outback. I thought the X mode would be the way to do it, and airing down. The ground clearance is almost the same as my Tahoe, but the Tahoe ate up the beach like nothing. And snow. 
This has been reassuring. I have all my beach tools to bring and I also have some old floor mats laying around. 

So disengaging the traction control is critical?

Even on my jeep, traction control was a killer in the sand... had to be disengaged, so we'll hear from the outback-ers but yes.

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I won't comment on its sea worthiness in the sand but i will comment on the clearance.....

 

Just about every beach here on the island that you drive on you will encounter that hump of sand in-between the tracks, if you dont have the clearance to avoid it you will road grade that mound of sand down with your under carriage everywhere you go & it will get into areas that you cant see or clean out & it will not come out no matter how you try, you will find the spots where it collected & that you missed when you washed underneath somewhere down the road when your frame & side panels start rotting away (if you keep it that long)... it collects on top of things too like gas tanks, fuel lines, any flat surface really, all are candidates for potential rot..

 

 Another issue will / can be the sand churning up into your brake calipers, if it starts happening you'll grind that sand around for a while till you figure out how to get it out there on the beach, going in reverse works but not always, if its a wet sand it has staying power, dry sand kinda falls right out a little easier,  could be a big issue as well....

 

Best...

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Outback has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, plenty for sand. A few hundred dollars and you can get another inch which would give you more clearance than a Tacoma. It’s also a relatively light vehicle compared to most you see on the sand, which also helps with clearance.

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My Tahoe had 9” clearance. I drove it in Hatteras with 22 lbs in the tires and in AWD. Occasionally I’d use the 4WD to get going then switch to AWD.

Outback has the X mode so I don’t see much of a difference except it being a heck of a lot lighter on the sand.

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Just drop the pressure to around 18psi and it should handle fine with or without VDC and traction control.  On my forester, there is no way to fully disable traction control and it never caused any issues. 

 

Consider getting a full sized spare. The forums should let you know if it will fit.  In my forester, it fit after removing the various foam around the donut.  Also, a one inch lift can be had for a a couple hundred dollars. This will hardly change the angle of suspension components and give you the benefit of nearly 10 inches of clearance.  

 

Lastly enjoy the better gas mileage and more comfortable ride!

Edited by steve maranto

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14 mins ago, AckStriperGuyDD said:

You'll be fine...until you get stuck.

 

Says the individual with no personal experience driving one on the sand.

 

Let me guess...you saw countless ones stuck in the sand because the CVT exploded, the lack of a low range 4wd prevented it from moving in the treacherous sand, and the tires werent wide and tall enough to tear up the beach.

 

Anyone can get stuck. Ive seen more trucks stuck in delmarva than subarus.  Beach driving is not serious off roading.  Key is airing down, using common sense, and sometimes knowing when to turn around. 

Edited by steve maranto

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1 min ago, steve maranto said:

Says the individual with no personal experience driving one on the sand.

 

Let me guess...you saw countless ones stuck in the sand because the CVT exploded, the lack of a low range 4wd prevented it from moving in the treacherous sand, and the tires werent wide and tall enough to tear up the beach.

 

Anyone can get stuck. Ive seen more trucks stuck in delmarva than subarus.  Beach driving is not serious off roading.  Key is airing down, using common sense, and sometimes knowing when to turn around. 

Yes, you'll be fine...until you get stuck.  

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On 7/20/2021 at 4:21 AM, Retainer said:

I just bought a ‘21 Outback. I traded in my Tahoe. I had concerns about driving on the beach in Hatteras with the Outback. I thought the X mode would be the way to do it, and airing down. The ground clearance is almost the same as my Tahoe, but the Tahoe ate up the beach like nothing. And snow. 
This has been reassuring. I have all my beach tools to bring and I also have some old floor mats laying around. 

So disengaging the traction control is critical?

2021 Subaru Outback Limited, 16psi, X-Drive on and traction control off - no problems driving on a couple of Long Island beaches.  Saw other Subarus each time.  Best to keep traction control off though I didn't have issues one time when I tried with TC on.  It all depends on the conditions.  Even very capable 4x4s with high clearance and low drive can get stuck in very soft/deep/wet sand.  Have a great time, would like to know how it went 

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3 hours ago, Retainer said:

Ok thanks, 

The only vehicles I've ever seen stuck on ramp 44 are sedans, rear wheel drive trucks, and people that bring AWD onto the beach.  The lack of a locking differential would be a point of contention for me.  Not having a true low range gear box is also disadvantage.  Like the previous poster said, You will be fine until you need to pull yourself out of something. 

 

If you feel confident with AWD - have at it! 

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Just now, animalbarrie said:

The only vehicles I've ever seen stuck on ramp 44 are sedans, rear wheel drive trucks, and people that bring AWD onto the beach.  The lack of a locking differential would be a point of contention for me.  Not having a true low range gear box is also disadvantage.  Like the previous poster said, You will be fine until you need to pull yourself out of something. 

 

If you feel confident with AWD - have at it! 

I’ve never used low range in Hatteras, ever. Like I said, I would put it in 4WD then switch to AWD with never an issue, ever, with tires down to 22 psi 

how would an Outback with X mode with about the same clearance be any different if not better since the vehicle is lighter?

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