Practice area for driving on sand - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Hi Guys

    What would you suggest for the Namibia dunes between Luderitz and Walvisbaai? Low range or high range? You need to carry speed and momentum to get up those high dunes....??


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  2. #22
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    Probably high range, with the CDL locked in whatever such mode your respective 4x4 has to offer.

  3. #23
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    I would obviously never drive on the beach in Moz, as it's illegal. But hypothetically, if I had, I also found high range easier. Low range just dug big holes. Maybe this "throttle control" you speak of eluded me.

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  4. #24
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    Thanks Neil. This is something I've been curious for a while.

    The only place where I've ever really encountered deep sand was in Northern Botswana (Moremi, Kwhai, Savuti, Ihaha, etc). It was much deeper than anything I've ever encountered in SA, but I'm sure not a patch on what you find in Northern Mozambique. It wasn't particularly fine sand, and didn't involve any obstacles whatsoever. I sure didn't find it even slightly difficult. Truth be told, I didn't even bother to blow down my tires. It simply wasn't needed.

    I just found it rather curious that as far as I go, people told me to use low range, but when I ask them why, I'm told because I have to

    So I'm just going to keep on doing exactly what you suggested, and listen to my car. She will tell me as soon as I need to let some air out of the tires, shift to low, etc, just as she always has

  5. #25
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    Beach sand is easier to drive because it's wet which makes it harder. Even if it looks soft, it'll be wet if you dig just below the surface.

    At somewhere like AD in summer, when you get out of your car you can go nearly knee deep into the sand. That's when LR is needed. All LR does is half your speed but double your traction/torque. It isn't needed if the terrain isn't challenging.

    You wouldn't get out of the car park with hard tyres & no low range in summer at AD.

  6. #26
    Christo Meissenheimer Guest

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    I am going to agree with XJ Junkie here, my first sand driving was proper technical dunes driving like AT dunes and it was with our diesel Fortuner. Everybody got stuck and that is how you learn. Use low range. Pull away in second and not first. First gear is way to low and way to strong, you will dig yourself in like nothing. Also play around with your rear diff lock if you have one. If you don't have a long run up ,like we did and a diesel does not ref up as fast as a petrol a diff lock helps a lot then. Please keep you thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel as well , because your steering wheel likes to makes sudden movements and that could break you thumb. Start at 1.0bar and go from there. We ended up on 0.6bar in the end. A petrol you keep on the ref limiter a diesel is a bit more complex. You must get it in the torque band and not just floor the thing. Yes a got our Fortuner on the runs up on the ref limiter to get speed but on turns you need to get in your torque band or you will loose power on a diesel.

    My big advantaged that 2 days in the dunes was my Dad in the passenger seat. My Dad grew up in Namibia and knows sand driving and he new how to help me. Also our guide on the one dune , climbed in with me and yes I got stuck to the chassis and the guide showed me how and I made the dune.

    Go and enjoy it.

    Christo Meissenheimer

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    At somewhere like AD in summer, when you get out of your car you can go nearly knee deep into the sand
    I'm definately going to have to come to CPT sometime soon!

    I've never seen sand like that, and would absolutely love to try it!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermine View Post
    I'm definately going to have to come to CPT sometime soon! I've never seen sand like that, and would absolutely love to try it!
    Anytime. We will teach you how to use your passenger window as a windscreen at 35 degrees. Because that will be your direction of travel :-)

  9. #29
    Christo Meissenheimer Guest

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    I am heavy scared of the sideways driving on dunes. The guide did it with me and I was ting my pants. Then I did it with the Fortuner with the guide , it is really fun , but I am scared that the thing will roll and it is not easy.

    Christo Meissenheimer

  10. #30
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLJ Jakkals View Post
    Hi Guys

    What would you suggest for the Namibia dunes between Luderitz and Walvisbaai? Low range or high range? You need to carry speed and momentum to get up those high dunes....??


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    This depends from terrain to terrain, there is places where i drive low range and places where i drive high range . Some long and high dunes you will NEVER get over in low range just because you will out of revs long before you can get enough momentum , then again there is sharp slipfaces where low 3rd is the correct balance between power and speed . Experience with your own vehicle will tell you what will suit your vehicle and your driving style .

    Then i have two friends who does these trips for a living , both drive 4500 cruisers, one swears on low 3rd,4th.5th to save his clutch(never had to replace one yet) and the other swears on high 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to sace his his gearbox , never had to replace one yet !!

    Sounds almost like " 2s0 use it or not use it "




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  12. #32
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    One thing i like about the Namib dunes is the speed you have to use on some challenge dunes , we have one "miergat" where if you don't hit the foot of the dune at about 120kmh you will not see the crest of he dune ......................G FORCES Galore !

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    Beach sand is easier to drive because it's wet which makes it harder. Even if it looks soft, it'll be wet if you dig just below the surface.

    At somewhere like AD in summer, when you get out of your car you can go nearly knee deep into the sand. That's when LR is needed. All LR does is half your speed but double your traction/torque. It isn't needed if the terrain isn't challenging.
    In general, I agree with you, but the worst sand diving I've ever experienced was on the beach in the good old days driving from Cape Vidal to Sodwana. Here, during high tide, you are forced to drive against a steep incline on some really grainy sand. You jack-knife for kilometers and the only way to get your vehicle straight is to reverse toward the ocean. More that once we only got straight with the water around our tyres. Then you try to gain momentum just to jack-knife again. Despite the wetness, grainy sand still swallows your vehicle. We did all this with a trailer. And before anyone asks about tyre pressure: it was so flat, we got sand between the tyres and rims. I've been in Kalahari sand, up Kalahari dunes, up Namib dunes, at Atlantis dunes and through the Northern Botswana sand and none of these presented a challenge. Soft tyres and soft throttle is the key. Low range only in really difficult sections, but my default is high range CDL. Keep your wheels straight when you pull away.

    I've only been on ADunes five times, twice on hot summer days and there is no real challenge unless you try the few taller dunes or uphill trails with the twisty bit at the top. What is nice is there is something for everyone.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    Anytime. We will teach you how to use your passenger window as a windscreen at 35 degrees. Because that will be your direction of travel :-)


    Note to self: remember to pack your backbone, lots of smokes to calm the nerves, and possibly a tot of Tequila to get the hands to stop shaking afterwards. Also, start doing Yoga again. Reaching the pedals whilst seeing out of the windscreen at a 35 degree angle sometimes requires maneuvers that will make any Yoga master proud. Or grow taller.

  15. #35
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    I wasn't talking about driving in the sludge near the water on a beach. I wouldn't do that anyway with my vehicle.

    At AD its as challenging as you make it. A dune can be a grade 1 or a grade 5, depending on how you drive it. I've driven a FWD deep into AD without too much fuss, but it would be out of its league with the stuff that we do. You'll find that the more experienced guys don't bother much with the higher dunes. They are easy - if you've got the gear & horsepower, then you'll get over - simple. Come drive with us & you'll see what I'm talking about. We've got some difficult technical routes that appear easy if a particular section is done in isolation, but can be extremely challenging when done as a series of obstacles.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermine View Post


    Note to self: remember to pack your backbone, lots of smokes to calm the nerves, and possibly a tot of Tequila to get the hands to stop shaking afterwards. Also, start doing Yoga again. Reaching the pedals whilst seeing out of the windscreen at a 35 degree angle sometimes requires maneuvers that will make any Yoga master proud. Or grow taller.
    Do make a plan to come visit though, even if only to be passenger with a Friday Avie Club driver. It's nothing like driving on level sand tracks in Moz.
    Dewald

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCR View Post
    Do make a plan to come visit though, even if only to be passenger with a Friday Avie Club driver. It's nothing like driving on level sand tracks in Moz.
    I most definately will! Even if I just hop on a plane one weekend. I've seen photos of the Atlantis Dunes, and would love to see them in real life. Feel the sand between my toes

  18. #38
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  19. #39
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    I'd love to. But apparently YouTube doesn't deem me worthy.

    I'm doing the Namib Desert run over Easter Weekend (on the KTM, but jeep is backup vehicle), and then coming to Cape Town around the 16th of April for a wedding. Which means I'll be there for a Friday Arvie. Can't wait.

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  20. #40
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    Houtrivier riverbed, Polokwane.


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