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  1. #1
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    Default Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Hi
    Please help me, my mother is doing a trip down the West Coast somewhere, there will be some deep sand/dune roads. What tire pressure, she is driving a Grand Vitara Dune with General Grabbers AT3ís, wil be 2 people with all their gear for 6 days.

    she has a compressor, so it is only for the deep sand part that I don't know, Tar wil be 2,2, gravel 1,8 but the sand I have never done.

    Thank you
    Last edited by JakkalsvE; 2021/09/22 at 09:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    You don't mention the side wall hight, but I assume there is some room available.

    I would say 0.8 for deep loose sand
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    I'm on the West Coast and the sand is just starting to dry out now and get soft. Last year we had a Kia Sportage get stuck on our farm. Just dropping pressure got the couple going. We just dropped pressure till the car started moving. Turned out to be around 0.8bar.
    I also just drop my pressures till the tire looks spread out enough, and that works out to be at 1 bar for my wheels. On the beach I jave dropped to 0.5bar on a few occasions.
    If they have a compressor, they will have no problems finding a pressure that will work for them.
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by bfreesani View Post
    I'm on the West Coast and the sand is just starting to dry out now and get soft. Last year we had a Kia Sportage get stuck on our farm. Just dropping pressure got the couple going. We just dropped pressure till the car started moving. Turned out to be around 0.8bar.
    I also just drop my pressures till the tire looks spread out enough, and that works out to be at 1 bar for my wheels. On the beach I jave dropped to 0.5bar on a few occasions.
    If they have a compressor, they will have no problems finding a pressure that will work for them.
    That:

    On sand for fairly slow speed you can go very low, it really does depend a lot on the car, the weight and the sand. I would assume the GV has a decent profile on it (55 and up), so you should be ok. Car also isn't super heavy or sounds like it will be very loaded. Start at 0.8, if the car struggles go lower, if you are worried check the tire temperature after a km or so, the pressure will likely increase as the tire will probably heat up at least a little. Once the car has stood for a while and everything has cooled (especially over night) check tires again as pressures may now be low enough to go into de-bead territory.

    Do not go back onto hardpack before inflating at least a bit, this is where heat will build up quickly even over a short distance, which will either destroy the tire immediately or at any point in the future (which is much worse).


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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Just done a day excursion to the Spoegriver Caves in the Namaqua National Park, which fits your "West Coast somewhere" location.

    Where the really thick sand starts, they recommend 1.2 bar for vehicles and 0.8bar for trailers. This was done for a Fortuner/Echo 4 combination. I went down to around 1.4 bar on 55 profile tyres and it was fine. You could barely see the tyre bulge.

    Bear in mind that you swop footprint for clearance and I would rather keep the belly of the car off the sand.

    The trick is to let go of the steering wheel so the tracks guide the front wheels, else you keep on providing a counter-steering input which is unnecessary and causes drag.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2021/09/23 at 03:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Thank you, it has 225/65/17 profiles on. Desent but not great. They will be be on back roads from Traval up to Springbok, then inland again. So a nice mixed bag of roads.
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    I have done the trip a few times and I think .8 is too soft. Problem is you get the soft sand then harder stretches then sand etc. and for the harder parts .8 is too soft.

    Rather try something like 1.3 or 1.2 and keep some momentum and if the car labour too much drop a bit. Also remember .8 on a warm tyre is less the next morning when it is cold.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by JakkalsvE View Post
    Thank you, it has 225/65/17 profiles on. Desent but not great. They will be be on back roads from Traval up to Springbok, then inland again. So a nice mixed bag of roads.
    With 65 profile you should be just fine. Narrower tires are also better as they have less resistance (to a point). To add to my earlier comment only go as low as is necessary. I have not done the West Coast myself (bucket list item), but if 1.2 or 1.4 will get the job done don't go to 0.8.


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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    If you go low, like 0.8, don't corner hard, you'll debead the tyre.

    We went through the whole stretch from Lutzville to Namakwa and the Spoegriver caves last year about this time in my old donkey diesel 80's Hilux with no problems at around 1.5-1.0.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Yes .8 and lower you risk driving the tyre off the rim if youíre not careful. I usually do 1 bar all round. When I get stuck Iíll deflate to .5 but once recovered back to 1 (I drive beach and desert on a weekly basis and it works for me)
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    I posted some tables in the Tyre section. These give you the tyre footprint and side wall bulges for different tyres at different pressures, all tyres are not equal.

    The General Grabbers performed quite well, delivering a larger footprint and less bulge than other brands, meaning the tyre pressures would be higher, say 2.0 bar where others would need to be much lower to achieve the same footprint.
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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    I live in the desert. 15psi is the most common across vehicles and sand conditions. If very soft sand and big dunes down to 12psi. Never below 10psi or tyres start rolling off the rim very easily.

    Keep in mind above is never over 40km/h.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Jakkals, I've done most of those roads with the same vehicle, same wheel size. Even in the coastal sand I did not drop below 1.5 (to keep clearance height), and I had no problems. The GV does not have enough torque in deep sand so the most important thing is to engage LR 2nd before entering the deep stuff. 2nd gear in the Suz GV is long, so it's a great gear to drive long sections of deep sand with sufficient grunt and momentum.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by shfish View Post
    Jakkals, I've done most of those roads with the same vehicle, same wheel size. Even in the coastal sand I did not drop below 1.5 (to keep clearance height), and I had no problems. The GV does not have enough torque in deep sand so the most important thing is to engage LR 2nd before entering the deep stuff. 2nd gear in the Suz GV is long, so it's a great gear to drive long sections of deep sand with sufficient grunt and momentum.
    totally agree, .8 is too low and a novice driver will quite easily ride a tyre off the rim . also you say heavily loaded so those tyres should be bulging fine at 1.5 . if she gets stuck at that pressure she can always lower to 1 bar but no more needed . i have driven that west coast extensively too

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    I have done a Luderitz Walvis trip with a fully loaded 4x4 with tyres at 0.6. You really need speed and sharp turns to debead a tyre.
    Going will be much easier at 0.8 than at 1.0 or 1.5.

    The very reason why the roads along the West Coast and Namaqua park is in the bad state they are, are due to people not deflating enough.
    Last edited by grips; 2021/09/24 at 07:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I have done a Luderitz Walvis trip with a fully loaded 4x4 with tyres at 0.6. You really need speed and sharp turns to debead a tyre.
    Going will be much easier at 0.8 than at 1.0 or 1.5.

    The very reason why the roads along the West Coast and Namaqua park is in the bad state they are, are due to people not deflating enough.
    I was hesitant to say anything else as I haven't done the West Coast myself and it is very dependant on the exact vehicle/tire/load situation. But my Toaureg handled the dunes a lot better at 0.6 than it did at 1.2 or 0.8, I did dune driving with turns and sharp accents and decents and I never debeaded a tire. I wouldn't call myself highly experienced at all, but that was what I found for the dune driving I did. Oh and the Touareg is 2.3t empty, so a comparatively heavy vehicle.


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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I have done a Luderitz Walvis trip with a fully loaded 4x4 with tyres at 0.6. You really need speed and sharp turns to debead a tyre.
    Going will be much easier at 0.8 than at 1.0 or 1.5.

    The very reason why the roads along the West Coast and Namaqua park is in the bad state they are, are due to people not deflating enough.

    likewise i did the same trip and two vehicles lost tyres off the rim . big pain

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinClem View Post
    big pain
    Should not take longer than 5 minutes to put a tyre back on the rim

    I have done lots of dune and sand driving in my life. Only debeaded tyres twice. In both cases pushing limits with high speed and sharp turns.
    When I do serious dune driving I went as low as 0.5 and that on 300kw v8 4x4`s.

    We do at least one West Coast trip a year. Every year I get people that are stuck. 99% of the cases they did not even bother to let down pressure. They spun out the roads and mess up the environment.
    Last edited by grips; 2021/09/24 at 09:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Should not take longer than 5 minutes to put a tyre back on the rim

    I have done lots of dune and sand driving in my life. Only debeaded tyres twice. In both cases pushing limits with high speed and sharp turns.
    When I do serious dune driving I went as low as 0.5 and that on 300kw v8 4x4`s.

    We do at least one West Coast trip a year. Every year I get people that are stuck. 99% of the cases they did not even bother to let down pressure. They spun out the roads and mess up the environment.

    in this case the vehicles were at a slant on a dune and high winds blowing .

    In any event this subject is getting way off the original which is advice for a novice.

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    Default Re: Tyre presure help deep sand/dunes

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I have done a Luderitz Walvis trip with a fully loaded 4x4 with tyres at 0.6. You really need speed and sharp turns to debead a tyre.
    Going will be much easier at 0.8 than at 1.0 or 1.5.

    The very reason why the roads along the West Coast and Namaqua park is in the bad state they are, are due to people not deflating enough.
    I agree we just completed the Luderitz to Walvis Dune trip and I ran my factory fitted Fortuner tyres at 0.6 on the front and 0.9 on the back. We were heavily loaded carrying extra fuel etc and despite some very challenging driving in soft sand, we never rolled the tyre of the rim in +-400km of dune driving, nor did we get stuck "in sand" at those pressures.

    The guys on the trip driving the bigger/heavier 4x4s, land cruisers etc, with heavy on-road/off-road tyres did struggle however, as the sidewalls on these tyres are extremely rigid and consequently the tyre is resistant to ballooning out.

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