YouTubers Reveal the Secret to Off-roading on Sand Like a Pro
You don’t need a lot of mods on your Wrangler to hit the sand but you do need to drive strategically.
The Jeep Wrangler can pretty much handle any type of terrain you point it at. Rocks? No problem. Mud? Ha! No sweat. It can blaze through the desert, too. However, as this video from ExtremeTerrain.com shows, you need to use a certain technique out on the sand dunes to make sure you don’t get stuck.
Host Ryan Huck heads out to the Sand Mountain OHV park in Utah to learn the basics of driving on sand from Jeff Bieber of the Desert Roads and Trails Society. They show up with the right vehicles. Huck brings a JK specially modified for motocross rider Brian Deegan with a four-inch lift, 37s, and adjustable shocks. Bieber has a built YJ. The rest is up to the drivers. Bieber tells Huck, “All you need out here to get on the sand is just air your tires down, get a bigger footprint, a little bit of horsepower, and some common sense.”
There’s a little more to it than that, though. Bieber cautions Huck not to air down too much because sand can get into the tire bead and cause air to leak out.
The shape of the sand itself is also something to pay attention to. Bieber says, “On the dunes, depending on which direction the wind goes, there’s a razorback. And that’s real steep. You don’t want to go up them because you probably won’t make it, but you don’t want to fly off of them either and do a nose dive in the sand.”
Throttle management is especially important. If you don’t carry enough momentum, you won’t get to the peaks. Once you lose that momentum, you have to be careful not to use too much throttle. That can just dig you deeper into the sand. Bieber advises, “When the vehicle comes to a dead stop, that’s when you let off the throttle, put it in reverse, and you can back down.”
Once you have a clear approach ramp to the top of the dune in front of you, keep on the throttle until you reach the top. You can then either hit the brakes or do as Bieber suggests and “turn off and ride the top of the dune until you can see and then you can turn back down.” Huck has no problem applying what Bieber teaches him and the two of them rip across the sand in their Jeeps.
It seems simple enough, especially when you’re behind the wheel of a Wrangler. The hardest part? Finding an OHV park with sand dunes that’s close to you.