Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited CVT
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Taking the family down to Outer Banks for a week in July. First time down there and was looking for info and advice on taking my new 2019 out on the beach. Anyone done this particular area with a stock 2019? Or at least a newer gen stock fozzy? I'd mostly be looking to cruise around Cape Hatteras and then maybe make a day trip up north to Corolla/Currituck. Nothing crazy, I'd just like to take the family on an easy ride, try to see some wild ponies, etc. Maybe stop off for a few hours and swim. I've got a 4 year old and a 6 month old so taking in the sights while driving and being able to park on the beach with all of our stuff is super convenient.

I read through the sticky thread on sand and most of the research I've done seems to indicate if I air down to ~17 to 20 psi and use easy touches on the throttle to avoid digging in the Fozzy should do just fine. I'm curious if anyone has any experience with the newer Xmode system in sand. It seems like it will help by making the throttle response a little duller and the CVT will hold the revs higher. Some research suggests turning off VSC, but I don't know if that's true with Xmode? The Deep mud and deep snow setting automatically turns off VSC to allow wheel spin, so maybe that would do better? This would prevent the the brakes from being applied, robbing power, and making the computer go nuts I would think? Some sites indicate stock ground clearance could be a problem but others say as long as you steer clear of any bigger ruts it should be fine.

Need to put together a kit. I've already got a recovery strap but I'll need to grab one of those collapsing shovels, find a jack plate, and invest in a better quality tire gauge with bleeder on it. I've got a hitch installed so if the worst happens I've at least got an easy spot to attach a recovery strap to. I'll probably invest in a portable compressor too just to make airing back up a little simpler instead of trying to hunt down the nearest gas station.

Little nervous about taking it out on the beach and then having to do a 600+ mile drive back home after the week is over but an opportunity like this seems too good to pass up! Am I nuts here or probably just over thinking it? Any info and advice is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
2012 Subaru Forester Automatic
Joined
·
2 Posts
How'd it turn out? I'm in SE VA and go down there everyonce in a while.
Hi,

I also live in SE VA and spend a good amount of time in OBX. We always spend a week on Ocracoke, and in the past I’d drive my Jeep Wrangler so that we could get on the beach. I also own a 2012 Forester but had never attempted to try it out in the sand.

I sold the Jeep last year so I was now “forced” into giving my Forester a go at it. I read through this forum and the thread regarding tips for driving in the sand. I followed the advice of previous posters (dropping the air pressure of my tires), carrying the proper equipment, etc.

I had no problems whatsoever with driving in the sand. My Forester performed just as well as my Jeep, and I got way better gas mileage!

I’m a firm believer in the capabilities of my Forester and I am looking forward to the next time I can get down there on the beach!
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited CVT
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Actually just got back so I guess I can do a little rundown here so that other folks will have the info if needed.

In short my 2019 did mostly fine. This was my first experience driving on sand so I was a little nervous, particularly with young kids in the car and being 600 miles from home. The thought of getting stuck was pretty unappealing to say the least. But the Forester did well. Kept my momentum up and things just kept plugging along. I aired down to 18 psi. We only drove down maybe a half mile from the ramp. Far enough to get away from the large number of vehicles near the ramp, but still close enough I could flag someone down for a pull out if needed. Backed right up to the high tide line and parked it for a couple hours and it drove out without an issue. Used the regular dirt X-mode setting as this seems to dull the throttle response a bit to avoid digging in. Deep snow/mud setting makes the throttle super punchy so I'd avoid that unless you're already stuck and trying to get out. No problems getting up and down the ramp, even with quite a bit of soft sand.

The one issue that concerned me a little was ground clearance. And maybe it was just me being nervous and staying in the packed ruts a bit too much but the bottom seemed to drag quite a bit. I might consider upgrading the plastic under guard to an aluminum one if I decide to make this a regular occurrence. Once I get a bit more experience and confidence I might be more comfortable swerving around the deeper ruts more frequently. But just something to keep in mind.

Here's my gear list of everything I had in my car. All of it fit in the storage space under the cargo area and in the center console:

  • Tire gauge with bleeder - I preferred a manual dial gauge so as to not have to worry about batteries
  • Screw in bleeder hose - I had a spare one of these rolling around in my garage, it's just a short rubber hose that connects to a manual hand pump for airing up sports balls. You just need something that will screw onto the schrader valve to hold it open because standing there with the tire gauge and holding the bleeder takes forever. You can buy actual bleeders but anything like this will work too. Could also remove the needle valve as an option too but I didn't want to mess with that 600 miles from home with limited tools and resources. Get the pressure down near where you want it and use the tire gauge bleeder to finish the job.
  • Viair 88P portable compressor - Beware the amperage limitations of the 12V outlets on the 2019 forester. I think when I looked it up it's only a 10 amp fuse so you can easily blow that with one of the larger cigarette lighter compressors. The 88P is well reviewed by a lot of off roaders. It connects directly to the battery so you don't have to worry about blowing fuses (keep the vehicle idling when using it though. It probably wouldn't drain the battery down in the few minutes you're using it, but why take the chance?). This thing inflates fast too. Took me less than 5 minutes to air up all 4 tires, most of which was connecting/disconnecting the hose to verify pressure. The cooling fins on it get super hot though so stash it where it has a chance to cool off without burning someone or melting plastic when you're done.
  • D Ring Shackle attachment for 1 1/4" receiver (Amazon Linky)- So I have the Subaru class 2 hitch installed on my 2019. It's kind of a mixed bag regarding using a class 2 hitch as a recovery point, and there's not a ton of info out there. Unfortunately if you have a hitch installed the hitch bar blocks access to the tow hook threads behind the rear bumper. Aside from the hitch and tow hook there's really nothing to use as a recovery point on the back end of a 2019, so using the hitch was really my only option. These shackle adapters are kind of tough to find for a 1 1/4" receiver. The one I purchased seems more geared toward ATV hitches but I didn't really have a lot of options. The bar stock is solid steel so I wouldn't anticipate a failure. Didn't need to use it but I probably wouldn't be yanking on that hitch a ton to try and get out anyway. Since this is for a smaller receiver it has a smaller D ring on it (1/2" I believe). If you get a 1 1/4" to 2" receiver adapter you can get a beefier 3/4" D shackle attachment but it seemed a bit overkill on a class 2 hitch for my use and I'd have to carry the adapter around too.
  • 20 foot Recovery (Snatch) strap and two 3/4" D ring shackles - The shackles are good to have on hand during any recovery scenario. You can also attach them to both front tie downs and use them as an ill-advised front recovery point as an alternative to using the front tow hook. Using a snatch strap will reduce the shock load on the hitch and tie downs by giving a rubber band effect so it's better to use than just a regular tow strap.
  • Ratchet strap (in the very unlikely scenario I rolled a tire off a bead) - Had it lying around so I threw it in.
  • 8" wide by 15" long 1.5" thick board - To support the stock jack on soft sand if I need to lift a wheel to dig out.
  • Folding/camping shovel
Didn't get a chance to go to the northern Corolla beaches, mostly because the kids were getting cranky about a 20 minute drive to Cape Hatteras :rolleyes:. Maybe when they get older hopefully.

tl;dr - 2019 Forster did fine on soft sand. Mind the deep ruts, air down, and use Regular Dirt/snow X-mode and you should be good. Wouldn't hesitate renting a condo in the north end 4x4 area next time around.

522372
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top