Hard Side Campers and Sand


What kind of experience do you guys have with hard side campers and relatively soft sand? Not like Dakar-rally soft dunes but not hard pan like Daytona, either. Specifically, I'd like to go out to Cabo San Quinin. I've been out there in my truck before, but it was before I had the Lance on the back. I've got one size up from stock (255/75-16, I think). I'm thinking about going down as low as 25 in the rear to try to gain footprint but not roll off the rim with the weight.

Opinions, experience, advice?

Here's my truck coming down a dune with the old shell (wouldn't take this route now)


And a drive along the beach:


In case yo want to see what the sand is like. That was an empty Callen shell, now I have a Lance Squire 8500.

Sounds like you are in the ballpark at 25psi.

Here is the rec. from TC Adventure;

Here are our recommended off-road tire pressures for SRW Load Range E (80 psi) tires:
• Firm dirt surfaces – 50 psi front/55 psi rear
• Rough and rocky surfaces – 35 psi front/40 psi rear
• Sand – 25 psi front/30 psi rear
• Soft deep sand – 20 psi front/25 psi rear

I have been to Pismo in CA with a Dodge W250 and a heavy camper with out airing down and had no problems. Of course I just did not go where the dune buggy go in the really deep stuff in the back.

Safe travels,


New member
I think you'll be fine I usualy air down to 15 - 20 all around I have a pop up truck but even my buddies that own big truck camper with slides get around the sand pretty well air down to 15 ish


Expedition Leader
My friend was out there last year. One fullsize Dodge had 325's aired down. D rated tire but perfect for the sand. My friend had 285's aired way down with his Dodge and a Phoenix popup. He barely made it out there. I used to bog down in my Landcruiser with 10-15's
I've seen a F-250 out there with severely aired tires with a Lance. That was decades ago.
Nice reward out there.
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West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
jefe here. Fun vids. I've not been on this site for 6 months. Sand. I've been a sand dog for many decades, first in jeeps (small j) and currently in an old Dodge Cummins with a small Lance hard side Camper. We go looking for beaches and dunes to run. Freedom has the numbers nailed, but there is more to it than that.
1. There is an infinite variety of sand types from bottomless dune style blow sand to hard pack beach sand as at Pismo. It takes experience to 'read' the sand, which can change in a few feet, and find the perfect tire pressure for your ground pressure. Ground pressure? The amount of weight spread over the aggregate size of the footprint. A tall sidewall is helpful. An 18"-20" wheel and sidewall free tire does not air down well. Also, any, ".5" wheel and tire arrangement (16.5/ 19.5) is to be avoided unless they have double bead locks, like the hummers. That'a why I still use 16" wheels, 35" tall tires that have a lot of sidewall and still carry a hefty 3860 pound load, per tire or 7720 pounds per axle.These are on very heavy duty custom made wider steel wheels. Really wide tires can be run at a lower pressure than narrow ones. On a standard truck tire hauling a camper I would not go lower than 20 pounds unless your life depended on it.

2. My only advice is to equip yourself with a way to deflate in a hurry and be ready with some sure fire way to re-inflate the tires. Cheap China Freight compressors are not even worth what you paid for them. I use a 20 pound CO2 tank with the correct plumbing for the freeze that occurs, and a small 12v compressor as a backup. You know, the most fun we ever had was when we were woefully under equipped for the terra at hand and just found a way to make it work. So, jump right in and make your own mistakes.
Once Faux-bucket dropped their hot linking, I've not been going to the TC or XPortal sites at all. Too bad. A lot can be learned from pix of the specifics. That's gone. We're still planning our
'around the U.S., clockwise, 16 week, Sept. 1st to New Years day, staying within 200 miles of an international border or ocean and camping ON as many beaches as are allowed', trip. Probably 2 weeks camping near DC and taking in the 'leaf peeper' season in the NE. Once a week we'll check into a high-bucks hotel to freshen up.
We've already had our 10,500 pound TC on nearly every beach that's legal on the west coast and AK. We've done a lot of dune running. It's a sight to see the 5 ton rig 'shoot the bowl'. But my fave is that campgrounds are optional. We've learned to overnight in city scapes and countrysides alike with no visible means of support. It looks like no one is home. It's kind of a game.
Good luck.
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con kso

The last sand hill to get onto the point at San Quintin is the gatekeeper - good luck. Bring shovels.


Expedition Leader
The last sand hill to get onto the point at San Quintin is the gatekeeper - good luck. Bring shovels.
It's been decades since I've been out there. I remember the gatekeeper. That long stretch of beach had big clams everywhere. Mini dunes too heading south past the gatekeeper.

A guy in a F-350 carrying a pretty big cabover pulled up. He had some very wide flotation tires aired down. So,it could be done back then.
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Been out there a bunch in a smaller rig. Now driving an F350 with a 3000# Lance. We will be tackling some easier runs before doing the San Quintin run. Have never had to be rescued in the sand, do NOT want to start now. It'll take a big rig to drag our 12,000# out.
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