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Hi everyone!

I'm new to the board, and I tried doing a little searching but couldn't really find an answer that fit my 2015 RAV4 XLE.

I'm heading to Corolla in the OBX next week for vacation. As opposed to renting a jeep or taking a paid tour while there, my boyfriend and I were thinking of driving my 2015 RAV4 XLE onto the beach in the north where Rt. 12 ends (heading toward Carova).

Has anyone done this in the 4th generation RAV4's? Would I be okay to try this or stupid to try it? I would be sure to lower the tire pressure as has been recommended and also have 2x4s, a jack, tow straps and a shovel and such in the car as a precaution, but just thought it'd be fun to get out there on the sand in the car. Especially since Toyota's advertisement is "Let's Go Places" haha, it makes me think my car could handle it, but I don't want to assume.

Thank you so much for any insight/feedback/suggestions! :)
 

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I was at the Outer Banks last week and rented a Jeep to drive on the sand. I was tempted to try my 2016 RAV4 XLE but couldn't bring myself to drive my new car out there. The sand is very soft when you first drive on...there was a Suburban stuck and was being towed out when we started onto the sand. If you can get down to the sand near the water the RAV4 would do fine but the sand is so soft I would think it would bottom out. After putting the beach chairs back in the Jeep and seeing all the sand that we tracked back inside on our feet I was glad it was not my vehicle I was driving.

If you do try it I would be interested to know how it goes for you.
 

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We took our 3rd gen RAV4 had no problem on the beach heading towards Cape Hatteras some years ago. Many of the beaches around the Outer Banks - you need a ORV permit (Off-Road Vehicle). I think they are still free - just a formality to make sure that you know where the allowable vehicle beachtrails are on both the sound-side and ocean-side. Print out the paper permit and stick on your dashboard.

The 4th gen has almost an identical drivetrain - so I'd wager that a 4th gen could do it - just watch for deep troughs and sand dunes - as the 4th gen seems to have less overall ground clearance.

Airing down the tires really helps - I recommend carrying a portable air compressor - that way you can fill up right when you leave the beach without having to wait in line at a gas station to do so. Tow straps are nice - but usually that means trying to find someone to pull you out. Lots of guys troll those trails - they'll help pull you out for some beer money, usually.

bsilver1968 makes a good point about tracking in sand and other nasties (cactus and sand spurs). Even with our WeatherTech digital mats - there is STILL sand in the RAV4. Part of that could be blamed on the kids - they were hot, tired - didn't take time to clean themselves off. If you plan on jumping into the surf, you'll definitely get that seawater "stink" on the interior - even if you wash off prior to getting into the car, and even sitting on water proof car seats covered with beach towels.
 

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We took our 3rd gen RAV4 had no problem on the beach heading towards Cape Hatteras some years ago.

<snip>

The 4th gen has almost an identical drivetrain - so I'd wager that a 4th gen could do it - just watch for deep troughs and sand dunes - as the 4th gen seems to have less overall ground clearance.
The 4th gen RAV4 has almost 1.5" less ground clearance than your 3rd gen RAV4.

That may be very significant in that environment.

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