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Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) Beach Buggy (4x4)
Off Road Equipment
Rules of the Road and Getting UNStuck

NJ Beach Buggy (4 x 4) Access Offsite Link

Island Beach State Park, NJ - Seaside Park, NJ
Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle Permits and Regulations
Telephone: 732-793-0506

MSFV permits for Island Beach State Park can be purchased at the Gate House entrance. An Annual permit (January through December) costs $195.00 while a three (3) day temporary permit is $75.00. Permit fes for “out of state,” non-residents, are $225 and $90, respectively. There is no fixed fine for driving on the beach without a permit although it is normally “very, very substantial” since offenders must appear in court where a judge decides their fate. New drivers who have previously not held a permit are required to view an excellent video from the NJBBA on beach driving.

The following eleven (11) items are MANDATORY in order to drive a 4 X 4 on the beach:

  1. Fishing Equipment (rod & reel), Tackle/Bait for each person over the age of 12!
  2. Tire Pressure Gauge capable of registering down to 5 psi or below.
  3. Full size Spare Tire
  4. Workable Jack plus a support board (3/4" x 12" x 12" minimum) I carry a piece of Douglas Fir, 1-½" thick x 12" wide x 30" long.
  5. Tow Line - minimum 14 foot long: Rope 3/4", Chain (5/16" diameter links min.) or Snatch Line (1-½" wide) or braided steel cable (1/4" min.)
  6. Shovel (Not a plastic toy beach shovel)
  7. Flashlight
  8. Fire Extinguisher
  9. Auto First Aid Kit
  10. Litter/Trash Bag (Carry In/Carry Out)
  11. Minimum of 3/4's tank of Fuel.

Additional Suggested Equipment for ANY Beach

  1. Safety Flares
  2. Self-Contained Toilet (where applicable)
  3. 1 Gallon Water
  4. 5 gallon bucket
  5. Hand or 12 volt DC electric air pump

Basic Rules of the Road

  • Air Down: Reduce air pressure in your tires to approximately one-half the pressure recommended by the tire manufacturer. Normally 16 to 18 pounds for SUV tires. If the beach is very soft (fine loose sand) carefully decrease SUV tire pressure to 12 psi. AVOID pressures below 12 psi since the seal between the tire's bead and the wheel can pop.
  • Stay off the Dunes, bird nesting areas and vegetation!
  • "Rotten Sand": Identify where the high and low water marks are located. Avoid driving too close to the breaking surf, the sand in this area is usually water soaked (rotten) and you can quickly sink your tires and get stuck down to the frame. Refer to "Getting UNStuck" below.
  • Obey Speed Limit: speed limits vary from 10, 15 to 20 MPH. (IBSP & all NY State beaches 10 MPH) Know the limit for your beach.
  • Drivers yield to the Right for vehicles meeting head-on in a single track. This means if you are in a set of vehicle tracks heading south and an oncoming vehicle is coming north, the driver with the dunes on his/her right will give way by moving out of the track to the right. Logically if the dune line is too close to the track to permit this maneuver, the other driver should give way.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Many parks and municipalities forbid alcohololic beverages on the beach.
  • Camping: Most parks permit overnight camping in designated areas, not on the beach.
  • Fires are strictly controlled. At IBSP, when conditions are acceptable, fires are permitted on Open Beach 50 feet East of the dune line in the recreation (off season) and Southern areas ONLY. No fires on the beach at Gillikins or Northern area. Check at the Gatehouse for current restrictions.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash at all times (Sun and Heat stroke can quickly kill a dog, don't forget to bring a few gallons of fresh water and keep an eye out for heat stress Coax your dog into the surf deep enough to get it's legs wet.)
  • You MUST be actively fishing!
  • During the summer months pay close attention to the sunbathers, kids, dogs and other vehicles.

Getting UNStuck

  • Do not spin your tires.
  • Check if you are in 4 wheel drive.
  • Reduce tire air pressure, 12 psi should be the safe minimum.
  • Rock your vehicle - reverse, forward, reverse. Oftentimes backing out will avoid getting seriously stuck.
  • Keep your front tires straight while attempting to break free.
  • Dig out all four tires.
  • If you are really, really stuck you may have "framed" your vehicle, buried it down to the framework. Dig out all four tires and the frame. It will take some time but normally other people will join in and give a hand. Do NOT attempt to winch or pull out a "framed" vehicle before removing plenty of sand.
  • Once free, fill in any large holes!

National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior
The National Park Service "Park NetOffsite Link web site maintains extensive information for all national parks including the requirements and restrictions for beach buggies and R/V's. These, as well as Permit fees vary from the information above for IBSP.

Assateague Island National Seashore
Located near Berlin, MD and Chincoteague, VA

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811
PO Box 38
8586 Beach Rd
Chincoteague, VA 23336
Telephone Visitor Information 410-641-1441 or 757-336-6577
Web Address: Offsite Link
Oversand Vehicle Permit Information Offsite Link

Cape Cod National Seashore (National Park Service)
99 Marconi Station Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667
Telephone Headquarters 508-349-3785
Telephone Visitor Information 508-255-3421 or 508-487-1256
Web Address: Offsite Link
Oversand Beach Driving Permits and Regulations Offsite Link

Cape Cod National Seashore strictly enforces specific tire sizes for 4x4 SUV's, Pick Up trucks and Dual Wheel Self Contained Vehicles (aka R/V's & Pick Up Campers).

4x4 SUV's, Pick Up truck Tires: All 5 tires, including the spare tire, must meet or exceed the standards outlined below. These standards are minimum acceptable tire standards.

Rim Diameter Tire Section Width
mm inches
Profile Example
15" or > 225 8.5 70 or > P225 / 70 R15
14" 195 7.5 70 or > P195 / 70 R14
13" 185 7.0 70 or > P185 / 70 R13

Dual-Wheel Standards for R/V's and Pick-Up Campers (including spares). These requirements are minimum standards for self-contained, dual-wheel vehicles. Dual-wheeled vehicles that are not self-contained are prohibited.

Self-Contained & Pick-Up Campers Tire Section Width
mm inches
Profile Spare Tire Example
2 Front Tires 245 9.5 70 or > Matching Spare Front:
P245/70 R16
4 Rear Tires 215 8.0 70 or > Matching Spare Rear:
P215/70 R15

For additional information refer to:
National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior Offsite Link
New Jersey Beach Buggy Association Offsite Link
Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association Offsite Link
Long Island Beach Buggy Association Offsite Link
Assateague Mobile Sportfishermen Association - Maryland Offsite Link
Delaware Mobile Surf Fishermen Association Offsite Link
Rhode Island Mobile Sportfishermen Offsite Link Fishing Lures, Flies, Wood Surf Plugs, and Lure Building Hardware
Wolverine Tackle home of 'Super Rings' the wor
ld's strongest split-rings!
Rhode Island Poppers - Atlantic Offshore Lures
Trophy Rigs
Google Home Page 
Custom Tied Trophy Rigs
IGFA Wounded Warrior Project
NJ Beach Buggy Association

Books by Frank Daignault