Outfit Your Truck for the Beach in 2023

Originally published on May 23, 2023 | Updated on Aug 10, 2023

With Summer around the corner, most truck owners are gearing up for a season of boating, camping, tailgating, and beach trips! But before heading out, is your aging beach setup up for the task this year, or is it in dire need of an upgrade? 

Before hitting your first beach outing of the Summer, refresh your beach setup with some new gear from RealTruck! From truck tents and awnings to coolers and towing supplies, we carry everything you need to turn a mundane beach outing into a full-blown ocean adventure! Unsure where to start? Our experts have you covered. Check out our top selections that’ll help to turn your pickup into the ultimate oceanside rig!

What Unique Challenges Are Posed By Beach Driving?

While not every beach permits pickups and passenger vehicles to cruise onto the shore, knowing how to drive on the sand is essential. Trucks are typically far heavier than other passenger vehicles or UTVs, especially when the bed’s loaded with camping supplies and beach gear. As a result, it’s common to see inexperienced drivers sink their pickups into the loose sand. To prevent getting stuck in your campsite, follow these tips and tricks to keep your beach trip lax and enjoyable.

Air Down Your Tires

Your truck’s immense weight and high tire pressures–especially with skinny street tires–is a recipe for disaster. Rather than floating atop the sand, this setup will cause your truck to dig into the loose ground. Instead, air down your tire pressure to approximately 15–20 psi to increase the tire’s footprint; this allows your truck to float above the sand, much like how strapping on snow shoes prevents your feet from sinking.

4WD Trucks ONLY

While 2WD trucks are excellent for towing and around-town driving, they’ll wind up stuck in the sand far more frequently than a comparable 4WD model. For this reason, we recommend leaving 2WD trucks in the beach parking lot–or at the very least, having a 4WD nearby for recovery purposes. 

Bring Recovery Gear 

Even with aired-down tires and a 4WD pickup, there’s no guarantee you won’t wind up stuck in the sand. You should always keep a recovery gear bag on board while driving on the beach to ease recovery efforts. Items like Bubba Rope Mega Gator-Jaw PRO Soft Shackles, Superwinch Recovery Straps, and the Rugged Ridge Traction Recovery Kit are great additions to any beach-going rig. 

Top Products for Beach Activities

Now that we’ve covered the basics of driving on the sand, check out these expert-curated products to amp up your Summer beach trips! 

Onboard Air Compressors

When you're heading to the beach, there’s no accessory like onboard air, whether you’re refilling your tires after airing down or filling up inflatables. 

Bulldog Onboard Air Compressor Kit

The Bulldog Onboard Air Compressor Kit includes everything necessary to mount and power Bulldog’s IP67-rated, 200-PSI air pump and compressor. You can choose between single and dual pump heads and a 1 or 2.5-gallon air tank to fine-tune the system for your needs. Once installed, you can easily fill everything from inflatable boats to tires and more!

Viair Adventure Series Overlanding Onboard Air Compressors

Viair is a renowned manufacturer of premium air compressors and tanks, frequently used with onboard air tanks, towing airbags, and even pneumatic (bagged) suspension systems! Viair Adventure Series Overlanding Onboard Air Compressors include everything necessary to install a premium onboard air system on your pickup. Kits are offered in dual or single-pump configurations with varying tank sizes, ensuring the perfect setup for your needs!

Thor’s Lightning Ultimate Air Setup Bundle

Introducing the Thor’s Lightning Ultimate Air Setup Bundle–a self-contained, 300L dual-compressor system featuring an ultra-fast 0.6 CFM flow rating, 150 PSI maximum output, and a 1080W output motor. While the other options on this list require hard mounting and wiring, the Thor’s Lightning system gives you a choice! Choose between hard-mounting to your truck or using the system’s integrated handle and alligator clamps to carry and use the compressor only as needed.

Hitches & Towing Equipment

While some treks to the beach are only day trips, others are full-blown camping excursions! If you're planning to haul a trailer to the beach this Summer, you need the proper towing equipment for a safe and efficient trip.


Timbren Suspension Enhancement Systems

Whether avidly towing or frequently hauling gear in your truck’s bed, Timbren Suspension Enhancement Systems are a worthwhile investment. Your truck's factory bump stops function relatively well while unloaded; however, they engage late in the suspension cycle. They’re also highly rigid, resulting in sudden and uncomfortable impacts when you hit a large dip or bump that bottoms out the suspension. 

Timbren Suspension Enhancement Systems improve upon your truck’s factory bump stops, offering a compliant yet stable ride thanks to their longer length and patented Aeon rubber construction. In addition to improving ride quality, Timbrens improve stability and reduce suspension sag, making for a far more controllable and comfortable ride with a heavy load in the bed or trailer on the hitch. 

Air Lift 1000 Air Bag Kits

Simple, affordable, and effective–that’s the motto behind Air Lift 1000 Air Bag Kits. These high-quality kits include heavy-duty air bladders engineered to install inside your pickup’s rear coil springs (if equipped). These bags offer up to 1,000 lbs of load assistance when inflated, leveling your pickup and improving ride quality while towing or hauling heavy. Each kit includes two airbags, air lines, cable ties for line management, and all fittings/hardware, making installation a breeze! Using the included Schrader valve, adding and relieving pressure from the bags with an external air compressor only takes seconds.

B&W Tow & Stow Ball Mount

Nearly every truck owner can benefit from a high-quality ball mount, like the B&W Tow & Stow. This premium steel ball mount offers exceptional strength and durability, keeping your trailer secured to your pickup. B&W offers the Tow & Stow ball mount for 2, 2.5, or 3-inch receivers in 3, 5, 7, and 9-inch drop configurations, allowing you to tailor the hitch to your unique application. Available in 2 and 3-ball setups, the Tow & Stow allows you to swap between hitch ball sizes in seconds; forget lugging around a separate ball mount for each size! And whenever you finish towing, tuck the hitch ball under the bed to prevent smacking your shins while walking behind your pickup.

Tents & Awnings

Whether it’s a bright and sunny triple-digit day or a cool and breezy oceanside evening, having the proper protection from the elements is essential. Prevent sunburns and guard your gear against the elements with our selection of tents and awnings!


Napier Backroadz Truck Tents

Napier Backroadz Truck Tents make camping out of your pickup a breeze, especially for those overnight beach trips! The tent’s innovative design fits inside your pickup’s bed, guaranteeing a level sleeping surface that’s high off the ground, away from water, sand, insects, and other pests. The rugged polyester construction holds up to even the strongest ocean breeze while an integrated rainfly and storm flaps prevent moisture intrusion if the weather takes a turn. As a plus, Napier plants one tree for each tent purchase, keeping your favorite forests and campgrounds green for the coming decades!

Thule Hideaway Awning

If you’re only taking a day trip to the beach, but would still like some protection from the sun, check out the Thule Hideaway Awning! This compact awning retracts into the integrated canister when not in use, making setup, tear-down, and storage a breeze! With Thule’s universal mounting kit, you can affix the awning to most Thule, Yakima, and other brands' roof racks, ideal for use with truck racks and crossbar systems. 

Rhino Rack Batwing Vehicle Awning

If you require more coverage than a conventional retractable awning, check out the Batwing Vehicle Awning from Rhino Rack! This innovative awning offers full 270 degree coverage, protecting the rear and one side of your vehicle. With a simple, universal-fit design, you can mount the Batwing to most roof rack crossbars and bed racks, making installation a breeze! The Batwing comes in various configurations to ensure the best compatibility with your setup, including compact and full-size models as well as passenger and driver mount designs! The Batwing provides maximum shade with minimal effort, making it ideal for a relaxing day on the beach.  

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