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Discussion Starter #1
We just got back from our annual windsurfing trip to Outer Bank, NC. In order to outfit our MDX for the trip, some modifications were done to make this trip successful. Overall, MDX performed quite well for this 1,200 miles round trip. This most impressive part was that it drove quite well on the sand, and the Yakima rack and cargo box worked on 2002 MDX. Here is what we did for the trip:

Beach driving
From an earlier post in this forum, we learned that another MDX was stuck in the sand at Outer Bank last year. We have always driven our Jeep on the sand with no problem, but MDX’s previous sand performance was questionable. I am embarrassed to say that we were so paranoid that we made my brother drive (9 hours) our Jeep there just in case the MDX needed a tow. On the day of the beach run, we got to the beach and aired down all tires to 12 psi as we always do for sand runs. Then we shifted into 1-2 gear, pressed the VTM-4 button and the MDX was a dream on the sand! We were driving just under 20 mph on the beach and were able to make swift U-turns, reverse with ease. The trick really is to air down the tires. For some reason, 12psi was the magic number, because with 15 psi, the car was less nimble. Once we were out of the sand condition, we promptly air up the tires with a portable pump before traveling on paved road, and give the under carriage a good wash as soon as possible to wash out the sand. We were so happy with the sand run that we went back again a few days later. Good thing the MDX held up, because, once my brother got down the Outer Banks with his friends, we never saw our Jeep again.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Another beach shot:
 

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Yakima Rack & Cargo Box

Yakima warned us that the racks were not tested for the 2002 MDX. We need all the cargo room we can get and the Yakima cargo box does not fit onto the stock racks. After much frustration and experiment, we went ahead and installed the Yakima racks using the Yakima/Q116 clips. The racks looked too far forward on the roof, however, the cargo box works very nicely and we were able to open the hatch with that rook rack position. To solve the wind noise problem, we attached the board pads to break up the booming resonance. In case that the Q116 clips fail, we bought an extra pair for the trip and it was not necessary, because this setup held up for the trip flawlessly. One note is that the clips should be tightened again under load. We had also modified the end of the bars to carry the windsurfing masts, but most of you would not need to do that.
 

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MDXcrazed said:
, we promptly air up the tires with a portable pump before traveling on paved road, .
Which pump did you buy???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Towing Hitch

The stock hitch 4-pin connection can not receive a 7-pin electrical connection. Therefore, we have to make an aluminum plate adapter to accommodate our trailer. Then the plate was painted black to match the tow hitch assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Other minor items:

Headrests
Since this is a long trip and we always travel through the night, none-stop except for fueling for 9 hours, all four passengers would be sleeping. We took one of those tempurpedic contour foam pillows, and cut it into 4 pieces. Two large contoured sections were made into pillows with matching interior color pillow case and elastic band attachment to the headrests. Two remaining small strips were used for lower back support. They were the most comfortable travel pillows we have ever had.

Earphone adapter
Since we drove at night, we made a mono-earphone adapter, spliced into the left front speaker (under the driver side door armrest). Then removed the subwoofer relay so that the driver can blast the stereo and the cabinet is silent.

Navigation System
The NAV acted up a bit when we traveled on a newly constructed highway. However, it was great when we were driving at night through the dense fog, the NAV showed us how the road will bend in front of us. It worked as a guide in low visibility condition.

We were very pleased with MDX’s performance for the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Great to hear

that your windsurfing trip went so well! I will be driving down to Rodanthe from Boston next April in my new RR MDX, and I've been anxious about 1) fitting the right kind of roof racks and 2) how the MDX will be on the sand. It sounds like these Yakima racks just clip on - is that correct? The other posts I've read about roof racks made me think I'd be drilling holes in my roof to get something workable.

How was the wind?!

PS- it's about a 12 hour drive from Boston. We stay over in Virginia Beach on the way down, but drive straight thru on the return trip. It'll be a lot nicer drive in the MDX than my Explorer.
 

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MDXcrazed,

Great pictures! Glad to hear the MDX performed so well.
Seems it performed as well as its good looks....
 

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I hope you get some good wind. So far, I 've only put my windsurfers inside the X. Even my wide Starrboard Go fits inside easily. I haven't put together a roof rack system yet.

I'm off to Maui for similar purposes tomorrow, Unfortunately, the X won't be going along on the trip. Perhaps the next model will be upgraded from sand capabilities to amphibious.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dwawindsurfer,
The Yakima racks are clipped-on, no drilling required, that is if you don't mind the roof racks being so far forward. We've always stayed in Salvo, NC (see our house in the picture?) But this year, there wasn't much wind half of the week. The other half, we got some good pictures and video footage from a water-proof digital camera and a halmet cam. When you go in April, it should be windy then. The MDX was a smooth ride for long distance trip.

mikel51,
Have fun in Maui....I am sooo jealous. Haven't been there in 10 years now. Hey, did you see our Starboard and the kiddy board on top of the trailer? We don't carry our gears inside the car, everything is in the trailer. We designed and built that undescriptive "ice-cream trailer" 6 years ago. It holds 4 boards and tons of rigs. All side body panels can be opened individually, and the long side penals open like wings for access to the boards. The front is a dry compartment. With is trailer, we were able to keep most of the sand and salt off the MDX.
 

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Nice pics!

Just curious - how much were the Yakima racks? Also, what did you do with your "old" '02 stock racks? I want to add some type of rack to my '02 base and I'm considering ordering from Tim. But, if you want to get rid of your old ones, I might be interested :)
 

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Sand driving

MDXcrazed -
Thanks for all the info on sand performance. I too had read the previous negative post but it sounded to me like he didn't use the 4WD properly. You have to be in 4WD at all times and using the D1-2 speeds is the only way. I have a few questions. Do you have the transmission cooler? I don't and I'm wondering if the car will heat up too much since it's only 6 cylinder. Also, did you get into heavy sand? I mean soft stuff where the bottom of the tire sinks to the rim? Looks like you did. And finally have you got the stock Michellins? I was concerned that they are too narrow and low to the rim. My old SUV had big fat Goodyear's which rode up on the sand. Thanks for the 12 pounds of pressure tip!!
 

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Re: Yakima Rack & Cargo Box

MDXcrazed said:
Yakima warned us that the racks were not tested for the 2002 MDX. We need all the cargo room we can get and the Yakima cargo box does not fit onto the stock racks. After much frustration and experiment, we went ahead and installed the Yakima racks using the Yakima/Q116 clips. The racks looked too far forward on the roof, however, the cargo box works very nicely and we were able to open the hatch with that rook rack position. To solve the wind noise problem, we attached the board pads to break up the booming resonance. In case that the Q116 clips fail, we bought an extra pair for the trip and it was not necessary, because this setup held up for the trip flawlessly. One note is that the clips should be tightened again under load. We had also modified the end of the bars to carry the windsurfing masts, but most of you would not need to do that.
Thanks for the info. Did you consider any other cargo box that would actually fit on the X? If so, which ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
SonShine:

I don't remember how much was the Yakima roof racks, somewhere in this forum has a detailed price list. The Q116 clips was around $20/pair.
The “old” racks are sitting in the garage comfortably. They will probably be there along with all other stock racks we have for the next 10 years until we sell the car. Funny you should ask. there are quite a few people on this forum who had removed the stock racks. If you do buy the “old” racks (according to Tim, retail new around $173), you might need to purchase new clips and strip (ask Tim for detail). Then you can sell your roof strips (retail at $36 each) to someone else who wants to remove their racks and need to cover up the gutter. A word of caution, sell the strips to someone close by. Shipping always breaks these fragile strips.

Apple904:

I am not sure if the person in the previous post has properly used the 4WD. My guess is that he did, but did not air down the tires enough. therefore, there was no traction and caused spinning. Once the tires are spinning over 20 mph, the 4WD are no longer in effect…thus the vicious cycle. The stock tires worked fine on deep loose sand after air down. (Just don’t forget to rinse out the trapped sand on the underside). The stock MDX has a simple cooling loop; but our towing package has added more cooling fins to the cooling system.

Tvfromhuston,

We had all the Yakima accessories include the cargo box already. Therefore, we did not consider any other type of cargo box.
 

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Island Beach

MDXcrazed - Thanks again for your thoughts. Have you ever driven the beach at Island Beach State Park? It's around exit 86 on the GS Parkway just North of LBI. (Tom's River area) I have done it many times and it's awesome. Looks just lioke your shots of outrer banks. That's why I was asking you so many questions. I want to take the MDX but I'm afraid of getting into a disaster. Sand there is quite deep and loose. If you aren't fmiliar and you're interested, send me an email and I'll give you more info on it.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Apple904,
We go to Seaside Park all the time but not to drive on the beach. NJ has much more restrictions on beach access. Look for us on the bay side of the 13th Street (pier) on windy days.
 
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