I've never done any beach driving. So, I have some questions:
--- How patient will everyone be with a newbie? I suspect I'll need a lot of instruction on what to do, and not to do. Plus, criticism after making mistakes.
You'll be more than welcome! Everyone has a first time (hehehe
) There are fewer mistakes to be made on the beach than on a trail. It's very straightforward.
--- I still have stock tires on my Limited. Will that be a problem, even after airing down?
your factory tires will do just fine. The video i posted above was my Latitude with stock rims and tires, similar to what is on your limited, and i was driving in 4HI, the equivalent to your AD-I system.
--- Will AD-I be adequate on the sand?
you should be fine. i have gotten the "4WD System Temporarily Unavailable" message twice while out on the sand, and i was doing a lot of stop/starts in 4HI. you're technically
supposed to be in 4LOW on the sand (which you don't have) according to the owner's manual to fully lock the 4WD system, however, i have never done this. this means that in 4HI i am normally running very high RPMs on the beach and use a ton of gas to get down the beach and back because the car is staying in gears 2-3 to maintain speed. my assumption is that i will use less fuel in 4LO due to the increased torque and lower RPMs in higher gears. i'll be trying out 4LO on the sand for the first time this year. you should handle just fine, you might just burn a little more fuel than those of us in 4LO. we won't be going over 25 mph or so. i've seen stock patriots out there, so a stock AD-I will handle just fine. even 2WD vehicles go out on the sand. and worst case scenario, we tug you out with a strap! (just kidding)