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Old 01-28-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
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2 Or 4 Wheel Drive

Been looking at diesel trucks and as far a tow vehicle is 4 wheel drive the way to go vs. 2 wheel ???

Jim
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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That all depends. I've been towing 5th wheels with 2WD duallies since 1996 and have never needed or wanted 4WD, but I live in the South. If you are planning on going off-road or need 4WD because of weather conditions you might experience, then go for it. However, as many of us who tow heavy 5th wheels know, 4WD is NOT a necessity for towing; if it were, then all Class 8 (semi) tractors would have driven steer (front) axles.

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
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I would agree in most case you do not need a 4-wheel drive truck but I do own one and would never buy a TV without 4WD. Just my opinion.

Why?
Resale for one reason a 4WH drive truck will command more on resale than a 2WD truck. Try finding a 2WD truck on a dealer lot most have to be ordered.

Another reason when backing up a trailer on wet grass 2WD will spin the rear wheels and 4 WD can provide improve traction. Been there done that.

If you plan to do beach camping a 4WD truck may come in handy on wet sand.

Just my thoughts.
Jim W.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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Exact same comments as Rusty. I will not take the truck or trailer into any conditions that I might need 4 wheel drive.

Ken
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #5
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Diesel engines are quite a bit heavier than their gas counterparts. More weight on the front axle. Liken it to a regular 1/2 ton with a big block. Lots of power to spin the rear tires and lots of weight over the front to dig into soft terrain.
If you do not plan on going off road, 2wd is sufficient. Truck will weigh less than the 4x4 version of the same kind and can carry about 500 lbs more.
The pluses for 4x4 include more traction for soft terrain and a transfer case for gear reduction for increased control with inclines and slow speeds.

A 4x2 trick with a TT is that you can disconnect the WDH to add weight to the rear axle and lift some weight off the front axle, but this is only recommended for slow speeds off road. A WDH redistributes weight back to the front axle to help with steering and load carrying. If the back dips too low, completely disconnected, it can be hooked up on another link - not as tight as for highway use.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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Another aspect to consider is you will more maintenance costs with a 4wd vehicle. Transfer case, ujoints, front diff, hubs.

Just look into your future, what do you think you'll use it for.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Another aspect to consider is you will more maintenance costs with a 4wd vehicle. Transfer case, ujoints, front diff, hubs.

Just look into your future, what do you think you'll use it for.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:49 PM   #8
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Another aspect to consider is you will more maintenance costs with a 4wd vehicle. Transfer case, ujoints, front diff, hubs.

Just look into your future, what do you think you'll use it for.
In 30 years and 5 used units I never needed repairs to the front ends of my 4 x 4. But in return I can't imagine parking my 15k unit in wet grass without ruining a nice site.
I see to many ruined grassy sites by improper traction trucks. We boondock a lot and use the extra tradition.
You rarely see one axle traction semis on the road and they have more then 15% load on traction wheels.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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I would agree in most case you do not need a 4-wheel drive truck but I do own one and would never buy a TV without 4WD. Just my opinion.

Why?
Resale for one reason a 4WH drive truck will command more on resale than a 2WD truck. Try finding a 2WD truck on a dealer lot most have to be ordered. They also cost more to buy and you will pay a premium at the pump every time you fill up

Another reason when backing up a trailer on wet grass 2WD will spin the rear wheels and 4 WD can provide improve traction. Been there done that. Rarely will you ever see someone parking a large Tt or fifth wheel off pavment. Just too easy to sink the trailers tires in the soft dirt

If you plan to do beach camping a 4WD truck may come in handy on wet sand. Again you are not likely going to be dragging your large heavy trailer onto the sand unless you have a death wish

Just my thoughts.
Jim W.
It all boils down to whether you really have a use for 4X4. BT-DT Have a 4X4 cute ute that does what we need in the bad weather. My tow vehicle is a 4X2 dually. It does OK on icy roads and not so good on wet grass. But I bought it to tow my heavy fiver not drive across wet grass, so it is fine.
Remember a 4X4 only guarantees you will get farther down the road before you get stuck. Requiring a longer tow to get you out. It does not guarantee you anything.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:59 PM   #10
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I personally do not see the traction issue with a 5er in tow and a wet site with over 3200# of pin weight on the rear axle...if driven properly and not use a heavy throttle. I have never had the issue.

As for winter solo driving, I carry 300 to 400# of sand in bags over the rear axle. never had an issue on street driving on snow and ice.

Ken
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:39 AM   #11
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The wife and I went to her uncle's place one year to turkey hunt in the spring and we only had a 22 foot pull type camper behind my 1 ton Chevy 4X4. It rained then snowed a lot while we were there and I though we would never make it out the 2 miles to the highway when it was time to head back the 250 miles home. That gravel road turned into a rutted black swamp in no time. After I went through there in 4X4 with the camper behind, the road was impassable with a car or 2X4 pickup. The front of the camper had a good 3 inches of mud and gravel on it and when we finally made it to the highway I wanted to get out and kiss the pavement!
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:31 AM   #12
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I have used both but am currently using 4 WD. Why? My circumstances changed a couple of years ago. I have traditionally always towed heavy and needed the extra tow capacity offered by a 2WD. Then, 2 things changed. Tow vehicles began bumping up horse power, and with it tow capacity, and I bought a house in north shore Lake Tahoe. It may surprise some here that Truckee gets more average snowfall then anywhere in the continental US so, I needed 4WD and I needed a new truck anyway. Truckee is about 12 miles from North Shore but those 12 miles are a real bear in winter in a storm. That said, I always liked my my 2WD tow vehicles for all the reasons mentioned here and until I get rid of the house in Tahoe, I'll keep my current truck. Having shift on the fly 4WD and not getting outside every time it snowed because of chain controls and putting on chains is so nice.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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You never know when you might need the 4 wheel drive. We do mostly state park camping and needed it 2 or 3 times to maneuver into a site for our 25' tt. Also after parking the RV, we might head into some off the grid / logging road type areas to explore where a 4x4 helps if needed. We also live in Northern Ohio...My 2 week old 14' Tundra's 4x4 sure came in handy last week.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
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Exact same comments as Rusty. I will not take the truck or trailer into any conditions that I might need 4 wheel drive.

Ken
My thoughts exactly I have had 2 2wd duallies (Not for pulling camper but work) in the last 10 years and I always kept the truck on pavement, and pick and choose which soft spot you want to drive over. My current rv truck is 4x4 but the next one most likely will not be because of $$$. I also don't use the rv puller as my daily driver. I think that would be the deciding factor especially up north.
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