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Old 07-14-2014, 02:17 PM   #43
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Something that hasn't been brought up. 4 wheel drives sit higher. These new trucks have higher sides and with the extra height of the 4x4 many are having to raise campers to get level. A lower truck would help with this.

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Old 07-14-2014, 03:09 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by glennwest View Post
Something that hasn't been brought up. 4 wheel drives sit higher. These new trucks have higher sides and with the extra height of the 4x4 many are having to raise campers to get level. A lower truck would help with this.
Not sure about other brands but the 2wd and 4wd GM's are basically the same height. I'm not sure how long that has been the case but it was in 2012 when I bought my single rear wheel.

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Old 07-15-2014, 05:58 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by glennwest View Post
Something that hasn't been brought up. 4 wheel drives sit higher. These new trucks have higher sides and with the extra height of the 4x4 many are having to raise campers to get level. A lower truck would help with this.
Yup. I got 2" on a 2WD.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:54 AM   #46
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There are very few people who NEED a 4 wheel drive. There are lots of folks who WANT a 4 wheel drive to go off road or hunting or whatever. It is a personal choice.

For regular driving on highways, roads, RV parks, to the store, etc 2 wheel drive is more than adequate. Our son had to have a 4 wheel drive or his daily commute. It is known as the "Pavement Princess".
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:19 AM   #47
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Sorry, have to.....
Replace 4 wheel drive with RV.....
Warned you....
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:16 AM   #48
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Smokey's post edited for key points - Hope you don't mind.
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
If you know how to drive, you don't need 4x4. Yeah, 4x4 would be nice to have in some situations, but a good driver either avoids those situations or figures out how to "make do" with a 4x2.
Somewhat agreeable statement, but not everyone learns how to drive in less than adequate traction situations. When I was 16 and going to the beach every weekend in my first car, and getting stuck a lot, I noticed a gentleman who towed a small camper trailer all over the beach, and parked it where he wanted, with a 2wd Ford Courier and I asked him "how did he do it?" He taught me to drive sand like no one else could. I have actually pulled out 4x4s with an old Ford 6 cyl Falcon! Mud is abundant here in Florida too, and it has its own diversities to overcome it - I avoid mud with a heavy tow rig as much as possible, and find a route around anything that looks bottomless. I got my GMC stuck on a road someone rutted out while I was hunting a few years ago. I have a Samurai for mud now. So, yes, learning to drive off road is an art!

Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
4x4 is very useful for some situations. Backing a heavy trailer up a steep grade is one of them. Put that puppy in 4x4 low range and you can back the heavy trailer up a steep grade without cooking the automagic tranny. Dragging a heavy boat out of a lake is another place that 4x4 low comes in handy. Not required, but handy.
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
4x4 drivetrain weighs about 400 pounds more than 4x2, so you're always hauling around that extra 400 pounds. The laws of physics tells you that your MPG can not be as good as without that extra 400 pounds of payload.
The transfer case and added parts of front drive shafts and axle/ differential does add about 400# but what it does, is worth it to me. There are 2 types of transfer cases - gear reduction and non. An all wheel drive vehicle has the non gear reduction type and usually non locking torque differentials. A gear reduction type has low range that multiplies torque through gears at a loss of speed. This is the preferred type and what I am referring to. I like having one because it eliminates the necessary preparation of lowering the air pressure to gain traction in sand and having to air back up to drive on the highway. I know how to drive sand, but don't like the work involved. Kind of like having to chain tires in snow to drive 2 miles just to take them off again because they are no longer needed.
Someone pointed out a slippery boat ramp besides you. I know of one on the Gulf that is quite steep and concrete with traction grooves, but 4x4 is still necessary at low tide because the rear tires of the trucks get into the algae/silt and it is impossible to get traction there.

Another case for having 4x4 - I went to a friends plant nursery towing my toy hauler. They have a gravel drive and the only place I could find to turn around without driving all through the lawn was backing down a slight grade on a side road that led to a pasture. I went to pull forward up hill and started spinning with my E- lock posi from GM (I now have a Dodge in my signature - also 4x4). I could have backed down into the pasture and gotten a running start up hill, but I chose to lock it in, instead of tearing up their road or using speed on a bumpy road with my trailer in tow. I could imagine everything tossing around inside the trailer on those bumps!

Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Some day when I win the lottery I may buy a 4x4. But in the meantime, I'll get by with my 4x2s.
By your own admission, you will "get by with a 4x2". I say, 4x4 isn't a requirement, but can be a useful option on tow vehicles. To those considering 4x4 - weigh your needs and wants.

Things to consider about 4x4 vs 4x2s;
Ride height - most 4x4s are higher than their 4x2 counterparts.
Difference in brands (and model years) also make a difference in height. Seems everyone is trying to go taller now including GM who had a 4x4 that was as low as others 4x2s.
Maintenance - I changed the fluid myself in my GM @ $14 a quart x2 for their specialty fluid on the push button electronic transfer case every 40,000 miles. Not that expensive or difficult! Axle fluid changed at an oil change place for $40 every 60,000 miles (both axles and I could have done it myself a little cheaper). Still not that expensive.
Weight - does 400#s or so really take away from what you are taking in personal belongings? If so, plan accordingly for 4x2.
Tires - aggressive tires wear faster and are noisier. I will be going back to Michelin street tires with a 60,000 mile warranty instead of my current 40,000 mile off road tire. I do not need an aggressive tire, as I don't do aggressive off roading, as I did when I was in my 20s.

Peace of mind - knowing that while camping and it rains and the ground turns soft, I have a better chance of getting out than without 4x4. Not having to tote an air compressor, air tank, come-along, straps/chains, or spend $ for a tow truck (not always guaranteed) as long as I use 4x4 wisely. I don't use it to go "deeper in" a bad location, but I use it to get out of good locations with bad traction. My front axle weighs in at 4000# with my diesel - it doesn't take much for the rear tires to break loose and "hop", thus digging down quickly in less than firm ground. I'm not talking mud or sand, but say a slightly soft dirt road.

One campground I go to has several paved roads and loops, but there are bigger and nicer sites out past the pavement that me and about 10 of my friends like. It almost guarantees us getting sites together and slightly away from other campers. The road has soft spots in it that could get a heavy rig stuck. The ground in that field does get soggy with lots of rain, but dries quickly after the rain stops. We like it out there in that field since we have 4x4s as an option to use - if necessary. So, while others 'get by' camping on smaller/ more crowded sites, my friends and I enjoy bigger /less crowded sites just 900 feet past where the blacktop ends. Everyone there has golf carts to visit other friends throughout the park. Many new friends met there come by cart to our sites and comment "I wish my motorhome (trailer or whatever) could make it back here. These sites are beautiful!" We are by no means roughing it in our 20 to 30 foot travel trailers (and 1 big C class), as we have power and water stations provided by the park, but we are not "getting by" on crowded, smaller sites in the park, by the blacktop roads.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:37 PM   #49
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2 X 4 VS. 4 X 4 tow trucks

Ok, ok, ....OKAAAAY ! When I started this discussion, I didn't make myself perfectly clear and have learned my lesson. I assumed, ( and I know you should never do that ), that since this was a forum about 5th wheel and travel trailer towing on an RV site, the question and discussion would pertain to that topic. I did pretty much mention that. I also said that I have owned two previous 4x4s. I was sales manager for a nationwide truck sales company. I know about locking differentials on semi tractors, etc. I am not going to be pulling stumps out of the ground. I am not going to be driving through the swamps while gator hunting. I am not going to be pulling a 40' boat up a 45 degree wet gravel boat ramp. I hope to never be driving in more than a few inches of snow.
BUT, thanks to your input, and I mean that, and your valid points about wet grass, loose gravel, mud, exploring roads after unhooking, etc., I realized why have a truck that is considered heavy duty and not be able to use it at it's full potential if needed. Kind of like having a pistol that holds six shots, but only loading it with three. A close girl friend from Texas told me that two years ago they were camping in their TT near the Oregon coast and she saw vehicles driving on the beach. She told her husband she wanted them to do that and he replied that their truck was 4x2 and he was afraid they would get stuck.
Anyway, I went yesterday and ordered a 4x4. The 4x2 had been ordered about five or six weeks ago and was due to be arriving soon, but the great Chevy dealer in Las Vegas just ordered another one for me in 4x4. I am glad that I changed.

One last thing. Rolfsted scolded me on here, saying that if I bought the 4x2 and ever got stuck, to not come asking someone that had spent the money on a 4x4 to pull me out. REALLY ? I would like to say that if any of you, or anyone else I encounter, ever asks me to help them out, I will gladly do it. I don't care what you drive or what I drive or how much money either of us has spent. Helping my fellow man is something my parents instilled in me and thank God I grew up in Texas where that at least used to be a common practice.
I hope all of you have safe travels and the wind is always at your back. Happy trails and God bless.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:06 AM   #50
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Good morning.
Enjoy your new truck.
If you are up my way and need a hand, we will help.

Glad we could confuse.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:16 PM   #51
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Good call Big Bill. You just missed the boat not getting a Ram. Remember, when you stick a 4x4 you got all 4 stuck, and it happens. Also be aware of that DEF tank hanging down on the passenger side.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:23 AM   #52
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That helping thing... still around in Texas... at least among the Texans that live here... And... I just got my Ram 2500 4X4 last week.
Jack and Dee Dee Weatherford, Texas
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:20 PM   #53
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My tow rig also serves as my commuter to work, I don't have another vehicle. My bride and I save up and pay cash for things so our rigs must last a while and pull multiple duty. We live in a high desert climate and we have ice and snow in the winter. Several times a winter we travel over the pass to the other side of the state where our kids are. I didn't buy the 4 x 4 for towing, it's just got to coverall types of weather getting me to work and us safely through the snow. Using it to pull a TT is just icing on the cake.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #54
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My take on 2x4 vs. 4x4 for tow vehicles:

This topic is getting long, and posts are turning into essays.
If you're north of Louisville, get a 4x4--or if you live in Florida where they have sand.
Diesel 3/4 tons and 1 ton 2x4's are actually hard to find in many places.
2x4's handle better, and they are easier to get into.
With $100 per hour labor rates, I try to keep my vehicles as simple as possible--no transfer cases, front differentials and axles to deal with.
For the difference in cost between 2x4 and 4x4, I can pay for 75+ wrecker tows.
2x4's get better fuel mileage.

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