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Old 10-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #1
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4 Wheel Drive

How much is 4x4 needed in towing a FW? Given we're talking about a 3500 DRW diesel, yada, yada, yada...

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Old 10-05-2018, 03:11 PM   #2
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When I had my 5er 4x4 was very important, I only dry camped with it out in the desert and without 4x4 I would have been in trouble many times. The trailer just sinks as soon as it hit sand and becomes very hard to pull. If you are just camping in parks or state parks with hardpack dirt I really don't think it's necessary.

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Old 10-05-2018, 03:15 PM   #3
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You might never need 4wd, while pulling your fifth-wheel, but.....

I have had four diesel trucks over the past 24 years (currently have a 2012 Dodge 3500 4wd). The first, a F250, was 2wd. After having it stuck twice (without a trailer hooked to it), I determined that, in a diesel truck, I would always have 4wd.

The problem in a diesel truck is that the diesel engine is so heavy that, if the front is lower than the rear of the truck, you get stuck on gravel or grass surfaces.

When I owned fifth-wheel trailers, I found that the benefit of having 4wd was being able to back up a slope on gravel to get into a camping site and being able to back my trailer up into my shop from the grassy slope in front of my shop.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:15 PM   #4
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You don't 4x4 for traveling on paved or gravel roads , a 2x4 will work just fine. If you encounter snow, 4x4 will be a benefit. If you are in a campground with loose sand , gravel or soft wet grass , 4x4 is the answer. If you get stuck with a 2x4 , I'm sure there will be plenty of campers with a 4x4 that would just love to pull you out.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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Wet grass or loose gravel will get you in trouble with a two wheel drive. If you only plan on paved sites, you don't need 4x4. But...there are so many situations that 4x4 makes a difference, I wouldn't be without it. I've used it on the beach, in driveways, in a relatives yard, and backing out of a gravel turn around, just to name a few. As mentioned above - trailer is heavy and will dig into any non-paved surface - if conditions aren't perfect, truck will spin. Do you "have" to have it? No. Does it give you alot more options? Yes. And as far as extra expense - modern four wheel drive is about as maintenance free as it gets. Resale value for your truck - increased. So...I would go 4x4.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:16 PM   #6
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For our first 5 1/2 years of full timing our 2 wheel drive 06 Chevy dually worked just fine. The only time I needed a pull was when the CG owner insisted I would be OK pulling into a wet grassy spot. I knew it was iff'y and made sure he was willing to pull me out with his tractor which I did need. The thing about having a 2 wheel drive vehicle is you don't take chances. My new truck is 4 WD which is all the dealer had on the lot available and should be recouped on resale.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:26 PM   #7
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Doesn't 2x4 give you more payload over a 4x4....but I guess not enough to make you choose it over the 4x4.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:34 PM   #8
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Yes, but only a couple hundred pounds at most. Not enough for me to drive through with winter's in a 4x2. Had a work truck like that and hated every snow day with it.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:10 PM   #9
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Are you buying new or used? New, get 4WD. Used, you will save a ton of money with 2WD if that is important to you.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:41 PM   #10
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I wouldnt have a 2wd truck. I wouldnt pay for one anyway. And if i was given one id make sure i had a tow strap handy. Actually, if i went in to work and they told me they were switching over to all 2wd trucks i would start turning in applications elsewhere. Its a big headache.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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OK....verdict is in....4x4 it is. I test drove a 2019 3500HD Denali 4x4 crew cab LB DRW Duramax diesel today.....NICE.

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