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Old 04-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
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4WD vs 2WD??

Being new to the RV world, which is better to have as a tow vehicle, 2WD or 4WD? I've narrowed my choice to a 2500 HD with the diesel package, but balked after reading that a 2WD is better suited for towing.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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First, welcome to iRV2. We're glad you've joined us.

It really depends where you'll be towing. I've been towing 5th wheels for over 15 years with 2WD duallies and have never needed 4WD - no, I've never even come anywhere close to being stuck. There are some real advantages with 2WD for a towing application, but if your usage profile requires 4WD, go for it.

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Well Ive seen 2 wheel drive trucks stuck on wet grass. I on a couple occasions have had to use 4 low to maneuver up a hill at a campground with a wet sandy road with my trailer attached. I myself wouldn't be without it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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4WD
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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I towed a 36 foot King of the Road 5th wheel with both a two wheel drive then later a 4X4. My vote would be the 4X4. Some of the national parks require backing up small grades to get into a spot and low range 4X4 backing into some slots is pretty handy.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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4 low on hard pavement?

can put the transfercase in a bind. be carefull doing this
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77979 View Post
Well Ive seen 2 wheel drive trucks stuck on wet grass.
And I've seen 4WD trucks bogged up to the frame in the mud. Nothing is immune to getting stuck, but THIS 2WD driver has never been stuck on wet grass or anything else.

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Old 04-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
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A correct answer would be it depends. What is your lifestyle and travel plans? Do you live in the northern part of the US? I do not see any way a 2wd can be a BETTER tow vehicle and a 4wd will always be worth more when it is a used vehicle.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I do not see any way a 2wd can be a BETTER tow vehicle.....
Well, for starters:

Lower initial cost
Lower maintenance and repair costs
Better ride and handling - no "death wobble"
Better fuel economy
Easier entry/exit
Less problem with bedrail-to-5th wheel clearance
Lighter weight can yield a higher trailer tow capacity for a given GCWR

Horses for courses - pick the right horse for your intended usage, as I said earlier.

Rusty
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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Eric
I agree you don't want to operate low (or even high for that matter) four wheel drive on hard pavement but I would do it for a short distance - a car length or two. I was with a friend with a 2WD Ford backing his 5th wheel into a space near Moab and by the time he was in the space the transmission had gotten so hot fluid was coming out the overflow or vent. I think better yet is 4X4 with manual hubs like I had.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #11
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"death Wobble" is this "wobble" inherent to 4by4 vehicles only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Well, for starters:

Lower initial cost
Lower maintenance and repair costs
Better ride and handling - no "death wobble"
Better fuel economy
Easier entry/exit
Less problem with bedrail-to-5th wheel clearance
Lighter weight can yield a higher trailer tow capacity for a given GCWR

Horses for courses - pick the right horse for your intended usage, as I said earlier.

Rusty
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:26 PM   #12
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Yes, death wobble is a problem associated with solid axle front suspensions. Admittedly, not all 4WD trucks have solid front axles, but some do.

2WD trucks have independent front suspension and, therefore, aren't susceptable to death wobble (aka caster wobble).

Rusty
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:36 PM   #13
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I live in central California, Yosemite is 2 hrs east, coast is 2 1/2 west. So the plan is to be able to go either direction when we want.

I'm trying to do as much research and gather as much info as I can before making a purchase (good friend of mine had nightmare after buying a rig and then trying to return after discovering that it couldn't tow his trailer), and wanted to look into this. Cost isn't that big of deal, I just don't want to make a mistake.

While I'm at it, Milan trailers. Yay, or Nay?
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:40 PM   #14
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I keep hearing about people that have seen a 2 wheel truck stuck on grass....I have yet to see on and I have been RVing since 1984.

Like Rusty, I have ALWAYS used a 2WD and never had any issues. But if it makes you feel better, by all means spend the extra money on the drive, poorer fuel economy and higher repair cost.

Why get something you do not need?

Ken
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