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Old 09-28-2017, 08:47 PM   #15
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What if motorhomes had 4 wheel drive???

Clearly there are the advantages and disadvantage. With that I will agree. But it's like all other vehicles. The operator needs to be wise enough to know when it's smart to stay out of certain areas. It will also require good maintenance like any automobile to keep it in tip top shape. There's no better money saver than good preventive maintenance. For the intelligent boondockers however it's going to be a technology that will really pay off. It will also give you better control in winter weather condition because of better traction on the highway. Based on my experience in the automotive industry. These drive trains would have to come with at least a 40,000 mile warranty in order for it to appeal to the buying public. If money is not an object, major companies like Fleetwood, Winnebago, Ford and GM could offer limited lifetime warranty for a price of course. U.S Automakers only. If Japanese get into the market, forget it. You will get junk. However These six figure companies like GM, Ford, Fleetwood and Winnebago know their going to sell the product anyway, so they will have the cooperate power to back those warranties. I do think however the day is coming when 4wd will be standard in every Motorhome. It might not be in our lifetime but I think the day is coming when you won't be able to buy a Motorhome without 4 wheel drive. For those who don't want to use it, you can just simply leave it turned off. The way most motorhomes are built you won't even know it's there. Because the design of the Motorhome won't be changed, just the internal drivetrain. However Especially here in Pahrump, Nevada which is about the most popular boondocking destination in the United States, snowbirds seem to have off road fever if you get the idea, 4wd is an immediate seller and sales would ski rocket in no time. Seeing a Motorhome out in the desert dirt, off the grid with its generator running for months on end is a common sight around here.

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Old 09-29-2017, 09:48 AM   #16
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There used to be a couple brands of 4WD RVs, Class C types built on Ford or Chevy 4WD pick-up chassis. They appealed to only a small segment of buyers (probably for price reasons) and died off during the post 2008 recession, when so many RV brands and models disappeared. Big Foot used to have some 4WD models, but they have dropped out of the Class C market now. Likewise for Chinook.

There are a few specialty companies doing 4WD Rvs. Here are a couple:

More listed here: http://www.pddoc.com/camp/mini003.htm

Nowadays there are some really nice truck campers. Mounted on a 4WD pick-up, they provide a rugged yet comfortable off-road vehicle for camping enthusiasts that want to "get away".

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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:52 AM   #17
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Although I don't know if I would buy a 4wd MH, but it was one of the things I thought long and hard about after having 4wd TCs for the previous 35 years before the MH we have have now. IMHO, 4wd isn't something to push the limits with until you do get stuck (although I did that for many of my younger days), but something to keep you from getting stuck when it is needed. It is up to the driver to determine the difference. Having 4wd in our TCs has kept us going numerous times when we would have been stranded without it, both on logging roads and highways/interstates.. If you are working and have time constraints there may not be time to wait a few days for things to clear, again up to the drivers discretion.

In the few years we've had the MH there have only been a few times 4wd would have been handy, notably getting to a level parking spot on hills with wet grass at my sisters in AL, but we worked around it.

I think Gary pretty much has it pegged. The biggest limiting factor with our 4wd TCs was the size of the vehicle when driving on roads with a lot of trees/vegetation, and the rear overhang (11.5' campers). IMHO, MHs would be even more limited by similar factors, They generally (IMO) wouldn't make very good off road vehicles unless specifically designed for that, which generally would make them smaller with fewer amenities. However, on slippery highways/interstates it could keep a MH going without the need for chains.

Just my 2c.

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Old 09-29-2017, 11:03 AM   #18
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I don't think you will find 4wd in all vehicles or all MH's. About the only people that really can use it are the off road folks. Most of us don't off road our RV's because there are few places to do it short of the western desert areas. The occasional stuck in the wet grass is manageable. On the other side it adds a lot of cost and significant complexity to the vehicle drive train. Performance in a car is hardly better than Front Wheel Drive. In heavy trucks or MH's they need to stay with a heavy rear axle and suspension. Heavier if there is a tow rating. That more or less mandates rear drive.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
There used to be a couple brands of 4WD RVs, Class C types built on Ford or Chevy 4WD pick-up chassis. They appealed to only a small segment of buyers (probably for price reasons) and died off during the post 2008 recession, when so many RV brands and models disappeared. Big Foot used to have some 4WD models, but they have dropped out of the Class C market now. Likewise for Chinook.

There are a few specialty companies doing 4WD Rvs. Here are a couple:
Off Road RVs

More listed here: Off Road RVs
That "Earthroamer" is pretty cool looking. If it were just me, I might could go for something like that.

I have had several 4wd pickup trucks & SUV's through the years. I have one of each currently. Used properly, 4wd is great. I make a 60 mile round trip to my office Mon.-Fri. When the roads are bad (snow/ice), I can go & go safer than 2wd vehicles.
I very seldom get "off-road" with my 4wd vehicles. If for no other reason, because they ain't cheap and I like to keep the shine looking good.

4wd in a big class A would be pretty impractical. Even heavier 4wd diesel pickup trucks (3/4 & 1 ton) have trouble in mud, compared light-weight Jeeps or small 4wd pickup trucks (Ford Ranger, for example... had one pull my 4wd diesel out one time).
A 40ft+ - 30,000 lbs+ MH could create a huge wrecker(s) bill.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by TRebel View Post
A 40ft+ - 30,000 lbs+ MH could create a huge wrecker(s) bill.
IF and I repeat IF ; there was a 4 wheel drive wrecker available to get to where you got your 4wd Class A , stuck off road.

Used to hear this all the time from the guys with the heavily modified snowmobiles ,
" Well, I got stuck and it took me 4 hours to dig myself out . Nobody came to help ! What gives !"
Reason being , the other snowmobiles couldn't get to where you got yourself stuck . , and the riders didn't feel like slogging through armpit deep snow to get to where you were.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:05 PM   #21
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There are winches to manage being stuck, if that is where a person really wants to go. If there are no trees to attach the cable to there are, or used to be, "plow like" affairs that go deeper as pressure is applied. I'm not sure what would be left of the MH after applying any of this to get "unstuck", including wreckers. IMHO, best not to go there. That's what toads or tow vehicles are for.

Back in the early 70s I bought a 1 ton size full width '62 International 4wd school bus with the intentions of converting it to a MH. There were places in WV where I/we used to go that only 4wd would get you, and then sometimes only with a liberal amount of getting "unstuck". A few months later we used it to move the family (5) to N CA and later OR. I sometimes think about what kind of trouble I could have gotten into with that vehicle had we stayed in WV.

Our trip across the US in a 4wd bus (MH hopeful) with a top speed of 55-60 was interesting and would have the "liability folks" pulling their hair out. I pulled all the seats out except the drivers and put as much of our furniture in there as would fit, along with a Beagle and pet groundhog, with a couch across the front for my wife and three small kids to sit on. There were no seat belts. I also cobbled together (welded and bolted) from scrap a hitch, base plate, and tow bar to which our '69 Opel wagon was attached filled with belongings with our canoe on top. The only brakes were on the bus. We stayed in motels at night and ate most of the time in restaurants. It took 6 days, including an all nighter the last day, but miraculously we made it without incident. I guess the only point in all this that relates to 4wd MHs is that the one we had was very slow on the open road. I suspect that would also apply to a larger off road type 4wd MH. Of course, IMHO, one similar to the cars with 4wd that are not really designed for off road use would be different and more like a standard MH.

Just another thought.

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Old 09-30-2017, 03:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cimplexsound View Post
It's an inventive idea that's been on my mind for years. If I only had the money to develop the patients for it. But the BIG question. What if Motorhomes both class A and class C had 4 wheel drive as a standard feature being able to switch from 2 wheel to 4 wheel drive anytime you want. Would you like to own one of these??? Or would this discourage Motorhome sales??? So just curious what you think of the idea of a Motorhome with 4 wheel drive. I'm anxious to hear your feedback. Thanks
They make them already. No patents possible.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:55 PM   #23
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It would seem that there are always patents possible, it would just have to be significantly different. That would most likely be up to lawyers and possibly courts to determine.

Just my 2c.

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Old 10-08-2017, 06:35 AM   #24
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4 wheel drive is not just about 4 wheels turning, it is about having a low range you can select to crawl out of ruts, depressions etc.

Anyone who has boonie camped with a trailer very much has had to use that feature. There have been many times I have been in a rut with a 4WD where full power in high range would not climb out and in low range it crawled out just above idle.

When I had a Class C, I always wished for a two speed differential for the same reason.

Growing up on the farm, most of the 1 ton and larger trucks all had 2 speed differentials which were used for the same reason.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:11 PM   #25
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NONE, of my RVer friends in my 40+ years of motorhoming have EVER mentioned wanting the 4x4 feature in their large diesel pushers. I would NEVER consider it myself either. However, I love my towed 4x4 GMC Envoy. It's perfect, as a multi-purpose vehicle.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:35 PM   #26
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Any Class B or Class C could easily be 4x4 with little effort, because these van or truck chassis' used can be found in 4x4 easily in the OEM or aftermarket:
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Class A is a little different story...but still doable in the aftermarket, and common in Australia:
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And, for anyone asking why? Easy...to get to that nice bit of beach or that perfect place just off the asphalt.
Nobody is gonna tackle the Rubicon, we hope

Real Story...While towing our last TT, we got stuck in a parking lot due to a tiny bit of snow on the ground...with a dually
If our pick-up had not been 4x4, we would have needed to get out a shovel to clear the tiny bit of snow under the drive axle.
But, a quick pull of the 4x4 lever and we were on our way.

Not for everyone, but there is some demand, so already provided. You just need to go shopping.

Safe travels
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:39 PM   #27
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I would think the number of people who would actually need it or buy it would make this option cost prohibitive for the large RV companies. For probably at least 99% or us awd in a RV would be useless.

People also get a false sense of security thinking I have awd thus I can drive through th bad weather sometimes at a higher speed then 2wd vehicles. What those people often times don’t understand is the tires are more important then being awd or 2wd.

My Jeep with its oem rubicon tires sucks in snow and ice. Selecting awd/4wd lets me accelerate faster but stopping, turning etc it beyond scary.

Our not so great fuel economy would drop another few clicks plus the increase in turning radius and possibly increase in service/maintenance.

I am surprised electric motors haven’t been used yet. A few solar panels and some regenerative brakes could help ease the load on the engine, increase fuel economy and could also work as awd depending on how it would be integrated.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:19 PM   #28
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Winnebago now makes a class B that 4x4

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