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Old 11-30-2017, 09:42 PM   #1
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2014 Honda CRV - AWD or FWD?

I live in South Texas where AWD is not really needed and as a result there are very few used AWD CRVs available for purchase. I have read conflicting reports on the “off road” capabilities of the AWD model. I can get a low mileage (30k) 2014 FWD EX-L loaded model for a good deal. I am going to use this for my everyday car. It will be the toad for our new 2017 Isata 3 Sprinter RV which has a 5k hitch but only a useful 4K of towing weight before exceeding the GVWR of 15k.

Just looking for feedback on the need for AWD and if there are any differences in towing the AWD vs the FWD.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:10 PM   #2
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I think you might be referring to AWD vs 2WD. AWD (all wheel drive) & FWD (four wheel drive) can be the same thing, although AWD normally is full time all the time with no changing & FWD normally is something you can shift into/out of....depending on the vehicle specs.

If you don't need AWD, then stay with the 2WD. Plus you'll gain 100lbs (+/-) by not having the AWD components. You should get a bit better gas mileage w/2WD too. According to the manual for my 2014, the towing is the same for both.

I don't remember, exactly, off the top of my head, but I think our CRV, weighed (ready to go with a full tank of gas, a box or 2 of lumber for campfires & the tow components attached) comes in just shy of 3600 lbs.

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P.S. on edit: The CRV isn't really an off road type of vehicle. It doesn't have the ground clearance or suspension needed for that type of running about. If you need an off road vehicle, consider one made for off-roading: a Jeep. Also easy to tow, but much heavier. Our 06 Liberty was over 500lbs heavier than our current CRV.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:23 PM   #3
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AWD is "All Wheel Drive" and FWD is "Front Wheel Drive" in Honda vernacular.
An AWD CR-V is not made for off road travel, rather it's for better stability in inclement weather. There is no low range for slow going.
I bought mine in Nov. 2016 with 6,030 miles on it, set up for towing, although I did end up redoing most of it and doing a full brake job.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:35 PM   #4
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My bad, Deen. Even I'm confusing the acronyms! According to wiki (we all know they're the gold standard for info, right? ) the drivetrain terms are:

AWD - all wheel drive
FWD - front wheel drive
RWD - rear wheel drive
4WD - four wheel drive

Where 2WD comes in, who knows. I think I made that up.

Lori-
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:51 AM   #5
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We have an 06 CR-V and it is a fluid 4wd system, Honda called it "Real Time 4WD" for those years...which means that when the Fwd system experiences slip the rear drive system is active. We used to live in snow country and 4wd was almost a must and I can say that the CR-V will do some decent off-roading. With the right tires it will go through a foot of snow without issue, that being said we drove 8 miles in deep sand with A/T tires in ours in the Desert. While they do not recommend driving in these conditions it was perfectly capable while doing it and was kinda fun to drive in it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:28 AM   #6
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We chose to get the AWD CRV. We don't plan to do any serious off-roading but thought it might someday help if we get in an unplanned situation on some secondary road!
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:41 AM   #7
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I have towed both FWD and AWD and found no difference with the fuel mileage in the MH. Currently have AWD, and although I was somewhat concerned with the additional moving parts of the AWD, I have not had any issue and very happy with the AWD. Only advise I can give you is to add a trickle charge line to the Honda battery from your hitch plug. Very easy! Many posts regarding the small size of the batt, but with a charge line to it, we have had 0 issues. Many posts talk about changing out to a larger battery, but I didn't want the hassle, or change out a perfectly good battery.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #8
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For Toad duty, we wanted one that was light enough to pull (AND STOP) behind our then Bounder. We went with a new 2007 CRV AWD. AWD because when you're traveling, you never know what weather conditions you might encounter - and AWD gives you an edge.

Off Road? Well, we went with a +1 tire size, and that raised our ground clearance by 1", and dual purpose hit way/dirt crossover tires. While this is not a rock crawler by any means - we've had it places that we probably should not have. We've never been stuck, though we probably deserved to be a few times!

Good storage in back, we have a Yakima Skybox on top to carry some more gear with us while on the road. The 2014 is improved over our generation 07 model, so should be even better. Our 07 has been bullet proof, and keeps going and going. 100K on the odometer, and another ~70K of being a toad behind first the Bounder and now our Country Coach.

A reason the CRV is so popular as a toad!

Best of luck to you,
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:25 PM   #9
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All CRVs, model year 2014 and earlier, can be towed four down. This can be verified by reading the manual. Honda does not try to fool anybody, like some manufacturers, it will tell you the exact procedures for towing.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:30 PM   #10
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We towed our 2014 FWD (front wheel drive) CRV over 5,000 miles from Texas to Oregon and back just a few months ago. No issues whatsoever. We love it!
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:01 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone, I plan to get the 2014 FWD model as I will save a little weight. The Sprinter chassis needs all the help it can get in the weight department, but nothing else like it as far as ease of driving.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:54 AM   #12
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If you're hand with tools, Milkman, and don't mind a half day in the garage, you can save a LOT of money by installing your towplate on the Honda CRV yourself. Etrailer www.etrailer.com has some great step-by-step videos on how to do it. I did mine myself with zero problems. Click here for an example product page with videos.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:14 AM   #13
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Go with the 2WD version if you have the option. Less moving parts, weight and drivetrain drag which might give you a few extra MPG as a daily driver. I had a minor mishap with my AWD CRV (broke a tie rod two days from home on a Friday night) this past summer that prevented continuing the trip with 4 wheel down. Can not dolly an AWD CRV so had to rent a flat bed trailer to get it home. Rare event but something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #14
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One more CRV question for those that have one as a toad. How big a deal is factory navigation on running down the battery while towing with the switch in acc position? I want an EXL model with the leather and a high percentage of them come with factory navigation.

Thanks
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