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Old 11-12-2014, 10:54 PM   #15
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I had a 2WD Chevy Silverado 2500 Diesel - a mighty, mighty truck until you got on mud or wet grass or snow.

My new tow vehicle is a Ford Ecoboost 150 - which impressed the heck out of me during 3 unanticipated snowstorms last winter.

Paula
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:39 PM   #16
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...truly nice to be able to flick a switch and go into 4wd to get you out of predicaments ...INSTEAD of calling a tow truck. If your budget allows, go for it; when it comes time to trade / sell your TV, the 4wd will have cost you little and provided peace of mind! Ditto here for a Corvette and 4x4 ... same as George M.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:08 AM   #17
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I still say 2wd with limited slip rear end. During the winter I believe in a well stocked pantry and fire wood rack. Our normal winter snow fall is 35" to 40", last year it was about 100". When it snowed heavy it was time to enjoy the snow outside and the fire inside. I feel that the cost of 4wd for the once or twice a year that we truly need it here is way to high. After 40 years of working in the streets year around I have seen many accidents because of to much speed of vehicles with 4wd or Awd.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:14 AM   #18
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Answers are all over the map because everyone has different needs.

We went with 4WD in case of snow at home. Then we discovered that we almost always need the 4WD when we're backing the trailer in across the yard - our yard is a sloppy mess if it rained any time in the last few days. We use 4WD a lot, so we wouldn't buy a truck without it. Other people may never need it.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:43 AM   #19
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I have used both 2wd and 4wd to tow.

4wd is invaluable when you need in a pinch or if you are pulling your trailer on rough trails. You have to balance that with the extra upfront and maintenance/repair costs.

There are significant traction factors to consider either way............

  • Tires. Load range E tires with reasonably quiet tread for highway, inflated to 60+ psi, are pretty much worthless in mud, sand, loose gravel or icy conditions - 2WD or 4WD.
  • Locking differentials. A 2WD truck without a locking rear differential, is a 1WD in low traction situations. A 4WD truck without locking front and rear differentials, is a 2WD in low traction situations. A 4WD truck with a locking rear but without locking front differential, is a 3WD in low traction situations.
  • Manual Locking front hubs. Automatic locking front hubs have a bit of a delay so you can get stuck before you get'er into 4WD and the front hubs lock up.
  • High volume air compressor/inflation. If you get into a sticky wicket, you may well need to air down the tires
  • Limited slip vs true locking differentials. Most limited slip differentials will not kick in until one wheel on the axle is spinning pretty darn fast. Whether in a 4WD or 2WD, having a switch to lock'er up before the one wheel starts to bury itself, is a big plus.
  • Winch. If you are planning pulling a 6000lb Airstream in places where 4WD may be needed, a big winch up front may be just as useful - 4WD or 2WD.
Given I drive mostly on highways and well maintained gravel roads. I lean toward 2WD with manual locking rear differential and good traction quiet all terrain tires.

(ps I grew up in Florida - we learned that when white stuff starts falling on the road, don't engage the 4WD. Turn South! )
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:32 AM   #20
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Having uneven ground, I use 4WD every time I move our AS or boat around the yard.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #21
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I use my 4WD a lot, especially in winter. The truck has a fairly light rear-end, so in icy conditions it looses traction easily if I don't have a lot of weight in the bed (I don't have a limited slip differential). It's easier to turn the knob to 4WD. I try not to tow trailers on ice, but sometimes it's necessary, and I wouldn't even think about doing that without 4WD.

I do the snow removal on our street with my ATV and tractor. If I don't have time to do that, there are many times that we would not get into town without 4WD.

I also find 4WD very useful on many of the Forest Service roads around here. They are often times steep and very washboarded. 4WD significantly reduces bouncing and slipping on these roads, especially with a trailer.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:53 AM   #22
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For us 4WD because of where we want to go and what we want to see. There are a lot of parks that are best viewed in the backcountry, and plenty out west that allow ORV access. My favorites, Caynonlands & Capitol Reef are two such parks in UT. There are some in Colorado too, like Rocky Mountain National Park.





We knew we'd visit these places with our Airstream. So my truck is 4WD. Of course, the AS will stay in the camp ground, while we go off on day adventures.

That's all the reason I need. Plus, I have gotten a 2wd vehicle stuck in mud on wet grass while towing a trailer, and it's no fun!
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheness View Post
Hi ..M newbie looking to get tow vehicle. How important is it to have a 2WD vs a 4WD? getting information all over the map. Thanks...this is a great forum!
Well it depends on when and where you plan on pulling your camper. Don't you know now if you will use it?
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #24
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A number of practicalities in the choice of 2WD vs 4 WD:

towing: 4WD will come in handy now and then
climate: 4WD has advantages if you live in the snow belt
gas mileage: 2WD will have a very slight advantage
vehicle choice: far more 4WDs on most dealer lots than 2WDs, at least where I live
vehicle cost: slight advantage for 2WD, rebates often negate this
resale value: premium for 4WD, more than enough to cover added original cost
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:42 AM   #25
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I have a 2WD truck with passenger tires. It gets stuck in loose gravel or monkey grass or wet grass.
I may never get another truck- mine is paid for with 43,000 miles and new tires-
But, if I do ever get another truck, it WILL be a 4WD!
I have heard people say a 2WD seems to tow better- more power/take off/hill climbing ability. That has to be due to gear ratios or the extra weight of the front axles and transfer case. 6 out of 7 of our Duramax/Allison HD25000's are 4WD- I can't tell the difference.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:44 AM   #26
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My wife calls my truck a "sissy truck" because it gets stuck so easily.
I must admit it does a little something to my testosterone-
A truck that looks so muscular, but can't pull its way off of a wet surface-
It is very muscular, just so long as it's dry-
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #27
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We have rearranged our whole parking/storage situation to avoid all wet surfaces-
We come in on the street side of the house and park the trailer in the front (concrete) drive-
When I used to park in back, I had to use my "call a friend" card one time. He had a 4WD- walked my truck and trailer right out-
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:00 PM   #28
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"Girl" perspective

It's a pleasure to have seasoned male truckers admire my backing skills (with a backup camera I don't need no stinkin' skills but what the heck).

I also used to enjoy a reputation for flawless hitching skills (until the Hensley, but I'm making much progress now. A bastard file and some Vaseline helped too. ...and that sounds a lot dirtier than it really is!)

I have only had to rely on the kindness of strangers twice to get my previous 2WD truck out of slop and wet grass... but it's a lot more fun to put it in low and confidently, gently ease my way out. And it was SO MUCH FUN to help pull a local fireman out of a ditch using some chains I thought to start carrying.


Judge your terrain, and likely destinations and choose accordingly.
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