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Old 11-18-2014, 01:29 PM   #43
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Other that the upfront cost differential which you get back all of it in the form of resale value at the end.,4 wd doesn't really cost you anything especially if you trade every 3-4 years.Fuel economy suffers maybe 1-2 mpg as trucks are not aerodynamic by any means(why is that anyways?).
If you were to keep them until the wheels fall off there would be some addition maintenance involved with 4wd.
But if your hooked to your Airstream and its wet,muddy,sandy or a surprise snowfall hits and your 2 wd just wont go......What would you pay at that moment? Hmmm......
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #44
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4WD will also get you lots of places 2WD will not. Engineer Pass, Colorado, about 20+ miles from the black top.
Man I love that road! Right up there with Cinnamon Pass! That's why we've got 4x4 too. You're not always hooked up!
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:05 PM   #45
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For actually towing the trailer on paved roads and parking places there is little advantage. I have put my truck in 4 wheel drive while towing 3 times in 6 years and 50000 or so miles. Once was in Yellowstone (I made a mistake) and twice was in Alaska (steep, muddy detours). But I was awful glad I had it those times. And knowing I have it probably made some times I did not actually use it less stressful.
We have used the 4 WD a bit on sightseeing trips when unhooked. But that may be at a bit of risk. Jeepers know that 4 wheel drive will not keep you from getting stuck. It just assures that you will get stuck a lot farther from the pavement.
On a 3/4 ton diesel I think the 4WD drive is pretty important without the the trailer because with the stiff suspension and pig heavy front end the 2WD does not work well in gravel or even dew.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:44 PM   #46
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It's still better to have it not need it than to need it and not have it.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:52 PM   #47
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I decided I wanted a truck for towing our trailer.

Since my wife and I were both retired and don't need two vehicles, the plan was to also use our truck as a daily driver.

I know trucks are pretty light at the rear end and had watched a neighbour having all kinds of trouble with his rear wheel drive truck every time we had snow - he finally resorted to a huge steel plate on the truck bed to add weight and then eventually switched to 4wd.

So it was mainly for winter driving as our daily vehicle that I opted for 4wd when buying our truck.

But in addition, several times we have camped on wet grass and I really needed the 4wd to get some traciton when moving out with the trailer.

As well, some campgrounds we have visited had steep gravel roads and the truck rear wheels can have a tendency to spin and throw gravel back when climbing a hill. Switching to 4wd stops that.

I always feel just a bit more confident in general knowing we have it - although I am fully aware I can't stop any faster on roads with 4wd, and so I try not to do stupid things!

I feel the 4wd has been worth the extra $ for us, and was the right choice.


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Old 11-19-2014, 03:19 AM   #48
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When we lived in Denver, in the winter, we always carried a bag or two of "play sand" in car trunks and pickup beds. The extra weight on the rear tires of a rear-drive, 2WD vehicle helps on snow and ice; and it comes in handy to spread on the ground, if you get stuck.

We've never owned or absolutely needed 4WD. In most cases, it seems like it encourages people to drive faster in poor conditions and go farther down roads where they probably shouldn't tow a trailer. We know the limitations of our tow vehicles; and if it looks like we might have traction problems, we just don't go down that road. However, we recognize that we live in Arizona; and this obviously may not apply to other parts of the country.

2WD slightly limits our camping opportunities in certain situations. However, in my opinion, 4WD costs more when purchasing a new vehicle, decreases fuel mileage, adds mechanical complexity, and increases costs if/when the drivetrain needs service or repairs.

Also, 1-2 mpg difference in fuel economy on a vehicle that only gets 12-14 mpg, means about a 15% increase in fuel costs. For us, every 10,000 miles driven would cost an extra $350 in fuel for a capability that has been unused in over 40 years of towing travel and boat trailers.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:17 AM   #49
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Always a fun subject.

It's about knowing how you're going to use your TV and trailer. We knew that we'd be firmly 'on road' when camping, overnighting in 'proper' campgrounds and staying, largely, on a firm pavement. We looked at the AWD version of our Sienna but at quite a cost differential both to buy and run, we felt it was a cost too far. And so it has proved.

In four years camping, we've never had an issue with the 2WD - it's FWD of course. I thought we might have hit trouble at the last campground this year when I was watching 2WD PU Trucks spinning their drive wheels on the slick, wet grass, but no, we didn't. The TV's tires were just about at the end of their lives and as I engaged the drive to pull forward I was expecting a spin, especially as it was up a slight slope, but it didn't happen and we pulled away slowly but surely.

The sentiment "you don't need it until you need it" is true, but with our pattern of use, we've been in the "don't need it" camp so far.

It's horses for courses, really.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
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It's about knowing how you're going to use your TV and trailer.
THIS /\

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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
The problem with 4x4 or 4x2 trucks is that they are designed for big egos and marketing hype. None of them need to be 3 feet off the ground. There is no reason the 4x4 needs to be higher than the already too high 4x2. There is no reason that the 4x4's cannot be full time or on demand like Subaru has done for decades. Most of the time the Subaru's are full time FWD until it sense slip then it locks a clutch so more power goes to the back wheels. There is also no reason that the front axles can't have CV joints on them so they can be run on pavement. Yes there are times that 4WD comes in handy. The rest of the time it gets in the way. If I was camping with a 4x4 I would put a pop up slide in the back and forget a trailer.

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This is perhaps the one comment in this thread that I find most frustrating.


Point 1: You just equated everyone with a 4x4 to having an inflated ego.

Point 2: A 4x4 typically has higher ground clearance for a number of reasons. Things like improved approach angle, departure angle and break over angle are all important when "going off-road" the key reason to get a 4x4. So yes, there is a reason. I can tell from this statement, you don't drive around on a farm very much, or drive down fire roads or construction sites, logging roads or out to oil fields.

Point #3: While similar, 4WD and AWD systems serve different purposes. BTW, if I put my truck into Auto 4WD it behaves just like the Subaru and only engages when it slips. But my truck is always 2WD until I put it into Auto or high/low 4WD.

Point #4: Clearly you never owned a Chevy, GMC, Dodge, Toyota or Ford half-ton as all feature CV axles up front and have for years now. Along with a number of SUV's.

PS: CV's wear 1000x faster than a solid axle.
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:53 PM   #51
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Never have owned a 4x4 but would kinda like one to go off on side trips in the West like the previous poster. However, trucks nowadays are getting so car-like with features, comfort, fancy paint work (beyond work truck white) that I'd be afraid of scratching up my truck on some forest service trail.

Most trucks for sale in my area that have good towing capacity seem to be 4x4 and probably my next tow vehicle will be 4x4. If I had searched for a 4x4 Tundra when I bought my current Tundra it would've been cheaper in the long run than to trade in the Tundra on a 4x4 Tundra, Ford whatever now. Making the switch is always financially painful.

I the last two years of towing I haven't been in a situation that needed 4x4.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:08 PM   #52
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We had similar discussions.. "why do I "NEEED" 4x4??"

I have NOT 'jacked up' the TV... nor added a winch (or wench either!!) I have added wrenches tho...I do not have the 'light bar'... but have considered one with the lights facing the Airstream... =) for nite time hitchin' or other shenanigans...

I do NOT have the 'Mudder' tires either...

I think this is really a matter of preference about having the 'necessary gear' which allows you to 'expand the envelope of operations'. I like that capability in my gear.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #53
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About three years ago now, or about, we went on a trip to the Northeast with another couple, both of us towing Airstreams, to see the fall colors. Because my wife worked all her carrier in the school system we could never go that time of year till she retired.

That was the year after the hurricane had gone up thru New Hampshire and Vermont dumping lots of rain. Can't remember the name of the storm, but I suspect those of you who live up that way remember it.

Anyway, we got to an area where the road had been washed out badly, and it was under repair. Basically, they had filled in the road bed with large gravel, and they were letting traffic thru one lane at a time. It was an uphill grade for us, and of course, we got stopped to let traffic thru from the other direction. When it was our turn to go I proceeded thru slowly because it was pretty rough. Right in the middle of the repair area my rear drive wheels started to spin. I knew if I continued as I was going, I was going to get stuck right in the middle of the road, so I stopped, reached down and switched into four wheel drive, and then proceeded thru the construction area.

That was probably the one time that I appreciated 4WD the most, because if I had gotten stuck, the road repair crew would have had to pull me out, and everyone in the line on both sides would have really been upset.

One of the times that having 4WD was priceless to me.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #54
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2WD vs 4WD

No matter what, towing or not towing, 4WD is the bomb in snow and/or ice.

It adds stability, security, and safety. It doesn't have to be expensive if a person buys a truck without a lot of gizmos.

It will cost some fuel mileage, but arguably not as much as the ethanol that we are pretty much forced to buy.


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Old 11-19-2014, 06:59 PM   #55
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Haven't had to try it in the snow because that almost never happens here, but I can guarantee you I will not be driving on ice, 4WD or not.

When there's ice on the road, you will find me in an RV park somewhere with the heater going.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #56
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I have driven my truck with ice on the road, sans trailer, because I had to do so for the benefit of my elderly parents who were relying on me.

I don't like to drive on ice either, but sometimes reality is at odds with what I like.

Late last year I got caught in a snow storm in Abilene that wasn't supposed to happen, i towed the trailer through this snow because I had family obligations at the Lubbock burn center.

Like you, under normal circumstances I choose to park in snow and ice conditions too, but in these instances I was glad to have 4WD.


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