Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-12-2014, 06:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 24
2WD vs 4WD

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!

atheness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 06:42 PM   #2
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,002
Images: 5
Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

2wd vs. 4wd is a matter of camping style. We use a 4wd towvehicle because we like to strike out into the back country while we are on our Airstream adventures. For most Arstreaming, a 2wd is quite sufficient.


SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 06:43 PM   #3
Rivet Master
terryV's Avatar
2002 31' Classic
Currently Looking...
Monroe , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 649
Personally, I own a Corvette and a Camaro that are two wheel drive. Everything else is either 4WD or AWD. But then I live in Iowa.

(Iowa is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.)

Seriously tho, I have been in many situations pulling a trailer when I needed that front axle to help pull the load, on ice, gravel, mud, and even wet grass.

Before I had 4WD TVs I was just stuck in those situations. I think my decision to buy a 4WD TV was when I could not make it up a muddy gravel hill that led to the campground down at Mountain Home, Arkansas.

A guy in a 4WD Ford offered to pull me and my AS up that hill. All I could think about was rock damage all over my TV and AS. He promised that he would not spin a single wheel, and everything would be fine.

True to his word we went right up that hill, so easily. By the end of the month, I had a new 4WD TV, and I've never looked back.

I have 3 trucks in my company for my mgrs to drive. They are all 4WD; I will never buy another 2WD truck.
terryV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 06:51 PM   #4
Stefrobrts's Avatar

1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,981
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
When we got our new TV we were looking for AWD, because occasionally our 2WD van had gotten stuck on slick grass or muddy campsites. I think AWD will do the trick for us.

Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 06:53 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
withidl's Avatar
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
If I didn't have AWD on the X5 I couldn't back the AS into my back yard, as I have to climb a curb and a slight up hill on grass. Additionally, the X5 has a relatively short wheel base which allows greater maneuverability in the confines of my back yard. A 2 wheel drive pick up truck would be problematic in both tractive effort and maneuverability.
withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,801
Images: 1
There are other threads on this topic and worth reading. I figure I'll need 4WD if the local police spec their vehicles that way. In the meantime the lower purchase price and lower operational cost make 2WD economical.

Plus the lower CG and -- with my brand of truck and spec -- the IFS plus rack & pinion steering make for better handling since one has more accurate feedback.

Where AWD is available on a car or non-pickup SUV it may be a better choice.

Fully independent suspension is a better question for what is wanted in a TV for this trailer type. Things tend to go downhill from there. Use a European turbodiesel as tops. The bottom feeder is a live axle 4WD pickup that is lifted on off-road tires.

Again, this has been covered before and the threads deserve reading.

Electronic stability control makes up for some deficiencies

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
Rivet Master
68 TWind's Avatar
1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,450
Even though we don't camp a lot off the pavement, I still find that about once a season I'll have to put my truck in 4 wheel drive to back the camper into gravel camping pads that have a slight uphill grade. Also, just this summer in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains we had to park the truck pointed downhill on wet grass. After a nice bike ride, I tried to back up, no luck just spinning. Pushed the button, drove right out. How long would it have taken to get someone to pull me up the hill- don't know but you can see that 4 wheel drive is worth every penny when you need it.
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
68 TWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
1987 25' Sovereign
Oregon , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 491
I have only driven 2wd vehicles since I started driving back in 1969 in NW Ohio. I would only buy 2wd that has a limited slip rear differential. I also prefer Ford trucks because they seem to develop their torque at a lower RPM than the other brands, all of these with gas engines.
msmcv51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
cory_can's Avatar
2015 30' Classic
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 359
You may ultimately have to sacrifice some fuel economy but I agree with Terry. When you need it, it's worth it. Some camp sites or roads into those sites have ruts, sand, gravel, mud etc. and nothing can ruin a day more than spinning your wheels while your trailer is attached.

Towing aside I've always been a proponent of AWD vehicles, both my daily drivers are Audi's.
'15 Classic
'16 Ram 2500HD CTD 4x4 Limited w/ Air and Ramboxes
Instagram: cory_can
cory_can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #10
Sbb's Avatar
2017 25' Flying Cloud
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,029
Images: 2
I drive 4wd, need it where I live, which was my first concern. Towing came se ond and it all works out, but then I tow a bambi.
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
Sbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 08:36 PM   #11
1992 25' Excella
Leamington , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
Been wondering about this issue myself. Did an extensive search on this subject on this site, and one lengthy thread got into a discussion that 4WD is not 4WD, but two-wheel drive because of differentials (one front and one rear can spin). The consensus was that a 2WD with locking differential is superior. But just try to find a used truck with locking differential. Hah! Not in my part of the world.

Also, I've yet to see anyone address the mileage issue with real numbers and cost over the life of the vehicle. I agree that 4WD is nice *IF* and when you need it, but the reality is the fact that 99.99% of most driving is done on paved highways.
Boomerstream One - Live Riveted!
Leamington, ON
cramar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:18 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Tincampers's Avatar
2006 22' Interstate
Sneedville , Tennessee
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,307
And that is the reason I wanted 4WD, to get away from the 99%!
Tincampers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #13
Full time Airstreamer
SCOTTinNJ's Avatar
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Anywhere , USA Living.Somewhere.Yonder
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,209
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
4 wheel drive is worth every penny when you need it.
SCOTTinNJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:31 PM   #14
Rivet Master
gandttimes's Avatar
2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 871
It depends on how many tow vehicles you can afford! We have 2. Vehicles and I am the only driver. Corvette for cruising and 4x4 for everything else because where we live you couldn't go out of the city without one.
If you never go off road and your winters aren't severe then a 4x2 is probably all you need especially if it has a locking rear (GM) which below 20 mph is probably as good as a lot of 4x4's that only have limited slip.


gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEED REAL WORLD DATA: 2WD vs 4WD mpg... westcoastas Full-Timing, Winter Living & Workamping 10 08-20-2014 09:49 PM
2WD diesel vs. 4WD gas - new twist on question mtbguy On The Road... 27 02-11-2014 09:42 AM
2WD or 4WD lvcat2004 Tow Vehicles 11 07-15-2009 05:06 PM
2wd vs 4 wd joshua32064 Tow Vehicles 33 04-05-2004 01:43 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.