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Old 10-04-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
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2018 30' Classic
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2 wheel drive vs 4 wheel

other than the obvious about driving on icy/wet roads or off road driving are there any advantages/disadvantages to having a 4 wheel drive TV over the 2 wheel---

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Old 10-04-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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My favorite use is on wet grass, snow, or soft sand at the bottom of the slope out of the campground toward the paved street...

Then it's 4WD low range, and the rear differential lock set while the TV and AS slowly climb out without digging in...just above idle...and in as straight a line as possible.

At that point, the 4WD system becomes 'priceless' unless someone friendly is along with a big winch and a very long cable...

Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:59 PM   #3
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The disadvantages of 4WD compared to 2WD are initial cost, a slight reduction in fuel economy even when disengaged, and added weight which will effect maximum payload.

With regard to actual driving situations, however, 4WD gives you options which 2WD, even with limited slip, can't provide. I've been in situations as mundane as sandy soil with the trailer where I would have been totally stuck without 4WD. Even backing up the steep driveway at my house puts a lot of strain on the transmission unless I shift into 4WD in low range.

4WD is highly desirable in a TV and well worth the disadvantages, IMHO.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:03 PM   #4
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Better accleration on slippery surfaces
Maybe easier to resell, but less resale as a percentage of MSRP versus 2wd


More expensive to buy
More expensive to maintain, today's sytems are very complex.
Less payload capacity as 4wd systems tend to be packaged in with other heavy items.
Tougher to get things in and out.
Less MPG
Higher insurance costs
Tend to want to explore more, and if you don't have lockers, watch out.

I'd buy a 2wd with a front receiver for parking the Airstream, but also to be able to mount a me, you'll be better aware of your terrain and parking with a 2wd versus a 4wd, that will negate the need for 4wd.

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Old 10-04-2018, 03:16 PM   #5
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You only need 4WD once to appreciate it...
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:21 PM   #6

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Old 10-04-2018, 05:17 PM   #7
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that's true, but is also true that...

I grew up getting stuck on rural trails hunting grouse and moose. Handyman jack, come-along, winch and friends got me home. My first positrack(sp?) equipped f100 was a true wonder. All to say that 2WD with some sort of lock-up is really great, and as others say: you will learn to be a true judge of terrain before you venture.

Now, all our rigs are 4X4. I feel too old to crawl around with get-un-stuck tools and bother. Just the other day I was making circuits to-from the landfill scale (no CAT scale here) with various hitch settings. Wouldn't you know that the loose gravel near the turn-around point spun a rear tire. No sweat. Turn the dial, pull the lock, off we go. I am annoyed by the unnecessary added height of the F350 4X4, cost, mileage. But I am much more relaxed, though not inattentive. I do not use 4X4 to get myself further stuck, but to solve the rare unexpected need as we boondock around Alaska.

Your mileage may vary, don't try this at home, etc. Happy hunting!
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:00 AM   #8
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2 wheel drive vs 4 wheel

FWIW, when crossing a mountain pass, you donít have to chain up when chains are required if you have 4WD or AWD. (Iíve seen exceptions where all vehicles are required to chain up but those occasions are few and far between).

Thatís why my truck is 4WD and my wifeís car is AWD. I donít enjoy chaining up.

(Iím talking about running solo, I havenít towed in the snow before and probably never will.)
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:46 AM   #9
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I do not see any advantages but the obvious with 4 wheel drive. But the obvious advantages are pretty important. two wheel drive pickup trucks, and particularly heavy sprung ones, are terrible in slick or soft conditions. Not like driving a front wheel drive car.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:51 AM   #10
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4wd pays for its self the first time you call for a tow truck.
When you need it, you really need it!
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:03 AM   #11
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4x4 without question. It's not for what you think you might need it for, it's for what you don't know you need it for until you need it.

If you tend never to go on wet grass, tow in inclement weather, or drive in snow, then 2wd might be better. Tow rating is slighter more and mpg is slightly better with 2wd. IMHO though, those hits when going 4x4 are far outweighed by the benefits of having 4x4. It's literally pulled my behind out of a few jams both camping and normal driving needs.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:12 AM   #12
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We often shift into 4-wheel drive in campgrounds while parking our Airstream. The grounds are often soft and the tires just slip in the dirt and grass until we switch from 2 to 4-wheel.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:20 AM   #13
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This is all dependent on where you go with your trailer, where you live in the USA, if you want to spend $2000 plus for a new vehicle having 4 wheel drive, and the 1-3 mpg gas difference. I have had both and from experience, I can honestly say it is up to what you feel comfortable with. I have a 2014 1500 Silverad with 2 wheel drive and limited slip 3.73 differential which I purchased new. I modified it with bilstein shocks, Michelin10 ply tires, added an anti-sway bar. I also have rear air bags, but they are not pumped higher than 10 lbs when towing. It works for me.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:33 AM   #14
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Where we live, where we travel to, what we drive on, and 40 plus years of towing. TV vehicle 4 x 4, all our other vehicles are full time all wheel drive. Works best for us. Would we tow our 30' Classic w/a 2 wheel drive vehicle, not unless we had too, not very far or for very long.

Best regards and safe travels

Scott & Liz
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