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Old 12-25-2009, 07:13 PM   #29
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Unrelated to towing, we have enjoyed our 4x4 - after we get "there" - like going off road (i.e. Death Valley, Big Bend etc.). We have enoyed having 4wd on a few occasions where going was a bit slick. And in general I like the comfort of having 4wd if needed. Need to have? Probably not. Nice to have? Most definitely.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:14 PM   #30
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4x4 4x2 .....

I know that I am in the minority having had three four wheel drive tow vehicles -- and never another. My current K2500 Suburban has nearly 200,000 miles and I have decided to spend no more repairing the four wheel drive mechanism -- will be having my mechanic disable the transfer case and anything else necessary to make it safely operable without spending the close to $2,000 to overhaul the transfercase with no guarantee that the repair will have any appreciable life expectancy.

My first four wheel drive was a 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the 360 V8 (AMC) and 3.90 gears in the differential. In close to 200,000 miles never had to repair anything in the four wheel drive mechanism and had total confidence in its operation. Only used it once when towing my Airstream and don't really know if I needed it then.

In 1995, I traded the Jeep on a Chevrolet K1500 Silverado Z71. The truck was a nightmare in every way, particularly in regard to the four wheel drive. This truck had manual levers to shift between 2 and 4 wheel drive and another to choose high or low range. Every time that an attempt to engage four wheel drive was made, the transfer case would become stuck in four wheel drive and a trip to the nearest GM dealer would be necessary. More than once, I ended up stuck in four wheel drive and had to tow 300 or 400 miles to get home -- not a pleasant experience. After never having the four wheel drive operate as designed, I traded the truck at 38,000 miles in 1998 on my '99 K2500 Suburban.

The 1999 K2500 Suburban has been an absolute dream in all regards other than the four-wheel-drive. It has never had properly operable four wheel drive when I have towed either of my Airstreams. The few times that I have tried to use the four wheel drive with the Airstream, the reaction was for the Service Four Wheel Drive Soon light to come on meaning that the electronic circuit board control center for the transfer case was out. At this point it has been replaced more than a dozen times -- and when that Service Four Wheel Drive Soon light does come on, the truck is stuck in whatever mode it was in at that time -- it has happened to me when it was in 4 wd - High -- and once in 4 wd - Low. I wish that I would have listened to my uncle when he told me it was foolish to purchase four wheel drive for the type of use my vehicles see -- on my last two vehicles it has been a tremendous expense with absolutely no benefits.

Kevin
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:24 PM   #31
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WOW! thanks for posting that.... all this is so interesting. everyone has so many different experiences. i am very glad you shared yours.
thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
I know that I am in the minority having had three four wheel drive tow vehicles -- and never another. My current K2500 Suburban has nearly 200,000 miles and I have decided to spend no more repairing the four wheel drive mechanism -- will be having my mechanic disable the transfer case and anything else necessary to make it safely operable without spending the close to $2,000 to overhaul the transfercase with no guarantee that the repair will have any appreciable life expectancy.

My first four wheel drive was a 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the 360 V8 (AMC) and 3.90 gears in the differential. In close to 200,000 miles never had to repair anything in the four wheel drive mechanism and had total confidence in its operation. Only used it once when towing my Airstream and don't really know if I needed it then.

In 1995, I traded the Jeep on a Chevrolet K1500 Silverado Z71. The truck was a nightmare in every way, particularly in regard to the four wheel drive. This truck had manual levers to shift between 2 and 4 wheel drive and another to choose high or low range. Every time that an attempt to engage four wheel drive was made, the transfer case would become stuck in four wheel drive and a trip to the nearest GM dealer would be necessary. More than once, I ended up stuck in four wheel drive and had to tow 300 or 400 miles to get home -- not a pleasant experience. After never having the four wheel drive operate as designed, I traded the truck at 38,000 miles in 1998 on my '99 K2500 Suburban.

The 1999 K2500 Suburban has been an absolute dream in all regards other than the four-wheel-drive. It has never had properly operable four wheel drive when I have towed either of my Airstreams. The few times that I have tried to use the four wheel drive with the Airstream, the reaction was for the Service Four Wheel Drive Soon light to come on meaning that the electronic circuit board control center for the transfer case was out. At this point it has been replaced more than a dozen times -- and when that Service Four Wheel Drive Soon light does come on, the truck is stuck in whatever mode it was in at that time -- it has happened to me when it was in 4 wd - High -- and once in 4 wd - Low. I wish that I would have listened to my uncle when he told me it was foolish to purchase four wheel drive for the type of use my vehicles see -- on my last two vehicles it has been a tremendous expense with absolutely no benefits.

Kevin
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:08 PM   #32
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Airstream Annie, just buy two Airstreams and take the bus.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:58 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
Unrelated to towing, we have enjoyed our 4x4 - after we get "there" - like going off road (i.e. Death Valley, Big Bend etc.). We have enjoyed having 4wd on a few occasions where going was a bit slick. And in general I like the comfort of having 4wd if needed. Need to have? Probably not. Nice to have? Most definitely.
We feel the same way. Other than a slight hit on gas useage we have had no mechanical problems.
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:50 PM   #34
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I have no need for 4WD and wouldn't buy it. Too much money down the drain in maintenance and repairs over the lifetime of the vehicle. My Dad and I have enjoyed quite a few laughs over construction guys with their lifted 4WD . . gee, how did Granpa do it with a 2WD '56 Ford truck?
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #35
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My parents delivered trailers for one of the northern Indiana companies for a couple years. Total of about 350,000 miles over a couple years. They drove 12 months a year in most weather conditions, stopping for a day or two if there was a blizzard and the roads were closed. They've never owned a 4WD, although they used my Willy's CJ-3a for a while when I was in college

The 4wd costs more to buy, more to insure, more to maintain, and more to fuel. You get some of the "buy" back, but not all. The rest of it you've just set fire to.

Disclosure: we have a 4x4, and use the x4 about once every other year, except for winter when we turn it on just because we can.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:23 PM   #36
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We've towed our trailer with both 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive vehicles.

We used 4 wheel drive once while "towing" -- to compensate for the truck being at a disadvantage to the trailer while parking on gravel. We were glad to have 4 wheel drive when we needed it.

We've used the 4 wheel drive for other activities, riding trails and getting unstuck from the county dump muck on numerous occassions. For us, it's been worth the costs of having the extra weight and additional components.

Like everyone else has said, it really depends on your needs. We've not had any "significant" additional costs by having the 4 wheel drive. This is most likely due to not breaking something -- yet. If we lived out west, we'd use 4 wheel drive more for sure while towing. We'd get out and boondock.

Good luck with your decision.
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