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Old 01-31-2009, 06:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 1cericks1 View Post
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I'm not good with searching. If the tow vehicle has two wheel or four wheel drive, which should you use for general highway driving?
This thread has apparently degenerated into a discussion of the value of 4WD.

To get back on topic and answer your question, normal highway driving is done in 2WD (or as is found on some transfer cases 2HI). You don't engage 4WD until you have less-than-ideal traction; wet or slippery road surface, wet grass, loose gravel, etc. The reasons, as Bob mentioned, include tire wear; but more importantly, good traction conditions can bind up the transfer case and front axle, particularly when turning. That can potentially lead to gear, U-joint, or axle half-shaft failures. The ability for the wheels to slip a little is necessary for keeping a 4WD system from self-destructing.

4HI can also be engaged and disegaged at speed (check your owner's manual for the recommendations of your manufacturer about what speeds are appropriate, usually under 50mph) in most part-time 4WD systems. 4LO on the other hand usually requires being stopped and in Neutral to be shifted into or out of.

Roger
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:07 PM   #16
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It is only a waste if you never use it. I use it and I don't mind toting around the extra weight. Nor to I mind toting the weight of the diesel engine either.

There are times (after a rain) that I could not park my camper at my house without 4WD. It is also handy to have the low range feature for easing the camper into certain tight spots.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:52 PM   #17
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Last time I was out, my GPS sent me off on a steep dirt road and I started spinning out some.
Got one of those things for Christmas, and I'm having the dardest time teaching it how I like to go places. It keeps telling me to turn around and go back. After a while, though, it always figures it out.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:56 PM   #18
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Got one of those things for Christmas, and I'm having the dardest time teaching it how I like to go places. It keeps telling me to turn around and go back. After a while, though, it always figures it out.
I've named the little woman in the box 'Garmina'. She can be awfully persistent when you ignore her sometimes.

Back on topic, most 4WD trucks can be shifted between 2WD and 4HI at just about any speed up to around 50mph. The newer electronically shifted transfer cases have some delay and don't like to shift into 4WD if the front wheel speed isn't the same as the rear. I prefer the old school floor shifted type for real off roading since you can lock in the front axle without having to lose forward momentum in the muck.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:04 PM   #19
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I've named the little woman in the box 'Garmina'. She can be awfully persistent when you ignore her sometimes.
Yes, I have some friends in the unit that call theirs "The Bitch in the box".
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:35 PM   #20
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Whoa....this 4x4 discussion is a little more complicated than 4wd vs. 2wd. There's part time Hi & Lo, full time selectable (which is available on american trucks) and various versions of symmetric All wheel drive like your Subaru. But if you want the full details, see this site all 4WD/AWD on one page - a simple, easy to understand overview - all available 4WD, all wheel drive and 4x4 systems and their differences - 4WD concepts, their function, their layout, their purpose, their advantages

And personally, I like all wheel drive. Also had a Dodge Durango with full time 4wd. Do you need it? Only when you hit that black ice or hydroplane on a puddle and that extra traction combined with the automatic stability control kicks in and helps keep you gong straight. Pulling a trailer in the rain can be just as scary as snow.

There really is not that much difference in gas consumption between 4wd & 2wd, especially when towing a trailer.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:05 PM   #21
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To the gentleman asking about a Landrover Disco:

Be wary of the tow ratings. Rover used to rate their maximum towing capacity based on having the transfer case in low range. That would give you a top speed of about 40mph.

So, in theory, the Disco could tow the big trailer, but only in low range where the torque is basically doubled. But, the rpm are doubled also.

Anyway, it may be different now than ten years ago, but it's worth looking into to be certain.

A Disco has a fairly short wheelbase too. I wouldn't think one of those would be a very good tow vehicle for any trailer much over 22' or so. But I could be wrong.

Me, I use a Dodge Ram 4-door long bed 4x4 (I wouldn't own a 2wd truck) with the Cummins turbodiesel. I haven't hit a hill yet I can't accelerate up and she's got the chassis to pull my 34 footer with ease. I don't get stuck either

Take care,
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #22
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To the gentleman asking about a Landrover Disco:

Be wary of the tow ratings. Rover used to rate their maximum towing capacity based on having the transfer case in low range. That would give you a top speed of about 40mph.
And, IIRC, LandRover doesn't recommend the use of WDH. (disclaimer... I haven't confirmed that by doing my due-diligence, this comment is from memory).

Roger
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 1cericks1 View Post
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I'm not good with searching. If the tow vehicle has two wheel or four wheel drive, which should you use for general highway driving?
We always use the two wheel mode for normal highway towing.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:21 PM   #24
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To the gentleman asking about a Landrover Disco:

Gentle(wo)man, thank you.

Be wary of the tow ratings. Rover used to rate their maximum towing capacity based on having the transfer case in low range. That would give you a top speed of about 40mph.

So, in theory, the Disco could tow the big trailer, but only in low range where the torque is basically doubled. But, the rpm are doubled also.

Anyway, it may be different now than ten years ago, but it's worth looking into to be certain.

This is good to know. I had a 2003 Discovery a few years ago but never towed anything with it. Whatta waste! But have been thinking about getting a '97...

A Disco has a fairly short wheelbase too. I wouldn't think one of those would be a very good tow vehicle for any trailer much over 22' or so. But I could be wrong.

...Until you pointed this out. The short wheelbase was my concern too. My trailer is 30' so I've been a bit worried about that.

Me, I use a Dodge Ram 4-door long bed 4x4 (I wouldn't own a 2wd truck) with the Cummins turbodiesel. I haven't hit a hill yet I can't accelerate up and she's got the chassis to pull my 34 footer with ease. I don't get stuck either

I hear you. Being in MT, the roads are compacted snow/ice for several months out of the year, plus exploring the back roads calls for a trustworthy vehicle and dependable traction. A 2wd just doesn't make sense to me here. That's one of the reasons an AWD vehicle appeals to me. I guess driving a truck in 2wd, the light rear end is offset when you're towing? That's my worry with getting a regular pick up truck. I don't want to only be able to drive or tow on happy sunny clear road days.

Take care,
You too, thank you for your comments. This is something for me to think on more.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:22 PM   #25
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Um boy, that reply didn't go very well, did it? My thoughts and replies to your comments are blended in with yours. Sorry about that, my newbie'ness is just showing through.
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