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Old 10-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BillTex View Post
I am curious; Every once in a while I hear someone mention the maintenance, repairs” associated with 4wd….I have driven 4wd vehicles since 1971, everything from CJ5’s to Suburban’s, use the 4wd enough to justify it (skiing, New England winters, occasional logging roads in Maine/NH) and have never once had a 4wd failure. Yes there is some initial expense (less than a tow out in the backcountry!) and gear lube should be topped off occasionally (50k miles), you may lose ~ 1mpg, but I have never, not once, had to spend any significant amount of time or money repairing or maintaining 4wd.

My experience has been quite the opposite; I can’t imagine owning a truck that is not 4wd.

Can you explain your cost and maintenance experience with 4wd?

I am wondering if I have missed something all these years…

Tx, Bill
In general, my experience has been the same. However, there are more parts (transfer case, front diff, drive shaft, locking hubs, etc) and the wheel bearings, front suspension, etc, are significantly more difficult and expensive to work on with 4wd.

I like to go places off the beaten track, ski, etc, so the additional costs over the life of the vehicle are well worth it to me. At the same time, leather seats, etc, doesn't seem the right choice for a truck... to others, it may be completely different - which is why modern trucks are available w/ such a wide variety of options.

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Old 10-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BillTex View Post
I

My experience has been quite the opposite; I can’t imagine owning a truck that is not 4wd.

Can you explain your cost and maintenance experience with 4wd?

I am wondering if I have missed something all these years…

Tx, Bill
Here is western MT is you want a two wheel drive pickup you will likely have to order it. Most trucks come with wheel drive "standard".
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:57 AM   #31
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Here is western MT is you want a two wheel drive pickup you will likely have to order it. Most trucks come with wheel drive "standard".

Yeah, same here...walk on any dealer's lot and the majority of trucks are 4wd.

Maybe not so in Texas?

I have heard this claim before about 4wd being unreliable, and I have to say...I don't know anyone that has had trouble with 4wd...and as mentioned...there is lots of it 'round here.
In my younger days we did lots of jeepin and hunting. We would drive our jeeps 500 mi up to Northern Maine, run around the woods all week hunting deer, drive back home, hose out the jeep and be at work on Monday. Did this for years with jeeps, landcrusiers, old power wagons...never had a 4wd issue...and we were in mud up to the floor boards in Maine...some real nasty stuff.

I am just wondering what issues others may have had that has sworn them off 4wd...

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:09 PM   #32
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The first question would be how long does one own the truck? And over how many miles? Non-Airstream towing miles are out of consideration here.

The transfer case, constant-velocity joints, etc of 4WD-specific parts have a component life which is not as long as the truck (assuming it actually gets used as a 4WD). Ball joints, u-joints, steering components, springs (attaching points), shocks, etc all wear sooner than on a 2WD. In the meantime greater time while on the rack -- fluid changes, adjustments -- mean more $$ in skilled mechanical inspection.

Tires alone don't last as long. I got 120k out of the first set of tires. I don't regularly see 4WD owners having tires or brakes last nearly as long, maybe one-third to one-half. Fuel burn is always worse.

Ride is also worse, as is steering precision & feel, handling, and center-of-gravity on a 4WD all of which contributes to being a worse TV.

Cost-per-mile of operation on a 2WD is lower than with 4WD well before 200k miles is achieved in fuel use/tire cost alone, and then greatly so once the drivetrain starts to call for being rebuilt. Couple that to the initial added expense and 2WD is miles ahead.

Since pulling a travel trailer is the ostensible reason for purchase of a pickup truck in this thread then 4WD is low on the list of considerations for necessary equipment. It's barely on the horizon in most cases. Airstreams are not offroad vehicles in any sense, nor are they winter vehicles, etc.

The miles are all on-road. If I have to make a wrecker call I can probably do so 30, 40, 50 times before I meet the 4WD cost. And a change in tires and a rear locker would probably do 90% of that.

4WD only adds unnecessary equipment, reduces payload, worsens road manners & ride, and makes a more expensive but worse performing vehicle even more so but a fair number of miles down the road all for a convenience, not a necessity.

Choose the trailer first, as that recommendation goes, then spec the TV second, and as carefully. Others will do as they will but it makes no sense to me to have the best performing travel trailers coupled to the worst specification truck (itself the worst road vehicle) when the miles are on the road, not off.

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #33
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I think 4WD and an electronic locker would be most welcome when pulling a heavy boat out of a lake when the ramp is steep and very slippery. If the truck is used only for pulling an Airstream on the highway, the 2WD is fine.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:27 PM   #34
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..........Airstreams are not offroad vehicles in any sense, nor are they winter vehicles, etc............


.
Your Kidding right?

You had me hook line and sinker until that statement.




http://www.airforums.com/forums/f492...age-43739.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f492...res-48610.html



I'm kidding....

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #35
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On the 4wd subject, Worth every Penny. I have boondocked and will boondock. Padre Island is on the list. I wouldn't do it without 4wd. On our trip to Buffalo Point S.P, got Drowned in Riverbed rock. If it wasn't for 4wd, It would have cost me 100's of dollars to get towed out.

Better to have then have not.

Plus I do a lot of hunting and sometimes it's in the middle of a pasture,if it rains YOUR STUCK!!!

Not to mention Frost on the roads in the mountains from fog/mist..., that can occur at almost anytime. Depending on altitude.

As stated better to have than have not.

opinions vary.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
The first question would be how long does one own the truck? And over how many miles? Non-Airstream towing miles are out of consideration here.
Hmmm...although we do use our truck primarily as a TV, or TC hauler, it does venture out once camp is established. And many of these adventures require 4wd in our case...so I cannot say our truck is used ONLY for towing...that wouldn't be accurate.

Quote:
The transfer case, constant-velocity joints, etc of 4WD-specific parts have a component life which is not as long as the truck (assuming it actually gets used as a 4WD). Ball joints, u-joints, steering components, springs (attaching points), shocks, etc all wear sooner than on a 2WD. In the meantime greater time while on the rack -- fluid changes, adjustments -- mean more $$ in skilled mechanical inspection.
Good point, now that you mention it, I did have to replace u-j's in a 79 CJ5 that was heavily modded and lifted!

Quote:
Tires alone don't last as long. I got 120k out of the first set of tires. I don't regularly see 4WD owners having tires or brakes last nearly as long, maybe one-third to one-half. Fuel burn is always worse.
The best I ever did was 80k on a set of RH AT's...but I replaced because the sidewalls were getting cupped...there was still tread on them. Didn't know 2wd would extend tire life that far...

Quote:
Ride is also worse, as is steering precision & feel, handling, and center-of-gravity on a 4WD all of which contributes to being a worse TV.
I never thought any truck had good road feel, or handling. Guess this is subjective...

Quote:
Cost-per-mile of operation on a 2WD is lower than with 4WD well before 200k miles is achieved in fuel use/tire cost alone, and then greatly so once the drivetrain starts to call for being rebuilt. Couple that to the initial added expense and 2WD is miles ahead.
Agree, you give up a whopping 1mpg with 4wd.

Quote:
Since pulling a travel trailer is the ostensible reason for purchase of a pickup truck in this thread then 4WD is low on the list of considerations for necessary equipment. It's barely on the horizon in most cases. Airstreams are not offroad vehicles in any sense, nor are they winter vehicles, etc
See above. I can't say we ever needed 4wd while under tow, except for a slippery campsite or two...but after reaching camp and heading out...definitely.


Quote:
The miles are all on-road. If I have to make a wrecker call I can probably do so 30, 40, 50 times before I meet the 4WD cost. And a change in tires and a rear locker would probably do 90% of that.
Ever get more than 25 miles from pavement? You don't want to know what a tow cost out there. And road side coverage...doesn't.
I alway order the locking diff with 4wd...and there have been many times, the locking rear end was NOT getting us out...


Quote:
4WD only adds unnecessary equipment, reduces payload, worsens road manners & ride, and makes a more expensive but worse performing vehicle even more so but a fair number of miles down the road all for a convenience, not a necessity.
Convenience? I guess it really depends on your requirements.

Buy enough truck, and you will have plenty of payload. If you are that close on capacity...you are sure to have other issues than the added weight of 4 wd.

Quote:
Choose the trailer first, as that recommendation goes, then spec the TV second
Absolutely.

Thanks for trying to explain that comment about the hassle of 4wd, although, I don't see where actually had problems with 4wd?
What brand/vintage gave you trouble?

I guess if you frequent the RV resorts you may not need 4wd?

Perhaps it is a snowbelt/boondock thing?

In either case, I always check 4wd off on the menu...
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:14 AM   #37
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This photo was taken on our first Airstream camping trip....
Picasa Web Albums - Barbie - Tin Pickle Ai...

I sure was happy to have 4wd coming out of this canyon... 12% grade dirt road.

- Bart
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:44 AM   #38
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I did some market research and there are areas of the country where the volume of 4wd vehicles sold is relatively low. The Texas coast/Florida areas would be an example...so it becomes easier to see why some one who lives in those areas might not have experience with, or feel the need for 4wd. Particularly if they leave their paved driveway, tow down a nice freeway, and pull into a nice paved RV resort.

While others, like the OP, live where snow is a frequent climatological bonus, have a need for, and likely have experience with 4wd vehicles. Or those of us who like to find adventure down a long remote "road".

So, location could play a factor in this decision, particlularly if you don't venture far from your home region.

I think it's one of those things; you may not need it often...but when you need it...you need it real bad! Here in the North East, DW and I both have 4wd vehicles...and they both get used...some times more than we would like!

B
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by BillTex View Post
I did some market research and there are areas of the country where the volume of 4wd vehicles sold is relatively low. The Texas coast/Florida areas would be an example...so it becomes easier to see why some one who lives in those areas might not have experience with, or feel the need for 4wd. Particularly if they leave their paved driveway, tow down a nice freeway, and pull into a nice paved RV resort.
Oh there's no end of 4wd's down here. The ranchers, oilmen and others contend with slippery clay and all sorts of stuff. It's a business requirement. The beaches are a whole other world.

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I never thought any truck had good road feel, or handling. Guess this is subjective...
If it were subjective then detroit wouldn't bother with it. You've obviously not driven one with a vehicle in tow, nor to mention solo. IFS, rack&pinion and lower COG make a far better road vehicle (among trucks).

As to paved roads, yes, probably 99% of trips by 95% of people pulling an Airstream meet that definition. That is the point.

4WD penalty is greater than 1 mpg. 2-5 is more like it. All aspects of 4WD ownership entail higher costs beginning, middle and end of life. On average and in main. There's your market research.

Since you all want personal anecdote I've known -- quite well -- those who have pulled this trailer type for decades. Coast-to-coast, Canada and Mexico. Never felt the lack of 4WD. Neither have I. If I want to go offroad the trailer won't be going with me.

Quote:
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While others, like the OP, live where snow is a frequent climatological bonus, have a need for, and likely have experience with 4wd vehicles. Or those of us who like to find adventure down a long remote "road".
But with this trailer we are neither in the snow nor offroad for the vast majority of owners. There are always a few that may wish to do otherwise, but it proves nothing by itself.

It's still only a expensive convenience.


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Old 10-20-2010, 10:07 AM   #40
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I think it boils down to the climate you expect to deal with, as BillTex and others have stated. My dad (native Texan mechanic) was never interested in 4WD. I never thought it was something I'd need in a truck and just saw it as an extra expense... until we realized that there's a good chance we may be sent somewhere that has winter when my partner matches for his residency next March. If we end up in Iowa or Delaware or Maine, a 2WD truck would be a pain in the butt in that other season that we don't get here in Texas... what do y'all Yankees call it again? The one that comes after fall and before spring, you know the one I mean...

This is assuming that it would be useful to have a truck when it's cold, not that I'd be using an Airstream much in that sort of weather.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:28 AM   #41
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Along with poor handling suspensions, high center of gravity, and heavy weight-to-power ratios, another deficiency of pickups is light weight over the rear axle. Lousy on snow and ice. This makes 4WD almost universal here in Minnesota.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:10 PM   #42
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I hope you won't resent an old man weighing in on this.

I've had diesels since 1969 (220D Mercedes; 6.2L Chevy Heavy-Half; current 1996 Dodge Cummins) and I've enjoyed each of them in its own way. I especially like the Cummins, which given my age, will probably be my last. HOWEVER--- If I were considering a new truck to pull 8000# to 10000# I'd seriously consider gas over diesel.

1. You'll have to drive LOTS of miles to reach parity since purchase price for the diesel will be many thousands of dollars more than gas (I haven't priced them for a while but I suspect you're going to drop about $8000 to $10000 more just to get the diesel engine. And for the past several years diesel fuel has been at least 10% higher priced than gasoline).

2. There is a very significant difference in maintenance costs. It used to be that diesels had lower maintenance costs but those days are long past. Ask the service center what an oil and oil filter change costs for the diesel and you'll see what I'm talking about. Ask the price of a fuel filter change. Of course, oil changes are minor compared to other costs of maintenance. You probably don't want to know what just one injector costs!

3. I don't want to stir up an argument, but that being said, the Ford engine is new this year. Will it hold up over time? I hope it does because I'm a Ford fan (I currently own two Lincolns), but given the history of the recent 6.0 diesel I'd be uneasy. I love the way my truck pulls the 34' Limited, but the truth is, I could get along very well with a large gas-burner.

The above is only my opinion and I'm a real expert on that!

Gene
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