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Old 03-19-2011, 08:17 PM   #43
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I have it on my truck because I bought used and it was so equipped. However, I've been towing travel trailers since the 70's, and can't remember a time that I needed it. Having said that, I'll probably be stuck tomorrow.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #44
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I wish my truck was a 4x4 since we tow the airstream to our timeshare campground thats hilly. Since its hilly they decided to lay down gravel!? Yikes.
With 4wheel drive I would be able to slide right into our favorite spot.. now I have to back down the road about 5 sites and stuff it in that way. Backing the trailer is one of my favorite things to do but it could be much simpler with the right truck.

Vinnie
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:58 PM   #45
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4x4

One issue not mentioned here is that with the Dodge and Ford 3/4 ton trucks, the 4x4 model has a solid front axle. The 4x2 versions have independent front suspension. The driving characteristics are better with the 4x2 on these trucks. Only GM has an independent front suspension on the 4x4. But, you still have the maintenance issues.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:51 PM   #46
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I bought a 2008 Tundra with 2wd and I am not sorry. I saved about $3,000 and the additional maintenance required for 4wd. It also gets slightly better fuel economy. However the limited slip is "electronic only". I don't think that it works very well. It acts more like it does not have limited slip at all. I would be much happier it I had 2wd with a locking limited slip that appears to be available on the other big 3 trucks.

Dan
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:14 AM   #47
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In 2008 I bought a 2500 diesel Silverado with 2 wheel drive.

Since then I've gotten stuck on wet grass three times.

I've learned after the first debacle that the orange leveling "legos" are pretty handy for getting out of this kind of mess. I wedge one as far under the leading edge of each drive wheel, then make a path of additional blocks. I can slowly drive out of the loose muddy wet gras and onto a dryer spot. The key thing is to stop as soon as you suspect you're getting stuck. Once you're 4-6 inches down, it's tow truck time.

I suppose if I'd gotten the yellow ones, I could follow the yellow brick road.

... next vehicle WILL be 4 WD.

Paula
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:22 AM   #48
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I've had our 1996 F250 4x4 since it was new... there really hasn't been a bunch of extra maintenance in the last 176000 miles.... and we've not had to put on tire chains many times, and have been able to boon dock places I'd never try to go w/o 4x4... and I've never been stuck.

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Old 01-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #49
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I just got rid of a 4x4 pickup in favor of a 4x2 Ford Excursion. The 4x4 was so high off the ground you just about needed a ladder to put anything in the bed or get in and out of the truck. I wanted something low maintenance which ment to me a gas engine and no 4x4. Then there are the issues of the tires. Most yahoos put the big crappy noisy low miliage mud tires on 4x4's which really messes them up for road use. It is most likely the reason for higher maintenance because the mud tires are really hard on bearing etc. My Excursion has a locking rear end and it is heavy enough that there is plenty of traction. I have not had any problems with getting stuck in it but I am sure I could get it stuck if I tried. The crappy tires and height make them less stable and more of a pain for trailering because the bumper is so much higher than the trailer. I don't understand the trend toward making trucks so high off the ground which makes them less useful as a truck that works instead of a redneck toy. In most trucks you take a miliage hit my going 4x4 and that gets worse as tires get more redneck.

Perry
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #50
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I guess a couple of short high-snow stories might be appropriate.

A couple of years ago I went up to our friend's house with their 4WD Jeep. The snow was deep and high-centered the vehicle, which kept sliding off to the side towards an embankment. Finally stuck, I walked out of the mountains (a long, cold walk), put the big chains on our 2WD F150, drove up there, pulled out the Jeep, and drove back home.

And another story about chains. Maria and I tried to go up to the same friend's house with her small 2WD truck fitted with cables. On the way up the hill, the truck ground to a stop with wheels spinning, then slid backwards down the mountainside. That was kind of scary, I'll tell you! So we made it back home safely, where I put the big chains on the F150 and drove up there and back without incident.

Bottom line: Big chains.


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Old 01-22-2012, 08:37 AM   #51
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IMO, either 4wd OR a locking rear diff is needed. NOT a limited slip...they are for sports cars and should never have been put in trucks that pull loads. A LOCKER.

I am tempted to go 2wd with a locker next time. I had one on a sandy beach site years ago and couldn't believe how it pulled the SOB out of the sand with 2WD/locker.

Remember a 4wd without a locker (or limited slip) is just a 2wd, one front and one rear. A 2wd without a locker (or limited slip) is known in the industry as a "one wheel wonder". Not good for much when a load is on.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #52
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Locker

I'm liking the idea of a 2wd with locker. I just am not familiar with the hardware. Even with a limited slip rear differential a 4x4 really has 3 drive wheels (maybe 2.5) if you get stuck. I lived at Lake Tahoe for a few years and know about 7 foot snow storms (35 feet annually!) and hills with ice. I installed studded snow tires on my wife's Honda Civic at the time, and it would outperform my 4x4 blazer when it had MS tires, easily. What I learned was for ice and deep snow I needed studded snow tires to get around and the Civic never got stuck! If you have chains for your 2wd truck, you get go anywhere. Obviously some guys here have places they like to go with their Airstream's that are unimproved, or they live where it snows. I would certainly want a 4x4 in that case. My original point was that if we were deciding on a dedicated Airstream tow vehicle for the summer months, 2wd can be a good way to go.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:45 AM   #53
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My Excursion has limited slip and it works fine. Now for extended pulling in loose ground a locker is going to be better. The limited slip clutches will wear out if you are constantly using them. Many folks don't know that using the brake can an act like a limited slip rear end and transfer some torque to the wheel with the most traction. If you know you are going to do a lot of offroad camping then get a 4x4 but if you are going to tow the thing on the highway you are an idiot for having a mud crawler for a tow vehicle.

Perry
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #54
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Idiot?

A little strong, wouldn't you think
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #55
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Not all 4x4's are mud crawlers. Not all 4x4 drivers on the road are idiots but some are. I live in Alabama and poeple take perfectly good trucks and ruin them for road use but they still drive them 99% on the road.

Perry
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #56
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I find that Michelin LTX A/T tires are quiet and provide adequate traction for normal adventures. I don't like "mudding" with a 7000 lbs+ truck; it sinks like a stone, and I carry chains (required by CA law when chain controls are in force) even though I've never needed them.

We had a great time in Death Valley exploring the Inyo mine last spring; 10 miles off the paved road and 4wd only (sans Tin Pickle, which was in the camp ground). We've had the Airstream on really steep dirt roads (10-15% grades) where 4wd makes all the difference. I might have made it up w/o - but having 7000 lbs on driving axles vs 3500 lbs out of 12k+ is quite a change.

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