Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-15-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1998 25' Safari
Buda , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Is 4WD much of a necessity?

Looking for a tow vehicle and have settled on a new silverado, but I was wondering if most airstreamers opt for 2wd.

Any advise would be helpful.

Jerryb1973 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Zeppelinium's Avatar

1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,850
Send a message via Skype™ to Zeppelinium
You willbe surprised how many times it comes in handy. I had a fairly steep dirt driveway and it was essential just to get parked. I would definitely recommend it.


Zeppelinium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Excella 500
Spring Green , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 265
Our TV has 4WD, but not because of the Airstream. I also tow a 14' covered utility trailer, many times in winter road conditions here in Wisconsin. Without it I would be stuck, literally.

So, I would think two things would help you make the decision: Will you ever drive or tow your AS off road in conditions requiring 4WD? Are you going to use your TV for other purposes that may require 4WD?
Lew TAC #WI-6
Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.
driftless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
Rivet Master
dscluchfc's Avatar
1984 31' Excella
Abernathy , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 839
If you consider boondocking at all, it is a must.
Get off on some out of the way meadow or off the pavement place and have a good rain move through and you will be a 4x4 fan for life.
I was in the Yellowstone area last June and it rained 5 days out of 7.
Had it not been for low range 4x4 to gracefully pull out of the camping area where we were, I might have been there for days longer.
One in our party pulling a 5th wheel only had 2wd, and had to have another tow vehicle with 4x4 pull his rig out.
The low range 4x4 also works great if you have to back uphill in any circumstance. Traditional reverse gears are not necessarily designed to push much of a load uphill.
Bite the bullet and do will be glad you did.
TAC # TX-18

AIR # 410
dscluchfc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 9,521
Images: 5
We have one of each that we currently use as tow vehicles. Both of these are 3/4 ton Suburbans. One Suburban is a 2wd; the other is a 4wd. We use the 4wd very often when we travel out to Wyoming and up to Maine. We find the 4wd very useful on wet, muddy upgrades in campgrounds. Once while towing with the 2wd Suburban on a muddy upgrade, our forward progress stopped, and it took us a little while to get going again with the 2wd. In similar situations with the 4wd, we kept right on going.

We are in the process of shopping for a new tow vehicle. It will be a 4wd.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:46 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
nswhite's Avatar
2005 30' Classic S/O
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 135
I have a 2WD. My next TV will be a 4WD. For the few times I needed it, it's well worth it. Usually had to get a friend with a 4WD to help me out. Wet grass after a good rain does it.
nswhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
Rivet Master
RangerJay's Avatar

2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 796
Images: 44
4WD is one of those features that you may not use a lot - but when you need it - there isn't an easy substitute .....

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
RangerJay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
au_ee's Avatar
2007 31' Classic
Pulaski , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 261
Images: 3
It isn't a necessity unless you plan to use it in the winter where you might have to deal with snow conditions or you go places where the roads are not paved, including some campgrounds. We have a 2wd but our next TV (in approx another 100k miles) will be a 4wd. We've never been stuck but had a couple of close calls where the 4wd would have been nice to have. We also have 100 acres and that is the main reason we will get a 4wd.
Steve & Beth
AIR 22763
07' Classic 31, 11' Dodge 3500 Cummins
au_ee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Royce's Avatar
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 623
Images: 9
We mostly boondock and it is handy if not essential where we typically park. Sometimes just for peace of mind but worth it even then.
Royce (K0RKK) 146.460 simplex
Web page
AIR# 3913
'77' Minuet 6 Metre
Royce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
Blue Highways Explorer
mojo's Avatar
2015 27' FB International
2006 25' Safari FB SE
2004 19' International CCD
7,650' , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,176
2WD is really only one wheel drive, if you have ever been stuck with one wheel stationary and the other spinning, you know this.

4WD is really two wheel drive, same principle, two axles.

Locking center, rear, and front differentials is true 4WD.

So yes, if you drive off the pavement, encounter snow or mud, or go anywhere with hills and mountains, 4WD is worth it. Locking diffs is for true off-roading if that is what you want to do.
mojo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
Rivet Master
TinShack's Avatar

2005 28' Safari S/O
Atascadero , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,340
Images: 28
The 4WD trucks generally have lower tow/payload ratings than 2WD trucks, but is fairly minimal. I love my 4WD and would not own another truck without it after having had both. It gives me great peace of mind.
TinShack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
Rivet Master

1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,478
Blog Entries: 1
I have it. Not a necessity. But, even as tight as I am, I was afraid not to get it. For one thing, it makes the truck easier to resell, if that is a concern down the road. Down side is that after 82000 miles I had to replace the ball joints (it is a dodge) and the front cv joints. so there could be some maintence costs. I have used it towing. Was glad it was there when I made a mistake in a parking area in yellowstone. But the tow truck would have got there in a half a day or so I guess. one other slight downside is hitching it. I needed a tow bar with a lot of drop to get the hitch height set. Our tow truck is also my wifes everyday ride, and we have used the 4wd several times in the last couple of winters. seems like more snow and ice every year. I guess I just cannot see buying a new truck and not getting 4wd.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
Rivet Master
dznf0g's Avatar

2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7,263
I would get it on mine. If you don't, at least take the locking differential for the rear axle. (actually whether you go 4WD or 2WD). It's not very expensive and turns that one wheel drive into a 2wd, and the 2 wheel drive 4X4 into a 3 wheel drive! Figger that one out!
dznf0g is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #14
Wise Elder
Jammer's Avatar
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,789
Both my tow vehicles are 4wd. I have found 4wd necessary in several camping situations where the roads or camping pads are not paved. Even if the ground is firm and level, all it takes for a 2wd truck to lose traction is wet grass and trailer tires that have sunk slightly into the soil overnight, especially with a larger trailer like yours.

Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote

4wd, needed or not

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Group Milit-AIR-y soldiermedic Other Clubs 226 07-21-2015 12:17 AM
Necessity of a WDH ElCamino Man Hitches, Couplers & Balls 17 08-26-2012 07:06 AM
Building my 2012 F-150 richinny Tow Vehicles 102 06-30-2012 03:21 AM
Full timing: Tundra vs F250 timmaah Tow Vehicles 179 02-26-2012 08:52 AM
What's your backup or non Airstream trailer? soldiermedic On The Road... 86 04-04-2011 08:57 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.