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Old 11-26-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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i have moved north to VIRGINIA CITY , Nevada
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Question about 4x4 TV ...

I am not considering a 4x4 TV becuase of the money added to the price of the truck ... AND because i wont be in any ice and snow or bad weather...and i am certainly not going off road with it.

my question is..... do i NEED 4x4 for any reason if i am not going to be in bad weather? wont towing with it on bring down the fuel mileage?

i want to keep the price of this truck down as much as i can but i dont want to be stupid about anything.

at this point i am trying to get an idea of what i have to spend to have peace of mind that when i am towing... the truck will be able to do its job with no worries.

i am leaning towards a diesel... to keep for a long time.
is dodge better than ford for that?

thanks for your opinions.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:00 PM   #2
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AnnieD,
Recently, my brother-in-law and I were driving in his 2x4 Dodge pick-up(2500 series diesel) off road on slightly hilly grassy slope. We got stuck and had to have a tractor pull us up to level land!@ I would have never thought it could happen but, it did. Just to show you, if it can happen..it generally will.
Good luck on your ultimate choice.
My personal choice would be:
GM then Dodge and after that...GM.
Ford, over the years has been way too inconsistent and quirky for me.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:45 PM   #4
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for 4x4

if you do any amount of airstreaming the day will come where you will venture off the pavement - even if it is only on to grass. now if the grass gets wet (dew, rain) the slipping and sliding will occur. i have seen more than a couple of 2x4 tv's with airstream in tow have to get towed off the grass.

my vote is for 4x4.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:14 AM   #5
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Question about 4x4 TV ...

Greetings AnnieD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieD View Post
my question is..... do i NEED 4x4 for any reason if i am not going to be in bad weather? wont towing with it on bring down the fuel mileage?
I have had a number of tow vehicles, and only three of them have had four wheel drive. My '84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer was an excellent tow vehicle and its four wheel drive was trouble-free -- fuel mileage was atrocious both solo and when towing -- single digits much of the time. My second four wheel drive tow vehicle was a '95 Chevrolet K1500 Club Cab Silverado (purchased new by me), its four wheel drive was the single biggest trouble causer on what was otherwise an average tow vehicle. My current '99 GMC K2500 Suburban also was ordered by me with four wheel drive -- I am losing about 2 MPG under all driving conditions -- and it has been the most trouble prone part on an otherwise trouble-free vehicle for 200,000 miles and counting.

My experience has been that yes, the fuel mileage under all conditions will be reduced. With the exception of the Jeep the four wheel drive has been the most trouble-prone parts on my other two four-wheel drive tow vehicles. I am at the point of having the four wheel drive disabled on my Suburban to avoid spending another $1,500 to $2,500 on a four wheel drive system that rarely goes for more than 12,000 miles without needing at least $1,000 in repairs. The same was true with my second four wheel drive vehicle and was a big part of why it was traded on the Suburban with only 49,000 miles on the odometer. If I buy another primary tow vehicle, it will not have four wheel drive -- a locking rear differential is a far more valuable option (IMHO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieD View Post
i am leaning towards a diesel... to keep for a long time.
is dodge better than ford for that?
My suggestion would be to carefully compare ownership costs over time to see if the diesel really makes sense for your intended use. I have never owned a diesel, but one of the reasons that I passed on the diesel when I ordered my '99 Suburban was that we didn't have a mechanic with a proven track record maintaining and repairing diesels. The extra cost of oil changes and regular maintenance was also a consideration.

When I ran the figures for my situation, I learned that it was basically a wash cost wise. I keep my vehicles for many thousands of miles in most cases, and my computations indicated that I would have to replace my gas fueled V8 once during the lifetime of one typical diesel motor -- the cost of replacing my Suburban's gasoline V8 was approximately the price difference between the V8 gas Suburban that I ordered and the diesel Suburban. At 200,000 miles, my theory is holding up well . . . the motor has no issues and uses no more than 1 quart of oil between changes -- my mechanic believes that the motor will likely make very close to 300,000 miles before I will need to start thinking about a new GoodWrench motor.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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Since you live in Nevada and are probably surrounded by desert on all four sides...

If you want piece of mind you may want to get 4X4. Many of your state parks are dirt or sand and sooner or later you'll be pulling onto a sand or dirt area. Thats when the 4X4 earns it's keep.

Our F250 4X4 diesel gets 17.9 empty and 14.8 while towing. We've used the 4X4 feature often as we boondock in the desert but we have had to use it when we didn't expect to also. Parking in a dirt lot on the highway to run into the store and other similar places.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:19 AM   #7
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Annie,

How much $$ are you looking to spend.

I would always recommend getting 4x4. If nothing more than I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. As an example, just two weeks ago, I was in the hospital, and my girl was driving my truck. She was driving on a paved road, not much bigger than 1 lane wide when a big 3/4 ton truck with a ginormous 5 wheel trailer coming the other way, she pulled off a little too far and the right front wheel fell in a large hole/ditch. She called me and I told her how to lock the hubs and put the truck in 4-digg. Truck pulled right out and saved a call to a tow truck.

I'm partial to Fords, specifically '99-'03 F250 Superduty 4x4 with the 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel. I picked up mine with slightly less than 150k miles, rebuilt tranny, well maintained, for $10k. I've now put about 25k more, trouble-free miles on her. You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a solid truck.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:06 AM   #8
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WOW! thanks guys ! all this makes ALOT of sense. i can see where i would definitely be needing the 4 wheel drive. if i was pulling off the road or for whatever reason.

i dont know why i didnt think about that but thats true.... i can see where i would need it. and yes i am surounded by mountains and desert all around me in northern nevada....and in the winter i will be in the southern deserts of arizona and new mexico.... AND of course vegas. LOL

and you are right about the deserts and the 4 wheel drive.
so yeah.... i will keep that in mind when i get my rig.

as far as what i am looking to spend.... i dont know. i guess i am hoping to get what i need for the best price i can.

so many things to think about.

thanks SO much for the input.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:22 AM   #9
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Overlander64 is right about the locking rear differential. That alone will save you a lot of grief.

But I've had a bunch of times where 4WD saved me some unpleasantness, and especially when towing the A/S. For example, I recently encountered a situation trying to get into a camping spot in an Ontario Provincial Park that was both hilly and largely sandy. I started to get some wheelspin, even with a locker rear end. My three choices: a) go try to get a more level spot with a poorer view; b) go into the spot at high speed to keep momentum up ... risking bent aluminum, torn off dump valves, etc., or c) engage 4WD and gently pull into the spot with no fuss. The last option seemed to me to be the best, and it was. I probably didn't NEED 4WD, but it sure was nice.

I can say that after some hundreds of thousands of miles in 4WD vehicles, I have had exactly zero problems of any kind with the 4WD system ... BUT when they break, they are expensive to fix.

And 4WD is no cure for stupidity: I once got a Suburban stuck WAY off-road, where it was sitting on both differentials, with all four wheels spinning uselessly in two foot deep water. I won't explain how I did this, but I will say that the 4WD system didn't help a lick, and it took four strong guys an entire afternoon to get her unstuck. So if you get 4WD, consider it an "out" and not a way to try to go to that most appealing, furthest place you can (probably) get to!
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieD View Post
WOW! thanks guys ! all this makes ALOT of sense. i can see where i would definitely be needing the 4 wheel drive. if i was pulling off the road or for whatever reason.

i dont know why i didnt think about that but thats true.... i can see where i would need it. and yes i am surounded by mountains and desert all around me in northern nevada....and in the winter i will be in the southern deserts of arizona and new mexico.... AND of course vegas. LOL

and you are right about the deserts and the 4 wheel drive.
so yeah.... i will keep that in mind when i get my rig.

as far as what i am looking to spend.... i dont know. i guess i am hoping to get what i need for the best price i can.

so many things to think about.

thanks SO much for the input.


In 20+yrs of Stream'n probably used 4wd less than a dozen times while towing, would I go w/out it?......nope. Peace of mind while 'dock'n.
IMHO...very good choice.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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We went with Dodge for the Cummins diesel. Wow.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:16 AM   #12
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In the last thirty-five years, have only had one vehicle that was'nt 4x4.
Most all of my off-road use has been in desert conditions, and much of the time, I did'nt need 4x4, but what is nice, is the ability to slow things down to a "crawling speed" for ease of manuvering, especially backing up.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:37 AM   #13
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I have been driving in Canada for over 40 years.

We have been towing for over 12 years.

Of the 100 or so campsites we have been in all have been either dirt, sand or grass.

Never owned a 4x4 and never needed one.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:07 AM   #14
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Speaking up for the 2x4 crowd -- we have towed our 31' Sovereign over 35000 miles the last 4 years into and out of all kinds of surfaces and have never gotten stuck.

I would think that for the price differential (not to mention potential maintenance costs)you might want to consider going with a 2x4 and using the savings to buy a good towing policy (which you should have anyway) for the next beaucoup years.

As for gas/diesel -- I would love to have a big honking diesel but I figure that by the time a diesel is just getting properly broken in (~200k miles), the rest of the truck will be looking pretty tired. So, I went with a gasser and have been very happy. The diesel will get you better mileage and, theoretically, lower per-mile fuel costs but you will pretty much have to drive to Mars and back to recoup the difference in up-front cost.

I would google the Powerstroke Diesel before I made any purchase decisions. It is my impression that there are a lot of unhappy owners out there...


Good luck!

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