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Old 09-18-2021, 05:56 PM   #21
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1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
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For many years I owned a 1991 F-250 with two-wheel-drive and no limited-slip differential. The truck had been used by its first owner to haul a big camper in the bed, and he fitted airbags on the rear axle. That truck could haul a ton of hay in the bed and ride like a Cadillac while doing it. Having no limited-slip diff, it got stuck on wet grass in my yard. Twice I had to use an old Tercel 4WD wagon to tow it out onto the gravel driveway. That pickup was effectively one-wheel-drive, and whichever rear wheel lost traction was that wheel. It was funny... frustrating at times... but funny.

As others have written already, there are costs and benefits to all drive systems on trucks and cars. I have an old F-350 PowerStroke 4x4 now. Its "shift-on-the-fly" 4WD isn't currently locking the front hubs, so I'll have to sort that out before winter. I've owned several Land Rovers, and they make excellent tow vehicles. Rovers use full-time 4WD. I had to trade-up to my current F-350 because I thought I was buying a 25' Excella that my Disco could tow, but the trailer was actually a 27'... just at the limit that the Disco could tow when the trailer is absolutely empty. With water, food, clothes, etc. it would be overweight for the Disco, and hauling the trailer home was a little spooky, so I bought the F-350. The Ford tows the Airstream effortlessly.

You'll probably do just fine with your new truck. If you live in a part of the country with very little winter weather, you may never feel a need for 4WD. Good luck.

Scott
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Old 09-18-2021, 05:57 PM   #22
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My GMC automatically locks the rear differential when tow mode is selected. That said, I’ve had several instances towing where I try to accelerate from a stop sign on an incline, especially when turning, and both rear wheels spin. AWD is nice to have in this situation. All it takes is a simple turn of the knob.
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Old 09-18-2021, 08:55 PM   #23
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I bought a 4wd for one reason, and one reason only. It had nothing to do with towing my Airstream. I bought it because when we are camping, some of the places we want to visit aren't on the best of roads. I didn't want to be limited to only places that a 2wd vehicle could go safely.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:20 PM   #24
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Payload is more important than 4WD. Keep the 2WD or move to F-250. That’s the real choice.

FD - I just took delivery of a 2022 F-250 FX4 after towing with a 2020 F-150 FX4 max tow and inadequate payload. Loved the F-150 but the 1610# payload wasn’t enough. Actual payload was 1550# at the scale. So the only way to really know payload is to weigh the empty truck with full fuel…no humans, no nothing. My F-250 payload is a shade over 3000#.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Best guess is that your 27' GT is up around 1,000 pounds tongue weight. Shank and hitch could add anything from 50 to 300 pounds to that. Toss in a few passengers and or some stuff .... things get a bit tight for a F150.

Bob
Hey Bob,

A little off topic but, sounds like you have some experience with this. My 27 Globetrotter is due in at the end of October (I will believe it when I am touching it).

I did a lot of research based on being able to tow it with my current 4WD F-150. The GCVWR of my F-150 according to the manual is 14,400#. As I said above, With the truck and trailer maxed out I am right on the number. The manual also says “reduce the GCWR by 1000# for towing in the mountains”.

I don’t know if it will be doable or not. I went into this purchase with eyes wide open knowing I may need or want to upgrade to a 250.

Would the manufacturer publish numbers that won’t work or unsafe? I would not put it past them. I can tell you that every AS dealer and every truck dealer that have have ever spoken to are completely clueless about towing capacity.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Wooly
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:31 AM   #26
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2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolecox View Post
Hey Bob,

A little off topic but, sounds like you have some experience with this. My 27 Globetrotter is due in at the end of October (I will believe it when I am touching it).

I did a lot of research based on being able to tow it with my current 4WD F-150. The GCVWR of my F-150 according to the manual is 14,400#. As I said above, With the truck and trailer maxed out I am right on the number. The manual also says “reduce the GCWR by 1000# for towing in the mountains”.

I don’t know if it will be doable or not. I went into this purchase with eyes wide open knowing I may need or want to upgrade to a 250.

Would the manufacturer publish numbers that won’t work or unsafe? I would not put it past them. I can tell you that every AS dealer and every truck dealer that have have ever spoken to are completely clueless about towing capacity.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Wooly
Hi

This is the same Ford Motor Company that sent out a letter on the F150 tow ratings right? ( If you dig into the TFL truck videos on YouTube you can see way more than you ever wanted to know about that ...). There is a *LOT* of debate about this and how it applies here or there:

Bottom line is that they derate the max towing numbers by 2% for every 1,000 feet above sea level. They also rate it for towing at 45 MHP ..... yikes .... None of this is mentioned in any manual anywhere. It's all per SAE specs (apparently).

I would not tow a 27' with an F150. Given what we have along, there simply is no way to make the payload numbers work. I very much do *not* want to run past the CAT scales before every trip and then go unload this or that. I'd much rather have a vehicle that I don't have to worry about.

Indeed we *had* an F250. Turns out it wasn't really enough. We now have an F350. The Classic 30' *is* a bigger trailer. It's not that much bigger. All the junk we haul along is pretty normal for any trailer. That part would not change at all.

Bob
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:38 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Payload is more important than 4WD. Keep the 2WD or move to F-250. That’s the real choice.

FD - I just took delivery of a 2022 F-250 FX4 after towing with a 2020 F-150 FX4 max tow and inadequate payload. Loved the F-150 but the 1610# payload wasn’t enough. Actual payload was 1550# at the scale. So the only way to really know payload is to weigh the empty truck with full fuel…no humans, no nothing. My F-250 payload is a shade over 3000#.
Hi

A bit over 5 years ago, I started out looking for a 2WD truck for exactly the reasons the OP mentions. First thing I found was that there was zero inventory on any dealer lot within a 600 mile radius of home. That was for any configuration of F250 / F350 ... none .. .no inventory. Why? " they don't sell, if we get them in, they just sit on the lot".

Next thing was a thread very much like this here on the forum. Various members pointed out their experiences. Some where almost duplicates of what has been mentioned here. Others where a bit more unique. The net result was another nudge towards 4WD.

There most certainly *are* tradeoffs beyond payload. The 2WD likely sits closer to the ground. That's a big deal. It's suspension probably is tuned for "on road" use. That also is important. Off road suspension are a compromise for towing.

In my case, 4WD was very much the right choice.

Bob
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:41 AM   #28
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Murfreesboro , Tennessee
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2WD vs 4WD

I prefer the 2WD over the 4WD. I drove company trucks for 35 years and drove well over a million and a half miles without needing the 4 wheel drive option. I realize there are situations when you might need it but is it really worth the extra cost and the extra maintenance expense. I always order my new truck with the positive traction lock-in switch on the Ford and over 9 times out of 10 that takes care of the need for towing trailer problem on frost or wet grass. I made up my mind years ago when it snow or during an ice storm my work will be there when it clears so I work at home and the truck can set in the garage. Much easier now because Covid has promoted that anyway. My wife is happier because the 2WD is lower to the ground and seems to be a smoother ride. Lastly I have asked many people how often they use the 4WD on their vehicles. The standard answer is I have never used it or don’t even know how to use it. Was it worth the extra $$$$ to purchase it?
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:55 AM   #29
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Wenonah , New Jersey
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25 flying cloud and 2013 f150 4 Ed. Only about 3,200 miles towing. I can tell you twice I required engaging 4wd. Once leaving a campsite with steep gravel covered drive and once after significant ran and slick mud developed under trailer axles.

It is valuable to me.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:00 AM   #30
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You only need 4x4 when you need it and don't have it! It is used perhaps 2-4 times a year for us in TX...but when we need it, like when the ice storm closed Austin earlier in the year...no one was out except 4wd/AWD folks. Camping in sand (beach) or in wet weather, we have used several times with the AS in these situations. You may never need it...but you never know.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:19 AM   #31
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I like going where most people won’t. So as long as you stick to pavement you should be fine.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:24 AM   #32
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Better to have it than that
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:24 AM   #33
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:51 AM   #34
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4WD or 2WD, pulling an Airstream?

I knew I needed 4WD several years before I bought a travel trailer. I was driving a 2WD pickup truck in a snowstorm and when I neared Stevens Pass (WA) it was “Chains Required”. While I installed tire chains on the rear tires I noticed a lot of 4x4 trucks go by (not required to chain up). We traded that truck for a 4x4 and never looked back. Our car is AWD too.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:58 AM   #35
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Seattle , WA
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Decision Made for the 4WD

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I decided to change build sheet and go for the 4WD option. BTW, the cost over the 2WD was us$3875.

The most compelling reason was the higher resale value, followed by having it when I needed it.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:13 AM   #36
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Hendersonville , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
On slippery ground, 2WD means one wheel drive. With 4WD it means two wheels get power.

My F150 has the e-locker which prevents the rear differential from any slip. So irrespective of slippery terrain, both rear tires get the exact same amount of torque and power. Its better than a limited slip differential. If you can get the e-locker with a 2WD then that may suffice. With 4WD and a e-locker at least three tires are pulling.

I got the 4WD because I will drive out dry riverbeds for miles and sometimes the sand is deep, or down 50 miles of dirt paths to explore. I've never needed 4WD for towing a trailer.
Not sure this works on all brands of vehicles but.....on my 2013 E150 XLT van with the factory tow package it comes with a 3.73 LSD. On the dash is a switch to turn off the traction control. TCS button. When I turn off the TCS both rear wheel dig together like a locker. Tried this out on wet streets, snow covered streets and last week at the dump getting rid of a bunch of brush in some rather deep mud.

I was given this tip by a guy that drives a tow truck for a living. He has shown up to tow out a struck Ford van a couple of times and just gets in it and switches off the TCS and proceeds to drive it out of stuck spot.

GM's G80 automatic locking rear diff (this has been around for years) is similar in operation but has no on/off button on the dash. It senses slip and transfers power to both rear wheel but only at slow speeds. Usually enough to get you unstruck and moving.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:16 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyPro View Post
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I decided to change build sheet and go for the 4WD option. BTW, the cost over the 2WD was us$3875.

The most compelling reason was the higher resale value, followed by having it when I needed it.

Thanks again, everyone.
Congrats on your decision. I am sure it will be a nice truck. Check your door sticker for actual Cargo Capacity and pack accordingly. Happy travels.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:25 PM   #38
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2018 28' International
Mesa , Arizona
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I have 4 wheel drive on my 2018, Silverado and pull a 28ft rbq. My travel buddy has an identical truck except 2 wheel drive pulling an identical trailer. Same engines and transmission. On a recent 9,000 mile trip I averaged 13.8 mpg and he averaged 12.6mpg, so even the fuel mileage is not a factor.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:50 PM   #39
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Mesquite , Nevada
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Whether you have 2wd or 4wd if you have open differentials the wheel with less traction will spin - on one or both axles. So it is very important to spend the four to five hundred dollars to get limited slip or a locking differentials. I would rather have 2wd with a locking or limited slip differential than 4wd with open diffs front & rear. Even a 4wd should be equipped with limited slip in the rear but many dealers don't order this way to shave a few hundred off of sticker price.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:49 PM   #40
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Duly noted...the one I just ordered comes with "3.73 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio"
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