Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (https://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Sprinter and B-van Forum (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/)
-   -   Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/do-i-need-4-wheel-drive-197489.html)

pendergastjm 06-27-2019 08:15 AM

Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive?
 
We are considering our first RV and are looking at a 2018 Interstate EXT. It seems to have everything that we need but is not 4WD. Our trips will be between Denver and San Francisco, and can be planned ahead of time. My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice? If 4WD is needed we will need to keep searching since there are not a lot of these units available. Thanks for any input you can provide!

UncleBad 06-27-2019 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2257678)
We are considering our first RV and are looking at a 2018 Interstate EXT. It seems to have everything that we need but is not 4WD. Our trips will be between Denver and San Francisco, and can be planned ahead of time. My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice? If 4WD is needed we will need to keep searching since there are not a lot of these units available. Thanks for any input you can provide!



Where do you plan on camping?

Isuzusweet 06-27-2019 08:30 AM

A number of things to consider when considering 4WD

1) Immediate cost of system to vehicle
2) Maintenance costs
3) BIG ONE! Fuel costs
4) Possibly higher insurance costs
5) Going somewhere with 4wd that you shouldn't have gone, (you get stuck further off road with 4wd).

IMHO If you are sticking with proven roads and trails, and learn your vehicles capabilities with 2wd; you don't NEED 4wd. However, if you like to push it, and decide you WANT to park, up hill on wet grass.......you're going to need 4wd.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS How much is a Good Sam's membership to pull you out once or twice, compared to the extra costs.

pendergastjm 06-27-2019 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UncleBad (Post 2257681)
Where do you plan on camping?

Mostly National Parks, when we do camp. Our primary use, as of right now, is to travel comfortably, with our dogs, between our primary residence in Colorado and our daughter's home in the San Francisco area. That is a 17 hour drive that we would like to break up into one or two night overnights. I can see us using this unit though to explore other areas of the country or to visit friends in the South Eastern part of the country.

pendergastjm 06-27-2019 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isuzusweet (Post 2257686)
A number of things to consider when considering 4WD

1) Immediate cost of system to vehicle
2) Maintenance costs
3) BIG ONE! Fuel costs
4) Possibly higher insurance costs
5) Going somewhere with 4wd that you shouldn't have gone, (you get stuck further off road with 4wd).

IMHO If you are sticking with proven roads and trails, and learn your vehicles capabilities with 2wd; you don't NEED 4wd. However, if you like to push it, and decide you WANT to park, up hill on wet grass.......you're going to need 4wd.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS How much is a Good Sam's membership to pull you out once or twice, compared to the extra costs.

Good info, thanks. Our use should primarily be on established roads/interstates. I was mostly concerned about mountain driving in the winter. However, I also believe (maybe naively) that we can plan our trips to try to avoid the worst of the weather. :blush:

Lumatic 06-27-2019 08:40 AM

Personally speaking, there have been only a few times I needed 4wd to get out of a stuck situation. There have been more occasions I used 4wd for efficiency on more demanding steep, unpaved, rocky roads but could have gotten through with 2wd.

Bill M. 06-27-2019 08:40 AM

I do not own an Interstate so I do not really know. I do drive a 4 wheel drive truck. My guess is that I would not need or particularly want 4 wheel drive in an interstate. Unless I was a skier or something that might tempt me to drive on icy roads. Your research seems to indicate that many people do without it.

In 11 years of trailering I have used the 4 wheel drive twice to pull the trailer.

And I got stuck once way back in with the truck and had to be towed even with the 4 wheel drive. To me it would be necessary on a pickup because they are so bad on traction but probably not on an Interstate that is always loaded on the rear wheels.

batman 06-27-2019 08:41 AM

Vague question. Do you need FWD/AWD? Do you (always) stay on roads and hwy's? Do you (only) stay in RV parks? Do you only drive in good weather? "Probably not". However, if you drive in the snow/foul weather alot or just have an adventuress spirit and like to explore dirt roads and remote areas. I would say it is an advantage to have FWD/AWD. Not to get into those areas, but to get out of a sticky situation. I am that guy who goes into places with my trailer that some would not think of going. So I like the FWD factor and use it. Do you need FWD? You have to make that decision based on your lifestyle and driving conditions. Best of luck.

-Dennis

ADVPHOTOG 06-27-2019 09:11 AM

We are building our eventual retirement home at close to 9000 feet in the mountains of New Mexico and spend a great deal of time in mountainous areas on our trips in our 2018 Grand Tour EXT 4WD. We wanted the 4WD for inclement weather and the road conditions that can evolve from such weather.

The vehicle is simply too low to the ground and long to take it off-road. When not towing our Jeep we see approximately 17 mpg so carrying around the extra weight that the 4WD system adds is not a concern.

lachness 06-27-2019 09:31 AM

If you do go with 4WD on the Interstate, another option worth considering for a smoother ride is the air suspension. It will smooth out the ride.

Good Luck!

85MH325 06-27-2019 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2257678)
My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice?

There is no doubt that there is a "cool" factor to a 4WD van, but you do NOT "need" 4WD. Allow me to justify my answer:

I bought my first 4WD, a Jeep CJ 7, in 1979. In the ensuing 40 years, I have had a parade of Jeeps, Land Cruisers, a Bronco II, a Scout II, an Excursion, and a dozen 4WD pickups, mostly Toyotas with a Nissan Titan thrown in. I have not been without a 4WD in 40 years. I currently have a '16 Jeep JKU Rubicon. I use them for their intended purposes, plus towing and launching sailboats, and dragging a landscape trailer around with a tractor on it for snow removal in the worst possible driving conditions. I have been ALL over the deserts of SoCal and Nevada in Jeeps, and over and through most of the NoCal mountains.

I ran a crime scene unit for a rural Sheriff's Department in NoCal from early 1991 through late 1997. My daily work driver was a 2WD Ford Aerostar van. It was a box-stock cargo van with all-season M+S tires. I drove that van ALL over the mountains of NoCal on fire roads, trails, and places there were no roads at all. I forded streams and small rivers. I took that van places that the guys with 4WD found challenging. Anywhere there was a felony crime scene, the van went. I got stuck once in seven years; I was fording a stream that was running high (over the rocker panels) and there was algae on the rocks in the stream bed making them slick. I backed off the accelerator when I should have goosed it. It was my fault. Fortunately the rancher was waiting on the far side with a full-sized '70s Jeep Cherokee and my snatch-'em strap got me out in short order. That was the ONLY time I got stuck.

Now translating that to a motorhome... if the weather is so bad that you need 4WD, you ought to be parked somewhere waiting the storm out. There's so much 'stuff' hanging under the bottom of a Sprinter-based motorhome that likely you're just waiting to tear something off driving on any Forest Service or logging road. You are NOT going to go places with your Sprinter you'd take a Jeep. A Sprinter is just too top-heavy and too long. And if you're not doing logging roads or Forest Service roads, you don't NEED 4WD.

And last, all 4WD does for you, really, is make the places you get stuck a LOT more expensive to get towed out of. AND with a Sprinter van, you NEED a big rollback for a tow. A conventional tow truck that can get to you will tear your van's drivetrain up, and drag your generator and tanks and grind them off.

So... there you go. The long way of getting 'round to "no, you don't NEED 4WD in a Sprinter-based motorhome," except for the "cool factor."

ROBERT CROSS 06-27-2019 09:39 AM

Welcome Aboard....👍
 
“Its better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you don’t.”
RLC

Bob
🇺🇸

uncle_bob 06-27-2019 09:52 AM

Hi

There are multiple things that make an Interstate (with or without 4WD) a less than perfect rough road vehicle. If you can plan your trips to avoid issues, (or pull over if you get caught) that is by far the best option.

With our combination of "insane" GPS for navigation and choice of campgrounds, there have been situations where 4WD was a comfort. Was it *needed*? Possibly not in all cases.

Back a lot of years, we spent time with a friend's Class A that most certainly did not have 4WD. It went skiing in the winter all the time. It never got stuck.

Bottom line - get out and go camping. If 4WD simply isn't available on what you are shopping for, don't let that stop you.

Bob

Mansderm161 06-27-2019 09:56 AM

I agree with above. I do not have 4WD. The key issue is all the stuff underneath with minimal clearance. It really is not what I would call an off road vehicle. Just being on roads, my macerator was knocked off by something. Definitely get the air ride suspension...if nothing else so you can pump it up to get under there for repairs, but u can use it for minor levelling too. And agree with bad weather, best to find a safe place and wait it out....which is pretty easy to do in an interstate. You may not be using it much in extreme cold due to freezing. Even with all lines cleared out with antifreeze, you have to consider wind chill under the rig while driving. Best before you buy to actually crawl under there and see what you are dealing with....it actually is pretty amazing. It's a lot of fun to travel in and fun to drive. A lot of us travel with our pets in one. You can still travel unpaved roads in a most of the parks.

Titus 06-27-2019 10:01 AM

There are a few places that we did not go, but that was more due to lack of ground clearance than lack of 4WD. But of course with 4WD you get a bit more ground clearance too. Airstream could invest a bit of thought into improving the ground clearance at a far less price than the cost of 4WD, and that would work for us. I can't imagine us wanting to go anyplace in a 10,000 # Interstate where 4WD might needed. We don't use our Nov-Mar, so snow handling is not an issue for us.

Atwebs 06-27-2019 10:06 AM

Consider where and when you are traveling. Four wheel drive really helps off road or in bad road conditions. We have and use the 4 wheel drive off road, in the mud, and during snowy conditions. But, that’s probably less than 5 times a year!

wachuko 06-27-2019 10:52 AM

Air suspension would be more desireable... suggest that you make sure it has it.


I too struggled with the 4x4 option... wanted it for the additional clearance and "what if" scenarios that we have never encountered in our short ownership... So I have not missed not having 4x4. Does not mean that I do not want it, just that I have not had the need for for it.

Air ride? So glad we got that...

DRBusse 06-27-2019 04:05 PM

Agreed with previous poster who drove his van in all kinds of places without 4wd. I spent 37 years driving news vehicles in the same kinds of conditions...including off-road and snow.

I had 4wd for a time and it was never really necessary. Good ground clearance was the bigger issue.

As far as snow and ice goes, keep in mind that any van loaded with gear—whether electronics or an RV interior—will perform like a pig-on-ice whether 4wd or not. All that top-heavy weight is loading a chassis that was designed to be a delivery truck, running at less-then-max weight most of the time. And we won’t even mention the wind that goes with bad weather and how the Sprinter performs in crosswinds. Hang on! In that respect, we found that the dually-Sprinter we had in our fleet was solid as a rock in crosswinds. Other Sprinter owners I talked to, with normal rear axle setup were not as confident.

The usage you envision might occasionally take you places with challenging snow and ice, and for that, I’d recommend investing in a good set of conventional or cable chains, depending on what your owners manual says. Nothing tames slick pavement like chains. And nothing like chains to force you to slow down. And duallys sure make chaining up a snap.

There are many mountain passes in our state where you would be required to chain up, even with 4wd.

So my advice, worth every penny of .02, is that the added expense of 4wd on a Sprinter will not be worth it for the usage you describe.

Antique Pedaler 06-27-2019 04:53 PM

I’ve never been stuck with my 4 wheel drives. Sure have in the 2 wheel drives I used to own.

vintageracer 06-27-2019 07:41 PM

Do you NEED 4WD?

NO!

Is it worth purchasing?

Yes!

From a "Money" standpoint 4WD or AWD if offered on the vehicle you choose to purchase is by far the best option you can purchase that will retain the same or more resale/trade in value of your vehicle when it's time to sell. Remember the vehicle you buy IS the vehicle you will SELL at some point!

Time and time again I see it all the time at the dealer auctions I attend across the country where a vehicle equipped with 4WD or AWD always sells for MORE money many times MUCH MORE money than the original retail cost of the 4WD/AWD option versus an equal 2WD vehicle. On many vehicles that $2K+ 4WD/AWD new vehicle option will make that same used vehicle bring $3K-5K MORE than an equal condition, mileage and color used 2WD version of the same vehicle at the same auction sale.

In today's vehicle world people WANT 4WD and AWD vehicles. Do they need it? No however they damn sure want it!

Kinda like the Navigation option was 15 years ago. In some vehicles particularly high line vehicles it made the difference between selling the vehicle or not. Back then a used low mile Lexus WITHOUT "Navi" would bring $5K to as much as $10K LESS than and equal Lexus with "Navi" at the auction sale. On the used market back then a Lexus without "Navi" was the Kiss Of Death!

The same thing applies today with 4WD/AWD.

It's all in the buyer's head that they THINK they must have 4WD or AWD. For many people once they have an AWD vehicle they will never go back to a 2WD vehicle. I know that is certainly the situation for my wife. Her last 2 vehicles have been AWD and she can tell a huge difference in the handling, traction and driving characteristics between an AWD vehicle and same vehicle in 2WD.

Ya you will pay more upfront for 4WD/AWD HOWEVER that extra "Expenditure" on the front-end may actually turn into an "Great Investment" on the back end when it comes time to sell or trade that 4WD/AWD vehicle versus the Dollar value of an equal condition 2WD vehicle!

I believe that situation will continue for a long time with 4WD Sprinter vans as popular as they are now and will continue to be with the retail buying public.

SailorSam205 06-27-2019 08:12 PM

Do you need it? Most of the time no.

I have it on my truck. I was camping at Lake Gogebic in Michigan's UP a few weeks ago. It rained while we were there. Ground on my site got soft. With 4WD, I was able to pull my rig out onto the road. Without it, I would have been waiting for a tow truck to get me out with possible damage to the truck.
My thought, if you plan to camp exclusively in "RV Resorts" with paved roads and sites, you will probably never use it. If you plan to use State and National parks or boondock on open dispersed sites where you may have sites that are grass and not level, you may be happy to have it.

YMMV

SilverWind 06-27-2019 08:23 PM

You don't need it until you do. I always wished I had it on my 2005 Interstate when weather presented challenges with mud/snow/loose gravel and grass. It only takes one instance to convince you that you should have gotten 4WD.

I've had 4WD on both of my trailer towing RAMs since the Interstate days and have used it on many unexpected occasions. We always order AWD or 4WD on our daily drivers, just in case.

pendergastjm 06-28-2019 06:57 AM

Thanks everyone for the great input. We'll see what is in the market and at what price. Hopefully we lock in on a unit in the next couple weeks. Thanks again.

vintageracer 06-28-2019 07:06 AM

I like your idea of hoisting an Airstream 10 feet UP!

Every neighborhood needs at least 1 trailer.

Yours will be front and center!

coasttocoast 06-28-2019 08:14 AM

You want the air suspension.

ga adkins 06-28-2019 08:53 AM

4wd
 
If you get a 4wd, better not to get the "offroad". Rides rough on city streets.

wachuko 06-28-2019 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2258023)
Thanks everyone for the great input. We'll see what is in the market and at what price. Hopefully we lock in on a unit in the next couple weeks. Thanks again.


There is one in FB (Airstream Interstate group) for sale: Quote from the owner: "2017 GT 4WD black on black near perfect condition with 10k miles" - you might want to join that group and ask the owner (Natalie-Shawn Ford) for more details. Being a 2017 I doubt it also has air ride since at that time both options were not installed... I also told her about the forum so she can post it in the classifieds section...


You can also check the classified section in this forum. Several 4x4 listed.

InterBlog 06-28-2019 10:34 AM

You can live without pretty much anything you set your mind to, but if you plan to be traveling on roads that look anything like this (below), I would recommend 4WD. Or for driving in snow.

I would have 4WD in a New York minute if it were available for our rig (2007), which it is not. Was not, cannot be retrofit.

This is my shared segment of private road at my land in Canada. My exclusive segment, which cuts across my own parcel, is built to a newer standard, but this part is just an old logging road.

It is 0.8 km of white-knuckle hell for me. We have driven in and out successfully over the past several years, but there's not much margin for error. It looks OK in the pic because we are very careful not to let it get rutted, but in heavy rains, it softens up, and I don't know if I could do it. And during the spring thaw, I would never attempt it at all.

Very pretty, but a bit dicey depending on prevailing conditions:

https://i.imgur.com/y2EGEHb.jpg

pendergastjm 06-29-2019 01:46 PM

Ok we did it. 2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate. Pick it up Monday. Not 4WD but given everyone’s input and the fact we will most likely be on interstate highways and established roads , I decided to go without it. It does have the air ride upgrade. Thanks again everyone.

AlbertF 06-29-2019 10:53 PM

If you ever decide you need better winter traction, investigate the availability of LT winter tires. In my mind, winter tires are hands down more important than AWD for on-road winter driving.

danmiri 06-30-2019 07:21 AM

We have a 2016 interstate and you should know the rear wheels carry the rated near maximum weight. On our very first trip we drove from Pasadena California where we live 2 death valley. and we decided to pull to the side of the road behind a bunch of other cars as soon as we pulled to the side of the road I felt the entire back portion of the vehicle sink of course it was stuck it sunk in one attempt to move it all the way to the generator which is the same place as the rear axle. I quickly learned that the back of the vehicle will get stuck on a soft shoulder even when it's not identify as one. On our fourth trip we went to twentynine palms where we got stuck again the front wheels went over just fine and the back wheels instantly sunk. I know somebody who owns a four-wheel-drive version of the same coach and they also got stuck so other than driving in snow I have a feeling that the four-wheel-drive doesn't make that much difference because of the maximum weight on the rear axle. At first we wished we had bought a four wheel drive version but after hearing how he'd also get stuck I guess we were better off saving the money. By the way we have AAA RV coverage and both times they pulled us out without a charge.

pappy19 06-30-2019 10:39 AM

Definitely get the 4 wheel drive, cost a little more, but makes up for it when you need it, and also resale value. The rear end ratio is equally important, 3.73 or 3.55 if looking at a F150 or gas F250.

wachuko 07-01-2019 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2258474)
Ok we did it. 2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate. Pick it up Monday. Not 4WD but given everyone’s input and the fact we will most likely be on interstate highways and established roads , I decided to go without it. It does have the air ride upgrade. Thanks again everyone.


Congratulations!!! Post photos!!

danmiri 07-01-2019 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wachuko (Post 2259193)
Congratulations!!! Post photos!!

Nice we love our interstate

Mansderm161 07-01-2019 01:22 PM

Congrats! Let the adventures begin!

pendergastjm 07-02-2019 01:11 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are some photos.

crowltb 07-03-2019 09:27 AM

4wd ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2257678)
We are considering our first RV and are looking at a 2018 Interstate EXT. It seems to have everything that we need but is not 4WD. Our trips will be between Denver and San Francisco, and can be planned ahead of time. My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice? If 4WD is needed we will need to keep searching since there are not a lot of these units available. Thanks for any input you can provide!

We own a 2017 4WD Interstate and have the following comments:

The Interstate was not designed to go off road. It has very low clearances and some important stuff hanging quite low and exposed. If you are considering 4WD to get you places you could not get in a 2WD, you are focusing on the wrong issue. Clearances limit you far more than traction.

With that said, if you are highway driving where there is chain control or conditions that warrant chains (two very different conditions BTW) then by all means 4WD will be worth it’s weight in gold. Battling the chains around the duellys in the rear will be a pain in the butt.

This is a high price to pay to stay in the cab during a snowstorm and avoiding freezing hands, wet shoes, and highway slop being sprayed across your body. But, that is the real choice you making.

If I were to do it again, I stick with 2WD in an Interstate. 4WD is better utilized in the self configured Sprinter Sports vans like the Outside Van or Sportsman configs. They raise them up to get clearances and they don’t have all the tanks and generator slung under the body.

One last note, on our model the 4WD config has the front of the chassis 2 inches higher than the rear. It make the rig sit a little funny and makes it a bit tougher to climb into the drivers end of the rig. Not a big deal, but not what I expected.

Good luck! Either one is going to be a ton of fun.

maroth 07-03-2019 09:54 AM

You're asking our opinion on this matter, so here's mine. 4WD vehicles as a rule cost more to buy, and get lower fuel mileage - period. I've owned only two (my current is a F350 diesel 4x4). I "normally" don't need it - but when I do, it is invaluable. I've pulled out of several stuck situations with it even when towing, whereas I would have had to call for help without it. Icy, muddy, sandy conditions are less of a concern if you have it - so there is a peace of mind when you have it. Is the peace of mind worth the cost - only you can decide. Also, I've never had much additional maintenance costs for my 4WD vehicles. Like anything else, take care of them and they last.

meq60 07-03-2019 10:39 AM

Another consideration is that truck payload is generally higher with 2 wheel drive. Many times the truck payload is the critical factor of whether it can tow a particular trailer.

Rovin Raven 07-03-2019 11:01 AM

We wouldn’t buy one without. We live where there is lots of rain, some deep snow, steep terrain, and most folks have a vehicle with AWD or 4WD. We don’t just use the tow vehicle to tow but also to access kayaking and hiking spots, park in fields for festivals or weddings, etc. Just can’t imagine living where we do without. However, even in the high desert in Zion where we just returned from, the dirt access road to the East Mesa Trail to Observation Point was very muddy with deep ruts, and I can see that even there one storm could mean you would be stuck without 4wd. But if you don’t ever expect to take that vehicle off a paved road, or drive it up an incline in snow, then you probably don’t need one. However, not having it will create limitations, for example no boondocking in BLM land.

Ray Eklund 07-03-2019 11:35 AM

2018 ShowHauler Custom 4x4 Motorhome RV.
 
4 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2257678)
We are considering our first RV and are looking at a 2018 Interstate EXT. It seems to have everything that we need but is not 4WD. Our trips will be between Denver and San Francisco, and can be planned ahead of time. My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice? If 4WD is needed we will need to keep searching since there are not a lot of these units available. Thanks for any input you can provide!

******

Get with it. Twelve month driving anywhere in the World. Four wheel drive. The Interstate is a fine RV... but step up to the plate, or maybe the 'poor house'.

2018 ShowHauler Custom 4x4 Motorhome RV... $349,990 with only 8,500 miles. Thirty five feet long. Diesel 8.9L Cummins, automatic. Weighs just about 20,000 pounds of Airstreams or Interstates!


Crew Cab Freightliner Chassis
8.9L Cummins ISL 350 HP 1150 Ft Lbs Torque
3200 Allison Transmission
4.56 Rear End
Hi - Low 4 Wheel Drive with Locking Rear End
Massive 425/65/R22.5 Firestone Tires with Winched Spare Tire Mounted on the Rear.
Fully Welded Steel Construction
Aluminum Exterior Wall Panels Fused
Air Bag Lift Kit
Air Ride Seats
4 Leg Automatic Leveling System with Large Pads
2nd Row Bench with 2nd Row Buckets That Come With
520 Watt Solar Panels and Controller
8,000 Watt Quiet Diesel Generator
2,000 Watt Inverter with Automatic Gen Start
2 8D AGM 245 AH Batteries
GPS Radio with Backup Monitor
18 ft. Weather Pro Power Awning with LED Lighting
Heated 100 Gallon Fresh - 72 Gallon Black and Gray Tanks Each
All Water Lines and Heated Tanks are Above Floor
Series 3000 HD 32 Inch Entry Door
Keyless Entry
Rear Storage Compartment with Exterior Door
Bedliner Coated Outside Compartments
Thermal Pane Windows
Roller Day/Night Shades
Surround Sound System
HD In Motion Satellite with Dish Network
DP2600 Vitfrigo 8.1 Refrigerator with 134A Refrigerant
Electric Cooktop
Corian Countertops
Solid Wood Maple Cabinets
Sleeps 5 Adults - 2 Over Cab Bunk - 1 Over Couch Bunk and 2 On Sleeper Sofa
Oasis Zephyr Hydronic Heat / Water Heater and Engine Block Heater
Larger Than Standard Shower
And So Much More!

Mike0392 07-03-2019 11:54 AM

I live in Colorado and a 4x4 is a must. Max towing package is a must pulling over the Rockies. When you need it use it. If you don’t have it you’re screwed.
My opinion.

albret 07-03-2019 11:55 AM

4X4 trucks
 
4 wheel drives are NOT made for freeway speed driving. You should keep your vehicle under 40 mph where ever you drive in 4-wheel drive, usually under 20 miles per hour.

I use it ONLY when needed in the hills or on steep roads over about 15 - 20 degrees. Driving over a paved mountain HIGHWAY road does not call for 4 wheel drive. Put your vehicle in a lower gear.

A 4-wheel drive is great to have when pulling a trailer because you never know when it might be necessary to use it to get into or out of a situation while camping......and I am not speaking about KOA as camping.

sarge12212 07-03-2019 01:06 PM

I'm a long-term 4wheel driver. That being said, you are correct that a Sprinter doesn't need 4x4. What it NEEDS is to be parked until the inclement weather and roadways clear.

Alex AVI 07-03-2019 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarge12212 (Post 2260036)
I'm a long-term 4wheel driver. That being said, you are correct that a Sprinter doesn't need 4x4. What it NEEDS is to be parked until the inclement weather and roadways clear.

Exactly. And if you are short like me, it is already high/tall enough to get in/out of in the 2WD version, the 4x4 makes it even harder (for me) to get in/out of. I treat my AI like a convertible with its top removed or motorbike - if inclement weather is really bad and/or roads are not clear, I park it & wait it out. Same thing my son in law does with his 34 ft. T.T. even though his TV is 4x4

SPARKLE19 07-03-2019 03:14 PM

4wd
 
I remember a number of years back when I was searching for a 4WD Ford Expedition. On the lot was only one vehicle that matched what I was looking for, except it was 2WD. The salesman pointed out that 4WD is only needed on rare occasions. I started thinking at that moment of the rare occasions that I DID need it., deep in the woods caught in the rain turning friendly roads to mush, on a slippery boat ramp, helping a friend retrieve a stuck truck. You only need it when you NEED it. I own a 4WD.

sctinman44 07-04-2019 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS (Post 2257723)
“Its better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you don’t.”
RLC

Bob
🇺🇸

The only thing you need is a good cell phone signal to call AAA. I tow a trailer with 2wd. I have been briefly stuck 2 times in 40 years. Take weight distribution bars off, drop 1100lbs weight on hitch and easd out. I didn't have to even call AAA. Have a safe trip, enjoy your Airstream. See you down the road.

Mansderm161 07-04-2019 08:07 AM

Well, good cell signal is another story. I've run into many problems with that and t-mobile.

sarge12212 07-04-2019 09:12 AM

Sounds like you will be on I70 a lot. There are times where I70 is closed to all traffic except 4x4s and chained vehicles. That being said, you're retired and don't HAVE to move your Interstate off the campground unless the weather and roads are clear. So, here is my opinion,for whatever it's worth.
Just get the 2WD and a quality set of tires chains. Use the chains ONLY when you have to and then ONLY if you know how to install them. Have a tow-truck driver install them if you can't do it correctly and, again, only if you HAVE to move. Incorrectly installed tire chains can come free and BEAT THE CRAP out of your camper! Worn out links can break and BEAT THE CRAP out of your camper! Only put them on if you get stuck out somewhere on the road and have to get to a "safe haven". Also have some insulated coveralls, headcover and good gloves in your winter travel kit.

Ray Eklund 07-04-2019 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SPARKLE19 (Post 2260105)
I remember a number of years back when I was searching for a 4WD Ford Expedition. On the lot was only one vehicle that matched what I was looking for, except it was 2WD. The salesman pointed out that 4WD is only needed on rare occasions. I started thinking at that moment of the rare occasions that I DID need it., deep in the woods caught in the rain turning friendly roads to mush, on a slippery boat ramp, helping a friend retrieve a stuck truck. You only need it when you NEED it. I own a 4WD.

******

Great post. Parachutes... are only needed when necessary, as well.

A 4x4 will cost more, but will sell for more. The majority of RV owners are seasonal and spend more time parked than moving.

Those who actually travel, 4x4 is a great asset. Like having money in the bank. When you need it, it is a great asset.

Bill M. 07-04-2019 11:35 AM

Is the system offered on the Airstream Interstate a “4 wheel drive” system or an “All wheel” drive system?

Alex AVI 07-04-2019 07:15 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill M. (Post 2260394)
Is the system offered on the Airstream Interstate a “4 wheel drive” system or an “All wheel” drive system?

BILLM - I understand your question and is a good one because many conflate the 2 systems, myself included, for purposes of differentiating between 2WD systems. AFAIK, It is still an MB Sprinter 4x4 system, afterall it is still classified as a truck. Not to be confused with Mercedes 4MATIC which is an AWD system on their sedans & SUVs. And knowing MB, they would not shy away from flauntig that 4MATIC emblem on it if the Sprinter was AWD. :lol:

uncle_bob 07-05-2019 08:44 AM

Hi

Even with "4WD" systems, there is a lot of difference between this setup and that setup. Sitting there spinning two of 4 wheels while no power goes to the other two still does not get you anywhere. That outcome is not uncommon. Diverting 10% of the power to a wheel while the other spins ... also unlikely to get you unstuck.

For serious use, you want a system that allows you to lock up the axles so that you don't get wheel spin. Ideally you would want to lock up both front and rear axles. On normal pickup trucks, about the closest you can get is a rear axle manual lock up.

How do you find this all out? Buy a house with a nicely sloped drive that gets a diagonal stripe of ice on it several times each winter ... every winter.... for years and years.

Bob

Boxster1971 07-05-2019 09:20 AM

This is what Daimler says about the Sprinter system in their media release...

"Designed with the professional in mind, the all-wheel drive of the Sprinter 4x4 is based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS Electronic Traction System, a technology that is employed also in the Vito 4x4 and Viano 4Matic and which has proved highly effective in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars up to the ML-Class. In contrast to the permanent all-wheel drive in the Vito and Viano, however, the Sprinter's 4x4 drive is engageable in line with the van's exceptionally versatile operating environment. The all-wheel drive is engaged with the engine running and with the vehicle stationary or at low speeds up to 10 km/h. It involves an electric motor engaging a spur-gear pair on the transfer case.
In contrast to other systems of this type, the engageable all-wheel drive in the Sprinter does not result in a rigid through-drive. Power is transmitted variably; all elements of the standard-equipment ADAPTIVE ESP, including ASR acceleration skid control, remain operational while the all-wheel drive is engaged."

Source: https://media.daimler.com/marsMediaS...ml?oid=9362120

rmatkovich 07-05-2019 09:20 AM

Their is no reason to have 4 wheel drive. I have been towing trailers for almost 50 years with two wheel drives and never had a problem. Have been pulled off wet grass once or twice but never a prob. There is always someone there with the 4 wheel drive if you need a tow. Just carry a 20' tow strap with. For some reason people think they need a 4 wheel vehicle to pull a trailer???? 99% of the time you will be on a hard surface or packed down stone, so no prob. When I read some of the vehicles people buy to pull a 6 or #7000 trailer I just laugh and the wasted money they spend that is not needed. I tow a 34' airstream with a 1997 F-250 7.3 diesel with 391,000 miles two wheel drive with a limited-slip defferential nover a prob. Old school Mech!
Jim

Boxster1971 07-05-2019 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle_bob (Post 2260651)
Hi

Even with "4WD" systems, there is a lot of difference between this setup and that setup. Sitting there spinning two of 4 wheels while no power goes to the other two still does not get you anywhere. That outcome is not uncommon. Diverting 10% of the power to a wheel while the other spins ... also unlikely to get you unstuck.

For serious use, you want a system that allows you to lock up the axles so that you don't get wheel spin. Ideally you would want to lock up both front and rear axles. On normal pickup trucks, about the closest you can get is a rear axle manual lock up....

Found another good summary in more plain language terms...

The Sprinter system in USA does not use diferential locks, but controls wheels spin via the individual brakes...

"The U.S. system also does not have differential locks. Instead it uses sensors that apply the brakes on wheels that are spinning. This has a similar effect to a diff lock without causing issues when you want to turn a corner. Traditionalists seem to be really upset about this, but for most places you’ll take a Sprinter, it’s unlikely to make much difference."

Source: https://sprintervanusa.com/2016/08/2...in-a-sprinter/

Alex AVI 07-05-2019 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boxster1971 (Post 2260668)
This is what Daimler says about the Sprinter system in their media release...

"[B][I]Designed with the professional in mind, the all-wheel drive of the Sprinter 4x4 is based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS Electronic Traction System, a technology that is employed also in the Vito 4x4 and Viano 4Matic and which has proved highly effective in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars up to the ML-Class. In contrast to the permanent all-wheel drive in the Vito and Viano, however, the Sprinter's 4x4 drive is engageable in line with the van's exceptionally versatile operating environment. The all-wheel drive is engaged with the engine running and with the vehicle stationary or at low speeds up to 10 km/h. It involves an electric motor engaging a spur-gear pair on the transfer case.
In contrast to other systems of this type, the engageable all-wheel drive in the Sprinter does not result in a rigid through-drive. Power is transmitted variably; all elements of the standard-equipment ADAPTIVE ESP, including ASR acceleration skid control, remain operational while the all-wheel drive is engaged."

MIKE - good article. But educate me here coz now I am even more confused. MB has once again managed to confuse me with their terminologies. I used to think they only had 4x4 and 4MATIC (AWD). And I used to think AWD is All Wheel Drive All the time. But based on this, MB has introduced an "engageable AWD". Kinda a pseudo 4MATIC but yet not a 4MATIC. So a poor man's 4MATIC? My confusion is why did they not just use the 4MATIC technology and be done with it. That system has proven itself for so long, it is hard to imagine why come up with a hybrid and then it has to be engaged stationary or very, very low speeds - which to me does not qualify to be called AWD. Trying to save an extra 0.1 mpg? I know, I realize I am splitting hairs here - but since you mentioned traditionalists (or even purists) - an engageable system would have to be put in the 4x4/4WD category instead of AWD/4MATIC category as MB is trying to do. That is assuming we only have/had 2 categories before. Now MB has created a 3rd. I'll call it 4ETSaMatic :lol: I can only imagine the next variant - a disengageable 4MATIC :D Just having some fun at MB expense, can't help myself.

AlbertF 07-05-2019 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmatkovich (Post 2260669)
Their is no reason to have 4 wheel drive. I have been towing trailers for almost 50 years with two wheel drives and never had a problem. Have been pulled off wet grass once or twice but never a prob. There is always someone there with the 4 wheel drive if you need a tow. Just carry a 20' tow strap with. For some reason people think they need a 4 wheel vehicle to pull a trailer???? 99% of the time you will be on a hard surface or packed down stone, so no prob. When I read some of the vehicles people buy to pull a 6 or #7000 trailer I just laugh and the wasted money they spend that is not needed. I tow a 34' airstream with a 1997 F-250 7.3 diesel with 391,000 miles two wheel drive with a limited-slip defferential nover a prob. Old school Mech!

Jim



I have to agree. I’ve been towing with front wheel drive cars since 2006. The only times I’ve had issues was on wet grass. I carry plastic traction mats now.

For winter driving I’ll take two wheel drive with winter tires over 4wd/awd with all seasons, 10 times out of 10.

uncle_bob 07-06-2019 07:07 AM

Hi

So basically the "4WD" on the Sprinter is a lot closer to a passenger car AWD than it is to a full up off road 4WD system. What I have on the truck is far more capable than the setup on the Sprinter. You can get / customize setups that are much more aggressive than the Ford truck setup.

None of that suggests that the Sprinter 4WD is nonfunctional. It just means that indeed you can still get into situations that are beyond it's capabilities. The "distance" between what it can do and what a good 2WD can do is fairly small. If it was available, I'd go for a manual locking rear end before I'd go with that sort of 4WD. Costs less, weighs less, fewer compromises in the suspension, and a bit more likely to help you out.

Bob

dcasr 07-06-2019 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2257678)
We are considering our first RV and are looking at a 2018 Interstate EXT. It seems to have everything that we need but is not 4WD. Our trips will be between Denver and San Francisco, and can be planned ahead of time. My question is do I need 4WD or will the standard 2WD suffice? If 4WD is needed we will need to keep searching since there are not a lot of these units available. Thanks for any input you can provide!

________________

I've towed trailers since 1971, and I'm now on my 5th tow vehicle, and the last three have been 4wd. They are useful for safety when on wet roads and you suddenly encounter a huge downpour, especially with wind, and you can't find a place to pull over or get off. I turn on 4wd-high and it automatically shifts at speed and everything smooths out. When the pavement stops being actually wet I turn the 4wd off without slowing down and its done. It has saved my bacon many, many times. Camping late in the season and a light dusting of snow makes getting out of the campground iffy, but in 4wd its a piece of cake. At some AS rallies where we are parking on the grass and subject to mud if it rains too hard, again, 4wd for 100 yards or wait for the tractor to come and pull you out. 4wd is more expensive upfront, and maybe a mile a gallon less on milage, but my 3rd, 4th and 5th tow vehicles have had it, and i would want it on any future tow vehicle.

But you are going to be driving an Interstate, and unless you are going to be towing a supply trailer behind you, you might do fine. 4wd just provides that extra margin of help and traction. Best of luck.
+dcasr

1919 08-13-2019 03:10 PM

I have an Interstate 19 with 4 wheel drive. Bought it in California, drove it home to Washington State. Used the 4x4 to get into my driveway upon delivery! Don't really plan on driving it too much in the snow, mostly because of the nasty deicer that eats exposed wiring. BUT one thing is for sure, one probably will NOT drag their macerator, generator, hose reel, generator etc over a speed bump! The 4x4 19' is over 4 inches taller in the front and over 3.5 inches taller in the rear. This allows plenty of room to reset your generator breaker, and get to anything under the van without jacks. I even had to do a campsite repair to a failed grey water dump valve without jacks or ramps. Oh, and I did use the 4x4 function to get to my camping site at Oshkosh Airventure this year!!! 3 of my friends had to wait outside until the mud dried up!

SWH 07-28-2020 12:13 PM

I have seen a lot of people cite the increased ride height / ground clearance as a benefit to 4wd, and I can see the benefits. But I am equally concerned about possible disadvantages of increased ride height on the van's center of gravity. For those of you who have driven 4WD and 2WD Interstates, does the van feel any less stable or handle any worse at highway speeds? We are considering ordering a 2021 Interstate and I am leaning towards getting 4WD... if the only downside is cost, then we'll probably take the plunge and get it, assuming we'll likely recover most of the additional cost when we eventually trade/sell it.

The only other downside is reduced OCCC as we are planning to also order leveling jacks. 4WD reduces by 275 lbs and leveling jacks reduces by another 240 lbs. But that still leaves 1375 lbs OCCC which seems reasonable (and still better than an Atlas that has neither 4WD or leveling jacks).

SWH 07-29-2020 08:59 AM

This article is definitely making me think twice about opting for 4WD: https://ourkaravan.com/4x4_sprinter_and_transit_vans/

Sounds like marginal benefit for substantial cost and significant loss of OCCC.

Passin Thru 07-29-2020 05:32 PM

Last November we came back thru Utah on very snowy and icy roads. We have the Ext pulling a toad. I was very impressed with the solidness of the coach. We traveled at speed with no slippage. This is from someone who lived his first 50 years living in Montana with its icy winters and driving on icy roads in a variety of vehicles, some 4 wheel and many not.

I have a 4 wheel drive pickup which is nice for mountain hunting. We have a 4 wheel drive Acadia for general use. I have not felt the need for for a 4 wheel drive coach. Of course I don’t plan to climb mountains with mine.

How will you honestly use it? It really comes back to that.

Rovin Raven 07-30-2020 07:29 AM

Nice to know how well the coaches do. Four wheel drive is definitely necessary is some parts of the country. Around here, in SW Virginia, it can be so muddy in the spring (nearly 60 inches of rain this past year) that I often need 4WD. There is also little flat ground. Our own driveway has a steep grade. The west is definitely dryer. But, there was a horribly muddy trailhead at Zion and we needed 4WD to get out of there, and we didn’t even venture down the road as far as others. We actually are moving west to be closer to our sons who live in Seattle and are thinking of switching to a coach for meandering around looking for a new place to live.

uncle_bob 07-30-2020 08:24 AM

Hi

Occasionally you will pull up and find that the campsite you reserved is all grass (no paving / no gravel). That may make for a slippery entry / exit from the site. If the tail end of a hurricane just happens to be going over at the time .. it *will* be a slippery entry / exit.

(Yes, this did happen to us ...The F-250 handled it just fine.).

Bob

SPARKLE19 07-31-2020 07:23 AM

You may never need it
 
I remember being in a Ford dealership looking at Expeditions while trying to figure out the best choice for towing a fairly large fishing boat (younger days), the particular dealer didn’t have a 4WD in stock but had several 2WD models available. The salesman’s theory was “you would only use 4WD rarely “, I agreed but pointed out that if you need it and don’t have it.... that conversation has stuck in my mind over the years and I have always had a 4WD work or recreational vehicle while my “go to the store” vehicles have MOSTLY been 2WD.

uncle_bob 08-01-2020 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SPARKLE19 (Post 2391136)
I remember being in a Ford dealership looking at Expeditions while trying to figure out the best choice for towing a fairly large fishing boat (younger days), the particular dealer didn’t have a 4WD in stock but had several 2WD models available. The salesman’s theory was “you would only use 4WD rarely “, I agreed but pointed out that if you need it and don’t have it.... that conversation has stuck in my mind over the years and I have always had a 4WD work or recreational vehicle while my “go to the store” vehicles have MOSTLY been 2WD.

Hi

Around here, if you want to buy a truck (at least one with a tow package on it), forget about buying a new 2WD off the dealer's lot. Even with a 600 mile radius search (which covers a lot of dealers ...) you probably will not have any luck. They simply don't stock 2WD in anything but the base / no options versions.

Bob

ROBERT CROSS 08-01-2020 07:42 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Just because it's 4wd doesn't guarantee you won't get stuck, shiftable low range transfer case, VERY important.

Bob
🇺🇸

Three TV's all with low 4wd...TETO
YMMV

uncle_bob 08-02-2020 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS (Post 2391552)
Just because it's 4wd doesn't guarantee you won't get stuck, shiftable low range transfer case, VERY important.

Bob
🇺🇸

Three TV's all with low 4wd...TETO
YMMV

Hi

A lockable rear axle is a cheap option on most models. It's well worth the money, 4WD or not.

Bob

Hawk-ination 08-03-2020 06:42 PM

Depends on where you live and where you want to camp at. I can see it handy at times, like the person who stayed at the air show in Oshkosh, but personally, I do not think it is necessary for where we stay. The Interstate weights almost 9,000 to 10,000 lbs. (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s not like it’s a 4 wheeling truck you are going to go off-roading with. If it has it, great, but I personally wouldn’t make it a deal-breaker if it doesn’t. Unless, like I said, you travel in the mountains a lot, need to camp off grid and off road, or possibly drive through a lot of snow. Although I dream of opening the back doors to wake with a mountain in the background, I would probably freak to drive my $$$$ Interstate through grass scratching the paint job to do so! They get pretty cold and the water freezes in anything below 32 degrees. There are members who camp and drive through snow, so maybe they’d have a different opinion though.

albret 08-03-2020 10:42 PM

4X4 are great if you have a need. I pull my trailer up 10 - 18 degree slopes to my property in the mountains. It is necessary! Remember, you only drive in 4X4 at speeds under about 25 - 30 MPH. You do not drive on freeways in 4X4 mode. You drive on dirt and gravel roads because the front end slips/jumps when you make turns.

uncle_bob 08-04-2020 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hawk-ination (Post 2392713)
Depends on where you live and where you want to camp at. I can see it handy at times, like the person who stayed at the air show in Oshkosh, but personally, I do not think it is necessary for where we stay. The Interstate weights almost 9,000 to 10,000 lbs. (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s not like it’s a 4 wheeling truck you are going to go off-roading with. If it has it, great, but I personally wouldn’t make it a deal-breaker if it doesn’t. Unless, like I said, you travel in the mountains a lot, need to camp off grid and off road, or possibly drive through a lot of snow. Although I dream of opening the back doors to wake with a mountain in the background, I would probably freak to drive my $$$$ Interstate through grass scratching the paint job to do so! They get pretty cold and the water freezes in anything below 32 degrees. There are members who camp and drive through snow, so maybe they’d have a different opinion though.

Hi

Ok, so here's another story:

Google maps, our GPS, and the (non-existent) directions to the campsite all agreed that "turn here and go there" was the right approach.

We're in the Florida panhandle, nearest mountain is a *long* way away. Flat flat flat and flat are the main types of topography (also wet, but that comes a bit later).

Start down the road and it's not too bad. Pretty much your typical rural road. Been on a lot of them getting the "last mile" to here or there. Further we go the worse it gets. Seems the hurricane washed out this and that. It starts to vary between sand, mud, and "pond". No place to turn around. Not backing up 5 miles down a road with traffic on it (no we were not the only ones with GPS issues ... also seems to be some construction traffic .... hmmm ....).

Into 4WD low / lock the rear axle and proceed for .... another 15 miles. Pass various construction vehicles repairing this or that part of the road. Get a lot of strange looks from the crews. See various vehicles abandoned by the side of the road.

You can say "Bob, don't go out driving in a hurricane with your Airstream !!". That's good advice. The hurricane involved had come through 5 months earlier. They still had a *lot* of repairs to do ....

Bob

ScottP 08-08-2020 02:11 PM

Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive?
 
2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by albret (Post 2392799)
4X4 Remember, you only drive in 4X4 at speeds under about 25 - 30 MPH. You do not drive on freeways in 4X4 mode.



Really?

That’s an interesting opinion...



Attachment 375234


Above, Snow Monkeys in Japan north or Sapporo





Oh my, I’ve been doing it all wrong with my last four Airstream Interstate Lounge 4x4’s




Attachment 375235







I love winter ...

ScottP 08-08-2020 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SWH (Post 2389887)
I have seen a lot of people cite the increased ride height / ground clearance as a benefit to 4wd, and I can see the benefits. But I am equally concerned about possible disadvantages of increased ride height on the van's center of gravity. For those of you who have driven 4WD and 2WD Interstates, does the van feel any less stable or handle any worse at highway speeds? We are considering ordering a 2021 Interstate and I am leaning towards getting 4WD... if the only downside is cost, then we'll probably take the plunge and get it, assuming we'll likely recover most of the additional cost when we eventually trade/sell it.



The only other downside is reduced OCCC as we are planning to also order leveling jacks. 4WD reduces by 275 lbs and leveling jacks reduces by another 240 lbs. But that still leaves 1375 lbs OCCC which seems reasonable (and still better than an Atlas that has neither 4WD or leveling jacks).





Drivability -

You should prob test drive a 4wd Interstate*

My opinion is the 4wd Interstate offers a better overall driving experience when compared to a 2wd unit.



* difficult to test drive because they’re so limited in production. So you’ll prob recover much more than the option costs you.



Height increase isn’t one of my concerns ... the van is already a “SAIL” and I don’t know, are we talking about 1% extra height (somebody toss me a calculator please), which is of course negated by the electronics package anyway.

All versions of the Interstate are terrific - if you get out there and enjoy!


YMMV

NormanM 08-08-2020 08:19 PM

Ground Clearence Interstate 19 4x4
 
Does anyone know the ground clearance for the Interstate 19 4x4?

Tyvekcat 08-08-2020 08:23 PM

4wd ?
 
I currently have a 4wd drive truck, but I have always wanted to try a Dodge CTD 2wd dually. Mega cab longbed, would be the bomb ! :brows:
Smooth riding and stable low center of gravity,
I have seen a few, and wanted to buy a used one with low miles ( Ha Ha)
most are used to pull 5th wheels.
That would be my choice,
Glorious !
2wd would be fine with me if dually
best regards,

ScottP 08-10-2020 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyvekcat (Post 2394869)
I currently have a 4wd drive truck, but I have always wanted to try a Dodge CTD 2wd dually. Mega cab longbed, would be the bomb ! :brows:

Smooth riding and stable low center of gravity,

I have seen a few, and wanted to buy a used one with low miles ( Ha Ha)

most are used to pull 5th wheels.

That would be my choice,

Glorious !

2wd would be fine with me if dually

best regards,




Traction - I agree the dually traction benefit from the 3500 Mercedes Chassis is terrific. Especially with good snow tires, and if necessary, chains.

I trust the FEDEX lead, where they run 2wd (the 2500 chassis) and it seems to work well for them! Even our FEDEX Ground guys in Jackson Wyoming had 2wd 2500 vans.

So I’m not sure for most people it’s a required option. But as I’ve mentioned, I prefer the drivability of the 4wd, and yes I employ the option on the highway in heavy rain, and when the roads are snow covered or slick.

Amg 08-10-2020 11:27 AM

I have a 2020 Interstate 4x4 lounge. Never heard of limitation of speed while in 4x4. I know there is a limitation while in low range

pd_austx 08-11-2020 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amg (Post 2395579)
I have a 2020 Interstate 4x4 lounge. Never heard of limitation of speed while in 4x4. I know there is a limitation while in low range

Same. Dealer said limit it to 50 mph, but manual doesn’t say anything. I limited mine to about 50 in a LOT of snow/ice this past year and everything seemed OK. But if anyone has anything from A/S or MB I would like to know.

Most 4x4 driving was under 30 (or typically slower) but did get on the highway a few times.

Was considering some good M+S tires to try and limit my 4x4 usage, so maybe for the upcoming season.

albret 08-11-2020 10:35 PM

I agree that you can drive over 30 mph, but like you said on ice and snow at 50 mph where the tires have some movement. Hard surfaces, making turns at a high speed, can cause a lose of control and wear out the tires. Straight down the road is no problem, but locking the front axial does not allow free movement of the tires in turns. Just my opinion.

SWH 08-12-2020 09:23 AM

Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Amg (Post 2395579)
I have a 2020 Interstate 4x4 lounge. Never heard of limitation of speed while in 4x4. I know there is a limitation while in low range



My understanding is that the Sprinter ‘4WD’ system is identical to the full time 4MATIC AWD system used in Mercedes passenger cars, and thus no speed limitation whatsoever. The only difference is that it is selectable and not full time in the Sprinter.

See this link: https://media.daimler.com/marsMediaS...ml?oid=9362120

“Designed with the professional in mind, the all-wheel drive of the Sprinter 4x4 is based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS Electronic Traction System, a technology that is employed also in the Vito 4x4 and Viano 4Matic and which has proved highly effective in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars up to the ML-Class. In contrast to the permanent all-wheel drive in the Vito and Viano, however, the Sprinter's 4x4 drive is engageable in line with the van's exceptionally versatile operating environment. The all-wheel drive is engaged with the engine running and with the vehicle stationary or at low speeds up to 10 km/h. It involves an electric motor engaging a spur-gear pair on the transfer case.”

albret 08-12-2020 11:12 AM

Let's update my last post with the following information:

Back to the original question - "How fast can I drive in 4WD?". As fast as you like - none of the 4WD or AWD systems has any mechanical speed limitations. Speed will do no harm to the drive components.

There is one exception though. Owners of part time 4WD systems (the ones that let you chose between 2WD and 4WD) should be very cautious when using 4WD on slippery roads, because their handling is not as precise as full time 4WD and AWD.
For one, they should always shift back to 2WD when approaching dry surfaces (and back to 4WD on slippery stuff) because part time 4WD should never be used on dry surfaces. If you do, you can cause severe mechanical damage.
Also, when in part time 4WD neither ABS, traction control or stability control will work.
The faster you (accidentally) drive on hard surfaces in part time 4WD, the more likely it is that mechanical damage will occur.


If you own a vehicle with part time 4WD the need for different rpm front and rear represents a major problem. The transfer case will power the front and rear drive shafts with same rpm and is not able to satisfy the front axle's need for more rpm. Remember, the combined rpm of front wheels (A+B) is higher than the combined rpm of the rear wheels (C+D). Only full time 4WD systems are able to negotiate the needs of front and rear.
So, with part time 4WD engaged your front wheels are forced by good traction on the ground to rotate faster than the rear - but since the front drive shaft delivers only the same rpm as to the rear there is a fight between front wheels and rotational force coming from the front drive shaft. The front drive shaft in effect tries to slow down the front wheels. This results in very wide turns (understeer) and dangerous handling on pavement.
The name "part time" derives from its use. It can only be used part of the time - most of the time (for most uses) it has to remain in 2WD. Only "full time" - notice the name - can be used full time for all uses.
The fight between front wheels and transfer case also makes 4WD performance suffer - in a turn the front wheels are not pulling like they should. They are in effect hindered by the front drive shaft.
The slowing effect caused by front wheels stresses all components between wheels and the transfer case. It causes mechanical components to bind instead of moving freely - this situation is called "axle binding" ,"driveline binding" or "driveline wind up". First indicators while driving is a hard steering feel and the vehicle displaying jerky movement. Shifting back to 2WD will become impossible (gears and levers are extremely forced together). Continued 4WD use on dry surfaces will cause the weakest links to break (U-Joints, axles, differential gears, transfer case gears and chains, bearings, drive shafts).
When traveling with part time 4WD on high traction surfaces like asphalt, concrete, etc. handling of the vehicle will become unsafe (understeer) and the "driveline binding" will eventually cause component failures. Part time 4WD should not be used on high traction surfaces! Even when going straight most of the time, slight differences in tire pressure front to rear or vehicle load resulting in different axle speeds will cause "wind up" and eventually damage.
When traveling with part time 4WD on low traction surfaces like sand, gravel, mud, snow, etc. handling of the vehicle is unsafe (understeer) as well, but not as severe as on pavement. The slowed down front wheels simply skid a little on gravel, sand, snow, etc. during a turn. This in mind you should always approach difficult off-road obstacles in a straight line otherwise you might lose some of the much needed traction due to wheel slip on your front wheels.

Do not listen to guys who tell you it is OK to use part time 4WD on pavement! Severe damage will be the result.

SWH 08-12-2020 03:31 PM

Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by albret (Post 2396471)

For one, they should always shift back to 2WD when approaching dry surfaces (and back to 4WD on slippery stuff) because part time 4WD should never be used on dry surfaces. If you do, you can cause severe mechanical damage.

Also, when in part time 4WD neither ABS, traction control or stability control will work.

The name "part time" derives from its use. It can only be used part of the time - most of the time (for most uses) it has to remain in 2WD. Only "full time" - notice the name - can be used full time for all uses.

When traveling with part time 4WD on high traction surfaces like asphalt, concrete, etc. handling of the vehicle will become unsafe (understeer) and the "driveline binding" will eventually cause component failures. Part time 4WD should not be used on high traction surfaces! Even when going straight most of the time, slight differences in tire pressure front to rear or vehicle load resulting in different axle speeds will cause "wind up" and eventually damage.

Do not listen to guys who tell you it is OK to use part time 4WD on pavement! Severe damage will be the result.

What you say is true of vehicles with these types of systems, but to be clear and to avoid confusion, the vehicle we are talking about here is an Interstate/Sprinter 4WD, which is NOT the type of traditional part time 4WD system you describe above. Sprinters use an engageable AWD system. There is no driveline binding on dry surfaces because, as stated in the link I provided above: “In contrast to other systems of this type, the engageable all-wheel drive in the Sprinter does not result in a rigid through-drive. Power is transmitted variably; all elements of the standard-equipment ADAPTIVE ESP, including ASR acceleration skid control, remain operational while the all-wheel drive is engaged.”

Here is another link providing additional information about the Sprinter 4WD system (relevant excerpts below): https://ourkaravan.com/4x4_sprinter_and_transit_vans/

“Despite the “4×4” badge on the rear of the Sprinter, the system is based on the Mercedes-Benz 4Matic All Wheel Drive (AWD). Mercedes-Benz calls the Sprinter drive system “4ETS,” which stands for “Electronic Traction System.” In fact, Mercedes-Benz rightly calls the system “engagable all wheel drive,” because that’s what it is. It takes the 33/67 torque split AWD system from its line of cars and couples it with a button so the AWD can be turned off.

The advantage of using such a system is the van can be run in 2 wheel drive to save fuel. Additionally, 4 wheel drive can be engaged on pavement and not damage the drivetrain. 4Matic is permanently engaged in Mercedes-Benz cars so-equipped.”

nickclifford 08-12-2020 03:40 PM

Yes !! I love having 4wd as a backup plan ... unless you only plan on RV parks of course.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.