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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.


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

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

wachuko 06-28-2019 10:16 AM


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:

pendergastjm 06-29-2019 01:46 PM

Ok we did it. 2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate. Pick it up Monday. Not 4WD but given everyoneís 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


Originally Posted by pendergastjm (Post 2258474)
Ok we did it. 2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate. Pick it up Monday. Not 4WD but given everyoneís 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


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 ?

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 itís 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 donít 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 wouldnít 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 donít just use the tow vehicle to tow but also to access kayaking and hiking spots, park in fields for festivals or weddings, etc. Just canít 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 donít ever expect to take that vehicle off a paved road, or drive it up an incline in snow, then you probably donít need one. However, not having it will create limitations, for example no boondocking in BLM land.

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