Rear wheel drive vs 4x4 pickup truck? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2016, 07:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
Where did you take those pictures? Look like places I would like to add to my list.

Well I can't be too free with my favorite escape places over an internet forum which are already getting overrun, worse and worse every year...

But I'll say the desert photos are southern Utah, mountain photos are just outside North Cascades National Park (WA). First photo is outside of Moab. Moab's on the map so there's nothing left to spoil there. Down the Kane Creek Rd.

I spend a lot of time in southern Utah.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:56 PM   #30
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I hear that a good definition of a 4x4 is a vehicle that gets stuck farther off the road. Some of y'all are way oversold on a 4x4.
I learned that as "The only thing 4WD does for you is make the places you get stuck a h3ll of a lot more expensive to get towed out of."

Once upon a time, I was one of those folks who explored the Great West off-road in my Jeep. I'm older and wiser now. I don't do off-roading adventures much any more, but I still buy 4WD trucks and here's why:

1) On a standard 2WD vehicle, it's really only one wheel drive. When one tire spins, you're stuck. End of story. Limited slip and locking rear ends help, but they're not the same solution as having another drive axle in a different location. A locking rear end on TWO axles is a much better solution.

2) As has been said above, they don't add much to the cost of a new truck, but they can add thousands to the resale value.

3) I've gotten stuck on wet grass and on soggy ground in campgrounds trying to get the trailer out of a campsite. 4-low makes walking out of those kinds of places easy and without furrowing the ground, or slinging mud up all over everything and tearing the sod up.

4) I tow a landscape trailer with a 26hp Kubota tractor in nasty weather conditions as I do snow removal at one of my apartment buildings 30 miles from where I live. 4-high adds stability on roads with poor traction. It doesn't mean you can drive faster, it just means that you have better traction control than you'd have with 2WD so you're not as likely to "lose it" under conditions of reduced traction.

5) I have a 21' Precision sailboat that I trailer-sail on a local lake. 4-low makes coming up a wet ramp with a 2500lb boat and trailer a piece of cake.

I just traded off my '07 FJ 'Cruiser for a '16 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with a six-speed manual transmission, and locking Dana 44 rear ends on both ends of the Jeep. The running gear is up to towing tractors and launching and recovering sailboats. I have been impressed with how well it handled the landscape trailer and tractor... MUCH better than the FJ did.

I bought it new because a new one was only $4k more than buying a '14 or '15 model with 25k miles on them. They hold their resale amazingly well. And Chrysler offered a lifetime, no mileage limit warranty. This may be the last car (Jeep) I need to buy before I'm too old to drive (I'm 60, btw) so it may just be my estate that is concerned about resale on this one.

So, yes, 4WD adds cost and complexity to a truck. It also adds a measure of bad-weather peace of mind, and high-traction, low, low gearing when you need it that a 2WD just can't do.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:00 PM   #31
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Thanks for telling. I can leave Kane Creek to others. Once we had a rented a Jeep and drove the Shafer Trail. It was about right for me, white knuckled for my wife, but absolutely beautiful. I was told they used to drive uranium ore trucks up that road in the '50s.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:03 PM   #32
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Well I can't be too free with my favorite escape places over an internet forum which are already getting overrun, worse and worse every year...

But I'll say the desert photos are southern Utah, mountain photos are just outside North Cascades National Park (WA). First photo is outside of Moab. Moab's on the map so there's nothing left to spoil there. Down the Kane Creek Rd.

I spend a lot of time in southern Utah.
Ok Zach, since we're showing what 2WD can do with decent tires and competent driving... Frankly I was really concerned that I was going to bury my moho in the sand, but the duals floated it pretty well.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:02 PM   #33
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When I decided to get a new truck, I chose to include a healthy margin of capacity. To me, that was a 4wd crew cab v8 Chevy. I don't off-road recreationally, too hard on the equipment. On the other hand, towing even a small trailer takes you off pavement with extra load and awkward wheel angles. You don't save a lot by going smaller and I can afford the gas. Good luck with whatever you choose.

I also bought a tow strap, in case I can be a good neighbor.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:12 PM   #34
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Thanks for telling. I can leave Kane Creek to others. Once we had a rented a Jeep and drove the Shafer Trail. It was about right for me, white knuckled for my wife, but absolutely beautiful. I was told they used to drive uranium ore trucks up that road in the '50s.

Unfortunately most of southern Utah, and all of Moab is crawling with those side-by-side ATVs. Those things are fun, and really come in handy for certain kinds of work. But it seems like since they've come out, everyone and their mother, grandmother, second cousin and long lost great nephew are tearing down every once-deserted desert road I used to like to drive...

You could always pm me for something a little more specific.

Anyway.

What I could do in the motorhome will be different than what I can do with a trailer. I don't know yet what kind of roads I can take it down. I really have no experience driving trailers in general, but none at all down dirt roads with steep, sudden approach and departure angles along with "dips" in the road caused by spring runoff. That's what happened here...

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But we're getting off topic
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:17 PM   #35
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Yeah Roger, that terrain doesn't look challenging, but I know sand...You can get buried in that stuff really fast. I'm always cautious of sand. The narrow pizza cutter tires I had on the Chinook probably wouldn't not have floated on that sand...

I got myself out of the situation above, after 3 hours of jacking and rock-stacking. I got stuck a couple weeks later in loose sand. That time I had to wait for a truck to come along and pull me out. No way I was getting out on my own. I just pulled off the main dirt road into a spot I saw with a fire ring. I was immediately buried to my axles.

I always carry a tow strap.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:35 PM   #36
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Zach, Great photos!

That was at Sand Mountain Recreation Area in Nevada. I was on the "road" that is used heavily by RVs and trailers with sand rails, so I was a little more adventurous than I probably would have been otherwise. It just looked more desolate in the photos, and if I'd gotten buried I could have been towed out pretty easily.

Those long rear overhangs will get you every time! If you'd been in a jeep, you'd have just rolled through that without even blinking! When you're towing the trailer in these places, think just like you were driving the Chinook... your trailer will have equally long overhangs in both directions with very little ground clearance, and you won't be able to turn it around in the same kind of space you turned the Chinook in, so you'll need to do a little more recon without the trailer sometimes.

Anyone who off-roads without a tow strap is just living foolishly.

This was the latest thing in off-road desert camping in 1981... I took this setup ALL over the Anza Borrego Desert in SoCal.

My 1981 Jeep Scrambler and 1976 Scamp travel trailer by Roger H, on Flickr
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:03 AM   #37
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That looks great. And looking at the clearance, I'm glad to hear you got it around some places. My Bigfoot should be back from the trailer shop today with the new, straight axle, so it'll have a lot more clearance.

I think a lot of what I'll do is park the camper, and just take the truck on day trips down more crazy roads. But I am used to getting the Chinook back into places that are more deserted and out of the way. I'll probably miss that a bit with the trailer.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:53 AM   #38
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I'm going to put tank tracks on my truck so I can get to places I don't even want to go!
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #39
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I'm going to put tank tracks on my truck so I can get to places I don't even want to go!
That sounds like a great idea, Tom! If my motorhome had a tag axle I'd even consider that. It'd work a LOT better in the sand!

Or with your 2WD towing a trailer, you can just get stuck any ol' place you park when you least expect it with fewer resources at your disposal than those who choose to have 4WD. Any grassy, soft campsite can turn into a real challenge to get out of with an overnight soaking rain.

All that those of us who are 4WD adherents are trying to do is to help folks learn vicariously from our failures and travails so they won't have to. I'm a slow learner, and I've made just about every mistake that I think there is to make in 4WD and trailering. And of course I was making those mistakes in the '70s and '80s before the internet and there were few good resources from which to learn vicariously.

On the other hand, some folks still choose to learn their lessons first hand and the hard way, and that's entirely up to them.

Vaya con Dios, mi amigo.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:57 AM   #40
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Of all the places I wanted to get but couldn't in the probably 6 months I spent in the desert over the last two years, the only limiting factor was clearance. 2wd wasn't ever the issue. It was that long overhang in the back of the Chinook, and clearance.

Traction definitely does play into things too, especially once you're out of the dry desert. But for me, it's always been an issue of clearance. Some 2wd trucks have more clearance than others.

Some people have no interest in going down roads that would require clearance or more traction.

But yeah, getting stuck in a developed campground can and does happen with a 2wd, rear wheel drive pickup.

What this forum is great for is for people to hear every side of the story, and make an informed decision on what will work best for them.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:10 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Hello;

Many experts recommend the shortest distance from the rear wheels to the hitch which often is not a pickup truck but rather a sedan or Suv.
The shorter the overhang, the greater the stability when towing.
All the best,
Big T
not an expert on towing but my practical experience with having towed with trucks past and current as well as other vehicles the above is very true. I suspect a few folks who have only ever pulled with a truck might be a little taken back as to how correct the "experts" are in this regard.

As I said originally if I where the OP and pulling a 13' trailer I would be seriously looking at the many other optional vehicles that have the tow rating for it instead of a truck.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:19 AM   #42
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not an expert on towing but my practical experience with having towed with trucks past and current as well as other vehicles the above is very true. I suspect a few folks who have only ever pulled with a truck might be a little taken back as to how correct the "experts" are in this regard.

As I said originally if I where the OP and pulling a 13' trailer I would be seriously looking at the many other optional vehicles that have the tow rating for it instead of a truck.
Carol, I agree completely... well mostly. Generally speaking, wheelbase is King when it comes to issues towing. The longer the wheelbase, the more refined the tow ability. Unfortunately, with longer wheelbase typically comes longer overhangs as well, but wheelbase trumps overhang.

My last trailer towing setup was a Toyota FJ 'Cruiser with Heartland MPG trailer. I used an Anderson WDH because of the short wheelbase on the FJ. I didn't have sway issues, nor was the MPG too heavy in any regard. The FJ had about the shortest overhang you can get (as a competent off-road vehicle) but it didn't have enough wheelbase to suit my liking as a tow vehicle.

There are always trade-offs to be made.

DSCF3338 by Roger H, on Flickr
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