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


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Old 02-23-2016, 05:26 PM   #1
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Rear wheel drive vs 4x4 pickup truck?

I'm losing my mind trying to figure out a towing vehicle.

I own a 13 foot Boler and am looking for a truck, as mentioned in the title. I was told by someone to buy a 4x4 but someone else told me a rear wheel drive is fine, and actually tows better. 4x4 trucks are more expensive and less plentiful so I'd love if that were true. My plan is to go across Canada with most time spent in BC so I know it needs to be a V6 vehicle, even if it doesn't end up being a pickup. I also want to be able to tow to more remote places and do some boondocking.

Could anyone weigh in on this for me?
Much appreciated!
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:39 PM   #2
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You have to ask yourself is the initial cost and loss of MPG worth the ability to go boondocking on occasion . I own a 4 wheel drive truck but have only used the 4 wheel drive to go through the snow in winter never when towing my trailer.

* Note - When I bought my truck the 4 wheel drive truck was cheaper than the 2 wheel drive truck .*
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:40 PM   #3
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It costs more to insure a 4x4 too at least where I live.
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:47 PM   #4
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My tow is a Nissan Frontier 4wd pickup. I live in snow country but I don't drive the pick up in the winter. Frankly you can't sell a 2wd pickup here. No one wants them. That said, the 4wd allows for extra traction and lower gearing, nice to have when towing up hill in sand, mud or loose gravel. If I lived further south, I would probably own a 2wd with limited slip/traction control. Raz
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
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Well, I didn't know about the insurance part either!

So the weight from the Boler on the hitch must help with a rwd then? There's no worries about spinning out in mud?
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:53 PM   #6
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Yeah, I'm in the north Raz. This is my concern with possible snow and also mud in British Columbia.
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #7
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I tow with a Toyota Tacoma 4X4 but honestly do not need the 4X4 feature very often. I do travel some BLM and forest service roads where 4X4 is handy and I'm more comfortable going into areas that I would probably stay out of if I did not have a 4X4. Do you need it ??? If you never leave improved road, the answer is no but I really like it and will probably always have 4X4 .It does cost more to buy and maintain but resale is better. Hope his helps.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:06 PM   #8
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I tow with a 4x4 some of the places I go I could not get into with out it.
You know what they say about 4 wheel drive. They designed it so you could get stuck farther out in the woods!......LOL


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Old 02-23-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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You would not know that two wheel drive trucks existed in this part of Minnesota!
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
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You would not know that two wheel drive trucks existed in this part of Minnesota!
When we went to buy our truck ,we went to two of the largest Ram dealers in the Twin Cities . Out of 400 hundred trucks they had on their lots only 4 were 2 wheel drive and they were stripped down models . Plus my old truck was 2 wheel drive and I had to almost pay someone to take it off my hands.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:35 PM   #11
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We are perfectly happy with our 2wd F150 towing a classic Escape 5.0. We don't go to places where we would need 4x4 and most of our winter we are south but when home drive our fwd car with snows.

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Old 02-23-2016, 08:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BarterBoler View Post
Well, I didn't know about the insurance part either!

So the weight from the Boler on the hitch must help with a rwd then? There's no worries about spinning out in mud?
Hitch weight is like any weight on the back of a pickup; it does add some traction.

With most 4WD systems, you only shift into 4WD when on slippery surfaces (or else the drive line can bind when going around curves or turning on dry pavement). Mostly the 4WD is used at slower speeds in more seriously bad traction conditions. You have to think about how often your driving/camping style is likely to put you in those situations. That will help you decide how important 4WD is to you. That equation will be different for everyone.

If you've ever driven a 2WD pickup on a slick or loose surface, you've probably experienced how easily a rear tire can lose traction. Some folks throw hay bales or sand bags or whatnot in the bed during winter. That helps, but it's not a cure-all. Next step up is 2WD with limited slip rear differential; this can be a big help. Next step after that is 4WD... and even the best 4WD system can get stuck if conditions are extreme enough (like when you bottom out on snow).

I am fond of the full-time 4WD or AWD (all wheel drive) vehicles, which do not bind (there's no locking action in the differentials) and which are always applying some force to both front and rear axles. I feel like they give an added measure of sure-footed-ness to the vehicle on any surface. But they don't put such a system on many pickups. I think maybe the Honda Ridgeline has it available... not sure. But that's just my preference. My Toyota Highlander and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs have this system, and now I also have a Lexus GX460 which is full time 4WD plus I can shift it into low range and/or engage a differential lock for added assistance in toughest circumstances. And we don't usually get much snow in Oklahoma! Yet when we do, I drive around while everyone else is digging and spinning... so there ya go.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BarterBoler View Post
Yeah, I'm in the north Raz. This is my concern with possible snow and also mud in British Columbia.
I currently tow with a Nissan Frontier 4x4 but have also pulled with a smaller SUV cross over vehicle. But even though I have been in a lot of back country camping spots both north and well south for about 9/10 months of the year, I have never had the truck in 4x4 when towing.

Only time the 4x4 is used is in the snow which I avoid when towing with it - mostly traveling in the interior and the rockies each winter without the trailer and to be brutally honest - it sucks in the snow!! Just as most trucks do, as they are light in the back end.

As your in BC I am sure you have noticed that the majority of trucks on the road are 4x4's. Have a friend that once bought a 2 wheel drive truck to pull a 5th wheel and they had a REAL tough time selling it and took a big hit on price when they finally did. As others have said the insurance for a 4x4 is higher, as are maintenance costs and unless you get a one of the new trucks with the eco boost or similar you are not going to get great MPG's either.

If you have no other reason for owning a truck and as you are wanting to pull only a 13' and as your in BC you probable want something that is good in the snow in the winter months when not towing ..... as such I would highly recommend finding a cross over to pull the trailer with. All wheel drive even better, it will trump a truck in snow conditions and have no problems pulling a trailer out of a muddy camp site & through the occasional snow storm. I have towed with an all wheel drive cross over in the snow and it did just fine. You will save on insurance, maintenance costs and gas. As most of the SUV cross over type vehicles typically have a bit more of their total weight over the rear axle than trucks do you may even find as I did that you get a more solid/stable tow in all towing conditions as well.

I know my comments are not going to make the truck crowd overly happy but its a reflection of my experience in having driven & towed with trucks in the past and currently, as well as having driven and towed with a small SUV cross over.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:53 PM   #14
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I tow with my 4x4 tacoma. I wouldn't own a 2wd truck. When it comes to 4x4's, "It's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it."
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