Seeking advice/education - 4wd vs 2wd - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2018, 06:51 PM   #1
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Seeking advice/education - 4wd vs 2wd

Hi,

I'm sure this has been asked before, so feel free to point to existing thread on the topic

What are the advantages/disadvantages between towing with 4wd vs 2wd

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:30 PM   #2
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None, unless you will be off roading. And or traveling in the snowy north.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:39 PM   #3
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Depends... check fuel tank size. In my 2014 Ford F-150 the EcoBoost 4x4 is only available with 36-gallon tank. EcoBoost 4x2 is available with 26-gallon tank.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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with 2WD you should further divide it into RWD and FWD. rear wheel drive is generally better for towing as the tongue weight is increasing traction on the rear axle. FWD cars also typically don't have the frame strength for towing more than the very lightest trailers.

4WD can be divided into two categories, classic 4x4 where the rear axle is the primary, and the front axle can be manually engaged when needed (snow, mud, sand), vs AWD which are primarily FWD with automatic engagement of the rear wheels as needed, most crossover SUVs, as well as cars like Audi, Subaru are in this latter category.

I have a 4x4, but rarely use the 4WD mode.... I have good all terrain tires on it, and find that the tires make more difference than the 4x4 my friend has a very similar 4x4 with highway tires, he slips and slides on gravel roads even when he's in 4x4.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:46 PM   #5
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You can't tow or drive a 4x4 on dry pavement in 4 wheel drive. AWD vehicles are designed to allow for the slipage that would occur in 4 wheel drive (off road) vehicles.
Therefore it would be assumed that people that tow with a 4x4 to in 2 wheel drive.
I have a 4x4 Dakota pickup and the times I use 4 wheel drive are very limited. Snow, Ice, gravel and sand surfaces are about it.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:50 PM   #6
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Far as Im concerned, the first time you need to use 4WD it has paid for itself.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:53 PM   #7
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Far as Im concerned, the first time you need to use 4WD it has paid for itself.
or the first time you drive by the chain installation pullouts on I80

priceless!
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:53 PM   #8
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Far as I’m concerned, the first time you need to use 4WD it has paid for itself.
And, of course, there is, "with a 4WD you can get yourself really, really stuck".
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:54 PM   #9
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And, of course, there is, with a 4WD you can get yourself really, really stuck.
use 2WD to go in, use 4WD to get out
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:08 PM   #10
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I have always liked to buy vehicles with AWD. My GX470 stays in 4WD High full time, and there's a lever for Low as well as a button for differential lock. AWD seems to give a bit more sure-footed stability on the highway IMO, although my DS tells me that RWD with limited-slip diff is about as good.

The thing is, if a situation arises that I need 4WD, I want to have it. What if I'm navigating some forest road that crosses a stream, or I'm going over a mountain pass on a back road and I come to mud or snow? And there have been times even here in OK when we got a dump of snow, 8" or more, and I could always pull out of the driveway and go wherever I need to while the neighbors all spin and dig. 4WD/AWD helps immensely to get moving on slick ice or wet grass, too.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:10 PM   #11
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If 4WD or AWD is an available option on whatever vehicle you are considering for purchase this option is by far the best money you will spend on any option on your new to you vehicle!

I see this every week at Manheim auction. In most instances the 4WD or AWD option will only cost about $2,000 extra on most any "New" vehicle you are considering purchasing. The payback comes when it is time to sell that vehicle and you will sell that vehicle at some point in time. Over and over I see an AWD or 4WD vehicle bring sometimes as much as $4,000 to $5,000 MORE on the used vehicle auction block than an identical/equal condition year, make and model 2WD vehicle.

Lot's of folks "Want" 4WD/AWD however most of those who want AWD/4WD do not need 4WD/AWD. Herein lies the basis for this discussion. What's a person to do???

My wife's previous 2 vehicle's have been AWD with her current vehicle NOT being AWD. This has been her major complaint with her current vehicle. She has stated she will never make that mistake again and will buy AWD from now on.

Given the FACT that AWD/4WD always returns at a minimum what you paid for the option on the front-end and in many instances can make that vehicle much more desirable and worth far "Mo Money" on the used vehicle market "I" think the "Should I buy AWD/4WD" question is an easy decision.

Buy AWD/4WD!
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:51 PM   #12
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I switched from 4WD to AWD after my 4WD Blazer was stolen. 4WD insurance was higher; and I would never haul a trailer where I drove the 4WD...actually wound up on a logging skid in northern BC where I had to back down a cliff-side skid.

My AWD has been perfect for traveling with my trailer; it even got me out of a dune buggy sand trap...after my navigating granddaughter said to turn right at a fork on a dirt road - and I did...that's another story.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:18 PM   #13
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Hi,

What are the advantages/disadvantages between towing with 4wd vs 2wd
You're not really towing often with 4wd, it's there if you get stuck or need to get through a difficult section of back road. You might be towing with AWD, but by the time that is needed, full time, it's probably not the best place to be with the trailer. Again, think of it mainly as a way to get you through a difficult section, or up a back road to your campsite.

It's easier to get stuck in 2wd than you might realize. I once got stuck in a Starbucks parking lot that was wet and fairly steep while trying to back up. Another time I pulled off the road for a minute and went through a muddy section and was stuck right next to the highway!

On my way out of Death Valley, there is a long stretch of rocky road that causes a lot of slipping in 2WD. It will do it, but putting the truck in 4WD gives improved traction and less strain on the rear tires.

If you venture out onto dirt roads while towing, it is excellent insurance and will be needed sooner or later.

In situations like that, simply putting the truck in 4WD gets you out and on your way immediately. I have no intention of towing my trailer on the highway in snow, but when traveling without the trailer, chains are not required. A big plus for me as I travel through the mountains a lot. 4WD gives you far more traction on snowy highways, except while braking.

The old song that 4WD just gets you more stuck is nonsense. If you get stuck in 2WD, which is easy to do, 4wd will get you going without a tow.

Also, if your vehicle has 4WD low range, you have an extra low gear for careful maneuvering.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:18 PM   #14
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I vote 4wd

I have to agree with most here. I have always owned 4wd truck or suv - would never buy a 2wd. I use 4wd every year, even if its just a few times to get up our steep driveway with snow. But I love the option to have it when needed. IF we get a big snow - I'm still going out there!

I'm old school tho - I still have that big 4wd lever thing sticking out of the floor (and crank windows and manual locks too).
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:33 PM   #15
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To the best of my knowledge the low range option is only available with 4wd.
Having a steep gravel driveway, that by itself is worth the cost. There was a time you could get a low gear, often referred to as a "granny gear" with 2wd, but I'm not sure the truck manufacturers still offer it on a 1/2; ton pick up?
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:40 PM   #16
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To the best of my knowledge the low range option is only available with 4wd.
Having a steep gravel driveway, that by itself is worth the cost. There was a time you could get a low gear, often referred to as a "granny gear" but I'm not sure the truck manufacturers still offer it on a 1/2; ton pick up?
granny gears were a feature of 4 speed stick shifts on older (1960s?) trucks. if you weren't heavily loaded, you'd use 2nd to start and it was effectively a 3-speed. last truck I drove with one was a friends old 1963 F300 which was a short flatbed with a 300cid 6 and 4-on-the-floor and duallie tires... this had originally been a PG&E work truck. 1st was ridiculously low but when we had 2 tons of stuff on the back of that thing it was very handy getting around the hillier parts of the Monterey Peninsula, also was real handy when we were spreading stuff like gravel or sand... we'd bungie-cord the steering wheel, leave it in 1st, set the hand throttle for about 1500rpm, it would move at a very slow walk, and we'd GET OUT, hop on the back and start shoveling sand.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:52 PM   #17
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And, of course, there is, "with a 4WD you can get yourself really, really stuck".
:Yes Glenn Your 100% correct on that point, some of us who just learned what 4x4 is really good for should of asked questions before using.
I use my 4x4 cars to tow behind our MH put auto in park and 4x4 in Neutral and hook up and away we go, have never had to use it any other way unless driving across a river but then my exhaust has an extension to come out at roof level. Mainly I use it for flat towing so my wife has the automatic when we arrive at our site.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:05 PM   #18
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On some FWD vehicles, you will need to add AWD to obtain the higher tow rating, that's probably because the front wheels will slip more when towing a trailer with only FWD. Example is Kia Sorento, 3,500 with FWD but 5,000 with AWD.
On the other hand, 4WD often lowers the towing capacity since the GVWR and GCWR of the tow vehicle remain the same, but the added weight of the 4WD equipment raises the weight of the vehicle, and lowers the amount left over. Example is Ford 2.7 Ecoboost losing 300 lbs towing capacity with 4WD, but more importantly for fifth wheel applications is the loss of payload capacity.
If you're in an area that 4WD might be needed then I would get it. Loved our Jeep Cherokee with 4WD and our Subaru Outback with AWD, but the Subaru AWD was used a lot more since the Jeeps 4WD could only be used off road or in mud/snow, and not on rainy highways.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:43 AM   #19
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the inverse is true for some vehicles... Toyota Tacoma 2WD have smaller wheels, smaller brakes than the 4x4 do, and way less tow rating.... EXCEPT the "Prerunner" model which has the big wheels[*] and brakes of the 4x4 and the full tow rating, but doesn't have the transfer case or front axle, so its a couple 100 lbs lighter and can therefore haul a little more.
[*] tacoma 4x4's have rather big wheels for a small truck, like mine has LT265/70R16, these are 30" diameter tires, about the same size you find on 3/4 ton full size trucks.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the inverse is true for some vehicles... Toyota Tacoma 2WD have smaller wheels, smaller brakes than the 4x4 do, and way less tow rating.... EXCEPT the "Prerunner" model which has the big wheels[*] and brakes of the 4x4 and the full tow rating, but doesn't have the transfer case or front axle, so its a couple 100 lbs lighter and can therefore haul a little more.
[*] tacoma 4x4's have rather big wheels for a small truck, like mine has LT265/70R16, these are 30" diameter tires, about the same size you find on 3/4 ton full size trucks.
I wonder if that's only for the older Tacomas. Looking at the 2018 owners manual, it looks like adding 4WD to a Tacoma drops the trailer weight rating anywhere from 200-600 lbs compared to the 2WD with same engine. With our lighter trailers it doesn't make much difference since we are down near half of what the tow rating is anyway.
The bigger concern is the payload drop from 1200 in 2WD down to 950-1000 in 4WD. If you have a 350 pound tongue weight that only allows another 600 lbs for occupants and gear.
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