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Old 11-04-2018, 10:19 PM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: 2019 Oliver Elite II
Texas
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Tow vehicle 2WD or 4WD

I'm in the process of purchasing a new 2019 Ram 1/2 ton pickup. We now have a 17 Casita, but in the future we will most likely move up to a larger trailer. It would probably be a Oliver 23, Escape 21, or the Escape 5.0. My question is would a 2WD, or a 4WD be the best choice for pulling these trailers, I will get the 5.7 Hemi in whatever I buy, so which drive would work the best and why. Is one preferred over the other for safety reasons, or just that the 4WD does a better job. I realize the way the truck is equipped could be a big factor in towing with either one.

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Old 11-04-2018, 10:50 PM   #2
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Name: Fredrick
Trailer: Escape 21C
Tennessee
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Thumbs up 2x4 or 4x4

We tow our 2018 Casita w a Frontier dbl cab, V6, 2x4, long bed truck w factory tow pkg, wh we bought after we ordered the TT last November. Looked at all the mid size trucks and decided to spend the money [that 4WD wd cost] to instead buy the long bed truck in 2wd.. 14" longer bed and wheelbase. It has made a fine rig for 55 nights of camping since last April 20th and since there's only two of us, we don't plan to buy a bigger trailer.
That said..IF we chg our minds in some future time I wd by a larger V8 truck, but still go for a long bed over 4x4 since I do not plan going off road.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:48 AM   #3
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I also have a Frontier. Living in Vermont I bought a 4x4. If I lived in Texas I would most likely consider the 2x. There are three advantages to the 4x. It comes with a low gear range that can be handy especially for hitching up on hills. It's great on wet grass or mud. And here in Vermont you can't sell a 2wd pickup. The down side is cost and mileage.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:44 AM   #4
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Four wheel drive is a very handy option and you don't always know when you might need it. It's easy to get stuck on slippery grass or a patch of ice, for instance and so easy to get going with 4WD. When not towing, you might want to go to the mountains in winter and you won't have to chain up. It even offers very low gearing for slow speed maneuvering.

As an example, I got stuck in a Starbucks parking lot early one morning on a wet and steep area. With 4WD I just clicked in in and drove away. Without it I would have had to get a tow, and all I wanted was a cup of coffee on my trip.

I tend to pull my trailer into pretty remote places that I would never attempt without it.

Unless you plan to travel only on paved highways in perfect weather, get 4WD. You won't be sorry.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:55 AM   #5
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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I have actually owned the same exact truck both in 2wd and 4wd and while the 2wd was fine most times the 4wd is just a lot more handy when you need it.

I plan to not be without it again if possible.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:25 AM   #6
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Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
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I've enjoyed having a 4WD truck because I like to explore dirt roads and you never know what you might find. Also, first snow after moving from FL to TN, I found I couldn't get out of my driveway with my previous 2WD truck The downside for towing is that it reduces payload capacity. You will need to be aware of that as you shop. Payload varies a lot with 1/2 tons and most you find on the lot may be marginal, especially for an Oliver. Check the door sticker on each prospect. I have read that 4WD returns the additional cost at resale, can't say if that's true.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:48 AM   #7
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Name: bill
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4WD cost more, is heavy so it cuts into payload capacity, and adds complexity to your truck. If you need it, sure. Towing? Not so much. I've towed my trailer all over the USA and Canada, all the way to Alaska, and have not needed it yet.

+10 Watch the payload with regards to the Oliver.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:00 AM   #8
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I would vote for the 4WD, for the reasons mentioned. The time you will use it may be measured in minutes, but but getting stuck may cost you hours.

Having lived in VT for a long time, I definitely agree with Raz. Many other places have similar conditions.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:11 AM   #9
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Name: Terry
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Colorado
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Living here in Colorado where they couldn't sell a 2WD, it would seem like 4WD is the way to go. But I think it depends a lot on where you intend to camp with your trailer. If you plan on mostly staying in state parks and campgrounds, then you might be wasting your money with the 4WD. However, if you want to camp in National Forests and perhaps do a bit of boondocking, definitely go 4WD.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:44 AM   #10
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4WD costs more but it also makes your vehicle worth a lot more at sell time.
That and the other reasons mentioned is why I would never buy a 2WD.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:14 AM   #11
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I have been camping a few times where 4wd was needed to get going again after hard rains and was sure glad that I did have it.

I also tow across country often in inclement weather and have needed and used 4wd then as well.

I also like AWD where every situation is just better and traction is rarely an issue and though it is sure heavier and maybe less fuel efficient like many things I am glad I have it overall vs needing and not having it.

I also realize that towing is not going to be too efficient anyway so the little extra hit I might be paying for traction is just part of the feature set for me.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:38 AM   #12
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Name: Tom
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Denver, CO
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I note that you live in Independence, TX, not Vermont, so that is a factor. That said, you are buying it for travel. 2WD is ok for pavement, gravel, or dry dirt. Wet dirt is different & has another name.

Snow & ice are different. You might drive the truck in snow or ice, but most vacationers towing trailers don't travel in it. Some do. Take Alaska for example [or Colorado]. The truth is, during the time of year you are likely to tow a trailer to Alaska or the Colorado Rockies the roads are likely to be dry.

You might encounter some wet dirt. See how your payload numbers work out.

Here is an excellent 15 minute course in payload math. It is also an entertaining travel channel, fulltime with kids. ...Just back from Alaska
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:13 AM   #13
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We've 'geocached' and 'camped' through 49 of your states, and 9 of our provinces, variously using highways, thoughways, Interstates, 'Rail Trails' and bush trails. 90% of the time 2WD would have been 'sufficient'; but, the 'reassurance' of having 4WD, or AWD, available, if needed, has always been appreciated. Currently using a 2017 4WD Colorado 'crew-cab', for towing, and general use. We've always lived by the phrase "For an extra-buck; Go First Class".
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #14
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We've pulled our Scamp over 100,000 miles from FL to CA to AK to ME with 2WD with no problems at all. I sometimes think about getting 4WD for off-road excursions when we visit UT, but then I think of the extra $3,000 up front cost and realize I could rent a Jeep for those off-road excursions and save my truck for the normal driving. I will likely order the anti-spin rear axle next time to help in any unexpected driving conditions. If a lot of your driving will be off-road or on marginal roads, then 4WD would make a lot of sense though. I was surprised that the EPA only shows a 1 MPG drop for 4WD vs 2WD in the Ram hemi.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:39 PM   #15
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You might want to consider a 3/4 ton pickup, instead of the 1/2 ton, it would be a much more capable tow vehicle. Cost and comfort are not much different. Personally, I love my 1 ton 4x4 long bed for everything but hospital parking decks.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:47 PM   #16
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Good advice if the big Oliver really is a serious contender!
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete_britt View Post
You might want to consider a 3/4 ton pickup, instead of the 1/2 ton, it would be a much more capable tow vehicle. Cost and comfort are not much different. Personally, I love my 1 ton 4x4 long bed for everything but hospital parking decks.
The Ram 1500 has a tow rating of about twice the OPs trailer weight and seems perfectly capable of doing the job. It doesn't always make sense to go way overkill. I have a 1 ton ram/Cummins that I tow my Oliver (5,600 lbs ready to go and full of water) with, but it rides rough and, because it's so heavy, it doesn't get as good of mileage as I'd like. Maybe the biggest advantage of a one ton is the engine brake.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:50 PM   #18
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Trailer: 1985 Uhaul VT-16 Vacationer, 1974 Hunter Compact II & 1977 Argosy 6.0 Minuet
Tennessee
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4WD and AWD are the ONLY 2 NEW VEHICLE Options that ALWAYS returns to you more when you trade/sell the vehicle or at a minimum same amount of Dollar's or MORE than you originally spent buying the 4WD or AWD option when purchasing any NEW vehicle. That includes cars and trucks!

In many used car markets you will find that a 4WD or AWD optioned vehicle will bring 2 to sometimes 3 times MORE money at auction than the original new cost of the 4WD/AWD Option versus an equivalent condition/mileage 2WD vehicle of the same make, year model and trim level. I have seen numerous AWD cars and 4WD trucks bring $4K-$7K MORE than an equal condition, equal mileage and equal option 2WD vehicle of the same make, model and brand sell at auction. With the 4WD or AWD option generally costing only about $2K-3K extra on a new vehicle purchase in many instances versus a 2WD vehicle the 4WD and AWD option is by far the "Bang For Your Buck" that you can spend on ANY new vehicle purchase! I see this happen ALL THE TIME at Manheim Auctions and other "Dealer Only" Used Vehicle Auctions across the country.

In many local rural markets a 2WD TRUCK can be very hard vehicle to sell unless it's CHEAP!!!! Why? Because folks who live in the "Boonies" know the value of 4WD in a truck and as such will only purchase a 4WD truck.

The increased safety aspect of AWD on a daily driver vehicle cannot be ignored. Rain, snow or sleet an AWD vehicle provides a much greater margin of safety and vehicle control during inclement weather than a 2WD vehicle no matter if that 2WD vehicle is front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. 4WD certainly has it's benefit's also particularly when in an off-road situation.

If you are considering purchasing a NEW VEHICLE you should give VERY SERIOUS consideration to purchasing the AWD or 4WD option if it is available/offered on the vehicle your are considering purchasing!
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:24 PM   #19
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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i had to back my unladen f250 up a slight slope while turning fairly sharply on tanbark saturday evening. in 2x4, it spun a rear wheel. in 4x4, it moved easily.

i won't get a truck without it.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:06 PM   #20
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Name: Michael
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Depends where you want to camp. I have both. Towing a trailer can require extra traction as you have more weight to move. I've been in situations boondocking where I wasn't able to move my trailer with a 2WD so I unhooked my trailer, drove home in my 2WD and came back with my 4X4. Even rain can make a difference when it comes to traction. Or you can stay an extra day or two till things dry up.
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