AWD vs FWD? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-24-2020, 12:34 PM   #1
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Name: Ellpea
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AWD vs FWD?

Hello fellow FGRVrs,

Iím hoping to upgrade from my 13í to a larger unit with a bathroom and more storage.

This means a beefier tow vehicle. Since Iím Volvo addicted, Iím looking at several XC90s. Some are FWD, some are AWD. I have been under the impression (i.e. someone somewhere advised me that) I should get AWD for towing... but no longer remember why!

Any advice for me from wise members here? Does AWD matter if I donít plan to boondock? TIA!
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:26 PM   #2
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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Originally Posted by EllPea in CA View Post
Hello fellow FGRVrs,



Iím hoping to upgrade from my 13í to a larger unit with a bathroom and more storage.



This means a beefier tow vehicle. Since Iím Volvo addicted, Iím looking at several XC90s. Some are FWD, some are AWD. I have been under the impression (i.e. someone somewhere advised me that) I should get AWD for towing... but no longer remember why!



Any advice for me from wise members here? Does AWD matter if I donít plan to boondock? TIA!


AWD. Itís possible to get stuck on wet grass, shallow mud, etc. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. And remember hitch weight on the rear wheels will lift some of the front wheels. My opinion. Others may disagree.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:30 PM   #3
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And remember hitch weight on the rear wheels will lift some of the front wheels.

I once was driving up a gravel road. Got half-way up the hill and the unweighted front wheels began to spin and the tow vehicle to slow to a stop.
I had to back the trailer and tow down the hill to a flat area and then put the vehicle into four-wheel-drive to get up the hill.
Wet pavement or grass can cause the same issue.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:36 PM   #4
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AWD vs FWD?

I have been towing our 13í Scamp with a FWD Pilot. There have been a couple of times I missed AWD, each time on a gravel road ascending a grade while towing. I was able to disable the stability control and allow some wheel spin to get through.

Downside is it adds some initial cost (which youíll usually get back on resale) and additional maintenance (rear differential service every 30K).

Tough call if you donít live in the snow belt. I got a really good deal on a lightly used unit that happened to be FWD. I drive vehicles into the ground, so resale isnít too important.

The larger the trailer, the more youíll want AWD, so I vote yes in your case.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:49 PM   #5
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Yes AWD does have some slight advantage for winter driving, not much for off road.

For towing... It offers extra weight,an extra "transmission", and extra drive shaft, an extra differential. All of which require maintenance and take power and fuel.
As long as the vehicle is rated to tow the intended load and the expected tongue weight FWD will do just fine.
Depending on your driving habits you will want to increase your tire rotation schedule for towing with either one.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:55 PM   #6
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I know this isnít the question, but rear wheel drive is superior for towing, augmented with 4 wheel drive is ideal for traction. I agree AWD is worth every penny for traction and helps with towing compared to FWD. I have a Subaru Outback and it has been great for my 13 ft Scamp (except for the tongue weight limit).

Iíd like to get a 16 ft Scamp or similar FG RV. If I do I want a RWD or AWD pick up or SUV or even a RWD van. (Five year plan) My issue is the complexity of the transmission. Side forces can wear on the inner working of an AWD optimized to haul a family and their stuff with towing as a secondary task.

Just a thought for consideration. Again I like my Subaru and it tows a light load once or twice a month just fine.
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