Need help for a newbie. After reviewing weight and hauling maximum weights, a higher weight ratio seems to favor a 2 wheel vs a 4 wheel truck. I plan to purchase a 5th wheel toy hauler soon, I know about the maximum weight of the load but recently have been pointed to considerations for a 2 wheel vs a 4 wheel. Does anyone have any thoughts to share?
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD Duramax w/Allison
2013 Forest River Thunderbolt AMP 395XLR12
2008 Road Star 1700
bicycles: 2 road + 2 trail + 2 pair of running shoes
+ his and her kayaks
A two wheel drive truck will have a better payload capacity, but it depends on where you intend to go. I like to have the ability to kick in the 4 wheel drive if I get in a bind and get stuck. Have had to use it a few times and was glad I had it. 2 wheel drive will probably also get a little better mileage.
2010 Dodge 3500 Mega Cab Cummins Diesel DRW
2009 GMC 2500HD D/A Crew Cab
2012 Dutchmen 3795 Voltage Epic Package
2012 Smart Passion for Two
2003 Suzuki Intruder 1500LC Cruiser AD USAF 1996-2011 1700+ hrs E-3B/C AWACS
For me, the decision wasn't the added weight of the truck, but the ability to use 4 wheel drive when needed. Besides winter driving in 4 high, 4 low has come in handy up our 25% gravel driveway grade.
I agree with that.
Choose the truck model (250, 350SRW, 350DRW, 450, etc) that has the GVWR, payload capacity and RGAWR needed to haul the trailer's hitch weight, with room to spare, and then choose 2wd or 4wd based on how you intend to use the truck.
The small amount of added payload capacity from choosing 2wd instead of a 4wd (about 200-400 lbs) shouldn't really enter into the equation. If that tiny amount of difference in payload is that important, you probably should step up to the next model higher of truck capability, rather than cutting it so close with a lower weight rated truck model.
The question comes up often and there are pros and cons to both. It really boils down to the type of camping you plan to do. If you predominately travel on paved roads and interstates to RV parks and other organized camping sites, then a 2WD is all you'll ever need. If getting off the beaten path to campsites that require using unpaved, dirt, gravel, sand, snow, or mud covered roads, then a 4WD is better suited which is why our TV has 4WD.
Makes very little difference in towing unless your off a hard surface.. I have owned many 4X4's and have only used the 4X4 option twice. The 4X4 option cost more to buy and operate, additional weight will cost more for fuel. Tire wear is another issue... However the resale is much better for 4X4 trucks. I do no boondocking and never go off roading in a Truck that can cost well over $50,000 dollars or more... Its a common sense issue...
Its also very hard to find a 2 wheel drive Truck on a dealership lot. Most dealership orders Trucks fully loaded, (more money). In most cases you will have to order.. If you live in Snow country, its a good reason to buy a 4X4 but I don't like cold weather and go South for the winters...
Its kinda a macho thing to own a 4X4. The big 3 have some awesome Trucks with the 4X4 option. But again you will have to make that decision based on you likes and dislikes and were your travels will take you.. When I ordered my 2012 Chevy 3500 kinda wish I had went with the 2x2 instead of the 4X4. I have owned a Chevy 4500 and the Freightliner M2 and neither had the 4X4 option and I went any place I wanted to go... Good Luck with your decision... Happy Trails....
P.S. The money saved by not going with a 4X4 option will pay for several tows if needed....
Keep in mind also most all HD Trucks have a limited slip differential and in many cases its all you need to keep moving...