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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Truck puller w/4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive

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mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 04/12/12 01:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I went shopping for a truck to tow a fifth wheel, I deliberately chose a 4X2, and traded my 4X4 in.
Since then, I have never had occasion to regret the decision.
My truck is semi-retired now. It only gets used for hauling hay, or taking scrap to the recyclers, or trash to the landfill. Every fall, I drive out into the country, with the 18 foot flatbed on the ball hitch, and get hay. I drive off the pavement onto gravel, then onto dirt farm lanes, and out into the hay field. The farmer loads 35 bales on the truck, and 90 to 100 on the trailer. The bales weigh 65 to 75 pounds each. Then I drive out of the field, onto the dirt lane, onto the gravel road, back to the pavement, and then home, where I drive across the lawn, into the pasture, out to the barn, unload the hay, put the trailer away, and cross the pasture and across the lawn again, and park the truck.
If I need to use the truck during the winter, I make sure there is weight in the back. Both my step-father and my uncle told me years ago that only a fool would drive a pickup in the winter without weight in it.
IMO, part of the success of driving a 4X2 (NO, not a "2X4", that's a piece of lumber, not a vehicle) is having REAL traction tires. "All Season" tires are,IMO, at best, a joke, and at worst, downright dangerous in some conditions.
As with so many things, the bottom line is personal choice. If you WANT a 4X4, go find one that pleases YOU.
If you WANT a 4X2, good luck finding one. They are out there, but they are scarce!
IMO, very few people really NEED a 4X4. My Jeep Wrangler Rubicon very rarely goes into four wheel drive, even in the winter. It is never in four wheel drive on the highway. No, I don't NEED it, but I WANT it!
However, I do NOT need a 4X4 TRUCK at the present time, nor do I WANT one. I had 4X4 trucks almost continuously from about 1970 until I traded the 4X4 for the Dodge. I discovered that, for me, a 4X4 pickup just isn't really a NEED.
Remember, this is all about MY wants and needs. YOUR wants and needs may be entirely different!


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
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MTPockets1

Florida

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Posted: 04/12/12 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been stuck twice in recent weeks while un-hooked from the 5vr. Once in a neighbors back yard with a slight slope on wet grass, and once trying to turn around in the fairground parking lot on flat ground, again in very wet grass.... These trucks are light on the rear wheels - put it into 4wd and get on my way... For all the reasons stated, 4WD is the way to go. You never know.


2012 3055RL Big Horn - Dexter 7000 lb axles - G rated LT Tires
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26.2.2go

Florida

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Posted: 04/13/12 09:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much for the responses. I can't believe within 2 days I've received so many excellent and thoughtful responses to my question.

I should have qualified my intended use for the truck as only for pulling the FW Toy Hauler. I will be carrying a 2008 Road Star 1700 for most of my 'getting around' once at the campground... at least that's the plan (and I know plans do change but thats my current intent). Now that you folks have been so gacious to reply to this post, please take a look at my new post 'How to select a Toy Hauler - Forest River XLR AMP395' and provide comment if applicable.


2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD Duramax w/Allison
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26.2.2go

texas_train

Great State Of Texas!

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Posted: 04/12/12 07:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mile High wrote:

Delaine and Lindy wrote:

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...
Off roading doesn't mean tree bashing - give me a break! I bought my truck to use it.

X2!! Everything that adds weight like the perforated, leather, air conditioned, seats reduces the carrying cap,... but the rest of the YEAR when I'm not actually towing, ITS A TRUCK!!! a comfortable "Capable" truck.Just as comfortable showing up in a tux for a night at the theator, or in Camo for a morning with the ol 30.30 and pot o Joe in the deer stand!! Doesn't mean I abuse it?!?!
Nor will I be kept away from that stand by a little mud and rocky terrain! "I don't need no stinkin Polaris Ranger!!"


2012 Cedar Creek 36 RE Touring ED, all avail options
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mbrule

Massachusetts

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Posted: 04/12/12 02:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

josten367 wrote:

There is no need for 4x4 for pulling the TT or FW. It's only what you do with the truck while not pulling something. I have mine and only use it around the farm, never for pulling camper.


"There is no need for 4x4 for pulling the TT or FW"

That is a pretty general statement! It depends on where one wishes to go. I have had a TT for about 20 years no and recently switched to a fiver. With the TT I used 4x4 a couple of times right in my yard turning around on the lawn!

Most recently I attended a country fair in Maine and needed the 4x4 to get the fiver into the "camping area".

So, as others have said, depends on your usage. Sometimes 4x4 is nice just to avoid wheel-spin and mud all over the camper!

OldGreaser

South Texas

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Posted: 04/12/12 03:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wanted to buy my 1 ton dually off the lot. This meant 4x4. I don't intentionally go off-road and we don't dry camp. In 12 months of continuous use I needed my 4x4 exactly twice. Both times were in 'rougher' gravel campgrounds in Colorado. I was very glad to have it. If 4x2's were available on the lot I think I would buy one and carry a come-along & some cable.

W_A_Watson_II

Central IL

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Posted: 04/13/12 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless you plan on staying on a paved surface, the 4x4 and Low range ability are very beneficial on non-paved and inclines. However even a 4WD will and does get stuck, I know I did with the FW connected! Darn wet clay.


2006 Dodge MegaCab 3500 DRW Cummins Powered with a B&W Companion and Turn Over Ball Hitches
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mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 04/13/12 10:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"And last but certainly not least, if I get caught in a snowstorm during my travels (something some people don't ever experience apparently), I'll be more sure footed until I can get to a place where I can stop."

"more sure footed"?? Then why is it that every time a sudden snow storm hits around here, nearly ALL the slide-offs are 4X4s, while the 4X2 cars and trucks go slowly on their way with minimal problems?
I have said it for years, four wheel drive may help you GO, but it doesn't do much for helping you STOP, and it sure won't keep you on the road!
Yep, been there, did that! I have been in the ditch three times, IIRC, in snow. Once in a 1934 Chevy half ton, once in a Jeepster Commando, and once in a Chevy K10 4X4. In fact, the stiff grease (at 20 below zero) in the Chevy K10 front axle is what put it in the ditch! 4X2 cars were making that turn with no trouble!
My truck is for towing and hauling.
The Rubicon is for off-road play.

tdeal823

N.W. Ohio

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Posted: 04/13/12 09:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2 wheel drive truck will have a better payload capacity.
2 wheel drive will probably also get a little better mileage.
I have 4 wheel drive because I like to go to small parks where it goes from pavement to stone to a dirt road.
Also we go up to Silver Lake sand dunes in michigan. stay at an RV park, but we drive the truck on the sand and arould the dunes then park it on the lake and hang out for the day.
For me? I would not have it any other way.


2008 Silverado 2500HD DMax LTZ cc sb 4x4 EFILive tuned, Blocked, Deleted, Rerouted and removed B&W Turnover ball and 5th Companion
02 F250 4x4 Auto Ex LWB SRW 7.3L B&W, RideRite, 5"exhaust. TW6 chip. 195k
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jdiffend

Denver, CO

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Posted: 04/13/12 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I looked at both and went with a 4x4.
The advantages of each have pretty much been covered.
And like most people say, you'll probably only need it a few times a year if have it.

Why did I pick a 4x4? The times I've needed 4wd, there was no way 2wd was getting me out, and there was nothing to hook a winch to. And that was without towing a trailer. Yeah, a come a long might get my truck out, but then what do I do if I'm pulling my trailer?
And last but certainly not least, if I get caught in a snowstorm during my travels (something some people don't ever experience apparently), I'll be more sure footed until I can get to a place where I can stop.

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