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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 2WD or 4X4 for a truck camper

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burningman

Seattle, WA USA

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Posted: 10/31/19 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4x4 isn’t even a correct term. That name came from WWII vehicles with a 4’x4’ cargo space.
They happened to be four wheel drive but that’s not what “4x4” means.

The best argument for 4WD I’ve witnessed was driving over the pass in the snow one day.
A guy in a 2WD pickup suddenly spun out and hit the wall. It was because we were all on the throttle to climb uphill, but he broke traction and spun. Everyone else around was in 4WD and didn’t.

While it’s a side benefit, the low-range gears in a 4WD transfer case are a big advantage in lots of situations. 4WD trucks have tons of advantages. 2WD trucks are a little cheaper.
That’s basically it.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 10/31/19 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burningman wrote:

4x4 isn’t even a correct term. That name came from WWII vehicles with a 4’x4’ cargo space.
They happened to be four wheel drive but that’s not what “4x4” means.



Number of wheel positions, (Duels count as 1) times number of wheels powered. Most OTR tractors are 6X4, because 6X2 has too much tire slip. Not that they won't go, but because they wear tires faster. I have converted trucks 4X2 to 6X4, 6X4 to 8X4. The last 2 trucks I owned where factory set up as 8X4, but tractors all 6X4.


Quote:

The best argument for 4WD I’ve witnessed was driving over the pass in the snow one day.
A guy in a 2WD pickup suddenly spun out and hit the wall. It was because we were all on the throttle to climb uphill, but he broke traction and spun. Everyone else around was in 4WD and didn’t.


I was about 2 hours from home late on a Friday eve. Stopped to eat, come out of restaurant just start freezing rain/snow mix. I was tired, decided to sleep instead of fighting slick roads. After breakfast, strolled down the interstate. About 50 vehicles in ditches and median. About 75% where tractor trailers. Not one car, the others where 4X4 pickups and SUVs. The only 2 wheel drives I saw was the single axle tractors pulling wiggle wagons. Way to often I have heard "I got 4 wheel drive, I can go!" Everybody has 4 wheel brakes, if I can't stop, I don't want to go.

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While it’s a side benefit, the low-range gears in a 4WD transfer case are a big advantage in lots of situations.


IMHO, this and the neutral is the most useful part of the system...

jaycocreek

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Posted: 10/31/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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I was about 2 hours from home late on a Friday eve. Stopped to eat, come out of restaurant just start freezing rain/snow mix. I was tired, decided to sleep instead of fighting slick roads. After breakfast, strolled down the interstate. About 50 vehicles in ditches and median. About 75% where tractor trailers. Not one car, the others where 4X4 pickups and SUVs. The only 2 wheel drives I saw was the single axle tractors pulling wiggle wagons. Way to often I have heard "I got 4 wheel drive, I can go!" Everybody has 4 wheel brakes, if I can't stop, I don't want to go.


This^^^^^^^^^

I also can't tell you how many 4X4's I have seen in the ditch..People think just because they have 4X4 they can go anywhere..I spent alot of hours on snowy roads driving logging trucks and have seen so many 4X4's in the ditch or stuck,very few 2WD..Most with 2WD either have studded tires or chain up in really bad stuff..Atleast the smart ones do..(laffin)

To many think because I have a 4X4,they can go anywhere on any road surface without thought..

As to the semi's in the ditch,to many over the road truckers are to lazy to chain up when they should..Locking in the two drive axles helps but there are times with a semi,chains are just needed..Every logging truck driver knows that..Swift drivers don't..LOL

Good studded winter tires or siped aggressively, make a huge difference on plowed icy roads.On a pickup with a truck camper, studs make a huge difference in drivability and breaking...

Bedlam

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Posted: 10/31/19 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burningman wrote:

The best argument for 4WD I’ve witnessed was driving over the pass in the snow one day.
A guy in a 2WD pickup suddenly spun out and hit the wall. It was because we were all on the throttle to climb uphill, but he broke traction and spun. Everyone else around was in 4WD and didn’t.

Most of my trips up to the mountains have been in 2wd, but many more back down have been in 4wd due to low traction. Where I use 4wd the most is when parking at the ski slope lots.


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wnjj

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Posted: 10/31/19 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

KKELLER14K wrote:



One of my rigs...in the early days on the Oregon coast. Would you trust a 2x2 or a 4x4 in this place?


Can anybody tell me what vehicle is 2X2?

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jaycocreek

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Posted: 10/31/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bedlam wrote:


Most of my trips up to the mountains have been in 2wd, but many more back down have been in 4wd due to low traction. Where I use 4wd the most is when parking at the ski slope lots.


When I was taking my truck camper on my 2WD Ford up to the ski hill all the time towing 2-4 snowmachines,I always chained up at the bottom for the short, but steep drive, that is not well taken care of..

As you mentioned,mostly for coming back down the hill with all the weight..Chaining up only takes a couple minutes..

There is no doubt a 4X4 has it's perks but with a truck camper,it minimizes the perks in my opinion...Low range being the best perk..But is it needed to haul a TC..Not at all especially as heavy and wide as truck campers have become.

Just looking at an Arctic Fox 811 listed as 97" wide..Dang,over 8 feet wide when the older ones were 93"..That width makes a big difference navigating the backcountry..

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Posted: 10/31/19 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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burningman

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Posted: 10/31/19 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The usually-exaggerated story about seeing 4WDs crashed in the ditch all the time is a poor driver issue, not a disadvantage to having 4WD. And it’s not even true in my experience, which includes having been a tow truck driver. I see a lot more 2WDs struggling in snow every winter.

What is the advantage of not being able to drive the front wheels when you want to, besides being a little cheaper to buy the truck? None!

jaycocreek

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Posted: 10/31/19 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burningman wrote:

The usually-exaggerated story about seeing 4WDs crashed in the ditch all the time is a poor driver issue, not a disadvantage to having 4WD. And it’s not even true in my experience, which includes having been a tow truck driver. I see a lot more 2WDs struggling in snow every winter.

What is the advantage of not being able to drive the front wheels when you want to, besides being a little cheaper to buy the truck?


Could be where you live and what you see compared to others in different locations..

As advantages go...Gas mileage/maintenance and less to break down but on the other hand there are perks for a 4X4 like resale value for one..

And this is not 2WD vs 4WD..It is 2WD with a truck camper vs 4WD with a TC..The added weight makes a big difference as all the 2WD tow trucks could attest to..Highway to Hell has a few 2WD wreckers on the dreaded Coquihalla Highway in BC..They seem to get 'er done chained up..

Without a TC, we all know that a 4X4 surpasses a 2WD in snow and ice and front WD trumps 2WD in the rear because of weight on the power wheels..

Bedlam

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Posted: 10/31/19 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The type of snow also makes a difference. Where I live, the snow is just at freezing temperature. As soon as you apply a little tire heat or pressure to it, you now have a layer of water between the snow/ice and your tires. It's much easier to travel in colder areas where this remains frozen.

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