2 Wheel Vs. 4 Wheel Drive - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-10-2014, 06:01 AM   #1
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2 Wheel Vs. 4 Wheel Drive

Hello All,

I am looking at new Tow vehicles for the 5ta. I rarely have used the 4WD in my current truck. I am feeling like it is not a necessary option.

Has anyone really used, needed, or is it even wise, to tow while the 4WD is engaged?

I know it would mainly help you get out of a tough spot, but I don't plan to go off trail, and if there is a snow storm, I will be hunkering down in the camper.

The plan is for this truck to be a tow vehicle and not my daily driver. Thoughts and insights are appreciated. Thanks everyone


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Old 06-10-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
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When towing, especially with the weight of the hitch in the bed, I doubt there would every be much of a need for 4WD. I would not have a truck without it, but that is more for the winter use it gets, not the use while towing.

So, as a dedicated tow vehicle, I don't think 4WD is necessary at all.

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Old 06-10-2014, 07:42 AM   #3
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Occasionally, I find 4w-low useful to get my trailer moving after a rain.

I wouldn't buy 4wd just for towing, though
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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Since the truck plus trailer weighs much more than just the truck itself, the extra traction may occasionally be helpful, such as to get in or out of steep gravel or muddy campsite approaches. That certainly doesn't mean it's necessary. Most pickups here have 4WD - including those towing any kind of trailer - but trucks customized for towing big 5th wheels are rarely 4WD.

The extra weight of the 4WD system cuts into total towing capacity, but for most pickups used with an Escape 5.0 that's not likely a concern. That extra weight is mostly up front, so at least it's in the right place for towing.

Typical 4WD systems in trucks cannot be engaged on pavement because they lack a centre differential or other mechanism to allow the front and rear wheels to turn at different speeds, so the 4WD is not useful in general driving. SUVs usually do allow full-time 4WD use.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:40 AM   #5
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I would have preferred a 4x2, but they are next to impossible to find here in the Pacific NorthWET... at least in a Ford. I also was buying at the end of the model year. The dealership (with me watching) checked the entire US for what I wanted.. features and color. None, absolutely none to be found. If I needed the 4x2, I could have ordered it, but with the manufacturer and dealer incentives that I would have lost it would have cost me right at $10,000 more. I can live with the 4x4.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:45 AM   #6
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For towing the 5TA you do not need the 4wd function. Focus on GCWR and GVWR for an adequate TV. A truck with a factory towing package is a big plus especially with a tow haul transmission mode selector.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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Our pockets aren't deep enough to own a vehicle specifically for towing so, after safety, versatility is the key to choosing our TV.

We don't anticipate needing 4WD when towing, but our main goal in getting an Escape is to visit national, provincial, and state parks on both sides of the border to hike, bike, and sightsee. I envision us setting up in a nice camp spot for a few days, unhitching, and heading to a different trailhead or area of interest each morning, sometimes on roads that are better travelled with 4WD.

We also need 4WD when we're not towing, for trips to the ski hill all winter, for logging road travel here on the Island, and for the three or four times a year we get a significant snowfall in our rural part of the Comox Valley.
Brent and Cheryl.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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Recently when shopping for a new tow I almost bought a Front Wheel Drive vehicle that would easily tow my 19. When the dealer offered me a better deal for a pick-up with 4WD I had to think about it. I got the truck.

Not because I thought it necessary when towing. I switched because when we dry camp we like to drive off onto the wild and wooly backroads where the 4WD option is sometimes obligatory. (Jack, Mike1 and Mike2 can back that up.)
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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I've used it while towing a few times, the ones I remember were getting out of soggy campsites in Me. Used it at least a few more times on dirt back roads exploring while on camping trips. I love looking for off the beaten path places to canoe and fish. But mostly it's for our N.E. winters, when the weather is bad and I have to get to work or home, it sure is nice. I also have a commuter car, it's just no good in the snow. If I lived further south, I would probably not have 4x4, most folks probably never use it.

Happy Motoring
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