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Old 10-24-2015, 01:20 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
Well,...if you don't have 4x4, and you need it, but don't have it, all you got is 1 wheel drive.
If you have two-wheel-drive, and an open differential (not limited-slip or "locking", or assisted by a brake-based traction control system), and one tire has less traction than the other, one wheel will spin: I have seen many references to this as "one wheel drive". This is not "one wheel drive" - both tires are getting the same drive torque. Actually having one driven wheel would be better, if it were the one with traction.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle will do exactly the same thing if opposite corners lose traction unless it has locking differentials... but we don't call them two-wheel-drive.

A typical Escape owner tows a trailer weighing less than the tow vehicle, but more than half the weight of the tow vehicle... call it three-quarters. In that case, a 2WD tug has 23% to 34% of the available traction on drive wheels (assuming 40% to 60% of the tug's weight on the drive wheels); a 4WD (when the system is driving all four wheels) has 58%. Significant difference, but not necessarily needed and not always enough.

If you have two wheel drive, all you have is two wheel drive. A least be happy you don't have real one-wheel drive in a four-wheeled vehicle - there have actually been some of those.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:29 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
I have never accidently "hit the ditch" in my 40yrs of driving different combinations of 1wd, 2wd and 4wd vehicles...
I think that's the result of getting that most important option, unfortunately not available from the dealer: a competent driver.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by gudmut View Post
I found it interesting that my 2010 4x2 F-150 Supercrew had a higher towing capacity than the similar 4x4 model.
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Simple: the 4X2's weigh less than a 4X4 with the extra transfer case.
Yes, the transfer case and the extra drive axle (differential, halfshafts, joints, driveshaft) all take more of the total combination weight allowed, leaving less for the trailer. For many truck owners - especially those towing Escapes - this is irrelevant, since the trailer isn't heavy enough to get close to this limit.

Perhaps more likely to be relevant, the 4WD hardware also cuts similarly into payload, and that can be a real limitation, especially for 5.0TA owners. In some cases the 4WD has a higher GVWR than the 2WD so the payload is not affected.

Some people towing are limited by the rear axle capacity... but it would be surprising if the front axle capacity were the limit. The transfer case is in the middle, and the rest of the added weight for 4WD is on the front axle, so the extra 4WD weight isn't a concern if this is the vehicle's limit.

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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
May have been stated previously RWD vehicles get better traction for towing than a FWD vehicle as the weight of the tongue is pushing down on the rear axle.
Often yes, but it depends on the weight distribution to start with. A trailer the maximum weight-carrying hitch weight allowed on my van still leaves the van slightly front-heavy (if the van is empty), so it has more load load on the drive tires than a typical pickup of similar weight towing the same trailer. Cargo and rear-seat passengers add more to the rear axle than the front, so the combination does easily tilt in favour of rear wheel drive. When we tow, we have close to the same load on each axle.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #34
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We recently camped at a small campsite in NC. The campground was located on a steep slope with a concrete drive. The campsites were on level spot adjacent and parallel to the concrete drive. Backing the camper in was not a problem, however when I hooked up to pull out, my rear tires were on grass and the front tires were on the concrete drive. Because of the slope, the rear tires spun easily. I put the truck in 4 WD and pulled out no problem. For me it is an essential option on a truck.
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:43 AM   #35
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Towing a 5th Wheel with a 4WD Pickup

In the last 20 years I have put my 4WD in use, less than 7 times. I could have got out of each situation by putting on truck chains.
I have paid for maintenance relating to having 4WD, all along plus less MPG because of the added weight. I figure that the 6 times I have used 4WD have been fairly expensive. None of the times I have needed 4WD involved towing the trailer.
5 of them involved driving our local Mountain road to access skiing or snowshoeing.
I plan to buy a 2WD next time, and carry chains.
Yes, we get ice and snow, and yes I drive many back roads. About 1/2 of my Escape towing is on poorly maintained gravel roads.
To each their own.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:07 PM   #36
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I use 4WD a lot, especially in pickups, where they lack weight on the rear axles. I have made many trips to the dump, where I would never get around when it rains without it too. I would never consider a truck without it where I live, and there are very few 2WD's around
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:45 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I use 4WD a lot, especially in pickups, where they lack weight on the rear axles. I have made many trips to the dump, where I would never get around when it rains without it too. I would never consider a truck without it where I live, and there are very few 2WD's around
It sounds like the problem is when unloaded (such as on the way out of the dump) when the rear is less heavily loaded than the front. If the rear isn't heavier than the front when loaded, the truck is excessively heavy - this is why the gross axle weight rating is always higher for the rear of a truck than the front.

As Jim mentioned, there are very few 2WD trucks in Alberta. I believe that this is at least partially because most of them are used as cars - every workday I am surrounded by pickup trucks on my commute, all with empty boxes (and back seats), so they are all lacking drive traction. This is especially true for the "3/4 ton" and "one ton" diesels, which very heavy in the front; I asked a Ford dealer if I could look at a 2WD example of one of those, and among their stock of hundreds of vehicle (probably half of them pickup trucks) they showed only one in inventory... and they couldn't find it.

This - along with sleepy's report - is another confirmation that while the vehicle is being chosen for towing, suitability for non-towing use is still important.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:57 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
It sounds like the problem is when unloaded (such as on the way out of the dump) when the rear is less heavily loaded than the front. If the rear isn't heavier than the front when loaded, the truck is excessively heavy - this is why the gross axle weight rating is always higher for the rear of a truck than the front.
I am still loaded a fair bit, as my topper and tools weigh in the neighbourhood of 1,500 lbs, plus the heavy tongue weight of my dump trailer (which is around 500 lbs empty). Part of the issue is pulling 4,500 lbs (dry weight of the trailer) behind me. Without the trailer, I would likely do better.

And there are WAY too many that use their pickups as overkill for a daily commuter. This is one of the reasons I advocate using a more moderately, yet adequately, sized vehicle as an appropriate tow vehicle, as it is way better for all round use for most people. I have a couple friends stateside, that drive Suburban's as a run-around vehicle. Their only reasoning is that it is safer if they should get into an accident, and if we used that as a factor in all our choices, it would surely limit everything we do.
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