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Old 11-07-2014, 01:19 PM   #21
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While it is rare that I drag my Escape 17 on roads that require 4WD, to avoid tearing things up, I have locked the RAV4 in 4WD more than once to get out of a campground site on wet grass. I do use a WDH...
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
Other ways to ask the question:
Under what circumstances do you think a person pulling an Escape 19' trailer might regret having just front-wheel drive? ...AWD?
As described, my experience with Subaru front-wheel-drive climbing a hill on a gravel road. Front wheels slipped until I wasn't moving.
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #23
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Don't know if you've made a decision but:

gbaglo talks about a Subaru FWD slipping on gravel; I had an old Ford Ranger RWD slip on gravel. Later I had a 4X4 Dodge, in 10 years used its 4X4 capabilities perhaps no more than 3 or 4 times when towing and was thankful to have it. My point is I’d suggest an AWD 4X4 or at least an AWD only ‘cause ya never know when you’ll need those other 2 wheels.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
As described, my experience with Subaru front-wheel-drive climbing a hill on a gravel road. Front wheels slipped until I wasn't moving.
Both front wheels, or just one? Sometimes all that's needed is a limited-slip differential or good traction control to use more of the capability of two driven wheels, rather than resorting to driving the other two as well. I don't think there has ever been a front-wheel-drive (not all-wheel-drive) Subaru with limited slip, and a front-wheel-drive Subaru would presumably be too old for traction control.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:35 PM   #25
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I only know what I know.
It was a 1987 Subaru wagon ( had it for 13 years ).
You had to engage four-wheel-drive manually. Otherwise it was front-wheel-drive. It didn't have enough power to get out of its own way, or to go around a corner on pavement with four-wheel-drive engaged. You had to back up about ten feet to get 4X4 to disengage.
The brake discs were about the size of a Campbell's Soup can lid. I glazed them twice in one month while towing a tent trailer with no brakes. Cost me at least $500.
So now I have a RAV4 4x4. It is basically front-wheel-drive, but rear wheels will engage when required. When it snows, I stay home because I don't trust any of the other drivers.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:07 PM   #26
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Referring back to the original post, we too have to buy a new vehicle to be both our daily driver and pull an Escape 19. From the daily driver perspective, we need only one vehicle and my wife does not want a pickup truck or a long, 3 row suv that is too big for our garage or easy for her to park. And she wants a vehicle that is good in the snow.
From a tow vehicle perspective, I want a vehicle that is more than capable of pulling the 19 up and down steep grades in the American west including having sufficient power at high elevations. I have had two nasty surprises in the past (13 ft Trillium behind a 2004 Highlander) where I was on very steep, long downhill grades and the experiences were not fun.
To meet these criteria, I am going with a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the V8. It has a towing capacity of 7200 pounds and lots of power. Here in Canada, we can only get a 4wd GC which is ok for us. Here in Canada, the diesel option only comes on very high end models and would be about $65,000!
Tow vehicles are a bit like real estate. There are always compromises. And we all have different needs and wants. The major compromise of the GC for me is the high cost. ($56,000) But I do not want to compromise safety, tow ability, and my wife's everyday driving experience for the next 10 years.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:56 PM   #27
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Regardless what a magazine says we have been very happy with our Grand Cherokee. It is just 2 wheel drive as we don't do snow any more after too many years in Colo., Utah and N. Dakota. At 74000 miles, half towing a 19 or 21 Escape we are thinking we would probably buy another when the time comes. The hemi has very good mileage and lots of torque like the diesel.
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