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Old 10-22-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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4WD vs 2WD

I don't "plan" to tow my 17B on rough roads or in snow. I have not yet decided whether to tow with a pickup or SUV. Is 4WD important? Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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I have used it twice in 145000 miles. Probably would have been fine without.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
I don't "plan" to tow my 17B on rough roads or in snow. I have not yet decided whether to tow with a pickup or SUV. Is 4WD important? Thanks.

Interesting article in November Consumer Reports Magazine concluded that for most driving situations, it is the tires that are more important than 4wd. One of the dirty little secrets for snow tires is that their wet road braking capacity is very poor.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:16 PM   #4
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Not sure how much choice you have.
I looked into Mitsubishi Outlander that a friend was considering. Only the top of the line, loaded model, had a tow rating of 3,500 lb. All the less expensive lines were limited to 1,500 lb.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:23 PM   #5
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Our tow is a 4WD. Used it ONCE backing into a rainy, slushy snow spot. Would not have needed but it was nice that I did not have to tear up any grass or make any ruts. Have never used it on the road towing, even on muddy backroads. Reason ours is 4WD is resale. Around here most trucks are 4WD. Bought ours used and one has better selection of options when looking at a 4WD and not a lot of difference in fuel mileage.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
I don't "plan" to tow my 17B on rough roads or in snow. I have not yet decided whether to tow with a pickup or SUV. Is 4WD important? Thanks.
Steve,
We got a 2WD Honda Pilot for our 17A. It has done fine. Gas mileage is a couple of mpg better than the 4WD model. Tow capacity is 125% of what's needed for the 17. We have been on a couple steep grades and on gravel a bit. All works well; no problem.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:45 PM   #7
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4 wheel drive probably is not needed 90% of the time, but the other 10% it was nice to have. If not going 4x4 I'd recommend at least a locking rear axle for those wet grass camping spots that will make your wheels spin...
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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I have not ruled anything out (SUV or P/U) to pull my 17B. What mileage do you get when towing your 17A with your Pilot? Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardsale View Post
Interesting article in November Consumer Reports Magazine concluded that for most driving situations, it is the tires that are more important than 4wd. One of the dirty little secrets for snow tires is that their wet road braking capacity is very poor.
The Consumer Reports Magazine was comparing FWD vehicles to AWD; not RWD to AWD. There's a big difference between a RWD pickup and a FWD car.

RWD trucks are a whole other category because the rear end tends to dance around. With original equipment tires, RWD trucks can get stuck on steep wet asphalt roads. Seriously! Rear wheel drive trucks are almost useless in west coast snow. If it snows, you stay home. A locking differential and really sticky tires will improve the situation but its not ideal.

4WD trucks corner better in snow and gravel because you are less likely to break traction when accelerating out of a corner. You don't have to accelerate out of a corner, but if you do, it feels a whole lot better.

4WD trucks usually come with a low range which is really cool for slow manoeuvring on slopes.

4WD trucks can get off the line pretty quickly when the road is wet. This is helpful when crossing highways at uncontrolled intersections and racing road hogs at merge points.

Having said all that, the first vehicles to enter the ditch following the first snowfall of the year, are typically 4WD trucks. This happens not only in Vancouver (whose drivers are much maligned) but also in Calgary, Prince George, Edmonton and Toronto. Oak Bay is probably not a lot different. Over confidence is a big factor. Stupid is another one. Been guilty of both

This Christmas we're considering a run down to southern California if the weather is agreeable There's no way I'd be crossing those passes if we had a 2WD pickup.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
I have not ruled anything out (SUV or P/U) to pull my 17B. What mileage do you get when towing your 17A with your Pilot? Thanks.
Steve,
Our overall mileage towing is 14.2 mpg. This includes about 25% at 62mph on I-5, majority on 2-lane highways and by-ways at 35-60 mph; 4 mountain passes over 5000 ft., Tejon pass south of Bakersfield (4100 ft.) w/ a 6% grade. (38 mph, 4400 RPM--that's about 75-80% of full throttle)).
Non-towing-highway is 22-24 mpg.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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Our 17B is scheduled to be completed in December. We replaced a 99 Tacoma with a 15 Tacoma Prerunner with tow package. In fifteen years of driving a two wheel drive I got to and from work just fine. Did not see the need for the expense of 4WD, but to each their own.

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Old 10-22-2015, 07:16 PM   #12
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I think it all depends where you live! We are at 2000 feet and usually have a fair bit of snow - I have to drive all over the county as a visiting nurse on back roads so depend on a four wheel drive to get me where I need to go. But I don't assume that four wheel drive will keep me from sliding on the ice. My trusty Subaru is the perfect car for this climate and occupation!
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:46 PM   #13
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Live in snow country, that's why I bought 4x4. However, we've been touring Colorado and Urban for the last 6 weeks and have used it quite a bit on these dirt roads out here that seem to out number paved. Many of the best camp sites and rock formations are on dirt, most are not very well maintained. Another thing about the cost, like a diesel, you get most of the extra cost back when you sell. Of course you loose a mile or so mpg with 4 wheel too.

I did see a lot of higher clearence AWD cars on the dirt roads, they seemed to be doing just fine. might be another option.
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:58 PM   #14
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The Tacoma is on my short list. Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:22 PM   #15
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I prefer a 4WD for roaming on the National Forest roads when boondocking/exploring. Long ways from anywhere to get stuck and often no cell service.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:50 PM   #16
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I have 4wd because I live in the mountains and I like to get home from work reliably. I've used it exactly once while towing my pre-Escape T@B when a campsite turned into a mud hole overnight.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:35 PM   #17
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I have never owned a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and have only driven one very briefly. I learned to drive on hilly roads in Ontario that were frequently very icy, and I have driven for the last three decades in the Edmonton where it doesn't snow much, but winter lasts for half the year. I've never failed to make it to work, and enjoy driving past those 4WD or AWD vehicles in the ditches. Most of that has been front wheel drive (and with winter tires in season), but there was one RWD car and one RWD pickup truck.

On the other hand, hooking a trailer on the back of a vehicle greatly increases the need for traction (due to more mass and drag), with a much smaller increase in drive traction (if RWD) or some decrease in drive traction (if front wheel drive). If you are towing in bad weather or in and out of steep gravel campsites, you might appreciate 4WD.

If the concern is on-road use in wet (but not icy or seriously snowy) conditions, you should know that manual part-time 4WD (no centre differential or slip clutch) will not help... a full-time system (often called AWD, but various names are used) is needed. Many (likely most) pickups only have part-time 4WD, which is one reason that I drive past so many that are stuck in ditches.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:04 AM   #18
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I ordered 4 wheel drive when ordering the tow truck and so far I had to use it twice. In bringing the 21 home from Chilliwack , we left the Oregon coast and headed East on US 20. We ran into a construction site somewhere East of Cascadia where a short section of the highway was cut out. And in this section was a flatbed with an excavator on it which was buried to the axles, so they built a dirt ramp around it to move the traffic. This was loose dirt and rock on an uphill grade and needless to say, the truck started to slip. I flipped to four wheel drive and walked up it. This was also one of several places where the transmission fluid temp rose to 210 degrees. Without the 4 wheel drive, I would have had the traffic blocked in both directions and backing down would not have been pretty with about 7 vehicles back of me. When you need 4WD, you need it. Loren
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:12 AM   #19
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Well,...if you don't have 4x4, and you need it, but don't have it, all you got is 1 wheel drive.
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:00 AM   #20
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I have four-wheel-drive ( sort of ) with the option to lock it in, but I keep in mind the the quip, that you can get stuck with two-wheel-drive, but you can get REALLY stuck with four-wheel-drive.
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