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Old 01-24-2016, 08:14 AM   #1
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New tow vehicle

My plans were to replace my Jeep Grand Cherokee this summer with another one. I have 100,000 ext warranty and planned on selling it at 95,000 so someone would have the extra 5,000 miles. I now have 90,000 miles and started looking for the replacement with 2 wheel drive and the 5.7 hemi engine. It appears that the 5.7 is only available in 4wd and higher trim levels(more money). I like the short length, short turn radius and power to pull quickly. I would buy the 150 crew cab if it was 3' shorter or the Ridgeline (I used to have one) if it offered 350+ lbs. of torque. I may have to just run the Jeep for another year or two and hope someone comes out with a non-diesel vehicle that is comparable to the GC.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:41 AM   #2
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Tow rigs

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Seems like there would be a market for the hemi and two wheel drive, especially in the warmer climates where snow is not a continuing consideration. When I bought my last Dakota and was looking at Dodge sites near the end of the model year, all the two wheel drive stuff was in Texas and the 4WD was in the North. Hope you can eventually find what you need. Kids just back from Florida and Hawaii. They flew all United. Clay had a 767, a plane he had done cockpit readout programming on for Rockwell.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:15 PM   #3
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Many years ago I was driven to a business lunch in Houston by a local guy who was driving his Cadillac Escalade. I noted the 4WD switch on the dash and asked him why he chose 4WD in Houston... it seemed superfluous. He said that he didn't need it, didn't want it, and could only buy an Escalade (which he wanted for the size and luxury) with 4WD; he had pushed the button once to see if it worked, noted that a light came on and nothing bad happened, and turned it off again... never to be used again. I think he - and Jack - are in a common situation. Buyers of this sort of vehicle can afford 4WD and many want it even if they don't know how it works ("my SUV has more features than yours") so the rational buyer is likely to be stuck with it. The manufacturer cannot reasonably build every combination of equipment and the dealers can't keep them all in stock.

An additional technical issue is that with a very high power level compared to the mass of the vehicle, incompetent drivers have control problems in two-wheel-drive; a good 4WD system allows more power to be used without breaking traction and losing control. Even exotic sports cars have gone to 4WD for this reason.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:54 PM   #4
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Shortly after I bought my 02 Dakota, I happened upon a forum populated with young guys with Dakotas. They were so proud that they could smoke the front and back tires. Left me shaking my head. The four wheel drive thing in any configuration is to me a phenomenon where what once was a fairly rare option, overtook standard construction to the degree that you can't buy the old style in some cases. Power steering, AC, lock out front ends and several other options have done the same.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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Try and find a 2 wheel drive truck in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin. In most cases if you want a 2 wheel drive truck ,you need to order it or drive south. I seldom use the 4 wheel drive but it did come in handy when elk hunting in New Mexico. If I lived as far south as Iowa Dave , I might have considèred 2 wheel drive.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:24 PM   #6
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Truck options

I had a 78 Bronco. Never used the 4WD all that much. Then three pickups that were two wheel drive and never had a problem. Could not find a Two wheel drive Dakota close by so bought the 4WD Dakota which upped my confidence so much I promptly put her in the ditch one morning. We get about 50 inches of snow in a heavy snow year but it's usually a few inches at a time. "Four wheel drive gets you in more trouble than it will get you out of" was the sage advice from my Dad who just keeps getting smarter as I age. (Gracefully I might add)
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:11 PM   #7
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I've had a four wheel drive of some kind since '78. I was the guy that always made it to work. It was a 30 mile trip to work. I've had my four wheel drive get me out of trouble but don't remember it ever getting me into trouble. Now that I'm retired I guess I don't really need it but like it has been said it's hard to find two wheel drives around here in Ohio.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:26 PM   #8
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I think it's more folks that expect 4wd to do more then it does that have problems. Seems the median gets filled with those little 4wd SUV things first couple snowfalls. 4wd trucks are a big thing around here for a male teens 1st vehicle. They've been known to slide off the road on occasion too, once in a while by accident.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:45 PM   #9
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Ford F-150 4wd are more expensive to insure (I PROMISE I'll never turn it on) and come with a 36 gal fuel tank. I didn't want either... sigh.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:14 PM   #10
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We drove back from Snowshoe WV Friday through the big storm. We were in the Silverado and son in Grand Cherokee. Up and down the mountain, scary but got through. Passed more than one 2 wheel drive not able to get up the grades. When you need it, worth every penny.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Try and find a 2 wheel drive truck in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin. In most cases if you want a 2 wheel drive truck ,you need to order it or drive south. I seldom use the 4 wheel drive but it did come in handy when elk hunting in New Mexico. If I lived as far south as Iowa Dave , I might have considèred 2 wheel drive.
My dad had one in Brainerd, which he's long since sold. I remember him telling me it was hard to find one up there and everyone wanted to know why he had it. He felt he'd never need it. He's now driving an older Jag. Without 4 wheel, of course. I don't know where he got the truck from.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:17 AM   #12
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new tow vehicle

Still thinking about one, but my Jeep GC may see quite high mileage before I'm done.
When we moved from SF area to N. Utah where we could afford to take up skiing again, it got too expensive in CA, I found a VW crew cab, added an RV furnace under the rear seat and put studded tires on every fall. Our son said that it would go where FWD would not. He didn't tell us that at the time. I see the Dodge Durango comes with the 5.7 and two wheel drive, if they build it for 2016. It is only a foot longer then the GC I believe and I don't know if it has the Mercedes designed chassis.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:30 AM   #13
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My old 1961 Ford F250 2WD could get stuck on flat ground when there was any snow on the ground if I didn't have enough weight in the back. In my experiences, snow, icing, the hilly terrain where I live and 2WD trucks weren't a good combination. I think I spent half the winter taking chains on and off back then.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:38 PM   #14
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I... "Four wheel drive gets you in more trouble than it will get you out of" was the sage advice from my Dad who just keeps getting smarter as I age. (Gracefully I might add)
Dave
Dave that wisdom of your dad sure seems to be proven in my experiences for young men in 4WD trucks and some people in SUVs. In my 25 years commuting to a city school district that rarely canceled school for road conditions, the vast majority of vehicles I saw in the ditch were 4WD. Those folks seemed to have little understanding that no matter how many wheels are driven, there are still only 4 small patches of rubber on the road and 4WD can't defy physics.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:46 PM   #15
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This June is my 50 th high school reunion. I had a lot of teachers over the years but none finer than my Physics instructor Mr. Joe Stolar. He was a former drivers ed instructor too.
He had a beautiful way of combining the principals of physics with everyday living and relating it all the testosterone charged boys who kept pictures of Pontiac GTO's Dodge Chargers, and big Ford V8 automobiles of the day pressed in their physics books as "bookmarks".
He liked me because of my practical nature, gas station grease under my finger nails and acceptance to attend Iowa State University, his alma mater.
He was the kind of teacher you could not let down. We need more Mr. Stolars today.
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:11 AM   #16
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:47 PM   #17
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I've had a four wheel drive of some kind since '78. I was the guy that always made it to work. It was a 30 mile trip to work.
I've never had four wheel drive, and I'm the guy that always made it to work. It has been a 35 kilometre drive each way for the last 23 years, and it's winter here for at least half the year. I've always had a front-wheel-drive small car, almost always with snow tires.

Local conditions matter, of course: we have few hills, and although ice is normal deep snow is rare. I should have gone with studded tires last time - maybe next time.

I'm in a rural area, and most (probably all) of my neighbors have 4WD trucks and SUVs... I assume to impress someone, since they don't need them to get around. Having said that, I would prefer 4WD in some cases.

Quote:
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I think it's more folks that expect 4wd to do more then it does that have problems. Seems the median gets filled with those little 4wd SUV things first couple snowfalls.
Absolutely! And it's not just the small SUVs... here, I find that the majority of vehicles in the ditch after any storm are 4WD, and that includes large SUVs and trucks... with drivers of all ages and both genders hanging around them.

A funny one was the lady driving her 4Runner back and forth in the ditch, not stuck but apparently looking for somewhere that she could get back up the slope. I laughed and continued on my way in my 2WD car.
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:52 PM   #18
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I see the Dodge Durango comes with the 5.7 and two wheel drive, if they build it for 2016. It is only a foot longer then the GC I believe and I don't know if it has the Mercedes designed chassis.
Yes, the current Durango (entirely unrelated to previous vehicles by the same name) is the Dodge-branded and longer version of the Grand Cherokee, with the same Mercedes-derived chassis design and components.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:07 PM   #19
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I've never had four wheel drive, and I'm the guy that always made it to work. It has been a 35 kilometre drive each way for the last 23 years, and it's winter here for at least half the year. I've always had a front-wheel-drive small car, almost always with snow tires.

Local conditions matter, of course: we have few hills, and although ice is normal deep snow is rare. I should have gone with studded tires last time - maybe next time.

I'm in a rural area, and most (probably all) of my neighbors have 4WD trucks and SUVs... I assume to impress someone, since they don't need them to get around. Having said that, I would prefer 4WD in some cases.


Absolutely! And it's not just the small SUVs... here, I find that the majority of vehicles in the ditch after any storm are 4WD, and that includes large SUVs and trucks... with drivers of all ages and both genders hanging around them.

A funny one was the lady driving her 4Runner back and forth in the ditch, not stuck but apparently looking for somewhere that she could get back up the slope. I laughed and continued on my way in my 2WD car.
Studded tires in our area are illegal due to the damage they cause to the road surface . I have a 4 wheel drive truck and seldom use the 4 wheel drive but on occasion it has made the difference between being stuck at home or going about my business.
At my age ,the urge to buy something to impress others is non existent. Two wheel drive trucks are notorious for having poor traction in the snow .In our area you see trucks with their box filled with sand or concrete blocks to add weight over the rear axle. When I lived on Minnesota's iron range ,the locals lined the truck box with plastic sheeting and foam (protect paint) and filled the box with water. The water froze and they used the ice as traction weight .Come spring the ice melted and they were ready for summer ."Finlander Ingenuity"
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:19 PM   #20
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Studded tires in our area are illegal due to the damage they cause to the road surface .
That's true in many areas, but they are allowed here... and reasonably common, especially for pickups, even though most pickups here are 4WD. Basic truck 4WD systems are only 2WD most of the time, and when you hit an icy patch it is too late to shift the transfer case, so it makes sense that rear tire traction is critical.

Modern studs are very short, and not nearly as damaging as some of the designs used in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Two wheel drive trucks are notorious for having poor traction in the snow .In our area you see trucks with their box filled with sand or concrete blocks to add weight over the rear axle
Yes, we had one (only got stuck once in the winter), and did something like that... it's pretty standard practice for those few people who have 2WD trucks here, and even some 4WDs. Front-wheel-drive vehicles - and even rear-wheel-drive cars or SUVs with more reasonable weight distribution than an empty pickup - don't have the same problem.

In a recent discussion of the Honda Ridgeline which wandered into somewhat related vehicles, I noted that the weight distribution of a VW Touareg is only barely front-heavy, even though the entire engine hangs out in front of the front axle; empty rear-drive pickups can be an extreme case of poor weight distribution, and 4WD is a way to address one resulting problem.
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