Trucks & Trailers - 2WD truck at the ramp?

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View Full Version : 2WD truck at the ramp?


Flot
03-09-2011, 08:25 AM
I'm looking at ordering a brand new truck, and being realistic, the ONLY time I will use 4wd is at the boat ramp.

While I realize it's unlikely I would look back and say "I wish I had gotten 2wd" the option costs a couple thousand dollars. A couple thousand dollars when I only use a boat ramp 3-4 times a year... that adds up.

Any comments? Specifically looking at new style Dodge Rams. Would I REALLY regret not having 4wd? At what size boat does 2wd just stop working for getting you up a decent ramp?


iFishMD
03-09-2011, 09:03 AM
I stopped buying 4wd years ago. I pull with 2wd trucks and launch more than 50 times a year. Less to go wrong (I had issues with the last 4wd truck I had and never used it), you get better fuel mileage and it is less expensive up front. Dont fall for resale arguement either.. 3 grand up front front on a tundra and the truck may sell for 2 grand more on the back end.. You still lost a grand.

Note that the ramps in maryland are the nicest around though

Insteada
03-09-2011, 09:52 AM
I wish I had taken a picture of it but two years ago at the Lake of the Ozarks I saw a guy who had a 2 wheel dodge and he had a trailer hitch installed on the front of his truck. I talked to him and he told me that he did it because it gave him better traction. He towed normal but then hooked the front up when it was time to put in. It was an ugly looking setup but he drove his 18' right in and out no problems. Maybe something like that would work for you?


rwidman
03-09-2011, 10:00 AM
I towed, launched and recovered a 7200 lb boat/trailer combination for six years and a couple hundred launch and retrieve cycles with a 2003 Toyota Tundra 2WD with no issues. I did have the tow package and limited slip rear end. I never even spun tires, much less got stuck.

A lot of this is knowing how to drive. Start slow and don't let up untill you're past the top of the ramp. And keep your rear tires out of the water.

I think you'll be fine with 2WD.

Design59
03-09-2011, 10:03 AM
While there are some times at some ramps that 4wd is an asset, I have never had an issue getting anything up a ramp with my 2wd. I debated the same thing. But I had to admit that after thirty years in the boat biz, most all of my shop / work trucks were 2wd, and the ones that were 4wd I rarely if ever used it. So I concluded I would rather have the money in my pocket. My Avalanche has been up about every ramp in Broward - Palm Beach - Martin & St. Lucie countys in SE Florida without event.

Posi rear end + good tires + common sense = 2wd is fine.

Having said that, I expect at least 100 posts claiming that 4wd is essentail.

bluewaterseeker
03-09-2011, 10:23 AM
I have a 4 wheel drive truck. I don't remember ever having to put my truck in 4wd to pull my boat out of a ramp. The secret is "easy on the gas pedal'.

The main time that I ever use my 4wd is backing uphill with a trailer. I have to put my truck in 4wd everytime I put my boat in the storage building.

rwidman
03-09-2011, 10:35 AM
The 4WD option not only costs money up front, it reduces the maximum towing weight, reduces fuel economy, and increases maintenance costs. If you need it for other reasons, get it. If not, it's a waste.

Flot
03-09-2011, 10:41 AM
Interesting, I was also expecting the comments that 4wd was required.

I have a 2WD Durango now, which tows great - but since changing tires (ironically the same exact tires that were on it before) I can't get up the local ramp to save my life with my ~5000 lb setup. Never had this problem before.

Now that I'm considering a 27-33' boat, I'm concerned that 4wd might be a requirement, but maybe not. I keep the boat in the water most of the year so only need to pull it for maintenance or storms, but last couple times had to get a couple guys to do the bumper hop for me.

My intent is that this would be the last truck I buy for "a very long time" and may even pony up for the lifetime powertrain warranty, so 4wd is tempting but expensive.

dennin7418
03-09-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm in the same predicament except I am considering used trucks that have already depreciated.

If I go with a for example 2007 Tundra double cab with a 5.7L
-The 2WD is almost 4 grand less than the next 4X4 and the 4X4 has 80K on it....

I'm from NE and winters are a biatch but I live in a pretty well taken care of area and the only times I use AWD is when I want to screw around....I could just drive slow and be cautious in 2WD I guess.

Boat ramp is pretty gnarly though but I'm probably going to be about 4k under the tow limit so I should be ok

bear685
03-09-2011, 11:01 AM
well, you need a bigger truck for sure - the weight of the truck has more to do with it than engine. i think a limited slip differential with a high gear is just fine. my 03 Expy never had an issue with my rig - almost 6K plus passengers. and with 155K miles - 4wd is just one more thing to go wrong, especially with non-use.

now jump to a 33' rig weighing 10K and u may need a dually. if you really only pull it out 2-3 times a year ... don;t know why you need anything new - i'd get a huge very used but still working truck and use it for a tow vehicle only ... but that's just me.

demjjm
03-09-2011, 11:04 AM
I just went back and forth with this decision, and in the end I just went ahead and got another 4x4. I had agreed to sell my former tow vehicle on a Friday, with the provision that I would use it Saturday to take the boat out one last time before selling the truck. Although I did some searching for a new tow vehicle I had not yet picked out a replacement, but was thinking as long as I had a locking differential I would fine with 2 wheel drive. Wouldn't you know as I was pulling out, the right rear started to spin, the locking diff kicked in and although I was expecting the truck to muscle the boat right out, instead the both tires were now spinning. I wound up using 4 wheel drive and pulled out with no problem. For me this was enough to make m decision easy and I went with another 4x4.

DoubleO7
03-09-2011, 11:13 AM
Interesting, I was also expecting the comments that 4wd was required.

I have a 2WD Durango now, and since changing tires (ironically the same exact tires that were on it before) I can't get up the local ramp to save my life with my ~5000 lb setup. Never had this problem before.

Now that I'm considering a 27-33' boat, I'm concerned that 4wd might be a requirement, but maybe not. I keep the boat in the water most of the year so only need to pull it for maintenance or storms, but last couple times had to get a couple guys to do the bumper hop for me.

My intent is that this would be the last truck I buy for "a very long time" and may even pony up for the lifetime powertrain warranty, so 4wd is tempting but expensive.

I would be buying a 2wd with plenty of ballast in the bed. Skinny all terrain tires, LOCKING differential. Not limited slip or posi-traction, a true locker.

A Few Dollars
03-09-2011, 11:40 AM
I have been towing boats for 26 years. From 13' skiffs to 32' center consoles. ALL with 2wd half ton trucks

I have NEVER spun a tire at a ramp.

stowaway
03-09-2011, 11:55 AM
I'll never own a 2wd truck or SUV. You can't take those out on the beach around here and at times even 4wd trucks have trouble in the soft, pebbly sand.

mrlullabye
03-09-2011, 12:29 PM
I personally run a half ton chevy with 4.3 v-6 and a spool rear end. Thats where they are physically connected 1:1 no slip no slide no nothing, they both turn the same speed all the time.

Putting a boat on a truck adds a tremendous amount of weight when you're on the ramp. On level round it may only be 100lbs or so, but on that ramp the truck is really feeling the weight of the boat.

I've never seen a trailerable boat my truck wouldn't muscle out. It might be too much on the highway, but I think I could get it off the ramp.

Anyways the spool is about $120 new, and adds a ton of traction. I did upgrade to a 3.42:1 gear from the 3.08 and it pulls a touch better.

I don't know how good the posi's are, but a spool will work for sure. I've heard a lot of good things about Richmond and Detroit lockers, and if I had a nicer truck would get one of those, cause the spool can get dicey when it rains.

I have seen some people use wheel chocks on really steep ramps. I never have had to, but it might help if you had a standard tranny.

abfish
03-09-2011, 01:04 PM
I've been launching my 26 Southport with an old 2wd Suburban 2500. Two keys:

-The ramp is good, not too steep, with plenty of roughness in the concrete
-The Suburban has more weight over the rear tires than a pickup truck with an empty bed. More tongue weight, within reason, will give you better rear-wheel traction also.

If you're seriously considering a 33 ft. boat, then I'd probably spring for the 4wd. The only way to know for sure is to do a test run with a similar boat, on the same boat ramp.

KarlP
03-09-2011, 01:10 PM
I would be buying a 2wd with plenty of ballast in the bed.

No sense carrying ballast around. You're at a boat ramp! If you do get stuck you just need a couple heavy duty garbage cans and bilge pump. ;-)

woodytoo
03-09-2011, 01:15 PM
I pull a 10,000# boat with an 02' 4x4 Tundra & have no problems on wet, sandy or steep ramps. The truck is only rated at about 8100# but handles this load easily. My neighbor pulls his 8000# with a F150 2wd & has problems every time the ramp is wet. You can't always be the first one out on Sunday afternoon. Do yourself a favor, buy a used 4x4 Tundra & forget about that "Dodge". Check out the resale on a two years old Dodge, you can't give them away..............

fishinmaniac
03-09-2011, 01:29 PM
If you go for a 33' boat then get the 4x4 as its a good insurance policy, a very heavy boat and I can see the 4wd comming in handy. That said my rig is 8k lbs and we never have any problems getting it out with our 2wd truck. Light on the gas pedal and if one tire starts to spin just keep on it and keep the truck straight while the differential locks up. Get out every time. A 12k pound boat might have me on some ramps though!

starmonk
03-09-2011, 01:42 PM
My dad used to launch with an Olds station wagon back in the day.

newbeematt
03-09-2011, 01:43 PM
im sure you have a friend with a 4x4

Matt

v12mac
03-09-2011, 01:52 PM
I personally run a half ton chevy with 4.3 v-6 and a spool rear end. Thats where they are physically connected 1:1 no slip no slide no nothing, they both turn the same speed all the time.

Putting a boat on a truck adds a tremendous amount of weight when you're on the ramp. On level round it may only be 100lbs or so, but on that ramp the truck is really feeling the weight of the boat.

I've never seen a trailerable boat my truck wouldn't muscle out. It might be too much on the highway, but I think I could get it off the ramp.

Anyways the spool is about $120 new, and adds a ton of traction. I did upgrade to a 3.42:1 gear from the 3.08 and it pulls a touch better.

I don't know how good the posi's are, but a spool will work for sure. I've heard a lot of good things about Richmond and Detroit lockers, and if I had a nicer truck would get one of those, cause the spool can get dicey when it rains.

I have seen some people use wheel chocks on really steep ramps. I never have had to, but it might help if you had a standard tranny.

Your daily driver has a spool? :o

You must really freak out the old folks at the mall pulling in to a parking space!

You never need 4x4 till you need it, then you really need it.

904polarized
03-09-2011, 01:56 PM
I pull a 10,000# boat with an 02' 4x4 Tundra & have no problems on wet, sandy or steep ramps. The truck is only rated at about 8100# but handles this load easily. My neighbor pulls his 8000# with a F150 2wd & has problems every time the ramp is wet. You can't always be the first one out on Sunday afternoon. Do yourself a favor, buy a used 4x4 Tundra & forget about that "Dodge". Check out the resale on a two years old Dodge, you can't give them away..............



:roll :trout:

Flot
03-09-2011, 02:31 PM
Whew. In no particular order:

1) Not going to open up the rear end on a brand new truck to install a locker, although I'm sure that would help

2) Buying a new truck because I want a new truck. I like the Dodge and the price right now is hard to beat. Resale value on these is ridiculous btw, can't find a used one with warranty left under $20 but can price out a new one for $25.

3) I am the friend with the truck

4) Ballast is an interesting idea, not an option for me with the SUV but would be a real option with the truck. My trip to the ramp is literally 5 miles, I just need to be able to pull the boat out when I have to (preferably without resorting to help). Hadn't thought of it before but a wakeboarding ballast bag would probably be a very easy way to add a few hundred lbs while watering the lawn.

Anyway, interesting discussion. For those trying to turn this into a brand war... unless you have some remarkably different limited slip, don't see how brand factors into it unless you are talking about brand of tire.

As for 4wd failing from disuse, I THINK this is less of an issue these days, I know it's become a non-issue on Wranglers, although I get the message with cost, maintenance, etc.

crothers
03-09-2011, 02:41 PM
I pull and launch with my 2wd pickup after 20yrs of 4wd. Never used the 4wd at the ramp out of necessity only because I had it, and only for the transfer case low range advantage that allowed me to pull out with just above idle throttle . My experience has been the ramp angle & tongue load of the trlt/boat all add to weight to the rear wheels. So far no issue with 2wd. The only time I NEEDED 4wd was backing the boat into a barn, uphill, on grass. Don't do that any more, but uphill on grass was not 2wd territory.
I have a AAA card in the unlikely event my 2wd is stuck at a ramp and no spectators wish to help.
Caveat: I am only experienced with boats of 23' or less and 7000lb total including trlr.
I defer to others when launching more weight.

DoubleO7
03-09-2011, 02:43 PM
Whew. In no particular order:

1) Not going to open up the rear end on a brand new truck to install a locker, although I'm sure that would help

2) Buying a new truck because I want a new truck. I like the Dodge and the price right now is hard to beat. Resale value on these is ridiculous btw, can't find a used one with warranty left under $20 but can price out a new one for $25.

3) I am the friend with the truck

4) Ballast is an interesting idea, not an option for me with the SUV but would be a real option with the truck. My trip to the ramp is literally 5 miles, I just need to be able to pull the boat out when I have to (preferably without resorting to help)

Anyway, interesting discussion. For those trying to turn this into a brand war... unless you have some remarkably different limited slip, don't see how brand factors into it unless you are talking about brand of tire.

As for 4wd failing from disuse, I THINK this is less of an issue these days, although I get the message with cost, maintenance, etc.

You could use two plastic 55 gallon drums laid in a wood cradle in the back. Filled with water at home. That would give you at least 850lbs.
NOT with a bilge pump while you sit on the boat ramp.
A hose and valve will let the water drain out when your done.
No real physical lifting and loading other than the empty barrels and cradle.

Whatever factory optional "locker" would be good enough.

DoubleO7
03-09-2011, 02:48 PM
Putting a boat on a truck adds a tremendous amount of weight when you're on the ramp. On level round it may only be 100lbs or so, but on that ramp the truck is really feeling the weight of the boat. It is? On mine, the weight comes off the hitch in relation to the steepness of the ramp.

I've never seen a trailerable boat my truck wouldn't muscle out. It might be too much on the highway, but I think I could get it off the ramp.

Anyways the spool is about $120 new, and adds a ton of traction. I did upgrade to a 3.42:1 gear from the 3.08 and it pulls a touch better.

I don't know how good the posi's are, but a spool will work for sure. I've heard a lot of good things about Richmond and Detroit lockers, and if I had a nicer truck would get one of those, cause the spool can get dicey when it rains.

I have seen some people use wheel chocks on really steep ramps. I never have had to, but it might help if you had a standard tranny.

A spool?
You better be loosing traction when cornering or your breaking axles.

crothers
03-09-2011, 03:00 PM
Spool equals no differential action (ability for the tires to turn different speeds around corners) which is REQUIRED for a street machine. Even road racers use some sort of "limited slip" (could turn into a disertatian).
Electronic locking...... Yes
Limited slip (usually clutch packs)....Yes
Spool.........NO unless you are using your drag race vehicle for a tow vehicle. Which means you will be replacing parts at a rate that precludes boating.

As I say to my engineers at work "clear as mud"?
They always agree.

andrey
03-09-2011, 03:31 PM
My dad used to launch with an Olds station wagon back in the day.

I use a '93 Camry station wagon front wheel drive ;?
But I only tow 2K pounds or so....

crothers
03-09-2011, 03:59 PM
I use a '93 Camry station wagon front wheel drive ;?
But I only tow 2K pounds or so....

You need a dual front wheel conversion to tow safely according to the experts here.

bone crusher
03-09-2011, 04:41 PM
common sense at the ramp is the key. And having a plan in place just in case you have trouble. Buy one of those portable compressors that plug into a power port and have some kitty litter or sand on hand. Don't back down the ramp any further than you have to especially at very low tide. Use just enough gas to get moving then a little more as the boat comes out of the water. A couple of things you can do if you have trouble getting traction and you are alone is to throw down the kitty litter or lower your tire preasure to about 20 psi (at the ramp) that will about double the tires contact patch and give you alot more traction. Then use that portable compressor to reinflate before you leave the ramp. It's always fun to watch some guy lite up his tires while his buddies are bouncing on his bumper, then you pull a larger boat up the same ramp with a 2 wheel drive truck without spinning a tire.

Glock Diver
03-09-2011, 04:41 PM
Oh for god's sake, why does this question have to turn into a Dodge vs. Toyota debate???

Anyway, to the OP:
If you only launch 4 times per year, and you know the ramps well-- it's not even a question. You're fine with 2WD. I can only remember having to use my 4WD once, and in all honesty, I probably could have finessed it out in 2WD if I needed to.

I've yet to see a 2WD have such a bad problem on a ramp, that a few buddies standing on his rear bumper wouldn't fix. I've helped out a few 2WD guys like that. Remember, more weight = more traction.

NEBassMan
03-09-2011, 05:01 PM
There is a thread discussing the various limited slip/posi-traction/locking differential/abs-software-controlled limited slip options available around here somewhere. Might be useful to someone with the OP's question.

Personally I'd prefer a 2WD w/ locking diff. Think that might only be a GM possibility.

I have a 3003 tundra, 2WD open diff and have never spun a tire on the ramp.

dahlbebop
03-09-2011, 05:02 PM
I think it depends on the rig your pulling and the ramp setup. If the ramp is wet and has no grooves for traction and you happen to have backed your trailer over the edge of the ramp, you may need the assistance of a 4x4. That being said, I have never needed a 4x4 to pull my rig. I'm looking at ordering a brand new truck, and being realistic, the ONLY time I will use 4wd is at the boat ramp.

While I realize it's unlikely I would look back and say "I wish I had gotten 2wd" the option costs a couple thousand dollars. A couple thousand dollars when I only use a boat ramp 3-4 times a year... that adds up.

Any comments? Specifically looking at new style Dodge Rams. Would I REALLY regret not having 4wd? At what size boat does 2wd just stop working for getting you up a decent ramp?

1998 proline 241
03-09-2011, 05:09 PM
i have a 2wd tundra and when i go and get my boat out the water i add like 300lb in the bed just to make it up the ramp.

Flot
03-09-2011, 05:18 PM
I am surprised at the number of 4wd owners who claim not to need 4wd at the ramp. And I'll reiterate how happy I was the first 8 times (before I bought new tires) when I slowly motored up the ramp without any issue whatsoever.

HOWEVER - haven't heard much out of the 'big boat' crowd.. you guys with 27, 29+ foot boats. There is a big difference there in weight where you're going from 3k-5k lbs to 7k-9k pounds. Are these 30' boats getting up the ramp in 2wd? (no shortage of them being towed around here)

UaVaj
03-09-2011, 05:21 PM
I pull a 10,000# boat with an 02' 4x4 Tundra & have no problems on wet, sandy or steep ramps. The truck is only rated at about 8100# but handles this load easily. My neighbor pulls his 8000# with a F150 2wd & has problems every time the ramp is wet. You can't always be the first one out on Sunday afternoon. Do yourself a favor, buy a used 4x4 Tundra & forget about that "Dodge". Check out the resale on a two years old Dodge, you can't give them away..............

Please post photo. :grin:

UaVaj
03-09-2011, 05:41 PM
I am surprised at the number of 4wd owners who claim not to need 4wd at the ramp. And I'll reiterate how happy I was the first 8 times (before I bought new tires) when I slowly motored up the ramp without any issue whatsoever.

HOWEVER - haven't heard much out of the 'big boat' crowd.. you guys with 27, 29+ foot boats. There is a big difference there in weight where you're going from 3k-5k lbs to 7k-9k pounds. Are these 30' boats getting up the ramp in 2wd? (no shortage of them being towed around here)

Depends?

On what?
What kind of tire is on the truck (best are non AT tires)
and
What kind of ramp you use (best are concrete groved ramps)

Match those two correctly and 98% of the time a 2wd will pull it out. Keyword - "match." That other 2% when you are unable to match those two - you will wish you had 4x4. Been there and done that. Only takes one time for 2wd to be spinning for one to start seriously considering 4wd.



This is off topic. I dare anyone to go and tow their boat with a full ton dually diesel. The difference is night and day.

dennin7418
03-09-2011, 05:47 PM
Adding weight...in my opinion brings the class of truck into play more than the drive train....

Once you get over 8000lbs the majority will say a 3/4 ton is needed....nevermind 4X4 vs 2X4.

I think pulling power of a 1500 vs 2500 vs 3500 is going to make the biggest difference rather than 4X4 vs 2X4

dennin7418
03-09-2011, 05:48 PM
UAVAJ...what do you tow that with?....1/2 ton pick up?

triguy7
03-09-2011, 05:51 PM
My 2 wheel drive Duramax has never had a problem at the ramp - 3070 Pursuit being the heaviest.

Now....I have been stuck in sand twice and had to get the wife's Wrangler to pull me out, but ramp duty is all good.

pugnacious3333
03-09-2011, 05:55 PM
The tongue weight of the trailer gives you all the traction you need, 4by not needed.

yarcraft91
03-09-2011, 06:01 PM
I remember an incident at the ramp- watched a guy in a 4WD pickup spin the heck out of his front tires trying to get up the ramp. Seems he had broken the drive system to the rear wheels and was trying to retrieve a 28' boat with front wheel drive. Finally got the boat out by running his front bumper winch cable to a light pole- that pole never did stand straight again.

The first 25 years I towed, I had a 2WD full-size Chevy van- never an issue, except on days when the ramps were covered in ice.

UaVaj
03-09-2011, 09:26 PM
UAVAJ...what do you tow that with?....1/2 ton pick up?

Yes - a Toyota Tundra with "ALL" 10,000lb of capacity. :o










As much as I love the tundra. I tow with a Ford F350 dually diesel. It is a 4x4 with a limited slip rear differential.

This discussion is just like the twin vs single discussion. Not until you are 30+ miles offshore with no power and the wind is blowing wrong direction away from dry land and it is too deep to anchor. You wish you had twin.

Back to towing. You come home late to the ramp and it is near empty. You burn the rubber off the 2wd trying to get the boat up the ramp. You wish you had 4x4.

rwidman
03-10-2011, 05:21 AM
Back to towing. You come home late to the ramp and it is near empty. You burn the rubber off the 2wd trying to get the boat up the ramp. You wish you had 4x4.

If you had learned to drive in ice and snow you wouldn't have this problem. When the tires are slipping, there's no point in giving it more gas. You have to keep traction by driving slow and smooth.

rwidman
03-10-2011, 05:26 AM
You could use two plastic 55 gallon drums laid in a wood cradle in the back. Filled with water at home. That would give you at least 850lbs.
NOT with a bilge pump while you sit on the boat ramp.
A hose and valve will let the water drain out when your done.
No real physical lifting and loading other than the empty barrels and cradle.

Whatever factory optional "locker" would be good enough.

That 850 lb has to be subtracted from the tow rating. And it pretty much counts as tongue weight if it's at the rear of the bed. The rig is going to be hard to handle on the road.

offshore3144
03-10-2011, 05:34 AM
F250 2wd here just put it 1st never spun a tire at any NC ramps since 2004(Present Boat). I had a four wheel drive truck before and never used the 4x4 at the ramp (Smaller Boat).......Mark

JALICHTY
03-10-2011, 05:53 AM
Ran into a little 2 WD problem a few years ago at Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Guys with a big offshore boat were traveling around hitting various lakes on the way down south and stopped at our lake to run the boat a bit. Lake was way down and his rear wheels dropped off the ramp and into gravel and his 2 WD wouldn't get the rear wheels onto the concrete. We were already in the water and parked but I went up, un-hooked the trailer and pulled him out. He wasn't grateful enough to give us a ride, but that was, we were up there fishing anyway. Only thing I was bummed about was the stuck truck was a FORD and I pulled it out with a GMC and wife didn't get a picture. Wasn't really the Ford's fault he couldn't get up on the concrete. They must have figured it out later as they were able to get the boat out of the water before we got back to the ramp.

Having said that, most of the time I don't use 4 WD to launch and retrieve my boat, but having the 4 WD does give me a certain level of comfort.

n3up
03-10-2011, 06:15 AM
I towed my old boat (MFG Gypsy 15) with a Mustang GT.
The only time I had trouble getting up a ramp was the time I backed the trailer off the end of the ramp....

I have an F150 4X4, and I pulled my new (to me) Leisure Cat 26 out yesterday for the first time.
I used the 4X4 lowrange, not because I needed 4X4 but for the low gear.
I didn't want to become a member of the sideshow that was going on at the ramp by having trouble getting her up the hill.
I'm sure I could have got her up in 2wd after the fact though.

I have a 4X4 because I need to be able to get to work when it snows. In fact I'm needed more at my job on a snowy day than a sunny day, so that's why I have 4X4.....
My tow vehicle is my daily driver....unless gas doesn't stop going up.....

JRussell
03-10-2011, 06:37 AM
I have a 2WD Durango now, and since changing tires (ironically the same exact tires that were on it before) I can't get up the local ramp to save my life with my ~5000 lb setup. Never had this problem before.


I would bet that the new tires are inflated to a higher pressure than your old ones. Lower air pressure will significantly increase traction. You could always buy a small air tank from the auto parts stores for $30 and keep it with you when towing. That way if you have trouble at the ramp you can air the tires down to 15psi or so and then air them back up once the boat is pulled out. A small 12V emergency air compressor would work too, but they are really slow and can burn up just trying to inflate one tire.

Tongue weight also plays a HUGE role in traction at the ramp. The more tongue weight, the more traction you will have.

martynmac
03-10-2011, 07:33 AM
On the right ramp on the right day you will wish you had not got a case of the tight pockets and just bought a 4wd! You may never need it, but when you do it will be worth twice what it cost you up front. All these people talking about fuel efficency of a 2wd over a 4wd is a load of crap.....if we were concerned with 2-4 mpg more we wouldnt be towing a boat and drving a pickup we would be driving a geo metro!:rofl:

KarlP
03-10-2011, 07:46 AM
You could use two plastic 55 gallon drums laid in a wood cradle in the back. Filled with water at home. That would give you at least 850lbs.
NOT with a bilge pump while you sit on the boat ramp.

Why would you want to carry an extra 850lbs in the back of the truck + the boat weight when you probably won't get stuck in 4x2 anyway?!?

If everything goes smoothly you won't need the ballast. IF for some reason you need it, two easily handled 32 gallon trash cans put an extra 500lbs over the rear wheels.

If you get a 4000GPH bilge pump with alligator clips, which to be honest isn't a bad thing to have onboard if you have a big enough boat that you might get stuck in 4x2, you'll be able to pump 2000GPH from water level up to the height of your truck bed. That's 500lbs of water ballast in under 2 minutes.

When you get out off the ramp, reverse the process and pump those cans out onto the parking lot in under a minute.

triumphrick
03-10-2011, 08:00 AM
I towed, launched and recovered a 7200 lb boat/trailer combination for six years and a couple hundred launch and retrieve cycles with a 2003 Toyota Tundra 2WD with no issues. I did have the tow package and limited slip rear end. I never even spun tires, much less got stuck.

A lot of this is knowing how to drive. Start slow and don't let up untill you're past the top of the ramp. And keep your rear tires out of the water.

I think you'll be fine with 2WD.

I have almost the exact same setup..I believe my boat is about 6500# and my Tundra is an '04 4.7, same setup, no 4wd..

I follow the same things you do..never dunk the rear tires and check the ramp for seagrass piles in the path of the truck coming out. They can get a little slippery..

aln
03-10-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm looking at ordering a brand new truck, and being realistic, the ONLY time I will use 4wd is at the boat ramp.

While I realize it's unlikely I would look back and say "I wish I had gotten 2wd" the option costs a couple thousand dollars. A couple thousand dollars when I only use a boat ramp 3-4 times a year... that adds up.

Any comments? Specifically looking at new style Dodge Rams. Would I REALLY regret not having 4wd? At what size boat does 2wd just stop working for getting you up a decent ramp?

Did the same thing as you. Bought a 2wd and had LS added to the rear diff. Pulling up a 7000# boat trailer on a ramp at low tide was almost impossible. The boats weight actually exerts very little weight on the trucks rear wheels when backed down, just making the problem worse.

One time I had my guests jumping up and down in the bed of the truck while I spun 1000 miles off BOTH rear tires. Choking white smoke everywhere. Sold it and bought a 4wd only use it at the ramp occasionally.

Get the 4wd cause when the rear tires are on slime, you're screwed. If you go with two, put a flat of shingles in the bed and use them under the wheels when you get in a pickle.

triumphrick
03-10-2011, 08:03 AM
On the right ramp on the right day you will wish you had not got a case of the tight pockets and just bought a 4wd! You may never need it, but when you do it will be worth twice what it cost you up front. All these people talking about fuel efficency of a 2wd over a 4wd is a load of crap.....if we were concerned with 2-4 mpg more we wouldnt be towing a boat and drving a pickup we would be driving a geo metro!:rofl:

You're not admitting to using a 4wd for towing that alumacraft in your signature are you??:rofl:

Fordy
03-10-2011, 08:08 AM
you can likely pull your boat out a the ramp. but good luck if you get stuck in snow or mud during your other travels

A Few Dollars
03-10-2011, 08:14 AM
You're not admitting to using a 4wd for towing that alumacraft in your signature are you??:rofl::grin:

arthur82
03-10-2011, 08:18 AM
my pops used to tow an 89 21ft Glastron Futura with an 87 Chevy Astro v6 van...never any problems. Except, at the beach on the waterway with a moving tide...that got hairy.

Hullin
03-10-2011, 08:43 AM
It boils down to how heavy your rig is, tidal fluctuation (will the ramp be wet or have algea), and the steepness of the ramp(s) you will be using. I have a 29' boat and trailer it all over the east coast. I encounter 3-5 ramps each year where I have to put my F250 into 4 wheel drive. I have a limited slip differential also. The truck almost slid into the water once in New Jersey even though I had the parking break set and it was in park. The rear wheels were on a slick part of the ramp and I had to put it in 4wd to keep it in place. The front wheels were on dry pavement. Chocks don't help on algea covered ramps. The steeper the ramp the greater chance you will need 4wd. Good luck and I hope you make the correct choice. Remember, it is only money.

EricB85
03-10-2011, 08:44 AM
Not that this adds anything to the conversation, but I did a lot of research on what I could pull with my truck and found very little helpful info so I just gave it a shot and got lucky...

My 2005 2wd Tacoma pulls my 21' Pro Line out of the water with no slippage on the 3 different ramps I have used. Loaded boat/trailer is somewhere around 4,500 lbs. My only complaint is that the truck will not pull the boat in overdrive on the highway as it constantly shifts in and out of overdrive. I run it in 4th gear and limit myself to about 65mph and get half of my usual fuel economy.

andrey
03-10-2011, 09:04 AM
You need a dual front wheel conversion to tow safely according to the experts here.

I am working on the conversion now ;)

DoubleO7
03-10-2011, 10:56 AM
The OP wants advice on a vehicle to pull the boat for maintenance and for storm avoidance.

So sticking with the traditional THT advice, he needs a 6x6 multi-fuel engined monster truck running studded tires 100% of the time.

And deflating tires for more traction does not always work.

On a concrete ramp, deflation increases contact patch. while it does put more rubber on the ramp, and hopefully more biting edges, it also increases the flat areas of rubber on the ramp and thus decreases the psi on the ramp. Which can defeat your intent at some balance point between more biting edges and less psi bite.

You do not run fat/wide tires on ice if you want to go places.

If the ramp is soft, then you want the flotation that deflation will provide.

A Few Dollars
03-10-2011, 11:02 AM
The OP wants advice on a vehicle to pull the boat for maintenance and for storm avoidance.

So sticking with the traditional THT advice, he needs a 6x6 multi-fuel engined monster truck running studded tires 100% of the time.

:thumbsup::grin:

martynmac
03-10-2011, 11:35 AM
You're not admitting to using a 4wd for towing that alumacraft in your signature are you??:rofl:

I apologize for not having a 26ft boat and not living on the ocean!:nono: You can always have to much and not need it! I would rather have overkill than not enough!

A Few Dollars
03-10-2011, 12:04 PM
I apologize for not having a 26ft boat and not living on the ocean!:nono: You can always have to much and not need it! I would rather have overkill than not enough!

You're gonna need a bigger boat. :grin:

Fatherof4
03-10-2011, 12:28 PM
I own a 4x4. (2011 Silverado Crew Cab Z71). No real need for 4x4 pulling a boat out. I have needed it as others have mentioned in the sand while staying at a beach house. Point is, get what you want. I wanted a 4wd so I bought one.

JRussell
03-10-2011, 01:13 PM
And deflating tires for more traction does not always work.

On a concrete ramp, deflation increases contact patch. while it does put more rubber on the ramp, and hopefully more biting edges, it also increases the flat areas of rubber on the ramp and thus decreases the psi on the ramp. Which can defeat your intent at some balance point between more biting edges and less psi bite.

You do not run fat/wide tires on ice if you want to go places.

If the ramp is soft, then you want the flotation that deflation will provide.

I didn't say deflation would always work. I said it would increase traction. It can definitely make the difference between being stuck or not...that's for sure.

You're missing one very important factor in your pressure calculations. The overall amount of pressure exerted on the ramp/ground does not change due to tire pressures. The only difference is that the weight is distributed over a larger surface area (ie, contact patch). More contact = more traction.

Off-road enthusiasts (especially rockcrawlers) learn very quickly how much of a difference tire pressure makes when it comes to traction. In soft surfaces such as sand or mud the lower tire psi increases the contact patch which helps to provide more flotation over the soft surface. On hard surfaces such as sandstone (same or more traction as concrete) lowering tire psi also increases the contact patch and therefore still has the same affect of providing more traction. The lower the better too. The only limiting factor is the ability for the bead to hold...which is exactly why they invented bead lock wheels for off-road use.

Comparing ice to a wet or dry concrete boat ramp is like apples to oranges. Ice is another issue altogether.

demjjm
03-10-2011, 06:16 PM
Whew. In no particular order:

2) Buying a new truck because I want a new truck. I like the Dodge and the price right now is hard to beat. Resale value on these is ridiculous btw, can't find a used one with warranty left under $20 but can price out a new one for $25.

3) I am the friend with the truck



I am surprised at the number of 4wd owners who claim not to need 4wd at the ramp. And I'll reiterate how happy I was the first 8 times (before I bought new tires) when I slowly motored up the ramp without any issue whatsoever.

HOWEVER - haven't heard much out of the 'big boat' crowd.. you guys with 27, 29+ foot boats. There is a big difference there in weight where you're going from 3k-5k lbs to 7k-9k pounds. Are these 30' boats getting up the ramp in 2wd? (no shortage of them being towed around here)

Your responses above indicate exactly why I just bought a 2011 4x4. If nothing else I have complete peace of mind.

mrlullabye
03-10-2011, 06:41 PM
For the record on the spool.

It isn't a daily driver. Its been paid of for about 10 years and has driven about 20k miles in that time. I pull a 18' CC, utility trailer, cars out of ditches, tow dollie, an occasional car hauler, and other people off the ramp and thats about it.

Occasionally I drive it to work if my car is out of service or I lend it to someone.

I have heard a lot of people give a spool car a bad name, and I by no means would let a teenager drive it on the highway, but honestly outside of a rainy day I have never had tractions problems with it, and with the modestly modified V-6 have not had any axle problems yet.

It is funny that occasional time I do drive it how much the tires chirp at low speed. I let my outboard mechanic back my boat in to his yard onetime and he said "That thing don't turn worth a damn"

If I had my way I would have a newer V-8 with a richmond gear, but in the meantime I'm cool with the spool. Great thing about a spool it drives straight even when it is out of alignment. I upgraded the brakes last year to the bigger drums off a suburban for more stomping power, the ability to stop is more of a problem for me than the ability to go.

floffshore
03-10-2011, 06:46 PM
Interesting, I was also expecting the comments that 4wd was required.

spend a few hours at alsdorf marina ramp.. you wont buy a 2WD.. i traded mine in and got a 4WD.. and i always babied the gas pedal.

the ramps around here are way to steep, slippery, and mossy.. specially at low-tide for 2WD..

just my .02

triumphrick
03-10-2011, 06:46 PM
I apologize for not having a 26ft boat and not living on the ocean!:nono: You can always have to much and not need it! I would rather have overkill than not enough!

That's OK buddy, I don't either. I'm just the posting whore trying to sell it...:grin::thumbsup:

You don't know David Kuhlman do you? He uses the same emoticon often...

n3up
03-10-2011, 07:35 PM
The OP wants advice on a vehicle to pull the boat for maintenance and for storm avoidance.

So sticking with the traditional THT advice, he needs a 6x6 multi-fuel engined monster truck running studded tires 100% of the time.



Just get the Kenworth with a C13 Cat and be done with it....:rofl:

DoubleO7
03-11-2011, 01:24 PM
It can definitely make the difference between being stuck or not...that's for sure. I agree, but there is a point where too much deflation causes a loss of traction due to an increase of floatation.

You're missing one very important factor in your pressure calculations. The overall amount of pressure exerted on the ramp/ground does not change due to tire pressures.
The only difference is that the weight is distributed over a larger surface area (ie, contact patch). More contact = more traction. Again, too much contact patch equals less psi on the ground which is an increase in floatation. And that ain't gonna help on a slippery ramp no matter what the ramp is made of.

Off-road enthusiasts (especially rockcrawlers) learn very quickly how much of a difference tire pressure makes when it comes to traction. In soft surfaces such as sand or mud the lower tire psi increases the contact patch which helps to provide more flotation over the soft surface. On hard surfaces such as sandstone (same or more traction as concrete) lowering tire psi also increases the contact patch and therefore still has the same affect of providing more traction. Yes, provided the surface is dry.
The lower the better too. The only limiting factor is the ability for the bead to hold...which is exactly why they invented bead lock wheels for off-road use.

Comparing ice to a wet or dry concrete boat ramp is like apples to oranges. Ice is another issue altogether.

Go head and use big, fat wide tires on a slippery ramp. I will be the one with the video camera.
:thumbsup:

JRussell
03-11-2011, 01:41 PM
Go head and use big, fat wide tires on a slippery ramp. I will be the one with the video camera.
:thumbsup:

Yeah, cause all those lifted trucks with big 14-15" wide tires just struggle to get up slippery boat ramps all the time...

...and very fast drag racing cars use wide slicks on the front and skinnies on the rear. :thumbsup: :rofl:

A Few Dollars
03-11-2011, 01:43 PM
Yeah, cause all those lifted trucks with big 14-15" wide tires just struggle to get up slippery boat ramps all the time...

...and very fast drag racing cars use wide slicks on the front and skinnies on the rear. :thumbsup: :rofl::thumbsup:

EricB85
03-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Yeah, cause all those lifted trucks with big 14-15" wide tires just struggle to get up slippery boat ramps all the time...

...and very fast drag racing cars use wide slicks on the front and skinnies on the rear. :thumbsup: :rofl:

hahahahahahahahahahaha... and if you want your bike to get much less traction, put a big fat wide tire on the rear and hold on for your slip sliding life!

dahlbebop
03-11-2011, 03:06 PM
:thumbsup:Yeah, cause all those lifted trucks with big 14-15" wide tires just struggle to get up slippery boat ramps all the time...

...and very fast drag racing cars use wide slicks on the front and skinnies on the rear. :thumbsup: :rofl:

rwidman
03-11-2011, 04:12 PM
This should handle it:

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/04/best_pickups/image/image1.jpg


International CXT
MSRP: $100,000

This mammoth pickup truck is closer to a semi than to pickup but International bills it as the world’s largest production pickup truck. No arguments there. Weighing in at 14,500 lbs. and based on a dump truck platform, the CXT is more than 21 feet long and 9 feet high. It boasts an International DT 466 diesel engine with 220 hp and 540 lb. ft. of torque capable of hauling or towing up to 6 tons, an Allison five-speed automatic transmission and a 70-gallon fuel tank. Don’t even bother asking about the fuel consumption, it will make you cry.

For more information, contact www.internationaldelivers.com (http://www.internationaldelivers.com/)

propbender24
03-12-2011, 08:04 AM
If you are buying a 2wd GM with a Locking Differential you will be just fine if you use your head. I have been pulling the Fountains out for years with 2wd locking differential 2500 hd's for years

DoubleO7
03-12-2011, 11:58 AM
Yeah, cause all those lifted trucks with big 14-15" wide tires just struggle to get up slippery boat ramps all the time...

...and very fast drag racing cars use wide slicks on the front and skinnies on the rear. :thumbsup: :rofl:
hahahahahahahahahahaha... and if you want your bike to get much less traction, put a big fat wide tire on the rear and hold on for your slip sliding life!

And none of those are running the tires they run because of a slippery surface.
Never seen a drag racing event run in the rain.
Never seen road course racing bikes running slicks in the rain.
Have you?

dahlbebop
03-12-2011, 03:58 PM
Has nothing to do with the width of a tire. The more tread that hits the pavement the better, unless theres no tread on your tire or your on ice. Has everything to do with the design of the treads and how much weight you have on the tounge. My 15.5 wide tires do just fine in two wheel drive on steep slick ramps. I just take it slow and steady.

And none of those are running the tires they run because of a slippery surface.
Never seen a drag racing event run in the rain.
Never seen road course racing bikes running slicks in the rain.
Have you?

Glock Diver
03-12-2011, 04:18 PM
spend a few hours at alsdorf marina ramp.. you wont buy a 2WD.. i traded mine in and got a 4WD.. and i always babied the gas pedal.

the ramps around here are way to steep, slippery, and mossy.. specially at low-tide for 2WD..

just my .02

Amen to that.

When I referred to "the only time I've needed to turn on my 4WD", I was referring to THIS RAMP! I've helped a number of guys get out at this place.

But, I've also never seen a tow truck needed at Alsdorf. Usually some additional fat guys on the bumper or in the truck bed will do the job.

kerno
03-13-2011, 08:12 AM
The real difference in 2WD and 4WD is how much power you can put to the ground. I took 2 F-250 diesels that were identical except for 4 WD and used a crane scale to find out how much they would pull at the hitch. The 2 WD drive truck on dry pavement would pull 3400 pounds before the tires spun. The 4WD truck exceeded the scale's 5000 pound capacity.

To me, the choice has to be based on how much weight you need to pull up the ramp and how slippery the ramp is. Two things can make a huge difference: A limited slip and decent tires. My F-250 has Pirelli Scorpios on it and they are about worthless when wet. Michelins and the General Grabbers give far better wet traction than the lame Pirellis, but I am making it up the ramp with the Scorpions.

Unless a 4WD drive truck has a limited slip on one end, it is really only a 2WD truck, but that is better than a 1WD truck. Most ramps are not very steep, so you usually only need to generate pull equal to about 25 percent of the boat and trailers weight to get it up the ramp. If the ramp ends in sand, the numbers can approach 40 percent.

reefhunter2
03-13-2011, 08:41 AM
Any comments? Specifically looking at new style Dodge Rams. Would I REALLY regret not having 4wd? At what size boat does 2wd just stop working for getting you up a decent ramp?

I haven't used a 4wd in years. I'd lower the pressure in the dually rear tires about 10 psi (from 65) to get the job done and re-inflate after getting back up on the level. Wrangler tires and 26 ft boat. Of course with the Unimog we are driving in Panama, it's easier - because of the onboard compressor.

bayrunner16
03-13-2011, 09:15 AM
An older gent I fish with has only 2wd. Our ramps are steep with a big tide swing that usually covers the ramps in inches of eel grass. When puuling up my rig(23 Maycraft ph) I always just use my 4wd. When he pulls his boat up he is real careful and easy.

He taught me this trick..It sounds stupid but,
IF he has trouble, he will put the EMERGENCY brake on just a little bit. He swears by this. For some reason, when he puts the emergency brake on he can usually crawl right up the ramp. Maybe you could try your E-Brake a little. He is an old logger, mechanic, etc and explained the theory of this, but I can't remember exactly why this works, chris

UaVaj
03-13-2011, 10:49 AM
He taught me this trick..It sounds stupid but, IF he has trouble, he will put the EMERGENCY brake on just a little bit. He swears by this. For some reason, when he puts the emergency brake on he can usually crawl right up the ramp. Maybe you could try your E-Brake a little. He is an old logger, mechanic, etc and explained the theory of this, but I can't remember exactly why this works, chris

That trick is not stupid. It is called "manual" limited slip.



As for 4wd. Regardless of how you slice it. It is power to an extra wheel.
Rather you need it or not. All depends on - if you want to have your own personal ramp story or not?

demjjm
03-13-2011, 06:06 PM
That trick is not stupid. It is called "manual" limited slip.



As for 4wd. Regardless of how you slice it. It is power to an extra wheel.
Rather you need it or not. All depends on - if you want to have your own personal ramp story or not?

and power to the front wheels obviously tend to be on better pavement as in no algae, marine growth, etc.

timedjohnson
03-14-2011, 02:12 PM
Another added plus for 4X4 is all four wheels are locked when in park. I figured out the hard way on my old truck that the emergency brake was only on the back axle (and obviously only the back axle is locked in park). I wished I had 4x on that truck 3 or 4 times. I don't know how many times I've needed it on my newer truck - I always launch and retrieve in 4x.

slapshot
03-15-2011, 08:14 AM
It depends on what the ramps are like in your area. I have nice concrete ramps nearby that I use and have never needed 4wd. Every so often the weedline is up high on the ramp and the rear wheels will spin slightly, but the truck yanks the boat right out easily.

Screamin Seamen
03-15-2011, 08:50 AM
Interesting discussion. It sounds to me like most people in the south are just fine using 2wd. I imagine the tide range in southern FL can't be more than 2 or 3 feet? If you're rear axle is on clean pavement/concrete, you will be fine with a 2wd. I wouldn't expect you needing any extra weight in the bed either. If the trailer is properly balanced, you'll have plenty of tongue weight, even on an incline.
Here in Maine, I'm pulling a 23' walkaround and a 30' walkaround, and I wouldn't dare launch/retrieve on a low tide (+/- 12' range) without 4wd. Above 1/2 tide, I'm usually fine in 2wd. At the lower end of the tide, I almost always need the 4x4, even to get an empty trailer back up over the lip of the concrete sometimes. The ramps around here can get very slick with marine growth at the lower end of the tide.
I see you're looking to find a dodge, but I have to recommend a GM duramax. I'm sure you could find a used duramax in your price range and you will not be disappointed. I never get tired of hearing that turbo spool up, pulling a 30' parker up the ramp! :grin:

aln
03-15-2011, 11:48 AM
An older gent I fish with has only 2wd. Our ramps are steep with a big tide swing that usually covers the ramps in inches of eel grass. When puuling up my rig(23 Maycraft ph) I always just use my 4wd. When he pulls his boat up he is real careful and easy.

He taught me this trick..It sounds stupid but,
IF he has trouble, he will put the EMERGENCY brake on just a little bit. He swears by this. For some reason, when he puts the emergency brake on he can usually crawl right up the ramp. Maybe you could try your E-Brake a little. He is an old logger, mechanic, etc and explained the theory of this, but I can't remember exactly why this works, chris

This scheme is built into my truck, it's called ABLS or auto brake limiting system. It does exactly what you describe. When my open diff truck detects slippage on a wheel it applies the brake on that wheel to force the other tire to turn. In 4wd on snow if you goose it, it sits there and crawls

floffshore
03-20-2011, 12:16 PM
i think my 1500 4x4 does this also.. isnt this what the traction control system on the dodge does? i can actually feel the brake pedal moving when it detects slippage.

hammer65
03-20-2011, 12:57 PM
Put a hitch on the front of the truck to keep the drive wheels on hopefully dry less slippery sufaces and back the boat up the ramp with the thruck in reverse.

hammer65

bradmd
03-20-2011, 01:47 PM
depends on how steep the ramp is, how heavy the boat is, and if there's alot of slick stuff on the ramp. 4x4 for me.

Cracker
03-20-2011, 01:52 PM
I have personally owned up to 23 foot boats and for 7 years pulled out boats up to 28 foot in length almost daily. I have used everything from Blazers to pickup truck and even a Durango with a Hemi. You can get all the locking rear ends and all you want. You can get all the advice of keeping your wheels out of slick moss, wet concrete and such BUT it never fails that is what you will be dealing with. I cant countthe times I have been glad I have had 4 wheel drive on my pull vehicle and how many time I wish I had it just pulling a 22 or 23 foot boat out... If in the end I loose 1K to 1.5K when I sell a vehicle so be it, it has been a good investment. Tides around here are are at least 3 to 4 feet.

rwidman
03-20-2011, 02:16 PM
Without a doubt, this is the only truck that will handle it:

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1183/7111632/16575333/327799377.jpg

crothers
03-20-2011, 03:56 PM
Ron,
I know you would not try this unless the rig includes a front drive axle, otherwise you will be hopelessly stuck at low tide.

demjjm
03-20-2011, 05:13 PM
I was actually thinking about this thread yesterday after leaving the ramp. We left the water at low tide, and I guess due to the "super moon" the tide was noticeably lower than usual. To make a long story short, I am damn glad I had 4 wheel drive because I in fact needed it, and used it, and felt I would have been screwed without it. For that one time on that one day, it is worth whatever it cost.

maxzilla
03-20-2011, 06:27 PM
Plus it looks dang cool with a 8 inch lift.

GoldenRod
03-23-2011, 01:53 AM
I'm looking at ordering a brand new truck, and being realistic, the ONLY time I will use 4wd is at the boat ramp.

While I realize it's unlikely I would look back and say "I wish I had gotten 2wd" the option costs a couple thousand dollars. A couple thousand dollars when I only use a boat ramp 3-4 times a year... that adds up.

Any comments? Specifically looking at new style Dodge Rams. Would I REALLY regret not having 4wd? At what size boat does 2wd just stop working for getting you up a decent ramp?

I just went through your same delima.

I own a World Cat 250SF, Twin Zukes, which came on a Tri-Axle trailer. I towed it from Florida to Louisiana when I purchased her last year with a small dodge 1/2 ton truck. Speed wasn't of interest trailering her home, although I got 18 mpg driving down to Jupiter Florida, after hooking up to this boat, my mileage dropped to 4 & 6 mpg trailering her home. The new dodge handled her fine, as I personally owned the small F-150 with the 4.6L V-8 with a 7,700 Tow Pkge but she was nearing 130K miles.

After getting her home, I towed her with my F-150 short distance to the repair shop for oil change, water pumps, General Maintainance and a good going over. This was not a Problem as I never exceeded 45-50 mph, again I noticed Gas mileage was down to the single digits with Tow package engaged to keep the transmission from shifting into OD.

When I picked her up from the shop, I towed her a couple of miles from my home, and added 200 Gallons of gas. That was approxamately 1600lbs roughly. I did this because the gas prices on the water come with a hell of a convienience fee attached. I then took her to the boat Launch, with a little bit of help, I had her backed into the water, She was on the trailer snugly, so a lil and I do mean little bit of finessing was necessary to get her off the trailer, and each time the brakes were tapped, she drug my truck back in the water.

After this launch it was easy for me to see, That my F-150 wasn't going to easilly pull her back out of the water. The F-150 was 2 WD, But the 4.6L engine wasn't going to pull that kind of dead weight out of the water easilly. I thought about it hard and for a year now. My wife and I were in the direct path of Hurricane Katrina, and we know what contraflow is, we know what evacuation is, and we know our boat cannot remain in our slip for a named storm. We also know we didn't want to put anyone else in harms way to help us incase we had to evacuate and get a boat out of the water. My delima was this, Maybe I can get her out of the water, What happens if I tear a transmission up doing it? Drive shaft etc..... On those days when you don't have the luxury of time for repairs, it just isn't an option when you invest that kind of money into a boat.

I went to the dealership, did some research of my own. Again this isn't a ford, chevrolet/gmc or dodge answer it's the sheer capeabilities of a truck. In the 1/2 ton class truck, not one salesman would stand behind, or warranty a 1/2 ton truck to pull 10,000 pounds out of the water. They all said they could tow it on the hitch when it was on dry ground, But none risked their neck on pulling her out of the water, and I've owned them all.

The end resolution that worked best for me and my family was this, I kept my F-150 or should I say 1/2 ton truck and purchased a 2011 F-250 Diesel, with the 400 HP and the 800#'s of torque which came with 4X4. My expectation of being able to recover my boat from the launch and to tow her at highway speeds are now over. I'm confidant I won't have another problem. When a storm is racing for the Gulf Coast, I can put my focus into getting things packed up, because I do live right on the Lake. But I wanted to share with you the fact I just went through your same delima, and I chose the overkill rather than the be left behind, or broke down, or whatever the inevatable had in mind, to protect my investment and to give my wife and I peace of mind. And the decision truly did. Hope this helps, I sleep much better now.

h20addict
03-23-2011, 09:50 AM
I faced this dilemma when I bought my truck back in 2007. I have to say 3 years later that I've used 4wd at the most random times, when you'd never think you would need it. I'm a VERY firm believer now in the saying "its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it"

Flot
03-23-2011, 10:34 AM
This thread is still going? :)

I sincerely appreciate all the comments - however I'm still on the fence. I'm actually looking at ordering a new truck any day now - however I'm finding it hard to justify spending $3000 more up front, plus maintenance on the transfer case and axle, plus a penalty in weight, fuel economy, and performance.

But it is clear that with a 2wd truck, yes, I'm more or less guaranteed to get stuck at a ramp sometime. Is not getting stuck worth $5k over the life of the truck? Not sure.

rwidman
03-23-2011, 11:35 AM
But it is clear that with a 2wd truck, yes, I'm more or less guaranteed to get stuck at a ramp sometime. .

Nope. I never did and I'll bet there are a million others who never got stuck either.

After reading all this, it's up to you to make a decision. Keep a tow strap in the truck and for that one in a million times when you have a problem, ask someone to help you and give them $20.00. Or call TowBoatUS or Seatow if you have the trailer option. Or AAA.

I never even spun a tire.

UaVaj
03-23-2011, 05:50 PM
This thread is still going? :)

I sincerely appreciate all the comments - however I'm still on the fence. I'm actually looking at ordering a new truck any day now - however I'm finding it hard to justify spending $3000 more up front, plus maintenance on the transfer case and axle, plus a penalty in weight, fuel economy, and performance.

But it is clear that with a 2wd truck, yes, I'm more or less guaranteed to get stuck at a ramp sometime. Is not getting stuck worth $5k over the life of the truck? Not sure.

Same answer can be said regarding Ford V10 vs PSD.
Same answer can be said regarding Single vs Twin.
Same answer can be said regarding TLD vs Tiagra.

Life is too short to be worrying about inadequacy. If you can afford it (head above water). Get the latter.

jcbadabing
03-24-2011, 12:43 PM
Here's my 2WD Durango pulling my 29' Mako. The load is around 8,000 pounds which pretty much hits capacity. I have no problem pulling this boat, although the gas mileage sucks. For me, not worth the extra money for 4WD. From what I've seen, most trucks that end up in the water get there because someone did something dumb like forgetting to set the parking brake.

UaVaj
03-24-2011, 02:38 PM
Here's my 2WD Durango pulling my 29' Mako. The load is around 8,000 pounds which pretty much hits capacity. I have no problem pulling this boat, although the gas mileage sucks. For me, not worth the extra money for 4WD. From what I've seen, most trucks that end up in the water get there because someone did something dumb like forgetting to set the parking brake.

:o

You got serious ballz. Rather that is on the road or at the ramp.

Hullin
03-24-2011, 04:09 PM
A Durango pulling that boat? You will regret that decision the day (and it only takes one) you plow into a car full of kids because you were too heavy to stop in time. Yea, they may have pulled in front of you or cut you off to make a turn, but you will have to live with it if you wipe out a carload of people.

jcbadabing
03-24-2011, 04:25 PM
:o

You got serious ballz. Rather that is on the road or at the ramp.

My regular tow vehicle will be a F450. Nice to know that the Durango could pull it, but I wouldn't do it on a regular basis.

dht
03-24-2011, 04:50 PM
A Durango pulling that boat? You will regret that decision the day (and it only takes one) you plow into a car full of kids because you were too heavy to stop in time. Yea, they may have pulled in front of you or cut you off to make a turn, but you will have to live with it if you wipe out a carload of people.

In that scenario its their fault.. What guilt does he have to live with as long as he is within the law? ;?


;)

Hullin
03-24-2011, 05:45 PM
Well, lets hope its not your family that he kills while he is 'within the law'. You may place no value on human life, but I wouldnt sleep well after wiping out a carload of people. And by the way, regardless of the circumstances, if you hit another vehicle from behind, most states will find you guilty of not having your vehicle under control. You will be at fault. Ask any auto insurance guy. I drive 65,000 miles a year and have seen some nasty accidents. Whether someone cuts me off or not, I don't want to be the cause of someone's death because I am too cheap to buy a proper tow vehicle.

Cracker
03-24-2011, 06:14 PM
Here's my 2WD Durango pulling my 29' Mako. The load is around 8,000 pounds which pretty much hits capacity. I have no problem pulling this boat, although the gas mileage sucks. For me, not worth the extra money for 4WD. From what I've seen, most trucks that end up in the water get there because someone did something dumb like forgetting to set the parking brake.

I think if you weighed that boat, motors, trailer and fuel on scales you might be surprised... My 23 foot Sailfish CC with twin little F115's and trailer weighs 6800 lbs with about 40 gallons in it.... I dont see that rig only weighing 1200 more...

Also our 04 Durango 2 wheel drive (Hemi) used to spin out quite regular on fairly good ramps pulling out my above boat and yes I have been towing a boat most of my life and even been through instruction on towing in a course. Also our transmission gave out at 75K on that vehicle after proper maintenance GOOD LUCK, YOU NEED IT

Back-in-Black
03-24-2011, 06:30 PM
The 4WD option not only costs money up front, it reduces the maximum towing weight, reduces fuel economy, and increases maintenance costs. If you need it for other reasons, get it. If not, it's a waste.


It also increases insurance costs.

I've never even owned a 4WD vehicle.

Back-in-Black
03-24-2011, 06:35 PM
Here's my 2WD Durango pulling my 29' Mako. The load is around 8,000 pounds which pretty much hits capacity.


Ummmmmmmmmmm - you might want to scale that boat. If that rig weighs only 8,000 lbs I'll eat my hat... and I don't wear hats!

My 28' boat on trailer scaled at a certified scale weighed in at 9,660 lbs.

Tawn
03-24-2011, 07:04 PM
I have a Ford F-250, 4X4, Diesel and a 27' Pilothouse Boat.

I have yet to use the "Tow/Haul Mode"

I have yet to use 4WD at a ramp to get the boat up.

The 4WD is nice for other applications but I doubt ya have as much snow to deal with in Ft. Lauderdale
. :)

Wahoo88
03-24-2011, 07:49 PM
Buy a new Chevy Silverado 2wd. Its the only full size truck on the market with an available locking rear differential. I have one and it is great. No problem loading/unloading a 25ft Grady on a slippery ramp.

A quick note about the new dodge half tons; they have coilover independent rear suspension. This makes them great for cruising the interstate and riding on rough roads but less than ideal for pulling, regardless of engine size. Hope that helps!

dht
03-24-2011, 09:16 PM
Ummmmmmmmmmm - you might want to scale that boat. If that rig weighs only 8,000 lbs I'll eat my hat... and I don't wear hats!

My 28' boat on trailer scaled at a certified scale weighed in at 9,660 lbs.

According to this the boat weight is 6100lbs, so engines, trailer + load can't be too much more. I know it's just one for sale ad, but a most I saw list this weight.

http://www.usedboatfinder.com/detail.cfm?boatid=8573&MAKO

Back-in-Black
03-24-2011, 10:06 PM
I'd put the trailer around 2,000 lbs add 1,000 for motors and your at 9k w/o a drop of fuel.

Just sayin'

Actually those look like 4 strokes... make it 1200 lbs for motors

JRussell
03-25-2011, 04:15 AM
A quick note about the new dodge half tons; they have coilover independent rear suspension. This makes them great for cruising the interstate and riding on rough roads but less than ideal for pulling, regardless of engine size. Hope that helps!

Not true. The new Durango's might have independent rear suspension, but the Dodge 1/2 ton pickups still have a solid rear axle.

jcbadabing
03-25-2011, 04:24 AM
I'd put the trailer around 2,000 lbs add 1,000 for motors and your at 9k w/o a drop of fuel.

Just sayin'

Actually those look like 4 strokes... make it 1200 lbs for motors

You're right. The hull is 5k dry, engines are 2-strokes, so load is more like 9k without fuel. Again, I used the Durango in a pinch, F450 will be my regular tow vehicle.

rwidman
03-25-2011, 05:55 AM
A Durango pulling that boat? You will regret that decision the day (and it only takes one) you plow into a car full of kids because you were too heavy to stop in time. Yea, they may have pulled in front of you or cut you off to make a turn, but you will have to live with it if you wipe out a carload of people.
I am not endorsing towing over the maximum tow rating of a vehicle, but if a trailer has working brakes on all the axles, the vehicle is out of the equasion, the trailer will take care of itself.

JRussell
03-25-2011, 06:36 AM
I am not endorsing towing over the maximum tow rating of a vehicle, but if a trailer has working brakes on all the axles, the vehicle is out of the equasion, the trailer will take care of itself.

Wow...you can't be serious? :o

The vehicle is attached to the trailer and is very much still part of the equation. The trailer can't swerve and avoid an accident all by itself. Not every emergency situation on the highway involves straight line braking. Most situations are going to involve a swerve along with the braking. Those are the times when the weight of your tow rig can mean the difference between an accident and a close call.

1998 proline 241
03-25-2011, 12:15 PM
Wow...you can't be serious? :o

The vehicle is attached to the trailer and is very much still part of the equation. The trailer can't swerve and avoid an accident all by itself. Not every emergency situation on the highway involves straight line braking. Most situations are going to involve a swerve along with the braking. Those are the times when the weight of your tow rig can mean the difference between an accident and a close call.

You are completely right, you are all most allways going to swerve. Saying that if your truck cant handle your rig get off the road.

A Few Dollars
03-25-2011, 03:47 PM
Ummmmmmmmmmm - you might want to scale that boat. If that rig weighs only 8,000 lbs I'll eat my hat... and I don't wear hats!

My 28' boat on trailer scaled at a certified scale weighed in at 9,660 lbs.:thumbsup: I thought the same thing


I am not endorsing towing over the maximum tow rating of a vehicle, but if a trailer has working brakes on all the axles, the vehicle is out of the equasion, the trailer will take care of itself.:o :nono:

Hullin
03-25-2011, 04:13 PM
rwidman, you obviously havent logged many miles towing. An overweight trailer will push that little Durango around like a Tonka toy truck. JRussell, you are completely correct.

rwidman
03-25-2011, 04:20 PM
I said don't tow over the rating of the truck. :mad:

And I have a few miles under my belt.

Hullin
03-25-2011, 04:55 PM
You also said that the vehicle is not part of the equation. If you have ever had to make an emergency stop while towing a heavy trailer you would know that the vehicle is a big part of the equation.

1998 proline 241
03-25-2011, 05:07 PM
ya there is no way in hell that boat weighs 8k. maybe 10500 i would say.

bhales
03-25-2011, 08:48 PM
that weight could be right, i scaled my 28 whaler before i sold it. with trailer fuel and water on board and all of my Chit163935 12,085

TeamBalla
03-26-2011, 12:44 PM
Never had to engage 4wd on my f350 towing my 29' E-Glade. But I could see the possibility of heavy seaweed and a 2wd truck wont be able to get out.

nodoubt
03-27-2011, 02:01 AM
I stopped buying 4wd years ago. I pull with 2wd trucks and launch more than 50 times a year. Less to go wrong (I had issues with the last 4wd truck I had and never used it), you get better fuel mileage and it is less expensive up front. Dont fall for resale arguement either.. 3 grand up front front on a tundra and the truck may sell for 2 grand more on the back end.. You still lost a grand.

Note that the ramps in maryland are the nicest around though


u guys kill me with that more to go wrong crap..........
4 wheel drives rule.......
id never be without 1......

Flot
03-27-2011, 03:53 AM
Just to finish off my thread. I took a hard look at the numbers and by my math, 4wd would cost me around $1000 a year over the life of the truck. (including purchase price increase)

While I can't argue with the fact that if I HAD 4wd I would never have an issue - I can literally go to the ramp and hand out $50 bills if I have an issue and still come out ahead. I also expect to start a thread "best tire for boat ramps" in about 30,000 miles. :)

If I lived somewhere that I actually EXPECTED to use 4wd for any other purpose, I'd have different feelings about it. Even my Wrangler only made it into 4wd a handful of times in 7 years.

I think I may also invest in a 60-100 gallon water bladder to improve traction if necessary. They're dirt cheap and no harm given my uses. Picked up the truck last night (Ram QC Hemi, 10,200 lb towing cap) and have to say, it's a nice ride!

iFishMD
03-27-2011, 06:08 AM
u guys kill me with that more to go wrong crap..........
4 wheel drives rule.......
id never be without 1......


I went through 3 auto 4wd units in a 1997 Ford in less than 60,000 miles and when I complained to the Ford dealer saying that I never even use the 4wd, his response was "why do you buy 4wd trucks then?". He made a great point and I have bought a 2wd expedition, 2wd suburban, 2wd silverado, and a 2wd tundra. I havent had a 4wd problem since.. :Q

bayrunner16
03-27-2011, 02:44 PM
I went through 3 auto 4wd units in a 1997 Ford in less than 60,000 miles and when I complained to the Ford dealer saying that I never even use the 4wd, his response was "why do you buy 4wd trucks then?". He made a great point and I have bought a 2wd expedition, 2wd suburban, 2wd silverado, and a 2wd tundra. I havent had a 4wd problem since.. :Q


When my Dad bought his last truck, he also complained about problems he had with his previous truck's 4WD because he said how could he have all these problems when I never even shift it into 4WD? The dealer told him that is why. If you never use it, it will wear out prematurely. The dealer told him that he should at least engage it and use it every so often to keep everything working better. He ended up just buying a 2WD truck.

Cracker
03-27-2011, 03:01 PM
Just to finish off my thread. I took a hard look at the numbers and by my math, 4wd would cost me around $1000 a year over the life of the truck. (including purchase price increase)

While I can't argue with the fact that if I HAD 4wd I would never have an issue - I can literally go to the ramp and hand out $50 bills if I have an issue and still come out ahead. I also expect to start a thread "best tire for boat ramps" in about 30,000 miles. :)

If I lived somewhere that I actually EXPECTED to use 4wd for any other purpose, I'd have different feelings about it. Even my Wrangler only made it into 4wd a handful of times in 7 years.

I think I may also invest in a 60-100 gallon water bladder to improve traction if necessary. They're dirt cheap and no harm given my uses. Picked up the truck last night (Ram QC Hemi, 10,200 lb towing cap) and have to say, it's a nice ride!

I have had 4 wheel drive trucks (chevy or GMC) since 1997. Never had an issue with any of them in the 4 wheel drive dept. amd very little overall.. My son in law still drives the 1997 with 160k+ on it... I dont know where the 1K a year comes in other than the initial purchase price, you get back about 50 to 60 percent of that when you sell it.... with just my 23 footer I have had issues, you cant always pick the right ramp... Good Luck

capehaze
03-27-2011, 05:44 PM
Flot,

Old thread, but my .02 worth of experience w/ 4x2...
Boat and trailer: 8500# (or more loaded).
Truck: '03 Dodge 2500 diesel
Tires: Ribbed Michelins
Tranny/Rear end: 6 spd manual / Limited slip

A few times have had the tires slip a tiny bit then pull out fine.
I have had noticeable trouble twice (on the same ramp). It is steep, old (slick) and often has a layer of sand and weed on it.

Did some spinning on that ramp but the Cummins was idleing (no fuel added) and I was on the brakes very lightly to insure no back-slip. Slowly spit the sand and debris out and continued to idle on up the ramp. With more aggressive tires than simple rib, probably would have been fine even on the "bad" ramp, but I tow 850 miles one way a couple times a year and the rib Michelins are great for that.

Love that granny gear and the electronic diesel idle control! Just ease out the clutch and away you go. With the 4x2, I get better fuel mileage, a strong front end and less maintenance.

Woody

Glock Diver
03-28-2011, 03:56 PM
A good point to remember is that the ENGINE POWER of the truck really doesn't help in the case of poor traction or low tongue weight. I was at the ramp Saturday in South Florida, and saw an F350 spinning tires trying to pull out a 26' express cruiser on a tandem axle trailer. Took me and 2 other guys on his bumper, but he finally pulled out! He was muttering (in Spanish) "I wish I had 4x4!"

UaVaj
03-28-2011, 04:25 PM
A good point to remember is that the ENGINE POWER of the truck really doesn't help in the case of poor traction or low tongue weight. I was at the ramp Saturday in South Florida, and saw an F350 spinning tires trying to pull out a 26' express cruiser on a tandem axle trailer. Took me and 2 other guys on his bumper, but he finally pulled out! He was muttering (in Spanish) "I wish I had 4x4!"

Until you have walked that footsteps. You do not know what you are missing.

Better to have and not need it then to need it and not have it.



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