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Reasons to NOT get 4WD in a truck?

Old 06-04-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Reasons to NOT get 4WD in a truck?

Hey, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day and it really confounded me. The discussion started out with me saying "gosh darn man, you got this sweet 6.4 power stroke but it's 2WD, what in the world is that all about"

His retort really threw me off balance: "well we tow a 5th wheel so it's bad to have 4WD."

The primary function of the vehicle is hauling and launching boats, but, why in the world would it be bad to have 4WD for hauling a 5th wheel or a boat for that matter? It seems like a crazy assertion because you have a "drop in drop out" 4WD where you're normally in 2WD and can shift into 4WD when necessary if you're spinning tires or something.

I have just never heard of getting a work vehicle for hauling in "questionable" (wet, muddy, boat ramps, etc.) situations WITHOUT having 4WD, seems like a waste to me. Granted you wont need it 95 percent of the time, but, when you do you're going to wish you had it.

Anyway, does anyone actually think having a non 4WD truck can ever be a good thing?

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Old 06-05-2013, 04:26 AM
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Advantages of 2wd, lower ride height is better for towing, better mileage, no front axle, transfer case or front drive shaft to have problems.
Old 06-05-2013, 04:56 AM
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When I had a 4wd truck, it made the front end heavy. Under slippery conditions it would not track as well unless it was in 4wd.

The first time I drove it in blizzard gave me a scary moment on a tight, back-road, curve. It was a Mazda B2600i and the hubs would stay locked after switching back to 2wd until you hit the un-lock switch. After that first bit of excitement I always put it in 4wd before moving so I could switch back and forth. When the hubs were locked it could not turn as tight but that was more of a parking issue than a road problem.
Old 06-05-2013, 05:39 AM
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Wonder how many guys pushing the need for a 4x4 truck(with more parts to break and maintain) will turn around and say that modern 2-stroke outboards are superior to 4-strokes because of fewer moving parts requiring less maintenance and fewer repairs?!?!

Been around trucks all my life and boating since '87. Never had a 4x4 truck and never encountered a situation that required it. I'm sure my opinion of 4x4 trucks would be different if I lived in a different place and had to go off road.

Ultimately buy what you want and makes you happy. Most people don't NEED a 4x4, but if you WANT it, knock yourself out!
Old 06-05-2013, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HullSlap View Post
Been around trucks all my life and boating since '87. Never had a 4x4 truck and never encountered a situation that required it.


Same here.
Old 06-05-2013, 06:46 AM
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I have a 2500 chevy 4x4 pulls like hell and 4x4 used many times, but I'm in a hunt club with muddy roads and rough terrain. Otherwise, I would have a 4x2 simply due to the better fuel economy.
Old 06-05-2013, 06:50 AM
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I stopped buying 4x4 after constant problems with an auto 4x4 system in a Ford Expedition. Upon the third time back at the dealer with extended repairs in 60,000 miles I was frustrated and said to my service writer, "I dont even use the four wheel drive in it." He quickly responded with "Then why do you buy 4x4 trucks?" I traded the truck in for a 2wd truck and have bought 3 2wd trucks since then and have not regretted it. I currently tow with a 2011 2wd Tundra. I am not an offroad guy and the ramps in MD state parks are very nice.
Old 06-05-2013, 07:00 AM
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If towing a boat is all you do in a truck then yes I would agree you don't need 4x4. However, many boaters are avid outdoors men like myself and use 4x4 to get through the swampy bottoms and clay hills I hunt around. It depends on how much of the outdoors you like to explore =)

btw....as far as all this maintenance I keep hearing about maybe its other brands but my 200k mile Chevy hasn't had those issues so I don't see the big deal about that. Keep your truck maintained people and it will take you further with less hassle.
Old 06-05-2013, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Truckin Chuck View Post
Hey, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day and it really confounded me. [...]

His retort really threw me off balance: "well we tow a 5th wheel so it's bad to have 4WD."

The primary function of the vehicle is hauling and launching boats, but, why in the world would it be bad to have 4WD for hauling a 5th wheel or a boat for that matter? It seems like a crazy assertion because you have a "drop in drop out" 4WD where you're normally in 2WD and can shift into 4WD when necessary if you're spinning tires or something.
[...]
Granted you wont need it 95 percent of the time, but, when you do you're going to wish you had it.
That guy's comment about avoiding 4WD with 5th wheels doesn't make sense. If he's just towing 5th wheels on relatively flat terrain with good traction, then he might not need 4WD but it wouldn't hurt, other than a small loss of fuel economy.

I've lived with hills, snow, and mud for so long that I wouldn't even think about buying a 2WD truck. In my current location, I actually need 4WD every time I leave home with the boat -- I have a fairly steep gravel driveway, and my truck will not get the boat out of my yard in 2WD (at least, not without tearing up the driveway, and maybe not even then).

Maybe one day, I'll move to Florida... until then, no 2WD for me.
Old 06-05-2013, 08:55 AM
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For some reason I'm thinking that having 4 wheel drive lowers your towing capacity (might be the extra weight of the components). And that extra weight obviously leads to lower fuel mileage. But that seems minimal to me. I had a 2x4 prior to my current truck. There were times when I had to use to boat to help the truck up the ramp if it was really steep or slick (not optimal obviously). I've had to engage 4 wheel drive a few times since I've had the new truck to get the boat out and I am very glad I have it. I also go off paved roads from time to time (not towing) and it really comes in handy.
Old 06-05-2013, 09:20 AM
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Never a need for 4x4 but will never have a 2wd without posi-traction. The newer trucks today are sitting just as high as a 4x4 if you like the look.
Old 06-05-2013, 10:00 AM
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My 4WD toyota requires frequent oil changes in the transfer case and front/rear differentials. It also cost more to buy than a 2WD. On the other hand it is great fun at the ramp. More than once I have had people point at my 4runner and laugh at me when I line up to tow my 22 edgewater out. You know - the 'watch this' comments. In 4 low and 1st gear the 4runner pulls the boat out without a pause. Nice.
Old 06-05-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by A Few Dollars View Post


Same here.
You guys live if Florida and Louisana
Here in New England 2 wheel drive pickups can't get out of their own way in snow unless you put a few hundred pounds of weight in the bed.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:25 AM
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I have a 2005 Silverado 4x4 183,000 miles and no issues with the 4x4, I'm fortunate. I've used mine to pull my duck hunting boat out several times due to being unimproved ramp. my previous ram was 2wd and would just spin the tires. I need and like having it for peace of mind. I only get 15.7 MPG on the downside.
Old 06-05-2013, 10:40 AM
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Reasons to NOT get 4WD in a truck?





(they're aren't any)
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:40 AM
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I'm always surprised at the number of 4x4s south of the "frost line" in the U.S. Up here, in the north, I only use 4WD a few times each winter. When I need it, it's GREAT to have; I wouldn't own a truck without 4WD in the north. I always use 4WD at the ramp, but just as a CYA safety measure. I still go out of my way to avoid the slime line.
Old 06-05-2013, 11:45 AM
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around here if you have a 2wd pickup or suv you get looked at funny. Driving on the beach for fun and fishing is a regular occurrence.
Old 06-05-2013, 12:27 PM
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Just buy mud flaps that say 4x4 on them. I wish I would have.

Old 06-05-2013, 02:26 PM
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If you need 4WD, then by all means you should get it. But some people overestimate their need. The roads here in Florida are full of fancy 4WD trucks that have never been off road.
Old 06-05-2013, 02:38 PM
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When I was a kid the old saying was you were just further away from home/off the road when you got stuck with a 4x4 vs a 2wd. Which in my case always seemed to be true, it was always a long walk back when you got really stuck with no help.

Now we sell 4x4 silverados only slightly better in the upstate of south Carolina than the 2wd version. Also more 2wd extended and regular cabs are sold. Now, almost all my diesel sales, 2500 and above and top of the line trucks are always 4x4. Always been a tough sale to have a loaded truck with leather, navi, sunroof and not 4x4. A lot of folks just looking at the bottom line and what they can afford. But it never fails every year we have folks come in with anything from a truck to a suburban, never used the 4x4 but won't buy the next one without it.

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