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SUBJECT: # 10200: 4wd or 2wd for towing?

Submitted by Brian ( from CALIFORNIA on 4/15/04 11:36:00 AM

I am in the market to purchase either a truck or suv and was having a discussion with another fisherman about 2wd or 4wd for towing. I was told that 2wd is better than 4wd because of the torque difference. Can someone validate this for me. I fish around 6 to 8 days a month and was curious what others thought. Thanks

  1. 4/15/04 12:52:00 PM Submitted by Catch22 from MASSACHUSETTS says Towing
    Brian, while towing with a 2wd truck is more than adequate in most situations, I can't think of how a 2wd would tow better than 4wd. What do you mean 'torque difference'? A 2wd truck with limited slip should be able to handle 95% of towing (launching) situations - its the other 5% that you have to worry about. Granted, the 5% are usually not very common - but that depends on where you launch your boat. I have a 4wd full size, but have never used the 4wd to launch or retrieve my boat (I got the 4wd for plowing my driveway). If you have a heavy boat and plan on launching at steep ramps or where the ramps aren't paved or concrete, than I would highly recomend 4wd. If the ramps you primarily launch are decent, than a 2wd should do fine. After reading my post, I should summarize like this: There is really no difference in 'towing' with 2wd and 4wd - but advantages of 4wd is in launching and retrieving the boat. Good luck in your decision

  2. 4/15/04 12:56:00 PM Submitted by Oso ( from CALIFORNIA says re 4wd or 2wd for towing
    Assuming the same power trains (engine, transmission and rear end ratio)there would be no difference in torque between the 2wd and 4wd. The 2wd will have a slightly higher towing rating, because the manufacturers reduce the tow capacity of the 4wd by the increased weight of the front drive train.

    So, unless you plan launching at un-improved ramps or steep salt water ramps, a 2wd with limited slip will do everything you want.

  3. 4/15/04 5:56:00 PM Submitted by John ( from FLORIDA says Towing
    I myself prefer 4WD after 80 boats launch the ramp is awful slippery.

  4. 4/15/04 6:11:00 PM Submitted by Dae ( from MARYLAND says There is some truth
    With 2 identical vehicles other then 2wd vs 4wd, a 2WD will put more power to the ground. The reason is because of the addition of the transfer case. Also the weight of all the stuff that is needed for 4WD drags the 4WD vehicle some. Basiclly, you power to weight ratio changes.

    The only thing about this is that the difference is so small, it really doesn't make a difference when it comes to available power.

    In addition to being able to get up ramps where a 2wd might have problems, the 4WD might actually do better towing down the road because the vehicle weighs more. It's one of those "Tail wagging the dog" thing. But again, the weight difference is so small, you won't be able to tell.

    For me, I wouldn't even think about 2WD when it comes to a truck that will be used for towing. 4WD all the way!!!

  5. 4/15/04 6:20:00 PM Submitted by JohnM from TENNESSEE says I agree 2WD with limited slip will cover most situation
    I would not tow with a 2wd 1/2 ton one wheel drive truck. I watch em spin up the ramps all the time here in TN. I have a 4WD with a LS rear end. I have had to use 4WD one time to launch and that was due to ice on the ramp one day up at Dale Hollow. The rest of the time that rear end locks up and she pulls right up the ramp.

  6. 4/15/04 8:16:00 PM Submitted by Bib! ( from WISCONSIN says get the 4WD
    Get the 4WD. You will NEVER, NEVER have to worry about ANY ramp situation! Up here in WI, some of the landings are unimproved. I know my 4WD Sub will get my ProCraft 215 Combo out of ANY landing!

  7. 4/15/04 8:35:00 PM Submitted by Fsh4csh ( from VIRGINIA says very infrequent use
    ...but glad I had it when I needed it.

  8. 4/16/04 10:37:00 AM Submitted by Roby ( from TEXAS says 2wd vs 4wd
    2 WD will work just fine. The advantage of 4 WD other than better traction at the ramp will be a lower gear reduction from the tranfer case when 4 WD-LO is selected. This will increase your pulling power up the ramp. As was previously posted, 4 WD is a waste unless you need it for the ramp. How many all wheel drive big rigs are on the road?

  9. 4/16/04 1:05:00 PM Submitted by Nimrod ( from TEXAS says Big Rigs
    Haven't seen a big rig stuck on a boat ramp yet. Ever pull off the road onto a wet shoulder with a trailer and find yourself sliding down the ditch when trying to get back on the highway? Ever run into ice on a ramp? Ever run into snow or ice when you're "not" even towing a trailer?

    The 4WD option is recouped on trade in or sale, and maintenance costs are not worth mentioning. It's a no-brainer. I'll never be without it.

  10. 4/19/04 12:05:00 PM Submitted by shelby ( from SOUTH CAROLINA says tires on slippery ramps.
    tires is the biggest problem for slipping on ramps. The dodge I use to own had michelins on it and the thing never spun a tire on a slippery ramp. My new truck has a diffrent brand tire on it now. The new truck is bigger and can easily tow more than the smaller dodge but at the slippery ramps it will spin the tire untill the limited slip kicks in. Then it will dig for a second and come on up.

    I can't wait till I use up this set of tires so I can put michelins on it. I have absolutely no need for a gas guzzling 4x4 truck down here in the flat country.

  11. 4/19/04 3:55:00 PM Submitted by Mike I. ( from NEW JERSEY says 2 wheel vs. 4 wheel
    Brian, this should convince you. Being that you tow a boat and you fish like most of us who have real jobs(6-10 days/Month),and sometimes not at the best of ramps,I'll bet, 4 wheel is the only way to go. I can't tell you how many times I have seen guys ruin their tires,blow their trannys and motors on ramps with short steps or ones with seaweed or what ever on them. Once your trailer tires fall behind the concrete pour of the ramp your screwed without 4 wheel drive unless your name is Lois Lane. This is a problem in the NY metro area where many ramps in older marinas for mom&pop boats less than 16 ft.and can't handle todays performance boats.Besides, if you get snow where you are it's great not to mention the resale on the vehicle.

  12. 4/27/04 10:57:00 PM Submitted by Shah ( from CALIFORNIA says Problems towing a 4"x8" Trailer with Infiniti I 30 (Sedan)

    I am planning a house move trip from San Francisco to Buffalo - an almost 3000 miles trip using my Infiniti I 30 (Sedan). I plan to get custom made class-1 Hitch from U-Haul for my I30. According to them(Uhaul) using this hitch, I will be able to tow their 4X8 Trailer behind my I-30.

    My concern is about my I-30. I can be a very careful driver and will take frequent/enough breaks to cool off the transmission/engine. I can also use a heavy duty coolant during the journey to make sure the cooling is effecvite. also, all the driving will be on freeways only.

    Does anybody have any experience like that? Is there something else I should take care of? Did anybody have any other mechanical problems? Would you actually tow a trailer behind an I-30 ? Any ideas or suggestion much appreciated.


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