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Old 07-06-2021, 03:40 PM   #1
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2WD or 4WD Tow Vehicle - Your Thoughts

Purchased a 2021 Jay Flight 145RB in 09/2020. We were tent campers, so the 145RB is a good beginner TT for us. Currently our TV is a 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan with Dodge tow package and Fastway e2 WDH with sway control (round bars).

We've taken the TT on 3 trips never more than 100 miles from home. The Dodge seems to be doing a fine job pulling the trailer, but it makes me a bit nervous and I don't want to travel further. So, what fun is having a new TT and staying close to home? We want to travel further and on longer trips.

We are currently shopping for a new truck. I'm leaning towards a 2WD over a 4WD. My thinking is a 2WD will add payload, add tow capacity and lower the price of the truck.

Any thoughts on this. 2WD or 4WD?

We're newbies (wife and I) in the TT world and any advice you have would be great.

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2021, 03:48 PM   #2
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My thoughts are that the best answer needs to consider where you plan to camp. For example, I prefer to camp more often off of the pavement and especially not in parking lots. I have most often camped along lakes, rivers, mountain blm, forests, etc., and I have always preferred a 4WD to tow my RV's because of where I like to camp. Although, for many years now I have had my class c which limits where I can go (or how far off the road I am comfortable with), however my toad is a 4wd. So, my suggestion is to go with a 4wd, if you need more payload or gcwr then perhaps a 3/4 ton or larger. ~CA
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Old 07-06-2021, 03:49 PM   #3
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You only need 4 wheel drive if you plan on a) towing off road b) camping in a not so conventional campground 4 wheel drive can be nice, i.e. camping at Charlotte Motor Speedway after an during a monsoon or c) driving around on icy roads it can help but who tows a trailer on icy roads.
If you don't hunt, go off road and or have to back a camper up a steep incline to park it I'd suggest a 2wd.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:05 PM   #4
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or c) driving around on icy roads it can help but who tows a trailer on icy roads.
If you don't hunt, go off road and or have to back a camper up a steep incline to park it I'd suggest a 2wd.
We do have to tow on ice. It helps to have 4 wd on start up. We live on a dirt road that sometimes turns into a quagmire in the spring. Many roads around us are on hills and are dirt. We will be off to one of the prettiest campgrounds in the US next week. It involves a hundred miles of driving on logging roads.

Not to prove the inaccuracy of the above quote but to consider what would make sense in everyday life.

4wd does not make you stop faster BTW. We did learn to drive on ice with 2wd rear wheel drive. Fun to do donuts on the ice covered lake with that one.. not so much with 4wd.

However I think your tow package as is is fine.. The wild card is your mental state; and I am not sure how towing only close to home is any different than investigating further afield. Your payload 1540 lbs is larger than many mid size trucks.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:37 PM   #5
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However I think your tow package as is is fine.. The wild card is your mental state; and I am not sure how towing only close to home is any different than investigating further afield. Your payload 1540 lbs is larger than many mid size trucks.
I know it's a mental thing that I need to get past. So far, the short trips we've taken have all gone very well. In a few weeks we are planning a 300 mile trip to visit my sister in northern Wisconsin. Perhaps I should just suck it up and go for it in the Dodge Grand Caravan.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:41 PM   #6
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If you don't hunt, go off road and or have to back a camper up a steep incline to park it I'd suggest a 2wd.
This is us. No plans of going off road and we have no steep incline to park the TT at home.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:45 PM   #7
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I know it's a mental thing that I need to get past. So far, the short trips we've taken have all gone very well. In a few weeks we are planning a 300 mile trip to visit my sister in northern Wisconsin. Perhaps I should just suck it up and go for it in the Dodge Grand Caravan.
We have a Honda Ridgeline and had a 195RB. We got it in Feb and in April we just took off across the US. The more we traveled the more comfortable we were and even the winds of the Plains did not bother us. Even the a$$ that stopped and backed up in front of us in the left lane on 1-40 in OK City was safe..we did not hit him but had to take evasive action.
We literally wore out that camper with 120,000 miles of towing over five years.

Nerves when towing for the first times is normal. Tow time helps a lot. But only you know what you need to do.

The other wild card is that trucks are HARD to come by now in any logical time frame. We got a 212 QB which was over our Hondas tow capacity and we knew we had to upgrade vehicles. So far we have towed some 600 miles and all is well. We will be taking off again next week for a relative staycation one way is 250 miles and that last hundred is dirt road muck and potholes. That part will take four hours for the last hundred.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:54 PM   #8
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Nerves when towing for the first times is normal. Tow time helps a lot. But only you know what you need to do.
It certainly is different than throwing the tent and gear in the back of the van and heading out. I know the more we go, the more relaxed I'll get.
Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:55 PM   #9
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It certainly is different than throwing the tent and gear in the back of the van and heading out. I know the more we go, the more relaxed I'll get.
Thanks.
You should have seen me when I was delegated to tow our first TT home ( the 195 RB) I was scared..
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Old 07-06-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
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Nice thing about 4wd is handy in bad weather, unexpected loose gravel, sand, mud or other just not so nice driving surface. Pulling a RV out of a muddy spot is also a possibility. I live in Florida now but still like the 4wd just in case.
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Old 07-06-2021, 06:57 PM   #11
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I have towed with both 2WD and 4WD. The last TV was a 2011 F150 2WD. It towed fine and, as you stated, the payloads are higher ind a 2WD without the front axle and transfer case that weighs down a 4x4.

That said, Murphy's Law tends to follow me around. I have gotten stuck in mud and snow with every bloody 2WD I have owned. Therefore, I now own a 4WD and couldn't be happier. This truck is loaded to tow.

If I may suggest, try to find more truck than you will need. You may discover that your first choice of trailer isn't your last.

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Old 07-06-2021, 07:07 PM   #12
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My f250 4x4 gets stuck in wet grass if not locked in.
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Old 07-06-2021, 07:55 PM   #13
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Yep to what “ Old and Soft “ said!!
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:01 PM   #14
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I pull a 45' Northpoint 5th wheel. It has a mere 8" of ground clearance, so I dont boondock at all. The trailer has NEVER been in the snow or ice and never will be. Same goes for my tow vehicle, 3500 crew, long bed, dually. It really doesnt make sense to have 4wd on a dually that I bought for one purpose. Tow my 5er. But, I got 4wd on it anyway. I was spending $70k on a new truck, so what's another $2k for 4wd? Itll be worth every cent i paid for it X 10 the first time I need it.
Just my $.02 worth...
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Old 07-07-2021, 07:43 AM   #15
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My TV is also my daily driver, so I'd never not get 4WD. However, I've not once used 4WD when towing or camping. I don't camp in bad weather and I don't boondock. I only ever camp in improved campgrounds, such as USFS primitive campgrounds.

So, if I lived in the SE or SW, I could be persuaded to go 2WD. However, I'd ensure that I had a locker in the rear so that I at least had a 4x2 option.
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Old 07-07-2021, 07:58 AM   #16
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If it's also gonna be your everyday vehicle and are prone to snow, I'd say 4x4. If you live in Florida, 2WD.
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Old 07-07-2021, 08:01 AM   #17
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You can see our TV and what we tow in my sig. I bought the TV new and am closing in on 75k miles. I chose 2WD and don’t regret it. In the years we’ve used it I’ve had 2 occasions where 4WD would have been of use but wasn’t mandatory.
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Old 07-07-2021, 09:54 AM   #18
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I’ve had both and would never go 2WD again. Yes it gave us extra payload and was a very comfortable ride, but get on wet grass or loose stone in a campground and your done for.

As was suggested above, buy more truck than you think you’ll need as this may not be your last trailer. I ended trading up twice because I bought for the current, not next, trailer - a costly mistake.
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Old 07-07-2021, 10:34 AM   #19
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Iíve had both and would never go 2WD again. Yes it gave us extra payload and was a very comfortable ride, but get on wet grass or loose stone in a campground and your done for.

As was suggested above, buy more truck than you think youíll need as this may not be your last trailer. I ended trading up twice because I bought for the current, not next, trailer - a costly mistake.
+1 on both counts.

I'll never NOT own a 4x4 again. Not that anything really bad ever happened when I was towing with 2wd, but I knew what the truck's capabilities were, and so never got stuck.

For our own personal usage patterns, 4wd vehicles make more sense. We live in a very rural area, 4wd ensures that we'll be able to get in/out of our home. We frequent the beach VERY often (which is actually a TX public road, and is sand). So we're able to get where we want to go along the coast. We sometimes tow a boat; 4WD has been required for safely and efficiently pulling the boat out of the water on a slippery ramp. I hunt, and 4WD is all but required where I do so. Currently we own 3 vehicles; all are 4WD.

The Jeep is our dinghy for the Motorhome (which I wish was 4WD, and the next one might be...). When we're out traveling and using the Jeep to get around, I sometimes like to hit "the roads less traveled", and I'm confident I can go anywhere in my Jeep.

Plus, you just never know. This is one of those things that I'd rather have and not need than need and not have. And there have been some unexpected "difficulties" encountered where 4WD was certainly appreciated. My second tow vehicle was a Ram 2500 4x4, and I was absolutely confident I would not encounter a situation I could not handle in that truck. Traveling cross-country towing your trailer and hauling your family, you just never know what you might run across, that peace of mind was WELL worth the price of admission.
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Old 07-07-2021, 10:39 AM   #20
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I live in the next county east of you and I'm telling you to get the 4WD.

I work in the auto industry. You will really suffer when trading a 2WD vehicle in where we live. It will cost you way more in lost value than it will to just pay the extra up front.

It snows where we live, sometimes during the camping season. I don't camp in the winter either, but I do have to take the trailer to the dealer for warranty and preventative maintenance that I can't (or won't) do myself and I always do that in the late Fall after the camping season is over. There is usually snow on the ground when I pick it up.

I have taken the TT down to Florida for Spring break and sometimes the weather in NE Illinois is not the best on the way down or back.

But honestly I've used my 4WD to get out of a muddy campsite more often than I have in the snow.

Again, I strongly recommend you get the 4WD. You are spending tens of thousands on a trailer and a truck--don't cheap out now!
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