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Old 05-17-2016, 07:43 AM   #11
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Generally a good plan. Use 4x4 only as needed.


However, I'd rethink using 4x4 when maneuvering in tight spaces.
When all 4 wheels are trying to turn at the same rate and the vehicle is describing a tight circle, parts of the driveline start to bind and the tires will jump and skip. It gets a bit unnerving.


If things are a bit slippery (backing a TT or 5'er) onto a grassy site, 4x4 may be required. But if the tow is still on the gravel or paved approach, let the front tires rotate freely. The rig will be just a bit more responsive. It's all trade-offs that you'll have to choose on a moment-by-moment basis.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:50 AM   #12
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I use the 4 wheel drive driving the last 6 miles up to the lake where I am going this week, very long hill, and rough road, It is a heavy haul going up the road. with the trailer full of water, We learned a few years back to put it in 4 wheel, it is much easier on the truck.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:33 AM   #13
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I use the 4 wheel drive driving the last 6 miles up to the lake where I am going this week, very long hill, and rough road, It is a heavy haul going up the road. with the trailer full of water, We learned a few years back to put it in 4 wheel, it is much easier on the truck.
( ONE MORE SLEEP)
Our last mile is a twisty, narrow dirt road with very little elevation changes. I have to pull the brake controller because the trailer's brakes will lock going down 1 particular, very soft, dip. 4x4? No. White knuckled worry someone will be coming the other direction? LOTS!
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #14
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Using an auto 4wd system will be of no concern while trailering. I could see it being very beneficial in certain driving scenarios (snow/ice etc.), but probably would be of no real benefit on dry roads.

Heck, i have used normal 4wd at higway speeds for years with no issues at all. Towing or not, it really doesnt matter.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:46 PM   #15
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We've had four Expeditions over the years. The first three had 2WD, AWD (all wheel drive) and 4WD. In the newest one Ford has changed the wording from AWD to 4WD auto. I think that is confusing to some. Either way, that position is not 4WD, it simply transfers power to whichever of the four tires has traction. I see no reason not to tow in that mode, especially if you are on a slippery road. (I can't imagine why it would help you park under dry road conditions.)

Regular 4WD is only slightly better without locking hubs. A couple years ago after returning from wintering in AZ I pulled into our open-ended trailer barn using 4WD. As the TV began to exit the barn the front wheels his ice, one tire slipped and caused the trailer to move to the right slightly as the TV twisted. I climbed out, manually turned the locking mechanisms on both wheels, and the truck then pulled straight forward.

You can purchase locking hubs if your vehicle did not come with them. My Expeditions didn't, but I installed them on a couple of them. Just Google 4WD locking hubs. The truck came with them.

I'm no mechanic, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:28 PM   #16
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...
I'm no mechanic, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
I've been an amateur mechanic for 40+ years and I can safely say you are never wrong when talking about the various names and systems automakers have come up with.

4WD, AWD, 4x4, Real Time, 4Matic, etc., ad nausium.

I've operated trucks with automatic front hubs (sucks!), manual hubs (gotta remember beforehand or step out into the mud) and manually lockable automatic (great idea, doesn't work).

An XUV I bought for my (now ex-)wife was front wheel drive with a fluid clutch to a driveshaft and rear differential. Some power always went to the rear wheels. When the ABS computer detected wheel slip, the clutch would close and the power would be split 50/50 for about 30 seconds (longer if the slipping continued). No user control whatsoever.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cekkk View Post
You can purchase locking hubs if your vehicle did not come with them. My Expeditions didn't, but I installed them on a couple of them. Just Google 4WD locking hubs. The truck came with them.

I'm no mechanic, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
I have not researched purchasing locking hubs for any other vehicles than what I have owned, so I cant say for sure... but I highly doubt ANY vehicle can be converted (easily, anyway) to having locking hubs. There are several kits out there that area available, though. Dodge trucks have kits, I know that for sure. Not sure about chevy's, though, or any other brand SUV. Ford Super Duty's still come with them.

What I will say, though, is adding locking hubs does not really change the function of the 4wd system. Just because you now have hubs to lock, does not mean both front tires will spin at all times or the 4wd system will work better/differently. What it basically means is you can fully unlock your axles/driveline when in 2wd. For instance, my '12 Jeep did not have manual hubs, nor a center axle disconnect, so the front axles and driveshaft always spin when the vehicle is in motion, even in 2wd. That is one of the main benefits of having manual hubs, as the front driveline can be fully disconnected in 2wd (typically gain a bit more MPG).

And you are correct about the AWD or "auto 4WD". It is perfectly fine using them at highway speeds on dry pavement, as they allow some differential in the system (where true 4WD does not).
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:38 PM   #18
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I only tow in 2wd, bit if I had to I would use 4x4 high if needed. I have parked many times using 4x4 low gear. Been thinking about using to back into my cement driveway.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:26 PM   #19
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I only tow in 2wd, bit if I had to I would use 4x4 high if needed. I have parked many times using 4x4 low gear. Been thinking about using to back into my cement driveway.

As long as you dont have to do much turning that would be just fine. Actually, it probably would be better on the trans, if there is a steep hill.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:26 AM   #20
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Some wheel slip is required to activate the 4wd and it's often enough slip to throw you off your line. I prefer to go 4hi if I couldn't get where I was going in 2hi. For example, parking in grass and trying to roll the TT up on blocks, pulling my RV uphill on my wet lawn to it's regular parking spot, etc.

Many people with 4auto can't get up my driveway in snow or ice (they slip sideways before it engages) but 4hi is a cakewalk.
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