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Old 07-07-2016, 11:03 AM   #21
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Your goal IMO should be to avoid slippage. 2wd on gravel will invite slippage, particularly with a heavy load behind it. AWD simply shifts power from a slipping drive wheel to another. 4wd without locking hubs is a bit better.

We've had several 4wd vehicles and four Expeditions, only the dually had locking hubs, but we added them to a 1987 full size Bronco. I've never gotten out of a problem using 4wd without needing and/or using lockouts. Huge difference in allowing the vehicle to continue in a straight line. If you have a problem, look into adding that feature to your front axle, although I don't know if that can still be done at reasonable cost on these newer Expeditions.

Getting to your question, I'd go in low range and slowly, trying to avoid coming to a stop if I could keep moving forward safely. Backing down could make for fun dinner conversation at the end of the day.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:13 AM   #22
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loose gravel just sprays with too much focused traction. Often the wrong sort of stone is used on hills. If the gravel shows ruts, the wrong stone was used and the ruts are a product of spinning stone.

if its stone dust its fine in two wheel just as tube sand works in the bed of our 2wd pickup near the other Portland in fourteen inches snow.

But we watched a guy dig himself in with a tt on a gravel incline with the big stone in eastern Maine last week. He only had 2 wd. Along comes an atv with a winch fortunately
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:15 AM   #23
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For first time definitely start in 4wd , you do not want to test the slippage by being in two wheel drive and having to shift it at awkward moment. (you have it use it) I too would suggest low 4wd for first time . Maybe by fifth time you will realize you can use 2WD , or 4wd high...... but better safe than sorry.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #24
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Wow thanks to everyone for their responses. One of my concerns is that when the driveway is dry it starts to fall apart and get some bumps, etc. That can shift the weight around enough to cause a loss in traction. But it just started raining and I just took a rake to the big holes so I will let you know what happens when I give it a go later tonight.

LOVE this forum - so many helpful people. Thank you!
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cekkk View Post
Your goal IMO should be to avoid slippage. 2wd on gravel will invite slippage, particularly with a heavy load behind it. AWD simply shifts power from a slipping drive wheel to another. 4wd without locking hubs is a bit better.

We've had several 4wd vehicles and four Expeditions, only the dually had locking hubs, but we added them to a 1987 full size Bronco. I've never gotten out of a problem using 4wd without needing and/or using lockouts. Huge difference in allowing the vehicle to continue in a straight line. If you have a problem, look into adding that feature to your front axle, although I don't know if that can still be done at reasonable cost on these newer Expeditions.

Getting to your question, I'd go in low range and slowly, trying to avoid coming to a stop if I could keep moving forward safely. Backing down could make for fun dinner conversation at the end of the day.
Pretty much this ^^^. Traction is your problem, especially on a gravel hill. I would not hesitate to use 4WD Low range, as it is much easier on the drivetrain, and it is much easier to control wheelspin. In an Expedition, I am assuming you have an automatic trans. That being the case, it's too easy to spin in 2wd (which is really one wheel drive if you have an open differential in the rear, which is usually the case). 4wd will at least get the front axle involved. If you find you can't get traction in 4wd low, then 4wd high at slow speed won't do you any better. At that point, momentum is your only friend. If you fail at 4wd low and a gentle throttle foot, then speed is the only thing left. I would do that only in 4wd high, and use no more speed than necessary. Momentum only allows you to use less throttle to get the job done, which results in less wheel spin.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:33 PM   #26
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Oh, and by the way, don't worry about binding in the drivetrain while you're on the gravel. That's only for dry pavement or concrete, where tires get nearly 100% grip.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #27
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This is more of an issue when backing but another good reason to use 4-low on steep hills is to avoid overheating your transmission (assuming you have an automatic). If you have to back up, or drive up in this case, a steep hill at a slow speed and do some maneuvering you will be putting extra strain on your transmission. Putting it into 4-low will take a bit of strain off your transmission by allowing less torque to be applied at a higher RPM. I know several guys that have overheated their transmissions by backing into steep driveways or campsites and putting your TV into low range will almost always prevent that from happening, plus it makes it a bit easier as you can back a bit slower without feathering the throttle (or clutch if a manual) constantly while making small corrections. I use this trick myself (without locking in my front manual hubs) and it works well. In fact my wife usually backs while I direct and she prefers to have it in low range even on flat terrain while backing for extra control of speed.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:32 PM   #28
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I ended up 4x4 high and putting the transmission in 1st. Absolutely no issues. thanks to everyone for their advice!
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:47 PM   #29
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I tow a 15000 lb fifth wheel up my gravel driveway. 300 feet at 23 degrees. Have never even considered 4 low. 4 high or 4 auto is all I use.....probably could do it in two wheel drive as well, it is a Dodge after all.
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