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View Full Version : Truck 2wd or 4wd?


floridamastercraft
12-18-2006, 06:38 PM
Looking at the new Chevy's and I always had 4wd but now the new limited slip axle they say you don't need 4wd for boat ramps.... the boat ramp I use can be very wet and slippy at times never had a problem before but I always had 4x4 but I have seen some with 2wd have problems.... I have no need for 4wd other than the boat ramp since it doesn't snow in Florida.... but rains alot .... its about 3k difference between 2 and 4wd too.... any one have any new chevy's on a boat ramp yet???

Archimedes
12-18-2006, 06:59 PM
I was in the same dilemma and went 4WD in my new Avi just to be safe, as I have had problems on wet ramps with my old 2wd extended cab Chevy. Depends on whether the money and slightly worse mileage is worth it to you.

Given the way I can spin up the rear tire on my Avi at will and make believe I'm Bullit with sliding turns when I'm in two wheel mode, I'd say 4wd is a good thing in this truck.

BrianM
12-18-2006, 07:02 PM
No need for the 4x4. Living in South LA I was in the same predicament with regard to 4x4. In 2003 I went with the GMC 2wd Ex Cab 5.3 with the Locking Rear Differential and have never had a problem at the ramp. The ramp I uses is very steep and I often get stuck in an afternoon shower pulling the boat out on a wet ramp. When I purchased my '07 Avalanche again I went without 4x4 but did get the LTZ which has the Locking Rear Differential. Again absolutely no issues at the ramp. Between the rear end and the massive amounts of torque management that is built into the computers 4x4 in our situation really is a waste of $4k. Save that money and buy more gas to enjoy the boat.

I was in the same dilemma and went 4WD in my new Avi just to be safe, as I have had problems on wet ramps with my old 2wd extended cab Chevy. Depends on whether the money and slightly worse mileage is worth it to you.

Given the way I can spin up the rear tire on my Avi at will and make believe I'm Bullit with sliding turns when I'm in two wheel mode, I'd say 4wd is a good thing in this truck.
Very interesting. I have had the exact same two trucks (except I went 2wd with the Av) and we couldn't have had more different experiences.

rodltg2
12-18-2006, 07:20 PM
it seems like alot of people are concerned about resale. and that would be about the only reason why i would see 4wd useful for you. that and they look cooler :D

uncleboo
12-18-2006, 07:32 PM
I would opt for the 4 wheel drive if your ramp is slick. A limited slip rear can help, but being able to "lock in" traction--either with 4 wheel drive or a true locker-- will produce better results. Yes, and they look cooler too.

BrianM
12-18-2006, 09:52 PM
it seems like alot of people are concerned about resale. and that would be about the only reason why i would see 4wd useful for you. that and they look cooler :D

I would agree with you out in the 916 and many other areas but down here (and probably Florida too) 4x4 can actually be a liability when it comes time to sell. They are more expensive and use more gas and the benefit around here to most people is little if any. As for looking cooler I agree with some trucks but my Avalanche for example looks exactly the same in the LTZ trim 4x4 or 4x2. Same ride height same tires same everything.

DooSPX
12-18-2006, 10:44 PM
I have a 2wd 04 5.3 GMC w/ 3.73's and the locker...
never even spun the tires and i have been on some muddy/slippery ramps that you will fall and bust your *** on.

erkoehler
12-19-2006, 12:34 AM
Check the latest boat bloopers thread...then let me know what you think.

Ric
12-19-2006, 09:57 AM
Looking at the new Chevy's and I always had 4wd but now the new limited slip axle they say you don't need 4wd for boat ramps.... the boat ramp I use can be very wet and slippy at times never had a problem before but I always had 4x4 but I have seen some with 2wd have problems.... I have no need for 4wd other than the boat ramp since it doesn't snow in Florida.... but rains alot .... its about 3k difference between 2 and 4wd too.... any one have any new chevy's on a boat ramp yet??? I say..... BOTH yeeeehawwwww

Ric
12-19-2006, 10:00 AM
If memory serves, you automatically get the limited slip rear differential from GM if you get the trailering package.

I need my 4 wheel drive... it's comfortable knowing that I can always go anywhere further into a problem than a 2wd & get more stucker than a 2wd!! ;)

Workin' 4 Toys
12-19-2006, 10:04 AM
I've seen too many 2wd vehicles stuck on ramps (Or shredding tires) NOT to have 4X4... :twocents: In the summer, NOT just because it snows here...

trickskier
12-19-2006, 10:05 AM
As a native Floridian I have never owned a 4x4. I have 2 Tahoe's and 1 Surburban all with limited slip, no problem at the ramp.

sanjuan23
12-19-2006, 10:06 AM
Never owned a truck that wasnt 4 wheel drive. Dont plan on it any time soon.

Footin
12-19-2006, 09:06 PM
I have been looking for a used Avalanche (or maybe a new one:) ) and I want a 2 wheeler. Not much need for 4wd in central Ohio. It uses more gas and is one more thing to break.

PendO
12-19-2006, 09:33 PM
A 2wd truck is just a jacked up car with an open air trunk ... IMO.

RickDV
12-19-2006, 09:37 PM
Has anyone else seen the new Chevy infomercial with Howey Long? They show the truck pulling a 30' (or so) center console boat out of the water. The ramp was medium grade and wet. Locking diff kicked in and looked like it had no problem on the wet ramp. I noticed the trailer had a triple axle, so I assume there was substantial weight to the boat.

I would consider a locking differential instead of 4x4 if a wet boat ramp is the worst situation you plan on getting into. I tow a boat for our show ski team and we end up launching in all kinds of weird situations including gravel ramps and beach sand. I wouldn't go without 4x4 myself.

Archimedes
12-19-2006, 09:41 PM
Very interesting. I have had the exact same two trucks (except I went 2wd with the Av) and we couldn't have had more different experiences.

My 92 Silverado extended cab had a lot of trouble with my first boat (3200 lbs.) if the ramp was steep and wet. Had to do the 'everyone get in the bed and jump up and down thing'.

My Avi's been great and I think I've left in in full 2wd a lot of the time on the ramp.

I can slide my Avi around A LOT more than I expected. If there is any water at all on the road I can spin em up and step out the back end on every turn. Kinda fun but I thought the ESP would kick in quicker than it does.

We ski in Tahoe a few times a year, so 4WD was a necessity for me.

atlfootr
12-19-2006, 10:42 PM
As a native Floridian I have never owned a 4x4. I have 2 Tahoe's and 1 Surburban all with limited slip, no problem at the ramp.Bring'em down here to Winter Haven, we'll put 'em up against my 4x4 and try 'em out where I know there's some "sugar sand" boat ramps :cool:

atlfootr
12-19-2006, 10:44 PM
Heck for that matter, we'll do it for a case of beer ...
MICKEY STYLE :cool:

Jesus_Freak
04-17-2010, 08:54 AM
Now, 3+ years later, lets get a new round of opinions....:)

Do we need 4WD for a boat and wet ramp situation? Specifically, would something like a Frontier with LSD do the job?

Jerseydave
04-17-2010, 10:25 AM
I've had one 2WD truck and four 4WD trucks for towing boats. Even in the southern states, I'd go with 4WD for steep and/or slippery ramps. I even pulled a guy's truck and boat up a steep ramp once with my 3/4 ton suburban in 4-wheel low.
You never know when you might encounter a ramp covered in sand or slime. Better resale value too (people up here don't put much value on used 2WD trucks at all)

woobiedmd
04-17-2010, 11:10 AM
I'll agreee with that! Here in the Northeast, everyone wants 4 WD. Last summer, my wife was pulling the boat out with the Suburban, the wheels started slipping and she was going in deeper and panicking. Once she engaged 4-low, pulled us right out. It's all about safety and peace of mind!

Craig
04-17-2010, 11:30 AM
I was in this deli ma about 20 mo. ago when shopping for a vehicle to pull the MC I had my eye on. I thought it seemed uncessesary to get a full sized truck with 4WD at first.

A friend of mine put it in perspective for me and I am glad he did.

You never know exactly what the conditions will be or if you will want to take the boat somewhere different for a weekend or etc. With 4WD you will be prepared for anything; it may not always be necessary but you will have it when you need it. I am never sorry I ponied up for 4WD.

I think people are surprised how it is easy it is to get a 2WD truck stuck.

Kevin 89MC
04-19-2010, 01:11 PM
I've towed with 2wd before. Everything now is 4wd, but that's mainly due to the winters. I'd go back to 2wd if I needed to, but 4wd is better IMHO, unless you can count on always being at good launches.

We used to get stuck so much with the 2wd that my sister got really good at pushing the boat & truck out of the water with the boat, while I just basically steered the truck! Granted we used to ski at some lakes that had questionable launches that even 4wd would have struggled a bit. Even at the good launches, though, the tires would just spin if the water level had recently dropped and the ramp was slick. It is not too bad, if you know what you're doing and can have the boat "assist" in pushing out of the water.

Last year a friend was trying to pull out his 190 with a Highlander hybrid at a gravel launch. The elec motor would spin the front wheels, and the gas engine would not come on and activate the rears, so we had to latch on with a pickup to get him out. He's had no problems at paved launches, but interesting how sometimes new technology can be troublesome.
Kevin

HDAVIS
04-19-2010, 11:13 PM
I vote 4wd hands down

stuartmcnair
04-20-2010, 10:57 AM
There are very steep hills around my lakehouse. One day after pulling the boat out we were headed home. We had a brief rain right before we left and the road was slick. Driving up the first steep hill I got to where it starts to turn at the top and the 2WD locking differential lost traction. I had to back the boat all the way down the hill (sheer drop to one side) while slipping and sliding.

Next day I took it to the dealership and traded it on the same truck in 4WD. Will never go back. Granted, very few people have to deal with hills like this but that is my reasoning. Purely a safety issue.

ski_king
04-20-2010, 11:19 AM
I towed with a 2wd F-250 for a few years and it was a major pain to get the boat out on the ramp I used. As long as the ramp was dry, I had no problem, but once it got wet, the only way I could pull out my S&S was loading as many bodies as I could into the bed to add additional weight to get the traction I needed.

I have had nothing but 4WD's since.

uncleboo
04-21-2010, 10:34 PM
I think all trucks should be made with 4wd. If you want a mall crawler, then buy one of those SUV's with independent front and rear suspension.

Big Dogg
04-22-2010, 01:57 AM
I think all trucks should be made with 4wd. If you want a mall crawler, then buy one of those SUV's with independent front and rear suspension.

Might I add all truck have frame rails, those that are unibodies are not trucks and the most off roading they will see is when the wife backs into the flower bed

thatsmrmastercraft
04-22-2010, 09:53 AM
Might I add all truck have frame rails, those that are unibodies are not trucks and the most off roading they will see is when the wife backs into the flower bed

Well said Big Dogg.

bobx1
04-22-2010, 03:36 PM
On my ramp at the end of the summer, I need the front wheels pulling. Algae growth builds up on the ramp and the front tires are the only place I can get traction. Whether one or both back tires are spining, the fact remains they are still spining.

Shaun315
04-22-2010, 09:03 PM
Wouldn't buy a truck/SUV without 4WD... just one of those things to have even if you never need it, rather than not have the one time you really need it!

JohnE
04-23-2010, 09:54 AM
Now, 3+ years later, lets get a new round of opinions....:)

Do we need 4WD for a boat and wet ramp situation? Specifically, would something like a Frontier with LSD do the job?

As a native Floridian I have never owned a 4x4. I have 2 Tahoe's and 1 Surburban all with limited slip, no problem at the ramp.


All I can say is that I have seen a 2WD truck get stuck on a blade of grass, nevermind a wet boat ramp. I won't say who, where, or when.;):D

cmw
04-23-2010, 11:03 AM
I have two Tahoes. One 4x4 and one 2 wheel with limited slip.. I have had to put the 4x4 in 4 wheel drive to pull the boat out before, but have never had an issue with the 2 wheel drive. I know that sounds strange. I love 4x4's, but I never give taking the LTZ a second thought. If you are thinking of going with a Chevrolet, use the money you would put into the 4x4 and get the LTZ package. I do use the 4x4 for what it was intended, most don't ever. If you get your truck stuck on grass, you have bigger problems than not owning a 4X4:D