View Full Version : 2wd to tow?

12-05-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm sure this has been covered before but need somebody to either reassure or slap me. Right now I drive an 05 denali with the 6.0 and like it but its getting up there in the miles and just have a hankering for a new truck.

Budget is always important but looking at titans and tundras right now. The 2wd tundras seem to be a dime a dozen around here.

Live in NC and I could really care less about not driving the 2 days a year it snows a whopping 1/2" but towing does concern me. Have a 02 prostar 209 and consistently end up with the 2 rear tires 1/2 a ft into the water at my launch to load/unload. You guys think I'll have problems with this? I've seen my fair share of trucks burn tires up the ramp and while its not the steepest ramp ever it does have some incline.

Also is anyone towing with these trucks?

Thanks for any insight guys

12-05-2011, 11:03 AM
Limited slip, good tires will get you off most ramps. After that if it's a steep or slippery ramp, air down the tires, weight in the back of the truck.
I have a 4x4, but rarely use 4wd to pull the boat out.
Guess you know the ramps you use and can judge whether 2wd will get it.
If the 2wds are that much cheaper, you could put an air locker r e locker in the axle for around $1500.
That and some good tires will take care of it in most any situation.

12-05-2011, 11:19 AM
+1 on weight and tires, the 90 suburban would always pull my dads 21ft proline cuddy cabin out the water with no spin while others would burn up their tires. My mother would always smile at them as she would motor bye

12-05-2011, 11:33 AM
If the Denali is pulling you out without locking the 4X4 in, then you should be fine.

12-05-2011, 12:16 PM
As Thrall said, as long as you know the ramps that you will be using, you should be fine. We only have two ramps at our lake and the water level is never the same from week to week. I can't count the number of times that I've had to unhook my boat from the truck and pull a
2WD truck up the ramp (with his boat) after he got his rear tires in the mud at the bottom of the ramp.

I rarely have to use my 4WD in VA, but it's worth it when I do! :D

12-05-2011, 12:32 PM
I just went through this, ended up looking seriously at the tundra and the F150. ended up with the F150 with 4x4, I don't usually need 4x4 but there have been enough scary situations where I thought it was necessary.

12-05-2011, 01:16 PM
My denali is awd so no way of telling about the 2wd. I'm seriously clueless. Have never drived a 2wd truck before but yea you are looking at a few grand cheaper here which gets me a nicer truck at my price point

12-05-2011, 01:23 PM
FWIW I have a PS197 that I tow with a 2500HD 4WD and I have never once put the truck in 4WD to pull it out of the water. We go to a lot of different lakes and the ramps tend to vary greatly in steepness as well as quality resulting in my rear wheels more times than not being close to halfway under water and I have never had a problem.

Good luck.

12-05-2011, 01:36 PM
We pull our boat (crownline 182 sold, x2 is comming) with a mercedes E220 break rear drive, but we never go in mud, we have a lower part, that we can lower so you let it down get the boat in or out and level that part again with the ramp. http://www.molski.be/wp-content/gallery/aqua-stars-08/p8103720-1024x768_1-medium.jpg this is it we can lower the part where the skiers are on, and the concrete is a downhile piece.

12-05-2011, 02:20 PM
I got stuck trying to pull my boat off a steep ramp with a 2WD Dakota years ago and had to have a friend hook me up with his 4WD and pull me up. After that I swore my next truck would be 4WD. I few years later I moved, starting using different ramps, but still bought a 4WD Tahoe. I never had to use the 4WD to pull my boat out. Go figure... My current truck is a 2WD Avalanche and I never had any problems ramping, but the current ramp I use isn't steep or slippery.

Bottom line, I think you'll be OK with 2WD as long as you don't have to use a steep, slippery boat ramp.

Kevin 89MC
12-06-2011, 02:15 PM
My original tow vehicle was an '85 2WD Toyota mini truck, 2.4 liter 4 cylinder. We learned pretty quickly how to "push" the truck out of the water with the boat. Worked even on a pretty muddy ramp that we used to frequent. Get enough momentum out of the water, we never slipped once! So it can be done pretty easily. I'm all for 4WD (I have it now), but it is extra $ and extra fuel too.
Good luck.

Dino Don
12-06-2011, 04:06 PM
no problem with mine--2wd and 5.3 v8 engine/auto trans--


Cary K.
12-06-2011, 04:40 PM
I have a 2wd Dodge Ram, and my wife a 2wd Suburban. I have been to almost every ride-able lake in NC (maybe slight exaggeration, but not by much) and have never had a problem.

12-09-2011, 12:47 AM
My 2wd 3.5 ltr 285hp Nissan quest minivan hasn't had any issues with boat ramps at all. Long haul towing can be a little stressful

12-11-2011, 05:19 PM
I've been on ramps where people are burning off their tires going up the ramp, and then pulled mine out with 2WD just fine. I think the people buring off their tires just don't know what they are doing and are just giving it too much gas. I have 4WD and have never used it pulling the boat out. This includes one ramp that is pretty steep and slick, to the point that you actually slide going backwards when hitting the brakes if you aren't careful. So, I think the only time it would be needed is with a ramp that has mud build up at the bottom.

12-11-2011, 07:45 PM
Have always had 4wd vehicles but have never used it at the ramp other than the few times I have had to go over the sand to get to the water.

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

12-11-2011, 09:01 PM
I am looking for an '07 Tundra right now... when you narrow down to 4x4 cuts 90% of the selection and the price goes up ~$3-5k. Unfortunately 2WD is not an option for me.

12-11-2011, 09:18 PM
I use 4 low to pull up the steeper ramps, I do not need to use it but I figure I have it and it is easier on the transmission.

I would not be afraid of 2wd.

12-12-2011, 05:49 PM
My brother used to tow my boat with his 2wd F100. We usually go to a lake with a gravel ramp. I had a tow strap in my Jeep and I'd have to tow him (and the boat) out every time he pulled the boat out (was no problem with an empty trailer). I think a limited slip differential would help a lot but I got 4wd when I bought my truck.

12-12-2011, 08:52 PM
Our current tow vehicle is a Jeep Cherokee with 2WD 4.7L V8. No problems on any of the ramps we've used.

02-01-2012, 04:08 PM
i am wondering the same exact thing but i have and x-15 and also live in nc. I have been towing with a trailblazer with 4x4 but have never used it. It just blew the engine so i got a 5.7l tundra but it is only 2wd. now i am worried that i should have gotten a year older on that had 4x4 just to be safe.

02-02-2012, 01:14 AM
Another thing to consider is that if you a buying a new truck it may have traction control and even it is 2WD, you likely wont have problems. Older trucks didn't have this feature and thus no way to control wheel spin.