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Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-25-2006, 11:43 AM Reply   
Is it necessary to have 4x4 on a tow vehicle? I always hear horror stories of 2WD vehicles having trouble on steep loading ramps.
Old     (ridetilldeath)      Join Date: Oct 2005       01-25-2006, 12:01 PM Reply   
my dad tows our boat with a regular f 150 with absolutely no trouble, the truck hardly even works when it pulls the boat out.
however, if u drop your boat in a non concrete ramp, for example, grass, you will need a 4x4
hope this helps
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       01-25-2006, 12:09 PM Reply   
it may help , but not necc. you may only potentially have problems pulling the boat out on a real slippery ramp, hopefully you have some friends with you....get them to start bouncing ont the back of the every time.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       01-25-2006, 12:10 PM Reply   
If your putting in on a grass ramp....find another ramp or body of water
Old     (gdog)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-25-2006, 12:16 PM Reply   
tow my malibu vlx with a 99 tahoe. it has 4x4 but have never needed it on a boat ramp. i've been down some steep ramps and have always been ok. a few of my friends have lowered chevy 1500 with wide tires and every now and then they slip. i think it has more to do with the wide tires
Old     (jzd)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-25-2006, 12:16 PM Reply   
Not always necessary,but it's great to have when you need it.I've helped a few people out that did not think it was necessary.
Old     (gwnkids)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-25-2006, 12:18 PM Reply   
Only if you go to Elsinore
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       01-25-2006, 12:41 PM Reply   
Heck I used to tow my boat with a 1969 Ford Galaxie. Towed better than a 1/2 ton truck and not once did it ever spin a tire pulling the boat up the ramp. Two wheel drives generally sit lower so they will handle better than a four wheel drive. The two wheel drive will always have a higher tow rating than a four wheel drive. Better fuel milage is also a plus. Resale value will be a little less, but so is initial cost.

You can have a locker installed in the rear end for cheap if you find you are spinning. Winds up being a true two wheel drive like "most" four wheel drives really are. Few four wheel drives are even three leggers.

A SUV will spin less than a pickup due to weight over the rear axle.
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       01-25-2006, 12:50 PM Reply   
Bryan, sometimes I use 4x4 on the ramp there (two feet and two hands trying not to slide in and look like a bigger dork), but we've never needed it from the Sequoia.
Old     (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-25-2006, 12:53 PM Reply   
Adam, While bouncing on the back or bumper of a truck will work the majority of times the EASIEST (i repeat EASIEST) way is to just help push the truck and/or boat along. Once you get it started it should creap up the ramp as long as the driver isn't heavy footed. I figured this out about 10 years ago with a 30+ ft boat at a nearby ramp. There were 3 guys jumping on the back of a truck trying to get this boat out of the water and it was going nowhere, just spinning tires. Then one of the guys got the bright idea to push from the back of the truck and it eased right on out.

With that being said i have a non 4 wheel drive with wide tires that i do not have any problems at all with (on many different ramps). The key is to be gentle with the gas pedal and not spin the tires.
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 12:56 PM Reply   
I have a '02 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab with new tires all around and in the winter I have to smoke the tires on pretty much any ramp here in Arizona. The ramp gets a little slippery with algae from lack of use and I don't have limited slip or a locker in the rear. I have tried having several guys bounce in the bed or on the bumber but it doesn't do any good. I think in with two wheel drive you need either a locker or at least a limited slip. I also have a 1 ton dually suburban that doesn't have problem even at Elsinore, but it has an air locker in the back.

Once when I couldn't get up I used three ballast bags filled with water in the bed of the truck and that did the trick.
Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-25-2006, 2:38 PM Reply   
Great input. I was hoping to save a little coin on my next truck and considering skipping the 4X4.
Old     (wakespecialty)      Join Date: Feb 2005       01-25-2006, 2:43 PM Reply   
the tow ratings (weight) are typically higher in a 2WD. A limited slip differential is genius but not always on a 2WD - some mfg's keep it as an option instead of standard.
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 2:52 PM Reply   
On a dodge it's option as I found out (I bought it used). I am installing an ARB air locker though, so I shouldn't have to do burn outs on the ramp unless I'm at Elsinore.

I have seen 4x4 1 ton duallys not make it up the ramp elsinore in the winter. I have also seen more than one full size mobile home (36+ feet) floating in the lake from when slid down ramp trying to launch jet skis.
Old     (wakeboardin)      Join Date: Apr 2001       01-25-2006, 3:36 PM Reply   
I agree with the last few above I have an 02 Toyota Tundra 2wd when I bought it I made sure I had the limited slip just for this reason. It helps so much as one tire starts to spin the other kicks in and then it pulls right up the ramp. I tow a vlx and it works fine. I used to have a suburban 2wd and it was terrible spinning all the way up as well. I strongly suggest a locker or limited slip rear end if you go with a 2wd.

Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-25-2006, 3:50 PM Reply   
Is the "locker" you speak of just a bed toolbox?
Old    mendo247            01-25-2006, 4:11 PM Reply   
i noticed a big difference when i got my new v-drive.. i have an 04 chevy 2wd it never even spun with my smaller direct drive and now it spins quite a bit luckily our ramp is not to steep.. but i do wonder about going to a steeper ramp.. luckily i have a 4x4 suburban that i use when we do go to a steeper ramp.. its a little heavier obivously in the rear end and i pull up the steepest ramps in 2wd but it does have 36x13.50x20's and im sure the weight and wider tires make a big difference..
Old     (showtime)      Join Date: Nov 2005       01-25-2006, 4:13 PM Reply   
the locker mentioned here is in the rear diff to provide true positive traction to the rear wheels...most are air -- some elec. over air and vice-versa --
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 4:48 PM Reply   
There are many, many lockers on the market. Probably the most popular is the Detroit which doesn't require you to do anything, it's always locked. A detroit has about a 1/2 tire turn before it is locked. An ARB or electric locker is locks the axles together as one and both rear tires move at the speed at all times while locked. When going around corners with a true locked rear end the inside tire will chirp or squeel since it is moving at the same speed the outside tire is but has less distance to do it in. A locker is typically terrible on icy roads too. You can do a search for lockers on google and find tons of pros and cons for all types.
Old    swass            01-25-2006, 4:58 PM Reply   
You might want to consider resale value. Around here, I bet upwards of 80% of the trucks sold are 4x4s. Most people don't want 2wd because they're not too great in the snow. Most of the time, 2wd is just fine, but when you need 4x4, you really need it.
Old     (gvb)      Join Date: May 2003       01-25-2006, 5:18 PM Reply   
If you have a 2wd vehicle with an open diff, you can either click your e-brake a couple of clicks or put one foot on the brake (just a little pressure) and one on the gas to trick the diff into thinking the spinning tire has traction. Should help a little bit.

And if you are adding an aftermarket one... IMO, the Detroit TrueTrac is the best limited slip device (only) on the market.

(Message edited by gvb on January 25, 2006)
Old     (mattyboyr6)      Join Date: Jul 2003       01-25-2006, 7:02 PM Reply   
I like having 4x4 on the ramps for same reasons as Jed. Ramps around here have a lot of algea.

You can also use 2nd instead of drive. It will send less torque to the tires.
Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       01-25-2006, 7:21 PM Reply   
Would not even consider 2wd, of course I have more than one boat, and put in some pretty interesting place during duck season
Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-25-2006, 7:50 PM Reply   
I have an 04 Z-71 right now but I am moving to Japan soon and selling it. When I return to the states I will be in the market for another truck. I usually am a strict 4x4 guy as I hunt through the off season and I used to be really into dirt bike and many other off road activities.

I am considering getting another nice truck with out the 4x4 and also getting beat up jeep or S-10 ZR2 to be a daily driver and to tromp through the woods with. This way my tow vehicle will be a little cheaper upfront, stay mint, and compliment my boat further!
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 8:05 PM Reply   
You need a 4x4!!

He was trying to launch a jet ski!!
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 8:06 PM Reply   
Another one...

At Elsinore BTW!!
Old    bocephus            01-25-2006, 8:07 PM Reply   
The motorhome was bought three weeks prior to this for $61,500!
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-25-2006, 9:42 PM Reply   
that didnt happen because it wasnt 4x4. it happened because of stupid happens.
Old     (madchild1)      Join Date: Mar 2005       01-25-2006, 9:55 PM Reply   
part of me feels sad. the other part of me feels like

"DAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !"
Old    the_skeptic            01-25-2006, 10:12 PM Reply   
I have a 2500 HD 4x2 and here's my two cents---

If you live in So. Cal- 4x4 is a social status. Other than the folks that go to glamis that may need it (IMA I have seen just as many people get suck with a 4x4 as 4x2's).

As for my point, I get alot of sh*t cause I didnt get the 4x4, but, remember this- Without the 4x4, I have 2000lbs more towing capacity. Very helpful when pulling my 40 foot travel trailer to the lake.

The kicker - my wifes suburban is a 4x4, used it once to make sure I could say I used it, The sub cannot pull my camper/trailer do to the 4x4 decreasing the towing capacity.

Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       01-25-2006, 10:32 PM Reply   
dude, that might be on GMC gassers, but when your talking diesel the difference is not 2k lbs on the Ford trucks.
Old     (doug2)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-25-2006, 10:40 PM Reply   
"the tow ratings (weight) are typically higher in a 2WD"

"Without the 4x4, I have 2000lbs more towing capacity"

Hmmm, I don't see any difference between number of wheels driven and towing capacity. Probably because there isn't one. Everything else equal, the added weight of an extra differential and t-case don't equal 2000lbs...

It has to do with the engine, transmission, and more importantly suspension and wheel base.

Real world data (not- "this one time at the ramp")
Old    the_skeptic            01-25-2006, 10:44 PM Reply   
sorry, forgot to mention how much more sh*t I get for not getting the diesel.

I got the lift and the other toys with the money that would of gone towards the Diesel. The only good thing good so far I know for not getting the diesel is diesel is going for $3.10/gal and I can still find gas at $2.38.

But, lesson learned in towing, next truck will be a Diesel.
Old    the_skeptic            01-25-2006, 10:54 PM Reply   
Doug, is that info for the '06's?
Old     (doug2)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-25-2006, 10:57 PM Reply   
Yes, I think so.
Old     (doug2)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-25-2006, 11:00 PM Reply   
BTW David, I didn't mention how much I enjoy towing with my Dmax/Ally CC/SB....

I'm not in Socal, so when I filled up today at $2.37 I didn't think twice...
Old    the_skeptic            01-25-2006, 11:14 PM Reply   
I'm not going to talk smack to another GM owner, Ford yes.... As for the fuel price, I'll just say its the price we pay for the weather down here.........

Out here Diesel is almost at the same social status as the 4x4... It's funny, all of my friends out here have diesel motors, but no reason or toys or purpose to having it. Yet I am the opposite. Like I said, next truck....
Old     (doug2)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-25-2006, 11:51 PM Reply   
65 and sunny here in OK today. But I'm a Cali transplant so what do I know about the weather...

I owned a '02 Z71 that sh*t the bed after two summers of towing. I upgraded because my tranny literally melted and the ride sucked. Now I have to answer to 'why drive such a big a** truck?' Well, I'm not willing to compromise anymore. You don't need to justify it to your friends.

Since I bought the truck my average mpg has been 16.5, including several trips with the boat. I'll stack my 16.5 mpg @ 7500 lbs unladen against any car or truck, any day. It is, by weight, one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road. And, diesel is cheaper to refine...
Old    low_key_wake            01-25-2006, 11:57 PM Reply   
in regards to the motorhome... My family, for as long as I can rember, have called those kinda peeps "haha's" or happy Doesent mater what they are messing up, they sure are happy doing it...
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       01-25-2006, 11:58 PM Reply   
"Hmmm, I don't see any difference between number of wheels driven and towing capacity. Probably because there isn't one."

Ford 3/4 ton P/U's carry a 800lb higher tow capacity for two wheel drives over four wheel drives. Chevy 2500's have a 400lb difference.

Not that it really matters...any full size will pull a comp boat. Now how safe is another story. 3/4 ton all the way

"by weight, one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road"
I'll put my Prius up against it! LOL

(Message edited by Peter_C on January 25, 2006)
Old    the_skeptic            01-26-2006, 8:35 AM Reply   
I stand corrected (or site typing corrected), I thought I read in my book a 2k lbs difference. It is a 400lbs difference.
Old    bocephus            01-26-2006, 9:00 AM Reply   
I think we should all stop splitting hairs and get 2nd or 3rd mortgages and just buy one of these....
Old     (jon4pres)      Join Date: May 2004       01-26-2006, 9:32 AM Reply   
I sat in one of those the other day. They are big and overpriced but the seats in the one I sat in were more comfortable than the recliner I have at my house.
Its only 2wd though.
Old     (ebone66)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-26-2006, 9:45 AM Reply   
A tip from "The Book". If you're having trouble with a steep ramp, leave the boat running and give it some gas at the same time the tow vehicle starts its pull. Gotta cut it off quick though.
Old     (ripr)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-26-2006, 10:20 AM Reply   
IMO, after living in the midwest for a while, there needs to be at least one 4x4 in your stable.

I drive/tow with an '01 Yukon with the 5.3. It does the job towing my 21V and is a comfortable ride compared to the Z-71 pickup I had before.

My .02
Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-26-2006, 10:23 AM Reply   
I could see the advantage of getting a 2500 over getting a 4X4. The 1500 does just fine as mentioned.

The RV in the lake sux! Thats gotta hurt the old ego a little eh?
Old     (jpshaff01)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-26-2006, 1:07 PM Reply   
Anybody drive a tow vehicle that is a stick, it sucks. Pain in the ass to switch from braking to 1st gear when retrieving the boat. A hole season of this and i still don't have it to perfection. My truck is 2wd also
Old     (showtime)      Join Date: Nov 2005       01-26-2006, 2:18 PM Reply   
all i have ever had are manual trans vehicles -- never had a problem...
Old    low_key_wake            01-26-2006, 2:26 PM Reply   
my dads psd f250 is a manual. He has no problem, just throw it in 1st low, and let the clutch out, so much torq it just starts creeping. We have never needed to throw it in 4x4. We did have isues at powell for a couple of years with the exhaust going under water and making those starts out of the lake a pain. Solved with some 4inch flex tubing and a bunge. Only a little ghetto.
Old    ilovetrains            01-26-2006, 2:35 PM Reply   
My diesel is a stick, and it is not near as big a PITA as I thought it would be.

IMHO - tires make more difference than 4WD. While I would not own a truck without 4WD (I mean what's the point?), The times I have seen someone lose it backing down a ramp and do their impression of an M1 hitting a stream, or not be able to get it up the ramp, it has had more to do with tire choice than the number of pulling wheels.
Old    bocephus            01-26-2006, 2:50 PM Reply   

You haven't been to Elsinore, have you? I don't care what tires you run, on a algae covered ramp, nothing sticks.
Old    the_skeptic            01-26-2006, 3:25 PM Reply   
Is the algae back at Elsinore? I was there late last summer and it was gone...
Old     (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-26-2006, 4:12 PM Reply   
Stick shift and Diesel are pretty easy. Stick shift and Gas engines are a little more tricky. I had one before my present truck and i did this... back the trailer down the ramp to where you can load the boat, put the emergency brake on, hook up the boat on the trailer and....this is optional...leave the boat in gear with a driver at the boat helm for a little push (make sure you cut the engine before the entire boat is out of the water). When you are ready to pull the boat out give the truck some gas and let out the clutch pedal a little with the E-brake still engaged. When you feel the truck wanting to go forward release the E-brake. Please note that some ramps do not like, or it may even be illegal to "power load" the boat

(Message edited by biz on January 26, 2006)
Old     (kody_a)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-26-2006, 5:57 PM Reply   
We pull a 40 foot fith wiel(sp) and that sucker is heavy. Plus we pull a 24foot pontoon to and fro the lake every once in a wile. We have a 2500 dodge Cummins diesel 4x4 with lock diffs and it pulls great. It will pull the camper pretty good. It has no problems what so ever. With a K&N air filter you can here the turbo charger pretty good. It get good gas milege too.

I have no complaints, as for 4x4 it doesnt really matter. My grandfather has pulled the same camper with a dodge dully 2x4 and there is no difference, except for the extra stablility. There is no extra sag or anything. Even if it is rated for more you will not notice it. And as for both trucks there is no sag what so ever when pulling the fith weil. When you put the trailer on it will sink down maybe an inch but that it is not noticeable if you dont look at it wile the supports are comming up

that is my 2 cents
Old     (jpshaff01)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-26-2006, 9:09 PM Reply   
TR i was thinking of doing that same thing, i'll have to try it next season when it gets warm here in michigan. That sounds like a good way to stop the initial rollback so i don't try to overcompensate the on the throttle.
Old     (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-26-2006, 10:01 PM Reply   
Jon, that feeling of rolling back is very un-nerving isn't it! It feels like every time no matter what you do with the throttle you roll back way too far, in reality it may only a few inches but i still hate that feeling! The don't like the thought of a motorhome disaster like the one above. Try teh e-brake thing when the ice melts or snow or whatever it is doing up there... it was 60 something degrees here today .
Old     (ballsdeep)      Join Date: Nov 2005       01-28-2006, 4:35 PM Reply   
Hey are right about LE West marina. The best ramp there for 2 wheel drive is the far left one if you are facing the water. Otherwise you definately need 2 wheel drive. The city's launch ramp is ok for two whell drive. The only thing there is the line stinks during the summer.
Old     (ballsdeep)      Join Date: Nov 2005       01-28-2006, 4:37 PM Reply   
i meant you definately need 4wd


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