View Full Version : 4X2 vs 4 X4

07-19-2004, 03:42 AM
I am early in the planning stages of buying an RV, but heavily partial to the Montana brand. My first step is to acquire a tow vehicle. So far, we are leaning toward a Ford F250 Powerstroke. My question is, do most folks buy 4 X 4's? What are the advantages if one plans to not do any off road camping. I will likely end up getting a 29' or 32' Montana 5th wheel.

07-19-2004, 04:51 AM
Hello bhorn,
Welcome to the MOC. This is a much discussed topic. You might try doing a search and see what comes up. Good luck and enjoy whatever you end up getting.


07-19-2004, 05:47 AM
To select your tow vehicle keep in mind that everything you add to your vehicle will reduce your legal pin weight carrying capability.

On an F250 SRW the GVWR is 8800. The GVWR is listed on the drives door frame. The capability for legal pin weight would be the difference between your truck weight(including passengers, fuel etc) and 8800. Anything you add to the truck reduces pin wt capability. For example, an extended cab or crew cab truck weighs more that a standard truck. Add a 4x4 and truck weight goes up. A long bed is heavier.

For me my truck weighs about 6000 with one tank full, driver, and hitch. That leaves 2800 to play with.

A lot of people out there violate the GVWR so if you choose to do so you will not be alone. There some really impressive excuses to violate the GVWR of the truck. But be careful because no matter what you read you are responsible. Florida passed a new law in 2003 that requires a special license upgrade to drive a truck with a GVWR over 8000. I predict that states will become increasingly aware in years to come of drivers violating their GVWR. I look for more restrictions in the future. Just my gut feeling.

To select your truck do the option selection and math before you buy. I recommend a diesel. The additional wt reduces pin capability but it increases your GCWR(total wt of truck and camper). If possible when test driving one that is close to what you want, drive to a truck scale and pay the 7 dollars to find out the Weight. That is a starting point in your selection.

You might decide you need a full 1 ton truck w/ diesel which is a better way to go.

If you go 4x4 I would definately go with the 1 ton truck because of the increased weight. My truck is a 4X2. There have been a couple of times I wished I had a 4x4 but it was not really necessary. A 4x2 should get better mileage. Mine averages 12-13 towing.

07-19-2004, 06:47 AM
bhorn - First of all welcome aboard! Secondly, since you asked, it would be our recommendation to firmly decide on your RV first, than select your tow vehicle to match your RV. 4x4, 4x2, dually all get down to personal choice -- everyone has really good and valid reasons for making their truck selection.

07-19-2004, 07:23 AM

Welcome! I had 4X4 on my burb and only used it once when pulling into the storage site after a big rain. It was worth the money that day. Didn't get it on the new ride as would reduce towing capacity and I'm pushing it with this truck. If I were getting diesel truck I would probably get 4X4 because it sits a little higher and I might have to go through a mud hole to park my tt again someday. Good Luck!

Montana Sky
07-19-2004, 08:30 AM
Welcome aboard bhorn. I bought the diesel with the 4x4. I have had to use it twice to get my coach into a campspot. Trying to back up a gravel road on a hill with a 13,000+lb fiver can be somewhat interesting. For me the towing difference between the 4x4 and the 4x2 was less than 600lbs. Living in the pacific northwest and spending a good amount of time in the midwest I would not have a truck without the 4x4. But as mentioned before, I would pick your coach first and then make sure the truck you buy is exactly what you will need. If you factory order, you will at least 6-8weeks+ to purchase your truck. Happy purchasing..

Bob Pasternak
07-19-2004, 02:49 PM
Welcome, Bhorn; One other thing is "gross combination weight rating" (GCWR) 2004 Dodge 2500 QC LB 4X2 is rated GAWR front/rear 4750/6000. They also give a 9000 total weight for the truck. With a trailer, the GCWR is 20,000 lbs. This site will give you reviews of about all the pick-up. Scroll through and pick out what you want. http://www.edmunds.com/new/type/truck/large/index.html?tid=edmunds.n.typeindex.content.num2.1. *
We have a 2001 Laramie SLT QC LB 4X2 and full of fuel, all the necessities for travel and the two of us in it, it weighs 6740 lbs. With the 2955RL behind, also road ready, the combination weight is 17,500. Pin weight is 2300 lbs.

07-20-2004, 04:17 PM

Second the idea of deciding on the RV first, then make a reasoned truck decision with the numbers "in hand" for the various ratings.

07-24-2004, 06:15 PM
Howdy, bhorn!

I went with the truck first, then the trailer.

That way I knew precisely what the actual weight of the truck was, and the max weight the trailer could be if within the GCWR, before buying the trailer.

So far, I've had no reason to regret doing it this way - loaded to its 14,100 GVWR, my 3655FL doesn't put me over my truck's 23,000 GCWR.

07-25-2004, 02:43 AM
Welcome bhorn!
A lot depends on what you will do with your truck when not towing. Mine is my
everyday go to work vehicle. The only reason I have 4x4 is to get up 1/4 mile
drive in winter. Been through Oklahoma many times in the winter, I know it can
be just as bad as Missouri. All advice has been good, on this board that is a
given. Definitely decide on a trailer before the truck.

07-26-2004, 11:34 PM
LightningJack, you're truck weighs 6000#? AWESOME! My '03 250 PSD CC SRW 7.3 4x4 weighs 7500# with hitch and full tank, no people. That's a big difference.

08-20-2004, 01:45 PM
Bhorn, I'm sorry I'm a bit late seeing your post. We successfully towed with 4x2 for a number of years and never felt the need for a 4x4. The current truck happened to have 4x4 and now we figured out we like that. There were a couple of times where rain really muddied up our exit route from a site and with a 4x2 we'd have had to have some help getting out. But odds are that won't happen to you. I'd say if the extra cost is not a problem, get the 4x4. But if the truck you wants is a 4x2, that will work just fine. This is just my opinion.