Last post on Oct 01, 1998 at 3:59 AM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
Sep 03, 1998 (3:26 pm)
My dad has a 97 F-350, CC, PSD, 4.10, DRW, 2x4. He lives in Alaska. He bought the truck to tow a 35 foot fifth wheel. The combined weight of truck, trailer, gear, etc. is approx. 18,500 pound. The truck is parked for the winter in the lower 48. He drives his little 4wd Bronco II in the Alaskan winters. It's very tough to not get stuck in a 2wd pickup in snow country. The duallys make it virtually impossible. The 4wd option is pretty much a required option for a dually truck in snow country.
You're right about the off-roading aspect, though. It's not like a dually truck does a lot of off-roading. I will have a pickup camper for my DRW, not a fifth wheel. I'll use the 4wd option for launching boats and winter camping in snow country. If you have the luxury of owning your truck strictly for pulling your fifth wheel in non-winter driving conditions, then the 2wd is the way to go. That's one of the reasons my folks opted for the 2wd. Of course, the other reason is that Ford did not make a 4wd CC dually in 1997.
Sep 03, 1998 (4:23 pm)
You're saying that its easier for a DRW 4X2 to get stuck than it is a SRW? Why is that?
Sep 03, 1998 (7:37 pm)
The reference to duallys and offroading is mainly because the width of a DRW truck will prevent you from going on some of the offroad trails.
The larger rear footprint of a DRW will make it so you do not get as good of traction as the narrower SRW. L/S will help a lot in the 2wd trucks. The 4wd DRW will do fine in the snow or mud. Maybe someone else can provide a more scientific reason about why a DRW won't get as good of traction. My dad jokes that his 2wd DRW could get stuck on a blade of grass.
The main reasons for getting a DRW instead of a SRW are the increased GVWR and better ride stability under a heavy load. The DRW increases your available payload by about 1,100 pounds, and will eliminate most of the swaying from side to side. If you plan on a heavy truck camper, airbags (aka air lifts) are also recommended to ensure that the truck rides level and the proper amount of weight is shifted to the front axle.
Sep 03, 1998 (10:08 pm)
I too am choosing the 4x4, but I'm keeping my Suburban as the "small off-road trail vehicle" (tongue firmly planted in cheek) . The CC DRW 4x4 is much needed in winter and wide open fields.
I think the reasons for an empty DRW having traction problems on wet grass has to do with ground pressure. One of the 4x4 mags did a discussion on this last year, but I can't remember which. The tires float on top of the grass and never get to dig down to solid ground below.
This could start a whole 'nother debate about whether wide tires are better than narrow ones. Given a finite depth of snow or mud, the narrow ones will eventually dig down to something solid and start moving, but if the depth is greater than the wheels can go down, the wide tires will keep you on top.
#18 of 23 skinny or wide?
Sep 03, 1998 (11:54 pm)
If you want to get down to the grip surface under the mush, go for skinny as in snow tires.
If you want to stay on top of the stuff and keep from dragging vital underneath parts, go for wide.
Clear as mud?
Sep 05, 1998 (12:24 am)
I've got to agree with the "ground pressure" comment. I've got a slight slope to my driveway and when we get an ice/snow storm parking becomes a "take a run" and where we stop is where we are deal or I chain-up. Lowering tire pressure makes no noticeable difference as the contact patch increase isn't enough while still having enough air so the tires roll - not practical but effective is 1-Ton of Wood Pellets. Now we're talking ground pressure.
I prefer "get's stuck on an ice cube".
Sep 11, 1998 (6:13 pm)
I just saw a notice on the Trailer Life home page that Ford has announced a fix to the "too-tall" 4WD Superduties -- it involves removing the spacer block between leaf springs and axle, changing to a shorter shock absorber, and replacing brake hoses to eliminate slack. This will lower the truck four inches. See http://www.trailerlife.com/ford_towing.html for complete article.
Sep 23, 1998 (8:04 pm)
has anyone used the spacer block alternative that Ford has come out with to aleviate the too tall superduty with a gooseneck?
Sep 24, 1998 (3:40 am)
Paso1--no, but Wilson is correct--even the Oct. issue of TL has an article in with regard to the hgt problem with 4X4. As far as 5th wheelin', I just spoke to our local dealership, and they stipulated that they had not experienced any problems with Ford's 4X4, F250's. Ironically, the unit that is featured in TL's Oct. issue is the one that my wife and I are hoping to get---a 27 ft. Sunnybrook with a double-slide, topping out at 9600# GVWR. Sunnybrook Co. has incorporated an adjustable running gear to help accommodate any potential problems with the higher Ford products. Thanks, JB
Oct 01, 1998 (3:59 am)
I am still struggling with the 2wd vs 4wd question. I am towing a 4 horse aluminum goosneck and will be getting a F250 diesel SWB. the towing stregth is the same for the F250 and F350, only the payload will be less in the 250. I am so worried about the height of the 4wd, but we intend to move to Oregon in the years ahead and it seems that a 4wd is a necessity there. Help. Also, would someone speak to the need of the ABS system in the F250 Thanks