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Old 06-13-2019, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default 4x4 question for class B

For those of you that own class B, is it worth have or getting 4x4 chassis for your class B.

We look to do some Boon-docking but not crazy offroading. Also looking for some winter camping.

Thanks

KC
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:39 PM   #2
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I don't need 4x4 because I don't plan to drive on ice, snow, or difficult roads. But I would like the extra ground clearance over pot holes, speed bumps, and steep driveway approaches. So if I ever decided I just had to have the extra clearance, I'd probably trade for a 4x4 before I'd consider adding 2-3 inches of lift to my current rig. This is because others on this forum have done satisfactory lifts, but others had difficulties finding someone who could do it right.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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Iíve lusted after having 4x4, but honestly Iíve been able to go down all the forest roads so far in my 3500 promaster chassis (which is probably only 7Ē ground clearance at rear axle.
But I am also not looking to chase jeeps.

In reality itís not worth the added cost for me.

Iíll just be happy to add some black rims and more aggressive tires for that poser look and save my $.

But there are some folks out there that can justify the cost!

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Old 06-30-2019, 04:19 PM   #4
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KC, For simple boondocking no 4wd is needed. The van has so much weight on the back axle that you will have plenty of traction (unless you are considering Promaster). For rougher roads a limited slip differential is a good idea particularly if you have a stiff rear suspension or big sway bars. For winter driving you need winter tires or chains and again a limited slip differential would be good. For serious climbing on dirt or snow the 4wd would be helpful but the hit on gas mileage should be considered.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
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KC, As far as road clearance goes my 2003 Dodge Roadtrek Popular 190 has seen pretty rough roads in Moab and has just enough ground clearance to survive scraping anything. The same would likely not be true for the Chevy chassis which is lower and has a longer wheel base. My Dodge also has a limited slip diff which helped us to go where a Sprinter with open diff got stuck.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:54 PM   #6
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Our Transit van conversion does pretty well getting far into the PNW boonies with a limited slip differential, Nokian WRC3 tires, air bags, and picking our line carefully.


The ground clearance isn't great, mainly because the extended Transit has a really long rear overhang.
The airbags get us about 4" of extra rear end lift when needed, which has largely solved that issue.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:37 PM   #7
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���� on limited slip differential. Tires make the biggest bang for the bux for traction. �� for small 1-3" body lift just to better clear the tail, or adjustable air bags/shocks for the back only.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:46 PM   #8
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I don't know about winter, but I took my standard 2014 Agile over Lemhi Pass (between Idaho & Montana) last year...which is at the top of a gravel, two track, Bureau of Land Management gravel road. Definitely steep and washboardy near the summit. It handled it well. For what it's worth, I'm comfortable taking the Agile wherever I would take a two wheel drive vehicle such as a compact pickup with sort of standard ground clearance. That covers most gravel Forest Service roads, etc.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:31 PM   #9
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Been on top of Lemhi Pass when a T-storm came along making the road real slick. Sure glad our Subaru has AWD traction as I could feel it working as we towed our tiny travel trailer.
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Old 06-30-2019, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peder_y2k View Post
���� on limited slip differential. Tires make the biggest bang for the bux for traction. �� for small 1-3" body lift just to better clear the tail, or adjustable air bags/shocks for the back only.
Yes, the Nokians made a big difference from the stock Hancook tires.


The LSD also makes a big difference on our Transit when going up steep rubble/dirt roads. You do have to disable traction control for the LSD to be effective.


The rear only air bags are quite effective in improving overhang clearance. Normally we have them set to 30psi, but when the road gets rough we boost to 100psi. This does 2.5 good things:

1. At full inflation, it's about a 4" lift at the bumper, which really helps get over water bars.
2. Full inflation really cuts down on body roll, making it much easier to set a proper line of attack.
2.5 Adjustable bags help in leveling without blocks when setting up camp.


Of course, that makes for a pretty hard ride, so we lower the pressure once the road improves.
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