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Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

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Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby hikerduane » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:12 pm

I have to smile a little at my friends, fellow bpers who show up with a 4X4 for a trip in the mountains and I show up with my two wheel drive car or pickup. I do have a 4X4, but with my work situation the last six years, I have to keep the rent-a-wreck Chevy Luv parked with a non-op. I guess they feel the need to come visit driving a 4 wheel drive, good weather or not. I live here, but get by without it. On that rare occasion, like a few weeks ago, I did have to chain up, going west bound over Echo Summit. I've never missed work due to snow, I've been delayed, but chains would not have helped, sometimes you have to think ahead. I'm sure I have an edge, as living here, I'm aware of conditions.
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby rlown » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:38 pm

you don't have to have one, but the 4wd didn't cost that much more when I bought my '97 dodge ram 3500, and I have a 3500 lb lance camper which i use when hunting. It get's 19 mpg sans camper which is ok for me as it carries 5 comfortably, with packs.

The only time I ever have to throw it into 4WD is when trying to pull my boat out of a slippery boat ramp, or if it gets messy in the mountains with the camper.

Chains.. What are those? :D
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby Cross Country » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:53 pm

We had (still do) a Rav 4 to go skiing. I loved the connivence and we needed the 4WD many times at Mammoth. I don't remember ever using it to go backpacking. I would have taken it to Bear Diversion Dam, but at the time we just had a 4WD Subaru.
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby oldranger » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:23 am

We have a 4 Runner and a Prius. Anytime we travel and there is the least chance of going off the pavement we take the 4 Runner. The Prius is just too low clearance to feel comfortable driving off pavement. In the winter if there is a significant chance we will have to deal with snow outside of town we take the 4 Runner. The Prius with traction and stability control handles really well in the snow but with the regs as they are is much more likely to need chains whereas 4x4 with studded tires are seldom required to have chains on. The low range of a real 4x4 makes driving slowly in real rough conditions much more enjoyable (especially with a 5 speed manual trans.) The bottom line for me is that on rough roads it is more enjoyable and relaxing to drive in a vehicle designed for such conditions. While I don't use larger tires on the 4 runner I do use extra heavy duty multiply commercial truck tires in the summer to reduce the odds of a sharp rock or stick puncturing a tire (which I have had happen with high quality passenger car tires). I used to drive my old Chevy II and my old Honda almost anywhere I could possibly get them but since we can afford 2 cars we go with this combo.

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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:13 am

I have a Subaru Outback because I go snow skiing and want to avoid chaining up. Plus I love the brand.

Incidentally, my previous Subaru, an Outback Sport, I twice drove up to Bear Diversion Dam. I think it's easy to do if one just takes it slow and watches the road carefully.
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby hikerduane » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:58 pm

Sounds like you all have a good reason to use a 4X4. My friends may be just prepared for that snow trip where a 4X4 is needed, lock the hubs, push the button and keep sailing. That fateful trip at Carson Pass three years ago, all I had was my little truck. The 4X4's were snowed in just as bad as I was.:)
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby SSSdave » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:43 pm

There is of course almost nothing "in the city" a 4wd would be needed for. Many people of modest means in urban areas just have one vehicle so they end up getting the one that fills their most exotic leisure activity needs. And then there is the parking issue. In many multiunit residence situations parking for more than one vehicle is difficult.

I'm on my third AWD Subaru since 1986. Major alpine skier often negotiating SR88, California's snowiest highway. Currently my 43 mile round trip work commute is done with my ol beater 1994 Legacy sedan with 396k miles while my shiny 2007 Forester with 60k gets its beauty rest until weekend roadtrips. The ol beater has seen more than its share of the gnarly including multi visits up the above noted Bear Diversion Dam Road.
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby oldranger » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:59 pm

Well Duane

It seems like a lot of people with 4x4s think that 4 wheel drive means they can go anywhere, anytime, and at any speed. Virtually every car I have seen off the road and/or upside down between Bend and Mt. Bachelor has been a 4 wheel or all wheel drive. A remarkable number even manage to get stuck in snow parks that haven't been plowed recently. They just don't understand concepts such as high centering and lack of friction on wet snowy roads. Years ago I was driving up in my old International Scout II. It was raining in Bend but turned to snow just out of town. Pretty soon it turned to snow and not much further the road turned white and I decided it was time to put it into 4 wheel drive and slow down. The California driver (just had to put that jab in but most of the wrecks I see are Oregonians) didn't seem concerned though and passed me right up, then fishtailed to the right, corrected to the left, then backagain to the right but the rear end continued so he was going backward toward the leftside of the road. Luckily it was really early so no one was coming down the opposite direction. He then slid into the snow bank sideways which caused him to roll 3 x before coming to a stop on the side of the car and lodged against a ponderosa pine. And no one was hurt, not even the baby in the car seat!

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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby rlown » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:07 pm

I've done drives back to Minnesota during the winter. My dad spun us once in Nebraska, and, well, that was fun. Another trip, we stopped in Iowa because the roads were too slick. We ended up in a sloped parking lot at a grocery store. I parked, got out, and when i closed the door, the 4x4 suburban slid. I got back in, in case she needed help.

we entered Wyoming one winter and they didn't require chains.. Pretty obvious they didn't plow, as the Grader was sitting by the road covered in snow. The best option there was to keep the right side on the shoulder as it was not snow covered.

Still very impressive to watch the cars pile up into a big rig parked in the rest area.

Stupid people do stupid things.. ](*,)
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby dave54 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:15 pm

+1 on the Subarus. My wife's Tribeca has aggressive tread snow tires with studs. The handling in the snow is phenomenal. I swear that thing will climb a frozen waterfall. MPG is not as good as I would wish, but the handling on slick roads is worth it. Since it is not at all uncommon around here to go weeks during the winter without seeing the asphalt under the white, Subys are common.

The other sled is 4wd Toyota Tundra. It's not the daily driver, it is the weekend play vehicle.
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby ERIC » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:31 am

hikerduane wrote:I have to smile a little at my friends, fellow bpers who show up with a 4X4 for a trip in the mountains and I show up with my two wheel drive car or pickup.


Am I in that category? Hey, IIRC you did ask me to drive the Kaiser Pass segment because you were driving your CAR. :p
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Re: Do you have ta have a 4X4 living in the city?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:53 am

I have never needed 4wd to get to a Sierra trailhead, but I would have liked a bit more clearance at times. I have scraped bottom and scraped the sides of my car. I would not take a shiny new car to many of the trailheads. As it is, one more scrape or ding just adds character to my beat up old car. One of the few times we did take a 4wd we high-centered on snow and had to be pulled out by a passer by. A 4wd simply gets me into trouble!
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