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Old 01-28-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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E250 2WD trail capabilities?

So let me preface this by saying I'm not a hardcore outdoors type by any means, although I did spend several summers driving trucks around the farm, so I'm not wholly unfamiliar with unsticking vehicles.

I'm curious, though, how many of you with 2WD have tried taking them on extended off-pavement trips. I'm not looking for a miracle, but I'm interested in how capable you guys have found 2WD Econolines to be on less-than-perfect terrain.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

I had a 2 wheel drive E-250 for years and took it MOST places. Got towed a few times and beat the hell out of it cause I had to go too fast to get over or thru something though. That being said, it was a great rig and really went most places. It only had the Ford limited slip for a traction device.
Also, it made the Baja run from Mexicalli to Cabo in 1972 and the "roads" were a LOT worse then. I think they are very capable rigs, but 4x4 will give you peace of mind and either get you out of, or stuck farther in, a few more places.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #3
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

I take my 2wd E350 off-road frequently. Mud, sand, dirt... Last time I took it on dirt the trail was so rough I was getting frequent wheel lift.

Key is weight on the drive axle, and limited slip sure helps too. So do good tires.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

Good tires, All Terrians at least, carry a decent small compressor (not the cig lighter kind but one that actually attaches to a battery and air down your tires. The compressor can also run an ARB x-jack which is much easiler to ues than a hi-lift jack.

I would also recommend something like the Spot Satellite Messenger so your friends & family can track you, you can ask for help if you get stuck and call 911 if it really goes bad
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

I took my Sportsmobile pretty far up Bald Mountain near Shaver Lake inadvertently in 2WD when I was still clueless about locking hubs on my van's maiden voyage. The Ford limited slip does a surprising job of keeping traction on the rear wheels!

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Old 01-29-2010, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

2wd is great until you're stuck.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

4wd just makes sure you get stuck further down the trail.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

While I don't go off-road in my 2WD I do go off pavement. I quickly learned that at a minimum you need a limited slip differential. Don't go off the pavement without it.

Some LSD info in this thread: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...php?f=5&t=3822
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:25 AM   #9
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

In absence of LSD avoid axle flex, that will get a wheel spinning and your stuck...
Otherwise I would rate a 2WD as a OK for dirt roads and dry conditions but get snow and/or mud and it does get much trickier... but as many will prove nothing is impossible
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:44 PM   #10
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Re: E250 2WD trail capabilities?

Here is my van (pre-makeover) coming of Kane Creek Canyon in Moab. For those who have done this, you know it's not a flat road. I think the switchbacks are at least a 20% grade.

Van was loaded with 12 passengers, about 1000 pounds on the roof, and the trailer was a touch over 14,000 on that trip.
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