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Old 02-03-2014, 08:12 PM   #11
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Re: 4WD basics

This is great info… I appreciate everyones input.

I don't know if I have a lift or not (I know, I sound dumb) but it is exactly how I bought it and it won't fit in my garage or even the parking garage at the nearby mall as is. Plus, I will be having a high top PH top installed this month, so height doesn't matter.

I seriously considered just using chains as mentioned, but don't love the idea of putting them while getting sprayed and freezing on the side of the highway. Plus, the conditions change so quickly I think I'd get pissed off quick.

Snow tires with studs are probably a sensible option.

Who knows, maybe I am just trying to justify having 4WD.

Part of my reasoning behind buying the van from day one was camping in the ski resort parking lot and hitting first chair, and I have yet to do it because I am worried about sliding off the road on the way there. Maybe I am just a wuss. Maybe I need 4WD and snow tires. And a raise apparently.

I have decided that if I do the 4WD conversion, I will officially name it Vantirement, as it will be sucking up my retirement. But, that is ok too. I can live in it in old my old age, down by the river.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:55 PM   #12
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Re: 4WD basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2horsegarage
Part of my reasoning behind buying the van from day one was camping in the ski resort parking lot and hitting first chair...
You are on the right track my friend. This is my 16th season as a weekend alpine ski instructor. The only thing better than first tracks in the morning after sleeping in your warm Webasto furnaced SMB is waking up to the realization that the roads into the resort are closed due to avalanche control due to the three feet of new powder which fell throughout the night and is still falling ... and you get first tracks all day because there is no one else at the resort but the resort's condo residents and the parking lot campers.

A close second is 26 days touring Southern BC in your 4WD SMB, alternating resort skiing, cat skiing, and hot springs.

4WD makes all this easier and safer.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: 4WD basics

'course if you lived in CA and did a 4x4 conversion for snow, or bought a season ticket at say Squaw, you'd be really really annoyed this year. You get great traction up there, mainly because there's no snow.

But then again you could make a right and head for Baja. And use the 4x4 on the beach.

But then we'd have an argument over those tires as well.... It's kinda like shoes and boots; you wouldn't put on the same footgear for every jaunt at different times of the year, and the same is true of your vehicle. It's just a matter of convenience vs performance (and safety). And there are always gonna be places you can't or shouldn't go. I don't regret doing the 4WD conversion, but I also didn't expect it to work miracles.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Re: 4WD basics

I drive over towards Bend via a couple of different routes pretty frequently during the winter and couldn't imagine doing it without 4 wheel drive for the reasons already expressed. During the steep twisty sections of the passes the rear end wants to push out when I have it in 2wd. When I pull it into 4 it pulls straight and true. I don't use studded tires and I'm sure chains would help a ton but still wouldn't want to make that trip in 2wd if there had been much snow at all.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: 4WD basics

This recent discussion regarding open differentials vs lockers driving on snow and ice vs self-recovery from a snow bank may be of interest:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/12938 ... tials.html

Bottom line: There is a big difference between using an automatic locker (or even a selectable locker) off-road in sand and rock versus driving on-road on snow and ice.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:24 AM   #16
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Re: 4WD basics

This is a 4X4 conversion that we did a little while ago that a dealer in Reno, NV is selling. We hope to be doing more for him.
I delivered the van to Nevada and stopped off in the desert to test it out. This thing drives so nice you would't even know it is 4X4 on 33" tires and 12 inches of front wheel travel and it went everywhere in the sand with ease - something a 2wd could never do.

[youtube:1ou80kn6]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dStpyQtFnv8[/youtube:1ou80kn6]
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:51 AM   #17
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Re: 4WD basics

2horsegarage-Who's doing your new top? If you have not taken a look, Derek's work at coloradocampervan.com its worth checking out. He's right in Loveland(not the ski area), does 4X4 conversions, high/low profile tops w/without insulated canvas and custom fab work. I'm replacing my SMB top with his new high profile pop up with insulated canvas.
4X4 is a must for those of us that live in snow country and enjoy traveling in the mountains and to remote places, it sounds like you would benefit from getting it done, just a matter of travel time, logistics, down time and money. There are several options out there to choose from, several outfitters are on the forum and have chimed in, and all have their intended uses, I purchased our SMB used with the Quigley system on it already, while it has flaws, many of which I have addressed, it is a good system, would I choose Quigley, prob not, but it has worked well for our use, and we've definitely put it to use. One of the greatest things about having a SMB or home-brew van is its ability to get you OUT there, having a 4X4 takes you further with the ability to bring you back IN....
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