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well I have notice some discussion about 4wd versus 2wd. I agree that 2wd will get you almost anywhere and a 4wd will just get you in more trouble. especially if you are not an experienced driver. however I ran across this sign in nevada this year. I looked up the law and it's mostly a liability issue. I talked to a leo about it and he said they would not issue a citation unless there was a problem ie you had to summons help for what ever reason, stuck, accident. so just to let everybody know the lawyers have invaded Nevada. highdesertranger
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That law doesn't say anything about use - it just says counties are allowed to designate roads as low use and choose not to maintain them. I'm not sure what you could be cited for. It looks like the law has been around since 1993.
I don't know if this is supposed to be about 4wd and lawyers or just 4wd experiences, so here goes:

My first experience with 4wd was with an MPV. I used to live in the mountains of Western Maryland and was looking forward to the MPV in snow. The first bad snow I gingerly drove up one of the hills and by the time I got to the top I was thinking 'this is great!'. About that time I realized I had to come down the other side. 4wd is great climbing a snowy hill, but does nothing for you coming down the other side. From that point on I resolved that it was not intended to take me where I couldn't go previously, but as a tool to help when the going gets rough. As long as I treated it like that it was fine.

My current van is an Astro AWD that I am converting. The Astro AWD is completely automatic, when it detects wheel spin it diverts power to the wheels with traction. I have absolutely no control aver it (other than pulling the AWD fuse). But my first journey in it proved its worth. I was on a dirt road, very narrow, dirt piled up on both sides, when I came to a place where the road was washed out. I'd either have to back up for 1/4 - 1/2 mile or turn it around. I chose to try to turn it around. I backed up 'til I got to the least objectionable place to turn around. I really thought I was going to get stuck, but the AWD pulled us out. It supplied power to the wheels with traction and performed flawlessly, making it seem easy.

I had been toying with the idea of converting the Astro to a manual transfer case. That would give me a lo and hi range as well as neutral (just RWD for better fuel economy), but after its performance I'm hesitant to do anything that may adversely effect its operation.
ok sorry about the confusion. when I posted that I stopped half way though the post because company came over. when they left I hurriedly finished it and posted. so the leo I talked to said the law was mainly for liability. so some idiot wouldn't go out get in trouble and try to sue the county or state. he said they wouldn't give a ticket unless there was emergency personnel dispatched to the scene and it was basically a "cover your a**" type of ticket. he also said that this law applied to all non maintained roads in the state even if they are not posted. so in revue any road in Nevada that is not maintained is a 4wd only road. I am not saying that a 2wd wouldn't make it on said road I just wanted to give everybody a heads up on another stupid law that you should be aware of in if you plan on traveling the back roads of Nevada. highdesertranger
Why would I take a 2x4 where I would need a 4x4. My home is fine as a 2x4 99% of the places I would ever go.
most of these roads are fine for a 2wd. I haven't put my truck in 4wd to get unstuck in a couple years. I do put it in every now and again just to spin everything. highdesertranger
I recently went for a drive that ended up about 60 miles away from home. When I arrived about 2 miles from the end, I saw a sign that said, "21% Grade." I thought, "Holy crap! That's steep!" I tried evaluating how steep that really was because I was in a 2 wheel drive pickup. I specifically looked for signs that stated 4X4 recommended or anything, but nothing else was there. This was at the edge of the Missouri River and I knew at the bottom was a boat launch. I figured if people are pulling their boats in and out of there, I should be able to drive out empty in my 2wd. The day was nice and dry, so I went for it.

Well, that was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. On my way out, I started spinning out. My truck is a 5 speed without a granny gear, so I couldn't creep out without killing the engine. I needed a certain amount of RPM to keep going, so I bounced and bounced and bounced my way out. I beat the holy hell out of my truck. Tore up both motor mounts and the transmission mount. At least they did their job as the driveline and everything was not damaged. Eh, live and learn.

Today I wanted to go for a drive to a specific place, but it is raining so hard that flood warnings are issued. Again, with my two wheel drive, I stayed home. Bummer. Will be getting a locker and will see how well that really works. I like 4wd, but it is expensive.
Canine, I don't know how handy you are with tools. I'm assuming there was a 4WD version of your truck. If you could find one in a junkyard, you could pull the transfer case, mount, and rear driveshaft and put them in your truck. This would let you use the low range when needed. (The front axle yoke would just spin harmlessly, not being hooked up to anything.)

Regards
John
I lived for 4 years in a 4x4 truck, never got stuck even though I went places that made me soil my pants! Truck dies and I bought a 2x4 van. Got stuck the day I brought it home! Been stuck 5 times since. I hate 2x4!!!!!

There are situations where nothing will do except 4x4 Low. Most people never go to those places. My problem is, they are where I am happiest!
Bob
My wife and i now have an full size Chevy Express AWD van conversion and love it. Like the Astro AWD ours is fully automatic and runs most of the time on RWD but kicks the front in when needed automatically. We take ours on forestry roads and some logging roads with our trailer and have never had an issue. On the highway is where it really shines. We've had AWD vehicles (volvo cross country wagons) for a couple decades now and like the sense of security it affords on our wet roads here on the Oregon Coast.

As for 4x4...I had an FJ40 Land Cruiser equipped to run the Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada's and we enjoyed taking it places way off the map Smile
I also had a Toyota 4x4 pick up that i once drove in fresh ~18" snow on Donner Pass back home to Reno one trip. The California State Trooper in Truckee (i'd gotten off hwy 80 from Sacramento to get some food) told me i would not be able to get on the freeway as the ramp was closed. I asked him why? He said snow. I asked him if i could make it to the top of the ramp could i go on my way? I assured him this was no big deal for my rig. He let me go, and up i went without issue locked in 4wd and i rode to Reno in Hi 4wd at about 35mph in blowing blizzard conditions without issue. My truck was all set up for overnight emergencies with food/water/blankets and i knew i would be fine. Sometimes i think knowing your rig and your level of driving skill is all that is necessary to make the trip where others would stay back at a motel and sleep out the storm. And when i say without issue, i really mean it. As i recall it was a peaceful zen like serene setting going over Donner with only an occasional rig on the highway with me.

Cheers,
Thom

Oh, on a funny PS note...speaking of "Soiling Pants"... two words: Rubicon Trail

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