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Should I Use 2-Wheel Drive or 4-Wheel Drive While Towing in the Mountains


I have a 1998 Ford Expedition and was wondering if you could tell me if I should pull a 6x12 loaded trailer in 4w high or 4w low ir 2w drive if I am heading to New Mexico and will be going through mountains at times. Thank you so much for your help in advance!

Expert Reply:

You should not tow your trailer on dry pavement with the vehicle in 4-wheel drive. For normal towing you should always use 2-wheel drive. The exceptions to this are extreme conditions such as snow covered or muddy roads that would normally require 4 wheel drive. Just remember that if you would use 4-wheel drive without the trailer then you should use it with the trailer.

In the mountains, if you are descending on a 4-wheel drive trail then 4-wheel drive low would be recommended to save the vehicles brakes which can overheat in extreme downhill conditions. This allows the vehicles engine and transmission to slow the vehicle. You may want to consider adding trailer brakes to your trailer if you are going to be doing a lot of mountain towing. This would require putting brake and hub assemblies on the trailer and wiring a brake controller on the vehicle.

expert reply by:
Robert G

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