Towing in 4X4

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New member
Jun 17, 2006
Hi - Picked up our first TT on Monday.? It was a good experience thanks in part to the information I picked up on this forum. New question - the maiden voyage will be to the mountains in VA - Afton Mt. in particular - driving a Toyota Tundra 4X4.? Would ascending and descending the mt. in four wheel drive and second gear provide more control than simply using second gear?

Thanks in advance.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
I would not use 4 WD on the highway unless traction was poor for some reason - including loose gravel or mud on the road. If paved and dry, there is no real advantage to using 4WD on grades  or level.

But a lower gear is a good choice, especially coming down the grade.  If it's an automatic, the transmission will select the right gear going up and it is not necessary to downshift unless the tranny tends to shift up & down, "seeking" the right gear. But coming down, use a gear at least as low as the lowest one used going up.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
How Things Work has the reason not to

The transfer case on a part-time four-wheel-drive system locks the front-axle driveshaft to the rear-axle driveshaft, so the wheels are forced to spin at the same speed. This requires that the tires slip when the car goes around a turn. Part-time systems like this should only be used in low -traction situations in which it is relatively easy for the tires to slip. On dry concrete, it is not easy for the tires to slip, so the four-wheel drive should be disengaged in order to avoid jerky turns and extra wear on the tires and drivetrain.

You also have to figure that your truck is tow rated with 2WD.  If you engage 4WD, you are putting the transfer case and front differential into the picture.  A lot of part time 4WD transfer cases use a drive chain to engage the front drive line.  What the tow rating of than chain is, is anybody's guess.


Carl L/LA

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