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Old 06-02-2019, 09:54 AM   #1
(a D u B)
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Truck Question: 4WD necessary?

Hi all,

The day has come, I can finally buy a Tacoma! For all those who have driven through Baja (past Ensenada, to places like Makoville and other camping spots down the Peninsula), how necessary is 4WD? On top of that - those of you who drive your kayak all the way down the sand on La Jolla Shores, do you all have 4WD?

My gut says 2WD with some good tires would work just fine but I thought I'd ask my more experienced amigos here.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:45 AM   #2
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Most of the time at LJ you can get away with 2WD. But some of the time, even 4WD vehicles get stuck. When there has not been a good high tide in a while to compact the sand near the end of the road you need to be careful.

Most of the commercial places in Baja, you don't need 4WD. But if you like exploring new places, it is definitely worth it.

If you do decide to go 2WD, check out the inventive ideas and products available to get you out of a bad situation (before you need them). Digging yourself out is almost never a good idea.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:07 PM   #3
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La Jolla air down and 2wd fine. Baja 4wd if you are unfamiliar with areas.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:00 AM   #4
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La Jolla can very.....

Last Thursday it was hard packed......and wet all the way to the water....or it can vary to fluffy dry sand. I pull my kayak in on my dollie by hand, so you feel every kind of sand conditions on your body. I have 4 wheel drive and have pulled people out that got stuck, but most of the time I choose to park and wheel in. When it's fluffy sand with two wheel drive you have to get your speed up to make it across the fluffy part to the wet sand....if you do that be careful because of tourist walking on the beach are clueless
One time I was in a 2wheel Toyota pickup and I got a running start so I wouldn't get stuck in the fluffy sand and the lifeguard came running over yelling at me I practically had to beg him out of a ticket. So be careful one bad incident could ruin it for everybody.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:21 AM   #5
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2WD

I've taken my 2 WD Ford Ranger down to Mako ville the last 2 years with zero issues. if you're planning on making it your daily driver in LA/San Diego get the 2wd, better gas milage and less maintenance.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:49 AM   #6
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2WD is really all you will need, so long as you stay out of the obvious soft and/or mushy stuff. To improve your chances, put a locker in the rear end so you have a true two wheel drive and not a 1 wheel drive when tires start slipping.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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I would get the TRD it has a locking differential, (traction at both rear wheels) my next one will have this.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:04 AM   #8
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As much as I hate getting worse gas mileage because of 4wd, I always go with a truck that has 4wd even if I use it only a few times each year.

Peace of mind's totally worth it and I seem to end up exploring some areas that I would never think about going into if I didn't have 4wd.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Traveler View Post
2WD is really all you will need, so long as you stay out of the obvious soft and/or mushy stuff. To improve your chances, put a locker in the rear end so you have a true two wheel drive and not a 1 wheel drive when tires start slipping.


I pretty much second this. 2wd, decent all terrain, locking diff and airing down with a little know how to drive will get your through everything down there besides the beach driving on deep sand.


I have the 4WD for peace of mind and so I can drive the beach and launch right by the water. I only really turn it on when I go truly "offroad" in baja.


What no-one really mentions though is it's important to have good offroad tire on your rig. Something with a thick sidewall/meant for rocky terrain.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:37 AM   #10
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Just get the 4wd.

You live near LJ so you will regret it later. For occasional trips, it's easy to make 2wd work. But if you're keeping the truck for a long time might as well get it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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You can't beat a Toyota 4WD.

I just upgraded to a Tundra V8 4x4, My 4th (3rd Toyota) and best 4WD I have owned.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:20 PM   #12
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I miss my red 1981 22r long bed Toyota 4x4....

That truck in low range would climb anything and light to. It got stolen I recovered nothing....no thief insurance
Some asshole got it right out of my drive way.....
It had a shell with 3 pullup doors and a stainless rack on top....
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:55 PM   #13
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After this trip, later in 2017 I bought a 4X4 4Runner for Baja trips.

Now I am good for my ice fishing trips too.




From post of 2014 in front of Alfonsina's Hotel


25-Well I got stuck after unloading the kayak. Doho



26-The yellow plastic gadget is called Road Chew. It is supposed to help stranded motorist get out of snow and mud and sand, etc.


It actually got buried in the sand and I had to dig the area of the tire tracks to find them. It did not work for me.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:42 AM   #14
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Look for the traction board called maxtrax; its expensive but proven.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:46 AM   #15
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Look for the traction board called maxtrax; its expensive but proven.
I did. I bought one pair not long after that trip.

Just wish I had taken them to Wyoming. I figured in US, AAA would get me out of jams, but did not know about off-road exclusion.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:09 AM   #16
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Get the 4WD

It is not really necessary but worth it when you need it. I have a 4WD RAM 1500 and I rarely use the 4WD. I think I needed it twice in 3 years. It is worth it for the piece of mind. I go where I want and don't worry too much. My other car is a Nissan Murano and i have had that nearly stuck several times in areas where it was very unexpected. Those experiences are what made me get the 4WD. The RAM is my daily commuter in LA traffic and I get a little over 18 MPG on average. When I take trips I get about 21 MPG and when I tow my 18 foot trailer I get about 16 MPG.
I second the early 80s Toyota 22R. I had the 1983, the last year of the body style. It could go anywhere and had huge clearance. I would still have it but my wife hated driving it and at the time we could only afford one car.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:11 PM   #17
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Thank you all - I think I'm going to go with 4WD... the point of getting a truck is to go places that I otherwise would not with a sedan and at that point, I want to the peace of mind of 4WD.

I'll post a photo when I get it, thanks for the feedback.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (a D u B) View Post
Thank you all - I think I'm going to go with 4WD... the point of getting a truck is to go places that I otherwise would not with a sedan and at that point, I want to the peace of mind of 4WD.

I'll post a photo when I get it, thanks for the feedback.
Just remember if you have AAA car insurance, they will NOT rescue you if you are not on the public roads.

In US that is. Of course in Baja, you are on your own. But you maybe offered help by the locals.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:31 AM   #19
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I love my 4X4. It has got me into some great places I would not have tried with 2 wheel. Airing down in sand will do more than 4X4 to get you out or not get stuck. Most places have a pretty good roads but getting to the beach is often a problem. I spend a bit of time in the middle of Baja and it is nice to have.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:10 PM   #20
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You could also be the first in your neighborhood with a Truckla.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R35gWBtLCYg

Some assembly required.
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