Is 4x4 really necessary for a cabover build?


Well-known member
Bed location shouldn't be a plus, for the pickup. Assuming since we're talking about big boxes, that it's diesel. And putting the bed over the cab really isn't a good idea unless the box has jacks for easy removal.

[My Dodges cylinders #5&6 are so far onto the dash that they're part of the stereo.] When I pop the hood for newbs to see the engine they're like:
''I didn't know that the Cummins was just a 4 cylinder?''
"Look further back, waaay back there where no mortal can reach.''
this ^^^ soo much. 15 years ago I really wanted a Power Wagon.... but there was no way I was going to buy anything where the service manual said,,,, lift the body off the chassis. I bought a TJR. Best choice ever.

C p weinberger

Active member
No vehicle will get you everywhere. Limitations due to size and weight are extensive
Ground clearance
Front and rear departure angles
Diving a medium duty truck into any muddy area is problematic.
Tires/ pressure
Keeping 2wd vehicle light with rear locker will get you farther then adding 4x4 to heavier vehicle. A light 4x4 would of course still get you farther.
I’m always surprised at the extensive list of “must have” recovery gear. Dump 80% of that heavy stuff and you’re less likely to get stuck in the first place.
Know your vehicles capabilities. Push Your vehicle limits when with a vehicle sized to pull you Out. Being able to drive farther into remote areas with confidence Is about one golden rule “ Knowing the vehicle I’m sitting in is or is not capable of going further and likely to return” you also have to be honest with yourself. Am I good enough of a driver to tackle this/ these challenges without undue stress to myself, my occupants and my vehicle. I have seen a lot of people in places either they or the vehicle should not be in and were endangering others. It’s funny until it’s not.
How remote do you want to go? Buy a vehicle equipped to get there.
Don’t beat this issue to death In your mind. Buy something you can afford And drive it. The only person that can really answer you question is yourself.


Well-known member
Heres the content of an advertisment Toyota used in the late '80s for their 4WD AllTrac Systems on the Corolla and Cellica.
I've never seen it put more clearly.

TOYOTA 2WD vs 4WD 1 2.jpeg


Not a cabover, but we drove over 3500km in 2wd to Inuvik in July of 2018, and then found ourselves having to lock in 4wd for a 10km stretch of the new road North of there to Tuk that was so new and soft it would have been extremely difficult on that day to get past that spot. So in that case, 4wd was 100% worth it, and thankful we had it so we could make it that last 1% and camp on the shores of the Arctic ocean.


New member
You need to decide what limitations you're willing to accept. I've been living in my RWD, open diff, closed-shoulder highway tire, 26' (8m) bus for 3 years. My favorite places to go are down logging roads in national forests. Despite my lack of traction, large size, and poor departure angle I can get far away from civilization. I know what my vehicle limits are and accommodate them. I've only been stuck twice. So long as I avoid mud, soft sand, and snow I'm good. I have good ground clearance and can easily ford 18".

All that said my next rig is going to be a large 4x4 expedition vehicle. I want to get further out with less risk and fewer limitations. If the cost of 4x4 is your limitation skip it. It's better to get out there with something.


I think it must depend where you live, rwd won't even get you up my driveway in snow or even off my wet lawn.
I won't let anyone in my family not drive awd or 4wd. Think about where your headed I guess, it's a big planet.

The Artisan

My plan is to 4x4 my 07 140 fe fuso with retubed dana 60s, regear and zip lockers and custom springs. I have been thinking more lately 10.5 rear regeared with zip locker. Leave the front stock and do custom springs
Artisan your issue with the retubed front Dana 60 is getting the front bolt pattern spindles and hubs to match the rear also the ABS tone rings to match the FUSO ring count
Best of Luck or stay 2wd and like you said rework the rest
We recently started quoting several 2x4 NPRs versus 4x4 because most places the average person in a NPR or FUSO would go can make it in 2wd with a LSD aired down with Super Singles


Well-known member
They didn't really go off road either. I would bet their size had a lot to do with it.

They went off road.

Which is more than I can say for this guy:

...who has all of the "cool kid" accessories, but was still incapable of leaving his own paved and nearly flat suburban cul-de-sac.

What is your arbitrary standard of "really" going off-road? This?

Last edited:


Active member
Every car has its limits. As the saying goes, a 4x4 only gets you stuck further away from home.
Drive the car within the limits, problem solved.
And a 2wd is certainly not limited to the tarmac. You could check to add a locker, so you still come out cheaper than a 4x4.
However, I read about a cabover, they can be expensive, and heavy, which will not help on softer surfaces.


Well-known member
Then theres this...

A 4WD Olds Drag Car from the 1960s.
Two supercharged Olds 455s, one in the trunk.
Zero to 180mph in 8.6seconds. The Hurst "Hairy" Olds.
It crashed spectacularly.


Forum statistics

Latest member