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I tow a 25' toyhauler with my 2WD 7.3PSD E350. It goes down the road just great, love that truck. But we've been stuck so many times in the last two years... The typical thing is we get to a music festival or moto event or whatever, we park out in some grassy field, we have a wonderful time... it rains some, and Sunday when we've had all the fun we can handle, we're hung over and just want to go home.... we're stuck. Then it goes downhill from there.

So far the solution has been getting somebody with a 4WD truck or a tractor to pull us out, but I'd really like to be more independent and take care of ourselves. What to do...?

Yes I know, the easy answer is a 4x4 F350. The next time I buy a tow vehicle that's the plan. But sadly I'm not in a position to make that investment now, and the 2WD E350 is so great everywhere except a muddy field....

And I know I'm a lightweight here, many of you have way more off road experience than I do. Make fun of me if you want, but can you give me some advice too?

I've tried a bunch of things that didn't work. What does work? I'd buy a winch happily, but what to hook it to when in an open field? Would pounding a heavy stake in the ground work? Really?

The stupid van doesn't even have a front tow hook. I've crawled under there to wrap a tow strap around the cross member plenty of times.. I'm ready to buy a front receiver so I have a quick tow hook or a winch mount. And it would give me another way to position the van out of the ruts and move the trailer, that would be good. What else should I do?

Thanks for any advice!
 

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If just wet grass.
You can drive three T-post in a line. Attach winch to the bottom of the closet post. We will call that #1. Then a strap from the top of #1 to the bottom of the next post #2. Then a strap from the top of #2 to the bottom of #3

Like this
Truck ___#1\#2\#3

It works. Unless you are buried


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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-A rear locker will make a BIG difference. Get an air or electric so you can turn it off for driving in the street/corners.

-A front receiver with a winch carrier plate would be a good deal for your situation. Keep the winch in the garage or something when not towing, then put it on for trips.

There are plenty of YouTube videos in using various types of anchors/buried tires for recovery points when you run solo.

A 2wd truck with a locker is a totally different truck. I’m not talking about the limited slip. An actual arb or electric locker etc.
 

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Some great suggestions already. As @Justin0009 suggested a rear locker in your 2WD E350 will make it seem like a totally different truck. Combine that with the wider MUD tires (aired down to create more surface area) @RandomForumGuy suggested and the winch with a good ground anchor you shouldn't need help unless everyone is getting pulled out. When both MUD tires are digging you will be surprised what you can get through or out of.
 

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-A rear locker will make a BIG difference. Get an air or electric so you can turn it off for driving in the street/corners.

-A front receiver with a winch carrier plate would be a good deal for your situation. Keep the winch in the garage or something when not towing, then put it on for trips.

There are plenty of YouTube videos in using various types of anchors/buried tires for recovery points when you run solo.

A 2wd truck with a locker is a totally different truck. I’m not talking about the limited slip. An actual arb or electric locker etc.
Justin nailed it.

If you will be "off pavement" more and more, I would also consider investing in a better tire.
 

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Throw a Detroit locker in the rear. They are all mechanical so you don't have to deal with wires, cables or air lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
follow up questions

Thanks, Justin and all of you! A few follow up questions:

Tires: I have the stock steel wheels with LT245/75R16E tires now. What would you recommend for a good mud tire that would still work well on pavement? Need different wheels or no? What pressure should I air down to?

Rear axle: I have the stock limited slip now. I get it that's not nearly as good as a real lockable axle. What does it take to swap one in, is there an axle I can find in a junkyard that's a good choice?

Winch, recovery boards: I may well get those.
Less weight and better planning: Good points to be sure. We already don't load the bikes in the trailer if we might be stuck, do it later on solid ground. Sometimes not a lot we can do about where the event organizers tell us to park.

Thanks again! Hopefully with your advice I won't someday be begging you to tow me out.:smile2:
 

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Thanks, Justin and all of you! A few follow up questions:

Tires: I have the stock steel wheels with LT245/75R16E tires now. What would you recommend for a good mud tire that would still work well on pavement? Need different wheels or no? What pressure should I air down to?

Rear axle: I have the stock limited slip now. I get it that's not nearly as good as a real lockable axle. What does it take to swap one in, is there an axle I can find in a junkyard that's a good choice?

Winch, recovery boards: I may well get those.
Less weight and better planning: Good points to be sure. We already don't load the bikes in the trailer if we might be stuck, do it later on solid ground. Sometimes not a lot we can do about where the event organizers tell us to park.

Thanks again! Hopefully with your advice I won't someday be begging you to tow me out.<img src="https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/images/Powerstroke_org_2015/smilies/tango_face_smile.png" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />


For tires your gonna get all over.

Stick with:

Toyo mt, bfg MT, cooper st maxx, in size 265/75r16. A 285/75r16 may be too big for a 2wd up front. Should not need different wheels. I have a 4x4 and run 285/75r16s with plenty of room. For air pressure it’s all different. I run 55psi empty and around 70-80 loaded. But each tire/truck/load is different so experiment.

Rear axel: call ARB they will get you set up. They have been in the industry forever.

For the winch: etrailer.com sells a front receiver bracket that goes on in 20 minutes. I’m getting one real soon actually lol. Get that and a 12-14k winch. And a hitch carrier for the winch. Google it and you’ll see it ASAP. That and a winch wire kit. Call a local shop and they can do it for ya or you can.

It’s gonna be hard to find affordable recovery boards that can handle your weight I wouldn’t waste too much time personally. A snatch block, tree saver, and some 20-30ft recovery straps with a winch is usually more than enough for solo runs.
 

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A free tip for getting both tires turning is to give your parking brake a couple of clicks. Just remember to disengage it when you start driving.
 

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I would not run an MT... there are far smarter choices.

I would be reading reviews on the overland forums.
 

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Highly highly recommend Goodyear Duratracs. For fun, I used to go out in snow storms in 2wd with the locker engaged seeing if I could get stuck. They're a commercial tire, road noise is minimal and wear was excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I looked into it, the ARB looks like a really nice piece of kit but it's not inexpensive and it's not a quick install. The electric lockers look about the same. Then there are the Detroit Locker style "lunchbox lockers" that are less $ and less time to install, but as far as I can tell they need to go in an open diff not the factory LSD that I have. Have I missed something here?

I'll get better mud tires for sure. And the front receiver mount winch for when I can't just drive out. But I was liking the idea of the locker so I could drive out more often... :-(
 

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I looked into it, the ARB looks like a really nice piece of kit but it's not inexpensive and it's not a quick install. The electric lockers look about the same. Then there are the Detroit Locker style "lunchbox lockers" that are less $ and less time to install, but as far as I can tell they need to go in an open diff not the factory LSD that I have. Have I missed something here?

I'll get better mud tires for sure. And the front receiver mount winch for when I can't just drive out. But I was liking the idea of the locker so I could drive out more often... :-(
A Detroit locker is a full case locker that replaces your carrier. A lunchbox locker like an Aussie, Lock Right, Spartan, etc is a drop in locker that goes in an open carrier. Both are automatic lockers that work off of the same principles.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well there's good news and bad news. I got the Goodyear Duratrac tires. Went to pick up the camper for the season and was able (with some wheel spin) to get it out of the muddy grass, which I could not do last year. So that's good. Almost got stuck in the grass putting the camper in the new spot at home. But I got smart and adjusted the load equalizing hitch to put all the tongue weight on the rear of the 2WD van, and aired down the rear tires, and was able to rock out of the mess. Yay!

But I obviously need to take another step, the tires alone are not enough. I'm thinking to take a deep breath and install a locker in the rear. My van has a Dana axle I think, with the factory positraction, but it's pretty clear I'm getting one wheel spinning. So I need to find out what's available for the van -- ARB, Eaton True Trac, Detroit, whatever. Are any of these much easier or harder to install than the others? I'm a good mechanic but I've never tackled a rear end before.

What would you do? I'll be happy to hear your advice.
 

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Personally if you have not done a rear end take it to a professional shop. It can be done at home but you would most likely spend twice as much time and spend $$$ on parts, tools, and beer. I've only helped on a couple and yes its do-able but a professional is going to warranty it, do it faster, and probably right the first time. There is a lot at work in rear ends its not as simple as just remove this part and install that with lockers etc.
 

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This is going to sounds back woodsy... and it is. A long time ago I had a ‘friend’ who kept a couple 3’ or 4’ or so 2x10’s in the back of the truck full of roofing nails with the heads about a quarter inch or so left sticking up, and a shovel.
Hard on the tires, yes. Does it work, yes. Is it slightly embarrassing, depends on how stuck you are.... simple solution until you get organized.
And if you can’t stop to get them, you’re not leaving much behind.
Works well for tractors or other equipment too when you just don’t ‘feel like’ getting help....
 
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