Rear-wheel drive was at one time the only kind of drive system available. Rear-wheel drive is a two-wheel drive system at the rear wheels with a single differential between them. Rear-wheel drive provides the best on-road performance during good road conditions, if you understand its unique traits.
Disadvantages and Overcoming Them
Every vehicle has its own unique challenges, whether it lacks certain abilities, is more demanding of its operator, or has limits of capacity, all vehicles are imperfect. The following entries address overcoming these obstacles.
- Loss of traction is the primary disadvantage of rear-wheel drive vehicles. Due to engine placement, most vehicles have a higher concentration of weight at the front of the vehicle. This causes lower downward pressure to be placed on the rear wheels for traction. The simplest way to overcome this is by adding some weight directly over the drive axle. Sandbags are a popular source of weight, but if you are uber-prepared your bug out gear alone may be sufficient. Another cause of traction loss is the result of an open differential allowing all of your power to go to a single wheel. This is overcome by replacing your open differential with a a limited-slip or locking model. In a pinch, you can also use your emergency/parking brake to increase the resistance on the spinning wheel, possibly regaining some traction. Using momentum to your advantage is key with any vehicle, it is possible to ride through mud that your vehicle would never be able to accelerate in by simply having enough speed when you enter the mud. Finally, proper tire selection will go a long way toward helping you maintain traction.