RWD Truck Recommendations, 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 WT

TheWeakling

New Member
Not sure if this is the right space for this, but I feel that the 4x4 community would know best about my question.

I am moving to SLC soon from Tennessee and I have a 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 WT. It has the 4.3 V6 and is RWD. Given that Nashville gets an average of 6.5" of snow a year, and SLC gets 54" of snow, I figured I should make some changes for my daily driver. I am fairly comfortable driving in the snow and ice that accumulates in Tennessee (that 6.5" of snow normally happens all in one week), but I also don't want to be the guy that gets stuck or causes traffic or accidents. I also would like to drive to the ski mountains in the winter.

So my question is, what recommendations do you all have for my vehicle to make sure I can get around that doesn't break the bank? I don't want to by a new daily driver because of used car prices right now, and maybe I don't need to do anything at all because it sounds like Utah does a great job with its roads and SLC itself is pretty flat. The two options I am considering are taking the truck in and getting a LSD put in the rear diff (Positraction or Detroit TrueTrac) and a new 3.43 gearing or should I dig through craigslist and try to find a real high mileage 4wd vehicle for cheap to use on bad days. Or just don't worry about it for now. I will buy snow tires when I get there, that seems to be one of the most important changes.
 

TRD270

Aloha’n MF
Location
SaSa Sandy
Depends on the year but generally only really need 4x4 in the valley half a dozen times in the winter. Now venturing up to ski that’s a different story.

Good set of snow tires on a RWD and you’ll get around town better than most of the idiots in AWD with all season tires. That said a good used Subaru or something is more than adequate for skiing with snow tires. You can get away with chains on your truck for skiing. Pain in the butt, but cheaper than a second car.
 

xj_nate

Doctor, economist, polical expert, poser
Location
UT
Highschooler neighbor has a 2wd Tacoma he DD’s and he borrows his mom’s Highlander like 2x per winter. It’s really not bad if you’re a decent driver and don’t have to drive up a canyon or anything daily.
 

nnnnnate

Well-Known Member
Location
WVC, UT
Are you wanting to drive up to the resorts to ski or just to play in the snow? On actual snow days there can be 4x4 or AWD restrictions in the canyons depending on conditions but usually thats like until noon or whatever. Once the storm clears and the roads have been plowed those restrictions go away. If you just want to go tubing up the mountain or make snow angels then I'd say you don't need anything special, just don't drive up the canyon until its been cleared. I might be wrong but I think chains would also get you past the canyon restrictions as well.

I agree with what has been said otherwise. Generally there are just a couple days a year when the storms hit during a commute or at an inconvenient time when you just have to go out in it. If your work is flexible with bad weather I wouldn't sweat it at all. Tires are obviously important. Good tread, and not over inflated. It could help to throw some weight into your truck bed if you don't have anything back there. Some sand bags or whatever.

If you want a new/different car I don't want to dissuade you but the snow here in the valley really isn't bad at all considering what people think. We also don't get freezing rain or other crap that people deal with back east.
 

TheWeakling

New Member
Are you wanting to drive up to the resorts to ski or just to play in the snow? On actual snow days there can be 4x4 or AWD restrictions in the canyons depending on conditions but usually thats like until noon or whatever. Once the storm clears and the roads have been plowed those restrictions go away. If you just want to go tubing up the mountain or make snow angels then I'd say you don't need anything special, just don't drive up the canyon until its been cleared. I might be wrong but I think chains would also get you past the canyon restrictions as well.

I agree with what has been said otherwise. Generally there are just a couple days a year when the storms hit during a commute or at an inconvenient time when you just have to go out in it. If your work is flexible with bad weather I wouldn't sweat it at all. Tires are obviously important. Good tread, and not over inflated. It could help to throw some weight into your truck bed if you don't have anything back there. Some sand bags or whatever.

If you want a new/different car I don't want to dissuade you but the snow here in the valley really isn't bad at all considering what people think. We also don't get freezing rain or other crap that people deal with back east.
My intent is to just go to the resorts and ski, I imagine the parking lots would be the worst "conditions" then the road most of the time. Also, iirc I heard there's a bus that will go through the canyons if we wanted to head to those mountains to ski so I probably won't drive through there often myself, and I-80 seems very well maintained. That is good to hear that the day to day really doesn't require a a 4wd.
 

TheWeakling

New Member
Depends on the year but generally only really need 4x4 in the valley half a dozen times in the winter. Now venturing up to ski that’s a different story.

Good set of snow tires on a RWD and you’ll get around town better than most of the idiots in AWD with all season tires. That said a good used Subaru or something is more than adequate for skiing with snow tires. You can get away with chains on your truck for skiing. Pain in the butt, but cheaper than a second car.
How much does it change if I plan to go ski at the different resorts? Will chains and snow tires with some weight cut it? I understand the canyons are difficult, but are the other mountains okay to get to?
 
If you really want to get in the canyons, I would get a 4wd that fits your needs, be that Econo car or truck/suv. You could get by with chains, but a pretty big hassle if there is any snow or snowpack on the ground. If you are going to stay in the valley on pavement, just throw a bunch of weight in the back and have decent tires.
 

Tonkaman

Well-Known Member
Location
West Jordan
I have a 2WD work truck. It will go most anywhere with some studded tires in the winter.

One thing not mentioned yet is that you will have a hard time selling that 2WD once here in utah. It will definitely take a value drop compared to where you are now
 

Gravy

Ant Anstead of Dirtbikes
All everyone said is true as a matter of perspective.
I have definitely have been unable to leave at a ski resort when I didn't have 4wd and they had restrictions from snow during the day.
(Mostly night skiing at Brighton).

I put 270k on a 2wd V8 work van over the course of 10 yrs living and working in SLC. Every year I put on the studded snow tires and bags of sand routine.
And every year, like clockwork, I got stuck twice a year. Mostly parking lots but once or twice it was hairy things like spinning on the freeway into a ditch.
Planning ahead where to park when visiting friends in the avenues or up in the hills and walking extra far if a lot is unplowed is also annoying.
Can you do it with a 2wd? Totally. I thought I was a pro drifter all winter. Is it annoying and sometimes nerve wracking? Also yes.
I really like my 4wd and awd stuff now.

If you plan to sell, definitely consider what Tonkaman said about hit you'll take selling a 2wd truck out here.
 

NYCEGUY01

Well-Known Member
Location
Willard, UT
I have a 2WD work truck. It will go most anywhere with some studded tires in the winter.

One thing not mentioned yet is that you will have a hard time selling that 2WD once here in utah. It will definitely take a value drop compared to where you are now
A 4wd will likely be cheaper where you are now as well. They will bring a bigger premium here in UT compared to somewhere you "dont need one"
 

Kevin B.

Big hippy
Location
Stinkwater
4WD is totally not necessary in Utah until it is. And then it's pretty necessary. A RWD truck with snow tires and a shell or some sandbags in back will definitely get you around town just fine on even the worst days, once you know where not to stop. But that's not a truck I would venture up the canyons in or out in the desert even. Could you do it? Sure, and lots of guys do, but like I said you don't need 4WD until you need it and then you probably really need it.
 
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