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Old 09-17-2002, 01:18 PM   #1
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one or two axle?

This is all new to me, but I am smitten with the AS bug. I hear that it is contagious and long-lived. The fact is: we haven't even purchased our first travel trailer yet... and I spend a couple of hours a day on the net doing "research". There are several finalist and the list narrows daily. I think I have decided on the Tradewind model. It appears small enough to get in some places that the larger models might not be able to negotiate. It looks as though there are both one and two axle older Tradewinds. Does the two axle handle better/worse? Have less hitch weight? Any info will be appreciated.

Thanks to all-
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:44 PM   #2
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Go for two

I just bought a 66 tradewind. I liked it because it was the smallest, oldest tandem that came with the plastic tanks. (I was afraid to find the damage that would have occoured over time with the galvanized ones.) Actually, I was looking for a overlander around the same time period. I liked the kitchen and the living area a little more, but for a price of 1500 I took the tradewind.


My friend towed it home for me for about 30 miles. It bounced a lot, but I'm sure I can solve that problem later. The claimed dry weight is around 4100. From what I have heard it is easy to get 600 more before water and food is added. With a weight limit of 5000 pounds on my Four Runner a new truck is also in the picture or maybe a 62 impala. Yes, you should consider this before you go shopping for an old airstream.

Good Luck
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:57 PM   #3
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Number of axles

I have had both single axle and tandem trailers, I can't tell any diifference in the way they tow. Hitch weight will be 10-15% in either case.

A tandem trailer will ride smoother because each axle is more lightly sprung than a single axle would be. You could have either 2 2500# axles or a single 5000# axle. The 5000# axle has to be twice as stiff to carry the weight. That means that the more lightly sprung axle can soak up road irregularities more easily.
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Old 09-17-2002, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Go for two

"... but for a price of 1500 I took the tradewind." Yep; that would influence me as well. You did the right thing. Thank you for the reply / post. Thats the type of advice / info I was looking for. Yes I have considered a tow vehicle as well. I currently have a 86 Jeep Wagonner ( before they shrunk them). Not sure what it is rated to tow; but I have been looking around for an older 3/4 ton PU or Surburban. Thanks again for the advice; especially the plastic tanks. That should surely be considered on older units that have been sitting for a while.
Safe travels-
Allan
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Old 09-17-2002, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: Number of axles

Thank you,Pahaska.
"A tandem trailer will ride smoother because each axle is more lightly sprung than a single axle would be. You could have either 2 2500# axles or a single 5000# axle. The 5000# axle has to be twice as stiff to carry the weight. That means that the more lightly sprung axle can soak up road irregularities more easily."
... and that makes perfect sense. Your knowledge and experience gained on the road is appreciated. thanks again.

Safe travels-
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Old 09-17-2002, 06:47 PM   #6
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One or two axle?

Greetings Allan!

As others have said, at least for Airstreams, the difference in towing between a single axle and a tandem axle trailer is very minimal. I had a very bad experience with a 1980 Nomad trailer with single axle (18' with weight of 3,500 lbs.) that was very difficult to control even with a heavy duty sway control - - a nearly new ST trailer tire blew on the trailer in 1981 and caused the rig to perform a 180 degree spin in the middle of a busy highway - - fortunately all other traffic was able to avoid my rig and we landed on the shoulder. The above incident scared me so thoroughly that I wouldn't consider anything other than a tandem axle when I purchased my Airstream. My prejudice against the single axle continued until I fell for a 1978 Argosy Minuet - - it tows like a dream no sway or other towning abnormalities even without equalizer bars or sway controls.

To me, the two keys are being sure that the axle is sized for the anticipated loaded weight of the trailer and the tires/wheels are rated such that there is a comfortable margin of extra carrying capacity.

I noted that you have a 1986 Jeep Wagoneer. I towed with a 1984 Grand Wagoneer with the 360 Vi8 - - it had a trailer towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and up to 6,000 pounds with the 401 V8. I loved it as a tow vehicle, but its fuel tank was so small that it was nearly impossible to make more than 120 miles per tankful.

Good Luck with your Search!
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