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Old 09-14-2012, 10:58 PM   #1
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Maximum towing speed for single axle 22' ?

Hi Gang,

Just bought a completely restored 1960 22' Safari. I haven't weighed it yet, but advertised original weight according to airstreamguy.com was only 2900lbs dry. It was restored by Revitalized Trailers, Inc, and has had the axle replaced with modern parts including electric brakes, but it is still a single axle. I will be towing it with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo which is capable of travelling much faster than I am sure is advisable with the single axle trailer.

I am used to towing an enclosed 18' cargo trailer with a car inside (~5000lb total weight) and can safely tow that combination at 75-80mph all day long with the Cayenne. That setup has dual 3500lb axles, however.

So....looking for recommenations on what folks would consider "too fast" for an old single axle AS. Thoughts?
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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With a new axle, no reason you can't tow at reasonable speeds. Single axle does not matter. I tow my single axle Argosy with a new Dexter at whatever speed feels right. Mostly I tow at 55 to 65 on two lane roads, but have no problem going 75 on Interstates if I feel like it. Normally 70 is my interstate speed though.

Obviously, a tire issue with a single axle can be more of a problem than a dual axle, otherwise there is no reason to worry.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
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Speed rating for trailer tires is 65mph, no matter what condition the trailer itself is in.
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:39 AM   #4
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Yes, tires rated at 65mph. Jim
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Put real tires on it. Blowout on a single axle? How it is loaded and hitched might make a big difference. You probably can determine your comfortable speed better than we can guess. I would think if it exhibits any signs of instability or sway at almost any speed it is not loaded or hitched correctly and is thus unsafe at all speeds. My idea of a safe speed might be different from yours.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Put real tires on it. Blowout on a single axle? How it is loaded and hitched might make a big difference. You probably can determine your comfortable speed better than we can guess. I would think if it exhibits any signs of instability or sway at almost any speed it is not loaded or hitched correctly and is thus unsafe at all speeds. My idea of a safe speed might be different from yours.
Somewhere on the forum is a post titled "ouch"......(using my iPad or I would post the picture of the accident here now)
just saying.....
Bruce
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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I believe a dual axle trailer will have a slight advantage over a single axle trailer, all other things being equal.
Trailer stability is the critical speed where the system becomes underdamped. Above the critical speed any disturbance in the system will cause an oscillation that increases until the trailer upsets. Trailer stability depends (in part) on tire sidewall stiffness.
Four tires will usually have more total stiffness than two tires. Therefore a two axle trailer is will have a higher critical speed.
However, if you are stuck with a single axle and two tires, you should get tires with the stiffest sidewall possible. Normally those are the ST tires because they are designed for non-steering axles, where LT tires need to have a more compliant sidewall as they are also used on steer axles. This is a case where you could be worse off with LT tires, even if they are rated for higher speed.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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I just " GO WITH THE FLOW" mostly, up to the speed limit that is. I find 65 or so to be a comfortable speed where it's safe. Out west where we see speed limits approaching 75 I pretty much keep to my 65 zone.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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I can see that the Porsche might be a problem - but if you feel you won't be able to control the impulse to drive faster than you should with the trailer on - then give me a call - for a fellow Airstreamer I'd be happy to swap tow vehicles with you while you are on holidays ......


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Old 09-15-2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Put real tires on it. Blowout on a single axle? How it is loaded and hitched might make a big difference. You probably can determine your comfortable speed better than we can guess. I would think if it exhibits any signs of instability or sway at almost any speed it is not loaded or hitched correctly and is thus unsafe at all speeds. My idea of a safe speed might be different from yours.
Good advice on the tires. Since most of my travel will be out west (AZ, NM, CO, ...) I expect I'll be doing a lot of freeway driving, so I'll make sure the tires are up to snuff and have the highest speed rating I can find. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post
I can see that the Porsche might be a problem - but if you feel you won't be able to control the impulse to drive faster than you should with the trailer on - then give me a call - for a fellow Airstreamer I'd be happy to swap tow vehicles with you while you are on holidays ......


Jay

Good one, Jay! You successfully detected that I am often unable to control the impulse to drive faster than I should with the P-truck. Hence my question in the first place!
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I believe a dual axle trailer will have a slight advantage over a single axle trailer, all other things being equal.
Trailer stability is the critical speed where the system becomes underdamped. Above the critical speed any disturbance in the system will cause an oscillation that increases until the trailer upsets. Trailer stability depends (in part) on tire sidewall stiffness.
Four tires will usually have more total stiffness than two tires. Therefore a two axle trailer is will have a higher critical speed.
However, if you are stuck with a single axle and two tires, you should get tires with the stiffest sidewall possible. Normally those are the ST tires because they are designed for non-steering axles, where LT tires need to have a more compliant sidewall as they are also used on steer axles. This is a case where you could be worse off with LT tires, even if they are rated for higher speed.
Hmmmm...that's something to think about. When I started my search for a trailer, I was set on getting a dual axle since I wanted something 19-23' and wanted that extra stablity I have gotten used to with my other trailer. When searching for a vintage AS, however, one often has to make compromises, and in this case everything else about the trailer was perfect except that it is single axle so I decided to take the leap.

What sources do you folks use for trailer tires? I know a lot about performance CAR tires, but the trailer stuff is new to me. I think maybe a call to a trailer tire specialist might be helpful at this point...
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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Somewhere on the forum is a post titled "ouch"......(using my iPad or I would post the picture of the accident here now)
just saying.....
Bruce
Yikes! That would certainly ruin one's day. Assuming that was an emergency/avoidance situation, I sure hope my Cayenne will be more stable than the extended cab pickup in the pictures. I realize it's no guarantee, but at least my TV weighs more than my trailer!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/ouch-96402.html
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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Thanks to all who helpfully point out that our trailer tires are rated for only 65mph. I was not aware of that.
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