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Old 10-12-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
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Single or dual axle?

Hi,

We're considering the purchase of either a 19' or 23' AS, and aside from the obvious differences, what effect does having a single or dual axle on the trailer affect trailering? Does having the dual axle help keep things more stable? Although there is about a 1000lb difference between the two as far as overall weight, we're looking at the 23FB FC, which has a much lighter tongue weight. Possible tow vehicle would be a Tundra.

Just curious...

Jeff
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Can't comment on handling, but one thing I like about two axles is having much less concern if I lose a tire. That means a lot to me.


Brian


PS also - it becomes very easy to change wheels since you can just drive one wheel up onto a pyramid of "Lynx levelers" and the other wheel on the other axle then just hangs in mid air.


For my part, I have owned single axle trailers, but don't think I would get another.


Of course, if you want something really small, then there is no option.

Brian.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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We have the very trailer you mention and also considered the smaller 19'. The 2 axles track pretty straight (especially with the propride hitch) and do give you additional options for a blown tire. ultimately the two axles were a bonus, size was the deciding factor.

We just spent 2 weeks in our trailer and it was comfortable (only occasionally tight). I cannot even fathom what the 19' footer was like. We tow for with a Nissan Titan which is an easy handle for the 23 load & weight wise. Recent model Tundra should work well as a TV.

Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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To try and answer the original question, a single axle trailer will tow easier than a tandem, but less stable. A tandem axle trailer is more stable, but is slightly more difficult to tow....meaning, it takes more energy to make it roll down the road.

However, these differences are small.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, good info. I hadn't thought about the flat tire issue, but that benefit appeals to me...

Jeff
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:54 PM   #6
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Also keep in mind that a single axle has half the tire and maintenance costs. That amounts to about $50/year for tires and at least that much for bearings.

There is also the idea that the front tire in a tandem axle can kick up nails or other road debris which can increase the risk of the rear tires loosing air. I haven't seen much to support this, though.

I do know my grandfather towed an Overlander (26') single axle with his Chrysler Imperial as a full-timer and was happy with his choice. My parents towed a 22' single axle with a Chevy Malibu and didn't have any problems. Neither had anything fancy for hitches.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lilynhoward View Post
Thanks everyone, good info. I hadn't thought about the flat tire issue, but that benefit appeals to me...

Jeff
I've had a blowout on a single axle trailer and I don't see the problem. I knew immediatly that the tire was gone, the trailer stayed straight and stoped in a straight line without any damage to the trailer. I have heard of much damage on a tandem when you don't realize that a tire has blown and keep going. You won't do that with a single axle trailer.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:29 AM   #8
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Bent a rim on my 25 FB SE - tandom axle. Happened late in evening when I was pulling out of a parking lot. Hit a big stone at the edge of the drive... thought I had just hit it with my steps - which are still a bit wonky. I towed 200 miles more to get home. Didn't know I had a problem until I tried to air it up. My tire didn't even shred, but it sure wasn't carrying more than 35 PSI. So there's a "dual axles" ARE better story.

Four New tires this year... and of course a new rim right after the "hit a BIG stone" incident. Rather pay for tires than roll an Airstream!
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:15 AM   #9
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I have had blowouts on both, with no handling difficulties.

I do however feel that a single axle is inclined to bounce more than a tandem and the tandem is a little smoother towing.

I don't think there is a really strong reason to avoid either configuration
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:35 AM   #10
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I was nervous with our single axle after reading this forum, worried that we had made a bad choice, thinking that every bump or rut in the road might throw our trailer out of control. After more towing experience, I have become much more confident, realizing these gremlins are only in the mind.

As for flat tires, you may be able to drive a distance with one flat on a tandem axle, but there is a risk of wheel well damage and overloading the other tire. I don't see using a jack any more difficult than using ramps to change the flat.

I asked a member here who switched from a 19' single axle to a 23' tandem axle, keeping the same tow vehicle, if he noticed any difference in handling. He said no.

The valid reasons for choosing one axle arrangement over another would be a need for more interior space, and possibly aesthetics, the tandem axle looking more substantial. I wonder if the front bed 23' is a good choice for space. With a front bed and rear bath taking much of the trailer, not much left for living space. The front dinette or sofa 23' models have more living space, and that space is makes use of the pano window in front.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:05 AM   #11
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Regarding the Tundra, we tow ours with a 2006 4.7 taking it easy up and down steep grades and it works fine, could handle a 23' as well. I plan to change the tires from a P to an LT tire. Best of all, it's a comfortable truck to drive around when unhitched.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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We tow a single axle 19' with a 4.7L tundra and have had nothing but positive experiences with our rig. I too was worried about the lack of redundancy with respect to blow-outs so we bought a tire pressure monitor for the trailer and all 4 TV tires. That provided the missing piece-of-mind for me. With respect to the Tundra, it tows okay but lack of payload is the limiting factor for us. We're currently evaluating an upgrade to a new Silverado in 2011.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #13
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We have a tandem, and have never had to use our jack stands while parked at a campsite. Stable when walking around inside without them.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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We have a tandem, and have never had to use our jack stands while parked at a campsite. Stable when walking around inside without them.
Reminds me of the first trailer we owned, it was a light weight single axle 20 footer called a "Sprite" (A UK design.)

One day we were showing someone the inside and had only the tongue jack down. It happened that everyone went to the back of the trailer to see something and - you guessed - the whole trailer tipped to the rear until the bumper hit the ground!

Luckily, no damage and no one hurt - gave us all a bit of a surprise and a jolt though!


Brian.
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