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Old 09-05-2006, 12:44 AM   #1
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Tandem to single axle conversion??

Has anyone ever heard of this? Are there kits available to convert my 1994 21' tandem to a single axle? Personaly I think anything smaller than 22' should be single axle anyway, but.......
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:43 AM   #2
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Flat Tire

I've only had one blowout while driving in my whole life. It was on my tow vehicle, and had I NOT had the Airstream, I'm betting I would have rolled over - 65 mph on a 7% uphill grade in W. Va.

Many people have had a flat on a tandem rig, and not known it until a passing motorist flagged them down or until they stopped for gas, etc. Lose on tire on a single axle Airstream, and even with a w/d hitch, you're risking a rollover. You're also going to sustain major damage on your 'Stream if you don't get stopped almost immediately. Really small units like a 16 and a 19 weigh less and just can't accommodate a dual axle, but anything longer, you're playing with fire.

I've got two Airstreams, a 22ft CCD and a 25ft Safari FB SE - when you go over a toll road, it's usally a dollar extra, and when tires have to be replaced it will cost a bit more, but backing up is LESS squirrely with two axles than one, the ride is more stable, you can change tires without using a jack - run one tire up on a ramp, and the other axle will be suspended in air, and if you have to, you can run flat on one tire.

Safety - and whether you spend big bucks for a new one, or spend big bucks to redo a vintage one, mo' axles is betta....

Besides you'll have all sorts of issues with the balance point, you'll need to replace two softer axles with one heavy duty one and perhaps get a ride so rough it'll shake rivets loose... you'll have to redo side panels too.

If you really want a single axle A/S, why not hold out for one.

Paula Ford
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:21 AM   #3
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Paula is right - get a single axel trailer. If you DO go through with this plan, be sure to save all the original pieces and don't modify anything so much that it cannot be returned to stock because any "next owner" will want two axels. Darol
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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Hello ob1coby,

We have a 60 single axle 24ft trdwnd ,had a blowout on the original split
rim on I-70 ,the only thing I felt was some drag on the trailer .No sway,
no anything else ,pulled over .The outrigger got yanked down from the tire scrapnel flailing around ,fixed that temporarily .The tandems are better than
one,most will agree ,no one will probably take on converting it to one axle.
The left over axle needs to be repositioned to have the trailer be supported properly and not have the tongue weight be affected too light ,or too heavy.
and needs to be a heavier axle has been posted .Theres alot to consider
when considering a down grade of design .Id get a single axle trailer if you
want one ,is there a reason that you are thinking about this change ,towing
troubles ? handling troubles? A 21 footer is small for tandems but thats how
they built it.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #5
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Yep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again


Safety - and whether you spend big bucks for a new one, or spend big bucks to redo a vintage one, mo' axles is betta....

If you really want a single axle A/S, why not hold out for one.

Paula Ford
I agree with Paula's statements above.

Just two cents from a retired axle dude!

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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Hi Guys. I'm new to 'streamin. I'm looking for a small family unit, used. I started looking in the single axle 20-foot range, but from what you're saying, a dual-axle 21or 22 footer may be a better/safer setup. Am I right? Jim
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:52 PM   #7
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ya just gotta weigh looks vs practicality. personally, i'm a single axle man... all my trailers are... believe me, i'm reminded every time a semi blows by me on the highway! still, i love the look. looks great on anything 24 feet or less.

just run with what she was born with. don't monkey with wally!

jp
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:54 PM   #8
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Elm Grove , Wisconsin
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I had to read your post several times? Still don' t understand---why is it that you want the single axel over the tandem? I have a '93 21ft. Sovereign and it tows like a dream! We just returned from a 4300 mile trip to Glacier and the Canadian Rockies and were again thoroughly impressed with our Airstream's handling in all sorts of weather conditions. Last week in North Dakota, we drove through a monster wind and rain storm with gusts of over 45mph. Our truck/21ft. Sovereign combo never had an issue! I love the idea of a small coach with a tandem axel. Wally must have too! The configuration that WB favored in his travels was remarkably similar to the 21ft. tandem axel Sovereign. Juergen
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
just run with what she was born with. don't monkey with wally!
Very good advice above suggesting, "Don't do it." Realize that something like a 22' Safari from the mid-60's was a very large amount lighter than a 22' of the last decade. Lighter frames did result in the 1980s' problem of rear end separation. So they had to beef 'em up. That plus modern amenities yield as much as 1000# difference between vintage & modern units of the same length. It gets to be very difficult to put these higher loads on one axle (read Paula's & scottanlily's posts again!). You might manage this with a fully suspended axle but then your trailer would be how much higher off the ground? And with a resulting subtraction of stability. Besides, many have mentioned how much easier two axles back up compared to one.
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