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Old 03-10-2014, 01:38 PM   #1
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Airstream Axle - Single or twin

Hi everyone,

I am new to AS and am looking to purchase an airstream as soon as I find the one right for me. I am looking at ones 23' and under as I have a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and I believe that my max trailer weight is just under 4000 lbs so I have more for personal possession weight.

My question is. how do the single axel and double axel trailers differ. Any advantage to either? The Cons? ( besides just having to buy two more tires) I saw an '71 Sarfari with a "rare" double axel and I waited too long to buy is since I just wan't sure of the advantages or disadvantages.

Thanks for any feedback you guys can give me. Now that we are officially "emply nesters" my husband and I want to tour the country , espec here in Texas and the airstream is just want we want.

Joanie
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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The only reason I know for some trailers having 4 wheels instead of 2 is weight.
Most trailers that can be towed with your 4Runner will be 2 wheel trailers.
I'm not sure what length/weight separates the single axle trailers from the tandem axle trailers- 20-22' maybe?
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Finnegan9 View Post
Hi everyone,

I am new to AS and am looking to purchase an airstream as soon as I find the one right for me. I am looking at ones 23' and under as I have a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and I believe that my max trailer weight is just under 4000 lbs so I have more for personal possession weight.

My question is. how do the single axel and double axel trailers differ. Any advantage to either? The Cons? ( besides just having to buy two more tires) I saw an '71 Sarfari with a "rare" double axel and I waited too long to buy is since I just wan't sure of the advantages or disadvantages.

Thanks for any feedback you guys can give me. Now that we are officially "emply nesters" my husband and I want to tour the country , espec here in Texas and the airstream is just want we want.

Joanie
You are thinking correctly as far as weight. The 2014 4runner has a max towing capacity of 4,700lbs. But adding people and possessions adds to that. Some people will stretch it to the max, but it is not safe to do so.
I have a 28' double axel and a 20' single axel. I use a weight distribution hitch with sway control on both. I do find that they track a little different. The double has almost no sway in high cross winds. And the single, although very minimal, has a little bit of sway in high cross winds.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #4
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Double axle trailers typically track straighter, sway less, and are less responsive (meaning, harder to jack-knife when reversing). If you get a flat, you can change the tire without the use of a jack (ie., by pulling the good tire up onto a block). If your tire goes flat while driving, you are less likely to have the rim cut the tire and cause a disaster.

I have a 21' single axle trailer. The main advantage for me is that I have a very small backyard, and a long narrow driveway. Since the trailer is small, and the single axle allows it to be responsive, I can pull it out to the street with a manual trailer dolly. I can also spin it 360 degrees in my driveway with the dolly by myself. I can't imaging being able to do anything like this with a double axle trailer.

If you go back into the 1960's, you can find Tradewinds that were 24' and single axle that should be light enough to tow with your fourrunner, assuming that it hasn't been rebuilt with granite counter tops, marble tile and solid oak cabinetry.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
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Double axle trailers typically track straighter, sway less, and are less responsive (meaning, harder to jack-knife when reversing). If you get a flat, you can change the tire without the use of a jack (ie., by pulling the good tire up onto a block). If your tire goes flat while driving, you are less likely to have the rim cut the tire and cause a disaster.

I have a 21' single axle trailer. The main advantage for me is that I have a very small backyard, and a long narrow driveway. Since the trailer is small, and the single axle allows it to be responsive, I can pull it out to the street with a manual trailer dolly. I can also spin it 360 degrees in my driveway with the dolly by myself. I can't imaging being able to do anything like this with a double axle trailer.

If you go back into the 1960's, you can find Tradewinds that were 24' and single axle that should be light enough to tow with your fourrunner, assuming that it hasn't been rebuilt with granite counter tops, marble tile and solid oak cabinetry.
Add the double uses more gas and costs more to replace the tires.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Tandem axles will add a margin of safety in case of tire failure; also twice the braking power.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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Double axle has twice the braking capacity, more traction, and more resistance to sway.

If a tire goes flat you can proceed slowly to a safer place to change it, or you can remove one wheel and continue on the other one.

Our 20' single axle Airstream carried more weight per tire than any other Airstream made.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
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Everything that everyone else has said is true, and I will only add that tandem axle trailers are a little more stable, but slightly more load to pull (increased rolling resistance), and single axle trailers are not quite as stable as tandem axle trailers, but tow easier. These differences are subtle.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:05 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for answering my question. Still not sure which way I want to go , but either way I I know I will love my new trailer. Now all I have to do is find my perfect Airstream!
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:10 PM   #10
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Since you're in Houston....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan9 View Post
Thanks everyone for answering my question. Still not sure which way I want to go , but either way I I know I will love my new trailer. Now all I have to do is find my perfect Airstream!
...check out PPL on the SE corner of Sam Houston Tollway and 59 in SW Houston.

They have some pretty good used deals come through from time to time.

Negotiation is expected.

Lots and lots of good used AS's in Houston. Watch Craig's list, e-bay, and PPL.

Contact the various WBBCI groups for leads.

Every once in a while one comes up for sale at TAHI. "Wanted" adds can be put on the bulletin board at any time.

Contact me via PM if you have any questions.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Finnegan9 View Post
Hi everyone,
I am new to AS and am looking to purchase an airstream as soon as I find the one right for me. I am looking at ones 23' and under as I have a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and I believe that my max trailer weight is just under 4000 lbs so I have more for personal possession weight.
On the Toyota web site it says that the towing capacity is 4,700 lbs.
You may want to consult Andy Thompson at CanAm RVs in London, Ontario.
He's the towing/hitch guru...
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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If it were up to me, I would pay a premium so to have the advantage of a two axels trailer if such a decision ever presented itself.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
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The mid-sixties Trade Winds are 24 foot double axle and weigh in the 4000 pound range. The new body came out in 1969 and the Trade Wind went to 25 feet. Vintage trailers are lighter for their size. Find one that has been rebuilt (may be a budget buster, they are not cheap) and you would have an excellent Airstream that tows very nicely.

David
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:50 AM   #14
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If it were up to me, I would pay a premium so to have the advantage of a two axels trailer if such a decision ever presented itself.
Not me, I'm perfectly happy with out the speculative advantages and have been for the past seven years.
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