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Old 02-06-2020, 11:03 AM   #1
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tandem axle or single?

We currently have a 16 ft Bambi and are going to upgrade to either a 2020 23' Flying Cloud or a 22 Caravel. We just need a bigger bed. My Tow vehicle is a 2020 Tundra Crew max. I've never towed anything this large a just am wondering the advantages to either the single axle or tandem. I do plan on putting on the Dexter lift to either since I have it on my current unit and like the additional clearance. Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #2
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I'll never have another trailer with a single axle.
I towed a single enclosed trailer and had two blowouts.
One was at low speed and shortly after leaving. The other was on I-70 in Kansas. Both destroyed the fender and rim.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by short stuff View Post
We currently have a 16 ft Bambi and are going to upgrade to either a 2020 23' Flying Cloud or a 22 Caravel. We just need a bigger bed. My Tow vehicle is a 2020 Tundra Crew max. I've never towed anything this large a just am wondering the advantages to either the single axle or tandem. I do plan on putting on the Dexter lift to either since I have it on my current unit and like the additional clearance. Thanks for the input.
1. With a tandem axle you can drive a short distance with a flat on one of the tires.
2. I'm not sure about the Caravel, but most tandem axles have shock absorbers which soften the ride.
3. Four brakes instead of two.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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I have a single axle Vintage Caravel, and I like it, but it is true that a failure of tire or axle on either side is going to have more disagreeable consequences than a duel axle.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that a duel axle is always going to be safer, and the only reasons not to have duel axle boils down to cost (and also weight/space, which is, in the end, just another way to quantify costs)

I have been told that duel axle is also, counterintuitively, easier to maneuver than single axel.

So I think the only thing single axle has going for it is that it's cheaper. So if you're mindful of your tires, zealously maintain your bearings and brakes and don't ever overload your trailer, and always travel on good roads and are lucky to avoid debris and emergency swerving, you can get away with it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:17 PM   #5
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Dual axles are very stable when towing. I pull our 23' with my 2004 4Runner and there are no problems, nice and steady. Windy days, big trucks, curvy roads... the dual axle is the way to go, in my opinion. It's 2 more tires about every 6 years. Get a set of X-chocks to go between the tires when parked. They add stability, eliminate most of the rocking. Just remember to remove them after you get hitched.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:33 PM   #6
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I have been told that duel axle is also, counterintuitively, easier to maneuver than single axel.
With a single axle you can pivot on that one axle. A dual axle's tires are wanting to go across the treads in opposite directions. It's easier on them if you have more room to maneuver but I didn't find that backing up was any more or less difficult. You learn a few things to make it easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
So I think the only thing single axle has going for it is that it's cheaper. So if you're mindful of your tires, zealously maintain your bearings and brakes and don't ever overload your trailer, and always travel on good roads and are lucky to avoid debris and emergency swerving, you can get away with it.
I've traveled on gravel roads with no issues. Maneuvering on gravel and dirt is easier on the tires because of the soft surface. It helps the wheels rotate in opposite directions. I've had a few emergency swerves and the trailer handles very well. The dual axles eliminate the sway.

I also pull a single axle boat trailer and the dual axle AS is much more stable in emergency handling. When we bought our AS I had some concerns about dual axles, but now I wouldn't have anything else.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:28 PM   #7
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Tandem...
18 Seasons with a single axle '63 Safari, the tranquilaty of mind quotient is much higher with the Classic.👍

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Old 02-06-2020, 04:04 PM   #8
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Single axles are cheaper to maintain and replace, easier to manuver, less weight to pull means better TV mpg's.

However, must carry spare tire and require more attentive maintenence re DOTing tires and brakes to avoid blowouts. Fewer axles means less payload capacity.

I boughty 1978 Argosy 6.7m Minuet because it was the largest single axle trailer I could buy. Replaced subfloor with Coosa, and plastic wheel wells with aluminum.

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Old 02-06-2020, 06:22 PM   #9
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My vote is for the tandem axle unit. Not only is the tandem a more stable towing, it is easier to back, and change a flat tire. All you have to do with a tandem is purchase a ramp that will raise the wheel up to where the flat will clear the ground. In a tight place the tandem will pivot in place when you want. A single axle will roll around making it more difficult to back. Also as mentioned before the X chocks make the trailer much more stable when stationary.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:00 AM   #10
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+1 on tandem for safety reasons.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:00 AM   #11
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Tandem usually indicates a heavier trailer. As long as your TV isn’t maxed out on payload and towing weight, I say tandem as well. GL
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:01 AM   #12
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7 year with a single axle T@B but looking back - a bit naive. Much prefer the safety of tandem - has two sets of axles – one right behind the other. The extra tires allow the trailer to handle more weight and to be more stable at higher speeds and highway conditions. Higher payload capacity means more room for whatever you are hauling (so says Google).
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:35 PM   #13
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I like the tandem for the stability especially in a cross
wind, whether it was my boat or AS. I have pulled some single axle trailers in a crosswind and I can tell you it is no fun.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:16 AM   #14
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You tow vehicle is more than capable and you will not notice a lot of difference going down the road under normal conditions. Under heavy winds it will be more stable as well as when you are passing large trucks.

Backing will be different because you are not pivoting on one tire. It isn't any easier or difficult just different. Once you back it a few time you will notice that it is more deliberate trying to back a tandem axle trailer. Going from a 16' trailer to a 22' or 23' you will find that backing is considerably easier do to the distances between your rear axle and the trailer axle. That is because the steering inputs are easier to control.

The biggest difference will be your load capacity which based on the factory numbers will be about 500lbs greater in the tandem axle trailer. For me that would be the greatest selling point because my wife think that we are making a permanent move every time we go camping and tries to pack the entire household:
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:49 AM   #15
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Having a single axle now and having had double axles previously, Plus I have had a class A license and pulled for a living. I would say a single axle is easier on tires (no sidewall shear) and easier to back into tighter spaces (sharper turn radius). Love it for boondocking.

Twin axles do have the advantage if you get a flat (easier to change-no jack). But, they are more prone to have tire damage do to tire shear issues. Which is directly related to under inflation or age of tires.

I have load range E tires and keep them inflated to 75-80 PSI and I replace them every 6 years regardless of the tread wear and (knock on wood) never had a problem with my single axle.

Obviously if you get a long or heavy enough trailer there will be no option.

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Old 02-08-2020, 10:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by short stuff View Post
We currently have a 16 ft Bambi and are going to upgrade to either a 2020 23' Flying Cloud or a 22 Caravel. We just need a bigger bed. My Tow vehicle is a 2020 Tundra Crew max. I've never towed anything this large a just am wondering the advantages to either the single axle or tandem. I do plan on putting on the Dexter lift to either since I have it on my current unit and like the additional clearance. Thanks for the input.
******

I towed a 23 foot 2006 that had the 14 inch Marathon tires. The Airstream experts and the Tire experts thought it was a great combination double axle. Maybe cheaper, but a disaster with Load Range C tires.

Your current 2020 choice has 15" Load Range E and a good combination of axles to weight on the 23 foot. Excellent improvement!

I towed our 2006 23 foot with the 4.7L Toyota 2006. The last of the 'small Tundras'. Towed rather well, but borderline for weight and engine. Waited until 2008 on the well built 5.7L Crew Max... and added a shell with out any weight problem towing a 23 or a 25 foot Airstream.

Your 2020 Crew Max with the 5.7L is like our last 2014 Tundra. Towed the 23 foot easily. Great match. Towing the 25 foot International... the Tundra was always a bit low in the rear and could not be made perfectly level but towed very well.

Resale of the 23 foot would be better with the double axle. Four tires on the road. Your Tundra will have all the power you need with the 23 footer in tow.

When traveling on Forest Service roads, the double axle will not disappoint. One axle may be in the air when the other is crossing a washout or dip in the road. Or pulling off the road and travels over the grade to divert water when maintained. The first wheel will elevate the second for a smooth transition.

When we put our 2006 23 foot Safari up for sale in 2014... we had several buyers interested, as larger Airstreams would have required a larger tow vehicle.

Go with the double axle 23 foot. Goes anywhere. We loved ours for eight years. You will eventually go to a 25 foot, which is the BEST overall length (even our favorite), but Airstream prices them, knowing the 25 foot is perfect for most. Enjoy. Previous advice is steering you into the right choice.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:50 AM   #17
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Thanks, Ray. I would add that the recommended tire pressure of 80 PSI on our 2020 FC 27FBT is well above the pressure needed to support the load at the end of the axles. The higher pressure is needed to ensure sufficient sidewall stiffness, even with the Goodyear Endurance 225/75R15 tires, but if one tire looses air or fails then, yes, the other tire on that side can carry the load, for a while, at a lower speed. ~Bruce
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:54 AM   #18
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Thanks, Rich. We are also using X-Chocks on our 2020 FC 27FBT and like the way they work. BTW: We ordered "custom" wheel covers from the company that made wheel and windshield covers for our MH (RV Sunshades of Florida). The "custom" part was they were cut to work with the X-Chocks. ~Bruce
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:59 AM   #19
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Thanks Eric 26 Argo. Lets all keep in mind that stability while towing has a lot to do with loading, and the proper setup of the weight distribution and the anti-sway features of the hitch. ~Bruce
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:06 PM   #20
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I have had both single and dual. Go with the two axle! A lot more stable and less worry about a blowout.
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