tandem axle vs single axle trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-07-2011, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hill View Post
All,
I looked for this topic in other areas and did a search - nothing came up.

Question:
What the advantages or disadvantages of towing a tandem axle vs a single axle fiberglass travel trailer? I'm talking about for instance a 19 ft Bigfoot tandem vs a 19 ft single axle.

A couple of things come readily to mind.

Advantage
Greater towing stability with a tandem?
Possibly a heavier frame in a tandem?
Safety? 4 tires under the trailer instead of 2.

Disadvantage
Equivalent trailer "weighs" more when considering the running gear on a tandem.
More maintenance - tires etc on a tandem
"Harder" to turn a tandem trailer.


Wayne
With a tandem axle, it is more important to tow level. too often you see them being towed tongue up or tongue down, resulting in overloading and over scuffing on the affected axles.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #16
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Hi: Paula Downing...We love our 5.0 Escape 5th.wh. The ease of hookups is great. The dual powered landing gear is a snap, or should I say a push o the buttons. The 15" tires and 3500 lb. axle is a closer match to the size of the tug tires. On a purely economical level at the toll booths we only get dinged for 1 extra axle. The 19' Escape has dual 2200 lb axles and 14" tires but either trailer is very manuverable or so I'm told.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #17
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Pulled a 27' Woods dual axle trailer year round; moving twice every weekend Fri and Sunday for years around Ont. Do not remember any flat problems? Tires did not last as long and they did charge for extra for the second axle at times. As stated by Laura and Rick above Quote: "you may want to consider the 19' double axle Escape," weight will cost you at the pumps.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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No trailer manufacturers do it, but I submit that on a larger trailer, one properly placed 8,000 lb Dexter axle with an oil bath hub (which requires no bearing repacking) would be much better than two 3,500 lb Dexter axles which require hub removal and repacking of bearings every year.

The single axle trailer does not "bind" the axles when making sharp turns. Axle to axle allignment and weight distribution equalization issues are eliminated with a single axle.

Trailer sway and backing difficulties are a product of the ratio of the length from the trailer axle(s) to the pivot point (ball or king pin) vs. the length from the tow vehicle rear axle to the same pivot point.

A SHORTER TRAILER IS MORE MANUEVERABLE FOR FORWARD TRAVEL IN A TIGHT AREA SUCH AS A GAS STATION OR CAMP GROUND.

THAT FORWARD MANUEVERABLITY IS ENHANCED BY A TOW VEHICLE WITH A SHORT WHEEL BASE.

A TOW VEHICLE WITH A SHORTER WHEEL BASE IS ALWAYS EASIER TO BACK.

BUT!

A LONGER TRAILER IS EASIER TO BACK.

A TOW VEHICLE WITH A LONGER WHEEL BASE IS ALWAYS SAFER AND MORE STABLE AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS THAN THAT SAME VEHICLE WITH A SHORTER WHEEL BASE.

A TRAILER THAT HAS A LONGER TONGUE IS ALWAYS SAFER AND MORE STABLE WHEN TOWING AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS THAN THAT SAME TRAILER WITH A SHORTER TONGUE.

I know these things from my commercial trucking days and from building and using utility trailers on my ranch.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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I have personally never noticed any major difference in single vs double vs triple axles in terms of towing straight ahead at highway speeds, but the more axles the easier it is to back up & park.

Someone on here said that you don't need a jack if you get a flat tire with a tandem, which left me sitting there like the little cartoon character with a humongous question mark floating over my head.

I'd love to get a tutorial on how to change a tire on any one of my multi-axle trailers sans a jack, as I have never found a way to do it. (Of course, I am well-known for being dummy at times! )
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
No trailer manufacturers do it, but I submit that on a larger trailer, one properly placed 8,000 lb Dexter axle with an oil bath hub (which requires no bearing repacking) would be much better than two 3,500 lb Dexter axles which require hub removal and repacking of bearings every year.
Bruce, that is what my husband has been telling me too. My question to both of you is.... What tires do you use on an axle rated that high? We were going to do some research but haven't. Do you know off hand?

We really like the head room in the single axle Bigfoot 5th but only having two tires with close to 5000 lbs makes me nervous.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
I have personally never noticed any major difference in single vs double vs triple axles in terms of towing straight ahead at highway speeds, but the more axles the easier it is to back up & park.

Someone on here said that you don't need a jack if you get a flat tire with a tandem, which left me sitting there like the little cartoon character with a humongous question mark floating over my head.

I'd love to get a tutorial on how to change a tire on any one of my multi-axle trailers sans a jack, as I have never found a way to do it. (Of course, I am well-known for being dummy at times! )
here you go
Amazon.com: Camco Trailer Aid 21 Tandem Tire Changing Ramp (Yellow): Automotive
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:58 PM   #22
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Aww Geez... That's SUCH a good idea and I am such a dummy for using huge jack and etc both times that a tire grenaded on my Bigfoot!

Wonder if it's strong enough for me to use on either of my "heavy" trailers...

I ordered one already for the Bigfoot!

If needs be I can make one outta steel (or wood) for the heavy trailers

Thank you!
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:58 PM   #23
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One always want trailer hitch to align trailer level for towing but tandems make level trailer when towing a bit more important to the tires.

Nose down and the front tires get extra weight as trailer "bears down" on them.
Nose up and it's the back tires that get the extra work dumped on them. Think turning scrub wear of tires would be worse in that situation too.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
Aww Geez... That's SUCH a good idea and I am such a dummy for using huge jack and etc both times that a tire grenaded on my Bigfoot!

Wonder if it's strong enough for me to use on either of my "heavy" trailers...

I ordered one already for the Bigfoot!

If needs be I can make one outta steel (or wood) for the heavy trailers

Thank you!
The video says 15000 lbs?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #25
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Smile Another problem with tandem axles

Wouldn't it be important that the axles are parallel to each other? Otherwise they would be trying to turn constantly, causing tire scuffing. A single axle would just 'dog track' if the axle is not perpendicular to the centerline of the trailer.

With dual axles, because the pivot point is between the two inside tires, turning too tight, backing or forward could, as I understand it, cause the inside tires to pop off their rims - one tire is sliding in toward the trailer and the other is sliding out away from the trailer, whereas in a single axle, the pivot point is centered under the inside tire.

Also, driving out of driveways with hard crowns throws all the weight onto one or the other axle.

As far as backing, I had a boat trailer that had a long wheelbase and it was easy to back. Homelet is short and turns when backing much more abruptly. However, it just takes less turning of the steering wheel to get movement from the trailer. It can jackknife quicker, but that is a function of the distance from the axle to the hitch, IMHO.

As far as towing stability, Homelet tracks behind our TV like it was on rails. I have had NO issues vis a vis stability or wind affecting the tow.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #26
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FWIW, back in the "olden days" almost all trailers had single axles, even fairly large ones. Our Egg Camper is 17 ft with a single axle. And I find our 17 ft Egg Camper way easier to back up than our 31 ft Kodiak. Maybe that's because I know sooner what it's going to do. I know the conventional wisdom is that longer is easier. The only trailer flats that we've had (2) were on tandem axle trailers unless you count the three blowouts years ago on an Apache popup that we bought used. Very old tires that blew due to age when we were over 1000 miles from home.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:39 PM   #27
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A tandem tows better as the weight is distributed more evenly over the road surface. Other advantage is that a tandem will roll over a bump rather hop and skip over bumps. Now with the independant hubs on most of these trailers, that is a moot point.

tandems do back up better as they don't tend to pivot on a tire. AS for tire wear, unless you were constantly making sharp corners, wear would be nominal. Also tounge weights tend to be less as well as that weight is transferred to the axles and tires rather then the tow vehicle.
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