Why two axles???? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #15
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Replacing a pair of tandem axles with one would require a pretty big wheel - using two smaller wheels makes for a lower chassis and the possibility of a flat floor over the wheels.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
. . . . Is it thought that this is a design parameter for trailer makers, and if so, why are there any single axle trailers on the road at all???

Francesca
Design parameter; single axle under 3500lb.; double over 3500. Two design parameteers for two sizes and two price points and two sorts of customer. The single-axle guys have heard us crying in the wilderness. Also why we have limited headroom, short beds. Let us give thanksl that less is less.

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Old 01-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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Replacing a pair of tandem axles with one would require a pretty big wheel - using two smaller wheels makes for a lower chassis and the possibility of a flat floor over the wheels.
Yes, in theory, but
  • none of our trailers (including the tandems) have that flat floor (because even with little 12" wheels that's still a floor a couple feet off the ground),
  • raising these trailers is the most common chassis modification in this forum (so the low height is not valued), and
  • "pretty big" is a tire only an inch or two larger in overall diameter for the smaller tandems (some members here are fitting tires to their single-axle 17' trailers which have more than enough capacity to be used on a single axle version of the tandem Escape 19').

I'll stay out of this round of this debate, except to point out this deviation between logical reasoning and current product reality.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
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I have use lots of single, tandem an tri axles over the years, and the towing characteristics of a tandem axle in many ways is preferable to a single. For starters there is less bounce, as when hitting a pothole or bump, there is another tire to maintain the even attitude better.

As well, dual axles trail much nicer too, and are less prone to sway.

The safety factor is there in the case of a blowout, but not really a bit issue for me.

As far as rolling goes, dual rolls every bit as easily as a single axle, as there is half the weight on each set of tires. This is especially true if you keep the tire pressure at, or near, maximum as I have always done. On level pavement I can move my 3,500+ lb trailer by myself with no problem.

There is twice as many components to maintain, though with 4 sets of brakes, there is less wear there. For me, this cost amortized over the length of use is a small price to pay for the advantages I find.

Plus, I can now use the BAL X-chocks, which add an incredible amount of stability to the trailer when set up.

Tight turns, especially when reversing, do cause a bit of sideways skid on the tires with tandem.

All this said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with towing with a single axle designed to carry the load. For some it may seem like overkill, but how many of us do that with other setups for our trailers?

Like many things, there is really no right answer, just a matter of personal preferences.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #19
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Yes, I saw that thread..., and others like it. Belief in " providing redundancy" seems to be a big theme, and since neither tandem axles nor the tires on them are sized to do that it, it can't be a design parameter.

Any ideas in that department would be greatly appreciated!

Francesca
They don't need to be sized for the whole load. It's incredibly rare to blow one tire, then have the second one on that side blow, even if you were already at max weight for both tires. Been there, done that. Trailer tires usually don't go slowly, they just flat out let go (at least in my experience). I've had them blow a few minutes after checking the pressure at a gas station.

The tandem axle just gives you a tire to ride on with no sway, no dragging trailer, brakes still work, etc.

Tandem axles are also very nice for having dual brakes in hills.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #20
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Interesting food for thought...I think I'll next take a closer look at what ever it is about European "Caravans" that makes single axle use so much more the norm for "small-to-medjum" sizes over there.

Thanks for the inputs, Folks!

Francesca
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:59 PM   #21
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They don't need to be sized for the whole load. It's incredibly rare to blow one tire, then have the second one on that side blow, even if you were already at max weight for both tires. Been there, done that. Trailer tires usually don't go slowly, they just flat out let go (at least in my experience). I've had them blow a few minutes after checking the pressure at a gas station.

The tandem axle just gives you a tire to ride on with no sway, no dragging trailer, brakes still work, etc.

Tandem axles are also very nice for having dual brakes in hills.
Until recently many tandem axle trailers came with brakes on only one axle.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #22
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I second the comment on beating a hole in the trailer because of driving some distance with a flat. The one blowout I had with my single axle Casita did some damage and I stopped within a quarter mile.

Dick
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:54 PM   #23
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Until recently many tandem axle trailers came with brakes on only one axle.
True, but it's 2 hours to install, if the axle is there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #24
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Years ago my Dad had an RV sales business. At the start he was only selling/towing smallish single axle trailes, Apache, Mallard, Shasta etc. Then he towed his first dual axle TT. Although it was heavier he said it handled and stopped better than the lighter single axle trailers.

Of course Andrew T has always said the best towing trailer he has ever towed was the triple axle 34' Airstream. If 4 is better than 2, 6 is better than 4.

In 73, our 23' dual axle Airstream was also available as a single axle. Very few single axle models were produced or sold compared to the dual axle version.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:15 AM   #25
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Isn't the owner of a twin-axle trailer twice as manly as the owner of a single-axle trailer? Or does manliness still go by the size of the wheels fitted, like for other vehicles?
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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Isn't the owner of a twin-axle trailer twice as manly as the owner of a single-axle trailer? Or does manliness still go by the size of the wheels fitted, like for other vehicles?
"Eggy-Sue" (our Scamp13) is a "girlie" little trailer anyway. Perfect in every way, "she floats as the clouds on air do!"
She enjoys being a girl!...
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #27
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On these "lightweight" all molded trailer... brakes on one axle is all that's needed.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:52 PM   #28
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On these "lightweight" all molded trailer... brakes on one axle is all that's needed.
Under most conditions, probably. Coming out of the mountains, etc., I would prefer them on both. I also prefer the extra safety of it. I rewire my dual axle trailers so only one axle is powered off the factory wire harness. I run a separate wire from the trailer plug down the opposite side of the trailer from the factory harness, and run that to the second axle. I learned that one the hard way, after my harness was taken out and I lost brakes (among other things).
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