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Author Topic: Towing single axle vs tandem  (Read 756 times)

Constrictor

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Towing single axle vs tandem
« on: August 15, 2017, 10:16:56 AM »
Wife and are are going to buy a camper this winter. we want a small camper with walk around bed and stand alone shower.
The Forest river wolf pup 16FQ is perfect for us but ive had a friend tell me a single axle tows squirrely. is this true?
any issues towing single axle camper?

Roy M

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 10:49:08 AM »
Single axle trailers tow just fine as long as they are properly loaded. They normally will not exceed 3,000 lb GVWR which severely limits size but they are out there.

lone_star_dsl

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 04:47:50 PM »
I used to have a single axle too trailer when I had my contracting company. It always pulled straight but was always bouncy. I got tired of having to pick up tools that fell on the floor and bought a tandem axle trailer. 

The tandem axle rode much smoother and I no longer had to worry about a blow out causing me to be totally immobile.
2007 KZ Sportsman 36SE3 Toy Hauler
2016 Ram 3500, CTD, Aisin, Dually
Monument, CO

Constrictor

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 04:54:51 PM »
I used to have a single axle too trailer when I had my contracting company. It always pulled straight but was always bouncy. I got tired of having to pick up tools that fell on the floor and bought a tandem axle trailer. 

The tandem axle rode much smoother and I no longer had to worry about a blow out causing me to be totally immobile.
thanks for the reply. What about a stabilizer hitch?

lone_star_dsl

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 05:22:46 PM »
thanks for the reply. What about a stabilizer hitch?

I don't think a stabilizer hitch would do much. It's just the nature of the beast for a single axle trailer to ride differently than one with more axles. I have left full cups of water on the counter in my triple axle trailer and they stay put and don't spill even after hundreds of miles.
2007 KZ Sportsman 36SE3 Toy Hauler
2016 Ram 3500, CTD, Aisin, Dually
Monument, CO

JackL

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 06:03:12 PM »
I like the tandem since if you have a blow out, you'll never have any problem keeping the rig straight.
With a single, you'll be all over the road and hard to control it.

Jack L

muskoka guy

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  • 2000 Coachmen Santara 370 isb cummins diesel
Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 06:13:50 PM »
Potholes are the main reason single axles suck. The trailer tire falls in every hole in the road, therefore bouncing. The tandem will glide right over a hole as the second tire holds the trailer up until you pass it. I would think a single axle wouldnt leave you much carrying capacity either. Good luck and happy camping.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 09:25:12 AM »
I think all the comments above are accurate, but not very important in the big picture. I wouldn't disqualify a purchase simply because two axles have some ride quality and emergency handling benefits. Numerous people tow single axle trailers without undue worry.

Whether a trailer tows straight and nicely [or not] has to do with the balance (tongue weight) and tow vehicle capability. Not the number of axles.

Quote
What about a stabilizer hitch?

I suspect you mean a weight-distributing (WD) hitch with sway control. Use of a WD hitch will depend on your tow vehicles capabilities, but you will probably need one. If you do, get one that has built-in sway control rather than the little friction bar on the side. Equal-I-Zer, Reese Strait Line Dual Cam, Husky Centerline, eyc.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 09:30:35 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Constrictor

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 09:41:25 AM »
I will be towing with a quad cab 1/2 ton Silverado. I want to get a small camper 18' or less. 3000 pounds or less.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 10:33:26 AM »
Well, the 16 ft Wolf Pup runs 4000 lbs loaded for the road. Forget the trailer dry weight and focus on the trailer GVWR. That's what you will be towing.

Your Silverado might be able to handle a  400-420 lb tongue weight without a WD hitch, but the WD can't hurt. Check your hitch receiver rating for "weight carrying" vs "weight distributing" weights.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Dorian

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 02:02:00 PM »
Tandem all the way.  For me it was reasons already mentioned.  Tows nicer, more balanced, and not so worried about a catastrophic blowout on the highway.

I've attached pics of my 20 footer hooked up to my half-ton F-150.  It's about 5000 lbs loaded up but the hitch weight is well below 400 lbs, even with a full tank of water (tank is at the front of the TT).

I measured fender height with and without trailer, and as you can see with the pictures, the rear drops 1 inch.  The front doesn't drop or raise at all.  The truck's tank was also full with 36 gallons of fuel.

Tandems make a really smooth ride.  I don't have a WH hitch, or sway bar.  I never get any bouncing or swaying at all.

kdbgoat

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 02:13:19 PM »
With a trailer that weighs that amount, and a hitch weight that low, I'm really surprised that you don't have a lot of sway issues.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Dorian

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 02:42:02 PM »
Same here.  I'm guess it's because it's a tandem?  Maybe because the axles have been flipped to raise it up higher?  I have a straight hitch and the trailer does lean forward slightly.  It tows like a dream.  Other than the slower acceleration and braking, I can't even tell I'm towing anything.

RedandSilver

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 08:59:38 PM »
Another reason for duel axles is ALMOST all duels will have electric brakes - you want brakes - trust me.

It's very easy to overload a TT or any trailer really.  Having a little extra GVWR on a trailer is worth it IMO.

Common axle ratings are 3500 lbs per axle. So 2 axles would give you 7000 lbs - that doesn't mean you have to load it to the max
but overloading a 3500 lbs axle would not be hard to do.  Things you put in a TT add up fast so better to have more weight rating vs. too
little is a good thing.

But in the end it's your decision what to get.  I'm like most and would I would never buy a single axle unless I was going to haul trash in it.  ;D
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

Charlie 5320

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 06:53:33 PM »
My first RV was a 1972 Aristocrat low liner 16 ft single axle trailer, back in 74. It pulled like a dream, but I did use a Eq hitch, still have it to this day, the hitch. That little trailer was pulled to the Mountains in Colorado many times in the 70s and 80s When we were Elk hunting. Never had a problem towing EXCEPT with the cross winds out west. Even semis were having problems too.   
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Memtb

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2017, 10:23:47 PM »
    “TANDEM” -  For all of the reasons stated above. PLUS, I’ll add another and quite different reason. I often tow in fairly remote places, and I don’t like to be at the mercy of Murphy! I try to maintain my equipment, go to the excess on tires, bring lots of tools, and can do many roadside repairs, except.... a “burned” wheel bearing (unlikely, but it can happen). It happened to us 5 years ago, a few days before Christmas. Thirty-five miles from the nearest town, 140 miles to the nearest large city with parts, getting dark, temps in single digits and falling. Jacked-up the axle, removed tire/wheel, secured axle up to frame (you can use a short section of chain, ratchet strap, etc.), traveled another 65 miles to our campground near our son’s home on a single tire on the one side ( a strong case for “overkill” on tires). Enjoyed Christmas with family, drove to the big city (had a Dexter Axle supplier) after Christmas, bought parts needed (hub, bearings,grease). Right there in the campground with daytime highs in single digits to low teens, “dressed” the slightly damaged axle with a file, replaced all parts, and completed another chapter in our rv’ing experience!
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

spencerpj

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 07:37:34 AM »
All the above answers are good.  Do you plan to travel great distance, or just weekend, in state trips?  In state, get whatever you guys like.  The more you will use it, the more the comments matter.  I like my dual axle 19' Puma, pulls very easy and smooth.  I would say, get a WD hitch.  Straightens everything out for better towing experience.
2005 GMC Yukon XL, 1500, 4WD
2012 Puma, 19fs

QZ

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Re: Towing single axle vs tandem
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2017, 08:50:04 AM »
I had a Siverado, ext cab, 5.3, short bed, 4x4 rated to tow 9700.  I pulled a tandem axle 24 ft TT loaded at 4800 lb. I had a good deal of cargo in the bed and a fiberglass cap so the rear axle was at about 1800 lb which was over it's 1,650 rating. At those weights it was easy to drive but I wouldn't want to go any higher.  3000 to 4000 would be easy. Proper tongue weight is the big issue with any ball mount trailer. Stabilizer and anti sway can help as the weight goes up. No matter the number of axles, to me good tires, inflation, speed, tire age and wheel bearing condition will keep you rolling. I agree that all my single axle trailers have more bounce to them for the reasons stated above.

One thing you dont have with a single axle and it's good for the tires is the smearing or twisting side force of a tandem axle set up.

 

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