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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Tandem axle vs single

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/27/21 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nickthehunter wrote:

If my dual axle trailer has a blowout I will proceeding cautiously, at minimal speed, up the next exit and to the nearest safe spot. I won’t be changing it on the side of the road while cars and trucks fly past at 70 mph. Which is the same thing that would happen if I had a single axle trailer, my truck, or any other vehicle.


X2!

I have on more than one occasion ended up with a blown tire on my vehicles due to road debris like nails screws and one was a bolt.. Fortunately, have never had a blow out on any of my trailers.

When it happens, slow down to a crawl until you can find a suitable spot (exit, driveway, parking lot) to pull off the road safely that does not have a steep drop off on the shoulder. As long as there is SOME rubber left on the rim it will generally be enough to protect the rim from severe damage IF you take your time.

Doesn't matter if you have single or dual axle, in both cases, the rim will hit the ground. Dual axles do not have any "edge" on this action as what happens is the good tire and axle will have to handle the full load, will be overloaded and the way dual axle spring suspensions work the axle with full weight will top out the spring travel limits and you will no longer have spring action.

Even if you did damage the rim in the process, it is replaceable, new rim is cheaper than replacing damaged axles and springs or repairing spring mounts.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 12/27/21 05:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been towing a single axle trailer for the last 16 years -- two blowouts -- no problem. One blowout was due to delamination of a cheap Chinese tire, and the other was caused by road debris.

Frankly, I would prefer a dual axle -- I think they are safer, but I can't provide proof.

Unfortunately, they don't make dual axle trailers that are as short as mine (12 foot box!), and I really want a short trailer so I can park it in my driveway and so I can boondock in very small campsites.

Life is a series of compromises.

Bear in mind that if you have two trailers the same length, and one has a dual axle and the other is single, the single axle will probably have more storage space. The dual axle wheel wells use up a lot of room.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No mention yet of how a dual axle fights. When turning, since there is no steering axle, both axles get torqued. the tires on one axle will bend inwards, the tires on the other axle will bend outwards. Look at a parked dual axle and you might see wheels leaning different directions. When pulled straight forward a few inches they will straighten back out.
This is not a big deal unless you try to move the trailer by hand (or with a few friends) and cannot steer it as the wheels have to break loose sideways for the trailer to pivot side to side.
OR if you have the tongue on a wheel jack and try to push it side to side like when hooking up to tow ball.

As for blowouts, unless the tire blows completely off and is gone you will not want to drive with a flat at any speed over 3. The shreded, or soon-to-be, tire will flap around and damage your trailer. Change it asap. You can drive on a flat be it a dual axle or a single axle just the same. That 5 inches of distance the rim is suspended above the ground is not going to flip any trailer over of cause any handling issues when there is no aired-up tire holding it up. The handling issues are the flat/airless rubber pieces, not the angle.

Setting up 4 electric drum brakes properly is much more difficult than just two. You can run just one axle with brakes on a dual axle trailer though, but there is less braking available as those two braked tires have less weight on them.

If you go off road then a dual axle trailer has great advantages you will never need on pavement. This is another topic I think though.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 12/29/21 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

aj, I'll reveal my ignorance -- why is a dual axle better off-pavement than a single? I take my single axle trailer off pavement all the time, and it seems to do ok, as long as I keep the speed way down. But I have never towed a dual axle trailer.

Thanks in advance for your insights!!

Texas Nomad

Texas

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Posted: 12/30/21 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarneyS wrote:

Not necessarily! I have been driving for 70 years, 50 of them towing a trailer of some kind, and have never had a blowout in all of those years.



Barney, Give me the contact information for your Guardian Angel. [emoticon]

I recently purchased a used TT. Had a blowout 10 minutes after leaving the dealership. That very day I replaced all four tires with Goodyear Endurance. May your luck continue!
Don't need the luck anymore as our trailer is done travelling and now sits permanently in a beautiful campground in the Northern Michigan woods.

* This post was edited 12/30/21 04:39pm by an administrator/moderator *

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 12/30/21 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

aj, I'll reveal my ignorance -- why is a dual axle better off-pavement than a single? I take my single axle trailer off pavement all the time, and it seems to do ok, as long as I keep the speed way down. But I have never towed a dual axle trailer.

Thanks in advance for your insights!!

Off road ?.... one really big advantage I've found with multi axle horse/stock/enclosed trailers in a unpaved construction site/pastures is a tandem axle walks over a obstacle and walks through a large hole/ditch unlike a single axle trailer that will bounce if too much speed.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 12/30/21 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Texas Nomad wrote:

BarneyS wrote:

Not necessarily! I have been driving for 70 years, 50 of them towing a trailer of some kind, and have never had a blowout in all of those years.



Barney, Give me the contact information for your Guardian Angel. [emoticon]

I recently purchased a used TT. Had a blowout 10 minutes after leaving the dealership. That very day I replaced all four tires with Goodyear Endurance. May your luck continue!
Don't need the luck anymore as our trailer is done travelling and now sits permanently in a beautiful campground in the Northern Michigan woods.

As far as the reasons why I never had a blowout - probably the biggest one, besides being lucky, is that I always had my trailer tires at the maximum sidewall pressure and never towed faster than 65mph unless passing someone. I used Good Year Marathon ST tires for years followed by Maxxis 8008 ST for the past 20 or so. I usually changed them out every 6 years.
Worked for me![emoticon]
Barney


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/31/21 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JIMNLIN wrote:

profdant139 wrote:

aj, I'll reveal my ignorance -- why is a dual axle better off-pavement than a single? I take my single axle trailer off pavement all the time, and it seems to do ok, as long as I keep the speed way down. But I have never towed a dual axle trailer.

Thanks in advance for your insights!!

Off road ?.... one really big advantage I've found with multi axle horse/stock/enclosed trailers in a unpaved construction site/pastures is a tandem axle walks over a obstacle and walks through a large hole/ditch unlike a single axle trailer that will bounce if too much speed.


You haven't met my BILs property, have you?

His road in to that property has ruts deep and large enough to stop a lone 4x4 truck if you stray too far off the path and will easily take out a trailer with dual axles in the process if you going more than a mere crawl.. Dual axles in this case can be more of a hindrance when taking tight turns/corners as all it takes is for one of the tires to slide into a rut and the other tire WILL follow!

Have had that happen on another property that I get firewood from, had to make a very tight uphill "S" turn, soupy mud ruts on both sides of the trail.. Yeah, trailer slid right into that soupy mess, no phone service to be had, 160 acres of land and the nearest house was a few miles away.. Took a couple of hrs to free the whole works..

Have safely hauled a lot of fire wood out of there using a dual axle trailer but would not dare go faster than 5 MPH once off road in either case..

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 12/31/21 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the “off road” advantage for tandem is because any bump encountered will turn into two (as each tire hits it) but will be half as tall since the equalizer will transfer the wheel travel onto both. The trailer frame will only see the average change of both wheels.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 12/31/21 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't heard the term, walking.
All the off-road trailers bigger than a teardrop are almost always dual.
The trailer can glide thru dips, holes, ditches and over bumps better as one tire drops in and the other maintains ride height, so no drastic side to side bouncing.
Also the trailer does better at angles as there is an axle closer to the rear and an axle closer to the front than if it were single axle. Departure angle is distance from rear tire to that spot on the rear bumper that will hit, so dual axle has a tire farther to the rear. Same for the front.
In soft sand the weight is spread out more too.
Side-loading the tire might pop off a single tire, but again, two tires only see half the side load.

Even on moderate forest service gravel roads you get these benefits, not needed but nice.

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