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Old 03-01-2012, 06:23 AM   #1
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We currently own a 20 ft travel trailer with single axle. We're considering purchasing a new Sunset Trail with a tandem axle.

I have never pulled a trailer with tandem axle, so for those who have had both single and tandem axles, what can I expect?

Is it better on the highway?
More difficult to back into a campsite?

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Old 03-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #2
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I believe one of the major reasons for a tandem axle versus a single axle is the weight of the trailer. As a trailer gets larger and heavier you need more tire on the ground to support it. I did not find any appreciable difference in handling between a single axle and a tandem when we were pulling travel trailers.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:39 AM   #3
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I agree with Dale about the weight but I noticed a slightly improved handling when going from a single to dual axle especially when being passed by large trucks. It just seems more stable. You will also notice that if you upgrade to a longer rig, backing up will be a bit easier. Yes you will have the added length but the turning response will be slower which gave me more confidence when backing.



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Old 03-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan
I agree with Dale about the weight but I noticed a slightly improved handling when going from a single to dual axle especially when being passed by large trucks. It just seems more stable. You will also notice that if you upgrade to a longer rig, backing up will be a bit easier. Yes you will have the added length but the turning response will be slower which gave me more confidence when backing.


I agree with Dale and Stan.
I'll add that it should also help eliminate "some" of the tail wagging the dog situation that TTs are known for.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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I'm fairly good backing up and learned a long time ago, slower is better. I'll be curious to see how much having 2 axles that don't turn will twist when backing into a campsite. That seems to me that it would put a lot of pressure/stress on the axles, wheels, tires, etc.




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Old 03-01-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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when turning in reverse it does put alot of strain on the wheels/axles.... just pull forward to straighten out and relieve the tension.... as said above, it will be alot easier to back up. I didn't believe until I tried.



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Old 03-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenannie
I'm fairly good backing up and learned a long time ago, slower is better. I'll be curious to see how much having 2 axles that don't turn will twist when backing into a campsite. That seems to me that it would put a lot of pressure/stress on the axles, wheels, tires, etc.




This is a bigger issue with fifth wheels where the trailer can get to 90+ degrees relative to the tow vehicle. With a TT, you are limited to roughly 50 degrees.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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I can tell you from a personal experience that a tanden pulls better, less tail wag and wander. I had a rather heavy 20' boat with an inboard engine. The trailer that came with the boat when I purchased it used was just marginal in capacity. After some research I discovered the same trailer frame with a tandem axle was more than enought capacity. This backs up the argument that tandems are simply for more capacity. After I purchased another axle and all the parts necessary to convert the trailer to tandem I was very pleased with the difference in towing. Not only was I now much safer in capacity but the trailer tracked much better. When passed by tractor trailers I noticed less tail wagging.

This was a good comparison between single and tandem configurations because I added no weight. Thus the feel of the tandem was very evident.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Beside the weight consideration, atandem axle trailer has the tendency to track better than a single axle trailer. With four wheels on the road, any side forces, like wind etc, will be dampened. The box formation of the wheels wants to maintain the direction that its going in. A single axle trailer doesn't have that feature and is more suseptible to the side force thatis applied to it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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thanks everyone





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Old 03-02-2012, 03:45 AM   #11
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Another critical point for tandems or triples in my case, is if you have a tire blow on a single vs a tandem or triple, you still have tire traction on the pavement until you stop. Once the single tire blows, trying to maintain a straight line when stopping becomes more difficult.

A few years back when towing my 25' boat with tandems on I-40 coming back from Lake Mojave,one tire blew when in the fast lane, passing a big rig and the extra tire on the pavement sure made the stop, easier and much safer.

As said before, it is a component of how much weight you are pulling and having triples on my 5er sure makes me feel better at 55-60.
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