Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Pros and cons of single-axle vs. double-axle towing

By Cheri Sicard
If you have wondered about the pros and cons of single-axle RVs versus double-axle trailers, this video from Josh the RV Nerd will answer all.

Pros and cons of single-axle trailers

Single axles weigh less and cost less in general. This is natural, since a single axle can only hold so much. These RVs will be smaller and sit closer to the ground.

You might think that sounds great, but there are drawbacks. The biggest one is if you get a blowout. Things can get hairy very fast with a single-axle trailer. You are going to have to fight to maintain control.

Also, because single-axle trailers tend to have narrower bodies, they can be less stable and sway more going down the road. The narrower the trailer, the less stable it will be. However, with a proper tow vehicle, it is not a huge cause for concern.

Pros and cons of double-axle trailers

Of course, weight, price, and usually size increase with double-axle RVs. This can be good in several ways.

For one, your cargo carrying capacity increases, as does the chassis and size of the RV.  After all, you now have two axles supporting the load.

Very few narrow-body tandem-axle trailers are produced, but there are a few.

However, the way these smaller tandem-axle trailers are produced is not ideal in that they sometimes sacrifice structural integrity, something covered in the video.

Of course, there are many benefits to towing double-axle trailers, including an overall smoother towing experience, less sway and bounce, and, most importantly, increased safety during a flat tire or blowout. And trailer tire blowouts do happen.

I can speak to having the safety net of a double-axle trailer while having a flat.

I didn’t have a blowout, but one of my tires lost air to the point of being completely flat.  While driving, I was unaware it had even happened!

Luckily, I stopped for gas before it had gone on too long and spotted it. But from the perspective of driving, I could not even tell anything was going on back there. This is not necessarily a good thing, but far preferable to what could have happened with a single-axle trailer.

In the end, both types of trailers have advantages and disadvantages. The final choice will come down to your personal needs and how you plan to use the RV. But knowing the pros and cons can help you make a more informed decision.

[Note: Haylett RV is now Bish’s RV.]




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Roger Marble
1 year ago

No mention of the potential for tire failure due to the internal stresses placed on the tires in tandem axle application. This video shows the results of these forces. You will not see this on single axle trailers. I have covered the details of Interply Shear in my RV Tire Safety blog.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger Marble
Jeffery H. (@guest_201336)
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

That’s interesting. In the Airstream world, of which I’m a part, every time someone talks about a tire blowing it is a person with a tandem axle. I’ve yet to hear someone with a single axle mention a tire malfunction.

I have a single axle, but I keep my eyes and ears on my tires via a TPMS. I check my tires at the beginning and end of the day and at every stop during the day. Maybe I’ve been lucky? Maybe the Dexter axle with shock absorbers lessens the potential for tire malfunction?

Larry (@guest_252128)
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

I’m assuming then that you don’t need to run specific ST rated tires on a single axle trailer and can use regular LT tires instead, because of no or vastly reduced interply shear?

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