Of those who haul their car with a one axle trailer, how long and wide is it? How much weight can it carry? Does it have electric brakes? Does it travel well? Any oppinion regarding two axle trailers?
I use a single axle flatbed 6' wide, 12' long for the bed. It weighs about 850 lbs and has electric brakes. I've towed it from Seattle to Calgary twice, to Kansas once, Colorado twice and California several times and all over Washignton and Oregon hauling my touring car or speedster. I've towed with both a Chevy S-10 (4.3 liter 5 speed) and most recently a Silverado half ton going to Tennessee and back.
Works great. Sure, a closed trailer with all the comforts of a garage would be nice but this has worked just fine for me.
thank you Walt, just what I wanted to know.
Such a decision deserves a serious risk assessment.
What is the chance the trailer will have a flat tire, and under what road and driving conditions?
A flat tire on a single axle trailer could be devastating, as it will tend to swing the trailer somewhat sideways, and if the tow vehicle is not a lot heavier, could make a Texas sidewinder seem docile. Are there tow accessories that could help? Look into stabilizers.
A single axle trailer - especially with a top heavy load - can rock back and forth, making for a wild ride up front. A load leveler should help to counter that.
Also, a top heavy trailer will put undue pressure on the hitch and back of tow vehicle during hard braking, as it tries to go nose down. That will put lifting force on the front axle of the tow vehicle, possibly making the steering unstable.
Two things would reduce the risk of towing a single axle trailer: a really heavy tow vehicle compared to towed load, and new trailer tires on excellent wheels.
New tires are less likely to puncture, and they have better traction. Tires harden with age and lose traction. Trailer tires are rarely worn down, so they are often driven past their safe life. Run-flat tires might be prudent.
A trailer should have springs and shock absorbers optimized for the load.
Tandem axle trailers have their own challenges, including excessive weight, but on the whole can be less risky than single axle trailers. Again, use the heaviest tow vehicle possible.
Choosing and using a trailer is risky business. Do your homework; this has just scratched the surface. Others here will pitch in with their comments.
If you don't load it right, you ass will be in the air!
I have used many trailers over the 36 years in my business hauling light loads of wood chips up to very heavy tractors with front end loaders and I prefer the added stability of the tandem axle trailers especially if you get a blowout while driving. They are also easier to balance and ride smoother over bumpy roads.....Michael Pawelek
My first T trailer was made by friends with scrounges parts. I bought the T in Portland, OR and lived in LA. The axel was solid. The test run was between these two cities. I pulled it thousands of miles with no trouble. I balanced the T on the trailer for about 300# of hitch weight. It pulled Solid as a rock behind my Jaguar XKE with a hitch fabricated when the trailer was built. That pair was a sight.
So it may not be prudent to do something but necessity with, a little caution can, often gets the job done.
IMHO we all end up doing our best under given conditions. It's called RISK MANAGEMENT.
The subject of risk management is a very personal judgement. To fly or not to fly, to swim or not to swim, ad nauseum.
I am amazed how Rick always has just the correct picture for a given situation. That Ass needs more weight.
And how did the tractor get over the front of the trailer without deforming it. The tractor badly needs an alignment!
And I prefer to fly!
having a single axle trailer limits you to much.if you are just using for a T fine, but what happens if you find a "must have" later (heavier) car.
make mine a tandem.
No argument that a double axle trailer with brakes on all 4 wheels, stabilizers, and a load leveler would be more stable - assuming you have a tow vehicle that is similarly stout.
Proper balance and tongue weight are critical regardless of the size of trailer and number of axles.
In 18 years, of towing my single axle flatbed trailer, I've had two blowouts at freeway speeds (about 60 mph) and neither created control issues. That doesn't mean the next time won't bring a surprise.
As Noel said, risk management is a personal judgement call.
I got the tandem trailer,then used it a time or 2,works good.But the truck,a F150 with 300 I6,was allways under to much of a load.So I aint used it much.
But I never had any real trouble pulling it with the f150.I have a class A cdl and have driven just about everything at least once at work.But when useing the f150 I was just very cautious,took my time,loaded the weight right.Stayed well under the speedlimit.
I mostly am afraid to use it because it was such a heavy load to the truck.
I have had to postpone a trip south because I just didnt feel right about it and was thinking things would have taken shape to allow a purchase of a heavier truck.Aint happened just yet.Supposed to be any day now.
Years ago I towed a single axle travel trailer & there was available skids that were mounted under the spring pads to prevent the rim hitting the ground in the event of a blowout. If I was going to tow a single axle trailer I would try to find some of them. Tandem axles for me.
I am considering an aluminum trailer due to weight. I have a dually enclosed extra tall enclosed trailer. Sometimes I wish I had my homemade simple trailer ;-)
Stephan, You are lucky to ahve a wife that lets you spend on new cars!!
My friend had an enclosed trailer. He had owned his 15 runabout for 60 years. He decided to switch from chains to new 10,000# straps to,secure the T. One of the straps let loose on the way to a tour. The T went rearwards and tossed the broken hitch and pickup of the road. Then the trailer rolled 3 times. Totaled his old friend, the 15, and both vehicles. No injuries to the 80+ young occupants.
The straps were THERMAL WELDED and not stitched. the straps had printed stiching and looked stitched.
Moral here? Sometimes we worry about the wrong things.
I suppose hauling in a single axle trailer as opposed to a tandem axle trailer is somewhat akin to flying in a single engine airplane as opposed to a twin engine plane. You will most likely not have a problem, but if you do, that second engine will come in awful handy. Jim
If you get a used trailer, make sure to check the wheel bearings before / after you buy it. If a problem, replace both because once a friend had a problem with a bearing, spent most of the night repairing it to get on the road and within ten miles the other wheel bearing failed. It was pathetic to watch him tell the story!
Also tires which are better at tracking. I'm no expert, but I think all weather tires would be best. Maybe others will know more about tires. I used to tow a lot when camping and a work which was years ago.
If I could afford it I would spring for a tandem, but they are, like Rick says, a whole other ball game because the tow vehicle is still just as important as the trailer, as well as the load and centers of gravity. A guy in the Ford club said a 4 door adds hundreds of pounds of weight at the top.
I agree there are a lot of variables involved. Thanks for posting. I hope this continues. If not there have been some very lengthy threads on this subject which, hopefully are still available.
Here are some good past threads that will keep you busy for the next couple days:
Yes,those aluminum trailers are light and easyer to pull.
Good advice given on checking wheel bearings.I can add to that to say check spring shackles and ubolts.A friend in the lawnmaintance bussiness was complaining the fuel mileage was down on his truck.I also heard alot of squeeking from the trailer.
Turns out his shackles were worn out,the axles worn half in 2 by loose ubolts and 2 sets of bearings were fixing to lock up.
It cost him over 500 bucks buying the parts wholesale to reaxle,rebush the springs and replace all mounting hardware.
Also,Dexter is a common manufactor of axles and mounting hardware.Made in china on some of it thought.But still,better than the hardware like bearings from Northern tool.those bearings dont last long.
Also,people tend to be real fussy over balanceing the tires on thier truck or car,but forget the trailer.Out of balance tires on a trailer cause alot of vibration and shakeing which is hard on bearings,springs and fastners,not to mention the cargo.
Balanceing a tire is usally part of the cost of installtion but tire stores skip that part when they see it is going on a trailer.Dont let them skip it,you are paying for it in most cases so get them balanced.