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Bolted on bits, factory and aftermarket accessories Discussion of after-market extras: winches, bull bars, tow bars (and Towing), roof racks, snorkels, and other cool stuff

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  #1  
Old 13-01-19
craka craka is offline
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Default Tandem vs Single axle box trailer - which one

Looking to buy a box trailer for general duties , and want one at least 1500kg gvm thus will need to be braked.

However unsure whether to buy single axle for around $2700 or tandem for about $3200 , both galvanised trailer.

I find that tandem is more stable when towing than a single from towing other trailers I have borrowed.

Is there much of a diffference in fuel consumption between towing similar size single axle and tandem axle trailer? I haven't had enough time towing both to compare.
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NS SWB X 3.2DiD - Factory locker, Hella spotties, GME UHF, roof racks otherwise stock as a rock.

Retired: 1991 NH SWB 3.0L V6 5sp Manual, Mickey Thompson ATZs, GME UHF TX3200.
Wanting: Rocksliders, 2" lift, snorkel or perhaps I should wait and purchase a NS swb in 12months time.
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  #2  
Old 13-01-19
Wicks747 Wicks747 is offline
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A tandem will definitely be more settled on the road and carry the weight better. The only down side with them is they are much much harder to mavover around by hand in the driveway and hooking it up etc.
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  #3  
Old 14-01-19
Having Fun Having Fun is offline
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I've been using a 8x5 dual axle cage trailer for work for 13 years. It's heavy! (400kg with tools in the toolbox). But as said, it sits well on the road & it'll cope with large weights.


If I push down on the drawbar & lift the rear wheels off the deck, it manoeuvres as well as a single axle.


Fuel wise, I've found no difference from the single axle 7x5 I had before it.


Make sure it's locally made & not an import bolted together here. A colleague has an import & is always getting it repaired!
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  #4  
Old 14-01-19
Having Fun Having Fun is offline
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Also; if it's going to be out in the weather, I'd go flat bright steel for the floor. Checker plate rusts if left out in the rain.
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  #5  
Old 14-01-19
erad erad is offline
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By choice, I would go for a fully galvanised trailer rather than bright steel. Bright steel is as rolled nd has no corrosion protection, hence full hot dip galvanising.



Also, as for 2 wheels vs 4 wheels, 4 wheels are better because the trailer will be more stable when towing, but it will be heavier (and hence use more fuel to tow it in hilly country) and it will not offer any better protection in the event of a blowout of the trailer tyres. A lot of hype has been put up about caravans with 4 wheels ebing better than 2 wheels - people say they don't want the van to turn over when a tyre blows. Well, in 30 years of towing I have had 3 tyres blow in my Jayco poptop caravan and the only way I knew was because of loud rumbling noises. There was no pulling, sideways skidding - nothing. In fact the last time, I was running on the rim for about 2 km before I could pull off the road (it was narrow and winding and there was nowhere I could safely pull off the road to change it). All I knew was that I could hear rumbling and the van had a slight lean on it. As long as the axle, hubs, rims and tyres are up to the loading, in my opinion, w wheels are better than 4 because the whole trailer is lighter and more manouverable than with a 4 wheel setup.
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  #6  
Old 14-01-19
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As Stated, Tandem Axle will generally tow better that Single Axle, but it definitely will use more fuel.


You can improve the towing stability of a single axle trailer by having it built with the axle a little further back, or the draw bar a little longer. Having a longer drawbar with a toolbox and Spare Wheel mounted on it, and your Axle 200mm to the rear of the centre of the box should produce a trailer that tows like a dream and is more economical to tow that a Tandem.


When I built mine, I had the Spare mounted on a Stub Axle. I had a spare wheel and tyre, spare disc brake hub and spare bearings. I never needed any of them, but they were all there.


As for blowouts, I have been driving for about 45 years and in all that time I have had a few flat tyres, but never had a blowout.

The only reason I would go to Tandem Axle would be if I needed it to carry the weight.

Steve
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Old 15-01-19
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After having had a single for many years, I replaced it with a tandem - more because of the weights I was towing and pushing the limits with the single being unbraked.
With some 25 years of towing trailers I had never had a puncture or even a leaking tyre, however, on a recent trip in the tandem I had a blowout (only was aware of it from the TPMS warning - no handling issues) and then, about 100kms later, a puncture. The spare had gone on after the blowout but when the puncture occurred there was no longer a spare.
We were about 50 kms from the nearest town so were able to limp there on three inflated tyres which is something I wouldn’t have done on a single with a tyre deflated. Fortunately the trailer on this occasion was reasonably light but had it been a single with a flat then the tyre would have been destroyed limping that extra 50km - being a tandem was an advantage on this occasion.
I can’t really say I’ve noticed any significant increase in fuel consumption with the tandem and, like the previous comments, it certainly tows nicely - even to the point that my wife will tow it which was previously unthinkable with the single. Her comment “you don’t even know it’s there”. Mind you, the tow vehicle being an auto and the trailer being braked are somewhat different to the single behind a manual.
Manoeuvring it manually can be a tad difficult at times but not insurmountable.

Last edited by arrow; 15-01-19 at 07:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 16-01-19
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Ive had both and I prefer the tandem it does seem better to tow although the 6x4 I previously had towed very well too.

I do think however, that if you are getting a trailer heavy enough to require brakes, youd be better off with the tandem.

Cheers

Geoff
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  #9  
Old 16-01-19
Having Fun Having Fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erad View Post
By choice, I would go for a fully galvanised trailer rather than bright steel. Bright steel is as rolled nd has no corrosion protection, hence full hot dip galvanising.



Also, as for 2 wheels vs 4 wheels, 4 wheels are better because the trailer will be more stable when towing, but it will be heavier (and hence use more fuel to tow it in hilly country) and it will not offer any better protection in the event of a blowout of the trailer tyres. A lot of hype has been put up about caravans with 4 wheels ebing better than 2 wheels - people say they don't want the van to turn over when a tyre blows. Well, in 30 years of towing I have had 3 tyres blow in my Jayco poptop caravan and the only way I knew was because of loud rumbling noises. There was no pulling, sideways skidding - nothing. In fact the last time, I was running on the rim for about 2 km before I could pull off the road (it was narrow and winding and there was nowhere I could safely pull off the road to change it). All I knew was that I could hear rumbling and the van had a slight lean on it. As long as the axle, hubs, rims and tyres are up to the loading, in my opinion, w wheels are better than 4 because the whole trailer is lighter and more manouverable than with a 4 wheel setup.

Like I said, mine's been out in the weather for the 13 years I've had it (1995 build, ex hire trailer). It's a work trailer & sometimes sits all weekend with wet green waste in it from my last job of the week. I use a chainsaw to cut & compact the waste, so I can get more into the trailer, so there's sometimes a large volume of wet sawdust sitting in the bottom of it when I unload it. No rust on the bright steel floor whatsoever.



My previous work trailer was a hot dipped galv one, which I bought new. It was well & truly rusted out within 5 years. The galv wears off.
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  #10  
Old 17-01-19
craka craka is offline
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Thanks for all the input guys.

Definitely going gal trailer, either single or tandem.

I think I'm leaning towards a tandem, even if it does cost a little more in fuel. I can't see myself doing too much long distance towing so shouldn't be too much of a problem with fuel cost.


On a side note why are flat top/deck trailers so damn expensive in comparison with equivalent sized box trailers? I'd probably be more interested in one of those if they were not so expensive.
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NS SWB X 3.2DiD - Factory locker, Hella spotties, GME UHF, roof racks otherwise stock as a rock.

Retired: 1991 NH SWB 3.0L V6 5sp Manual, Mickey Thompson ATZs, GME UHF TX3200.
Wanting: Rocksliders, 2" lift, snorkel or perhaps I should wait and purchase a NS swb in 12months time.
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