HELP - advice re 'van axles and wheels

Submitted: Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:19
ThreadID: 31953 Views:2236 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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G'day all:
I am in the market for a new caravan around 15'-6" plus boot - so about 17' long. I have some limitations regards overall height, so have been discussing options for single axle vs tandem axle with manufacturers, and I'm getting conflicting information - what's new?

Nominal tare weight will be around 1300 - 1400 depending on manufacturer, but I want enough 'leeway' in the axle/spring loadings to allow for water, food, clothes, battery/solar etc without exceeding or approaching the AGM/GVM/whatever.

If I had enough height to spare, I would go for single axle of 1850kg or thereabouts and 16" wheels identical to 4WD, but van wont fit under the carport in that configuration (unless I modify the carport).

One manufacturer said I need to go to tandem axle and 14" LT tyres - no problem, he says.

Next guy says you can't fit dual axles under a 15'-6" van - not enough chassis to do it, and it would be very 'bouncy' if I tried. He wants to use 1850kg axle and 14" LT tyres. I asked what 14" tyres will safely take the weight (900kg plus) and he moved on to the next topic!

I've searched some web sites for tyre data, but so far have not found a suitable 14" LT - and I want something that is readily available around Oz!

I am also a little concerned about 10" (electric) brakes on a single axle, pulling up 1800 kgs of van.

I will be taking my question to other dealers / manufacturers, but I would greatly appreciate any accurate info from the forum re the following:
* Can dual axles fit under a 15'-6" body 'van (17'-0" overall body incl boot)?
[If any of you have such a 'van, I appreciate a Make / Model.]
* What 14" LT tyres are readily available to take 900+ kgs (load rating would be greater than 100)
* What is the feeling regards the single 10" brakes?
* any other comments appreciated.

thanks,
glids

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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:32

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:32
I had a single axle Golf about 17 foot long, had the widest tyres on 14 inch rims I could fit and it was still borderline re carrying capacity.

The other thing the tyres had to be at about 60PSI as well so gave a very hard ride.

I have just swapped to dual axle same tyres, give a bit of a leeway on load. Especially if you partner is a rock collector or craft freak.

AnswerID: 161753

Follow Up By: glids - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:50

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:50
Hi Notso:

Good point re the hard ride on high pressures - will keep that in mind.

ta

glids
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FollowupID: 416428

Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:41

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:41
where are you glids as the caravan & camping shows are about to start and the likes of ALKO and Hayman Reece are normally at these shows
its no good asking the sales people as most will only tell you what you want to hear they really dont have a clue although occasionlly you do get 1 who knows a little bit
or ring ALKO they build most of the axle /brake setups

steve
AnswerID: 161756

Follow Up By: glids - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 21:00

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 21:00
Hi OS&D

I'm in Adelaide, and missed the show as I was holidaying in NZ.

I've found a few LT tyres in the higher load ratings, but an ealier reply (Notso) pointwed out the harsh ride at high tyre pressures.

Keen on more info...

ta

glids
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FollowupID: 416431

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 22:03

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 22:03
for ride and handling i would surely go for the Tandem, Is the van a pop-top.??? that might overcome your height problem, as for the car port, well instead of raising it why not lower the driveway [ if it's possible and logical ] but yeh a Tandem poptop 18footer would be my choice.Check the link i give you for poptops ,has all specs etc

poptop

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AnswerID: 161789

Reply By: StephenF10 - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 22:51

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 22:51
Glids,

Normally the boot is included when referring to caravan length, so you are really looking at a 17' van. This is the length where tandems tend to take over from singles. The choice is between a single with heavily loaded springs, axle, bearings and tyres and a tandem with more lightly loaded runing gear, but heavier and more expensive because it has that extra set of wheels (and brakes). My choice would be the tandem.

I have a 17'6" tandem pop-top with Bridgestone Bison LT 185/14 radials with a load rating of 103. I have heard reports of problems with Dunlop LT's but nothing bad about Bridgestones. Mine have only done 8500kms mostly cruising at 90kms/hr on bitumen roads but no punctures or other problems.

Stephen.
AnswerID: 161796

Reply By: Nav 8 - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 00:48

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 00:48
You can't fit dual axles under a 15' 6" van-not enough chassis?
Well they fit under a 8'x4' foot trailer!. Nav.
AnswerID: 161810

Reply By: glids - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 09:44

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 09:44
Thanks for the responses guys.

A couple of good points made, especially regarding harsh ride from single 14" LT's at high pressure, and Nav8's comment re 8' trailers.

Originally I would have preferred the single axle with 16" tyres to match the 4WD, but height precludes that - even with pop-top van (unless I go for very low profile pop-top, which I want to avoid). The tandem should provide a smoother ride, and keep the height down as well.

I'll be speaking to other dealers / manufacturers shortly, to get a more balanced view of this.

Thanks all
glids
AnswerID: 161867

Follow Up By: Old Scalyback & denny - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 17:36

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 17:36
goodday glids
another option might be to make/buy some very small wheels just time consuming to change before and after your trips
ie 8 or 10" wheels

steve
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FollowupID: 416607

Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 19:15

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 19:15
Had a 17 foot poptop Windsor van no boot it was tandem. 15 1/2 foot plus boot would be 17 feet over all. At that lenght need tandem for weight and stability in my opinion.
Replaced it with same this year but 18 inches longer. You need elecrtic brakes on both axles.
Cheers
Charlie
AnswerID: 162000

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