Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 18:09
ThreadID: 68361 Views:2511 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Can any one please tell me the advantage and disadvantage of tandem axle over single axle on 16 to 18 foot vans towing vechile is R50 pathfinder
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Reply By: Member - Old/new Girl (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 18:33

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 18:33

One for the tandem is when you go off the edge of the road the van doesn't pull the vehicle around as much.
Two the carring weights change.
Three you got three other tyres holding the thing up if you get a flat.

Turning circle is smaller
maintenance is two times less.
Cant carry as much crap.

That's a females view and we have had both.

AnswerID: 362304

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:00

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:00
Hello feathery, our first van was a 16' single axle pop top with a tare weight of about 1100 Kg & we have now progressed to a 19' tandem axle, also a pop top & it tares at about 1700 Kg
Our only reason for changing was we wanted a bigger van with a few more creature comforts.
We tow with a Mazda BT 50 & have not noticed any difference in towing characteristics.
Some people will tell you that a single axle van is unstable & will wobble all over the place on the road & consequently stored items get tossed all over the place. We did not have that problem & we have followed many single axle vans on the road & they all appeared to track in a stable manner. This is supported by many single axle van owners.
I don't know whether it is an advantage or not, but because the weight of a dual axle van is distributed over four wheels, you are able to run your tyre pressures a little lower & maybe you are in a better safety situation if you have a flat.
If you need to manually push the draw bar on a single axle van to straighten it up a bit, it is easy to do so on a single axle van & just about impossible if you have a dual axle.
I think the number of axles is dictated by the weight of the van, so work out what size van suits your needs and go for it. Good luck & cheers
AnswerID: 362312

Follow Up By: feathery - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:27

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:27
Thanks heaps it's all food for thought
FollowupID: 630066

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 21:55

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 21:55
Well done Barry,

A balanced opinion, rather than "my way is right" as is so often offered.



FollowupID: 630090

Reply By: Old Johno [NSW] - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 20:26

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 20:26
Mate currently I have an 18' Tandem axle pop top van. Have towed it behind a Ford Falcon & 2 GU patrols. The one thing I find is it rolls behind your vehicle much easier, feels much more stable & if you have to move suddenly on the road it feels much safer. Previous to this had a single axle and always felt unsure that in an emergency or high wind it was not quite safe.
I have been towing vans for 45 years with a lot of mileage behind me & for the extra it costs I feel much safer with the tandem behind me.
Good luck
AnswerID: 362331

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 21:11

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 21:11
I agree, we have towed single axle vans in the past, which were smaller than the vans we have had recently, and we find that tandem axle vans tow a lot easier, they feel better when braking, and as mentioned, less risk with flat tyres ect, and far more controlable off road, and can carry more weight.
FollowupID: 630082

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 22:25

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 22:25
My husband insisted on this one.

Our previous van was a small single axled wind-up. Advantage - could spin it round by hand if stuck. Disadvantages; stuff was tossed from one side of the cupboards to the other (we travel off the bitumen frequently), damage to fittings, milk bottles and cartons leaking from the bottom from the bouncing. I wouldn't even try and take eggs! Husband's reasoning had more to do with safety in case of a blowout or losing a wheel, and general stability of the unit. There is also less thrust up and down on your tow hitch with the van stable on dual axles.

We now have a tandem axled 18' caravan, and everything rides smoothly. I am well and truly convinced.



Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 362359

Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:39

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:39
By the very nature of your question, it seems that you don't have any understanding at all regarding the use of single or dual axles. That's OK so long as it's clear that you don't actually specify which axle combination to use whn building/ordering a van. Such choice is dependent of factors such as weight, length etc. Manufacturers have established formulae based on 'sound' engineering principles. Most of the advantages have already been mentioned.
AnswerID: 362416

Follow Up By: beelzebug - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:07

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:07
DIO, I have to agree with what you say, but why do many of your replies have to have a condescending tone to them?
Lighten up a bit.
FollowupID: 630128

Follow Up By: Member - Tony & Julie (Malanda - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 17:38

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 17:38
DIO - Can not agree with that nasty comment, it was a fair enough question. I tow a 5.5m Plate Alloy Boat. All those sound engineering principals have concluded that a single axle braked trailer was quite adequate. It was for quite a few years, now I have just finished the conversion to Dual Axle.This was based on none of your quoted principals, it was done for safety and not for any other reason.

All engineering principals aside for obvious reasons a dual axle has got to be safer. I travel down ranges at speeds around 90k, I got lucky and the wheel fell off while I was doing 20k around a corner in a town. The result at even that speed was frightening, just imagine if this had happened on the range - doubt if we would be here now.

Chow - Tony
FollowupID: 630171

Reply By: Warstar - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:41

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:41
You need to consider how you will use the van. 18' for a single axle will be pushing it for most manufacturers. You can just do it with a heavier axle, bigger and better wheels and tyres, but as Mother said - not the best option for most uses.

The big advantage of a single axle is less weight, better manoeuvrability, and cheaper, but the trade offs are very real.

If money is not an issue go for independent suspension in whatever you choose!
AnswerID: 362438

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