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Old    turtle            02-01-2003, 5:28 PM Reply   
Tandem axle or single

I am looking at new boats, and the trailer question keeps coming up...single or tandem. What are the pros and cons of both? You guys seem to have answers for everything....hell a brother out
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-01-2003, 5:48 PM Reply   
i ended up going with a single axle trailer, as the place i lived for the past year had a tight turn around to get the boat lined up for the garage. single axle is more maneuverable. i also had short tows to and from the lake. the tandem is more stable on the freeway (can go faster with less sway) the tandem also would allow you to limp home or at least to a tire store if you had a blowout. i have been fortunate not to have any tire problems yet, but i keep an eye on them.

my longest tow so far was 20 hours, when I moved from IL to FL last month.
Old    goinhuge            02-01-2003, 5:59 PM Reply   
I love my tandem axle, IMHO it tows better and rides smoother than my old single axle. I wont go with another single becasue the tandem is that much nicer.
Old    gotpwr            02-01-2003, 6:15 PM Reply   
If you do a lot of highway towing and can afford the difference in price go with the tandem axle. My tandem axle tows awesome all the way up to 80MPH with never a hint of sway. I chose a tandem axle since I don't live on a lake and the closest lake is 1/2 hour and I typically tow 2-4 hours to a lake on the weekends. Previously, I had a single axle and the tandem tows significantly better on the highway. No matter what kind of trailer you get you should always have a spare tire. Towing a tandem axle trailer with a blowout will cause the other tire on the same side to be overloaded, potentially damaging the tire and leading to another blowout in the near future.

(Message edited by gotpwr on February 01, 2003)
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-01-2003, 6:43 PM Reply   
for reference i never tow over 65 mph, partially due to the fact that I don't want a speeding ticket, and partially due to the fact that the trailer starts to sway a little when you hit 70
Old     (tigeal)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-01-2003, 7:53 PM Reply   
I want both, manuverablity of the single and stability at speed of the dual.
Old    stencil_king            02-03-2003, 9:18 PM Reply   
Go with the tandem well worth the $$$. I had a single and will never go back to it. No sway with the tandem, the boat just follows you around any turn, its nice.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-03-2003, 10:11 PM Reply   
Tandems have many benefits over a single axle. As stated above they handle better and in case of a blow out are more controllable. If you do get a flat you can tie the flat tire up and drive home. The smoother ride with protect your boat. One other thing I would strongly recommend is disk brakes over the drums. There is a reason drum brakes are being phased out on the new cars. Folding tongues have their place too including resale but not needed if your storage is large enough.
Old    dlb988            02-04-2003, 12:34 PM Reply   
Do not let the idea that a tandem has less manuverability be an issue. I have put my tandem and Suburban in tighter places than I put my Jeep GC and my old single axle. It just takes practice.

The increased safety of a tandem is a no brainer. Get brakes.
Old     (noneya)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-04-2003, 2:31 PM Reply   
A single you can easily move around by hand, I have heard it is much harder to do with a tandem. Other than that the only benefit of a single is the price.
Old     (dan_lee)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-04-2003, 4:08 PM Reply   
These boats that are sold on single axle trailers are still safe that way. A tandem looks and handles better, but you really need to examine the price tag to justify. The units we sell on single axle trailers are fine and a tandem is an added bonus but not necessary. A tandem axle is nearly unmovable by hand where a single could be. IMO most tandem upgrades are nice for a few reasons, but not always necessary. If price and ability to move it by hand are not an issue, then go for it.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-04-2003, 5:38 PM Reply   
is it me or would you need to be king kong to move a 3000 lb trailer by hand even on a flat smooth surface (other then to move the tongue over a bit), check the weight of your boat, tower, toys, gas tank, etc then check the max load weight of your single axle trailer ( the max im seeing is 4100 lb capacity but only with 15" wheels) oh yea dont forget to add the weight of your future lead if your into that thing, you really are running at the upper limit when using a single axle with a 4000+ - lb load
Old    swass            02-04-2003, 5:46 PM Reply   
I've had both, and I would never want to trade my double for a single. They are well worth the added expense, IMO. They track at highway speed much better and they are safer. I had a blowout at 75 mph this past summer; I don't even wanna think about what may have happened with a single. Disk brakes are well worth the price too.
Old     (hillbilly)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-04-2003, 5:53 PM Reply   
what is the price of a tandem with disc's and removable tongue???
Old     (magic)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-04-2003, 6:45 PM Reply   


This blow out occured at ~70mph. Non event with a tandem, scary scary scary with a single.
Old     (dan_lee)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-05-2003, 11:25 AM Reply   
I'll disagree about the blowout. I've unfortunatly had a blow-out at 70 mph pulling an 18ft Sea Ray on a single axle, as well as a blowout on a tandem axle with my 5000 lbs Explorer fully loaded with off road gear and both times the situation was the same. IT'S DRIVER RESPONSE everybody. Like the whole Ford Explorer rollover hype, you put a clueless soccer mom behind the wheel who has a blowout and immediately hammers the brakes, yes you will have problems. For me I was lucky both times, I saw smoke and felt the bumping and slowly pulled off the HWY. The second time was with the tandem axle, and it felt just like it did when I had the tire blow 2 years prior on the single. Just my 2 cents and experience. Driver is the factor more than anything.
Old    dlb988            02-05-2003, 2:02 PM Reply   
No offense Dan, I have had blow outs with both single and double axle trailers. There is a major difference. I will never own a single axle trailer again. The driver is a factor, but with a true blow out on a single your trailer sways out of the lane on a double you have the support of the second axle to stablize the situation while you pull off the road.
Old     (dan_lee)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-05-2003, 3:09 PM Reply   
Both of my blowouts were "true" but also both trailers I was towing were completly different. I'll agree that a 2400 lb boat on a trailer suffering a blowout would be much different than a 3800lb boat having a blowout on a single axle. Any inboard is probably right at the limit between the two...hence leaving the choice to the owner. If I had the space and $$ I'd like the tandem. Usually the brakes however are only on one axle anyway...which is still plenty.
Old     (cyclonecj)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-05-2003, 6:53 PM Reply   
My blowout looked just like that. Part of the reason was that the trailer was not level, it was too low in the front, putting more stress on the front tires. Can't tell from the pic which tire it was on yours. Usually it is the right side because those tires hit more potholes and debris. I hit a box of King 50 staples, took out both right tires. One held air until I got home. My trailer has 4 disks, don't know if that's typical or not. At 30-60k for a boat, what's another 1000 for a trailer upgrade? I decided to wait on tower speakers, racks and get a better trailer. And a spare!
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-05-2003, 8:09 PM Reply   
Most of the other replies discussed the stability, safety and so forth. I will stay out of that discussion, but here is another issue to consider:

Gross Weight.

I assume your boat will be an inboard. The boat is probably going to weigh around 3000 pounds, with minimal gear. Add another 500 pounds for the trailer. Add another 500 pounds for the gear you load into the boat for a long road trip (ice chests, tool box, spare gas, food, camping gear, etc..). Maybe you want to add a few hundred pounds of lead.

Bottom line, it isn't that hard for the gross weight to exceed 4000 pounds. A typical tire used on an inboard boat trailer is a 205/75R14, and has a load rating of around 1700 pounds.

Two of these is only 3400 pounds.......

Do NOT overload your trailer tires or you will be very unhappy. Tires don't blow while sitting in the driveway, they blow 100 miles from the nearest town of any size, 9:00 PM on a Sunday night.

Rod McInnis
Old     (bruce)      Join Date: Feb 2002       02-05-2003, 8:21 PM Reply   
See my profile rig for what I take to the lake. I have at least 2500 pounds in the back, and my boat with trailer weighs 4700 pounds. I've pulled it 9 hours all over the mountains of MO. and it never swayed once. A tandem would be nice, but don't pass on a deal for a great boat on a good single axle.
Old     (magic)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-05-2003, 8:39 PM Reply   
Psyclone, the blow out was the left rear. Go figure. no gas in the boat, no gear in the boat, it sits level on the hitch and I checked the tire pressure that morning... Bad tire I guess. Only one year old.


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