Single or twin axle

Mar 14, 2005
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Hi! I'm looking for a first van (4/5 berth) and am wondering what the advantages / disadvantages are of single and twin axles. I understand twins are more stable for towing, but what's the disadvantage? Thanks!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Mike

Generally down to personal preference but having said that, we have just moved back to a single having purchased the new Bailey Pageant - Series 5 Provence.This is a pretty hefty van but is only a single axle. Often the more heavier vans tend to be twin axled which can often mean added difficulty when moving around on site and when parking etc, as they do not turn on their axis and move so responsively as the single axled models. Also, other considerations are:- double tyres = double wear = double cost to replace and double potential for punctures etc. You pays your money and take your choice if you get my drift.I would recommend a caravan mover on a twin as an added necessity. We have also put one on our single now as it makes life very much easier when positioning etc = No strain & No pain. In terms of added balance better towing stability etc, never found any real difference between either the twin or the single. If you have a good stabiliser on the van a good match ratio to vehicle and pack correctly you will have absolutely no probs with whichever one you choose. Hope this gives further food for thought and assists you in making an informed choice. good luck and happy caravanning. Pete
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We've been caravanning since '86, & have had 2 big Lunar Delta twin axle 'vans. Yes they do carry a bit more and can be more stable, but you'll need a hefty tug to tow with. Servicing is more costly, and they're almost impossible to maneouvre by manpower - you'll need plenty of horsepower! Some European sites won't accept twin axle 'vans, and some smaller pitches are impossible to get on to with a big 'van. Don't ignore safe car/'van matching - twins can still snake!
 
We have an Elddis Super Sirocco twin axle that we pull with a Toyota Landcruiser.

If you are used to towing and good at manouvering the van with the car then it isn't a problem ( I wouldn't want to shift ours by hand !)

I think the benefits of the larger van outweigh any potential disadvantages. Yes, servicing is slightly more expensive but you can ask the dealer about this before you commit to buying anything. Whilst you do potentially have four tyres that may puncture I would rather be towing a twin axle if one tyre punctures than a single axle van !

If you want more practice towing the phone the caravan club and book a place on one of their courses, they teach you reliable methods of reversing etc.

If you are happy towing, the van is the layout you want and you have a towcar capable then go for it !
 
May 21, 2008
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We have a twin axle van at present 1350Kgs 20 foot long and tow it with a Renault 25 at 100% match. We do suffer on the hills a bit but usually no more than what third gear can cope with. Yes it is a pig to move by hand even with a motor mover but that's the price you pay for room and stability when towing. we came down the M6 Sunday in strong cross wind without a twitch. Having had single axle vans before I'd be very reluctant to go back to them from a towing perspective, also there's the plus of four brakes aswell. It pays to be good at manouvering forward and back with the car but other than that there's little difference. Being an engineer I'm able to service my own van and the only additional cost is extra tyres and brake cables. The tyres still last as long as those on a single axle, we always change them after five years and they are still only half worn. Have had a blow out once, the only thing we knew about it was when the tyre started smoking, because the van still rode stable on three wheels! I'd like to see a single axle do that, judgeing by the wavey skids on the motorways I'd say there's your answer on that one. In the end it's down to personal choice, happy choosing and have a great time caravanning.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Mike,

Twin axle trailers prefer to travel in a straight line, because of the two sets of fixed wheels resisting turning. By this factor alone a twin wheeler will tend to be more stable than a single axle model, but as your respondent 'Mike' says twins can still snake. I regularly tow trailers of both twin and single axle configuration, and it is quite noticeable that the well balanced twin axel trailer tends to transmit more reaction to the tow vehicle: I believe that as the first axle hits the bump, the trailer tries to pitch upwards, and actually tries to lift the tail of the car, but when the second axle rides the bump it tends to pitch the trailer down increasing the load on the tow hitch. This motion makes the vibration in the car much more noticeable and jerky. The alko hitch can make a difference here in resisting motion in both the horizontal (yawing) and vertical (Pitching) which the leaf type stabilisers won't do.
 

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