Why do some vans have twin axles and others single?

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Jul 18, 2017
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Both Trevermonty and Gary in the last two posts make relevant points.

As I think most of us know already, each time you change a caravan regardless of the number of axles, or it's size, it feels different to tow, and it takes some time to get used to the combinations nature. The differences may not always be huge.

Even if you don't change the caravan, just loading differently or fitting dampers can produce a change in the way it feels to tow.

In addition to using caravans for holidays, because of the work I did, I have towed many different mainly new caravans behind a wide range of different tow cars and vans, and from that experience I can say I prefer to tow longer caravans whether single or double axle.

The main difference I detected between SA & TA was how TA's would double tug the tow vehicle when each trailer wheel traversed a road imperfection or level crossing, and how they were less inclind to pitch so much under breaking. I can understand how such sensations may give a sense of stability.

I can also understand how the thought of having two axles can seem to offer a belief it must be better, and yes there can be an advantage if one tyre looses pressure the fact there's another on the same side is probably a good thing.

But overall I have not seen or experienced any evidence that having a twin axle endows better stability to car and caravan outfit.
Based on our personal experience the twin axles that we have owned have towed far better than any SA that we have owned. Stability is far better and less chance of it snaking.

Is there any evidence to the contrary?
 
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Prof said But overall I have not seen or experienced any evidence that having a twin axle endows better stability to car and caravan outfit.

Having had both I support that view subject to saying.

Neither caused me any instability issues .
They were always correctly loaded.
The TA is less susceptible to cross winds and large coach air issues.
The TA has always felt less susceptible to instability issues ,that’s just an impression not a scientific evaluation😉
 
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If twin axle caravans were fundamentally superior to single axles then why do especially the Continental manufacturers refrain from fitting twins unless absolutely necessary (because there are no single axle chassis available that are rated over 2000kg)? I'm not saying that twins don't have advantages, but that they aren't so overwhelming as to make them essential to ensure a stable outfit.
 
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If twin axle caravans were fundamentally superior to single axles then why do especially the Continental manufacturers refrain from fitting twins unless absolutely necessary (because there are no single axle chassis available that are rated over 2000kg)? I'm not saying that twins don't have advantages, but that they aren't so overwhelming as to make them essential to ensure a stable outfit.
Economy in parts perhaps? Same reason aircraft manufacturers have moved away from four engines to two😁
 
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For aircraft it’s more to do with fuel burn and operating costs. Two engines are far cheaper to operate than four. That’s one reason why the lovely Airbus 340 fell out of favour with airlines despite being a great plane to fly in. The A380 is hanging in there by its teeth as Dreamliners and 777, A350 ply very long haul routes.
 
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Economy in parts perhaps? Same reason aircraft manufacturers have moved away from four engines to two😁

That may be part of the reason, yes. I don't think two engined aircraft have turned out to be any less safe than their previous four engined counterparts.
Another is reason is maximisation of payload. A single axle chassis is going to weigh less than a twin axle of the same load carrying capacity.
 
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As I have said its purely a marketing decision, probably based on the perception that a TA is likely to be a more expensive caravan so its squarely aimed at a more affluent clientele.
 
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Bit of a pointless diversion don't we think?
Not really as the thread is about why some vans have twin axle and the other single. A poster has stated that only the affluent have twin axles caravans. I am sure that many affluent people have single axle caravans as that is their preference.
 

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Not really as the thread is about why some vans have twin axle and the other single. A poster has stated that only the affluent have twin axles caravans. I am sure that many affluent people have single axle caravans as that is their preference.

Come off it, it looks to me like a simple case of internet forum point scoring.

The affluence or otherwise of a t/a owner has nothing to do with why some caravans have one axle and some have two, this being the thread title.

Affluence is purely subjective any way. I'm more affluent than a lot of folk, but there are a hell of lot more people more affluent than me.
 
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Mel

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This should be a discussion, not an argument. Please keep postings positive and focussed, rather than provocative.
Thank you.
Mel
 
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As I have said its purely a marketing decision, probably based on the perception that a TA is likely to be a more expensive caravan so its squarely aimed at a more affluent clientele.

I don't think that the clientele is necessarily any more affluent, but a twin axle looks kind of posher than a single and that's more likely to be the reason that UK manufacturers offer twin axle caravans even when there is no real necessity to do so. It's more perceived affluence than actual.
 
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As I have said its purely a marketing decision, probably based on the perception that a TA is likely to be a more expensive caravan so its squarely aimed at a more affluent clientele.
I wish😎
I have a TA. Had her from new 15 years ago. Was a px on a SA.
I shop at Aldi Lidl and Tesco.
Clothes come from Matalan , George Asda and Go Outdoors during the sale.
I have been known to purchase some items from Charity shops🙀
I prefer CLs , cheaper🙃 And always enjoy a bargain👍
Affluent? 🤔Just a Day Dream Believer😉
Now if it were those £100k motor homes 😁
 
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A bit of thread drift I suppose, but OUR twin/single axle experience:

I have been towing large trailers since the age of 17 (37 years ago!) and caravans for 27 years so plenty of towing and manoeuvring experience. All caravans were large single axles until 2018.

A growing daughter wanting more space saw us switch to a new Swift Sprite Quattro EB in March 2018, towed initially with a 2016 BMW520D followed by a 2018 Volvo V90 then a 2022 Volvo V90. Facts & figures for those interested:

Weight ratio versus car kerb weight was 92% for the BMW and 86% for the V90’s against the Swift factory MTPLM of 1624kgs that I eventually upgraded to 1800kgs.

Price of the caravan was £19,150, around £2,500 dearer than an equivalent single axle. Current list price of a similar model is around £27,950.

Fuel economy of the current V90 towing: 23mpg with the twin axle and 26mpg with the current single axle.

We liked the space of the twin axle but found some CL’s tight with it, servicing expensive, it needed four new tyres and with our daughter at University we decided to downsize. It’s true that some twin axles are expensive heavyweights needing a huge tow vehicle but the above shows it doesn’t have to be that way.IMG_6145.jpeg
 
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When you get down to it, it's a matter of personal preference based on one's own priorities. My single axle caravan is almost a foot longer than the twin pictured above and I would never change to a twin.
 
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JRT

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Again it's just a matter purely of opinion and aesthetics but a very large 'van somehow looks 'wrong' balanced on a single axle, whereas on a twin like the Sprite above it looks 'right'.

Probably because here in the UK big vans tend to be on a t/a with the exception of vans like the big imported Adria's and therefore are more common.
 
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I wish😎
I have a TA. Had her from new 15 years ago. Was a px on a SA.
I shop at Aldi Lidl and Tesco.
Clothes come from Matalan , George Asda and Go Outdoors during the sale.
I have been known to purchase some items from Charity shops🙀
I prefer CLs , cheaper🙃 And always enjoy a bargain👍
Affluent? 🤔Just a Day Dream Believer😉
Now if it were those £100k motor homes 😁
I didn't say you had to be affluent to own a TA, only the product is marketed at a more affluent customers.

The question was why are there TA.s and the reason is that the manufacturers are trying to maximise sales to generate profit. The marketing departments of the caravan manufacturers will have noted that the very affluent in our society don't tend to buy caravans, becasue they like to find products that maintain the outward perception of wealth.

The caravan manufacturers have cottoned onto the notion that adding a second axle, does more than just add cost its a very obvious feature which shows the caravan has a higher perceived value, and that will attract customers with greater buying power, and thus expand sales.
 
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On topic - I did a double-take when I saw a Knaus Deseo 400TR on our recent trip. A twin axle caravan, less than 6000mm long. Quite horse-boxy proportions, and a lot of cupboard space to take up with wheel arches.
 
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On topic - I did a double-take when I saw a Knaus Deseo 400TR on our recent trip. A twin axle caravan, less than 6000mm long. Quite horse-boxy proportions, and a lot of cupboard space to take up with wheel arches.
They aren’t the norm though and can have high payloads too. They can accommodate a motorcycle lashed down onto built in restraint points. More as you say a horse box with living arrangements.


IMG_1248.jpeg
 
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Sam Vimes

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I started this thread but I think I'll now lock it.

While everyone is entitled to an opinion it appears that not everyone can accept that. Instead of debating the topic it seems to get a bit confrontational which is unnecessary. This is not Facebook.
 
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