Twin axle vs Single Axle

JohnRH replied on 24/07/2016 16:40

Posted on 24/07/2016 16:40

I've been towing single axle caravans for over 26 years but I am beginning to wonder if a twin axle might suit me better. My main concerns about getting a twin are two fold:

Manoeuvrability: I know that everyone says that twin axles are less easy to manoeuver onto a pitch and I have a particularly difficult reverse onto my "home" pitch which I need a mover to accomplish. So, if you have a mover fitted, possibly one for each wheel, are the monoeuverability issues solved?

Getting level: I've seen numberous twin axles that are no where near level on a pitch, probably because a lot of the CLs I like to use are not the most level of places! However, there are now automatic leveling systems available so do these solve the problems of getting the van level?

I would be really interested to hear other members views on the benefits, or otherwise, of twin axles.

Kennine replied on 24/07/2016 18:50

Posted on 24/07/2016 18:50

If you have a huge heavy van there is no doubt that a T/A is best. Stability is much better than a single axle. ----An underslung fresh water tank can be fitted with ease

The trade off is in moving the van in tight spaces and in particular if you want to turn the van around in its own length. Even with a motor mover the maneouver can be challenging.

Best of luck in your choice.

 

 

 

Wildwood replied on 24/07/2016 20:26

Posted on 24/07/2016 20:26

Provided you have the car to tow it a twin axle should be more stable. A motor mover will cure any manouvering problems, it should be no harder than with a single axle.

The point about slopes is valid in that you will rely on one axle on some slopes but not sure it is a problem.

The extra axle adds some weight and you will get some tyre scrub on bends which will increase fuel useage though.

Lutz replied on 24/07/2016 20:41

Posted on 24/07/2016 20:41

Please excuse my naivety, but where does one really have an option of choosing between a single or a twin once one has decided on the layout that suits one's taste and requirements? I can't think of any examples where that is the case, and certainly not of the same manufacturer. Surely the question single/twin is therefore rather acedemic.

 

KjellNN replied on 24/07/2016 20:43

Posted on 24/07/2016 20:43

We have a T/A.....Sterling Searcher....1900kg MTPLM

It tows very well, very stable.

Levelling is no problem, we carry a long decking board plus several short boards.

Mover is essential for us, but we only have a 2 wheel one to save weight.  It does what we need.

If you have difficult access, a 4 wheel one will be better.  It will turn almost twice as well as a 2 wheel one.

KjellNN replied on 24/07/2016 20:46

Posted on 24/07/2016 20:46

Please excuse my naivety, but where does one really have an option of choosing between a single or a twin once one has decided on the layout that suits one's taste and requirements? I can't think of any examples where that is the case, and certainly not of the same manufacturer. Surely the question single/twin is therefore rather acedemic.

 

These days you can often get the same layout on a single as on a twin, but the twin is of course a bit longer and therefore more spacious.  So you need to make the choice.

jennyc replied on 24/07/2016 21:02

Posted on 24/07/2016 21:02

We found no difficulty in levelling our twin axle when we had one - boards for lateral levelling and initial longitudinal levelling wasn't difficult with the jockey wheel; all reinforced with corner steadies. But manoeuvring by hand was very difficult with the weight and a determined reluctance to swivel on the wheels. We carried a heavy duty nylon strop to haul the tow bar around with the other end attached to the car (all pre motor mover days) Our last three vans have been single axles.

Lutz replied on 24/07/2016 21:13

Posted on 24/07/2016 21:13

These days you can often get the same layout on a single as on a twin, but the twin is of course a bit longer and therefore more spacious.  So you need to make the choice.

But size is not a criterion which determines whether a caravan is a single or a twin. Weight is. I don't know of any single axle on the market over 2000kg (yet, although they are apparently in the pipeline).

IanH replied on 24/07/2016 21:31

Posted on 24/07/2016 21:31

We saw a caravan arrive on site the othe day and it looked massive! I automatically assumed it was a twin, but the next morning I saw that it was a single axle (Swift Conqueror, I think). I'm sure it was far longer than what used to be twin axle a few years ago. Surely it cannot be right to have all that weight on one axle?

JohnRH replied on 24/07/2016 21:50

Posted on 24/07/2016 21:50

Thanks for the replies! 

Whilst I agree that layout is probably the most important thing, some of the layouts and space I would like are really only available in twin axles. But I'm not sure the comprise on manoeuvrability is worth it.

can anyone comment on how a twin with movers on each wheel compares to a single axle?

 

Simon100 replied on 24/07/2016 22:17

Posted on 24/07/2016 22:17

I have just changed from a single axle to a twin. This was to give us more space inside, especially in the wash room. Both have been fitted with Reich motor movers

My single axle used to turn in it's own length as the wheels would turn in opposite directions. Apparently you can't do this with twin axles, when you have a mover fitted to all 4 wheels, and therefore the turning circle is much larger. At the end of the day I can park it in the same place as the single axle, it just takes a bit longer!

As an aside I replated the caravan to take account of the weight of the motor movers.