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Single or Tandem Axle Trailer?
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BuildItOnce



Joined: 07 Aug 2018
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Single or Tandem Axle Trailer? Reply with quote

Another question I've had a little bit of a struggle with while looking for my own C-Dory is a single vs tandem axle trailer. I've seen a lot of both types of trailers as I search for a C-Dory 22' to purchase.

Let me tell you an interesting story... I currently own a 16' Duroboat. When I purchased that boat it had been sitting in the same spot for 10 years. The seller recommended I do the bearings before taking her home. I agreed that would be the wise thing to do, so I had someone come out and help me. Unfortunately one of the bearings was installed backwards and ended up exploding on the ride home. I didn't feel anything pulling the boat with my F250, but as luck would have it right at about the point the tire was literally read to fly off, I decided to stop on the side of the freeway and just make sure everything was OK. Much to my astonishment the bearings were totally gone and the wheel was barely hanging on. I was able to limp off the exit I had stop at on the side of the freeway and get into a parking lot. I put a jack stand under the trailer and it took almost no effort to pull the wheel off. I'm sure another 60 seconds on the freeway and I would have had a potentially major disaster.

After having this experience with my very first boat on its very first tow I am very, very hesitant to pull a much nicer C-Dory with a single axle trailer. I cannot imagine the same thing happening with a C-Dory and seeing it skid across the freeway.

I realize this was an issue of a bearing being installed backwards, but it still makes me really nervous about what can happen to a bearing in an instant.... and then to my boat.

How many of you use a single axle trailer? How many a tandem axle? There are a number of C-Dory's I've looked at now and I steer away because of the single axle trailer knowing that upgrading the trailer will add to my overall cost. Should I really be this concerned about it?
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DavidM



Joined: 24 Dec 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you should be concerned as much for weight carrying capacity as safety in twin axles. You stated the case for the safety of twin axles well in the foregoing post, so let's talk about capacity.

Forget the factory numbers. They are flat wrong. I have seen a lot of posts from knowledgeable members and the consensus is that the CD 22 loaded normally on a twin axle trailer weighs about 4,500 lbs. So back off 800 lbs for a twin axle trailer and the load is 3,700 lbs.

Look at any trailer manufacturer's line up and I doubt you will find a single axle trailer with more than 3,700 lbs load capacity.

Also look at the load capacity of the single axle trailers tires. They need to be more than 1,600 lbs each plus a tongue weight of 400 lbs to carry 3,700 lbs safely.

And finally look at the axle weight rating. It needs to be more than 3,300 lbs to carry 3,700 lbs safely.

IMO it just can't be done safely with a single axle.

David
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tsturm



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Single or Tandem Axle Trailer? Reply with quote

BuildItOnce wrote:
Another question I've had a little bit of a struggle with while looking for my own C-Dory is a single vs tandem axle trailer. I've seen a lot of both types of trailers as I search for a C-Dory 22' to purchase.

Let me tell you an interesting story... I currently own a 16' Duroboat. When I purchased that boat it had been sitting in the same spot for 10 years. The seller recommended I do the bearings before taking her home. I agreed that would be the wise thing to do, so I had someone come out and help me. Unfortunately one of the bearings was installed backwards and ended up exploding on the ride home. I didn't feel anything pulling the boat with my F250, but as luck would have it right at about the point the tire was literally read to fly off, I decided to stop on the side of the freeway and just make sure everything was OK. Much to my astonishment the bearings were totally gone and the wheel was barely hanging on. I was able to limp off the exit I had stop at on the side of the freeway and get into a parking lot. I put a jack stand under the trailer and it took almost no effort to pull the wheel off. I'm sure another 60 seconds on the freeway and I would have had a potentially major disaster.

After having this experience with my very first boat on its very first tow I am very, very hesitant to pull a much nicer C-Dory with a single axle trailer. I cannot imagine the same thing happening with a C-Dory and seeing it skid across the freeway.

I realize this was an issue of a bearing being installed backwards, but it still makes me really nervous about what can happen to a bearing in an instant.... and then to my boat.

How many of you use a single axle trailer? How many a tandem axle? There are a number of C-Dory's I've looked at now and I steer away because of the single axle trailer knowing that upgrading the trailer will add to my overall cost. Should I really be this concerned about it?


Correct bearing install & Insurance will cure all your woes. More axles are for weight capacity only. Wink
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hardee



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would take some issue with David's categorical statement that a single axel trailer cannot safely carry a C-Dory 22. Also with his weights. A 22 loaded for cruising with full fuel and water is going to go at or over 4,000 pounds. My boat on trailer, (Galvanized Pacific on a single axle ) was 4900 with near empty fuel and water, and none of the cruising gear. Loaded for cruising I was at 5,600#. The trailer was spec'ed for 6600 and the tires matched. No problems towing for 5 years, and nothing of the "close call" variety.

Now for full disclosure, I did switch to a tandom trailer for some of the same reason you are cocerned about. And, because a tandon trailer will follow your TV with less wandering and sway generated from passing big trucks, side winds, road crown or chain grooves.

So, can you tow with a single axel, but as David also says, you need to be sure you are in the specified weight range. I would add, you need to have a good, sound trailer behind an adequate tow vehicle, and you need to be aware.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon

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Peter & Judy



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 22 Cruiser is on a Twin axle trailer and I won't consider towing it or any larger load on single axles for any distance. My main reason is that the weight is more evenly distributed on four wheals instead of two. If you have a blowout, flat tire or axel failure on one wheel you are much safer with three wheels on road instead of just one. My other consideration is that towing a dual axle trailer is more comfortable and better for the tow vehicle and the trailer and load. Single axle trailers have more bounce and you feel while driving and notice it the trailer as items move around more. This is especially true if you have a lighter tow vehicle. Personally I would only feel comfortable using a single axel trailer for local hauling over shorter distances. For long distance hauling I would go with a dual axel trailer.
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DavidM



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So a CD 22 weighs 4,000 lbs loaded. There is no single axle boat trailer in this world that will carry that much weight safely.

David
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Swee Pea



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey David, I have a Loadmaster single axel aluminum trailer rated at 5200 pounds, 15" tires that easily holds/tows my 22' Cruiser safely. When I bought it, it was overkill. Dealers sold the 22' with single axel trailers galvanized all the time and I doubt they were unsafe.

John
Swee Pea
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DavidM



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swee Pea wrote:
Hey David, I have a Loadmaster single axel aluminum trailer rated at 5200 pounds, 15" tires that easily holds/tows my 22' Cruiser safely. When I bought it, it was overkill. Dealers sold the 22' with single axel trailers galvanized all the time and I doubt they were unsafe.

John
Swee Pea


I looked at Loadmaster's website and couldn't find any specs on their trailers, just a bunch of pics. But I will take your word for it that they make a 5,200 lb rated single axle trailer.

But why would you want to do that?

David
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, Maybe you are not looking in the right place.

Quote:
Pacific Boat Trailers, (888) 479-6920
Pacific Trailers
13643 5th Street
Chino, CA 91710

5,000 LBS. GVWR SINGLE AXLE, 96” OVERALL WIDTH AND 78” BETWEEN FENDERS

GH19SW4-5
GH21SW4-5
BOAT LENGTH
19’-20’
21’-22’
O.A. LENGTH
21’6”
23’6”
UNLADEN WEIGHT
925 lbs.
945 lbs.
TIRE SIZE
8.75X16.5E
8.75X16.5E

PACIFIC TRAILERS are engineered and constructed to withstand
prolonged use in the harshest marine environments. Featuring
superior materials and quality workmanship, these are the fi nest,
most durable, rust and corrosion resistant trailers on today’s market.
Each frame rail, crossmember, tongue, undercarriage, axle, wheel,
fender, and winch post is galvanized. It is long proven the most
protective and durable coating available. All major components go
through the hot-dip galvanizing process. This process insulates steel
from rust and corrosion far better than simple brush-on coatings and
sprays. We use disc-brakes with stainless steel calipers and silver-cad
coated rotors. If you are a saltwater boater, a galvanized trailer is most
assuredly a must
.

Again, I am not saying it is always the right thing to do, but it is possible to do, safely --- local hauls which would generally be slower speeds a single would be fine. It depends on the use.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon
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Swee Pea



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Loadmaster Website: http://www.loadmastertrailer.com/single-axle/

H/D SINGLE AXLE
Boats ranging from 18′ to 21′ at a 5200# GVWR.

From the research I did, backing a dual axle trailer causes two of the tires to drag as you maneuver, causing premature tire wear. Four hubs to grease, four tires to replace. Most of my trailering is to and from the marina. For the past 5 years, my boat has been sitting on a boat lift on my dock. I am replacing two tires on my trailer after 15 years, most of the time the trailer was just sitting. And when I bought my 22' Cruiser new in 2004, the dealership offered both but recommended a single axle for the reasons I outlined. That's why.

I just don't agree with your statement that a single axle boat trailer is unsafe. If they were, there wouldn't be so many on the road and in today's over-regulated society, they would be outlawed.

As to the original poster, I would not walk away from a boat that was right for me, at the right price, simple because of a single axle trailer, unless you are convinced that you must have a dual axle for the type of towing you will be doing or unless the trailer is under weighted for the boat. In that case, that particular trailer/boat combo may be unsafe.

John
Swee Pea
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BuildItOnce



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swee Pea wrote:


As to the original poster, I would not walk away from a boat that was right for me, at the right price, simple because of a single axle trailer, unless you are convinced that you must have a dual axle for the type of towing you will be doing or unless the trailer is under weighted for the boat. In that case, that particular trailer/boat combo may be unsafe.

John
Swee Pea


I appreciate the feedback. It's a 115-135 mile trip each way to the places I'd likely take my boat. I imagine 90% of my launching will be just 15 miles away from the house... it's these longer trips that worry me. I"m a "peace of mind" kind of guy, and combined with my bearing exploding experience, I doubt I'd have any sort of piece of mind towing a C-Dory so far without a tandem axle.
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colbysmith



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I doubt I'd have any sort of piece of mind towing a C-Dory so far without a tandem axle.


I’d say you just answered your own question! FWIW I do a lot of long distance towing of my 22 and I would not do it with a single axle trailer! That being said, I would not walk away from an otherwise nice 22. I would try to get the seller to come down 5-6,000$ knowing I would immediately also buying a tandem axle to put under it! Colby
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thataway



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have towed C Dory 22 on a single axle trailer over 15,000 miles....It was not an axle or wheel problem, which did us in--it was the road...Probably due to the air suspension (level ride) on the 36,000 lb RV (with 10,000 lb tow capacity) and the little trailer bouncing up and down. We had towed it with the truck and no problem--the pole tongue broke. The Trailer was rated for over 6,000 lbs. I had bought the boat with the single axle trailer intending to replace it. It towed so well (behind the truck) coming "home" about 1500 miles, that I decided to tow to the West, and back and to the West etc...

We went with a tandem axle rated at over 7000 lbs for the next one...

If you have short hauls, and the trailer is rated for it--and I mean less than 200 miles--the single axle is fine.

Yes, there is some tire scuff on sharp turns. Same reason they have the tag axles on Trucks and RV's lift when doing close maneuvering. On the road, this is not much of an issue, because of the more gradual curves. On the other hand, I park my 25 trailer (and the Tom Cat or 22 or 25 before it) in my yard, which takes some pretty acute turn maneuvering between the posts of a 10 foot gate and then about a truck length onto the pad for two trailers. No problems.

When towing any vehicle, you should stop and check the bearings after the first couple of miles--we usually go about 2 miles. Then every 2 hours for the entire trip. We use an IR thermometer--check both wheel bearings and disc brakes, to be sure there is no dragging a caliper. You could have two bearings installed reversed--and lost two wheels! (I once lost the entire axle on a single axle trailer--it was home made--and probably overloaded. The trailing arm supports which were about 8" long dug right into the 120* New Mexico highway--stopped the car towing like you had thrown out a Danforth anchor. Fortunately a tractor trailer, carrying a Caterpillar D-8 bulldozer, came alone--they unloaded the Cat dozer and pulled the trailer off the road--leaving deep grooves in the pavement--not a good scenario!

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hardee



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current trailer is a Pacific Galvanized Tandom. Every time I take it home I back it around a 90° corner. Does it scuff, yes, maybe 40 feet worth. And again when I take it out, same corner and about as acute as turning from the alley onto the street. So that might be 160 feet per trip. Most other corners are half as sharp. For that amount of scuffing, my tires still have 75% tread after 4 years and maybe 15,000 miles. They will age out before they wear out.

As Bob says, bearing temp checks early (mine are at about a 5 mile stop) and then every 2 hours. The brake axel is always warmer than the free axle.

One thin not mentioned here yet is that with a tandom, (which does give the boat a better ride), is that that trailer needs to be level fore and aft for towing. Otherwise the axel on the low side will run hotter because it is carrying more load.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon
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PaulNBriannaLynn



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're using a single axle trailer, since you asked. Yes I'd prefer a double axle, but its what came with the boat. My thought was these boats last a long time and many will go through multiple trailers, the next one with be a double down the road should I need a new trailer. The boat I found was otherwise perfect for us, so I looked past the single axle trailer. I've been pleasantly surprised, its been trouble free on a number of long trips. I keep an eye on the axle temperatures regularly and do the maintenance needed. Its been fine for us.
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