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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #1
comanche38
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Default One axle trailer?

Has anyone ever built or seen a single axle car hauler? I recently purchased a CJ5 and sold my larger trailer. So, I am in need of a new one. I am going to be pulling it with a Ford E150 fullsize van, so I want to try to keep weight of the trailer to a minimum. I was thinking about making a single axle carhauler using a 6000 pound leaf sprung axle with brakes and HD tires. I want the trailer to be around 12'-0" in length and the reqired width for the Jeep. I just think that you would save some money with only having 2 tires and one axle not to mention time spent on servicing another axle and tires. It seems that you would save on tire wear also by not dragging tires on turns. What do you guys think?
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by comanche38 View Post
Has anyone ever built or seen a single axle car hauler? I recently purchased a CJ5 and sold my larger trailer. So, I am in need of a new one. I am going to be pulling it with a Ford E150 fullsize van, so I want to try to keep weight of the trailer to a minimum. I was thinking about making a single axle carhauler using a 6000 pound leaf sprung axle with brakes and HD tires. I want the trailer to be around 12'-0" in length and the reqired width for the Jeep. I just think that you would save some money with only having 2 tires and one axle not to mention time spent on servicing another axle and tires. It seems that you would save on tire wear also by not dragging tires on turns. What do you guys think?



AND HOW IS THAT E150 GOING TO TAKE IT WHEN YOU BLOW A TIRE OUT ON YOUR ONLY TRAILER AXLE ???
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #3
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I thaught the same thing. I just wanted to get everyones input. Old military trailers were single axle, with single tires. I realize that the trucks pulling them weighed a lot more than my van. Is the blow out problem the reason you do not see single axle trailers? and besides you do NOT HAVE TO SHOUT!!! :tonka: Just kidding thanks.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #4
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30 years ago I hauled my cj5 with a single axle trailer. Although it worked, it was next to impossible to get the tongue weight right. And squirrely as hell driving.

NEVER AGAIN!

If light weight is your main objective, an aluminum tandem trailer can be had for about $5K.

Do it right or don't do it.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #5
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30 years ago I hauled my cj5 with a single axle trailer. Although it worked, it was next to impossible to get the tongue weight right. And squirrely as hell driving.

NEVER AGAIN!

If light weight is your main objective, an aluminum tandem trailer can be had for about $5K.

Do it right or don't do it.


WELL SAID !!!
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #6
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Good input thanks.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #7
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Yeah, don't do it. It'll wag a lot, too. One axle isn't going to add a ton of weight anyway. You can pick up trailer axles and run around with them.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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Just playing opposite side here, but I pulled my Sand rail on a t-bar type single axle for 10 years. No problems,.....and I didn't have 5K into either.
If you do proper maintenance a single wheel trailer will work fine as long as you keep your weight limit within range of the trailer axle, keep your deck as low to the ground as possible and keep you speeds down when hauling. Without saying, a two Axle would be more safe.
I guess if you are not annal about maintaining your trailer like me and others on this site, you better stick with a Double axle.
(side note, I no longer have a single axle, because the weight of my rigs are to heavy)
There are a lot of good Web sites for design prints, but if you are not normally a fabricator, you have to be real careful. Also there are some grey area's in the Law for trailers in this state, so make sure you do your research.

Last edited by FORD FLARESIDE; April 24th, 2007 at 09:41 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #9
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Thanks, I was asking so I would get this type of input. I was hoping to hear from both sides and from people who had tryed this. I have been in the steel business for 8 years (starting out as a fabricator) and am confident in my skills, just needed input on the idea. I think I will not be doing this after reading the replies but I appreciate the info. I will just try to keep weight down and go with the safety and reliability of two axles. Thanks guys
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FORD FLARESIDE View Post
Just playing opposite side here, but I pulled my Sand rail on a t-bar type single axle for 10 years. No problems,.....and I didn't have 5K into either.
If you do proper maintenance a single wheel trailer will work fine as long as you keep your weight limit within range of the trailer axle, keep your deck as low to the ground as possible and keep you speeds down when hauling. Without saying, a two Axle would be more safe.
I guess if you are not annal about maintaining your trailer like me and others on this site, you better stick with a Double axle.
(side note, I no longer have a single axle, because the weight of my rigs are to heavy)
There are a lot of good Web sites for design prints, but if you are not normally a fabricator, you have to be real careful. Also there are some grey area's in the Law for trailers in this state, so make sure you do your research.

2 totally separate issues here. I also pulled and Appletree 4 seater on a T trailer for 6 years. But the weight of the buggy motor is behind the axle giving you a very manageable tongue weight. Mine was probably about 80 - 100 pounds. And the total weight of the buggy wasn't more than 2000 pounds.

Now, put a FRONT ENGINE jeep that weighs over 4000 pounds on the trailer. You have doubled the gross weight and also moved the heavy engine in front of the trailer axle. Tongue weight goes way up. Tongue weight should be about 10% of the total weight. So you want around 500 pounds for a jeep on a trailer. Having a full or empty tank of gas can affect that by as much as 20%. On top of that, the jeep is taller than most buggies so your CG is higher allowing for more sway.

I'm not saying it can't be done because I did it myself for the same reason. Tight budget.

Would I do it again if that was the only option compared to flat towing? NO! The extra weight of the axle makes it easier on the tow vehicle than all the extra sway, etc.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
2 totally separate issues here. I also pulled and Appletree 4 seater on a T trailer for 6 years. But the weight of the buggy motor is behind the axle giving you a very manageable tongue weight. Mine was probably about 80 - 100 pounds. And the total weight of the buggy wasn't more than 2000 pounds.

Now, put a FRONT ENGINE jeep that weighs over 4000 pounds on the trailer. You have doubled the gross weight and also moved the heavy engine in front of the trailer axle. Tongue weight goes way up. Tongue weight should be about 10% of the total weight. So you want around 500 pounds for a jeep on a trailer. Having a full or empty tank of gas can affect that by as much as 20%. On top of that, the jeep is taller than most buggies so your CG is higher allowing for more sway.

I'm not saying it can't be done because I did it myself for the same reason. Tight budget.

Would I do it again if that was the only option compared to flat towing? NO! The extra weight of the axle makes it easier on the tow vehicle than all the extra sway, etc.

Then I agree,.......everything we both are saying is true.

(oh, and my sand rail was a Mid Engine)
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Old April 24th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #12
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(oh, and my sand rail was a Mid Engine)
Well, ya got me there!
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #13
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No !
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Old April 25th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #14
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i asked this same quesiton a few months ago, haha.

it was decided that it was a bad idea, but if you do a search on pirate you will find that lots of guys have built single axle trailers to pull their Zuks around with.

I still don't know if its any safer than flattowing, but i think i'll just keep flat towing. :tonka:
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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #15
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Funny, I've been thinking about this myself.

For a normal Jeep, I'd not consider it.

But, for something light, it might be interesting. I was kind of thinking the same thing, like a modified T-trailer for a buggy.

I'd say a trailer could be made for 750 lbs pretty easy. My Jeep plan, would be somewhere around 2800 lbs or so, so ~combine 3500-3800 lbs or so for the setup.

No suspension on the trailer, no deck, basically a frame, with the Jeep sitting as low as possible. Pockets to hold each wheel in correct alignment.

Design for weight balance with a full tank of gas, if it becomes a issue of stability(which I doubt) without a full tank, add in a few tools to the back fo the Jeep to balance it out.

I'd have two spare tires, and spare spindle parts.


Could be interesting. single axles pull much easier, and the whole setup could be pretty light, so something like a Diesel grand cherokee sould haul it around reasonbly well. ~3600 lbs single axle isn't that different than some boats out there.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #16
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Thanks Jesus , There is actually a buildup of one on Pirate. The guy building it knows what he is talking about. I agree if it is low enough and the weight balanced, I think it would have a lot of benefits. I just do not know if it is all worth it or not.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #17
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I'm just looking ~2 years in the future for myself, wanting to go from a 6000 lb tandem to a 3600 lb single axle, needs a lot less truck to pull. With the smaller diesel SUVs and trucks coming out in a few years, I'd love a setup that could get ~15-18mpg towing, with the ever escalating fuel costs...
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #18
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there are lots of single axle boat trailers out there. i dont see what the engine weight has all that much to do with it, you can move the axle forward or backward, or put the jeep on backwards to compensate. more or less overal weight doesnt effect sway, its where the weight is located. i dont see any major issues with a single, and lighter is almost always better. what will happen when the single tire blows? it will probably fall down to the rim, and roll just fine you could always make it a single dual as well.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #19
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there are lots of single axle boat trailers out there. i dont see what the engine weight has all that much to do with it....

Yeah, most jeeps are pretty close to 50/50, anyway. Especially with stuff in the back like tools.



I think with a well designed setup, it could work quite well. It'll probably be 1/5-2 years down the road, but I think I'll go this direction if my rig gets lighter as I plan.

Gas prices aren't going to get cheaper in the future, so moving to smaller lighter rigs and tow vehicles makes sense in my book. Plus, a lighter wheeling rig will do better with the same tires than a heavier one.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #20
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Thanks, I agree with you guys. I did not think it was too bad of an idea but when a bunch of people jump on ya about doing something different. It makes you reanalize the idea. I may try it just to hopefully show it can be done and done well. THanks
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