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Single Axle v Tandem Axle Caravans and Trailers

Comparing single axle with tandem axle.  Which is best for you and your caravan or travel trailer.

single axle caravan



Having trouble deciding between a single axle or tandem axel caravan and want to know the advantages or disadvantages? Generally, caravans or trailers over 17 foot will be required to have a tandem axles depending on the axle carrying capacity (kg).  Other than that, the decision to go either single axle or tandem axle depends on your personal preferences and needs, as well as budget constraints.

Bear in mind the weight of the caravan or trailer and the quality of the suspension will also affect the tow ride quality and manoeuvrability.


Single Axle


  • more manoeuvrable therefore easier to reverse
  • single axles weigh less so less weight overall for towing and fuel economy
  • less tyre replacement cost as there are only two tyres plus spare
  • the caravan itself is likely to be cheaper to buy

Disadvantages -

  • has a tendency to sway more without a sway control device
  • more pitching and bounce on the tow ball
  • axles have a load rating so less weight can be carried in the caravan or trailer on single axle compared to the tandem axle
  • if one tyre has a blow out considerable swaying may occur unless the van is fitted with some anti-sway control or electronic stability control (ESC).

single axle caravan


Tandem (or dual axle)

Tandem axles are generally used on heavier caravans as the combined axle carrying capacity (kg) would be more.

Advantages -

  • tows straighter and more stable at highway speeds
  • more durability and stability with 2 axles and 4 tyres
  • less ‘bounce’ so the contents are less likely to move
  • less ‘bounce’ on the hitch

Disadvantages -

  • less manoeuvrability
  • limits the turning radius and the tyres can slide sideways and scrape (crabbing)
  • more cost involved for tyre replacement ie: 4 tyres plus spares
  • the caravan itself is likely to be dearer to buy
  • heavier to tow and this impacts on fuel economy
  • unlikely to notice a tyre blow out whilst driving that may result in shredding of the tyre (unless you have tyre pressure monitors)
  • when parking on a site all wheels need to straight to prevent movement/twisting of the van whilst unhitching.

tandem axle caravan


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