Trailer purchase single or tandem axle chapter 7 electricity and magnetism


Tandem. I prefer CarMate brand. In my smaller trailer, it’s has those precious extra inches of interior size that others locally did not. Check the INTERIOR specs closely because the size designations are rounded up to the closest foot of the EXTERIOR.

I have a couple trailers. First got a single axle 10x6x6, double back doors, side door, NO brakes. The no brakes was a mistake, my open ocean sailoring experience was needed for slowing down when fully loaded (3K# max GTWR legal rating with no brakes, axle rated at 3.5K#). With a second axle & brakes the same trailer would be rated at 6K# GTWR. Everyone (else) kept thinking, you have the space, throw some more stuff in BUT you really have to watch your load weight.

2nd trailer is a 8.5x4x4, single axle, no brakes, single rear door. 2K# GTWR. This one’s fine with no brakes cause it’s a small load. Part of the load goes in an Astro van with the guitarist who owns the main tops and subs so I’m hauling racks, monitors, cable & light boxes with a few odds & ends like mic cases.

6 foot wide is good IF you are hauling a lot of stuff BUT I recommend 5 foot wide to make it easier to see behind and better track near your tow vehicle wheels. Still pay the extra for the 6 foot height for less bending over while inside. A 5×12 will carry a LOT of gear. Some states have vehicle laws that require you to have mirrors that allow you to look down the side of your trailer. That means ADDING wide towing mirrors for a lot of vehicles.

V-nose is cool to use otherwise wasted space BUT you really need to have a special packing procedure OR put a movable wall/barriar to block it off to pack squared items snug like speakers and racks & cases. E-Track is a most wonderful thing to buy. It’s a length of track that you can hook various accessories & tie downs to. Run one down each side of the trailer interior. I especially like the 2×4 holders to use as blocking barriers and also have ratcheting tie downs that hook into the track. I put mine about 30" up to hold speakers vertically and second level cable box from moving (my boxes interlock).

On my larger trailer I added a shelf across the front and down the non-side door side with lips that was of a height to hold my cased drums in front and light & speaker stands and some crossbarred lights on the side. I did have to angle the front shelf since the front door started 8-10" from the front ;>( I also hung light bars with lights left mounted with bungee cords from the roof bows on the door side.

IF buying NEW, you can likely specify the dealer to install the E-track. Get a spare tire while you are at it. After you get the trailer home, take the tires off and antiseize the lug nuts (or ask the dealer to do it). I had two flats, luckily at home, on the small trailer one at 4 years and the other the next year and had to grind off a few of the lug nuts which then required replacing the wheel studs ;>(

I started with a 6×12′ single axle with leaf springs. I think it had a 1500 lb cargo capacity. I packed that sucker using every cubic inch for my gigs. Didn’t think about it until I did a gig in Flagstaff Az (through Phoenix, from Riverside Ca). Stopped in Indio for breakfast and noted that the wheel wells were about an inch off the tires — meaning every time I hit a bump I was rubbing rubber. I learned a lot about trailer capacity on that trip (rearranged gear, moving heavy speakers into the bed of my pickup and a drum kit into the trailer).

Immediately went out and bought a two-axle torsion suspension trailer with a 5000-pound cargo capacity. It served me well for a couple of years, then I simply outgrew it. Now I’ve got a 15′ box truck (which I’m about to outgrow). Interestingly enough, I paid less for the box truck than I did for *either* trailer and it has better than a 5-ton cargo capacity. The only drawback is the five miles per gallon that it gets and the fact that I really need a 20′ bed rather than a 15′ bed (my gigs keep getting bigger).

If you must stick with a trailer, single axle is far easier to move into position with a small wench, but the capacity will be severely limited. I’d vote for a double axle if weight is going to be an issue. If I were ever to buy another trailer, I’d get at least a 20′ with three axles (torsion bar suspension). Expensive, but gives you room to grow. Like I said, though, consider a box truck with a lift gate; they’re cheap enough these days; get diesel if you can (better operating costs). My truck (gasoline) is a bit expensive to operator (5 mpg, though my F350 pulling the big trailer fully loaded only got 8 mpg I must point out).