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Re: Trailers

The whole situation with single VS tandem axle trailers is one of safety and control all tempered by the risks the driver is willing to take or is ignorant of.

If you tow with a heavy (F250 or Dodge Ram e/w Cummins diesel, etc.) or long wheel based towing vehicle (crew cab) then you can pull an SJ23 around all day and never feel it behind you. Especially if your towing distance is short and on quiet, paved, level roads  The more cylinders the smoother the pull by the way.  In this situation it's pretty easy to conclude that a single axle is OK.

However, if you pull with a short wheel based vehicle, especially one with just sufficient power, then you will definitely feel that SJ23 behind you. The towing vehicle will twist and squirm making you feel very uncomfortable, especially during a side wind with trucks and traffic passing around you. Add a bit of rain or sleet on the road and you have an accident looking for a place to happen. Take that same trailer over a quiet road and you'll think that everything OK again. "I can handle this."

This is the whole point behind Tech Tips A09 & A04.

Never mind opinion, here are some facts. An SJ23 grosses out at about 3000 lbs. (that is if the guy who sprayed the gel coat on had the touch of Rembrandt that morning).  Then add about 300 lbs of junk inside the boat. You have just loaded the axle to 100% load capacity with NO reserve. Now you actually want to haul this down the highway with this little margin for safety?  Check your axle to see how much it is bent.  If you have a flat at highway speed you will almost certainly do damage to the trailer, and then the hull, as it crunches down on the pavement. Now lets consider the costs; flat, tow truck, axle, hull, etc.  See where I'm going? I don't think the risk is worth it. These are the primary reasons why I converted my trailer to tandem.  Believe me, a tandem axle is superior in so many ways. I've towed the same boat with a single and a tandem axle and I much prefer the ease of pull, control and safety of the tandem.

Sorry to unload, but this is not a simple issue.

THDEW@xxxxxx wrote:
I have a single axel Calkins trailer with my SJ 23 and it seems to work fine. I've pulled my boat on several trips over 300 hundred miles with no promblems and its easy to pull with my Chevy 1/2 ton pickup. I did have a scare one time when two of us were in the back of the boat on the trailer and it was not hitched to the truck and suddenly tipped back. Fortunately we shifted our weight quickly and avoided going all the way down. I now put a short piece of 2x4 under the back frame of the trailer to keep that from happening again.

Kind Regards

Bob Schimmel
(Always stay curious)

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