Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Single axle TT's
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 > Single axle TT's

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Posted: 06/16/18 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

length and ability to expand areas of camping

lack of redundancy in case of a flat
Carrying capacity (in some cases)

I just bought an Aspen Trail 1700BH. It's 21.5 feet in length and has all the basic amenities. The first thing I did was have the dealer flip the axle gaining about 6 inches in height. This is important in this unit as the black/gray tank drains are only about six inches off the ground in the factory configuration. The layout in this unit is a rear set of bunks with a queen bed across the front sideways.

This appears to be a somewhat common layout with many brands having it. In fact Dutchmen has three separately branded units with this layout. There is the Aspen Trail and the Coleman 17FQ/17FQWE and there is the Kodiak 175 "cub.'

The primary difference I see between the Dutchmen units in this layout is that the Dutchmen units are eight feet wide vs seven feet wide in other brands like Jayco, Minnie and others. AND Dutchmen dedicates the space to the bunk area vs the restroom area. This allows for a 41 inch wide bottom bunk in the back. Most of the others are under 36 inches and down to 30 inches in some cases limiting your bunk area to kids. so, if you like a sink in your bathroom, go with the small bunk units. The other advantage of the Dutchmen (8 ft wide) units is that you get a full size dinette big enough for four people instead of the tiny dinettes.

Question: What is so important about a sink in the bathroom or just outside separate from the kitchen sink often sometimes only a few feet apart? Not wishing to be sexist, but noting that women seem to have a strong preference for a bathroom sink AND a kitchen sink.

I purchased my unit for under 13K (Aspen Trail). In looking online, I noticed that the Coleman units "tend" to run about a thousand K more than the Aspen Trail units even though they are identical. My thought on that is that Dutchmen has to pay a licensing fee for the Coleman name and so you as a customer pay for it. I would like to note that the range for the two brands does over lap quite a bit. The biggest weakness of these two is probably the carrying capacity of only 650 lbs. Price range on these units is as low as 10,400 up to 21,000. Most in the 14K to 15K range.

Now, the Kodiak (175 cub) version of this layout is quite an upgrade over the Aspen Trail/Coleman versions, however, the price reflects it also with some exceptions at the lower end of the range. (range - just under 15K to up to 26K)wit the average running 19 to 21K.

The Kodiak is a fiberglass shell vs Aluminum, but the most significant difference is likely in the suspension. The Kodiak has a torsion axle and 15 inch wheels vs the Aspen Trail/Coleman spring system. This susspension raises the Kodiak up nicely AND it has a substantially higher carrying capacity (1200 lb range) over the 650 lbs on the less expensive units.

Other amenities in the Kodiak include upgraded interior, upgraded sound system, rooftop air conditioner, bathtub and shower enclosure, black tank flush, camera ready set up on back and small door in the bunk area where you fold the bunks up and put things like bikes back there for travel.

IMHO, the Kodiak if you can get it at the lowest end of the range may be one of the best "new" deals out there on small travel trailers. If you have to pay the higher range of prices, there are lots of other units that compete and beat it. The Aspen Trail/Coleman units at the lowest end of pricing range with an axle flip and two step change out are excellent choices for getting out into the national forests on dirt roads and dry camping for a few days at a time. As many of you know, larger TT's often limit you to parking lots and a distinct lack of trees.

Hard sides are nice in Montana since there are night time visitors here that are quite large, furry with big teeth, claws and occasioinally nasty/hungry dispositions. For example, in the Cooke City area, they have closed all the campgrounds to anything but hard sided units because the Grizzlies decided to eat the tenters.

All in all, for small trailers, this layout is a very efficient use of space and new families with rugrats can camp in relative comfort for not a lot of dollar bills (affordable hardside experience).

I feel the 8 foot wide Dutchmen units are one of the better choices for this type of layout (unless you want a sink in the bathroom) with an under 15K Kodiak being one of the better deals out there.



Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/16/18 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have single axle hybrid at the moment but it will be the last one I own.


Southern California

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Posted: 06/16/18 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only reason I have a single axle is that they don't make a double axle in a really small trailer. Folks who have had both say that single axles are tougher to back up with -- more squirrelly.

To me, the very biggest disadvantage of a single axle is that in case of a blowout, the trailer will tip far from level and could tip over. At highway speed, this could be exciting.

So I would say that all other things being equal, get a double axle if you can.

2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
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Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 06/16/18 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never had difficulty backing up a single axle. But I have experienced a huge decrease in the number of nails and screws in tires, by switching from tandem to singe axle. Almost all of those tire penetrators were getting into the rear trailer tires; apparently the front tire would kick the sharp object into just the right position for the rear tire to get punctured.

I did have one blowout on the expressway at 60+ mph with a single axle TT. It was no big deal, the TT followed along just fine and didn't act the least bit crazy while I pulled onto the shoulder and got stopped.

Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)
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North Central Indiana

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Posted: 06/16/18 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You buy the floor plan. You can adapt to the rest.

Floor plan, tow vehicles cargo capacity and cost are the big three item of concern. Everything else is mostly a matter of preferences and opinions.

If what you a want, can haul and afford comes with one axel there is nothing inherently wrong with that.

If your camping style requires higher clearance or some other function, you are just one of the many that customize their TT.

Good luck

Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


Northern Michigan

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Joined: 05/19/2013

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Posted: 06/16/18 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I enjoy my single axle.

Unfortunately I've experienced a few blow outs, probably from overloading. The trailer never "tipped" dangerously, and certainly wasn't anywhere near tipping over. Of course, my tow vehicle out-weighs the trailer by almost double, there is no tail wagging the dog here. Those towing a heavy trailer with a light tow might experience more excitement?

Redundancy is bolted to the back bumper, the spare tire. No big deal to swap it out, but I'm on the younger side of things and able bodied.

When I was on the road to Alaska, and had a blowout around Destruction Bay, I used my spare, and bought a spare for the spare which then lived in the truck bed. Having two spares, I needed neither for years after that trip.

The cargo capacity is the only draw back I run into with my single axle.

2013 KZ Sportsmen Classic 200, 20 ft TT
2017 Ram 2500 4x4, 6.4 HEMI, 4.10 / Auto


near La Cuesta Encantada

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Posted: 06/16/18 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Post is so long I feel asleep...oh yes! Washing your hands in the bathroom is sanitation at a high level while shaving in the kitchen sink is bush league.

2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


Central California

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Posted: 06/16/18 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our previous trailer sounds a lot like yours. It was great for me and the Mrs. But we didn't factor in the grandkids. My only concern with it was that it was limited to about 800lbs of cargo and water and such. So I just carried most of the cargo in the truck. Not a huge problem.

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Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 06/16/18 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think the 15 inch tires would be more substantial then 2 light duty 13" tires and more availability. Never had a single axle RV but the boat trailer was a single axle and it was more difficult to back.

I'm looking at a very small TT for overnights on long trip and thought of a single axle.



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Joined: 10/23/2006

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Posted: 06/16/18 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Single axle good or bad depends on the weight and axle/tire ratings. Lots of times (as in my case), the manufacturer will equip a 3000 lb (dry) trailer with 3500 lb axle/tires, so it's easy to go to the max or more when loaded, especially if you boondock and need to carry water.

I swapped in a 5200 lb axle and tires rated for even more, and now don't worry about blowouts. 10K miles so far without any issues.

In the past, had a pop-up with small tires, took it on a summer 12K trip, 4-5 blowouts. No issue other than the hassle of getting another tire. Finally figured out that load range E tires were the way to go, although harder to find in 20.5x8x10. (Jayco put LR C on it).

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