11 Pros and Cons: Single vs Dual Axle Travel Trailer

When you choose the travel trailer option for your RV experience, you are going to be faced with more decisions than just what color you want. Travel Trailers come in single and dual axle versions and you have to decide which one will work best for you.

There are many die-hard dual axle owners out there who won’t own anything but a dual-axle travel trailer but one main advantage the single axle has is that it is easier to handle. This comes in handy when you have to park your rig.

To learn all about the pros and cons of the single and dual axle debate, just keep reading. Our article explores this issue so you can find the right travel trailer for you and your family.

Are Single Axle Travel Trailers Safe?


There is no doubt that single axles are safe. They are built with a quality frame and construction materials as well as have good joints and connections. Using them under normal circumstances should not put you in any danger at all.

With that said there are a couple of issues that you need to be aware of that make single axle travel trailers a bit unsafe to use. The first one is that they are designed to carry only a certain amount of weight.

Like boats, cars, and RVs, you can only get so much weight in and on a single axle travel trailer. If you exceed that weight capacity, then yes, the single axle travel trailer will not be safe to tow behind your vehicle.

The other issue that brings a relative amount of risk to using a single axle trailer is the tire situation. If one of the tires blows out, you may have a very hard time controlling your rig and you may end up hurting yourself or your family because of the sudden stop that comes at the end of struggling with controlling the rig.

A little common sense will help you avoid both issues and if you check your tires regularly, you should be able to avoid blowouts. Of course, nothing can stop a nail on the road when it is in the right position.

Towing Single Axle Travel Trailer


One of the issues that has been raised is that a single axle travel trailer may have a bit more bounce and sway than the dual axle version. This function of the single axle is cause for some concern as you may have a hard time controlling it over bumpy roads or in wind gust areas.

With a little experience though, you should be able to overcome those faults and pull your single axle trailer without incident. This has been done for generations, ever since the single axle trailer was invented so it can be done by you.

Also, there are steps you can take to cut the sway out as you pull this style of a travel trailer. It may cost you a few bucks but making sure you are safe on the road is worth the expense it takes to get rid of that sway.

Another area you may find that works well when you pull a single axle travel trailer is that it turns a lot easier than a dual axle model and it backs up a lot easier as well. These are two important factors in why many people choose a single axle TT over a dual axle version.

Choosing Single or Double Axle Travel Trailer

We have given you two good factors why people choose a single axle over a dual axle. The park better, and they corner a lot better than the dual axle types. Some of the factors why people choose a dual axle over the single axle are as follows:

  • They carry more weight - the weight capacity is a lot higher making it easier for you to haul more food and supplies and so on.
  • They have extra tires - this factor is seen when you have a blowout. Instead of fighting for control of your rig, your TT keeps on rolling as nothing happened. You have extra tires to help you out.
  • A smoother dire - some dual axle owners feel that they have less bounce, less sway and a lot smoother ride when they pull this kind of trailer.
  • Better weight distribution - single axle TTs do not have the best weight distribution and that can mean a lot when you are on rough roads. The dual axles do and that makes for a better, steadier and safer ride.
  • Higher resale value - dual axle TTs hold their value and when you want to upgrade or make a change, you get more money for them than you would a single axle travel trailer.

What is The Shortest Dual Axle Travel Trailer?


The shortest dual axle made that we have been able to find out runs about 14’ 8” inches in size. The next shortest was about 16’ 8” and both TT were made by Dutchman.

The only problem is that the last year these trailers were made was 2009. There is a 20’ 11” Jayco and a 21’ 2” Heartland models but it is hard to say if they are still in production.

Some RV owners have claimed to have seen 18 and 19-foot versions but those stats do not trump the 14’ 8” Dutchman TT. If you look hard enough, we are certain you may find smaller ones than we have so far.

Custom-built and homemade DIY models do not follow the normal rules of trailer sizes and building. Also, there are smaller tandem axle trailers out there but they do not qualify as TT. They are more for cargo and animal transportation.

Largest Single Axle Travel Trailer


What we have found here is that Airstream travel trailers with single axles are pretty standard in size. That means you may not find one longer than 22 feet unless it was a do-it-yourself project or a custom build.

One reason you may not find them longer is due to the weight capacity. Normal TTs can handle about 5,000 pounds or less with relative ease. If more weight capacity is needed, then manufacturers add another axle in order to boost that weight limit.

If they tried to boost the weight limit of a single axle TT, the tires would have to be made larger and that would make them far more expensive. Regardless of a tire blowout issue, single axle trailers still are good TTs to pull and many owners do not have any issue with blowouts or pulling one.

Pros and Cons of Single Axle Travel Trailer

Like everything in this world, there are always going to be positive and negatives about any item in this world. Nothing is going to be perfect, and that includes a single axle TT.

If you are looking for a perfect travel trailer whether single or dual axle, you just won’t find one. They will always have some flaw that ruins that perfection quest.

Here are some pros and cons for a single axle trailer:


  • They are cheaper than double axle trailers - Their construction is simpler which means costs go down.
  • They are lighte- with less weight you can save on fuel consumption and save a little money.
  • They are easy to maneuver - parking and getting around tight corners is a lot easier than using a double axle model.
  • They brake faster - lighter weight means that you can stop in a shorter distance.
  • ​They are easier on the tow vehicle - their lightweight and other fine features do not cause your tow vehicle a lot of wear and tear.
  • Less maintenance - you have fewer tires, brakes bearings and other parts to maintain and service.


  • They do not carry a lot of weight - their weight capacity is a lot less than a dual axle TT.
  • They may not have brakes - this is an important fact to understand., if you want good braking power, you may need to add your own.
  • ​They are harder on tires - that is because the single axle carries more weight per tire than dual axle models.
  • They may not have any suspension - this means that your rid may not be as smooth as pulling a dual axle TT.
  • They may not be long enough - while these trailers can come in a 22 foot size, you may need more space for your growing or a large family. A dual axle TT can get a lot longer than 22 feet giving you the space you need.

Single Axle Travel Trailer Safety


It is not hard to practice a little single axle travel trailer safety. It just takes a few moments of your time to make sure everything is in proper working order and ready for the long road trip.

The first thing you should do is make sure you have the right ball and hitch for your single axle travel trailer. This alone provides you with a lot of safety as the hitch is up to the task and should handle with ease.

Next, you may want to attach a safety chain just in case something happens to the hitch. Whether it is required or not, a little redundancy in the safety issue is the best way to go.

Third, you need to check your tires. Having them inflated to the right psi helps protect you and your family from a variety of tire issues that can ruin your vacation. Poorly inflated tires will wear them out faster and make them vulnerable to road hazards, including potholes.

Finally, you need to resist the temptation to over-pack your travel trailer. Too much weight makes the single axle TT a lot more dangerous than it should be. Practicing good single axle safety is one way to guarantee that you and your family will have a great time on the road.

Do Single Axle Travel Trailers Have Brakes?


The answer to this question depends on the size of the TT. Most states seem to have laws that state you need to have trailer brakes on trailers if those trailers weigh more than 2000 pounds. Some states may be as low as 1000 pounds.

If you are buying a recent model, then it is highly likely that there are brakes on a single axle travel trailer. Keep in mind that it is not the number of axles that determine if a TT has brakes or not.

What is the deciding factor is the gross weight of the TT whether it be single or dual axle. In mountainous regions like the west coast, you may find trailer brakes on all sizes of TTs, including pop-ups. The reason for that is the steep mountain grades that have to be travelled.

Also, when looking at trailer brakes, you need to make sure that you get a brake controller. This has to be installed in your tow vehicle. The rule of thumb on these is not to go cheap.

Some Final Words

Whether you buy a single axle or a dual axle TT is ultimately going to be up to you and your preferences. We found as many die-hard single axle owners as double axle ones. The good points of both just attracted to them and they get great results from either model.

The pros of both also outweigh the cons and if your buying decision is influenced by the cons list, then you may be missing out on a great travel trailer. Blowouts happen and cannot be avoided. When they take place you just need to know how to handle your rig in order to stop safely.

The risk factor of the single axle doesn’t make it a bad TT. You just need to practice some good TT safety habits and you should be fine.

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