Dual axle query

Submitted: Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 14:38
ThreadID: 135742 Views:1655 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all,

In the case of multiple punctures can you remove the wheels from one axle and drive safely on a single axle?

Looking to upgrade from our camper trailer to a caravan. Have searched site for dual versus single pros and cons but haven't seen much on this aspect.


Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: RMD - Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 15:10

Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 15:10
A dual axle caravan usually has the maximum weight of van divided by 4, and that weight has to be less then the tyre load rating to be legal. Most tyres used are NOT double or more in their load rating than the 1/4 caravan weight normally applied to each wheel/tyre.
Removing the wheels from one axle means you have, at least, immediately doubled the load on the remaining tyres, so unless the load rating has the capacity to handle that double the normal load rating. No you can't.

Removing the wheels from one axle would impose a disproportionate loading onto the remaining tyres and axles and even if the tyres could handle the load the axle rating and bearings capacity is almost sure to be exceeded too.

Depending on which set of wheels were removed, ie, the front ones, much more additional load will be on the coupling and rear of the vehicle.
If rear tyres of van were removed, the overhang weight would more than double the tyre requirements because of the weight leverage factor.

Probably you couldn't control the caravan anyway, as it would be so unstable with uncontrolled weight taking over.

Drive really slow with the HAZARDS on if you do!
AnswerID: 614306

Reply By: Blown4by - Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 16:44

Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 16:44
As stated by RMB usually the reason a dual axle set up is installed is that is is required to carry the GTM i.e.Gross Trailer Mass. Yes in a dire emergency you can do whatever you have to do to get out of trouble but technically it would meet your requirement as regards 'safety'. Another factor to consider is the type of suspension fitted. If it is the load sharing 'rocker' type suspension with the wheels removed from on axle, the suspension will be at its limit of travel and the remaining tyres may contact the body of the caravan. At the very least the loaded axle will be sitting on the bump stops.
Why not just carry two spares? That way you have to get 3 punctures to be immobilised. Also a tubeless temporary repair plug kit. If you plan on getting lots of punctures, fit split rims, 10 or 12 ply LT tyres, carry spare tubes, vulcanising or cold patches, a compressor, tyre levers and a rubber mallet. That way you can fix your own punctures as they occur.
AnswerID: 614308

Reply By: GHThommo - Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 17:32

Friday, Oct 13, 2017 at 17:32
Thank you. Both of your replies have clarified the situation for me.


AnswerID: 614315

Reply By: swampy - Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 10:40

Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 10:40
If u have 1 puncture in a dual axle tie the axle at that end up with chain or strap .
Otherwise most times the brake/hub will drag on the ground .
AnswerID: 614323

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 11:57

Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 11:57
Beat me to it.
I saw a prime mover on the Zambesi ferry at Kasane in Botswana with the rear set of bogies chained up to the chassis and driving on the front set. Made me think of a sky hook.
Looked to be a good solution to a problem.
If you took it very slowly, and strapped up the axle without tyres , I think you could get out of trouble. Pumping up the tyres to their maximum would also help with the load factor.
Why not give it a try at home and see what you caravan does in terms of axle positions.
Regards Philip A
FollowupID: 884908

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 22:08

Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 22:08
Very common with remote prime movers
FollowupID: 884915

Reply By: 3ways - Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 19:35

Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 19:35
There was a dual axle van with simplicity suspension coming back on the Kalumburu road May this year tried it. It had broken a stub axle so they chained the trailing arm thinking that would be ok to get back to Kununurra for help. The van only got about 1km when that single wheel failed, not the stub axle.
AnswerID: 614331

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Oct 15, 2017 at 08:20

Sunday, Oct 15, 2017 at 08:20
For most dual axle vans the group axle weight may be around 3,200 kg but the individual axles only have a rating of 1,600 kg (if the axle is load sharing. Even if you can chain up the dead axle a large van will not go far on a 1,600 kg axle. The same applies with the individual Simplicity wheels.
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 884922

Popular Content