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Old 08-13-2009, 06:03 AM   #1
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Default Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

I have a 97 Maxum 1900. With this boat came a single axle trailer.

I have pulled a lot of trailers and do not like single axle trailers. Especially considering that when we go boating, we drag our boat over 100 miles 1 way.

So, I would like to either add another axle or get a different trailer that is a tandem. I would also like electric brakes.

Questions:

Has anyone added an axle to their trailer? If so, where did you get the axle and words of advice?
Can I buy most any bunk trailer and make it work for my boat? How difficult is it to adjust the bunks? How do you adjust the bunks correctly?

Any advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

Quote:
I have a 97 Maxum 1900. With this boat came a single axle trailer.
Quote:
Can I buy most any bunk trailer and make it work for my boat? How difficult is it to adjust the bunks? How do you adjust the bunks correctly?
Uh, so which is it? Do you want to add the axle to the trailer you have or buy a single axle trailer and add one? The latter would be ridiculous. If you're going to buy one, then buy a dual axle if that is what you want.

There is some specific math which will dictate the positioning of the wheels in relation to the overall length of the trailer, the length of the tongue and intended load to be carried. Sure, it can be done, but if you don't know what your doing, I would leave this to the professionals. Load distribution is going to directly impact max towing speed and handling.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

Quote:
Uh, so which is it? Do you want to add the axle to the trailer you have or buy a single axle trailer and add one? The latter would be ridiculous. If you're going to buy one, then buy a dual axle if that is what you want.
In my post I said,
Quote:
So, I would like to EITHER add another axle or get a different trailer that is a TANDEM.
Sorry for any confusion but yes, if I buy a trailer, it would only be a tandem.

And, if I do buy a tandem, how difficult is it to adjust the bunks to fit my boat? If I have a 19 foot boat, can I use a trailer that's set up for a 20 footer without any major issue?

If I were to add an axle, I would either use a friend of mine that does a lot of fabrication in his shop including custom made 24 foot stock trailers and semi trailers or simply take the trailer to a trailer repair place here in the valley. Either way I believe the axle location will be solvable.
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

It would be easier to adjust the bunks than to adjust a trailer with rollers. It would be easier to buy a tandem and adjust the bunks than it would be to add a second axle to the single axle trailer. Admittedly, a tandem will handle and track better. However, most tracking, handling and stopping issues are more related to improperly sized drop-downs on ball mounts and improper weight load/distribution than the single or double axle, in my opinion. Front Loading causing too much positive (downward) force on the tongue, and backloading causing negative (upward) force on the tongue have far more impact on tracking and handling than most peeople think. Even balancing the load with the ballast at extreme ends can cause issues, even if the tongue weight is balanced correctly.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

My boat trails and handles well. The reason I want a tandem axle is for security. As I said before we pull this boat a couple hundred miles most anytime we go out. Most of the lakes we go to involve traveling a fair amount of gravel as well.

I don't know if you've ever had a blowout on a single axle trailer going down the road, but I have and I really don't have any desire to experience it again.

Now, about adjusting bunks, I found a trailer that would work, except that it has surge brakes. It is a tandem axle and in very good shape. So how do you go about adjusting bunks properly? Any tips or tricks.

Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

No such thing as electric brakes for boat trailers. Electricity and water don't like each other. Do you mean surge brakes?

2 axles tow better on highways but are harder to maneuver when backing up and vice versa for a single.

At the public ramps I'm in and out while the tandem axle guys are still trying to back their boat down the ramp.

If I were going to do a LOT of highway towing I'd go with 2, but I enjoy the maneuverability of the single, and less maintenance costs.
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

As far as backing and maneuverability of a trailer, I am not worried. I've been pulling stock trailers and implements for 25 years so there's not much that worries me about backing a trailer.

I have seen some bigger trailers that do have electric brakes. I do not like surge brakes because when you are in the hills, the trailer is constantly braking on the downhill side. I also like to have the ability to independently operate the trailer brakes and adjust their sensitivity depending upon the situation. I understand that with electric brakes, I would need to unplug before going into the water.

Like I said in my earlier post, every time I leave I am driving at least 100 miles one-way. Sometimes as much as 400 miles roundtrip. This is why I am looking into a tandem axle trailer. I do not like single axle trailers because of what hapens when you lose a tire.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trailer Questions - Single or Tandem

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarkio
As far as backing and maneuverability of a trailer, I am not worried. I've been pulling stock trailers and implements for 25 years so there's not much that worries me about backing a trailer.

I have seen some bigger trailers that do have electric brakes. I do not like surge brakes because when you are in the hills, the trailer is constantly braking on the downhill side. I also like to have the ability to independently operate the trailer brakes and adjust their sensitivity depending upon the situation. I understand that with electric brakes, I would need to unplug before going into the water.

Like I said in my earlier post, every time I leave I am driving at least 100 miles one-way. Sometimes as much as 400 miles roundtrip. This is why I am looking into a tandem axle trailer. I do not like single axle trailers because of what hapens when you lose a tire.
I agree with the benefit of electric brakes as I too had them on various horse trailers. I did a bit of digging around and found this company that sells marine grade electric brakes. My question would be the 'added value' of the ROI. Outfitting four wheels with marine grade electric brakes and installing a controller is money that could be spent on other areas that give a bigger return. In my case, my V8 truck pulls my single axle with an 18' Maxum with hardly knowing it's back there so for me an investment into a complete brake conversion would be completely unnecessary.

With the mileage you are towing I understand your desire to outfit your rig for ultimate safety and control.

here is an article from BoatUS on the matter and the link to the brake company.

http://www.boatus.com/trailerclub/up...tricbrakes.asp
http://www.fultonperformance.com/Brakes/index.html
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