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TOPIC: Cornering with a twin axle

Cornering with a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467932

  • ReverendJT
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Hello,

This may be a silly question, but that won't stop me asking!

I have been towing a single axle for around 4 years and will be selling this very soon in favour of a different layout. The one we are interested in is a meter longer and is a twin axle.

I have read a lot about manoeuvring a twin axle on site with a motor mover turning in a large arc and will of course have to accept this however I can't find any information about entering/exciting junctions with one on the road.

Does a twin axle follow your car just as a single axle does or is it slower to turn for to the two axles or is it just a case of it being longer over the pivot point that I need to take into account?

Regarding the extra length, it would essentially be 8m long, does anyone have any sensible advice for entering/exiting junctions. I.e. Do you find yourself needing to pull into the opposite side of the road to make tight turns to avoid wiping someone out? This is not something I've had to do with my current van.

I just want to be prepared well before I potentially purchase a 'van that could be quite different in the way I need to drive it.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

ReverentJT (not really a reverend at all)
Last Edit: 7 months 2 days ago by Parksy.
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467933

  • Dustydog
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Hi Reverend
Welcome to the forum. There are some very clever people on here to help answer your questions.

I have towed a twin axle for ten years.
I use a Heavy duty Powrtouch mover attached to the front axle. It does not turn on a sixpence but is more than adequate with patience. If I had to move in very tight spaces I would consider a four wheel drive Powrtouch. Remember the weight of the movers eats into your payload allowance.
With experience you will find you can reverse a ta just as easily as a sa. Things just happen a bit slower. So you may only need the mover for the final minor adjustment.
On the road entering / exiting junctions is no more difficult than a sa. You just take the turnings slowly and slightly wider. Certainly no further out than I did with the sa. It is the length you account for not the number of axles.
I can say with some authority, a correctly loaded ta in my opinion is inherently a better tow. It is less twitchy and has always felt far steadier than any of my previous SAs.
Good luck and ask away.
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Last Edit: 7 months 3 days ago by Dustydog.
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467934

  • Craigyoung
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Not that I have a twin axle but I have an 8m van but still when going to junctions I always pinch a bit of the other lane or be right on the line if I need to but I'm a bus driver and used to it , there is HGV drivers on this forum as well who will probably say the same thing , take the space that you need and still go wide . Hopefully someone with a twin axle will come on now and tell you more .
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467935

  • Thingy
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I used to tow my fathers twin for him until he gave up, and I can assure you that on the back of the car, you wont have any issues at all. If turning in a complete circle, say on a motorway service station, I would make the largest circle I could in doing so, to protect the tyres. Remember, the tighter the circle the more the tyres will scrub. In normal operation, on bends and roundabouts, you wont really tell much difference.

The bigger issue is trying to move these things without the tow vehicle, and its all to do with the lateral scrub of the tyres and the ability to overcome the friction of those tyres. When moving onto a tight pitch or driveway with a motormover, it is perhaps better to shunt a few times rather than jackknife it in, or of course manoeuvre in a more gentle arc.
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467937

  • Guzzilazz
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Not towed 2 axle caravan, but have a considerable experience of horsebox trailer... The twin axles make no difference when driving. The horsebox being shorter was dead easy to jack-knife when reversing... You won't experience that though.
Larry from N. Essex

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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467939

  • ReverendJT
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Thanks for the welcome onto the forum. I have been dancing around which one to join for while now. Looks like I chose wisely with the super quick responses!

I am pleased to here that it won't be too different to drive with and understand that I'll need to drive even more carefully with a longer, slightly heavier outfit.

I am very grateful for everyone's advice and experience.

On your twin axles did you choose 2x motor movers to save weight/money or opt for 4 for the tighter turning ability? Are 2 enough to get the job done without people pointing and laughing at my 19 million point turn when getting it in position?
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 3 days ago #467947

  • ProfJohnL
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ReverendJT wrote:
Thanks for the welcome onto the forum. I have been dancing around which one to join for while now. Looks like I chose wisely with the super quick responses!

I am pleased to here that it won't be too different to drive with and understand that I'll need to drive even more carefully with a longer, slightly heavier outfit.

I am very grateful for everyone's advice and experience.

On your twin axles did you choose 2x motor movers to save weight/money or opt for 4 for the tighter turning ability? Are 2 enough to get the job done without people pointing and laughing at my 19 million point turn when getting it in position?

Ask away, there's no silly or daft questions except the ones people don't ask, but should have!

I'm please to see the excelent advice already given on this thread, not much to add really except that I have driven many different combinations of cars and caravans both SA nad TA, and the forward towing expereince is virtually indistibguishable, the biggest factor isas Dusty says not the number of axles but the length. Advice I give to new caravannners is to drive allowing the same sort of space and timing a bus or coach would need. a point Im sure Craig would agree with.

Reversing a TA when hitched again is no different to an SA of the same length. The biggest issue is when trying to manouver it by hand, Its really hard especially on soft surfaces becasue of the tyre scrub. A motor mover make a lot of sence.

Provided the motor movers specifiied for TA's and the weight of the caravan is within the specifications of the mover, apart form the effect on payload there is should be no practical difference between a 2 motor or 4 motor unit. The mover manufacturers should have done all the necessary design proving to confirm that a 2 motor design is up to the job.

The one thing I would stress strongly though is setting the nose load of a TA is a far more critical task than for an SA.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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Cornering worth a twin axle 7 months 2 days ago #467950

  • Parksy
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Hello the not very reverend JT, and welcome to the forum. :)
I tow a t/a caravan and have no more difficulty than I would with a s/a of similar length.
As previously mentioned, try not to make turns too tight, set your nearside towing mirror to see along the side of the caravan so that you can turn close to the apex of the corner, and as with any vehicle towing a caravan or trailer always have a quick look into the space that you intend to turn into before you commit to the turn.
Bear in mind that although a t/a caravan will follow the car, the rear end on a longer caravan might swing out slightly more so allow for this until you become more used to towing the t/a.
Reversing is often easier because of the longer length of the pivot point away from the tow hitch.
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Last Edit: 7 months 2 days ago by Parksy.
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Cornering with a twin axle 7 months 2 days ago #467953

  • ReverendJT
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Again, thank you for the info. I will do my best to take it all into account.

Nothing you have said so far has scared me away from making the purchase, which in my mind is good news!

Thank you
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Cornering with a twin axle 7 months 2 days ago #467957

  • Dustydog
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Phil
What is your tow car?
Sir Dustydog (BAR) TS .Woosie Round Table
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Last Edit: 7 months 2 days ago by Dustydog.
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