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Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

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  • Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

    Hi All,
    I am looking for some advice. I have a tandem torsion axle aluminum trailer rated at 10,000#s with Load Range D Goodyear Radial tires. I had the boat and trailer weighed using a moving company's scale and found the entire set-up weighed 10,400#s (Boat, Trailer and Gear), and that the weight on the 4 trailer tires totalled 8,600#s. I frequently tow the boat to Montauk (approximately 100 miles each way) without a problem. However, I once towed the boat to the Florida Keys, and replaced somewhere around eight tires (six southbound and 2 northbound) during the trip. I am still pissed at that Old Man at the gas station on the GA/FL border who charged me $450 for one tire. "Where ya gonna get one at this hour son?" On the way south I started with the tires inflated to 50#s, but later learned that they should have been inflated to 65#s (Max). That helped but did not eliminate the problem. My towing speed was around 55-60 mph. That's as fast as my old vehicle could tow. My new pick-up can tow much faster. Here's the dilemna. I plan to tow the boat to the Outerbanks of NC in June, and I don't want to be replacing tires like chicklets again. I live on Long Island, and if you know NY, you also know that there is no worse place on earth to breakdown than the BQE or XBnxExpwy. Any Ideas?


  • #2
    Re: Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

    Originally posted by Davinci512 View Post
    Hi All,
    I am looking for some advice. I have a tandem torsion axle aluminum trailer rated at 10,000#s with Load Range D Goodyear Radial tires. I had the boat and trailer weighed using a moving company's scale and found the entire set-up weighed 10,400#s (Boat, Trailer and Gear), and that the weight on the 4 trailer tires totalled 8,600#s. I frequently tow the boat to Montauk (approximately 100 miles each way) without a problem. However, I once towed the boat to the Florida Keys, and replaced somewhere around eight tires (six southbound and 2 northbound) during the trip. I am still pissed at that Old Man at the gas station on the GA/FL border who charged me $450 for one tire. "Where ya gonna get one at this hour son?" On the way south I started with the tires inflated to 50#s, but later learned that they should have been inflated to 65#s (Max). That helped but did not eliminate the problem. My towing speed was around 55-60 mph. That's as fast as my old vehicle could tow. My new pick-up can tow much faster. Here's the dilemna. I plan to tow the boat to the Outerbanks of NC in June, and I don't want to be replacing tires like chicklets again. I live on Long Island, and if you know NY, you also know that there is no worse place on earth to breakdown than the BQE or XBnxExpwy. Any Ideas?
    Time to upgrade but i wouldn't have torsion axles on that load. The torsion axles do not distribute the weight on each tire like spring axles. The torsion system can exert more weight on any given tire depending on road surface. They ride nicer but they have draw backs.
    Assault Squadron NINE
    River Assault Division NINETY-ONE-1966

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    • #3
      Re: Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

      What size are your tires and why aren't you using Load Range E?

      Very important for a torsion axle trailer to be perfectly level. Is it? Having more problems with your front or rear tires?
      1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
      Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

      2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
      Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
      "Common sense is not very common"
      "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

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      • #4
        Re: Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

        Towing a tandem or tri-axle torsion trailer with the tongue high overloads the rear tires. Towing tongue low overloads the front tires. Always inflate the tires to the maximum psi indicated on the sidewall of the tire, and if tires are replaced, make sure they have the same or higher load rating than the ones you are replacing. Never replace a trailer tire with a rating less than what the GVWR plate specifies for the load.

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        • #5
          Re: Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

          Originally posted by Davinci512 View Post
          I am still pissed at that Old Man at the gas station on the GA/FL border who charged me $450 for one tire. "Where ya gonna get one at this hour son?"
          I am callin BS on this one... what kind of person could do that to another human being? But i would be looking at some load E's and keep them aired to the MAX.
          Toy - 2001 Glastron GX185, 4.3 Alpha One
          Tow rig - 2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax

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          • #6
            Re: Should I add a 3rd axle to a tandem torsion axle trailer.

            Adding a 3rd axle will most likely require significant work. The set up you have should work if tires are kept to max inflation. 15" load range D tires are rated for 2250 lb capacity (the usual 225/75-15) giving you capacity over your load. In that size, you will only be able to run D rated tires ... moving to an E rating tire would require compatible (E load rated) rims and most likely a move to 16" size. As you have discovered, ST D rated tires are a problem, do a search on google for trailer tire blow outs and you will find many posts of folks who converted to 16" size to run E rated LT tires. As stated above -- 1st step may be to verify the trailer set up --- absolutely level and make sure the axles are bolted on straight and not scrubbing the tires.

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