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If you are looking for a new trailer to haul your boat or other outdoor equipment, you must consider whether you want a single axle or tandem axle boat trailer.

While neither of these options is inherently better than the other, each trailer offers you a significantly different experience.

So, you must choose which type of trailer best fits your boating needs.

What are the differences between a single axle vs tandem axle boat trailer?

Let’s find out!

What is a single axle boat trailer?

Firstly, an axle is a rod or bar that is installed through the center or a wheel or set of wheels.

A single axle’s name gives away its definition: this term refers to a trailer that uses one axle to connect the wheels on the sides of the unit.

This type of trailer typically has two wheels, so it is somewhat limited in size.

Single axle trailers are typically smaller than tandem axle trailers, and they are built to support smaller loads than their larger counterparts.

What is a tandem axle boat trailer?

A tandem axle boat trailer has less of a descriptive name, but it’s equally as easy to understand as a single axle trailer.

Unlike a single axle trailer, a tandem axle boat trailer uses two axles that operate together to connect wheels on each side of the trailer.

Since a tandem axle trailer is able to support two wheels, this type of trailer is able to carry large, heavy loads.

Single axle vs. tandem axle boat trailer 

How can you decide if a single axle or tandem axle boat trailer is better for you?

This decision is based on the weight that you need to haul. So, how heavy is your boat?

As we previously discussed, single axle trailers are meant to haul small loads. 

They are generally good for transporting jet skis, small speed boats, and other boats that weigh less than 3500 lbs.

If you happen to have a lightweight boat that is abnormally long for its heaviness, a tandem axle trailer may work better than a single axle trailer.

Because single axle trailers are smaller and less complex than tandem axle trailers, they are typically less expensive.

Not only is a single axle itself less expensive than a larger unit, it also helps you spend less on gas.

Single axle trailers weigh less than tandem axle trailers, so your vehicle does not have to work as hard to pull them.

However, single axle trailers are less stable at high speeds than tandem axle trailers, and they are more prone to swaying on the road.

Consider the extra cost of gas that will be involved if you decide to purchase a tandem axle trailer.

However, if price is initially the primary factor driving your decision, be sure that the size and weight of your boat takes priority.

Attempting to fit a large, heavy boat on a single axle trailer is very dangerous. 

So, always choose the trailer that is the correct size for your boat.

A tandem axle trailer is substantially larger than a single axle trailer, so it can haul larger boats.

Anytime you are dealing with a boat that is heavier than 3500 lbs., choose a tandem axle trailer.

Tandem axle trailers are usually more difficult to drive and move than tandem axle trailers due to their extended length.

Single axle trailers are easier to maneuver around tight corners, small spaces, and other vehicles.

If you decide to purchase a tandem axle trailer, be prepared to drive it in any circumstance that may arise.

Also make sure that you can take a tandem axle trailer to the locations where you want to take your boat.

Sometimes parking can be an issue, especially for long, bulky trailers.

Though a tandem axle trailer may absorb more of your focus on the road, they give you the ability to carry more weight and longer loads.

So, if you have a long boat, consider a tandem axle trailer. Tandem axle trailers usually haul boats of at least 20 feet in length.

Maintenance is another factor that affects your decision between a single and tandem axle trailer.

While single axle trailers generally require more maintenance due to the intense pressure placed on their two wheels, maintenance is generally cheaper with single axles than with tandem axle trailers.

On the other hand, tandem axle trailers require less maintenance, but, when problems arise, they are usually very expensive to fix.

Because you’re dealing with twice the equipment with tandem axle trailers, you must accept the fact that there is twice as much equipment to break.

Therefore, tandem axle trailer repairs can be incredibly expensive!

Another thing that you need to consider anytime you’re driving a trailer is the legality of driving such a load.

Some states and areas have specific laws, regulations, and restrictions for trailers.

Before you drive a trailer in an area that you are not familiar with, always check the local requirements.

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