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Old 27 January 2013, 03:07   #1
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Extra axle on Snipe trailer

Hi

I have a snipe trailer for my 6.5 Oceanpro, but the makers plate is bare, ie no stamped details.

There is a mkers stamp on the axle, and a max of 1500Kg.

I will be towing the rig up to Scotland in April, and would ideally prefer to have a twin axle on the trailer for peace of mind. I dont intend putting a bigger boat on it, I just would prefer the extra axle to distribute the load.

I dont really have to push and pull the trailer anywhere, so the twin axle will not unduly worry me for ease of maneouvering it into place.

I have got a quote from the axle manufacterer for an identical axle, and was wondering if there is anything I needed to be aware of or advice before commiting to changing it to a twin Axle jobby!

Also do I need both axles braked, or can i get away with braking just one set of wheels, and "sharpening" them up a bit?

I know i will have to move both axles to get a correct nose weight on the hitch, and will need a new set of mudguards, adjust the brake rod, get extra u bolts to secure the axle etc, but is there any thing else I am missing?

Thanks

Gary
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Old 27 January 2013, 03:13   #2
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my suspicion is that you will need a second braked axle. Adding a second set of wheels will reduce the load on the originals and hence the maximum breaking effort before they skid. To keep the original brake force, you need to brake all wheels.

Phil
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Old 27 January 2013, 03:40   #3
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I would go first to find a scale to check the total weight of trailer and boat before adding an additional axle .
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:19   #4
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Originally Posted by Bushrider View Post
I would go first to find a scale to check the total weight of trailer and boat before adding an additional axle .
+1 but make sure the boat is loaded with everything you're planning on putting in it when you tow. And then add a safety margin. I used 100kg.

When you know the weight then you can work out where your weakest link is. It could be the axle, but it could be the tyres, the hitch ...

If you go for a second axle I'd defo go a braked one. Unbraked is only half a job.

FWIW when we weighed our trailer and boat (RC5.3/Suzuki 90/single axle) it was the tyres that needed an upgrade.

PS If you know a way of "sharpening up" trailer brakes we'd all like to know!
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:23   #5
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A few points to consider:

1. All axles on a braked trailer must be braked.
2. Adding an extra axle will increase the unladen weight of your trailer and hence possibly put you over your GVW.
3. Assuming your trailer was built after 1982, it must clearly show the GVW is KG.
4. Department of Transport Code of Practice states that is desirable for trailers less than 3,500kg gross vehicle to carry a manufacturer's plate clearly showing manufacturer's name and address, chassis or serial number, model number, number of axles, maximum weight per axle, nose weight or coupling, maximum gross weight and date of manufacturer.
5. What is the value of your current trailer, cost of a new axle, mudguards, brackets, brake cables, etc and effort involved in fitting them? For comparison, we could supply a new 1800kg GVW Twin Axle Multi Roller for 2470 + VAT.
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:38   #6
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Originally Posted by Bushrider View Post
I would go first to find a scale to check the total weight of trailer and boat before adding an additional axle .
As I said I am not putting the extra axle on because of wieght, but more for peace of mind.

I will be less worried about losing a tyre, or bearing failure if I have a twin axle. The total weight of the boat and trailer is in the region of 1350Kgs so is below the rated max for the axle.

However that means 675Kgs per tyre, and with a twin axle, that would be approx 340Kgs per tyre, which will stress them a lot less.

Also same for bearings, the more weight on each bearing, the more friction, and therfore more stress, and more likely to need changing (lets not get into salt water degredation here!)

As I will be dragging the rig more than 400 miles each way, I would like that reassurance. If I dont go for the extra axle I will be going for new stub axle, hub and wheel instead, which is cheaper, but will still be just going on one axle.

As far as the extra set of wheels being braked, I can see the logic, but can also sharpen the brakes on the one axle, this means higher wear on the brake componenents, but not sure about the skidding part of it, as I dont intend that they lock up!, however i do see the logic in the point though!

Gary
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:48   #7
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The total weight of the boat and trailer is in the region of 1350Kgs...
My experience - even with a Rib manufacturer, is that weights " in the region of" are always always undercalled. Grossly sometimes. Our 950kg manufacturer guess was a real world 1125kg plus fuel plus kit plus all else.

If your "in the region of 1350kgs" is a guess are you considering fuel, boat kit, personal kit, whisky on the way back :-) stuff that won't fit in the car boot, stuff the wife puts in there you don't know about etc etc etc?

I'd weigh it ... and then you'll know for sure. And then decide what's best
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:55   #8
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It is not just the logic that the extra axle must be braked, it is the law. If you were to get stopped by the police/VOSA (as I have been myself while towing a boat on my way upto Scotland) and they found that only one of your axles was braked, your trailer would be impounded on the spot.
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Old 27 January 2013, 04:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leapy View Post
My experience - even with a Rib manufacturer, is that weights " in the region of" are always always undercalled. Grossly sometimes. Our 950kg manufacturer guess was a real world 1125kg plus fuel plus kit plus all else.

If your "in the region of 1350kgs" is a guess are you considering fuel, boat kit, personal kit, whisky on the way back :-) stuff that won't fit in the car boot, stuff the wife puts in there you don't know about etc etc etc?

I'd weigh it ... and then you'll know for sure. And then decide what's best
Even if i weighed it, and it came in at 1250Kgs I would still be looking to put an additional axle on it.

I was originally asking for advice on how to do it, not IF i need it

I would like the additional axle, just need to know if there are any logistic/technical issues to fixing it
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Old 27 January 2013, 05:06   #10
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Originally Posted by SW RIB Charter View Post
A few points to consider:

1. All axles on a braked trailer must be braked.
2. Adding an extra axle will increase the unladen weight of your trailer and hence possibly put you over your GVW.
3. Assuming your trailer was built after 1982, it must clearly show the GVW is KG.
4. Department of Transport Code of Practice states that is desirable for trailers less than 3,500kg gross vehicle to carry a manufacturer's plate clearly showing manufacturer's name and address, chassis or serial number, model number, number of axles, maximum weight per axle, nose weight or coupling, maximum gross weight and date of manufacturer.
5. What is the value of your current trailer, cost of a new axle, mudguards, brackets, brake cables, etc and effort involved in fitting them? For comparison, we could supply a new 1800kg GVW Twin Axle Multi Roller for 2470 + VAT.
Thanks for the advice, so I need the second axle braked, so i will go for that

The trailer came with the boat, has a snipe plate on it, but is not stamped, so it could possibly be old enough to not need the data, as it does not have the data anywhere, only the axle plate, with the serial number, and rating of the axle.

The extra axle will not put it over the GVW. I have a LR Defender which can tow 3.5Mt.

I guess the value of the trailer as is, without a stamped plate will be in the region of 1000 if i am lucky, and manage to sell it. The additional axle and fittings will set me back 600 tops, and I can do all the work myself.
If i bought a brand new one for 3K inc VAT, will leave me a deficit of 1.4K. I dont think the missus will be impressed with that! but thanks for the advice on the plating, and brakes though!
Gary
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