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Old 09 February 2012, 08:44   #1
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Update to twin axles?

Hi all,
My trailer is a year 2000 De-graff 1300kg roller coaster/swing beam type. To be honest I think itís probably right on the weight limit for the RIB, but canít afford a bigger capacity trailer at the moment.
The bearings and brakes are stripped and serviced very regularly and so far have never caused any issues...however the stub axles do have a bit of surface corrosion and the area where the inner seal sits is a little pitted.
I'm sure they are still structurally sound but my dilemma is as follows:
We're planning to do a fair few long tows this year (south of France & Cornwall x 2) so I'm considering fitting another axle to give me some redundancy in case of break/hub failure.
Does the panel think this is the way to go or should I just replace the current axle and stick with the single axle set-up?

Open to any advice on the matter!
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Old 09 February 2012, 10:34   #2
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If you are doing big trips then yes add an extra axle. Whilst it will be more difficult to turn around by hand the extra stability at speed more than makes up for it. Towed a Pacific 22 across France a couple of times and a well set up trailer was definately on the "must have" list.

Don't get caught with flares on the ferry btw.

Pete
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Old 09 February 2012, 11:13   #3
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Twin axles will definitely be more stable for longish distances and has the added benefit of reducing pitching forces on the tow vehicle under breaking (more noticeable if you tow with a car rather than a 4x4). As you're from Essex, i've found Digby Trailers in Southend do a really good job of this sort of work and their charges are very reasonable especially for Essex. If you're interested their number is 01702 610767.
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Old 09 February 2012, 12:56   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies.
To be honest the current set up tows really well. You hardly notice it behind the Landcruiser:


The thinking behind the twin axle was for some redundancy if that bearing gives up in the middle of France or Bodmin moor.

I'm lucky that I can do all my repairs/maintanance myself, but I might give Digby a ring to see if they can supply the parts at a good price.

Thanks again,
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Old 09 February 2012, 13:20   #5
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Why not just bring spare bearings? They are small, don't weigh anything and could be changed in an hour or so in a suitable parking lot. You could also bring a complete spare hub.
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Old 09 February 2012, 13:58   #6
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There is that option and I currently carry two sets of spare bearings.
The rig has got a 400 mile range so if a bearing decides to overheat and fail 300 miles into a stint the first I'd know would be a wheel overtaking me and the RIB heading for a ditch! With the double axle at least there's a chance to save it.
I'll check prices and then depending on how much shopping SWMBO does before the holiday probably go with the extra axle.
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Old 09 February 2012, 14:18   #7
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Where did you book in France ?
What is the restriction on tacking flares on a ferry.
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Old 09 February 2012, 14:38   #8
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Going to the Hyeres & the Giens peninsula. Apparently you don't need to book for camping?
If the flares are hidden how can they know? Maybe the drugs dogs can smell sulphur too :-)
Unfortunately my flares are kept in a locker with a bloody great big label saying FLARES so I'll have to be creative when I hide them.

Will try to do a trip report when we get back.
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Old 09 February 2012, 15:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchc
Going to the Hyeres & the Giens peninsula. Apparently you don't need to book for camping?
If the flares are hidden how can they know? Maybe the drugs dogs can smell sulphur too :-)
Unfortunately my flares are kept in a locker with a bloody great big label saying FLARES so I'll have to be creative when I hide them.

Will try to do a trip report when we get back.
When I brought my rib back from Ireland they asked me if I was carrying flares
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Old 09 February 2012, 17:43   #10
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I added an extra axle to my old (22 years) roller coaster trailer for my orkney fastliner, which would weight the same as your rig. Main reason - towing along wee rough roads in co. donegal.
Made a very big improvement with stability.
Only drawback is reversing tight corners and u-turns; even with the wheels close spaced, the tyres can flex at alarming angles. Not so easy to push around either.
I know its naughty - but took it up to 85mph (very early on motorway) and no wobble.
Carry spare roller bearings, split pins and hub with bearing rings fitted. Much easier at the roadside.
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