How heavy is a twin axle caravan?

In this article, we will answer the following questions: How heavy is a twin axle caravan? and What should I choose: a single axle caravan or a twin axle caravan? We explain the difference between the two and help you make a choice. 

How heavy is a twin axle caravan?

A twin axle caravan is heavier than a single axle and can weigh between 1300 kg and 2000 kg (and beyond).  The twin axle caravan (or double-axle) is undoubtedly the heaviest, most luxurious model, with imposing dimensions.

Certainly, it offers a higher comfort level, but it has a significant problem: manoeuvring without the tractor is difficult due to the “skidding” of the wheels on the ground. Thus it is not recommended for novice drivers. 

Here are a few advantages of a twin axle caravan:

  • Carrying capacity. As mentioned above, a two-axle vehicle can withstand a much greater load due to the number of wheels.
  • Large overall loads. The four-wheeled trailer allows you to carry much larger loads and more weight.
  • Handled better when reversing.

Cons of twin-axle trailers:

  • The cost. The price of four-wheel trailers is much higher compared to single-axle trailers.
  • It is much more difficult to load the towbar with a twin axle trailer. In addition, if the ball is too low, the rear wheels will be less stressed and traction will deteriorate. All this, in the end, can cause an accident – during cornering, a car with a trailer can “fold”.
  • Driving irregularities. A single axle trailer is better suited for bad roads, with two wheels simply rolling, repeating every bend and bump, rather than four. Four wheels waddle and interfere with each other on bad country roads, as well as in the forest. 

In addition, when the caravan wheels hit a large bump, the load on the hitch is reduced, and the drawbar rises, thereby raising the rear of the car. This phenomenon can also lead to the “folding” of the road train.  When leaving such a bump, on the contrary, there is excessive pressure on the towbar and the rear axle of the car, while the front axle of the car loses grip.

What licence do I need for twin axle caravans?

The B+E license is often required to tow a twin axle caravan. Indeed, the caravan must be heavy. Thus the sum of the car + caravan weight often requires the category B+E.

When do you need a B+E license? When the sum of the caravan and the towing vehicle GVWR exceeds 3500 kg and does not exceed 7500 kg.

You can use a simple trailer (with only one axle) if its load does not exceed 2 tons. If your trailer is 3.5 meters long or its load capacity is greater than 2 tons, we recommend a tandem (twin axle) or tri-axle type trailer for your safety.

What to choose, twin-axle or single-axle?

There is no definite answer to this question. Let’s analyze all the pros and cons of each.

  • Single axle caravan

Pros. All caravans and trailers up to 7 meters long are now made only uniaxial. This is because two-axle trailers are subject to an increased road tax. And if your road train is more than 12 meters long, the road tax will be even higher. The seat on the ferry is also more expensive.

Single axle trailers have less rolling resistance and better manoeuvrability.

Cons. All the main disadvantages of a one-sided trailer are due to our “directions”. Strong vertical swing. The caravan loves to jump on pits and bumps and swing around its only axis (especially if the trailer’s length is under 7 meters). 

You may not feel this if your towing vehicle itself weighs more than two tons, but if you have a small or medium-sized passenger car, the rear passengers will be thrown on bumps like “herring in a bank”.

The loads that the torsion bar suspension could not absorb are transferred to the furniture, which soon begins to move away from the walls, and the walls themselves, in turn, from the floor. In the worst-case scenario, excessive loads can cause the frame to crack in the trailer axle area.

  • Twin axle caravan

Pros. Significantly relieved of problems with single-axle trailers in terms of vertical ramps and furniture destruction. There are two axles and it is much more difficult to swing around them. Also, the contact patch with the road is much larger and you still need to look for a hole in which the trailer will hit with two wheels at once. 

Hence, a smoother ride and a greater energy intensity of the suspensions (there are also two of them), and as a result, a decrease in vibrations that are harmful to furniture.

Large lifting capacity. If you can load 50-70 kg into a single-axle trailer, then 100-150 kg into a twin-axle trailer. If it so happens that you have punctured one wheel, and you do not have a spare, then you can easily get to the place of tire fitting in three (after removing the punctured wheel from the hub).

Just a lot of capacity. And this is also very important.

Cons. The disadvantages are also associated with Europe, where a higher road tax must be paid for a two-axle trailer.

Because all two-axle trailers have a length of 7 meters and are quite heavy, you will need an “E” category in your license. Slightly more rolling resistance with a similar single axle trailer, which you certainly won’t notice. Large sizes require more responsive handling, especially when manoeuvring in confined spaces.

Conclusions

I recommend buying a single-axle trailer for those who plan to use it for personal purposes, for transporting small loads on different roads, both forest and public roads. A single-axle trailer is well suited for summer residents and fishermen, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts.

As for a twin-axle trailer, it is better to use this solely for the track and cases where the two-wheeled analogue does not cope with the task at hand. If you are going to transport heavy loads or something bulky, for example, building materials, some long structures or caravans, you better buy a two-axle trailer.

Each caravan, like everything else in this world, has its own purpose, it is only important to think carefully and weigh all the pros and cons before buying. Before buying a light trailer, you must clearly understand for what purposes you are purchasing it, you should definitely study all the pros and cons of each. Only in this case will your choice be deliberate and correct.

To summarize, you can refer to the following:

  • If you are buying a caravan for short-term travels around the country, your choice favours a single axle trailer.
  • If you are planning to travel long-term and have a large family and want to stay in one place for a long time, your choice is in favour of a twin-axle caravan.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions on the content. 

FAQ on How heavy is a twin axle caravan?

Can I tow a twin axle caravan?

You can tow a twin axle caravan, as long as the total weight of your caravan+car doesn’t exceed the legal towing limit. Towing a twin axle caravan is harder to manoeuvre than a single axe. 

How much does a 16 ft caravan weigh?

A 16 ft caravan weighs 1795 kg unloaded, and 2200 kg (or more) loaded with water, luggage and passenger weight. 

Do twin axle caravans snake?

Twin axle caravans will not snake as long as you load the caravan correctly.  You may feel slightly more rolling resistance with a similar single axle trailer, which you certainly won’t notice.

References

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