Twin or single axel caravans - Paul Whitehead
I know that his is a car page but, next year I am hoping to buy a caravan to be towed with my Volvo 940 estate.

I am looking at 17? to 18? vans {500, 520, 550s}.

Which are the best ? twin or single axel vans. These lengths are available in both forms.

Any one any suggestion as to the best 5 berth van circa 1995, {3 small children}.

Thanks, Paul.
Re: Twin or single axel caravans - Andy Bairsto
Twin axleas are much more stable the down side is that they take ujp more inteior room due to the bigger wheel arches,there is no real advantage till you go over 5mts and 1300kg .The size of van you are looking at will probably exceed the legal towing weight of your volvo something to check out before you buy.The most imporant things in a caravan are have you enough fresh water ,is your heating system good enough both hot water and hot air,You will need both ac and dc, 13 pole connection minimum 75litre fresh water tank,Water heating that works of gas 12volt and 220volt,big bore heat and frost resistant piping .All these add weight but make caravaning a pleasure .With my caravan Hymer Eriba Nova 650 I chose the single axle and towed by a xm 2.5td is perfect .As I have said before on your last mail If you buy a van to big it will become a nightmare and not the pleasure it should be
Re: Twin or single axel caravans - David
How much does your van weigh? is 650 6.5 metres?

My Volvo weight about 1350 kgs, I had imagianed that an XM would weigh a little less?
Re: Twin or single axel caravans - Andy Bairsto
A xm estate 2.5td is allowed to tow 1800kg unladen a volvo is slightly less.
my van weighs 1350kg unladen and my car is 1717 kg .Do not forget these are mathematical equations devised by the EU MOT and one vehicle will tow better than another even though they have the same restrictions.If you tow with a xm tdi 2,5 you will have no trouble in cruising at 100 kmph up hill down dale with the van weights I have stated .Also if you go for twin axles it is prudent to carry two spare wheels.
Re: Twin or single axel caravans - David Burton
The towing weight limit in the car handbook is often based on the maximum the car can do a hill start with, on 1 in 8 gradient. Conventional caravan wisdom is that this has little relevance to safe, stable towing and that the relevant figure is the maximum loaded weight of the caravan which should be only 85% of the car's kerb weight. If it is less, that is even better. A good towcar will have lots of torque at the engine revs you use to drive at cruising speed (50-60mph) so that it will not need downchanges for every slight slope. Short rear overhang,between rear wheels and towball will give less suspension sag and less vertical pitching on undulating roads.
Re: Twin or single axel caravans - Darcy Kitchin
Sound comments from Andy. When looking at single or twin axle vans remember that a twin axle van will be difficult to manoeuvre round sharp bends by hand. Some recent Lunar twin-axles used to have a hydraulic means of jacking up the front axle to overcome this problem.

When we put our van in the yard, due to kerb, single track road etc. we have to turn it nearly 180 deg. round the gate post. Would be impossible with twin-axle 'van.

If you want a cheap 6-berth Leda, e-mail me.

Hope Martyn allows this blatant advert.
Twin or Single axle. - David Woollard
Darcy is right about turning round a twin axle, even reversing round a tight corner with the car can stress the tyres into odd angles.

But once you've said that the twin axle van/trailer is in a different class for tow stability. It is more like towing an independent vehicle that is stable in its own right. Far less pitch loading onto the car rear suspension and less sway.

Under emergency braking a well sorted twin axle combination feels as if it is pulling the car to a stop.

Even sidewinds seem less of a problem as there is a far greater contact area to keep the van/trailer on track.

And a puncture in one wheel still enables you to pull over with minimal drama.

I understand the issues of cost/weight etc but if there is a chance to test tow a twin axle combination it is worth serious thought.

Alternatively look at Darcy's Leda, with cocktail cabinet, DVD and de-luxe scrabble??

David
Re: Twin or Single axle. - Stuart B
David Woollard wrote:
>
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> Alternatively look at Darcy's Leda, with cocktail cabinet,
> DVD and de-luxe scrabble??

Plus the ability to go surfing offshore? (laptop on a jetski? ancient DJW posting resurrected)
 

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