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opsirc

Changing boat trailer axles

8 posts in this topic

My boat trailer is old, and I have been thinking of changing to a single axle instead of two. Some where along the line, someone took the orginal axles out and put in mobil home axles. other then the fact they are hard to get tires for and a bear to change, one 3200 lb axle will do the trick of both the older ones. Question is, does anyone know how it might affect the tounge weight?

thanks

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General rule is to position load so 15%-20% total weight is on the tounge. If you are sure the axle is up to the job you may want to move the axle you are keeping somewhere between where the set of two was to keep you're tounge weight correct.

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You won't be able to just remove one axle. The remaining axle will need to be moved to get the correct tongue weight. It'll need a new set of (beeefer)springs too along with new mounts and shackles for the springs. Then you get into the trailer itself. Its was engineered to use tandem axles. That shares the load over a greater length of the trailer as opposed to a single axle.

I wouldn't do it.

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As Surface Tension says, the remaining axle will have to be repositioned, to put the optimal 10% of your total load on the hitch. That's to say if you are pulling a 3000# total load, you should have 300# hitch weight. That will help prevent trailer-sway and it should tow quite nicely. BTW, If you tube the tires, you can mount 15" tires on those 14.5" mobile home wheels. I would strongly suggest that you go with at least a 6 ply rating, better yet an 8 or 10. We ran a 22' flatbed trailer that we'd often haul 6 pallets of concrete block or the big IH tractor, all that had was 2 mobile home axles with tubed 8 ply 15" truck tires. Made the truck 'squat' some though grin Phred52

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First of all, isn't it a tongue?

I would wonder what material the trailer was made of and whether that material can handle all of the weight of the boat on just one axel. You're cutting the contact points in half so you must be doubling the weight on each contact point. It would seem that if the trailer was built on the skimpy side the materials may not be up to par. But then I suppose you could consider the fact that someone who put two mobile home axels on a trailer was probably in the 'overbuild' mode. You could also get into trouble if you get a bit sloppy when removing the shackles from the current rig and end up compromising the frame.

Maybe Phred's suggestion on the tires is a good one and a lot less risky.

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I am not too worry about the weight, the boat only weights 1600 lbs. fully loaded with gear and all should be around 2000-2500, so the 3200 axle would more than be enough.

Frank, I was thinking of taking both of the mobil home axles out and replacing with just one.

I am guessing that they put the mobil axles in because of the fact they have electric brakes.

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opsirc, Could be that they used 'em for the brakes...or maybe the fact that they were cheap and plentiful. Phred52

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If the trailer frame seems a little lite I would run a piece of angle iron under the frame and the mount the new single axle under the angle iron as this will help to support the weight over a longer distance.

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