Travel Trailers

Single Axle or Double Axle Travel Trailer?

Airstream-Double-Axle-vs-Single-Axle-Blog-Desktop-Feature

A guide for what to consider when shopping for Airstream's and understanding the difference between single axle and double axle travel trailers

Is two better than one? For siblings fighting over desserts or screen time, more is always better. But when it comes to selecting an Airstream travel trailer, you can’t assume that two axles is automatically better than one. 

There is so much to take into consideration when it comes to selecting the perfect Airstream for your wanderlust adventures. You’ll want to contemplate the size, the interior decor, amenities, and weight – the towing capacity your current vehicle can manage. Then there’s the bells and whistles each model offers. 

Airstream-Basecamp-Single-Axle-Trailer-with-GMC-Terrain-Denali

If you’re in the market for a travel trailer for the first time, it might not have occurred to you that the number of axles on your Airstream is something you’ll also need to explore. Maybe you’re even thinking, “What the heck is an axle?”

The short answer is that the axle – like the pulley, lever, and screw – is one of history’s great Simple Machines. Two wheels are connected by a rod that allows the wheels to turn. Your car has two axles, one for the front wheels and one for the back wheels. In the case of an Airstream travel trailer, the axle is located rearward about three quarters of the way between the front and end of the aluminum shell. Single-axle travel trailers have one set of wheels and a double axle (dual axle) has two sets of wheels.

Understanding the facts and benefits each axle style offers will get you rolling down the path of making the best decision for your travel trailer needs.

Size

Airstreams with a single-axle configuration are smaller than those with a double-axle. Airstream builds four single axle RVs: Caravel, Bambi, Basecamp, and Nest. These travel trailers range in length from 16 to 22 feet: About twice as tall as the average Christmas tree, or about the size of the average family sedan. Think of it this way – if you are pulling a single-axle Airstream you will only take up two parking spots (of the pull-through variety) on your sightseeing adventures.

Airstream-Single-Axle-Travel-Trailer-with-Jeep

Double-axle Airstreams are larger, like the Classic at 33 feet (the longest Airstream) or the Globetrotter models which are anywhere from 23 to 30 feet long. This extra length requires the double-axle configuration to handle the added weight that comes with increased length. 

Function and Style

No matter if you choose a travel trailer that has a single axle or a double axle, the performance and overall towing experience will not be impacted. The sleek design of each Airstream is aerodynamic and sure to provide a smooth ride regardless of the number of axles. This is true for the signature silver bullets, but also for Nest and Basecamp models.

Airstream Aerodynamic Design airflow

Towing

Single axle travel trailers are smaller and therefore weigh less than a double axle trailers. Lighter weight typically translates into less rolling resistance which will naturally means you can travel with less road and wind resistance. Lighter weight, single axle travel trailers can also typically be pulled by an SUV. If you already have an SUV, chances are you won’t need to be in the market for a new truck at the same time that you’re shopping for your travel trailer. 

Airstream-Nest-Single-Axle-Towing

If you have an axle preference, you can use that to start narrowing your trailer search. If you’re still unsure, you might want to check out our interactive questionnaire that takes your responses and makes suggestions about the best Airstream for your needs.Understanding everything you can about your travel trailer preferences and desires before you begin seriously shopping will help you quickly hone in on the right trailer for you. There are numerous interior decor options and even more floor plans to choose from when shopping for an Airstream, but when looking at trailer axles, there are only two options. 

Airstream-Travel-Trailer-Dual-Axle-Towing

Ultimately, it comes down to weight and length of the travel trailer. The split between Airstream lengths and whether they’re single axle or double axle is 22’ and 23’. For optimal safety and towing performance, 23-foot models and above get two axles for better management of the added weight, but for 22-foot and under, one axle can perfectly manage the weight. 

 

Which one is right for you? Compare specs side-by-side or learn more about axles to help narrow in on the travel trailer that is perfect for your wandering needs.

Compare Travel Trailers

More on Axles