Understand the key differences between single axle and double axle Airstreams
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 are 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 are the bells and whistles each model offers.
What 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.
If you’re in the market for a travel trailer for the first time, you’ll want to consider the number of axles on your Airstream.
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.
Airstreams with a single-axle configuration are smaller than those with a double-axle. Airstream builds a few single-axle RVs: Caravel, Bambi, and Basecamp.
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. Single axle camper trailers can be easier to maneuver because of their smaller overall length.
Think of it this way – if you are pulling a single-axle trailer you will only take up two parking spots (of the pull-through variety) on your sightseeing adventures.
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. Because these camper trailers are longer, a double-axle is required to handle the additional weight.
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 Basecamp models.
Single axle travel trailers are smaller and weigh less than double axle trailers. Lighter weight typically translates into less rolling resistance which 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.
If you have an axle preference, you can use that to start narrowing your trailer search.
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.
Ultimately, it comes down to the 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.