Getting the proper setup for your vehicles can be tricky if you aren't 100% sure what you're doing. For example, do you want to add an extra axle to your trailer but don't know if this is possible? What would adding a second or additional axle to your trailer do? Is it safe?
Well, we've done plenty of searching and have the answers below!
Yes, you can add an additional axle to your trailer to increase its load capacity. However, adding an axle to your vehicle doesn't ensure the other trailer parts, such as its frame or coupler, have that same added weight capacity.
On top of that, you could be spending $300-$1,500 per axle if you're working with heavy-duty equipment or have a complicated installation.
As we start this article, we will cover all things adding an axle to your trailer and discuss the best ways to do this. Whether you're taking on the van life, need to increase your trailer's weight capacity, or have other questions, we're here to help out. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Can You Add An Axle To A Trailer?
Yes, as long as you have a professional install it or you have comprehensive axle placement/installation knowledge, you should be able to do this.
According to experts, you can add a second axle to your trailer to double its axle weight capacity. However, this doesn't apply to other parts of your trailer.
For example, just because you add a second or even third axle to your vehicle doesn't mean it can bear double or triple the weight in total.
That is especially true for the frame and coupler of your trailer. Therefore, you can increase how much of a load your trailer can sustain, but an additional axle won't dramatically change this.
It's also worth mentioning that if you add an additional axle to a trailer, you may need to reposition the first one. Let's say you turn a single-axle trailer into a tandem one.
Your current axle does need to be repositioned for proper tongue weight. Again, if you take your vehicle to a professional, this shouldn't be too difficult.
It's always better to be safe than sorry with vehicle installs and maintenance.
What Does Adding An Extra Axle To My Trailer Do?
One of the biggest reasons people add an extra axle to their trailer is to increase its load capacity. Generally, adding an axle to your existing trailer's underside will improve its axle capacity.
That can make a notable difference when driving at high speeds. For example, adding an additional axle to your trailer will make highway driving more effortless.
If you have a single axle, your trailer will rattle and be much more unpredictable than with two or more. Having more control over the frame and tires of your trailer is always a good thing.
According to Starlite Trailers, another bonus of adding an extra axle to your trailer is that it increases the payload capacity. In turn, this can help you to get more stuff into your trailer.
If you're a landscaper, property owner, or regularly move larger items, adding a second axle can make a world of difference. You want to try and "level" your trailer as much as possible to keep the items inside from moving around too much during transit.
Having an additional axle means more overall stability, which we recommend.
What Is The Reason For Having An Axle On Your Trailer?
The primary and most important reason your trailer needs one or more axles is so its wheels will move. Furthermore, your trailer should be able to hold weight evenly/safely during transport, which axles help with.
The axles on your trailer bear much of the trailer's total load. Therefore, having more than one can ensure your trailer moves smoothly and safely regardless of where it's driving.
As we said before, highway driving with a trailer can be dangerous if your vehicle doesn't have enough support below. If you have one wobbly axle doing all the work for your trailer, this will make long trips difficult and heavy items dangerous on the road.
With that said, there are different types of axles for other purposes. This will not be a one-size-fits-all situation, so make sure to find one that fits your trailer and needs.
Some people won't need two or more axles, while others find this necessary.
According to Millroad Trailers, a great example is if your trailer has two axles rated for 5,200 pounds, it can carry 10,000 pounds.
So, as we mentioned, the more weight capacity each axle has, the more weight your trailer can hold.
Can You Add To A Single Axle Trailer?
Yes. Doing this is fine as long as you configure your trailer correctly with the second axle. Remember, adding anything to the underside of your trailer requires a bit of reworking.
For example, when you add an axle onto your currently single-axle trailer, you will likely need to reposition the existing axle.
Furthermore, many pros recommend you cut off the current hangers since the hanger spacing will not be the same. So, you may need to tweak the existing structure of your trailer when adding a second axle.
Luckily, the entire process shouldn't cost much or require a ton of time, although this can depend on where you go and the difficulty level.
Does Having More Than One Axle On A Trailer Make It Safer?
Yes. You can expect a second or third axle on a trailer to make it safer. One of the main reasons people choose to add axles to their vehicles is to improve stability and increase load capacity.
According to many trailer owners, having more than one axle on your trailer can also help with turns, especially when driving long distances.
If you transport animals, furniture, appliances, or anything else fragile and heavy, adding an extra axle to your trailer can be a major upgrade.
This becomes especially true for those who use their trailers as tiny homes or portable accommodations during long road trips.
Since many tiny homes or van-homes have beds, clothes, people, pets, and furniture inside them: it can't hurt to increase your trailer's capacity.
With more than one axle, you should be able to travel seamlessly without worrying about your trailer becoming dangerous or rocky on the open road.
Think of this as the more axles your trailer has, the more stable it is to operate.
Nobody wants to be rattled around on the highway or damage their trailer because its current axle can't withstand the pressure.
Is It Better To Have A Dual Axle On A Travel Trailer?
If you plan to bring heavy items while traveling, having a dual-axle versus a single can be better. Since a dual axle trailer can handle about twice as much weight capacity as a single design, you will have more ease on the road.
According to RV Blogger, having a dual-axle travel trailer can be especially helpful if you go camping and bring more oversized items. The key here is ensuring your trailer has enough load capacity that you won't be worried about your safety while traveling.
Travel trailers, unlike regular ones, tend to be used as tiny homes on the road, requiring extra attention to detail.
However, one drawback to having a dual-axle travel trailer is that making sharp turns or driving through narrow spaces becomes more challenging.
Sometimes, quickly turning the one axle on your trailer may come in handy if you use it for road trips and adventures into the unknown. Again, this all depends on your lifestyle.
How Much Does A Trailer Axle Cost?
You can generally expect a trailer axle to set you back a few hundred dollars. Most times, buying a new axle for your trailer will be around $300, although this depends on a few factors.
First, how difficult is the installation? If you need to rework the current axle on your trailer, this will mean having to spend more money when adding the new one.
For example, according to experts, an economy car's axle may only be $100. However, for a trailer, you should budget anywhere from $300 to over $1500 for each axle.
With that said, you might be able to figure out a deal for more than one axle purchase, but this varies by service provider. Some will be more willing to make a deal, while others have a set price.
You also want to factor in whether or not your trailer has other maintenance repairs when installing a second or third axle. What might seem like a cheap add-on could quickly become much more.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Someone Install A Second Axle On A Trailer?
Although this varies by location, you should set aside $200-$500 for a second axle install on your trailer. Since the servicer might need to adjust your first axle, expect to pay a fee on top of the axle price.
This is customary, as your servicer will require the update before installing the new axle. One forum user claims they spent $550, including tires and rims, for their dual-axle install: but the servicer did not have to adjust the original axle.
If they did have to adjust it, the pricing likely would have been a couple hundred more.
To Finish It Up
Whether it's time to replace the axle on your trailer or you want to add an extra one, knowing how to get this done safely is always a top priority.
We found that you can add an axle to your trailer to increase its load-bearing capacity. One thing to remember is that you may need to adjust your existing axle, so keep that in mind!
While we have you with us, check out these related articles below: