Two old single axle trailers to one tandem trailer?

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  #1  
Old 09-15-12, 08:38 PM
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Lightbulb Two old single axle trailers to one tandem trailer?

As the title says, my grandfather has 2 trailers sitting in his yard that are starting rot away. But the axles are real good. One has leaf springs, the other doesn't. I am not real sure of weight ratings, but lets assume they are both 2500. I'm taking a welding class at school, and at my school its basically we can work on whatever we'd like, plus my grandfather has his own welder. Would this be remotely possible? Would I just need like a new spring kit? I plan to rebuild the whole frame at school.

Thanks, Wil

(btw, this is first post, really cool forum )
 
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  #2  
Old 09-15-12, 09:15 PM
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I was thinking with these, these and these it would work. Am I right?
 
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Old 09-16-12, 04:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums! We don't know where you are located, so it is difficult for us to give good information. Fill our your profile so we can localize things for you.

The parts you list are for a tandem trailer application. Do you know for sure the old leaf springs will fit the shackles? Are you building a trailer from scratch? If you are using the old trailer frame, then the tandem will need moving forward or backward to a center of gravity. You just can't tack on another axle and expect it to work.

Do you have a contingency for brakes?? If so they should go on the back axle.
 

Last edited by chandler; 09-16-12 at 05:40 AM.
  #4  
Old 09-16-12, 05:55 AM
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I filled it out as best as possible for you. I'm from Miramichi, New Brunswick in good ol' canada. Yes I plan on building it from scrap. I'm going to buy square tubing to make the frame out of, and hopefully save enough of the C-Channel that the old trailers are made from to make the support pieces. I was looking at some brake kits, and will probably add some on later once I get to hauling heavier loads. So what would I need to make the two axles work together?

Thanks, Wil
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-12, 09:02 AM
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The parts you have selected would allow two axles to work in tandem.

There are a few things you need to check before you can decide if what you propose would work.
The first and most important thing to go over is the NB inspection regulations to see what the Province requires.
That link details what inspectors are looking for when your trailer goes up on the hoist.
Where I am although it is required to have brakes on a trailer with a gross weight of 2000 lbs, in NB it is 3000 lbs.

Because of the way axles mount to use two of them they need to have exactly the same spring mount oc and hub face dimension and should have hubs that would allow you to have identical sized tires.
Also, you make an assumption that the axles are 2500 lb capacity and have selected 1750 lb springs which would normally be fitted to a 3500 lb axle.
The axles would need to have a removable backing plate to fit brakes.
Mobile home axles which are the only type I am aware of that have brakes on a fixed backing plate are not normally allowed on a trailer other than a mobile home.

You could take a wild guess based on the tire sizes of those old trailers what the axles might be rated for.
Small 8-13" four or five bolt wheels would be 2500 lbs max based on the capacity of that type of tire.
13" - 16" automotive style tires would be able to handle a 3500-5000 lb gross weight trailer.


I have remodeled and built several small trailers and have a suggestion that you examine the trailers carefully and document everything about them.
Axle spring center, hub face width, existing frame dimensions, tire size, number of bolts and bolt circle diameter.
The bolt circle diameter and number of studs would tell you if you could use standard auto rims which make getting good tires quite inexpensive.
Another thing that is quite important is if you are going to use any of the existing trailer is that you carefully examine the welds as there is the possibility that the build quality is unsafe.

I have a suggestion that if the more complete trailer has a 3500 lb axle you would probably be better off scrapping the tandem axle set up.
By having two 3500 lb axles you would be pushing your project into one that could suck up a lot of money and time.
A 5 x 10 trailer with a 3500 lb axle, 2 foot sides and built properly should not weigh much over 1000 lbs which would give you a pretty big payload, a more simple build and be easy to get rid of to make room for your next project.

Get some clear pics and dimensions if you need more info.
 
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Old 09-16-12, 09:43 AM
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Ill be stopping over there tomorrow night and I'll get that info. I wanted to make a tandem trailer so I can build a DIY travel trailer eventually. Both trailers would need to be completely overhauled as some of the frame is rotten right through. The rest I'm going to chop and use where need.

Thanks, Wil
 
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Old 09-16-12, 10:13 AM
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Ok.

I don't want to discourage any diy projects but you need to take a long hard look at what is practical.
If you are building a trailer to be used as a travel trailer undercarriage they are constructed quite differently than a utility trailer.

A utility trailer is built with a fairly strong frame so that a load can be placed on it and the structure prevents bending and twisting.
The undercarriage for a travel trailer has almost no material in it because the design of the upper section takes a majority of the twisting and flexing.

If you were to stick a travel trailer living section on top of an existing trailer you would be wasting the gvw of the axles.
 
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Old 09-16-12, 10:25 AM
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Ohh, okay, I get what you are saying. In that case, drop the travel trailer idea, as my grandfather wants/needs one. And I've been looking at used ones, and as long as this doesn't cost more than $1000 I'm good, as tandem utility trailers here are going for $2000+ and even single axle ones are going for $1500+

Thanks, Wil.
 
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Old 09-16-12, 10:26 AM
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Your links have what you should need I believe. Your third link has the tandem part that will balance the load between the two axles.

For brakes, your axles will need the backing plate to attach the brakes to the axle. If they do not have this, you will need to weld them on as well.

Edit* My info is a little late I forgot to hit post.
 
  #10  
Old 09-16-12, 11:38 AM
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What exactly is rotten on these old trailers?
Is it the deck and sides or the frame?

There are some good bargains out there on axles.
That 3500lb axle below with brakes is only $220.00!
At that price it barely makes even replacing bearings on the old ones worth it, never mind adding brakes.

Click image:

Image courtesy of princessauto.com
 
  #11  
Old 09-16-12, 11:43 AM
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The C-Channel around where the axles are mounted is rotted out (The wheels were made to go inside the trailer inside a box) The rest is mostly good, and the axles are good. I was looking and some designs online, and seen a 14'x8' that seemed real nice.

Also, @ Tolyn Ironhand - Is there an article or a picture where you can show me this? I'm sure once I see a picture of what you're describing it will be pretty self explainitory.

Thanks, Wil.
 
  #12  
Old 09-16-12, 01:35 PM
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I don't know how it is in Canada, but down here w/ our plethora of lawyers, if you build something to tow down the road and a weld you made fails, causes an accident and kills or maims someone, you are the one the lawyers will go after.
Mike
 
  #13  
Old 09-16-12, 01:36 PM
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For breaks, go to youtube and search installing trailer breaks, and you can see the parts.

Here is a picture of a tandem trailer setup. Shows with axle above and below the leaf spring: http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/gr...u36369_800.jpg

3,500 lb axle with breaks for $220 seams super cheap! Too bad that are only 58" between springs
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 09-16-12 at 03:14 PM.
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