Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a single wheel trailer?
A:  A single wheel trailer is a trailer that has only one wheel supporting it.  Single wheel trailers have only one wheel.  The trailer attaches to the tow vehicle using a special hitch and attaches at two points to the hitch not just one. This causes the trailer to track opposite of a two wheel, single axle trailer. 

Q: Do I have to register my Single Wheel trailer?
A: In California, it HAS to be registered. The verbiage is pretty vague, and basically says that anything on the road has to have legal registration (i.e.. License plate and valid sticker). Each state is different, so what I recommend is that you check the Vehicle code book for your state yourself and let me know so I can update here.  Recently, it has been reported that in Oregon, Licensing is only required on trailers over a certain weight, so check with your local Motor Vehicles Department.  

Q: What was the first year Single Wheel?
A: The earliest I have learned of is a 1943 Montgomery Wards Frame I have.  There is a possibility that the Tralette trailer of Mark Fienen may be from the mid-30's, but this is yet to be confirmed by any documentation from the trailer manufacturer.

Q: Why are single wheel trailers no longer marketed?
A: While single wheel trailers are very cool, easy to tow, fairly small and light, there are a few problems with them that two wheel trailers don't have. Reason 1: One of the key reasons for the demise of the single wheel trailers popularity may have been the difficulty of moving it around un-mounted to the vehicle. Some manufacturers tried to counter this difficulty with telescopic legs or fold up legs, but moving, mounting and dismounting are all fairly difficult. It becomes a balancing act to keep all four corners balanced on the single swivel wheel as it turns and spins. Reason2: Two wheel trailers have a standardized ball sizes and have for some time. So if you wanted to upgrade to a new or bigger trailer all you had to do in most cases was change the ball if need be.  If you wanted to upgrade to a new or different model single wheel, the mounting to the car was more than likely different as this was never standardized. This lack of standardization in mounting was probably the largest factor to the demise in production on these trailers. Reason3: Current freeway speeds are an inhibitive to these trailers. The tires and trailers are only rated to 45-50 MPH.  Reason4:  Single wheel trailers don't track like a two wheel trailer. They actually swing out wide on turns, so there is a chance of side swiping other cars and items.  The trailer actually swings out wide so you must take the corner closer to the inside of the corner rather than the outside.  Reason5:  Single Wheel trailers are very small, and since they are attached to the vehicle at two points, they can be very hard to see behind your vehicle to the point that it might be forgotten about. Since there is no horizontal pivot in the hitch of a single wheel, it can't be seen in the side mirrors.   If it can't be seen in the side mirrors, or out the rear window while driving, it must not be there. If you look at the Allstate page and at JP's Dunbar Kaple you will see that he tows this trailer with an early bus and his trailer is tough to see from the drivers perspective. These a just a few of the things I've noticed and come up with to answer this question.

Q: Where can I get parts for my Single Wheel trailer?
A:  If you are looking for wheels, tires and tubes, you can more than likely contact a local trailer shop and get yourself an 8 inch wheel and tire and a hub with some spacers to fit inside your Single Wheel forks.   I don't have a source for wheel assemblies.

Q: How do I mount the trailer to my car?
A:  Single wheel trailers have just one wheel, so a special hitch is used.  (See Below)  The hitch is attached to the vehicle at two points and is only able to pivot up and down not left and right.  These hitches attach to the vehicle in a couple of different ways.  The bumper clamp hitches came in two types.  The first have an adjustable jaw type of clamp that attaches to the bumper on the top and bottom. See below.  (Picture from Randy Pickton.)

The other type of bumper clamp attachment is seen below.  This type of hitch clamps on either side to the bracket holding the bumper on.   This hitch type is very favorable as they can be left in place when not towing your trailer and hardly seen. (Notice the last picture. The standard trailer hitch protrudes past the bumper, but the single wheel hitch is hardly seen in the picture.)   By attaching this way, there wasn't any modification to the vehicle required.  (Kurt thanks for the great Pics)

Q: How do I get my Single Wheel trailer to operate faster than the 45-50 MPH rating on the tire?
A:  I've been asked this question a couple of times.  While each and every trailer manufacturer had differences in frame, suspension, or the wheel assembly itself, there is one common element.  There is an angle that all the manufacturers all came upon.  In all cases (with the exception of the scooter trailers) the angle that the fork attaches from wheel assembly to the wheel touching the ground is approximately the same.  I'm only able to hypothesis at this point, but each of the respective manufacturers must have tested this angle in an attempt to improve on it and increase the speed and safety of their respective product.  The only thing rated at the 45-50 MPH speed is the tire itself.  So far I have yet to find a tire rated for more, so if anyone does please let know.
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