The 5 Best Trailer Axles [Ranked]
Top5Reviewed is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
In this post, we examine 5 of the best-selling trailer axles on the market. Scroll down for our comparison table.
Trailer axles are connected to the wheel hubs on a trailer, which allows the wheels to spin (Source).
How do they work?
For a wheel to work correctly, they need to spin. The axle provides less resistance by allowing the wheels to rotate and allows the tires attached to the wheels to grip the road surface (Source).
Experts recommend that you consider load capacity, track length, and spring centers when choosing the right axle for your trailer. Also, pay attention to the style of the axle especially if you’re mounting on an older model trailer (Source).
- How do they work?
- Comparing The Options
- How Do They Compare
- Best Trailer Axles For 2021
- 1. The Rockwell American (3500 Lbs) Trailer Idler Axle Review
- 2. The Southwest Wheel (2000 Lbs) Trailer Axle Spindle Review
- 3. The Ultra-Tow (2000 Lbs) Complete Axle Kit Review
- 4. The Rockwell American (3500 Lbs) Idler Trailer Axle Review
- 5. The Rockwell American Tandem (3500 Lbs) Trailer Brake Axles Review
- Buying Guide
Comparing The Options
How Do They Compare
In this article, we look at five trailer axles and list their benefits and features.
- The Rockwell American 3,500 trailer axle is a made in the USA axle that features double eye springs and U-bolts. The hubs are a five-lug, 4.5 bolt pattern. This axle is powder coated for a sleek finish. Also, Posi-Lube spindles provide continuous protection for the bearings. People who installed this overwhelmingly said it was easy to install and that the axle is solid.
- The Libra New Trailer Leaf Spring is a spring for a 3500-pound axle. The capacity of this spring is 1750 pounds, and the eye-to-eye length is 25-1/4 inches; t is the most commonly used standard spring for the 3500-pound trailers currently available. Users who installed these springs said it gave their trailers a higher hauling capacity and that installation went smoothly.
- The Ultra-Tow is a 2000 pound complete axle kit that includes a five stud pattern, 4.5-inch hubs. It’s 55 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter. It comes with the lug nuts and all the mounting brackets needed. It’s a solid axle that performs well.
- Southwest Wheel makes a 2000 pound axle spindle with a 5-4.5 inch bold circle hub. This spindle is 1 inch in diameter and includes the spindle nut, washer, and cotter pin. It’s rated for 1000 pounds per spindle. This is ideal for those people who want the flexibility of building their own axles, and although the price is low, nearly everyone who tested agreed that it performed well above its meager price.
- Last up is the Rockwell American 3500 pound Idler Trailer Axle. This comes with leaf springs, U-bolts, and the hanger kit. It features a 5×4.5 bolt pattern. Like the other Rockwell American axle, this one is also powder coated, which makes for a sleek finish. Posi-lube spindles ensure a smooth ride and durability. Customers who installed this said installation was easy, and that the trailers track smooth and stable.
Best Trailer Axles For 2021
Ease Of Use
This trailer axle kit offered by Rockwell American is well-designed, sturdy, high-quality, and available in six sizes. Users love the superior powder coated finish, but some do note that the package was missing items.
The Rockwell 3,500 lb.-trailer axle features two leaf springs, one U-bolt kits, one hanger kit, a 32oz trailer parts insulated mug, and 5lug on 4.5 bolt pattern. If you are interested in another bolt patterns, you can contact the manufacturer. Another great thing about this product is that it has a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, and it’s made in the USA.
A reviewer shares that the Rockwell product arrived fast and in excellent condition. He says that customer support is helpful if you have any questions and that you can count on them to help you choose the best size for you. Another user states that the kit is easy to install and that its quality is far sturdier than he expected. He highly recommends as one of the best trailer axles available. A buyer comments that it fits perfectly and that it has been working well for a couple of months.
However, one customer has complained that the leaf springs he received had only three leaves and that the lugs were one short. He also points out that some parts were not welded as they should have been.
Understanding Posi-Lube Axles
Ease Of Use
If you are looking for a cheap trailer axle spindle for your trailers, you can take a look at this kit offered by Southwest Wheel.
Users love the price and the quality, but some do note that it’s not what they expected. The Southwest Wheel product measures 1-1/4” in diameter and it features a 4” long shaft, 1” spindles, and a 5-4.5”BT8 hub, which is pre-raced and studded. Another great thing about this product is that the hub has inner and outer bearings, while the spindled – spindle nut, washer, and a cotton pin. Keep in mind that each spindle is rated at 1000 lbs., so two hold 2,000 lbs.
In general, purchasers have a high opinion of the Southwest Wheel product, and they highly recommend it as one of the best cheap trailer axles. A reviewer comments that he was surprised by the quality of the kit and that it worked far better than he anticipated. He adds that it was the perfect match. Another user shares that the package arrived on time and that it was in excellent condition.
A buyer also mentions that the design seems sturdy and that it’s holding pretty well. He also says that he used the kit to make a log arch and that he couldn’t be happier.
However, one customer has complained that the product came with one wheel bearing and that he was disappointed with his purchase.
Ease Of Use
This 2000-lb complete axle kit offered by Ultra-Tow is durable, well-designed, and an excellent choice for professionals. Users love the durable welded spring seats with double-eye springs for smooth performance, but some do note that it’s expensive.
The Ultra-Tow product features 1-1/16” inner and outer bearings, a 1-3/4” outside axle diameter, a spring length of 25-1/4, and a weight capacity of 2000 lbs. Another great thing about this product is that it includes hubs and hardware in addition to 4-1/2” bolt circle pattern. What’s more, the unit is made in the USA, and it has a powder-coated finish. The overall length is 72-3/4,” and the hub face measures 67” while the spring center – 55”.
The kit also comes with shackles, hangers, and the necessary hardware for assembly.
A reviewer comments that he is satisfied with the performance and durability of the Ultra-Tow product and that he highly recommends it. He adds that it feels sturdy and well-made and that he hasn’t had any issues with it. The only thing he complains about is that the description could offer more details.
Another user also states that assembly is straightforward and that it fits perfectly on his trailer. He recommends it to anyone looking for a high-quality axle.
Ease Of Use
If you are looking for high-quality trailer axles for your trailers, you might take a look at this 3,500lb one offered by Rockwell American. Users love that the product is made in the USA, but some do note that it’s expensive.
The Rockwell unit features an idler axle with hubs, two double-eye springs, a U-bolt kit, a 32-oz insulated mug, a superior powder-coated finish, posi-lube spindles, and 5lug on 4.5” bolt pattern. Another great thing about this product is that it’s available in several sizes and you can contact the manufacturer if you’re interested in other bolt patterns.
In general, buyers are impressed with the quality, performance, and durability of the Rockwell American trailer axles, and they highly recommend them. A reviewer comments that the kit was a perfect fit and that the quality is superior to other products. He adds that it’s easy to install and that it has been working great so far.
Another user mentions that the kit arrived quickly and that he is satisfied with its durability and sturdiness. A purchaser also shares that he used it to replace a Dexter and that it was the perfect fit.
Ease Of Use
This electric trailer axle offered by Rockwell American is high-quality, easy to install, and available in different sizes.
Users love the 2-year warranty, but some do note that the product is quite expensive. The Tandem set features two 3,500-lb. electric brake axles, two U-bolt kits, four double-eye springs, one Tandem hanger kit, hubs, bearings, and lugs on nuts (5 on 4.5” pattern).
Another great thing about this unit is the posi-lube spindles, which are designed to provide maximum bearing protection in addition to the superior powder-coated finish. You also get a 32-oz insulated mug and can use the kit to replaces Dexter, Al-ko, and TK axles. What’s more, the gear set is made in the USA.
As a whole, users are impressed with the functionality, design, and performance of the Tandem 3,500 trailer axles, and they highly recommend them to anyone looking for the best brake axles available. A reviewer comments that the kit arrived quickly and that it was everything he could hope for. He adds that he didn’t have any problems with the installation and that the quality is exceptional.
An axle is an essential component of the trailer to support the chassis. It allows safe driving by supporting the wheels of the trailer.
Composed of shock absorbers, bearings, and a hub, the metal shaft is placed under the body, to support the wheels.
The choice of an axle is made by referring to the permissible gross weight. Linking the unsprung elements and suspended mass, the suspension prevents wear and mechanical fatigue, while improving the comfort of driving.
They differ according to the brands and models of trailers.
Braking vs Unbraked
Thus one can have braking axes (equipped with a braking system) and unbraked axes (no brake).
For the Daxara brand, for example, there are several models of axles according to the legal PTAC.
With a strength ranging from 400 to 1500 kg, Daxara products have the advantage of strengthening and improving the strength of chassis.
Whether baggage trailers, bike racks (our full range here) or bike racks, Daxara offers durable axles to keep users safe.
The braked axles are equipped with an inertia brake system consisting of a sliding drum, a transmission system, wheel brake, linkage and brake cables, to secure the trailer (avoidance of skidding, stoppage systematic, etc.).
The unbraked axles are not equipped with a braking system. In this case, the trailer is stopped by the braking of the towing vehicle. The half axles, are designed to support identical loads, except that they have the advantage of being adaptable to the dimensions of your trailer.
Trailer axle: what’s the point, how to choose it?
An essential component of a trailer, the axle supports its load and keeps the wheels. His choice is based on the weight to tow and conditions the good handling of the team.
The question of the PTAC
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the starting point for choosing a trailer axle. It indicates the maximum weight that can reach a trailer with its load.
With a B license, the GVWR must be less than 750 kilograms. It may exceed this if it is less than the weight of the car and the total weight of the trailer, load and car does not exceed 3.5 tonnes.
The PTAC of a trailer will, therefore, be higher on heavy cars such as SUVs.
With Or Without braking?
Trailer axles can have their own braking system. It is mandatory on trailers with a GVWR of more than 750 kg and when the trailer GVW exceeds half the unladen weight of the towing vehicle. These are inertial braking systems with linkage and cables. They ensure a better handling of the couple trailer – car and avoid skidding of the hitch.
Single Or Half?
Know that there are half axles trailer. More expensive than simple models, they have the advantage of adapting to all types of trailers. The half-axles are also able to support the same loads as the single axles.
Trailer axle prices vary according to the load they have to bear and the presence or absence of a braking device. Count a minimum of 150 euros for a simple model for a small trailer (450 kg) and up to 2000 euros for a pair of braked half-axles that can support a heavier load (up to 2000 kg). The tariffs for single braked axles start at around 500 euros (for a gross weight of 750 kg).
A braked shaft is provided with a braking system. In most cases this is the traditional drum brake. There are also axles with a hydraulic brake system or disc brakes. But since these systems are much more expensive than the drum brakes and often require adjustments of the towing vehicle, this is not often used in the assembly of new trailers.
The overrun brake and braking system of brake cables press the overrun brake during braking so that the brake cables pull the brake shoes against the brake drum and thus the trailer brakes itself. If the pressure then drops on the overrun brake, the brake shoes will also release the grip on the drum. A braked shaft is thus provided with a brake drum with the associated brake shoes already mounted there. The axle is also always delivered with the corresponding wheel bolts.
What Is An Unrestrained Shaft?
An unrestrained axle for a trailer is an axle with bearings but without a drum brake. The braking effect must come entirely from the towing vehicle.
That is why the maximum gross payload of an unrestrained trailer is often not higher than 750 kg up to a maximum of 1050 kg because otherwise, the load on the towing vehicle is too great.
What is allowed depends on the car and is mentioned in the registration certificate. There are also unrestrained shafts with waterproof bearings. This is especially useful when you have a boat trailer that often drives into the water.
What Is A Torsion Shaft?
A torsion axle is the most commonly used axle by trailer manufacturers and means no other than a rubber axle.
The suspension is in the axle body itself. Another variant is for example leaf suspension. You still see this a lot in England. A torsion shaft is recognizable on the arm that secures the shaft profile of the shaft to the brake drum. Here you will find our range of torsion axles.
Replacing Torsion Shafts
First of all, it is important to know why you want to replace the axle. Is the swivel arm bent or should the shaft rubbers be replaced?
Always choose the same Axle brand as what is already underneath to guarantee the operation of the brakes.
Detecting Crooked Swivel Arms
You can see this clearly when you disassemble wheels from the shaft. It is then important to measure the angle of the axis as shown diagrammatically in the figure below. If the angle is less than 20 degrees, the axis is curved. Replacing is then a better and often even cheaper solution than repairing.
Then there are a few important technical terms that you need to understand to know which axis you need. What is the pad size of an axle of a trailer?
The pad size is the distance from the heart at a distance from the axis of the shaft. See the drawing below. The pad size is the most important dimension for the axle if you want to replace it.
What is the track width of an axle?
The track width is the intermediate distance to the center of both tires. Depending on the ET value, the rim determines whether it is more inward or outward.
What is the Flange Size of an Axis?
In addition to the pad size, the flange size is also important. Often this is a standard size from the pad size (450mm) but not always. So be sure to know that you have ordered the correct shaft, measure = know! The flange size is the distance between the two outer sides of the brake drum. Measured from the flat outside, so without wheel bolts and hubcap!
We are a team of product researchers that specializes in assembling comprehensive buying guides. Our team has a variety of backgrounds, with a mixture of soft and hard sciences represented. Check out our About page to read more about our reviews and editorial process.