While I don't know the shortest trailer carrying two axles... I know that I would never pull a trailer larger than a 8 foot utility trailer with a 1000 lb total weight (that includes cargo) without it having at the very least TWO axles..
Single axle trailers have tendency to fishtail bad, no matter how its loaded..( nose heavy, etc.)
I want a short lenght 5th wheel so I can pull it behind my 2001 Chevy 1500 4x4 extended cab that is a short bed but only has the 4.8 V-8 engine. The reason for the 2 axels is I feel safer if there is ever a blow-out on one of the trailer tires. I seen a single axel trailer roll over from a blow out last year.
What kind of 5th wheel is your 24.5 and any chance I could see a picture of it ? Thanks for the information.
Turnip, mine is a Fleetwood Terry Ultralight with the insulation package. They don't make anything like it any more; this new model is the closest they have: http://www.fleetwoodrv.com/specs/specs.asp?model=OB245CKS and
it's not very close at all. What views of my trailer would it be useful for you to see? I can take pictures if necessary.
If you want to tow with a 1/2 ton pickup, length is not the most important factor. Weight is a much more critical thing. Does your truck have the tow package? Without a massive transmission cooler, you are begging for the transmission to be killed. Installation of a transmission temp guage is important, so you can see when it starts to overheat in time to prevent damage. What are the rear axel gears? High gears improve the towing capabilities of a vehicle. The 4x4 feature will lower the weight you can pull (because the feature itself uses up some of the weight capacity of the vehicle). Short beds can tow fifth wheels, although the trailer can impact the cab during sharp turns unless you have an extended pin box, a sliding hitch, or both.
Historically, towing more than 5000 pounds with a 1/2 ton has been unwise. Especially 5th wheels, which add 10 to 20% of the total trailer weight to the rear axels, often exceeding the truck and/or rear axel capabilites well before the towing weight maximum is reached.
The best thing to do is to take your truck, fully loaded with everything it will be loaded with (including people, pets, supplies, gear, etc) to a scale and find out what the total weight and the rear axel weight are.
Subtract the total weight from the specified maximum combined vehicle weight and you will know exactly what weight trailer you can tow. Check that adding the pin weight to the rear axel weight does not exceed the rear axle maximum, and you are legal. To be wise, give yourself at least a 20% safety margin.
And by the way, don't trust the 'dry weight' posted in the trailer. It often does not include some of the options installed.
Yes my truck came with the tow package but I am not sure what the rear axel gears are. I can look in my book or on the door to find it. I found a 2000 Aerolite 24' fifth wheel on the RV Trader site that claims to be 4600 pounds and is all fiberglas. I think I could tow something like that with my truck.
I just traded in my 1997 Aerolite tt, Had good luck with it. The problem was that after the 8 years of use it was falling apart. These trailers are so light that the thin materials that go into them seem to fall apart all at once. Anyways we liked it until it started to go.