I wasn’t sure what I was looking at the first time I saw one… a third axle on a pickup, and I had a lot of questions.
In the world of RVing, innovation is a constant. Companies are always looking for ways to improve the RVing experience. One innovation is the Tag Trailer. This creative addition is an auxiliary axle you add to your truck that helps distribute weight more evenly to your camper. It allows you to haul heavy truck campers with more stability, reduced sag, and better towing capacity.
We’ll explore everything you need to know about the Tag Trailer, including how it works, who makes it, and how it can improve your truck camping experience. Keep reading to learn more.
What is a Tag Trailer?
A Tag Trailer, or the tag axle trailer or tag axle dolly, is an auxiliary axle that you can add to a truck to increase its load-carrying capacity. It mounts behind the truck’s rear axle and has its own set of wheels. With sturdy, powder-coated steel frame beams, it adds approximately 1,400 to 2,000 pounds of carrying capacity to your truck. This configuration effectively distributes the weight of the truck camper over more axles. It reduces strain on the primary axle system and provides greater stability.
Moreover, the Tag Trailer comes with brakes and lights, making it a functional extension of the frame. For your truck to be compatible with the Tag Trailer, it needs a category four or more Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) receiver hitch.
This might seem like a one-off homemade contraption, but its not. The tag trailer has gone through NHTSA certification and is approved for its use case in all 50 states! This means you can legally add a 3rd axle to your truck.
Just like a tag axle on big motorhomes, this axle is not meant to be a primary, but adds weight capacity and stabilizes. If you have ever driven a tax axle motorhome or bus compared to a non-tag you will notice a huge difference in stability and driveability.
How Does a Tag Trailer Work?
The concept behind the Tag Trailer is straightforward. For truck camper setups with a heavy rear axle load, the Tag-Trailer helps carry some of the weight and redistributes it to the front axle. This prevents the primary axle system from being overwhelmed and minimizes issues like sagging and reduced handling control.
The Tag Trailer attaches to your truck by inserting its center beam into the truck’s receiver and pinning it. You would bolt the Tag Trailer’s two attachment beams to the receiver’s cross frame for a secure and sturdy connection. Once they attach, you’ll have the benefits of more carrying capacity, braking power, and decreased sway. It will probably be the only suspension you’ll need if your truck is already balanced and handles well.
Pro Tip: Learn more about the pros and cons of tag axles.
Who Makes Tag Trailer?
Residing near Des Moines, Iowa, Pack Enterprises is the family-owned manufacturer and distributor of Tag Trailers. We had the pleasure to speak with them about their product and found them extremely knowledgeable. Retired engineer Roy Pack saw a need for an added axle after he realized his 2001 Lance 825 truck camper was too big for his 2001 GMC 1500. The result was the Tag Trailer, which is still in use two decades later.
In 2015, Roy and his family began the process of creating a model to sell to the public. Throughout this undertaking, they determined that the unit would be a trailer and not a tag axle. This means it would carry its own Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
Now, Dexter Axle Co. makes the Tag Trailer in Elkhart, Indiana, with steel parts from a Midwest steel supplier. Another company powder-coats each part and Roy and his family at the Tag Trailer facility assemble them.
What Are Tag Trailers for?
Tag Trailers were built for truck camper applications. However, you can use them for many other situations when your truck needs some support. Let’s look at the three main benefits of adding a Tag Trailer to your truck.
Tag Trailers are especially beneficial when towing heavy equipment, machinery, or vehicles. By distributing the load more evenly across additional axles, tag trailers make towing large and unwieldy loads easier on the truck’s primary axle system. You’ll also save money not buying a weight distribution hitch, as the Tag Trailer replaces that. This enhances the overall towing experience and contributes to better fuel efficiency and reduced wear and tear on the truck.
Increased Carrying Capacity
One of the primary advantages of using this product is the significant increase in carrying capacity. By adding an extra axle to the truck, the load weight can be distributed over a larger surface area. You may then transport heavier loads that would otherwise exceed the legal weight limits for a standard truck.
For example, if you purchase the 2,000-pound Tag Trailer, it bears about 1,400 pounds of the load and moves about 600 pounds from the rear axle to the front axle. This takes about 2,000 pounds of weight off your rear axle and distributes it more evenly to the rest of the frame.
Reduced Sag and Increased Stability
When a truck carries a heavy load without the assistance of a Tag Trailer, it often experiences sagging at the rear end. This sag can affect the truck’s stability, steering, and braking capabilities, posing potential safety hazards. Tag Trailers help alleviate this issue by distributing the load weight more evenly, resulting in reduced sag and improved stability during transit. It also has braking capabilities, further assisting your truck’s brakes.
How Much Does It Cost to Add a Tag Axle?
According to Roy Pack, the cost to add a Tag Trailer is roughly between $2,500 and $3,000 when he installs it or supervises installation. Pack Enterprises normally has Tag Trailers available for installation at their headquarters in Altoona, Iowa, which is the only sales outlet. If you are the first person from your state to purchase a Tag axle, you’ll get 10 percent off your purchase.
Suggested Reading: Towing any type of rig requires a learning curve, but especially big rigs. Learn ways to make towing less dangerous.
Improve Truck Camper Hauling with a Tag Trailer
Truck campers have gained popularity as minimalistic campers that allow adventurers to explore the great outdoors with the comforts of home. Nevertheless, hauling a truck camper can be challenging due to the camper’s significant weight and size. This is where a Tag Trailer can make a difference.
Adding this device to your truck can greatly enhance its camper-hauling capabilities. Truck campers often exert weight on the truck’s rear axle, leading to sagging and reduced stability. By incorporating a Tag Trailer, the weight can be distributed more evenly, mitigating these issues and providing a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
Moreover, it allows for the transportation of larger and more luxurious truck campers that might otherwise be impractical to haul. With the additional load-carrying capacity of the tag axle, you can explore a wider range of truck camper options. It opens opportunities to enjoy spacious interiors, advanced amenities, and enhanced camping experiences.
Would you consider getting a Tag Trailer? Let us know in the comments below!
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!