Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

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Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dobrodoc » Mon May 18, 2015 9:42 pm

I built a Big Woody on a 4x8 red trailer brand trailer. After about three camping trips, the tongue started twisting whenever the camper was pushed with the tongue Jack deployed. The jack acted as a lever to bend the tongue!!!
I don't know whether I overbuilt but the trailer is for 1200 lbs and I can't imagine the camper weighs that.
I am having a trailer repair guy come over to weld supports and maybe replace the tongue. My suggestion is to avoid trailers with a single piece for the tongue and avoid C shaped steel supports . A closed rectangular tube would be stronger.
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dobrodoc » Mon May 18, 2015 9:50 pm

Twisted tongue
image.jpg
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dobrodoc » Mon May 18, 2015 9:52 pm

The clamps to attach the tongue Jack actually compressed the tongue wreaking it and making it able to twist more easily with the slightest torque
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby daveesl77 » Tue May 19, 2015 6:52 am

This is one of the reasons with my HF trailer I added the central tube to the "A" frame design. I saw pics of some other frames that either the single central tube twisted or the "A" frame arms twisted or the welds broke on the "A" frame attachments. $25 worth of square steel tubing and about an hour's work modified it. In your case it is kind of the opposite, but easily modified.

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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dan242 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:31 am

I am building one and also felt the stock tongue was weak. It needs more bracing for any real loads. I had a piece of tongue from an old boat trailer. it is 2x3" boxed with a hitch already welded on, i used one of my unused cross members to extend it back to the second cross brace. I had to cut the top of the existing tongue mount to put in my 2x3 piece as the box is sized for 2x2. I then used the original cross bolt holes and drilled an extra one down from the base plate of the tongue mount through the 2x3. I notched the 2x3 to fit between the top and bottom plates of the mount. Hopefully the picture explains it better. Just gives us all another idea

Image
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby daveesl77 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:25 pm

Dan, I'm assuming you have welded the extension onto the channel. If not (and maybe I'm wrong in this ) it looks to me like you have created a leverage point at the "A" join with only a bolt acting as the offset for the cantilever of the hitch. In mine, I ran the square tube all the way back to the 2nd cross member, then both bolted and welded to both cross members. At the "A" it is also bolted and welded.

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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dan242 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:05 pm

At the top of the A ( or front) I welded the 2 x3 to the channel and bolted it in 3 places, the original 2 through the sides and 1 through the top. It is more rigid than the original. Is that what you are referring to? Appreciate the once over. Don't wanna have a problem at 65 going over bumps ;)
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby coyote » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:35 am

Got concerned when I put the jack on. Cut a strap of 1/8 plate about 4 inches wide fitted it inside the channels near the front and 2 bolts in each side. I have had no problem. Sorry with words, but kinda like the cross line in an "A". Coyote
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby coyote » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:11 am

Oops, sorry, I read all the responses but I forgot we do not have a same kind of frame . My idea is of no use to you .
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby angib » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:49 pm

Image

I have to say that this is pretty dubious, structurally. The tongue, overall, has been lengthened so it needs to be stronger than the original one just to pull the same trailer.

And the centre tongue hasn't really been extended back to the second cross-member, since the piece connecting it (another cross-member) is maybe only a quarter as strong as the tongue. That's styling, not structure.

This arrangement may be strong enough to tow a light teardrop trailer, but it is a pretty good example of how not to extend a tongue.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby Dan242 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:59 pm

Well crud.. Ok, Better to hear bad news here than on the road. I can see what you are talking about, I created a lever that imparts more torque to the original mount, I did weld the new tongue to the original mount and now have 3 bolts through it, and have two bolts connecting the 2x3 tongue to the cross brace. I may run it, but will keep a close eye on it. I do plan on several small trips to test the whole build. I may just follow others and buy a piece of 2x 2 and run it back also.
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Re: Twisted Tongue Cautionary Tale

Postby KennethW » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:14 am

I when with a center leg jack and coupler. About $40 for jack and coupler
133190 click to enlarge (piece of pipe over the bolts were used to move the jack up)
A jack on the side of a HF trailer tongue will twist the tongue.
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