trailer tongue extension wall thickness

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trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Alan_H » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:29 pm

Hi,

Working on the specs for my NT 5x8 trailer, and planning an extension for the tongue to accommodate my design.

Is 3/16" steel wall thickness enough, or should I go 1/4"? Max weight will be 1200 lbs. loaded, and extension will only be adding 12-15 inches beyond the A-Frame.

Thanks!
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby bobhenry » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:04 am

your album shows a single tongue and not an "A" framed tongue. I think you will find that the tongue stops at the 2nd cross member. as the now extended tongue lifts it uses the first member as a fulcrum and then exerts down pressure on the 2nd member. My Namco trailer had been overloaded and the 2nd member was bent downward. I replaced the tongue but extended it the full length of the trailer and then added an additional 18" to get better backing and road towing manners. The 3/16 2x2 tongue proved to be a bit anemic for the job. I later added a flat strap truss to overcome this problem. I would strongly suggest a 2 x 3 x 3/16 of perhaps a 2x2 x 1/4 wall structural tube. I liked the 2x2 because I could extend over the axle without worry and the stub at the other end could b drilled for a bike rack or other hitch accessories or maybe another hitch ball .
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You can see the bow string truss under the tongue in this picture. The vertical is actually the front of the frame the body is extended 2 feet forward of the frame.

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here is an older post .....viewtopic.php?f=35&t=63983&p=1139411&hilit=truss#p1139411
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby drhill » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:16 am

Hi Allen.

I see you sent me a message a long time back about my bike rack and I never saw that message until today, Sorry about that. If you are still thinking of a bike rack and a tongue box then a big upgrade to the tongue would be required. The tongue on my trailer is 3x3x0.125" and has 2x2 braces. The bike rack adds a lot of weight in one place and also has a good length to try and twist the tongue on rough roads. Also my tongue box is heavy (the contents that is).

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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Alan_H » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:03 am

bobhenry wrote:your album shows a single tongue and not an "A" framed tongue. I think you will find that the tongue stops at the 2nd cross member. as the now extended tongue lifts it uses the first member as a fulcrum and then exerts down pressure on the 2nd member. My Namco trailer had been overloaded and the 2nd member was bent downward. I replaced the tongue but extended it the full length of the trailer and then added an additional 18" to get better backing and road towing manners. The 3/16 2x2 tongue proved to be a bit anemic for the job. I later added a flat strap truss to overcome this problem. I would strongly suggest a 2 x 3 x 3/16 of perhaps a 2x2 x 1/4 wall structural tube. I liked the 2x2 because I could extend over the axle without worry and the stub at the other end could b drilled for a bike rack or other hitch accessories or maybe another hitch ball .

You can see the bow string truss under the tongue in this picture. The vertical is actually the front of the frame the body is extended 2 feet forward of the frame.

Image

here is an older post .....viewtopic.php?f=35&t=63983&p=1139411&hilit=truss#p1139411


Hi Bob,

Thanks for the reply, and I did look at that other thread.

Yes, my designs in my album show a straight tongue. That was when I was planning to use an old utility trailer that I have on hand, it actually has 3"x3".

However, I changed my plans, and got a really good deal on a Northern Tool 5'x8' aluminum trailer. As such, I do now have an "A" frame tongue. Well, that is, when I actually assemble the frame... it's still in boxes. :D

However, I am designing in sketchup, and based on my design, I will need an additional 12-15 inches forward of the original tongue location.

I haven't posted any updated design pictures, as I keep revising. I will post my design up when I get to where I think it's done and ask for feedback at that time. I would drive the board crazy with revisions, as I think I've gone through about 20 or more since posting the original designs. :oops: :thinking:

I have seen where the NT trailer is easy to extend by flipping the top bracket and then extending back to the first 2 cross-members. This allows bolting to those cross-members, as well as a solid bolting position at the point in the A-frame.

All that being said, will I still need the 1/4" or will the 3/16" cover it?
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Alan_H » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:35 pm

Does anyone else have input on this question?
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby yrock87 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:14 pm

It depends on a lot of things. what kind of tongue weight are you planning, what dimensions of material are you using for this extension? I assume you will be using aluminum opposed to steel as your trailer is aluminum...

on a custom steel trailer, I have a 2x3 .120 thickness tongue. It extends 39 inches beyond the front diagonals, then continues backwards to the next two crossbars (front and middle, my trailer only has 3). I went with 2x3 because the .120 2x3 was a stronger than a thicker gauge 2x2. I have no idea about aluminum though. The much lamented loss of the tongue strength calculator hosted by angib has ment that I don't know where to point you for specifics on your trailer, weight, material, ext... maybe try googling for aluminum tongue trailer extensions. or try for a strength calculator (a cursory search gave me no results...)
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Alan_H » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:20 pm

yrock87 wrote:It depends on a lot of things. what kind of tongue weight are you planning, what dimensions of material are you using for this extension? I assume you will be using aluminum opposed to steel as your trailer is aluminum...

on a custom steel trailer, I have a 2x3 .120 thickness tongue. It extends 39 inches beyond the front diagonals, then continues backwards to the next two crossbars (front and middle, my trailer only has 3). I went with 2x3 because the .120 2x3 was a stronger than a thicker gauge 2x2. I have no idea about aluminum though. The much lamented loss of the tongue strength calculator hosted by angib has ment that I don't know where to point you for specifics on your trailer, weight, material, ext... maybe try googling for aluminum tongue trailer extensions. or try for a strength calculator (a cursory search gave me no results...)


yrock87, thanks for responding.

I plan to use a steel extension, 2 x 2". It will pass through the A-frame, only extending 12-15 inches beyond, and running back to the second cross-member in the trailer. I will bolt to both cross-members and to the A-frame.

Tongue weight will be at most 175 lbs., which is the max tongue weight rating of my TV, and well more than 10% of total trailer weight. I will be shooting for more around 150 lbs. though.
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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Nobody » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:06 am

Alan, I built my TD in 2006 on an HF 1800# 4x8 trailer. Couldn't abide the 'clunky' 'A' frame tongue & also needed more tongue length so I devised an extension. My tongue extension extended 18-20" forward of the 'A' frame & I used 2x2x3/16" material for the extension. For more'n 10 years & nearly 30K miles over every kind of road/terrain imaginable we've had no problems with tongue strength. My tongue weight is generally under 150# but may go near 175 if the tongue box is heavily loaded. Our TD 'cabin' is 60x114x53.5" outside dimensions, & weighs around 1150# loaded for travel. We currently tow with a 2008 Toyota Tacoma, 4L V-6, 4x4, auto trans, 4-dr P/U with a 'hi-rise' camper shell on the bed but started with a '95 Nissan King Cab hardbody 4x4 P/U w/2.4L 4 cyl & 5spd trans. If your tongue extension doesn't extend more'n 24" or so, 3/16" metal thickness should be sufficient. I also used 2x2" angle bolted between the front & second cross member, & bolted the tongue extension crosswise between those so it didn't have to be bolted vertically through the cross members. Dunno if that contributed to strength or not but I liked it better & had the material available so that's the way I did it. Also 'ran' my TV/trailer elect wiring through the tongue extension to exit under the trailer frame where I continued it to the tail/brake/turn signals & running lights using 'corrugated' plastic loom materials for protection.

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Re: trailer tongue extension wall thickness

Postby Alan_H » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:20 pm

Nobody wrote:Alan, I built my TD in 2006 on an HF 1800# 4x8 trailer. Couldn't abide the 'clunky' 'A' frame tongue & also needed more tongue length so I devised an extension. My tongue extension extended 18-20" forward of the 'A' frame & I used 2x2x3/16" material for the extension. For more'n 10 years & nearly 30K miles over every kind of road/terrain imaginable we've had no problems with tongue strength. My tongue weight is generally under 150# but may go near 175 if the tongue box is heavily loaded. Our TD 'cabin' is 60x114x53.5" outside dimensions, & weighs around 1150# loaded for travel. We currently tow with a 2008 Toyota Tacoma, 4L V-6, 4x4, auto trans, 4-dr P/U with a 'hi-rise' camper shell on the bed but started with a '95 Nissan King Cab hardbody 4x4 P/U w/2.4L 4 cyl & 5spd trans. If your tongue extension doesn't extend more'n 24" or so, 3/16" metal thickness should be sufficient. I also used 2x2" angle bolted between the front & second cross member, & bolted the tongue extension crosswise between those so it didn't have to be bolted vertically through the cross members. Dunno if that contributed to strength or not but I liked it better & had the material available so that's the way I did it. Also 'ran' my TV/trailer elect wiring through the tongue extension to exit under the trailer frame where I continued it to the tail/brake/turn signals & running lights using 'corrugated' plastic loom materials for protection.

Image


That's a good picture of what I plan to do. I will be inverting that top plate like you did and running the tube through it to connect at the A-Frame. I will then be running back and connecting to the first and second cross-members.
Good info!! Thanks Nobody!
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