extending a H.F. trailer tounge

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extending a H.F. trailer tounge

Postby Bent bike guy » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:40 pm

Am in the middle of extending a H.F. trailer frame using a 2" x 1/4" wall box tube 10 ft long. Attaching to frame above the axle using 3/8" x 3" - grade 8 bolts, nuts. miscalculated the frame center but have drilled correct centers and started mounting.
Need to purchase longer bolts for two cross members as they have plywood overlay so 4" bolts required.Bolting the 2" box to 3 cross members and the original hitch connection area.
I discovered a major weak link in original frame as only the welds holding the 2" boxed section that sits above the frame are what connected the frame to the hitch. Correcting this weak link.
H.F. frame tear drop trailer builders, you need to strength the tongue area by adding a 2" box tubing. Somewhere on this site it describes this mod but couldn't locate said mod.
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Re: extending a H.F. trailer tounge

Postby working on it » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:57 pm

Bent bike guy wrote:Am in the middle of extending a H.F. trailer frame using a 2" x 1/4" wall box tube 10 ft long. Attaching to frame above the axle using 3/8" x 3" - grade 8 bolts, nuts. miscalculated the frame center but have drilled correct centers and started mounting.
Need to purchase longer bolts for two cross members as they have plywood overlay so 4" bolts required.Bolting the 2" box to 3 cross members and the original hitch connection area.
I discovered a major weak link in original frame as only the welds holding the 2" boxed section that sits above the frame are what connected the frame to the hitch. Correcting this weak link.
H.F. frame tear drop trailer builders, you need to strength the tongue area by adding a 2" box tubing. Somewhere on this site it describes this mod but couldn't locate said mod.
  • Reinforcing (your adding square tube will do so) your tongue is a good thing, especially if anticipating overlanding or a heavy trailer weight. My trailer was intended for one (overlanding), but not to end up as heavy as it has become (intended goal=1000 lbs, actual weight=2020 lbs now). I used 3" x 3" x 3/16" square tube, 72" long (with 45" forward of the front crossmember, 27" behind welded to three crossmembers). In addition, there are filler pieces welded above the tongue, and to all crossmembers, like a center spine, all the way to the rear. As originally completed, in 2013, with 1200 lbs and no brakes, the tongue configuration was strong enough for anything, though only a single beam.
  • Things changed; the trailer got much heavier as I kept adding gear and changed the axle to a heavy duty 3500 lb, w/brakes, and extra frame bracing to hold the new axle-springs-hanger assembly. That made the strain on the single beam tongue more than what it once was, so now it may be incapable of handling severe shocks over bad terrain (or over bad roads). While I'm not considering exteding my tongue (it fits just right in its' garage bay), I am going to brace/strengthen the tongue at a future date, by simply attaching a 2" x 2" x 1/4" steel angle, 3' long, from the third crossmember forward under the first, welded and/or clamped in place.
  • tongue bracing with steel angle.PNG
    tongue bracing with steel angle.PNG (30.93 KiB) Viewed 403 times
    with angle welded and clamped under the single beam; it's got to be stronger
  • 111322 angle to be attached from this point forward
  • The point of me adding this to your thread is to ask a question common to both of our planned additions, that of the feasibility of bolting strengthening parts to structurally-stressed tongues. I've read where holes drilled thru tongue created stress fractures ove time, causing their failure. I have drilled only one in my welded-on tongue, so far, to better attach my safety chains, but it is far forward of the front crossmember, near the coupler welds (making that location stronger), and stress-relieved, so that it shouldn't pose a problem. By drilling holes further back in the tongue, with similar 3/8" bolts installed (w/large grade eight washers serving as the "clamping" force), I wonder if I should be concerned with stress fractures there? I rely on double fastening systems in multiple locations on my trailer (welds, backed up with clamps, bolts, etc.), so it's just the way I do things.
  • I'm not sure exactly where you'll be drilling the holes on a HF trailer frame, since I have no experience with then, but at least by using 2" x 2" x 1/4" tube and grade eight hardware, your extension/reinforcement plan should work great. Here'a page that shows various tongue configurations and recommended max weights (my current says its' ok, but I always wanted 50% extra).
  • tongue strength lookup table.PNG
    tongue strength lookup table.PNG (135.54 KiB) Viewed 403 times
    a snipped copy of a table from Angib
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring:
    • 3500 lb Dexter axle,
    • 27x8.5-14LT tires,
    • LED lighting,
    • A/C & heat,Optima AGM battery,
    • extended-run 2500w generator,
    • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern
  • 147697148333125895
  • 148599148106
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Re: extending a H.F. trailer tounge

Postby QueticoBill » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:52 am

I'm not sure I see the weak link in the welded on coupler mounting bracket. Welding makes it as strong as the steel, certainly stronger than bolts. It seems the Harbor Freight is very similar in concept to the Ironton. (It would not surprise me to learn they came from same factory in China.) In any case I made similar modifications, as you can see at viewtopic.php?f=50&t=67624&start=15. I bolted new 2 x 2 tongue to cross framing members through holes that were there, and just 2 1/4" (60mm) bolts to bottom flange of bent plate channel. (Rear most one was a 1" bolt with nut inside tube.)

Good luck on build. If I could ever embrace one of my 30 or so profiles, I'd get going on cabin.
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A tear with no name: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=67624
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Re: extending a H.F. trailer tounge

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:30 am

Not sure what the supposed weak link is either.... the frames have been made the exact same way for years, with few failures.

Maybe pictures would help?

And yes, the Ironton trailer kits from Northern Tool are made in by the same manufacturer as the Harbor Freight kits (Changzhou Nanxiashu). The NT use a slightly heavier gauge steel.
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