5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

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Postby mcspin50 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:43 pm

Cliff, that's a different trailer than the one pictured in this post. The trailer used in this discussion isn't listed online. You can only get it at NT stores. It's a couple hundred $$ cheaper too. The one you've linked to looks very nice though. Really like the large area available for use on the tongue.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby Sonoma ZR2 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:04 pm

Well I got my trailer welded up with all the mods I wanted I got pics in the following Album. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... d772f3cc79
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Re: Have you noticed the Northern Tool trailer is now sporti

Postby bearfromobx » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:34 pm

I was thinking I got a weirdo, but my 1900# Nothern Tool has an "A" tongue without the center rail and is very rigid. The problems I've had with other single beam tongue designs is that the beam twists and since the last connection preventing that is at least three feet from the ball (a lot of unsupported box beam under load) and a ball & socket joint on the other end. If Northern Tool still had the single box beam, I would have gone elsewhere...

Cliffmeister2000 wrote:Have you noticed the Northern Tool trailer is now sporting an "A" tongue?

Maybe they listened to all the complaints.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200356494
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby BobBash » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:53 am

Does the Northern Tool Trailer p/n 200356494 with "A" tongue need the axle to be moved back a bit & also can larger wheels (14" or 15" ) be mounted onto the hubs ?
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby BobBash » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:01 am

Looks like the P/n is 125692 now ?
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby jonesnforcampin » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:59 pm

First post here on this great forum... Wohooo!!!

So while reading this thread I started getting nervous because I have a 5x8 from Northern that should be here soon. I was thinking I was going to have to do some reinforcements I wasn't planning. Then I realized I ordered the same one Cliff mentioned (phew, sigh of relief).

But, now I'm wondering, is there anything I should plan on doing to the trailer I have on order before building? I plan on extending the camper to either 9 or 10 feet.


Disclaimer: my first build and I have not seen the trailer yet.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby DoctahDeane » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:31 pm

I was thinking of this same topic this morning and have a NT on the way. My plan is to: repack bearings, upgrade to 13" rims, have my buddy do some strategic spot welds for extra strength. However, doesn't this rig need a way to raise it for placement/removal on the hitch ball?
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby oakinteriors1 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:18 pm

My 5 X 8 TS trailer mod...used some of the angle that I cut off the top rail plus one of the cross members to make way for a floor drop...I notched the front rail for the 2x floor framing to extend through...
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby angib » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:15 am

oakinteriors1 wrote:My 5 X 8 TS trailer mod...

You haven't done much to make the tongue mounting stronger than it was before - and this trailer has given other forum members problems before. The new tongue itself may be strong enough, but the bit of the trailer it's attached to is the problem.

The test would be to support it as in the photo (on the wheels plus under the coupler) and then jump up and down on the back end of the tongue (as long as you are not a lightweight -if so, find a heavy friend) - doing that caused a bend in the second cross-member for one forum member, and it's a reasonable test to expect the tongue to pass.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby KCStudly » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:58 pm

Separating the vertical legs of the side rails from the front xmbr with the notch will have weakened the side rail strength quite a bit, too. Even though you added back the little piece underneath as a gusset, it does not help prevent the vertical legs of the side rails from splaying open when a bending load is placed on the rail (such as from leverage at the tongue). The cabin will stiffen the frame over its length, yes, but the area local to the tongue tie in point is still a concern.

I would much rather have seen you leave the front xmbr intact and have the gussets extend the front of the side rails forward, then you could have made a separate wood frame out over the tongue and tied this to the main wood frame with the top skin. The side walls would then tie the two floor frames together and keep them from folding at the front xmbr.

There are a few other reasons why I personally don't like the idea of converting angle frame utilities for camper service, but that is another thread.

Either way the wood will help strengthen the frame. A few well placed fasteners (not too big or they will actually weaken things more) between the wood and steel should make it okay; just be sure to seal everything well and keep water from collecting between the wood and steel.

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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby lfrazer98 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:24 am

jonesnforcampin wrote:First post here on this great forum... Wohooo!!!

So while reading this thread I started getting nervous because I have a 5x8 from Northern that should be here soon. I was thinking I was going to have to do some reinforcements I wasn't planning. Then I realized I ordered the same one Cliff mentioned (phew, sigh of relief).

But, now I'm wondering, is there anything I should plan on doing to the trailer I have on order before building? I plan on extending the camper to either 9 or 10 feet.


Disclaimer: my first build and I have not seen the trailer yet.


Jonesnforcampin- I am planning on doing the same thing.... First build, 5 x 8 NT frame, wanting to extend to at least 9 feet. I am also thinking of welding some extra parts for side tables, bike atttachments, etc. If you don't mind, maybe you could share what you have done to modify your 5 x 8 frame. I would love the hear about your progress! :D

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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby ctstaas » Sat May 17, 2014 8:12 pm

Hi Friends, The strength in square tubing is directly proportional to the wall thickness of the tube. Cheap trailers use cheap, thinner wall tubing. Your modification tripled the strength of the pull tube. Good job, it should last forever. I have a single pull tube on my TD. Its 3" x 3/16 wall square tube and will never bend unless I want it to. It tows perfect. IMHO, the hitch needs to be centered between the tires, and the tires need to be perpendicular to the hitch/pullpoint center line. The tires can have a little tow in, but it needs to be equal on both sides. Tow out for trailer tires is bad. Center pull tube or not, the distance from the pullpoint to each hub needs to be the same and the hubs should be parallel.Please take the time to make sure its right before proceeding. It would be easier to fix before its a TD that tows poorly.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby KCStudly » Sat May 17, 2014 9:54 pm

ctstaas wrote:The strength in square tubing is directly proportional to the wall thickness of the tube.


This is an inaccurate and misleading statement.

The study of strengths of materials and statics shows that it is the outer fibers of a shape that determine the resistance to bending and torsion, while the cross sectional area relates to shear strength (resistance to cleaving). So increasing wall thickness increases cross sectional area and adds shear strength, but increasing the nominal size of the cross section (such as using 2x3 or 3x3 tubing in place of 2x2) has a much more dramatic effect on reducing bending and twist, even with the same wall thickness.

For our purposes using steel in a tongue application, especially on single member tongues, bending and torsion are the bigger concerns.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby angib » Sun May 18, 2014 5:03 am

Yep, thick steel seems to hold a big attraction (more 'manly'?) but it is big width and depth dimensions that really add strength.

Comparing 3"x3"x1/8" with 2"x2"x3/16":
- the 3x3 is 90% stronger than the 2x2 - nearly double;
- the 3x3 weighs 10% more than the 2x2;
- the 3x3 is priced 40% cheaper than the 2x2 (at OnlineMetals).

As well as strength, bigger-dimension tubes will also be significantly stiffer (the 3x3 is three times as stiff as the 2x2 above) which is a help in avoiding shimmy caused by long single-tube tongues that are too flexible.
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Re: 5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby Starseeker » Wed May 21, 2014 12:25 pm

If my understanding is correct, NT offers 2 trailers that are 5 X 8. 1 is what they carry online for $500 with an A frame tongue and another that is in store only for cheaper but has only a single post for the tongue. Is that correct?
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