Extending the trailer tongue

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Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:13 am

I have a NT 5x8 trailer, and I'd like to extend the tongue to maneuver around sharp curves. My driveway has a hairpin turn that makes getting down to the street tricky. I'll be bolting on a 2x2 extension. Would 28 inches from front of existing trailer to hitch ball be "too long"? I believe that will give me the best turning radius, but I don't want to stress the extension tube by making it over-long.

Thanks!
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby tony.latham » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:48 am

Joe4Camping wrote:I have a NT 5x8 trailer, and I'd like to extend the tongue to maneuver around sharp curves. My driveway has a hairpin turn that makes getting down to the street tricky. I'll be bolting on a 2x2 extension. Would 28 inches from front of existing trailer to hitch ball be "too long"? I believe that will give me the best turning radius, but I don't want to stress the extension tube by making it over-long.

Thanks!


Won't that increase your turning radius? Or is that what you're wanting?

Tony
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 am

I'm operating under the assumption that a longer tongue allows a tighter turning radius. Otherwise, my rear bumper will smack the triangular portion of the existing trailer (not to mention the tongue box).
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby working on it » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:03 am

If you need a longer tongue, or extension to your tngue, you might want to verify if it is strong enough for your trailer weight/size. I am attaching three files that helped me, two of which can calculate. They are gifts from the now missing angib, the British engineer that used to help struggling builders.
Tongue strength unified simple.pdf
(334.24 KiB) Downloaded 42 times
Tongue strength unified RevB Excel 97-03.xls
(146.5 KiB) Downloaded 28 times
Tongue strength unified RevB.xlsx
(94.98 KiB) Downloaded 25 times
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Socal Tom » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:29 pm

Joe4Camping wrote:I have a NT 5x8 trailer, and I'd like to extend the tongue to maneuver around sharp curves. My driveway has a hairpin turn that makes getting down to the street tricky. I'll be bolting on a 2x2 extension. Would 28 inches from front of existing trailer to hitch ball be "too long"? I believe that will give me the best turning radius, but I don't want to stress the extension tube by making it over-long.

Thanks!


You might want to look at getting one of these
https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-hit ... 69882.html

My driveway is pretty flat, so I put a wheel on my tongue jack and then just push it in by hand. Its a pain to try and turn these little trailers, they jack knife so easily
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:26 pm

workingonit : wow, those spreadsheets are fantastic, that will really save my bacon!

SocalTom: that's a great idea. Just use the extension tube to get down the driveway (which I bet is going to be the most hazardous part of the trip!!)
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Socal Tom » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:16 pm

Joe4Camping wrote:workingonit : wow, those spreadsheets are fantastic, that will really save my bacon!

SocalTom: that's a great idea. Just use the extension tube to get down the driveway (which I bet is going to be the most hazardous part of the trip!!)


It won't change the turning radius, but it will give a bit more clearance.
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby hankaye » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:13 pm

Joe4Camping, Howdy;

10 years of over the road driving and pulling different lengths of trailers gave me this impression.

Shorter trailer (from hitch point to trailer axle), will cut quicker when backing and will more closely
follow the tire path of the pulling vehicle. Like trying to back a lawn trailer behind a lawn mower.
Or if you still have your American Flyer Red wagon try it with the handle folded up take the front
wheels off first.

Longer trailer (from hitch point to trailer axle), will cuts slower when backing and the tire path will
"Cheat" (cut inside), of the pulling vehicles tire path more. Put a longer arm on the lawn trailer on the
trailer in the above example. Using your liddle red wagon try it with the handle deployed as it is supposed
to be. Remove wheels here also, gotta keep things sorta equal.

Don't take my word for it, go wet a section of parking lot and drive through it and check the trier prints.
Do it with a longer space between the hitch point and trailer axle and you will be able to see what I am
talking about.

hank
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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Dale M. » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:55 am

hankaye wrote:Joe4Camping, Howdy;

10 years of over the road driving and pulling different lengths of trailers gave me this impression.

Shorter trailer (from hitch point to trailer axle), will cut quicker when backing and will more closely
follow the tire path of the pulling vehicle. Like trying to back a lawn trailer behind a lawn mower.
Or if you still have your American Flyer Red wagon try it with the handle folded up take the front
wheels off first.

Longer trailer (from hitch point to trailer axle), will cuts slower when backing and the tire path will
"Cheat" (cut inside), of the pulling vehicles tire path more. Put a longer arm on the lawn trailer on the
trailer in the above example. Using your liddle red wagon try it with the handle deployed as it is supposed
to be. Remove wheels here also, gotta keep things sorta equal.

Don't take my word for it, go wet a section of parking lot and drive through it and check the trier prints.
Do it with a longer space between the hitch point and trailer axle and you will be able to see what I am
talking about.

hank


Yes..... lawn tractor will jackknife is less the 5 feet and a heart beat...

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Re: Extending the trailer tongue

Postby Joe4Camping » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:51 am

I have decided on an overall tongue length of 56" (36" of the original A-frame, plus a 20" tongue extension). That should have plenty of clearance for a very good turning radius.

Thanks all for the advice.
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