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Old 04-05-2011   #1
 
Missoula, Missoula, MT
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 23
Extending a trailer tongue?

So i'm trying to get my raft trailer finished up, i've got just about everything done but the tongue is currently way too short. Its a tiny trailer and I need to extend the tongue about 2 feet to make it work with my setup.

Is there any easy way to do this? I'm tossing around ideas like putting in a butt joint and add 2 ft of pipe to it but i'm just not totally sure on the idea itself. Has anyone had to do this? Is there a good or easy way to do this?
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Old 04-05-2011   #2
 
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 507
instead of messing with the trailer you could go with a hitch extender.
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Old 04-05-2011   #3
 
Missoula, Missoula, MT
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
instead of messing with the trailer you could go with a hitch extender.
I thought about that, my only concern is that this trailer's tongue is so short that it is going to jack knife very easily and adding a hitch extension won't change that, it will still jack knife easily, but just further away from the car. Am I understanding these physics properly?
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Old 04-05-2011   #4
 
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 14
Can you post a pic. of your trailer? Depending on the design it could be pretty easy!
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Old 04-05-2011   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herm99 View Post
I thought about that, my only concern is that this trailer's tongue is so short that it is going to jack knife very easily and adding a hitch extension won't change that, it will still jack knife easily, but just further away from the car. Am I understanding these physics properly?
yes, you are right a hitch extender won't change how it is to back up. actually might make it harder. just how short is this thing? I'm with fishnut, pics....
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Old 04-05-2011   #6
 
Missoula, Missoula, MT
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnut View Post
Can you post a pic. of your trailer? Depending on the design it could be pretty easy!

here is a generic pic of it, but its this exact trailer, at the end of the tongue the hitch coupler just unbolts, so i can do some kind of extension there. However I did just think of a new idea, perhaps just unbolting that entire tongue from the trailer-discarding that section, and buying a whole new section at a local steel supplier, just about 2 feet longer. Perhaps that might be the easiest route.
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Old 04-05-2011   #7
 
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billings, Montana
Paddling Since: Tues
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 218
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I have extended the tongue on a couple of trailers. It is cheap and easy. Butt joints are a big no-no. The best way I have found is to cut the tongue off about 18 inches from the coupling and using a length of the next larger dimensional sized steel tube, simply sleeve the tongue. Make sure you have 6 inches inside the sleeve and weld all the way around on both sides. You can even put a bolt though on both ends for insurance. I have done this to repair jacknived trailers and to just plain extend them. Not to keen on hitch extenders, although some use them. The added leverage extenders exert on the receiver during highway speed turns and emergency braking is evident in the drastically lower tongue ratings they are forced to advertise. The longer tongue does improve the jack knife deal quite a bit.
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Old 04-05-2011   #8
 
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billings, Montana
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If your tongue unbolts entirely that would be the way to go.
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Old 04-05-2011   #9
 
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Yea, I would agree with mttod and just replace the whole tongue. I would suggest that if it is extended more than just a little that you use a slightly thicker piece of tubing.
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Old 04-05-2011   #10
 
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,094
Get a new, longer piece of steel. Paint it red.

Here's a copy of a post on my similar but larger kit trailer, which had a tongue that could be re-drilled and slid forward:

- - -

Northern Tool had a 4x8 folding utility trailer kit on sale for $179 (half the usual price). With wheels, tires, and shipping it came to about $350. I had some Kee-Klamps (steel fittings like SpeedRail but way heavy) lying around so I got some top-rail tubing and built the rack (another $50-75). Since my boat's wider than the trailer frame, I had to lower the trailer fenders a bit and build the rack to clear them, wider than the frame.



The only other mod was to drill new holes in the tongue so I could extend it. The rollers are PVC pipe. The rack unbolts and lifts off in about 10-15 minutes. I also made a plywood bed and slat sides for utility use.
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