19 Comments

  1. Jack
    August 7, 2019 @ 6:47 PM

    Thank you for all that input. That was really a big help. Jack

    Reply

  2. jackson
    August 8, 2019 @ 2:18 PM

    Wow, just the info I was looking for. I have a small 40″ x 48″ bed trailer (HF kit) I’ve “altered” to carry 4′ x 8′ sheets, et al. from the box store and taking refuse to the ‘landfill’ station. I lengthened the tongue for ease of use and stability.
    Storage issue is no problem on 3 acres.
    Thanks for this! It confirmed what I already ‘felt’ from 30+ years of pulling various trailers with various vehicles.
    Now, to build one with an Aluminum frame for the GoldWing…

    Reply

    • William Taylor
      February 12, 2020 @ 8:09 PM

      How did you extend the tongue?did you buy a new tongue for it.how long is the tongue,I want to do the same thing you have done.thanks

      Reply

      • Mechanic
        February 14, 2020 @ 7:20 PM

        The trailer was a new build, so I made the tongue to fit my needs. It’s about 6.5′ long so that when I fetch full lengths of steel (24′ sticks), then they balance just in front of the axles centerline. That’s what I needed. The long tongue folds up so the long trailer fits nicely in the garage without a bunch of extra space.

        Reply

        • Deasún Mc Nally
          March 4, 2021 @ 3:13 PM

          Hi , quick question, how do you fold the tongue? is this safe, Brill idea for storage but not sure how to go about it? suerly the hinge method weakens the load strenth?

          any pics???

          Reply

          • Mechanic
            March 4, 2021 @ 3:20 PM

            The hinged tongue works great. See this article and follow the links. The engineering makes this tongue stronger than the tube by itself. Sorry, I’ve been so busy I still have not put the plans together for the website. Maybe I need a kick in the pants to get it done.

  3. Joe
    August 30, 2019 @ 10:56 PM

    Unbelievably well explained. Almost to much information, but it was so clear and simplified I don’t care. I feel like a smarter person now.

    Reply

  4. Erling Peterson
    December 17, 2019 @ 6:22 PM

    Fantastic article. The tire tread in the photo below “Confounding Effects” is a bit confusing, perhaps the orientation of the tire to the hitch could be explained. Otherwise, great article. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Mechanic
      December 19, 2019 @ 2:09 PM

      Interesting point about the tread. That’s the spare tire on the back of the tow vehicle 🙂 Sorry that wasn’t a little more clear.

      Reply

  5. chas Nicholson
    February 24, 2020 @ 3:13 PM

    I have built bbq smokers and trailers for 30 plus years. I use 4 inch drop acculube axles. A 3 inch square tube and I raise the coupler 3 inches. I always have a tongue length 5 feet plus. I use a fold up jack because I want to open a tailgate with out having a jack to be in the way. 12 percent tongue weight is a good number. one important concern is the connection of the tongue connection to the trailer. a offset bbq smoker is different from a trailer because of the weight on the rear of fire box is heavy. you can calculate the total weight of the trailer to locate axle placement or as I do support the side members and weigh the tongue. changing a boat trailer to another use has so many problems that I would not even consider it. I am in the process of building a smoker with 2 250 gallon propane tanks back with two fire boxes with a partition between them. they will appear to look like a single fire box, wood storage, under aluminum storage boxes, ss side shelves, tandum axles maybe a vertical smoker. reverse flow with tuning plates.

    Reply

  6. chas Nicholson
    February 24, 2020 @ 3:16 PM

    I am a KCBS judge, cook team, caterer

    Reply

  7. Francisco Villalobos
    April 1, 2020 @ 11:34 PM

    What are the measurements (length and width) of the blue frame flatbed trailer shown at the top of the article? Thanks a lot!

    Reply

    • Mechanic
      April 4, 2020 @ 10:06 AM

      The blue frame trailer is 4’6″ Width, 12′ Length, 4000# Capacity.

      Reply

  8. Ivan Vuja
    May 16, 2020 @ 10:43 AM

    Another great article! I bought a used 6.5’x11′ utility trailer, however the tongue length on it is only 26″, which I feel is not safe and its hard to back it up without hitting the towing vehicle.
    If I were to extend the trailer tongue bu about 15″, would that increase the trailer tongue weight? Taking into consideration its now an a-frame, and I would be running about 60″ of new 3×3 1/4″ tubing (roughly 44lb by my calculation). I am currently at exactly 11% tongue weigh so trying to figure out if I would also need to move the axle again.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Mechanic
      May 16, 2020 @ 12:42 PM

      Really good questions. First, a short tongue is a sign of a wimpy trailer. Sorry. Second, if you do lengthen the tongue, I think the beam you are saying is good, so run it straight down the middle to join with a few of the cross members and use the existing A-frame to support it. I would avoid moving the axle, but load the trailer more to the front. Yes, it sounds like the ideal case is to move the axle back, but that’s a ton of work. Good luck.

      Reply

      • Ivan Vuja
        May 16, 2020 @ 1:48 PM

        Thanks for the quick response! Yes, the previous owner decided to extend the trailer onto the tongue by a foot (it used to be a 6.5’x10′), resulting in a very short tongue. The trailer is very sturdy however. I already moved the axle once as there was too much weight on the tongue due to the extension, so I may just move it again and this time also add buffer plates as you suggested in your other article.
        Thank you so much!

        Reply

        • Tim Glovatsky
          December 5, 2020 @ 11:16 PM

          What did you mean saying “also add buffer plates”, or what the suggestion from the “other article” is? Where can I find this article?
          Thank you!

          Reply

          • Mechanic
            December 7, 2020 @ 7:35 AM

            Read this article on Welding Trailer Spring Brackets. Do a search on “Buffer” to drill right to the portion that talks about it.

  9. Tim Glovatsky
    December 7, 2020 @ 5:11 PM

    Thank you very much for the prompt reply! And for all your help with the topic also, by the way.

    Reply

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