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Old 07-26-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Do we have any trailer gurus in the house?


Pardon my novel, but I am hoping someone here has experience or expertise in designing trailers and can help point me in the right direction before i start spending money only to find out that my brilliant plan won't work.....

I have a small utility trailer that I'd like to extend to carry a couple 16'-17' canoes and/or kayaks. The trailer i have is a 4x6 tilting utility trailer. It has 12" tires and has a load rating of 1700 lbs. http://www.tractorsupply.com/trailer...pacity-1011070

The tongue is just 2x3 rectangle tubing, with a 1-7/8 coupler welded on and appears to be 1/8" thick. It is approx 4-1/2' overall length and connects to the trailer with a 5/8" bolt and a 5/8" pin ( removal of the pin allows it to tilt to drive a riding mower unto it). Approx 18" of the tongue goes underneath the trailer, leaving 3' sticking out. So right now, the total trailer length is about 9' from coupler to end.

My thinking is I can unbolt and remove the existing tongue, then get a piece of 2x3 tubing about 10' long and make a new tongue from that. I would simply use two 5/8" bolts to attach it to the OEM mounting spots. With 18" of the new tongue under the trailer, this will give me a tongue that is about 8-1/2' long (total trailer length of 14-1/2').

I realize that adding the longer tongue will ultimately reduce my tongue weight at the coupler, so i am thinking i could offset this by using 1/4" tubing instead of 1/8", and could always mount a spare tire up near the coupling if more tongue weight is needed. I was planning to use aluminum to build my crossbar boat supports, to keep the weight down. The heaviest canoes weight about 80lbs each, and I'd like to mount a plastic tote to put PDFs in, so for the sake of arguememt lets say my max load will be 350lbs.

I'd like to leave the trailer as "intact" as possible, so that if I needed it to take my riding mower to the shop, i could just remove the 2 tongue bolts, remove the 10 footer, put the shorter tongue back on, remove my wiring harness extension, and it would be just like it is now.

Is there anyone here with any real world experience? Is this just a bad idea? Thanks in advance

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Old 07-27-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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Do we have any trailer gurus in the house?


Sounds like it would work well. I wouldn't get overly concerned about tongue weight. It's not like a 6,000 pound travel trailer where tongue weight is important for handling. At most the whole rig will weigh what? 600 pounds? The wind resistance from the canoes may counter the tongue weight anyway. I'd use the 1/4" wall tongue for bending strength since the trailer will have more leverage over the increased length. Pray for no cross winds while you tow!!

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Old 07-27-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
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yea, that's my thinking too, just hoping someone else has tried it so i can learn from their mistakes...
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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My only concern would be high speeds on the highways, and the legality of doing it.
If you only use it to go to the lake 2 miles up the country road, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
My only concern would be high speeds on the highways, and the legality of doing it.
If you only use it to go to the lake 2 miles up the country road, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

DM
Legally I don't think there is any issue. Most states will allow you to register a home made trailer as long as the lights are operational and you meet the requirements for safety chains.

I take my boats to a lake thats less than 15 miles from my house normally, but I also take them to a vacation property we have thats 100 miles away with about 30 miles of 65 mph highway driving.

I guess i'll just have to try it and see what happens locally before i use it for going to the shore
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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Do we have any trailer gurus in the house?


You could leave the pin in and haul your canoes right-side-up. That way when you get to the lake, you can just take out the pin and let the canoes slide into the water.

Seriously, though. I like your idea. You might have some wind problems but you would probably want more rather than less weight to keep your trailer tires on the road. I don't see it being that much different than the other canoe rigs I've seen. Build the trailer and try it before you mount all your extra stuff to see where you need the weight.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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Yea, that's another concern, that my load may actually be too light for the trailer, and my boats will get beat up. I think I'll tkae it one step at at a time. First I'll make and install the longer tongue, then i'll experiment based on how it rides
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Chips View Post
Pardon my novel, but I am hoping someone here has experience or expertise in designing trailers and can help point me in the right direction before i start spending money only to find out that my brilliant plan won't work.....

I have a small utility trailer that I'd like to extend to carry a couple 16'-17' canoes and/or kayaks. The trailer i have is a 4x6 tilting utility trailer. It has 12" tires and has a load rating of 1700 lbs. http://www.tractorsupply.com/trailer...pacity-1011070

The tongue is just 2x3 rectangle tubing, with a 1-7/8 coupler welded on and appears to be 1/8" thick. It is approx 4-1/2' overall length and connects to the trailer with a 5/8" bolt and a 5/8" pin ( removal of the pin allows it to tilt to drive a riding mower unto it). Approx 18" of the tongue goes underneath the trailer, leaving 3' sticking out. So right now, the total trailer length is about 9' from coupler to end.

My thinking is I can unbolt and remove the existing tongue, then get a piece of 2x3 tubing about 10' long and make a new tongue from that. I would simply use two 5/8" bolts to attach it to the OEM mounting spots. With 18" of the new tongue under the trailer, this will give me a tongue that is about 8-1/2' long (total trailer length of 14-1/2').

I realize that adding the longer tongue will ultimately reduce my tongue weight at the coupler, so i am thinking i could offset this by using 1/4" tubing instead of 1/8", and could always mount a spare tire up near the coupling if more tongue weight is needed. I was planning to use aluminum to build my crossbar boat supports, to keep the weight down. The heaviest canoes weight about 80lbs each, and I'd like to mount a plastic tote to put PDFs in, so for the sake of arguememt lets say my max load will be 350lbs.

I'd like to leave the trailer as "intact" as possible, so that if I needed it to take my riding mower to the shop, i could just remove the 2 tongue bolts, remove the 10 footer, put the shorter tongue back on, remove my wiring harness extension, and it would be just like it is now.

Is there anyone here with any real world experience? Is this just a bad idea? Thanks in advance
I'm not a "trailer guru" but pulled one for many years.

If my understanding of your description is accurate, I think you're going to be just fine. The longer tube for the tongue is a great idea. You can get a "wiring extension" that you can just snap into the existing harness, and reach to the vehicle.

If I were "building" this trailer I'd do several things:

1. Build the racks so the canoes/kayaks are as low to the ground as possible. Center of gravity and cross-winds will be important factors.
2. Build the racks in a way that lets the canoes/kayaks sit as far forward as possible, without bumping the tow vehicle. The more weight on the tongue, the more stable the trailer - plus, there's no way that a total of 350 lbs is going to be a problem for the tongue.


Good luck! Post pictures when you get it made.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
If I were "building" this trailer I'd do several things:

1. Build the racks so the canoes/kayaks are as low to the ground as possible. Center of gravity and cross-winds will be important factors.
2. Build the racks in a way that lets the canoes/kayaks sit as far forward as possible, without bumping the tow vehicle. The more weight on the tongue, the more stable the trailer - plus, there's no way that a total of 350 lbs is going to be a problem for the tongue.

Good luck! Post pictures when you get it made.
Low is EXACTLY what I am aiming for. I'm getting too old to be lifting my 17 footer higher than I have to...

Thanks for the input. I will probably tackle this once the weather gets cooler and i get caught up on some other unfinished projects, so pictures might be a month or two away.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #10
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Do we have any trailer gurus in the house?


Ayuh,... Yer plan will work just fine with that light of a load...
The tonque weight will increase, not decrease...
1/8" wall should be plenty...

This is pretty much the same thing I did to my boat wagon, to move 50 canoes, back in 2000...
I used to go to Old Town, 'n buy 50 or more canoes a year, 'n sell the scratch, 'n dented 1s on the front lawn...
There's 50 canoes on this load,...
Many to most of 'em, have 1 or more canoes spoon fit, inside the 1s ya can see...


That wagon was stretched 20', 'n another subframe built to hold 4 stacks of canoes,...
The added tongue is 1/4" walled, but my load is Waayyy bigger than yer talkin' 'bout...

This was my last trip up, 'n a 20 canoe load on a different wagon...


Good Luck, 'n have Fun....
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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Let me get pictures!!!!

I just did this (had it done at a local welder). He added 3 ft to my 8.5 x 4.5 trailer so half of my 16' canoe wasn't off the back. The draw back: I pulled all the wiring so he could do what he needed to do without frying all the wiring. Now I cant get the stupid ##!@*!! trailer lights to work!

You get the drift.

Give me a day here.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill7 View Post

I just did this .
GREAT, I am looking forward to seeing what you did! I was just thinking about this today. I need to get cracking
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #13
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Trying to figure this picture thing out...
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:04 PM   #14
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:10 PM   #15
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Pictures:

1. Full trailer.
2. Part of tongue that was added and reinforced. Notice the steel rod that was added as a bridge. It goes most of the way up the tongue.
3. Length of tongue.
4. View from front. Notice the notches in the wood. That is where the canoe sits, then I simply tie it down using straps.

Please ignore the garage. Not sure how it gets that way

Oh, trailer stays functional for everything else.

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