Travel trailer tounge extension

workshoprat

New Member
Have any of you modified a regular travel trailer and extended the toung to make room to haul something like a Harley? Here is one pictured of what I am thinking about doing to my tt. This one is factory built that way but i kinda want to do this to mine. Thinking a 4-6 foot extension to haul 1 -2 Harley sportsters

My tow rig is a 2005 f350 and I pull an 18ft tt. The 350 is so stout I do not need or use a load leveler device. Yes I do know it will increase toung weight but should still be well within the ability of my 350. Yes i do own a welder as well as any other tool I need to complete the fabrication as well as have the skills and experience to do a excellent quality job!

As i have everything skill and tool wise to do this I would really like to hear from those that have experience in this kind of modification and hear what issues and pitfalls they may have encountered. Also did it affect the trailer value? Not interested in opinions but rather hard knowledge and experience. Thanks so much!
 

Attachments

  • Toy-Hauler-Travel-Trailers-550x413.jpg
    Toy-Hauler-Travel-Trailers-550x413.jpg
    46.2 KB · Views: 15
Last edited:

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
My only concern would be attaching to the travel trailer frame to extend the tongue (sufficient bracing/gussets/fishplate would take care of that?) and then making sure the extension of the travel trailer frame doesn't get to flexy from getting to long? Being that the travel trailer was originally designed to be 18', I wonder if the original frame (that's likely marginal at best?) material would be strong enough for a longer trailer. I'd model my frame material after a 26-30' trailer and go from there?
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
^^ this.
My older campers had sufficient frames under them. The newer stuff is basically tin.
I think those factory made haulers have better frames.
But I’ve seen it done, so it’s just making sure you do it right.

Or, put a flat bed on the truck and haul the bikes there.
 

workshoprat

New Member
My only concern would be attaching to the travel trailer frame to extend the tongue (sufficient bracing/gussets/fishplate would take care of that?) and then making sure the extension of the travel trailer frame doesn't get to flexy from getting to long? Being that the travel trailer was originally designed to be 18', I wonder if the original frame (that's likely marginal at best?) material would be strong enough for a longer trailer. I'd model my frame material after a 26-30' trailer and go from there?
I think you touched on what my prime concern is. No matter my level of skill and experience at the end of the day im a fabriator mechanic and not an engineer. I know I can build a new extended tongue that will be strong enough to handle the loads. The bigger question is how the existing frame will handle that load and I do not know how to do the math to find out. Thats where im wanting to see others experience in this area!

In all my research I have found several instances of trailer tounge failure due to load leveling devices. Granted the tounges on these travel trailers are built ligh but in the end the failure was still caused by adding a load the tounge was never designed to take via the load leveler then going through something extreme like a big dip! The reason that point is important to me is that if you look at the failure you will notice that the trailer main frame was well able to take that added load to the point where it folded the tounge frame with no damage to the main frame. The main frame appears to be able to take a much greater load but the question is just how much?
 

Attachments

  • R.jpg
    R.jpg
    162.6 KB · Views: 29

workshoprat

New Member
^^ this.
My older campers had sufficient frames under them. The newer stuff is basically tin.
I think those factory made haulers have better frames.
But I’ve seen it done, so it’s just making sure you do it right.

Or, put a flat bed on the truck and haul the bikes there.
I have looked at options to haul the bikes in the back of the truck. I kinda like this one and plan on building one.


Still part of why I bought this tt is to do out of town dump truck work. Id like to be able to haul a air compressor and some spare tires. I dont really want that inside like a toy hauler set up.
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
I think you touched on what my prime concern is. No matter my level of skill and experience at the end of the day im a fabriator mechanic and not an engineer. I know I can build a new extended tongue that will be strong enough to handle the loads. The bigger question is how the existing frame will handle that load and I do not know how to do the math to find out. Thats where im wanting to see others experience in this area!

In all my research I have found several instances of trailer tounge failure due to load leveling devices. Granted the tounges on these travel trailers are built ligh but in the end the failure was still caused by adding a load the tounge was never designed to take via the load leveler then going through something extreme like a big dip! The reason that point is important to me is that if you look at the failure you will notice that the trailer main frame was well able to take that added load to the point where it folded the tounge frame with no damage to the main frame. The main frame appears to be able to take a much greater load but the question is just how much?


I'm not an engineer and don't understand the numbers required. However, if you took a "frame" from a sufficient length trailer, identified that frame material and it's associated structure, I'd imagine you'd have a good starting place to work from? Maybe you can fab a frame to go inside of the existing trailer frame and tie into that structure? (sounds like I'm plating the "frame" on an XJ?) Strengthening that enough that your extended tongue wouldn't put catastrophic stress on the original frame.
 
I know you didn't ask for opinions, but here I go. If I were going to carry that much weight up front, I would want to add to the structure all the way from the hitch to the axles unless it was way overbuilt to start with. Like has been mentioned, most modern trailers are just barely strong enough to handle the job they are designed for. It is also pretty easy to calculate redesigned tongue weight and axle weights if you have current values and dimensions with he trailer loaded. My gut tells me that with that much added weight, you might need to also upgrade the coupler and check the rating on all the hitch components, regardless of how stout the truck is.

I also like Marc's idea above about just taking a look at a 8k or 10k flatbed trailer and beefing up what you have to match that.
 

Hickey

The Dark One
Supporting Member
I considered modifying a trailer this way several years ago. The problem I ran into was the weight rating of the axles were already near max capacity, and I figured I would need to add quite a bit of steel plus the added load. The weights were just not going to work for my situation.
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
There were a TON of cool threads on PBB back in the day of guys doing similar. I don’t know what’s left over there but it could be worth some research time?

The best ones I saw were people taking a travel trailer and sticking it ON an established frame. Didn’t matter if it was a fifth wheel (fits awesome on the right gooseneck) or bumper pull. Some folks got creative with tool boxes and such where the travel trailer axles were and others just took out the travel trailer wheel tubs and redid their interiors without those pesky bumps.
 

workshoprat

New Member
There were a TON of cool threads on PBB back in the day of guys doing similar. I don’t know what’s left over there but it could be worth some research time?

The best ones I saw were people taking a travel trailer and sticking it ON an established frame. Didn’t matter if it was a fifth wheel (fits awesome on the right gooseneck) or bumper pull. Some folks got creative with tool boxes and such where the travel trailer axles were and others just took out the travel trailer wheel tubs and redid their interiors without those pesky bumps.
What is ppb?
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
What is ppb?



www.pirate4x4.com/forum --- I think the cool threads were in the tow rigs forum




 
Last edited:

ChestonScout

opinions are like Jeeps..
Location
Clinton, Ut
@ChestonScout added to his toy hauler. Not a bunch but enough to clear hauling it from his semi. I could not believe what he did and I dare to say it’s pretty much bullet proof. His tongue more than does the job. 😇
Ya I got excited when I seen the thread title and thought I would be able to help. Haha

Was going to post some pics but I don’t have any on the phone I guess
 
Top