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Old 03-01-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
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Tongue length on trailer

I plan on towing a 24' enclosed trailer as well as other times a triple open motorcycle trailer behind a Monaco. Any advice on trailer tongue length to not worry about trailer hitting MH on sharp curves?

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Old 03-01-2015, 03:42 PM   #2
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As a general rule, you want tongue length, measured from the front of the box to the center of the coupler, to be at least half the width of the floor of the trailer.

I just now measured 4 of my trailer's tongues, from the front of the box of the trailer to the center of the coupler. The trailer length and width listed below for all 4 trailers is the box only, not including tongue or rear bumper/spare tire or fenders.

5'x10' utility, single axle "motorcycle trailer" = 35"
6.5"x16' utility flatbed, tandem axle = 36"
7'x14' enclosed cargo, tandem axle= 43"
8'x20' TT, tandem axle = 46"

With any of those, you cannot turn sharp enough when going forward to have trailer to tow vehicle contact. But put that puppy in reverse and you can have a full jackknife in a heartbeat.

So for backing the trailer without any problem to a full 90 jackknife, you want the tongue length to be at least half the width of the trailer. If your cargo trailer is an 8.5' (or 102") wide "race trailer", then you'd want the tongue to be at least 51" from the front of the box to the center of the coupler. The more common 8' wide cargo trailer, then 48" tongue length is fine. Note that my 7' wide cargo trailer needs at least 42" tongue length, and it has 43".

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:46 AM   #3
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Thanks Grumpy Ole Man
Good info
Trailer is 102" wide so need 50"+
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:11 AM   #4
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I've been thinking about this as well ..... Will measure to see what I actually have ... I did buy a 2 1/2 x 11" receiver which gains about 8" ... hoping that will help .... ????
Thx for the info .,...
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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Be carefull with the extended receivers. They decrease your allowable tongue wt considerably. and are easily bent. As stated, backing up is more of the concern but forward could also be a problem with the short/v nose.
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