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Old 01-29-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Trailer tongue extension

I have a 24 foot enclosed trailer and the tongue length is 36 inches. This is to short to allow the RV to make any sharp turns. Is there a recommendation or suggestion for tongue length for towing behind a motorhome. I'd assume about 50 maybe 52 inches would be good but would like other thoughts on this. I didn't find comments on tongue length on my irv2 search.
Thanks
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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Have you taken it out into a big parking lot and actually tried it out? I'd be surprised you can't make the tightest turn in the motorhome, unless the trailer was home built. Any receiver extender will reduce load limit, increase 'whip-lash' motion as RV goes over bumps, and perhaps make your combined rig over most state's length limits. Just some things to think about.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Have you taken it out into a big parking lot and actually tried it out? I'd be surprised you can't make the tightest turn in the motorhome, unless the trailer was home built. Any receiver extender will reduce load limit, increase 'whip-lash' motion as RV goes over bumps, and perhaps make your combined rig over most state's length limits. Just some things to think about.

X2, Just off the top of my head, I think my BlueOx is about the same (30-34") distance and there is no problem turning.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
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Rv and sharp turns. Two terms you don't often hear together.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Have you taken it out into a big parking lot and actually tried it out? I'd be surprised you can't make the tightest turn in the motorhome, unless the trailer was home built. Any receiver extender will reduce load limit, increase 'whip-lash' motion as RV goes over bumps, and perhaps make your combined rig over most state's length limits. Just some things to think about.
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I've pulled the trailer and have removed a bit of paint from the rear corner edge of the motorhome. The trailer is not home built, it is a 24 foot Haulmark enclosed car carrier. I'm not looking for a receiver extender that messes up load limits, etc. but I'm considering extending the length of the trailer tongue. I've read that some have done this with success. Yes, I'll be pushing the legal length limits of some states. Without the tongue extension I'm right at 66 feet. (I have no idea why two words are in red - I did run a search on those two words before starting the post.)
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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When I had a slide in for my truck,it hung over the tail gate about 16 inches so I purchased an extension from Crown RV in Ga.It was alittle over 3 ft.and I didn't have any problems.I towed a 20ft.v nose trailer with Motorcycles that weighted about 1500lbs.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:54 PM   #7
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A competent welding shop could extend the tongue by cutting the A and using identical frame tubing welded in steps to extend it. My TT/ toy hauler, was towed by an A class Diesel pusher and the previous owner extended the tongue this way. Personally, I think it would have been better to reinforce the hitch and extend it out 6 to 8 inches (about what mine is extended). Now I have to inspect the welds and tubing where it was extended and watch for rust and stress (which I have surface rust to take care of soon). Can't complain though, got the trailer at a price so good - I feel like I stole it sometimes.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #8
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People who don't tow trailers with a 96-102" wide MH will not understand the problem. I had that problem with my open trailer and ended up cutting off the front corners of the trailer instead of lengthening the tongue solely because it was unused space. It has a 38" tongue. 36" is short for an enclosed trailer behind a MH. I suggest it be at least 52" so the front of the box can't hit the back corner of the MH body. Just make sure whoever does it knows what they are doing. I suggest getting a trailer tongue weight scale so you can load the trailer correctly.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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48" is pretty much standard on an enclosed trailer. Lots of variables but if the trailer is not too tall you can get away with that. My 24' trailer had 48" and it was 76" tall inside. I was able to get away with it but had to be careful. Where it will bite you is while making a very sharp corner and the front of the MH is up and the rear of the trailer is also up as in a big dip. And jack knifing while backing up. The top corner of the trailer will hit.
All the trailer mfg. that build custom trailers (that I know of) put a 5' tongue on anything going behind a MH.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:02 PM   #10
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I pulled a car trailer with a 5foot tounge with no problems. I had the trailer custom built with the axels moved 2feet back. This was done to help with turning and backing up. Worked very well for a lot of miles.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:11 PM   #11
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I tow a 18' carson racer behind my Beaver. Ordered it with an extra long tongue and got one that's 72". Since I have to use a drop hitch to level the trailer, I can jackknife the rig slightly and the tongue will actually pass under the rear cap! The RV and the trailer also won't interfere at the top in a hard turn with a steep drop.

I live in a cul-de-sac and my jerk neighbor keeps a car parked such that I almost always have to jackknife a tad to keep from hitting it when I pull in (max turn followed by a slight reverse with a cut).

I wouldn't do this again though because the extra length put the trailer out behind the draft of the coach - so I pay a pretty hefty drag penalty. i've been thinking of shortening it 18" or so.

I'd think 54-60" is plenty.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:41 PM   #12
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My 24' enclosed trailer came with a 5' (60") tongue for the reason you stated, to clear the coach. Haulmark is a quality trailer mfg, I would contact a local Haulmark dealer or a competent trailer shop in your area for best method for rectifying your situation. Good Luck!
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:40 PM   #13
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I started this post - I have had the local welding shop extend the tongue to where it is now 52 inches - that is shorter than some of the lengths mentioned above but at least I can now make a 45 degree turn. I'll have to extend the safety chains, break a way cable and electrical cables about 4 to 6 inches since they are all short now.
Thank you guys for the suggestions.
Bob
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