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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > How long is too long to be extended

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blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 09/16/19 03:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From doing a hitch ball extension vs literally extending the trailer hitch, I'll take the trailer hitch extension. Then and only then, is one able to truly Jack knife a trailer in tight situations.
It is pricier to do, need an excellent welder etc to Make sure it's done correctly.
Not asked by OP about this option,,,,

Marty


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185EZ

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Posted: 09/16/19 06:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought of modifying the trailer and know someone who could do it
I hate cutting up a perfectly good trailer lol.
Not sure what would happen if an accident occurred and the insurance company found the modification though
I was wondering if there was a calculation for the length vs tongue weight.
Maybe I'm over thinking this.
If the receiver is rated for 500# tongue then a standard hitch with my 400# tongue weight would be 400#
If I extend it 12" do I still have 400# at the receiver or might it be 500# now?

blt2ski

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Posted: 09/17/19 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The issue with an extended ball, is you still have 3.5' from ball to trails front. If you extend it say a foot, you now have 4.5'.
A little bit of additional hitch weight. A trailer that tows easier, as like a truck with a longer WB, longer distance from ball to axles is smoother.
As far as an accident...ANY modification, changing brands tread pattern of tires could cause an insurance issue per say! Not that the tire issue will. I had a local trailer manufacture adjust the hitch after having issues noted above.
Add length to.hitch in your circumstance. Their are times, additional length in the ball mount is best too!
Marty

discovery4us

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Posted: 09/17/19 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

http://www.visualsc.com/hitch_calc.htm

Here is a link with a whole bunch of info.

Keep in mind that 11 - 12" between the receiver and ball is typically used to judge capacity.

camperdave

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Posted: 09/17/19 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

People lengthen trailer tongues all the time, it's much preferred when possible over an extended hitch, from a towing perspective. It will make backing up easier too.


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ajriding

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Posted: 09/19/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lengthen the tongue.

See the Australian off-road trailers with their excessively long tongues…

You can use a WD hitch if you lengthen the hitch and this will negate some of the stresses, but when you go off road you need to remove the springs as they are not meant to handle big dips in the road. These put a lot of spring tension on the system and can bend the trailer frame or do other damage.

Slownsy

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Posted: 09/19/19 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In Oz many shortens the length of insert in tow bar as the longer the length from ball to center of rear axle the greater the lift of front of vehicle making steering light. We have many crashes where trailer sway overturned both Vehicle and trailer., not a good idea. I have seen mathematical formulas for how much weight is removed but don’t know where to find at the moment.
Frank


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blt2ski

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Posted: 09/19/19 10:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Said formula is ok, but from my experience, it falls way short of what is real. IIRC overhang/wheelbase times hitch weight equals amount removed.
Issue with formula, is it does not take into account the frame from being initially rail high, to later depending on load, to tail low. Reality, is the amount removed initially is less, way less in some cases, than formula. Then it gets closer as more hitch weight is added, eventually, the formula is guessing too low, as you get closer to bottoming out the suspension.
It also does not take into account the rear spring rating, or stiffness. I switched from 6400 lb springs, to 8400 lb springs on my 96 crew cab, went from pulling a bit over 400 lbs off FA, to 300 lbs, with 1500 lbs of hitch weight.
My experience with said formula is t bcc at it gives you an idea, but reality, it is probably not correct enough for many of us!

Marty

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