trailer body to hitchball spacing

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trailer body to hitchball spacing

Postby looped » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:29 pm

Building a small cargo style TD here and wondering what minimum allowances for distance from the hitch ball to front most part of the trailer body should be?


Right now as it lays the plans allow for about 75 degrees off center before the trailer and vehicles corners meet.

thank you
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Postby Dean_A » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:45 pm

I've set mine up so I can turn the tow vehicle 90 degrees to the trailer without hearing the sound of crunching metal, but that may be overkill. I do know that a longer tongue makes backing up a lot easier.
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Postby madprinter » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Don't go too short. Its better to make it longer so turning and backing are better. Also , Do you plan to add a tongue box or anything else to the tongue? You can always cut off the tongue easier than adding to it. One tip I read here is ,Measure from the ball to the corner of your bumper and multiply by 2 and add a few inches. That will keep you from hitting corners if you back to tight. Good luck and post some pics of your progress.
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Postby looped » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:45 pm

madprinter wrote:Don't go too short. Its better to make it longer so turning and backing are better. Also , Do you plan to add a tongue box or anything else to the tongue? You can always cut off the tongue easier than adding to it. One tip I read here is ,Measure from the ball to the corner of your bumper and multiply by 2 and add a few inches. That will keep you from hitting corners if you back to tight. Good luck and post some pics of your progress.
William


from trailer hitch to corner of the car is 31 inches. right now the measurement from the center of ball reciever to the corner of the floor is 31 inches. the nose of the body is going to bulge forward about 5 inches at peak.

I could spin the floor section around to gain about 1 inch. as it stands right now the overhang from the square portion of the trailer is about 11 inches on front and about 10 on the rear. overhang of the box portion in relation to the floor is 5- 5 1/2 on front and 4 inches on the rear.

here is a couple of pics, the 2x2 is the same length as the floor and is placed f/b the same as the floor is in the forward config. the other shows the measurement from the center of ball area to the corner leading edge of 2x2

Image
Image


as for other things mounted onto the front i am considering the u bolt style spare carrier where the spare will be mounted on the underside of the 2/3 main bar close to the front of the square


this is a crude mspaint depiction of the mounting

Image
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Re: trailer body to hitchball spacing

Postby Joe G » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:25 pm

looped wrote:Building a small cargo style TD here and wondering what minimum allowances for distance from the hitch ball to front most part of the trailer body should be?...


Like everyone else has said, make it long enough so that if you back around a corner and end up turning too tightly, the trailer tongue hits the TV bumper before the trailer body hits the TV.
Here's a TD storage trailer I am just finishing up on (I didn't build it - just did some major mods). This guy wanted a TD to haul spare tires, tools and a jack when he drives his streetrod cross country. The tongue on this one is about 42".

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Postby Joe G » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:01 pm

OK, in my opinion, the tongue is too short. If the tongue is 31"but the body bulges forward 5", it's like having a 26" tongue. Now unless your towing it with a vehicle that's only 50" wide (which I doubt), you should lengthen the tongue.

Personally, I would make the tongue on that trailer at least 47" long from the center of the ball to the front of the square portion of the frame. That way, even with a 5" bulge in the front, you still have 42" effective length of the tongue, so you could back it up with a full-sized truck without the possibility of damaging the trailer body or the tow vehicle body if you happen to turn too sharp.

Good Luck
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Postby looped » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:20 pm

Okay that makes sense to me.. Good thing about this trailer having a u bolt secured front tube (2x3 14 guage) i can goto a metal shop and get another one. hopefully tubing such as this isnt too expensive. im willing to replace that because i am really digging the template i drew up for this and dont want to alter it. this will be towed by an 01 Camry.
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:10 pm

Having crunched the lexan top of Chubby into the boxes of my utility bed truck in a moment of stupidity I am one to testify. A long tongue is not a bad thing ( girls hold down the laughter) . I also have a 40 x 48 HF that looks a lot like your frame I ran a 9' tongue front to back. The 18" forward very much improved the handeling. As I was pulling with a motorcycle this was imperative. The short tongue was a totally evil monster to tow with the bike.
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Postby brian_bp » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:38 pm

looped wrote:...I could spin the floor section around to gain about 1 inch. as it stands right now the overhang from the square portion of the trailer is about 11 inches on front and about 10 on the rear. overhang of the box portion in relation to the floor is 5- 5 1/2 on front and 4 inches on the rear....

To make it easy to load the trailer properly I would want significantly more room available ahead of the axle line than behind it... and the current configuration barely achieves that, so flipping it around would be worse.

I vote for more tongue.
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Re: trailer body to hitchball spacing

Postby brian_bp » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:43 pm

looped wrote:...Right now as it lays the plans allow for about 75 degrees off center before the trailer and vehicles corners meet.

That in itself should be fine, since very many trailers use the common 50-degree A-frame design, which allows the same 75 degrees (90 degrees minus half of 50 degrees) of steering before bumper hits tongue...

... but I agree with this:

Joe G wrote:... make it long enough so that if you back around a corner and end up turning too tightly, the trailer tongue hits the TV bumper before the trailer body hits the TV.

A very short trailer is much more likely to be accidentally jack knifed while maneuvering than a long one, so I would want to be ready for the inevitable.

I have noticed many U-Haul rental trailers which have big rubber blocks on the tongue back where the bumper will hit the (straight) tongue at nearly 90 degrees... obviously it happens a lot.
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Postby Trackstriper » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:36 pm

Ditto what bobhenry and brian_bp said. Just looking at your photos I see a fairly short-coupled trailer...there is not much "tongue" length for the width across the wheels. We'll typically call it tongue length, but think in terms of the distance from the hitch ball to the middle of the axle; not necessarily what sticks out beyond the perimeter frame of the trailer. What sticks out in front of the body will affect how tight you can turn when backing up. The distance from the hitch ball to the axle will affect the trailer's stability, if it's too short, as bobhenry mentioned, the trailer can waggle from side to side behind the TV. A little different in my mind from "sway", it just kind of wiggles back and forth without becoming a major problem (for a normal sized tow vehicle), but it can be annoying at the least. A longer distance from the ball to the tongue can help with this. The longer "tongue" will also be less sensitive while backing up and you won't get cross-wise quite so quick, as brian_bp mentioned. My opinion is that you would benefit by adding more tongue length.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:15 am

If you want a real simple test hook up that little monster and try backing it into a long driveway. You will tear your hair out. I bought 9' of 2" square tube 3/16 wall thickness for $38.00 and it was worth every penny. Just drill and bolt. I took mine clear to the rear crossmember and it serves as a 2" receiver tube on the rear for a bike rack .
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Postby looped » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:42 am

bobhenry wrote:If you want a real simple test hook up that little monster and try backing it into a long driveway. You will tear your hair out. I bought 9' of 2" square tube 3/16 wall thickness for $38.00 and it was worth every penny. Just drill and bolt. I took mine clear to the rear crossmember and it serves as a 2" receiver tube on the rear for a bike rack .


This trailer comes with a 2x3 tube for the tongue in stock form, would a 2x2 be enough in strength? i can get shorter |_| bolts at northern tool if this is the case.

Thank you for the many replies to this. I will be getting the longer tube for the front. the comment about the load being more in front of the axle also is a good one cos i was wondering how i would load it to bias the front more. i can move the floor forward since i already got the materials to attach the front edge to the tongue (basically a harder wood spacer and u bolt) this way i can slide the floor all most all the way up for more moving stability.

what is the formula for weight bias with a trailer if there is one? am i wanting something like a 70/30 deal or what?


Thanks again, you guys rock!


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Postby bobhenry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:15 am

looped wrote:
what is the formula for weight bias with a trailer if there is one? am i wanting something like a 70/30 deal or what?


Thanks again, you guys rock!


William


I have used the 60/40 rule and it comes out real close to Andrews balance program. Take the length of the BODY of the tear and place axle 60% forward and 40% to the rear. 120" body centerline of axle will be 48" from the rear. If I had to do mine over I think I would go 65/35 or about 42" from rear on my 10' tear. Find Andrews balance program and compare the results and let us know.
Can someone find William a link to the spreadsheet ?
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Postby looped » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:55 am

bobhenry wrote:I have used the 60/40 rule and it comes out real close to Andrews balance program. Take the length of the BODY of the tear and place axle 60% forward and 40% to the rear. 120" body centerline of axle will be 48" from the rear. If I had to do mine over I think I would go 65/35 or about 42" from rear on my 10' tear. Find Andrews balance program and compare the results and let us know.
Can someone find William a link to the spreadsheet ?



thanks for the info. with the 65/35 or 60 40 im sure i can figure it out according to the trusty calculator. i see that 41 - 45 inches on the front of the axle would do the trick

length (inches)divided by 100 times percentage = distance in inches of percent

on the tongue bar, would the 2x2 you mentioned be a good substitute for the 2x3 14 guage that is on there now?
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