Trailer Question

AjskierAjskier Posts: 91 Baller
Quick question for you all. My boat trailer has a short tongue on it and does not have a removable tongue or swing away tongue. The trailer with the platform removed is about 6 inches short from being able to fight straight in my garage, instead I have to jockey it around and loose out on a bunch of storage on one side of my garage. In an effort to not spend 4-5 grand on a new trailer, I am looking at having a swing away tongue installed. Has anyone ever had this done? If so are their any kits out on the market that are better than others? Any pitfalls that I should be aware of? Thank you all for your insight.


  • thagerthager Posts: 4,318 Mega Baller
    I cut a U slot opening in my garage door years ago when I lived in Minneapolis. Positioned boat so tongue fit into slot. Garage door worked normally around the tongue. In the fall when boat was in storage a backing plate affixed to the U secured all in place to eliminate the opening.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 237 Baller
    If it's for sure 6 inches this won't work..........buuuut my last house i was around 3 inches short, i punched a whole in the back wall drywall and tucked he tongue into it and could just get the door down. Maybe a little hackish but it worked.
  • AjskierAjskier Posts: 91 Baller
    @skihacker I wish I could do that, but my garage is detached and if I cut a whole in it, it will open it up to the outside. The garage is an old carriage house barn.

    @thager do you by any chance have any pictures?
  • DynaSkiPeteDynaSkiPete Posts: 137 Baller
    Modifying a boat trailer tongue would best be left to a professional. It isn't hard but if an accident occurs who's on the hook for the damages? Cutting an opening in the garage door and/or back wall of the garage are the usual easy fixes. A removable tongue might be the cheapest fix rather than a swinging tongue.
  • AjskierAjskier Posts: 91 Baller
    @DynaSkiPete, yes I have found a professional trailer shop to do the work on the trailer, but just trying to do my homework before I actually take it over to him and have him quote the job. Whatever kit I go with, I am going to have it welded on instead using the bolt on option that many kits come with.
  • PurdueSkierPurdueSkier Posts: 152 Baller
    I have a 94 eagle trailer and had the exact same problem. My trailer was about 8" too long and did not have a swing tongue. For mine the trailer frame came together at the "y" just before the break mechanism. To install the swing tongue I had to add a section of steel tubing. I cut the break mechanism off, welded the swing coupler to the trailer as close to the y as I could, then welded the break mechanism to the new short piece of tube steel and then welded that to the other side of the swing coupler. Not as complicated as it sounds. I just needed about 4"-6" of straight tube on each side of the coupler and didn't have it. I got the tube steel for free from a local shop. It was scrap laying on their floor. I bought all the stuff the took it to a trailer shop to do all the cutting and welding. They also had to splice my break lines since we extended the tongue. If I remember i think I only paid about $150 for the install and the even painted it for me. It was a great modification and makes garage storage much easier.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,904 Mega Baller
    edited April 2018
    Make sure it doesn't have any up or down angle as installed.

    DO look closely before the modification to see where the bow-stand on the trailer is connected, Ideally that will be able to remain connected to the boat but occasionally it will be installed on the pivot side and require you to disconnect the winch and move it forwards before swinging the tongue.

    Also take a good length measurement before you bring it to the shop so that you can ensure they make it swing short enough!
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,318 Mega Baller
    @Ajskier Sorry, Was over 20 years ago.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,142 Mega Baller
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    Big things to ensure are that they take anti-corrosion measures and that they are really good at welding. They need to ensure the weld is done properly to minize the heat of zone and get full penetration. If you have an aluminum trailer then don't do it. Aluminum ages quickly, after which it doesn't weld as easily or as strongly. I'll not a materials engineer but I have a bit of experience. My cousin works for Ford as an ISE, she told me about the aluminum aging. It's a big problem with the aluminum body vehicles if materials sit too long or the body needs to be repaired later.
  • BCMBCM Posts: 168 Baller
    I just installed a swing away hitch, weld on kit was about $75 from etrailer plus some flexible brake hose. You will have to paint the area after it is welded. I believe you need about 6" of clean tubing between the pivot point and the nearest junction (bow catch, spare tire, jack, etc.). This put my pivot an inch or two in front of my bow. I rebuilt my bow catch as well giving me a little more room. I was able to remove almost 18" from the front of my trailer. I will rebuild my trailer long before I start cutting holes in doors and walls, but I'm a better welder than carpenter.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,027 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Another option is to change your trailer into a removable tongue. Mine has that from the factory . The wiring unplgs and there is a pin that holds it together. There is smaller piece of steel tube that fits exactly inside the trailer tube. Its welded to the hitch side and slides in and out of the trailer side.
  • AjskierAjskier Posts: 91 Baller
    Thank you all for the helpful information.
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