Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Folding Tongue Trailer Conversion

adkh2oskieradkh2oskier Posts: 174 Baller
This might sound crazy and I think I know the answer already but: Is there a way that anyone knows of to convert a fixed tongue trailer to a folding one? Have a fixed tongue 2009 Performance for a 2009 196 Nautique and it is about a foot to long to fit in the garage, even with the teak removed.


  • vtjcvtjc Posts: 277 Solid Baller
    I don't have experience with them, but their are weld on and bolt on kits available from a few manufacturers. I also have a non-folding trailer, but don't want to mess with the galvanizing.
  • BroussardBroussard Posts: 511 Crazy Baller
    edited November 2020
    Cut a hole in the garage door

    Jokes aside there are kits to make your trailer a swing away
    Andre Broussard | SkiBama Team Captain | SkiBennetts |
  • BCMBCM Posts: 267 Baller
    edited November 2020
    I converted mine using the part that @vtjc linked to above. A regular welding/trailer shop should be able to handle it for you. You will likely need to slightly re-route your wiring and add a rubber section of brake line. They also make a bolt on version, I thought about going that route but I was painting my trailer anyway and figured the weld on would be cleaner. I think the bolt on would be pretty simple for someone with a good drill and metal saw and some basic wiring/brake hose skills. Weld-on will require painting of the trailer as they will need to clean up a bit around the weld and the heat will bubble the paint several inches back. The bolt on won't require trailer painting, but I would still hit the new hinge with a few coats of rattle can color and clear to keep the rust away. I didn't see the bolt on version with the link above, they did have one on that site a few years ago for a 3x4" tube tongue.

    If you go with the weld on. Find a good welder, preferably a professional. Jim-Bob down the street who can booger weld anything with his buzz box while pounding bud light might not be the best option. It takes a decent sized welder with the correct settings to get proper penetration on both the tubing and hinge.
  • MNshortlinerMNshortliner Posts: 222 Solid Baller
    Any way you could just cut off the extra foot of the 3”x3” tubing and move the coupler back and rebolt it on? Depends on the construction of the trailer. But I had a trailer that the bow of the boat was about 4’ from the rear of the vehicle. I didn’t need to shorten anything but remember it sat a ways back from the truck. One trailer I have now I believe the boat sits about 18” or so from the back of my vehicle.
  • BCMBCM Posts: 267 Baller
    edited November 2020
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 463 Solid Baller
    A few guys on Mastercraft teamtalk have done it too. You can look over there.
    For the shortening concept, I’m not doing any math, but 18” reduction would surely increase tongue weight some.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,561 Mega Baller
    @MNshortliner most trailers if you were to do that you won't have clearance for turning before the boat/spare tire hits your truck. If you've ever loaded say a tractor with a front end loader too far forwards by ~1 foot when you turn the bucket will hit your tailgate.

    This is a very easy conversion - but even as someone who welds pretty often I would go through a real shop. @BCM pointed out that you can do this with a few passes and some clean up but if it comes apart on you and kills someone the last thing you want is to have done this yourself.

    If you do want to weld your own proof test your welding, farm trick is just to bury a block of concrete with heavy chain lash down the trailer then use a high lift jack and put say 4K pounds of load on your tongue. If you don't pop your weld that way you won't pop it accelerating and the rest of the loads are going to be in compression.
  • MNshortlinerMNshortliner Posts: 222 Solid Baller
    edited November 2020
    @BraceMaker yes I understand this. Just pointing out another option that could be possible depending on his trailer construction. I try to think outside the box.
  • PurdueSkierPurdueSkier Posts: 199 Baller
    I converted my old 94 eagle trailer using one of the weld on kits. My challenge was the limited space between the surge brake and the Y for the trailer tongue. I actually had to add a short piece to the tongue. Strange as it sounds I had to add a short piece to allow me to install the swing and shorten the trailer. A local steel supplier gave me a scrap piece of tubing. I dropped the entire thing off at a local trailer shop and they did all the work for really cheap. They also had to lengthen the brake lines with a flexible hose and bleed the brakes . Overall was definitely worth it.
  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 1,054 Mega Baller
    Built several swing away trailer tongues back in the 80s should have
    taken pics!
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,544 Mega Baller
    we've done a number of the Fulton kits. They are good quality.

    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,297 Mega Baller
    I’ve had swing away and pull off the front trailers and would tell you to only look at swing away options.

    Both work but the pull off option is a major hassle vs swing away.
  • adkh2oskieradkh2oskier Posts: 174 Baller
    Hi Guys, Thanks for all the good advice. Looks like a possibility but not til spring since I already stored the boat for the winter. Looks like the surge brake system may need some modification also?
    Before I even pulled this up this am I got a text from a fellow tournament skier who thinks he may be able to do the change over.
  • robbieracerrobbieracer Posts: 9 New Baller
    I had my trailer modified at a place that builds trailers. I had a Malibu skier and they converted it to a swing away to save me about 2 feet so it would fit in the garage better. It was a tandem axle with brakes.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 555 Solid Baller
    One additional recommendation when converting to a removable or swing tongue trailer, move the safety cable/chains back to the non removable/swinging part of the trailer.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,761 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @adkh2oskier - yes. You have to add a flexible brake line between the master cylinder and the hard lines in the tongue. It just requires you to cut the existing line and re-flare.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
Sign In or Register to comment.