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  1. #1

    Default trailer tongue lenght

    I'm working on building a new trailer for hauling my 4 wheeler and a friends around. I have the 60/40 rule for axle placement but is there a rule for trailer tongue length.
    Thank you for any help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Salem ,Ohio


    The longer the better esp for backing up. I remember those old 2 horse trailers from the 70's with the 3' V tongue man were they a pain to back up...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    South Carolina


    Quote Originally Posted by aametalmaster View Post
    The longer the better esp for backing up. I remember those old 2 horse trailers from the 70's with the 3' V tongue man were they a pain to back up...Bob
    I'm with master on this one. My welding trailer has a short tongue and backing is a PITA. Jack knife in a second.

    But my big ole long boat trailer I can back down the road to the boat landing and down the ramp at a pretty good speed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    The tongue length depends a lot upon the width of the trailer at the front. A narrow trailer can have a shorter tongue while a squared off nose of a trailer 102" wide needs a five foot tongue if possible. This is because you need to have room for tight backing. You can't turn it very sharp without danger of damaging the front of the trailer and back of tow vehicle makes for a very unfun trailering event.

  5. #5


    In general, on a small trailer like you are building, you need a minimum of four feet between the front of the trailer and the front of the hitch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Northern CA, Shasta CO.


    Measure from the center of the ball to the farthest outside point on the bumper of the widest rig you plan on pulling it with. That'll give you the absolute minimum tongue length, unless you don't care if the corner of the trailer clears the bumper. Add an inch or three for fudge factor and ease of backing and it always comes out to four feet plus.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Brookshire, Texas


    I used to build trailers and there is no set tongue length, it depends on the entire length of the trailer and how far you want to be able to cut it, as far as the axle placement, I always found the center of the trailer and move back one inch for every foot of the trailer, this keep it pretty balanced

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