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I have been thinking about building a trailer for my 1500 since my last vacation. A couple of friends I work with donated to my cause. One friend gave me a roof top carrier, and another gave me a jet ski trailer. The trailer has an 8 foot tongue on it so I will have to cut it down. How long should a trailer tongue be for a motorcycle ? I just have the carrier sitting on top right now to see how it fits. I am looking for a sheet of diamond plate aluminum for the bed. Should I change the 8 inch tires out to 12 inch ?
 

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Just one of the guys
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The 8 inch wheels will be fine, just make sure the bearings are in good condition, well greased, and are tightened properly.

The tongue should be about twice as long as the axel is wide. A longer tongue will make the trailer less likely to sway. Also mounting the box so there will at least 10% of the trailer weight on the hitch will help to keep it stable.
 

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Just another ORF!
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General rule of thumb isa tongue to axleratio of 1.6 - 1.8 to 1 meaning if your axle was 36" wide, your tongue should be 1.6 - 1.8 times as long, or 58" - 65" long. Like Doug says, a little longer tongue helps to reduce sway. Keep your tongue weightin the20 - 35lbs range, by shifting the weight around inside the trailer, keeping your heaviest items as low as possible over the axleto lower it's centre of gravity.

Also, you will most likely want to remove the shorter leafspring to reduce bouncing, as you'll never carry the weight what that trailer was designed for.
 

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Thanks for the advice. Would the measurement for the tongue start at the axle or the front of the trailer? It has a long spring and a short spring per side. Will it be OK to remove the short one and use just the long one?
 

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Just another ORF!
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Measure the tongue starting from the axle.

Check around on the trailer for the little attachedplate (usually on the tongue somewhere)that shows the trailer's GVW (if it's a commercially made model) and if it's > 650 lbs, then yes, if you intend to use as shown above with just the cargo carrier installed on the trailer, you can safely remove the small leaf, so it will produce a smoother ride when empty/lightly loaded. You shouldn't be putting much more than a150 - 200 lbload in that carrier.

Most run their tires inflated @ 25 PSI for the same reason.




Here's a little reading for you, if interested





Dusty
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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Thanks Dusty, I just plan on using it for luggage while on trips. I doubt I will have more than 100 lbs in it at a time.
 
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