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Ball Mount For A Light Weight Class 1 Hitch

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My Harbor Freight trailer has been nothing short of awesome with my canoe on it. However the length of the tongue would be better if it were another 24-36 inches.

The reason is, often the lake water levels are down and our ramps don't drop off that deep. I have to go in the water to push the canoe off. it's become a pain in the ass. 

I'm thinking if I have a ball mount made thats 30 inches long it will give me more length to get the canoe deeper into the water to avoid having to get wet pushing it off.

In tow, how much added pressure do you think it would add to the hitch and chassis if I use the proposed extended ball mount?

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I might suggest just getting a longer tongue for the trailer instead. The pressure added with something as light as a canoe is probably a negligible problem. With a longer tongue, you keep your pivot point more or less the same.

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If I'm understanding correctly, you're talking about moving the ball 2'-3' back. That would make a significant increase in the load, percentage wise, but given the load weight probably not going to create a vehicle loading issue. I would be more concerned about having the pivot point that far from the rear bumper as it relates to grade changes on the road, ramp, etc. Might be better to extend the trailer tongue.

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I could sleeve the tongue but I was concerned about water between the steel causing rust and it would be to long over all to fit in my garage.

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It sounds like you have a lot of ground clearance.  Would a drop axle be a possible solution?

 

You might have to use an offset hitch to keep the trailer level.

 

9090-curt-class-iii-tow-trailer-hitch-ba

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Hey Rhino, unfortunately that wouldn't work for me. I need tongue length to get the trailer tires deeper into the water.

What I may do is have a 36" straight ball mount made. I'll exchange the mounts at the ramp. Keep in mind this swap out will only be necessary when the lake water levels are down.

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Install an extended swing tongue to your trailer. This way it will fit in your garage and you will not have to change ball mounts.

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Hip boots.  I use them at Sawdy.  I also use them at Great Herring where I literally have to back up until the exhaust is going glub, glub, before the bass boat will float off the trailer.  It's a very shallow sand and gravel ramp.  Once the boat floats off, I have to get in the water to pull it toward the shore.  Cannot beach it.  I have to drop the lower unit into the bottom, and tie the bow to a tree on the shore.  The bow is still about ten feet from the beach.

 

Then I pull the rig out of the water and park it.

 

Get a size larger than you'd normally wear.  Makes putting them on, and taking them off much easier.  Mine are a bit of a struggle, so I generally fish in them all day.  I'm about due for a new pair and I'll get them large enough so they practically fall off.  Then I'll have a pair of sneakers in the canoe.  Not bad in the cooler weather, but on the dog days of summer they can get pretty hot, making them even more difficult to remove.

 

Changing your foot wear twice will be easier and cheaper than fiddling around with an extension.

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I have the exact same thing, a three foot long ball mount I've been using for years when launching from shallow edges or river banks hard to get close to with vehicle.  It's mostly used getting the jon boat in rivers where there are no ramps and just back the trailer in off the bank but have used in several times at lake Falcon when it's way down, and a couple other lakes. 

I don't tow with it, I just swap out the ball mount at the location if I see that I need it.

As light as a canoe is and that light trailer, I don't see where it would be any problem if you are running a frame mounted class II or class III receiver.  If you happen to only running one of those light duty things and just kinda hanging under the vehicle, I would have seconds thoughts.  I think it's like 500 pounds of tongue weight a class III hitch can handle, should be stamped on your or you can look it up, but that canoe and trailer extended back five feet is probably not going to get to that.

Backing it with the pivot point a half a block behind you takes some getting used to. 

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Install an extended swing tongue to your trailer. This way it will fit in your garage and you will not have to change ball mounts.

Someone makes a kit for this. I've seen it when browsing the web but can't remember the site. Probably Bass Pro, Cabelas or Northern Tool. I'll try to find it. As I remember it isn't terribly expensive.

Here it is if the link will work

http://www.cabelas.com/product/boating/boating-trailer-accessories/trailer-couplers-locks|/pc/104794380/c/104781780/sc/104642280/bolt-on-fold-away-8482-hinge-kits/701826.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Ftrailer-couplers-locks%2F_%2FN-1100656%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104642280

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Hip boots. I use them at Sawdy. I also use them at Great Herring where I literally have to back up until the exhaust is going glub, glub, before the bass boat will float off the trailer. It's a very shallow sand and gravel ramp. Once the boat floats off, I have to get in the water to pull it toward the shore. Cannot beach it. I have to drop the lower unit into the bottom, and tie the bow to a tree on the shore. The bow is still about ten feet from the beach.

Then I pull the rig out of the water and park it.

Get a size larger than you'd normally wear. Makes putting them on, and taking them off much easier. Mine are a bit of a struggle, so I generally fish in them all day. I'm about due for a new pair and I'll get them large enough so they practically fall off. Then I'll have a pair of sneakers in the canoe. Not bad in the cooler weather, but on the dog days of summer they can get pretty hot, making them even more difficult to remove.

Changing your foot wear twice will be easier and cheaper than fiddling around with an extension.

I don't mind getting wet in warmer weather. The deal is I'm tired of wasting time getting the canoe in the water and back in the trailer.

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Someone makes a kit for this. I've seen it when browsing the web but can't remember the site. Probably Bass Pro, Cabelas or Northern Tool. I'll try to find it. As I remember it isn't terribly expensive.

Here it is if the link will work

http://www.cabelas.com/product/boating/boating-trailer-accessories/trailer-couplers-locks|/pc/104794380/c/104781780/sc/104642280/bolt-on-fold-away-8482-hinge-kits/701826.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Ftrailer-couplers-locks%2F_%2FN-1100656%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104642280

The swing away tongue would work great if I can get one for a harbor fright trailer. The steel box tube isn't the same dimension as a typical shoreline trailer. I'll look into it. That would be the ticket.

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The swing away tongue would work great if I can get one for a harbor fright trailer. The steel box tube isn't the same dimension as a typical shoreline trailer. I'll look into it. That would be the ticket.

 

I thought you were implying that you would need to have a welder fabricate an extended ball mount. If you are going to all that trouble why not ask the same welder to fabricate a swing tongue? It doesn't have to be an complex thing as your trailer is quite light.

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I thought you were implying that you would need to have a welder fabricate an extended ball mount. If you are going to all that trouble why not ask the same welder to fabricate a swing tongue? It doesn't have to be an complex thing as your trailer is quite light.

I was, I may have to do exactly that. The steel used on the Harbor Freight trailers is thin. I'm not sure the swing away is a possibility. If it is possible the fabrication cost would most likely be very high. The extended ball bar/mount would be the least expensive and work fine.

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There are a lot of pics online demonstrating how to extend that tongue. If you took the tongue piece to a welder/fabricator, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to replicate with more length. But if you just want an extended hitch, that's fine too. HF sells one as well with a step on it, but I don't think it's 36".

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I hear you on the aggravations.  Mine is that I have to put the battery and trolling motor on the boat after launching my canoe.  The weight is the problem, as I use a bed extender that fits into the receiver for the trailer ball.  I launch bow first, so I have to get the stern nearly afloat and put in the battery.  Then I have to push it a little deeper, then mount the trolling motor.  All the gear can stay on the boat for launching, since gravity works with me.

 

Loading is another matter.  I completely unload the boat to lighten it.  Then I lift the stern onto the extender then lift the bow and push the canoe into the truck.  Then, after securing it with two ratchet straps I load all the gear into the boat.  It only takes a few minutes, but a trailer would definitely be easier.

 

I have a good boat trailer with an old dilapidated, sixteen foot wooden boat on it.  I'm getting close to busting up the old slab and setting up the trailer for my canoe.  At the moment, I'm leaning toward fabricating a "coffin" type of box with a hinged end and top, so that I can lock up the box to hinder someone from lifting the goods out of the canoe. 

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I guess I didn't have my glasses on the first time I read your post, failed to notice you had already stated you had a Type 1 receiver. There are tons of ways to address solutions to the problem you are having.

The easiest way it just call a local steel supply house and ask if they sell drops. I've found a lot of them have quit cutting sticks. If they do, ask about a 3 foot piece of 1 1/4 box and see what wall thickness they have, preferably at least 3/16" but it must be at least 1/8" and don't plan to tow with it. Just do like I do, put a ball on it, and drill a hole for the locking pin. Then just take about five minutes when you get to the lake and make a quick change. Just have your chin strap snugged up when they give you the price. They will charge almost as much for a drop as they do a full length stick. I usually go ahead a buy a stick because of that, but that ain't cheap either. Steel prices have gotten stupid over the past few years.

If a supply house won't help you, try some welding and fabrication shops.

Next option, unless you have a welder you may not be able do yourself and that's just extend the tongue on the trailer. That can be done by having a piece like it welded on, or just buy a full stick and replace it with the length you want. If you like, you can convert it to a break away, but over time they tend to get worn and sloppy. My trailer was a break away with a 5/8" bolt for the pivot and 5/8" pin for the lock. The holes, bolt and pin had gotten so worn, the tongue almost made a V with the droop it had. I drilled them to 3/4" and put two snug fitting bolts and locked that suck down nice and tight.

The problem is, you have already said it was a Harbor Freight trailer, and by the time you pay a fabricator to do the work of extending or converting it, you might feel like you just bought it again.

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Simple solution is modify the trailer with non slip plates so you can step onto the the trailer and walk the boat off without getting wet and retreive the boat. Several companies make these bad available as a trailer accessory from both Cabelas and BPS.

I have had these on my trailers for years because some of the lakes get low and the ramps are nearly flat. Sometimes it's necessary to loosen the bow tie down and add a rope, back down to the tow vehicle rear bumper until the boat floats a little and pull forward so it slips off the trailer. The added rope attaches the boat to the trailer and you walk the planks to get into or out of the boat.

"Plank trailer walkway"

Tom

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If I swap out the entire length I'll have to have the trailer realigned. I was trying to avoid doing that. Beyond that I wouldn't be able to keep it stored in my garage. So its not an option.

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