Tongue Extensions? Anyone Try?

Discussion in 'Etrailer.com Trailers and Towing Forum' started by XKPin, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Keep TV & popup connected & sleep :huh:?
    After decades of camping all our new destinations are well outside the ‘local’ area. Each trip involves at least 1-day travel to get to the destination. Our trip out west will require 4-nights travel to and from at 500-miles each day. Needless to say, camping is cheaper and ‘cleaner’ than many motels.
    I see trailer tongue extensions on the web. If I could extend my popup tongue 12-inches I could leave the camper attached to my vehicle and avoid the delaying effect of setup and takedown, and eliminate the jacking up & leveling, safety chain R&R, backing accuracy [:(O], cable removal, etc. We could just pull into a National Forest, pup ‘er up and sleep. Get up early and hit the road with less cranking :confused:.
    These trailer extensions ‘look’ like a good idea - but are they?!? Has anyone ever used these trailer hitch extensions with a popup?
    Here is an example of what I see available:

    upload_2018-4-29_10-41-45.png

    I also see 24-inch extensions without the ball drop.
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    These hitch extensions do work...but you reduce the tongue weight that your hitch can handle. The hitch acts as fulcrum between the TV and trailer.
     
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  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Like the dual hitchs, these extenders can reduce the tongue weight capacity as well as the tow rating by as much as 50% not too mention they can lead to sway issues..
     
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  4. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    You could possibly get bad handling as described above. Also the unit need to be level for reefer to work properly and for a good nights sleep too. It only takes a few minutes to unhook and level so why push your luck. (my opinion) Good Luck and Happy Camping
     
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  5. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Oct 28, 2016
    Gloucester, Virginia
    Good info. I was unaware of the tow weight rating issues.
    Unhook, that's not the problem for me - you've just never seen my backing skills. Well, maybe you have. Anywhere you see a campground crowd gathered, laughing and pointing, look for me[:D].
    At any rate, I have way too many miles to put in, in between travel campgrounds, to need a sway issue.
    THANKS EVERYONE! I shall heed the warnings and take the extra time.
     
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  6. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Graceville, Florida
    Find an empty parking lot or something similar, and get some cardboard boxes, set them up and then practice backing, remember to put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn your hand (and wheel) in the direction you want it to go. Go slow and easy, you will get the hang of it with a little practice. Good Luck and Happy Camping
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  7. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    You have a pop-up and not a TT, right? I don't see how the few minutes to unhitch/hitch is going to save you anything significant, compared to the rest of setup. And you would have a very hard time leveling.
     
  8. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    I get what you are talking about. It would be convenient, but you need to be able to level the camper for the roof to set level and the door to fit correctly. So, bite the bullet and learn how to back into tight spaces. I learned to not look over my shoulder and that was the trick. Only use the mirrors, put your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel and to move the camper to the right turn the steering wheel with your right hand going up and vice versa.
     
  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    [LOL] You've clearly never been around when my DH hitches and unhitches. It's always an ordeal. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It's gotten so embarrassing, with him kicking the crap out of the side bar (not sure the official name of this) that I have made the decision to do it from now on. He also cusses. :shocked: His solution, when things aren't cooperating, is to beat it into submission. The only part he is going to be doing is plugging and unplugging power, due to it being low and stiff, and I have bad knees.

    I have been in fear that he's going to completely break something and leave us stuck. Our hitch is 20 years old and I'm afraid the locking mechanism is going to start dropping part or something. :eek:

    Our hitch IS a PITA, but I can do it fairly quickly every time. He just doesn't have patience and neither of us can ever remember what position the thing needs to be in to drop onto the ball. I just feel up there while moving it, until I get it right, then lower. For some reason, he won't do it that way. He will just try to force it on while it's in locked position.

    If we could leave this thing perma-hitched, I would even be willing to buy another vehicle to use for everything else. :tongue::laugh: Yes, it's THAT bad.
     
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  10. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Practice makes perfect. You guys need to just set aside an afternoon, or Saturday, when you don't have any other plans, and practice... one of you backing, the other giving directions. If you start getting frustrated, stop for 10 minutes, and then come back and try again. Eventually you are going to master this... and it's going to be liberating, as you will no longer let this fear loom over you again.
     
  11. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Oh, we can back it perfectly. No problem with that. I put the ball right under the receiver every time. It's actually attaching the ball to the receiver that is the problem. The locking mechanism requires you to pull up or back or forward, I can never remember. When I do it, I just put one hand up there and feel while moving the latch around until it opens.

    DH just thinks kicking the side of it hard enough will make the receiver go down over the ball, even if it's in locked position. [?:~{]
     
  12. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Haha! That's awesome :)
     
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  13. davido

    davido Active Member

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    For the price of a tongue extension, plus a fast food meal, you can get a backup camera with screen. Hooking up will never be a problem again. Going this route vs a tongue extender and remaining hooked up:

    Your tow vehicle won't be held captive by the trailer.
    Your tongue weight capacity won't be reduced.
    Your handling won't be compromised.

    Plus:

    You can use the backup cam with or without the trailer -- even when you're not trying to hook up, a backup camera is amazingly convenient.
    With some models you may be able to move it between the back of your TV, and the back of your trailer, so that while you're heading down the highway you can see what's directly behind you.
     
  14. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    When attaching the ball to the receiver, try to have the ball about 1/4" to 1/2" further back than center. (the trailer further away from the TV). Make sure that the lock mechanism is open (the lock part you push down needs to be locked in the up position).
    Now when you start to lower the receiver over the ball, it should "slide" over the front of the ball (because of the rounded shape) and drop down and therefore should not bind on the locking mechanism inside. If the trailer is opposite to what I described, then quite often you end up with the mechanism on top of the ball and it binds and doesn't allow it to drop properly.
     
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  15. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how far you can slide that extender into your hitch. You could drill a second hole for towing, with the extender pushed into the hitch. When setting up remove the pin and move the TV forward a little.
     
  16. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I also don't see how you could level front to back with it attached to the TV.
     
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    For overnight stops with the pups, often I just pulled the TV far enough away to open the bunk, and the back gate on the TV. That meant it was easy to reconnect in the morning. I have used the yellow balls on wands to line up, and we added an iBall camera, which helped things. Even with the back-up camera in the truck, I still use the iBall and/or wands in some locations, when I've disconnected and angles and/or the slope of the site make things interesting.
    Pull-through sites are very helpful for overnight stops. For making reservations at KOAs, I learned to add a couple of feet to the actual length of the campers, otherwise the camper and TV sometimes just barely fit into the assigned site. I did the same for our stop at Wahweap CG at Lake Powell (run by Aramark) last week, again the site assigned was just long enough to be comfortable.
     
  18. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    This is great advice. I've learned this through my own experience, and it's turned a frustrating situation into one that just works virtually every time. Common sense tells you to center the ball receiver over the ball, but in this case, common sense is wrong.
     
  19. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    If you truly want to leave the pup hooked up while setup I would look into having a welder extend the Trailer Tongue. I know it not the cheapest way but will solve the problem without the sway issues.
     
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  20. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    A SOTF told me how to do that at a short event last year, when I left the TT hooked up to the truck: good old Lynx levelers (or your choice of other blocks). In my case, driving the TT up on one block under each wheel leveled it so the refrigerator was fine and I was sleeping level. If it had been unlevel in the other direction, a block each under the rear tires of the TV would have worked.
    It was one of those "duh" moments for me, since I've leveled side-to-side while staying connected on overnight stops. I'd just never thought to use them to raise the TT or TV to level front to back. Mostly the sites I've had overnight when I've stayed connected were good front-to-back, though.
     
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