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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Trailer Extensions Allow More Cargo, But Caution Is Advised!

A few years ago in Yellowstone National Park we were camped next to a family who brought all their bicycles on an extended rack on the back of their travel trailer. I thought it was a great idea and thought about doing it to our trailer but never got around to it. This type of trailer extension can carry all kinds of cargo including a light weight motorcycle or ATV, bikes, a small amount of fire wood or whatever else you need to carry provided you can tie it down and it isn’t too heavy. These kinds of homemade extensions are neat but caution is advised for several reasons. First, this will add weight to the axles, leaf-springs and the leaf-spring equalizers and all the attendant hardware. You should seriously consider “beefing up” these components if you do this. Second, you must consider the added length will cause your trailer to “drag” when you traverse a steep curb going into a fueling station or shopping area. So, you may want to consider adding anti-drag wheels to your extension. Third, you need to add signal lights onto the end of this extension as well. And finally, make sure the welding is professional grade and will support the weight of the extension as well as the cargo you plan to put on it. Jim

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6 Comments:

  • You forgot the most important piece of info. If your unit is still under warranty you just voided it.

    mnsprk

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 2, 2007 11:22:00 AM PDT  

  • You might want to consider the affect it will have on the other end of your trailer as well. Weight on the back has quite a bit of leverage on the other end - you could lift the trailer tongue right off the hitch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 2, 2007 1:27:00 PM PDT  

  • To be done with great caution. I have yet to see a trailer frame that is designed and is structurally heavy enough to support this kind of extra weight. The strain put on the bolts and welds from even moderately rough roads is tremendous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 3, 2007 6:44:00 AM PDT  

  • To be done with great caution. I have yet to see a trailer frame that is designed and is structurally heavy enough to support this kind of extra weight. The strain put on the bolts and welds from even moderately rough roads is tremendous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 3, 2007 6:44:00 AM PDT  

  • I would absolutely NOT recommend this for any kind of trailer. It is very unstable and could cause jackknife and rollover.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 4, 2007 6:39:00 AM PDT  

  • I actually tried this "once". I built a carrier onto the back of my 20ft. Prowler camper to carry a generator, etc. It's maiden voyage was as I was leaving on a 1000+ mile trip. It was great until I hit 60 mph. Then it acted as a wing and had me dancing all over the highway. I ended up making the trip going 55 mph, this made for a long, long, long, trip

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 10, 2007 2:39:00 PM PDT  

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