GL1800Riders Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of MAY's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Aluma MCTXL and am thinking about doing away with the whole cooler rack. The trailer is plenty large enough to carry a cooler inside if I need it. I'm thinking I'd rather shorten up the rig if it can be done safely.

So, is there some mathematical equation that determines the tongue length based on the trailer dimensions and/or weight? How much of an effect on the handling will happen if I choose to do this? Any help would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
I've always been told that the tongue length should be minimum one and one half times as long as the distance between the center of the tires on the axle. That distance would be measured from the axle forward to the ball coupler center.

I know this from personal experience ... be very careful not to get the tongue too short .. doing so will cause the trailer to be less stable behind you. It will "wag" more easily and take longer to settle down when you move from side to side as you travel forward (passing, lane changes, etc). I'd rather have the tongue a bit long than too short.

I have an old Eagle trailer that towed OK, but tended to wag a bit behind me. I built an extension about a foot long for the tongue, and after installation, the trailer now is steady as she goes. I believe the above formula is a good one to follow ...

One question for you ... do you think if you'd bought the smaller Aluma with the shorter box and the "luggage" or cooler rack out front, your trailer would have been satisfactory as far as size goes? I've been looking at the Aluma and the similar brands of trailers ... I'd hate to get a trailer too small, but there is no sense at all in having more than you really need either. At the present time, I carry a cooler inside my Eagle box, primarily for holding our cool vests and a gallon of water for them. Those are necessary items here in the summertime. My Eagle has no room on the tongue (because of it's construction) to mount a cooler rack in front of the box. I get by OK most of the time with what we normally carry, but it would be nice to have the vests outside the trailer box, leaving some additional space inside out of the weather. Thanks for your comments in this regard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I spoke to Dean at Aluma (past Owner and current designer of the trailer). He said there will be no problem shortening the tongue the same length as the cooler platform (a foot or so). It will increase the tongue weight by a couple of pounds but should have no ill effects on handling.

As far as the trailer itself, I am glad I got the larger one. If you camp, golf, or have a better half that likes to pack large, then it is a good choice. Plus, a nice size cooler like my Yeti can ride inside and you don't have to worry about that additional weight on the tongue or the cooler being stolen from the hotel at night.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
BamaX, while I wish you luck, I have to tell you that you're playing with fire when you go to shortening the tongue. The previous posts are telling you that the tongue length needs to be at least as long as the formula says, which is at least 1.5 times the distance between the wheels. Longer is better. Shorter means that you and your bike will probably be sliding down the highway when you least expect it.

Glen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not cutting anything just yet. Going to measure the tongue relative to the width between wheels. I appreciate your words of caution and if I am not absolutely sure of the outcome, you can bet I will err on the side of caution and keep it as is. I was hoping someone who actually has done this would chime in. In talking to Aluma today, it appears to be something that has been done before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,345 Posts
A longer tongue on a trailer will make it easier to back up. The shorter it is the quicker it will jack knife.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
It stands to reason that the longer trailer would help with tracking but there are also trade-offs. I'm think of building my own trailer and I've read the 1.5 or 2 to 1 ratio info. Though caution should always be taken, I'm not sure it's a "you're dead if you do this" cast in stone situation.
I have a Kendon 2 rail folding trailer that pulls like a dream with 2 big cruisers on it. When I measured that trailer I found the ratio at 1 to 1. Center to center on the tires is the same measurement as axle to coupler. It WILL jacknife quicker when backing up, but I've never had any wag or stability issues with it loaded or empty.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top