Tongue strength on off-road trailer

#1
Question to those who have actually pulled their trailer off-road.

I have a Tentrax trailer, about 700 pounds empty, maybe 1000 when full. To me, the tongue, 2" x 2" x 1/4", 'feels' like it needs reinforcing.

I'm not worried at all about hiway driving, but more concerned about the stresses it may see off-road when the Jeep is cresting a mound or rock, or when the back of the Jeep drags into the ground while driving up a slope or large boulder. Main concern is if the terrain is such that the tongue actually contacts the ground somewhere along its length, which could be from either going over a large boulder or even dropping off a ledge.

I guess if you view any vids of an off-road trailer being pulled across the Rubicon you can see what I mean.

Has anyone had success or failure of their trailer tongue due to off-road use?

Slide1.JPG
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
#2
I'd like to see more Tentrax trailers. I have a home-made trailer based off a HF trailer frame, and did some reinforcing on the tongue when I extended it 10", but even with that it doesn't measure up to a 1/4 thick 2x2 square tubing (a length of 2" square tubing 1/4" thick would be an upgrade for my little trailer). But I haven't done any Rubicon-type travel with it to give it a good test.
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If you're concerned, have you thought about welding a piece of channel to the underneath running the length of the tongue?

tongue.32.jpg tongue.34.jpg
 
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#4
2x2x1/4 is pretty strong. You would have to try very hard to get the tongue in a situation where you would permanently bend that piece. If you've gotten your trailer in that situation, you probably have bigger problems. That being said, sometimes there is nothing more valuable than peace of mind. If I was in your shoes, I would add a couple of pieces of tube to reinforce it and never look back.
 
#5
2x2x1/4 is pretty strong. You would have to try very hard to get the tongue in a situation where you would permanently bend that piece. If you've gotten your trailer in that situation, you probably have bigger problems. That being said, sometimes there is nothing more valuable than peace of mind. If I was in your shoes, I would add a couple of pieces of tube to reinforce it and never look back.
What is the design of the trailer that you pull?
 
#7
I'd agree with wrenbot - 1/4 is pretty stout and it would take a bad situation to damage it. I've seen heavier rated utility trailers with lesser tongues.
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
#8
:sombrero: I've pulled my TENTRAX all over the sierras and NorCa, fully loaded and LOADED PROPERLY, I've still been able to maneuver it by hand and -

I've had the tongue load over 150 lbs--NO PROBLEMO !






Really happy with my TENTRAX, of course alotta mods

:costumed-smiley-007:bike_rider: JIMBO
 
#9
Just a FYI. The HF tongues will fail from flexing. A gent on another forum had one fail on I95 and it spread his trailer and RTT all over the median. It broke right at the trailer frame. I think the tall, short profile and the extra weight of the RTT that high up, caused a oscillation that fatigued it to failure.
 
#10
I've read about several tongue failures on offroad teardrops, but those mostly seem to be fatigue related. There's a calculator available on TNTTT that can get you into the right direction. The "offroad" calculations use the Australian design standards for offroad trailers. I haven't seen any calculations for dragging the tongue over obstacles, mostly because I think there are a lot of variables to contend with. I have seen various Australian designs that have a sort of rock slider under the tongue, but of course now that I've mentioned it I can't find any images on the Google.

Here's a link to the TNTTT calculator page: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/tear84.htm

The calculator pages are about halfway down the page.
 
#12
I've read about several tongue failures on offroad teardrops, but those mostly seem to be fatigue related. There's a calculator available on TNTTT that can get you into the right direction. The "offroad" calculations use the Australian design standards for offroad trailers. I haven't seen any calculations for dragging the tongue over obstacles, mostly because I think there are a lot of variables to contend with. I have seen various Australian designs that have a sort of rock slider under the tongue, but of course now that I've mentioned it I can't find any images on the Google.

Here's a link to the TNTTT calculator page: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/tear84.htm

The calculator pages are about halfway down the page.
This is friggin cool. Nice find.
 
#13
:sombrero: I've pulled my TENTRAX all over the sierras and NorCa, fully loaded and LOADED PROPERLY, I've still been able to maneuver it by hand and -

I've had the tongue load over 150 lbs--NO PROBLEMO !






Really happy with my TENTRAX, of course alotta mods

:costumed-smiley-007:bike_rider: JIMBO
JIMBO, many thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for, 1st hand experience. And it was good news as well! Going to be a great day I think.
 
#14
I've read about several tongue failures on offroad teardrops, but those mostly seem to be fatigue related. There's a calculator available on TNTTT that can get you into the right direction. The "offroad" calculations use the Australian design standards for offroad trailers. I haven't seen any calculations for dragging the tongue over obstacles, mostly because I think there are a lot of variables to contend with. I have seen various Australian designs that have a sort of rock slider under the tongue, but of course now that I've mentioned it I can't find any images on the Google.

Here's a link to the TNTTT calculator page: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/tear84.htm

The calculator pages are about halfway down the page.
Louisd75 thanks, I need to spend a little time on that page - looks to be very helpful as well as be based on tried and true experience.
I have a degree in structural engineering from about a hundred years ago, so this will probably be like deja vu all over again
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
#15
:sombrero: As a side note Bluejeep, the TENTRAX doesn't have any structural welds in the tongue--it's an overlapping longitudinal "2" SHAFT, the length of the trailer !



Good luck

:costumed-smiley-007:bike_rider: JIMBO