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While the rare trailer comes with a built-in, slide-out tongue extension, many boat trailers are simply too short for boaters to easily launch and retrieve their boats at shallow ramps without driving at least the rear wheels into the water  - or worse.
You could take your trailer to a welding shop to have the receiver for a removable extension welded in place, but that costs more too and is inconvenient.Instead, you can build your own removable extension with simple tools and readily available parts that bolt together. The other end of the steel extension tube slides into the steel receiver tube that is mounted on the trailer tongue - this receiver is just like the receiver piece on many trailer hitch class 2 or 3 receivers mounted on vehicles.
Hardware-store brackets were used to bolt the receiver in place.Can you spot the flaw in this arrangement? To launch, simply back the trailer to the head of the ramp at a level point, aligned so that you will go straight back. The 6-foot extension shown here along with its own hitch coupler and the receiver hardware attached to the trailer cost only $120 for parts and took about an hour to assemble.


The one shown here is 2 by 2 inches square (outer dimension) of steel a quarter inch thick and 8 feet long, providing a little more than 6 feet of extension. It comes with a half-inch hole in which you place a standard trailer hitch pin like the one shown (after drilling a hole in your extension tube to match).You may have to get creative with where and how you mount the receiver (available in 12- and 18-inch lengths) on top of or below the trailer tongue.
An engineer who was consulted was concerned what would happen with any twisting or sideways force on that mounting, so the boat owner decided to beef up the mount as shown here. This required a longer extension tube to achieve the desired extension, but the long extension piece is easily stowed along the bottom of the trailer as shown here. If you can't find heavy steel square tubing like this locally, you can order it online as low as about $75 for this length. In principle this works just the same as bolted-on version.A tongue extension is easy to use and makes launch and retrieval much easier.


The problem there is that the tongue of the trailer must be held up, requiring use of a wheeled tongue jack or other wheels once the trailer is unhitched.
On the vehicle end of the extension is mounted a standard hitch coupler, available in different bar sizes and for different size trailer balls. The spacers are needed to raise the receiver such that the extension clears the latch on top of the original trailer coupler. Some boaters go to the trouble to mount other, large wheels to support the tongue and then use a chain extender to let the trailer roll down and to haul it back up, but the chain approach doesn't offer the same control - and ultimately costs as much as or more than the simple tongue extension you can craft yourself.




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