tongue receiver help needed

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Sep 10, 2010
I'm working on a trailer with a 2x3 O.D. x1/8 tongue and want to attach a 2x2 I.D. x 1/4 receiver to it (to interchange couplers/eyes etc). Should I notch the 2x3 at 2" and put the receiver over it? Notch the top or bottom of the 2x3 and insert the receiver? something else?
I'd appreciate any ideas.
Pictures would help, but I think I get it. What is the ground to top of the 2x3 tube distance when the trailer is sitting level? What is the distance from the ground to the top of the hitch on the tow rig?
You want the trailer to tow level with whatever load it normally carries. Preferable is when you can do that with little to no drop in the slider.
right now the trailer tongue is centered exactly at my hitch height. I can raise the trailer an inch with longer shackles if necessary.
I'm wondering what the strongest way to attach the receiver to the tongue is.
How much exposed 2x3 tube is there between the end and the first thing welded to it? What tools are available to make the cut(s)? Is lengthening the tongue desired, optional, or not wanted? Do you have the ability to drill multiple ~1" holes?

Let's say that there is 18" of exposed 2x3 tube. What I would do is to cut the bottom 1" off the tube for nearly that full 18" length.
Buy a 2 foot long receiver socket tube and insert each of the likely couplers in it one at a time. Measure from the opposite end down inside the tube to the insert, find the longest one. Subtract 1/4"-1/2" from the longest insert's measurement for operating clearance. This is your cut length.
Mark this length also on the top and sides of the receiver tube and lay out and cut/drill several ~1" holes in that length on each of the 3 sides. I would not align them, offset them.
Make the cut on the trailer tongue and then slide the receiver tube over it. Weld the receiver tube to the tongue tube thru the holes. I would not weld around the end of the receiver tube as that has the potential to do more damage than good by creating a stress riser all the way around the tongue tube (effectively says "snap here please").
Take a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" thick strap (no need to be thicker than the tongue tube's wall thickness) say 12"-18" long and 1-1/2" wide and miter the ends. They don't need to come to a point, but you definitely don't want a full width square end. Form it to be 1/2 on the bottom of the original tongue tube and 1/2 on the bottom of the receiver tube. Weld it into place. You're looking at a step of about 1/2" so taking a pie cut out of the bottom of the tongue tube to make the transition angled instead of abrupt would be a very good idea.
thanks for the detailed suggestion. I hadn't though about stress risers. What do think about just notching the tongue at the 2" mark to slide the receiver over it instead of adding the strap to the bottom?

That could work, but will leave a very unfinished look to the assembly.

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