How To Install A Folding Swing Tongue

Story And Photos By John Tiger
Published: Fall 2013

Shortening your rig by a few inches may make the difference between storing your boat and trailer in your garage and not.

Closeup photo of a swing tongue on a trailer

Your boat might sit outside all winter because it's too long to fit inside your garage with the door closed. If that's the case, you might benefit from adding a swing or removable trailer tongue. Many new rigs come with this as a standard or optional feature. If yours didn't, no worries: It's a fairly easy task to add one.

A folding or removable trailer tongue usually adds a few inches of overall length to the trailer. But the benefit is that by simply removing one pin, the tongue can be removed or folded to the side for more clearance in tight garages. A swing or removable tongue can shave off as much as two feet when in the storage position; oftentimes, that's just enough to allow the boat to fit where it couldn't before.

Measuring your tongue is critical before ordering the kit. Most are 2" x 3", 3" x 3", 3" x 4", or 3" x 5". Fulton makes kits in all these sizes, rated by weight capacity. Kits are available in either bolt-on or weld-on styles. If you're not a highly qualified, experienced welder, buy the bolt-on style. A poor welding job on the trailer tongue is a recipe for disaster.

If your trailer has brakes, you must install a coupling or a flexible hose section for the brake line that runs through the trailer frame. The tongue section cannot be folded back for storage without this feature because the brake line will collapse and break. Check into this with a local trailer repair shop before attempting to install the folding coupler kit.

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