Canoe Trailer

Dave Osborn

I have a boat trailer that I'm thinking about making into a 4 place canoe hauler. Does anybody have a tongue length measurement to the first upright, then length between uprights?
Photos or other input on modifying a boat trailer is welcomed as well!!

Ssmooothing it in the Northwoods!
Dave O.
My boat trailer is for a small boat. I can get the 8' tongue, but only 5' between the uprights. BUT, the rack on my Tahoe is only 44" between. Anybody see why that wouldn't be adequate for 4 canoes??
The short answer is yes, an eight foot tongue with five feet between the uprights should be fine with four canoes. A longer answer requires more details like how long are the canoes and will you need to be backing this trailer into tight spaces at odd angles?

I prefer to have the distance between the uprights be about one third to one half of the length of the canoe so your trailer would be perfect for a ten to fifteen foot canoe and your Tahoe rack would be best for an eight to eleven foot one. If you only have eight feet of tongue between the hitch and the first upright then this may only leave about three feet between the front of a fifteen foot canoe and the rear of the towing vehicle. A longer canoe may hit your vehicle if you need to back the trailer at a sharp angle sometime. Some of the pictures at include modified boat trailers.

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My small boat trailer modified for canoes has the tongue at 8'3", and 7'2" between the trees. It carries four boats.

I'll agree with Benson's recommendation of 1/3 to 1/2 of the canoe's length between the uprights. My 12' whitewater boat looks pretty shaky on the trailer -- just not much of either end sticking out. It stays on well in transit, but just looks less secure than longer boats. Fourteen & 18-footers work well on it.