The name may sound a bit weird but it has a very practical use. These boxes provide extra storage when you need them. Plus, they ride on the tongue so you are not losing any valuable trailer space anywhere else. Making use of available areas is always a smart move to make.
If you are a DIY person, creating a storage box that sits on the tongue of your trailer will not be a hard task. You have so many options at your disposal that your hardest decision will be deciding which material to use. Aluminum is a lightweight metal that won’t add a lot of weight to your trailer.
To learn more about making your own DIY trailer tongue box just continue to read our article. It is filled with ideas, instructions, and other information you may find helpful. Take a few minutes to see what you can do to that empty space between your trailer and tow vehicle.
When you look at the front of your trailer and you see the empty tongue just sitting there, it can inspire you to build your own tongue box for extra storage. The purpose of the box doesn’t matter. What does matter will be the size and materials you use.
Those materials need to be weather resistant as well as large enough to hold different items. Also, they have to be light enough to avoid going overweight. This delicate problem has people using plastic, vinyl, wood, aluminum, and other materials to build their own tongue box.
Some people have adapted plastic bins and used those. These bins do not add a lot of weight and are resistant to the elements so they make a good DIY option that does not require a lot of work or materials.
Plus, you can get them in different sizes so you can go large without worrying about adding too much weight. The last key you will need to worry about is making sure what you build will fit the design of the tongue without interfering with the propane tanks or the bumper.
Tools are always needed when you are on the road enjoying your golden years. You never know when something will break and needs to be fixed right away. Having your tools in an accessible spot makes the repair go a lot quicker.
There are several factors you need to consider when building this too box. One is the size. You will only have so much room to work with. Two, you have to decide the type of tools you want to store inside. Three, what materials are you going to use.
One person had cedar siding on his trailer so he went and built a cedar tool box to go with the siding. This is a good lightweight material to use but it needs lots of protection against the elements. If you are good at woodworking, this should not be a difficult job to do.
It looks like it measures 3 by 3 by 1 1/2 feet in size giving you lots of room for your tools. The thing you need to be concerned about is how the weight will affect handling. You may have to move other parts to keep the weight down.
There are lots of good ideas out there and a little brainstorming should get you to most of them as long as you remain practical and realistic. One idea was to use a diamond plate as the exterior walls and lid.
This is probably the toughest option you will have as it will take a lot of work to get it to the right dimensions and have the lid open without hassles. The problem with this idea is the weight issue.
Next, you could go with aluminum and it seems to be a perfect choice as it is easy to handle, lightweight and resists rust. The size of these boxes will depend on your tongue design and other factors including how much weight you are going to have once you are done.
Other people have used plywood or other wood materials to make their box a little lighter. Wood is the easiest to work with when you are starting from scratch and most people know how to use saws, screws, hammers, drills, and so on.
Finally, the easiest option would be to go to your favorite box store and buy a sturdy plastic bin. These are the lightest of all the options and you already have walls, and a lid built for you.
The key here is to find the right materials to attach the bin to the tongue. Then you would need to attach hinges and a lock to keep the contents secure.
The steps are fairly simple and are usually very similar in the initial stages with other projects. The first step you take is to measure the available space available. Knowing your dimensions helps you design the perfect tongue box.
After measuring, decide on the materials you want to use.No matter which material you use, you still have to have the right metal posts that will attach to the box and the tongue frame.
One option is to use 1-inch square tubing that has a lot of pre-drilled holes in it. This gives you ample room to adapt the tubing to the tongue to make everything fit. Cut the tubing to size and then place them on the tongue to mark the spots where you will need to drill.
Then using a 3/8 drill bit, drill your holes and attach the square tubing to the tongue with 3/8 inch bolts. Next mark on the bottom of your wood or plastic box where you need to drill some more holes.
Turn the box upside down and drill your holes. Taking extra care when you are using a plastic bin. Plastic does not drill the same as wood does. Once the holes are in place, use the same sized bolts, with washers and attach the box to the square tubing.
That is the simplest way to get the job done.
Since trailers come in all different sizes and designs, this area is going to be up to your specific situation. You may not have propane tanks up front to worry about or you may have to relocate them so you have the space for your tongue box.
The size you make it depends totally on the available space you have to work with, the design of the trailer front, and the tongue shape. Plus, it will depend on what you want to place inside the box. Small items do not need a lot of space.
As for the material, you need to decide this for yourself as the weather in the region you are traveling as well as your budget and skills will influence what materials you will use.
Both steel and aluminum are long-lasting but they may add a little too much weight to the tongue. Don’t forget to factor in your tongue weight capacity. Plastic will be your lightest material so choose the material that will fit your purpose.
This may take a little bit of hard searching to come up with some great tongue box plans. There are so many DIY box plans on the internet that the tongue box options are lost in the crowd. With that said, you should be able to find some at Pinterest.
That website seems to have lots of plans that may fit your trailer design. If you are handy, you should be able to adapt some toy box plans to meet your needs. The toy boxes are usually made from wood, are sturdy and with the right adaption would work as a tongue box.
For metal, it may be best to talk to a welder or fabricator to get the best plans to create your tongue box. Having some expert advice will help you be more successful. Adapting a flower box plan would also work in some cases.
The major problem with building a tongue box for your propane tanks is that they cannot be stored in closed containers. When the pressure builds up, the propane tanks have to vent out to the open air. Enclosing them like a tool box is asking for trouble.
However, you can make a nice-looking tongue box for propane tanks. You can have a nice lid that opens up to add or remove the tanks but then the bottom would have to be open to let the air inside and ventilate the tanks.
Your design will have to meet that requirement whether you have one or more propane tanks on your trailer tongue. Plastic may be used and this will keep the tongue weight down but make sure to cut the plastic to fit the requirement.
While you can build your own here, that will be a lot of work. There are far too many pre-built options for sale at all the usual hardware, box stores, and RV accessory outlets that it would be cheaper to buy than to make.
The key to making your own, if you still want to do that, is to make sure the box is large enough to hold the generator you already own. take careful measurements and double-check before you start cutting or welding.
Some people have added a slide-out shelf making access to the generator’s parts much easier. That will take some special skills to get that sliding shelf to move just right. Special attention will be needed for the extension cord opening along with any other cords and cables you will attach to the device.
One owner used a plastic bin as the frame for his battery box. The bin already has the floor, walls, and lid in place saving you a lot of work. They attached the bin using square tubing which in turn was attached to the tongue in 2 parallel lines.
That is the easy part. The hard part is creating all the openings in the bin for the waterproof conduit you will need to use. Then have them fit tight so no water leaks inside the bin or the trailer.
The conduit goes from the back of the bin to the front of the trailer and then underneath the trailer to where it needs to hook up. Inside the bin, there should be a board placed near the top of the bin to hold wires, cut-off switch, a 30 amp breaker, and a 2 amp battery charger.
Seal the bin well so that the elements and moisture cannot get inside at any point. if you need pictures, here is a link to one option.
Mounting is actually one of the least of your worries. You already know where the tongue box can sit and the first step is to mark the spots where you will drill. Second, drill the holes in the tongue first then in your box second.
Align the holes and then use lag bolts and washers. lag bolts will be the strongest option you have and they come in a variety of sizes to meet the design of your tongue. A good socket set will tighten the bolts down.
Building your own tongue box takes a little ingenuity and skill. It is a good project for those who are handy and if you use the right materials. Weight and size will be the most important keys to building an accessible tongue box that holds up for years.