Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-25-2008, 11:35 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,269
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Breakaway cable routing.

Hi, I have owned my trailer for four years and towed it thousands of miles. But now for the first time, I have had to replace my breakaway cable. This cable was run through the left safety chain and because of the chains being crossed, the cable was hooked to the right side of my tow vehicle. My chains never dragged on the street/ground, but on my last trip, first trip on snow and ice, my breakaway cable somehow wore into two pieces. My questions for you are, How do you run your breakaway cable? Does your cable run through the safety chains or did you route it differently? Pictures would be nice.

Picture on the left shows the original breakaway cable routing. Picture on the right shows how I re-routed my tongue jack and breakaway switch wires so they aren't pinched under my propane tank cover.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	My Picture CD 436 (Large).jpg
Views:	194
Size:	96.3 KB
ID:	72920   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0096 (Large).JPG
Views:	190
Size:	101.0 KB
ID:	72921  

__________________

__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 07:28 AM   #2
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Though I don't have pics (and won't have any until I hitch up in the spring), I don't intertwine the break away with the safety chains. I have my cable independent, looped through one of the holes on the adjustable hitch bar, then through the safety chain connector on the receiver, and finally connected to the draw bar hitch pin.

If I am reading your post correctly, you have the chain passing through the chain links. If this is correct, then my concern would be that if you do come uncoupled, the chains will pull, but will they pull enough to yank the pin? I know with my chains there is some slack, but not a lot. Having my cable path independent of the chains and attached to three points on the hitch seemed the most logical to me, with the greatest chance of the pin being pulled in an uncoupling scenario, but I am very eager to hear and learn what others are doing that may be more safe and effective.
__________________

__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I have owned my trailer for four years and towed it thousands of miles. But now for the first time, I have had to replace my breakaway cable. This cable was run through the left safety chain and because of the chains being crossed, the cable was hooked to the right side of my tow vehicle. My chains never dragged on the street/ground, but on my last trip, first trip on snow and ice, my breakaway cable somehow wore into two pieces. My questions for you are, How do you run your breakaway cable? Does your cable run through the safety chains or did you route it differently? Pictures would be nice.

Picture on the left shows the original breakaway cable routing. Picture on the right shows how I re-routed my tongue jack and breakaway switch wires so they aren't pinched under my propane tank cover.
Not sure where I read it, maybe the AS manual, but I am sure thar I have read specifically that it is not recommended to thread the breakaway cable through the safety chain as this could result in teh cable not functioning properly when needed.

I have just adjusted the length of mine so it cannot drag and I just try to route it completely loose and free of encumbrances.

Brian
__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
You do not want the cable to run as shown i your pictures. The switch plunger requires that it be pulled out in a straight line with the body of the switch. The cable wants to be shorter than the chains so it will be pulled tight before the cables reach their extended length.

I route my cable through a the safety pin that secures my tongue latch and then to the receiver. The routing through the insures that if the trailer brakes away the cable will be pull straight away from the switch.

The way your cable was run the cable would most likely not become stretched to a point of releasing the switch. If it did become stretched it would pull at a right angles to the switch and most likely brake the cable before releasing the switch.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
1998 28' Excella
Dolores , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 324
Robert:

When we attended the International at Salem a couple of years ago, the safety coordinator took a look at my breakaway cable. It was run through my safety chains and he quickly changed it for me. He ran the breakaway cable directly from the switch to an eyebolt that he had me screw into one of the license plates holder holes. He then had me use a small piton so it would snap to the eyebolt. The breakaway cable is long enough that we can make fairly sharp turns w/o pulling it and activating the emergency stop. He also told me that at least annually I should pull the emergency stop, lubricate it with vasaline and then reinsert the item back into the housing.
Have 18" of snow on the trailer now so can't get any pictures.
Good luck.

Bob
Member Four Corners Unit/CAC
WBCCI # 10105
AIR # 28748
__________________
dogpound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 10:56 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
The breakaway should be completely independent of any other hitch parts so it can activate the trailer brakes independently if needed without interference.

I just run the cable around the bumper to tie it off but an eyebolt on the bumper with a clip on the cable might be more convenient.

As Bob says, it is a good idea to check the switch once a year or so. You should do this with the umbilical detached as some brake controllers don't like brake voltage when they are connected. This also checks brake wiring. When you first hitch up in the spring, pull the umbilical, then the breakaway, then pull the trailer forward - all four wheels should skid. But don't leave the pin out of the switch for more than a few minutes to avoid overheating the brake magnets.

There is some debate about how to configure things for an emergency, Should the chains take up the load before the breakaway turns on the brakes - or vice versa? Your choice on this is determined by cable and chain links and configuration.

The idea is that you have a series of independent mechanisms, trailer on ball mount, chains to receiver, breakaway to tow vehicle. The reality, from what I have seen, is rather different as even dealers have done stupid things for convenience, like weave the breakaway cable through the safety chains or have chains or umbilicals that drag the ground.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
2011 27' FB Flying Cloud
Bradenton and Saluda , Florida & North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 176
Great Hitch Lock

Hi Bob, what is the hitch lock you have and the padlock on the top of the coupler lock?
__________________
ncbambi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
cammur's Avatar
 
2005 25' Safari
Roseville , California
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 235
My set-up is the same as Bob's, but I think he probably meant carabiner rather than piton as the easy-connector to the eyebolt on the license plate frame. It is easy to set up and makes sense, but it took explaining by a few safety people before I finally eneded up with this configuration.

It is not unheard of for a receiver or even bumper to disconnect from the TV - that is why you want the cable attached to the car body instead.
__________________
Cam
2005 25' Safari SS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Turbodiesel
WBCCI #3580 - Region 12 NorCal
AIR #8752
Roseville, CA
cammur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
1998 28' Excella
Dolores , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 324
Cam;

It is a carabiner, my fault. It looks like Robert has a Gorilla hitch lock. You can locate them by googling gorilla locks. The padlock he has is brass, I have the same padlock on mine. It very well may be a gorilla brand also.

Good luck.

Bob
4CU/CAC
__________________
dogpound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
cammur's Avatar
 
2005 25' Safari
Roseville , California
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 235
Which brings up another interesting point and a change in my practices.

I use a lock on my hitch in campgrounds, as Robert does in his picture (not a cable, just a clasp lock). For simplicity, I used to use the same lock as my pin while traveling, until someone pointed out that in an emergency, for instance a fire in either the trailer or the TV, you want to get the two separated as quickly as safely possible. That can be a problem if you need to fumble for a key or combination in a panic. So I now use a lock in campground, and a conventional pin while on the road.

We never stop learning.
__________________
Cam
2005 25' Safari SS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Turbodiesel
WBCCI #3580 - Region 12 NorCal
AIR #8752
Roseville, CA
cammur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 02:53 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Quote:
It is not unheard of for a receiver or even bumper to disconnect from the TV
The bumper and receiver are both solidly connected to the vehicle frame but should otherwise be independent. I think if you lost both the receiver and the bumper, you'd have much more interesting things to worry about than your breakaway connection.

Note that the safety chains are almost always connected to the receiver. So anywhere farther upstream should be adequate for the breakaway cable as long as it can handle the stress from pulling the pin loose, even at an angle.

Quote:
until someone pointed out that in an emergency, ... you want to get the two separated as quickly as safely possible.
I've heard this one, too, and don't give it much credence. If you are trying to do an emergency disconnect, just pull the pin on your ball mount shank, set the trailer brakes, and go. At any rate, the reality in my experience is that a padlock can often be easier to disconnect than a captured pin on the ball latch.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 03:14 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Happycampers's Avatar
 
1979 30' Argosy
Havelock , where we park it
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,652
Two things come to mind here. An old friend told me a long time ago, if my trailer comes loose from the truck the breakaway swich will be the last thing on my mind. And have you ever seen a trailer of any kind on fire? I don't think I am going any where close to propane tanks to fool around trying to unhook a trailer that is on fire. I have insurance on my truck too.

Marvin
__________________
Marvin & Annie
Niki (fur baby)
1979 Argosy 30 (Costalotta)
WBCCI 10103
"Happiness is a warm Puppy" Charles Schulz
Happycampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
1998 28' Excella
Dolores , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 324
Cam;

The reason I use a pad lock on my trailer while I am towing is that a few years back I had heard that when you pull into a truck stop, shopping center, etc. it was not uncommon for people to go around a pull the pins from the trailer hitch. Some friends of mine had their trailer get away from them and it totalled the TV and Trailer. Apparently some of their hitch pins had been pulled and this became an item of discussion at the safety meeting at the International in Salem. If I am going on a short tow I will use the pins because they are much easier to deal with then "fumbling" with a set of keys.
FWIW

Bob
Member 4CU/CAC
WBCCI 10105
AIR 28748
__________________
dogpound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 04:27 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
2000 25' Excella
Dunlap , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 35
Breakaway Cable Length

I agree with the way this conversation is progressing, however there is one other consideration that is important to me. That is the length of the power cord in relation to the length of the breakaway cable. I don't want my trailer to fall off of the ball, pull out the power cord, and be hanging on the chains without the breakaway cable pulling out of the emergency switch This leaves the trailer with no brakes at all! If the chains don't break when it falls off of the ball, I have no concern about them pulling apart when the brakes come on. The chain will already be taut, the only thing that will change will be the angle of pull. It won't be a jerk with slack.

I know that if you pull the breakaway pin with the vehicles stopped and attempt to move ahead, the tires should slide. If this happens at road speed I would expect that it brakes hard to stop, but does not not lock up the wheels.

My breakaway cable is adjusted to pull the pin at the same time that the power cord disconnects. I never want to be headed down a mountain side, or even a big hill with the trailer hanging on the chains and no way to stop it except with the tow vehicle brakes!

Saddletramp
__________________

__________________
Saddletramp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breakaway Cable Length - What do you do? DreamStreamr Hitches, Couplers & Balls 77 09-21-2017 02:38 PM
Pipe Routing trevel Fresh Water Systems 4 12-15-2006 10:17 AM
Genset exhaust routing ? TheGanzman General Motorhome Topics 7 12-06-2005 09:05 AM
Trailer breakaway cable wayner1239 Brakes & Brake Controllers 47 12-08-2003 07:13 PM
Electric fuel pump and fuel line routing cooperhawk Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 7 02-06-2003 11:16 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.