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Old 10-17-2003, 10:16 AM   #15
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Lot to think about and different chain of events.

Back on the shorter argument.
If the hitch fails the trailer is going to slow from wind resistance 99% of the time. So the chain of event at this point is going to be all driver.

Driver panics and Moe's Chain of event with the Tounge going under is going to happen.

Driver doesn't panic and it will probably play out to my Chain of events As long as the trailer stay's in line with the tow vehicle.


What one happens...Hard to say. I have reacted much better in panic situation than I thought I would but that's never a guarantee that I'm going to always.

The gamble is what time do you want the Break away to activate. Using a Distirbution hitch with the load bars is going to play into this as well. I had not even thought about that till Moe mentioned it. Pretty good chance they will come free or yank the lever plates right off the tounge but it's not a guarantee.

Where the break away switch is located and teathered is also going to effect the activation point. Most of us have it on the top of the tounge and teather next to if not into the same tie in as our chains. So while you may thing that teather is shorter once everything is at an angle it won't be short enough to pull.
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Old 10-17-2003, 10:40 AM   #16
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Breakaway

Guys, you are scaringme to death! As a novice, (probably a dumb question) where, in your opinion is the best place to hook the breakaway

Gloria
69 Overlander
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Old 10-17-2003, 11:28 AM   #17
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Well, if you're concerned about the hitch breaking away from the truck, probably somewhere other than the hitch... maybe on the bumper.

WRT to panic, I'd consider that stepping on the brake. Panic or not, I think most would at least instinctively lift the throttle and slow the truck.

Whichever philosophy you follow, when parked, pull the breakaway cable back over the switch, wrap it around things and then lock the end in the latch padlock or whatever you use. That way, vandals and kids can't pull the pin out, ruin your magnets, drain the batteries if the trailer isn't plugged in, or detemper your axles if it is.
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Old 10-17-2003, 12:42 PM   #18
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very good discussion of a difficult topic.

One item I haven't seen mentioned here but did see elsewhere is a concern (fear) about the safety chains breaking, especially when pull taught by trailer brakes on full.

I put a summary of what I have heard so far at
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/ow...tch-setup.html

but this discussion clarifies a few things beyond that.
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Old 10-17-2003, 01:02 PM   #19
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wow

after reading this whole forum i am glad about a couple things
1. there are no mountains where i live
2. my trailer does not have a breakaway cable thus i don't have a choice of longer / shorter
3. also glad not one of those guys that drive 80 mph while pulling 31 foot trailer with motorcycles and fourwheelers in back of truck with kids and dog in the cab. (that is a major disaster just waiting)
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Old 10-17-2003, 01:27 PM   #20
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Re: Breakaway

Quote:
Originally posted by Gloria Pace
Guys, you are scaringme to death! As a novice, (probably a dumb question) where, in your opinion is the best place to hook the breakaway

Gloria
69 Overlander
Everything I have read or or when I had it explained to me it was to connect it ANYWHERE BUT the hitch.

If you wander about at a rally and look at the rear of some of the long time owners truck/suburbans they quite often have an eye bolt sticking out next to the liscense plate. This bolt is attached thru the bumper. The eye bolt is where they connect the breakaway cable. The bumper is not usally connected to the hitch. If the hitch breaks the pin will still pull.

As to towing without a breakaway. Anyone who does is exposing themselves to a tremendous liability should your hitch equiptment fail. a 2-3 ton trailer on the loose at 50-60 MPH with no brakes is not something I would want to be anywhere near. Also if you get stoopped for any infraction and the officer sees that you have incomplete saftey equiptment he could make you fix it right there before you can continue on a trip.

Best case the chains hold, the breakaway pops and you stop as a unit. Worse case the trailer and truck become detached and the traier stops as fast as the laws of physics allow with the brakes fully engaged. Ethier way you have bent metal and ruined trip, but a much lower risk than towing without the breakaway.

BTW almost all states require by law a breakaway and brakes on anything towed over 3000 LBS.
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Old 10-17-2003, 01:36 PM   #21
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hmmm

are you saying than that i should get out some wire and install a breakaway, obviously it was not standard ewuipment on this unit. guess i had not put much thought into needing to upgrade the safety of this rig, now that i think about it all of my previous power boats all had breakaway (well the trailerable ones any how) thanks for the slap in the face. i am going to do some investigation.

any one have any advice on a good manufacturer
has any one installed one lately have any ideas on cost?
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Old 10-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #22
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Check out This thread

Hope I did not slap too hard, just wanted to save you from the lawyers that seem to appear whenever there is a an accident.
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Old 10-17-2003, 02:14 PM   #23
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Re: hmmm

Quote:
Originally posted by FireFighter
are you saying than that i should get out some wire and install a breakaway, obviously it was not standard ewuipment on this unit.
Some of you who are more knowledgeable will know for sure, but I'm pretty sure yours came from the factory with a breakaway switch. I know my '70 Safari had one; a near-beer can sized cylinder with a brass center post pull. I'd guess some P.O. didn't know what it was on yours and removed it.

Roger
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Old 10-17-2003, 02:25 PM   #24
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new kid

not at all just hadn't thought about it that way, that i why i read this forum constantly, to gain knowledge.

thanks,
i am going to look for evidence of such a previous device have to put my coat on first. getting kind of cold here in michigan.
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Old 10-17-2003, 02:30 PM   #25
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Firefighter,
The switch for the electric brakes is pretty inexpensive IIRC somewhere in the $20 range.

Aaron
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Old 10-17-2003, 11:22 PM   #26
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BW switch

FF,

Most likely your trailer had one. My '66 had one that looked really old. (I replaced it in May) It could have been added after delivery however I think not.

And it is not an expensive thing to have. The benefits if needed will far far excede the cost.

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Old 10-17-2003, 11:29 PM   #27
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Testing Breakaway Switch?

Is there a way to test the breakaway switch to make sure it's functioning properly?
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Old 10-18-2003, 01:40 AM   #28
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Re: Testing Breakaway Switch?

Quote:
Originally posted by DMAYRES
Is there a way to test the breakaway switch to make sure it's functioning properly?
First, loosen ball until only a few threads are holding. Next, hook up trailer and search for a really bumpy and windy road. Sorry DMAYRES, I just couldn't resist. I would also be interested in knowing of a way to test the breakaway switch. A practical way, that is! Anyone?

bbb
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