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Old 10-18-2003, 01:49 AM   #29
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testing testing

brad etal,

you can test your breakaway by unplugging your umbilical cord, then pulling the pin on the breakaway.

then drive forward, brakes should apply within a couple of feet.

reinstall the pin within 5 min. as andy pointed out to prevent damage to your magnets!

the reason for unplugging the cord is to prevent damage to your brake controller.

thats it!

john
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Old 10-20-2003, 03:31 PM   #30
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Breakaway

Need ideas about the optimum location for breakaway switch, chains, (propane tanks) and all that assorted stuff on the tongue. Hoping to buy a Reese dual cam when I get back on the road.
Meanwhile, everything is off the tongue and I would like your ideas (or pictures) of the best set-up for safety (1st), ease of operation (2nd) and looks (3rd). Here's a picture with my idea for the chain attachment point.
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Old 10-20-2003, 05:54 PM   #31
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here is what i have...

mark

this is the stock set up on my '92. it is just a "c" shaped piece welded on the bottom of the hitch.

your setup you pictured might work fine, i would be concerned with the chains interfering with your wd bars.

here is a pic.

john
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Old 10-20-2003, 05:58 PM   #32
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also...

you may want to consider adding a light to the jack mast. makes departures under the cover of darkness a snap!

the break away is mounted on the nearest jack bolt with a simple bracket.

john
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Old 10-20-2003, 06:05 PM   #33
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markdoane

I'd suggest you look at the Equal-i-zer rather than the dual cam for a new hitch. Works just as well for handling but is much simpler mechanically and does not require additional brackets on the A frame. Either hitch will need due consideration for the main propane feed line, usually.

Propane tanks need to be mounted to clear any windows yet far enough back to avoid binding in very tight turns. If you plan on a dual cam you will also need to accomodate any conflicts between the cam brackets and the propane bracket. There are some custom brackets for tanks but a couple of angle irons welded to the frame work, too.

The breakaway switch needs to be mounted just to the side of the jack post. I attached it to the propane bracket but there are also some special brackets that can be used.

On the side of the jack post opposite the breakaway switch you might consider a guide for the electrical power/signals cable.

If starting from scratch, you might also consider installing a flag pole holder.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:50 PM   #34
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does this make sense

when talking about what should be longer the chains or the emergensy cable, i have read all of the forum and pondered on it quite a while this is my conclusion.

1. i don't want to activate the emergency switch unless this trailer is not hooked to my tow vehicle

this is how i plan on making this happen

if the emergency cable is longer than the chains and the umbilical wiring is longer than the chains if the trailer comes off ball then i still have control over the trailer because the umbilical is still attached therefore when i brake in the tow vehicle the trailer brakes are applied, however if the chains fail and the trailer breaks free the emergency is pulled.

what does everyone think, in my own mind i believe that i have solved the riddle.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:55 PM   #35
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Firefighter,

You have described exactly what I went for when I towed a trailer.

I think if you have the breakaway activate while the trailer is attached by safety chains the unit will do exactly that, breakaway. Of course this is at highway speed. If the trailer is no longer conected to the tow vehicle I want it to stop as fast as possible.

I tow my Saturn with a breakaway for the same reason.
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Old 10-21-2003, 09:31 AM   #36
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Opinion--re Breakaway

Let’s consider the dynamics of the most typical breakaway situations. The actual cause of the tow vehicle/trailer separation will most likely be uncoupling, ball pin failure, or a support weld failure caused by repeated stress/vibration. The breakaway separation will probably happen during one of two scenarios.

1. At relatively slow speed while traversing really rough terrain, at which the safety chains would probably have a chance to stay intact. I say probably, because the trailer (say 5000 lbs) is decelerating at a significant rate (remember, at this point we are assuming a bumpy/rough/soft terrain), the tongue may or may not make contact with the ground and dig in, and neither the driver nor the breakaway emergency brakes will have a chance to react when the first “jerk” on the safety chains is felt. Due to this combined deceleration (bumps, soft terrain, length of safety chain, tow vehicle acceleration(?)) the “jerk” on the safety chain may or may not be two or three times the magnitude of the mass of the trailer. If the trailer stays attached to the tow vehicle, breakaway brakes should be activated with the tow chain still attached to both the trailer and tow vehicle. Score one for the driver with a decent sized tow vehicle matched to his trailer, and appropriate size safety chain, regardless of how heavy the chain is or how difficult it is to hook up.
2. At elevated speeds (45-60 mph) due to road roughness, constant vibration, and fatigue failure. At highway speeds, the “jerk” on the safety chains will be amplified many times (Mass times acceleration, velocity squared-distance of acceleration, or something like that), and it could well be a blessing that the safety chains would fail. (Score one for the people who use porch swing chains for safety chains.) If the chains fail at the first “jerk”, the tow vehicle is separated from the trailer, and, assuming the tow vehicle has enough mass/stability, the driver has a good chance of stopping the tow vehicle without rolling over or cutting doughnuts on the interstate. The trailer, however, at speed, is a different matter. If the trailer totally separates from the tow vehicle at speed, there is nothing short of a miracle to keep it from rolling the first time it gets more or less perpendicular to the line of travel, in which case breakaway brakes would do no good whatsoever. And if it doesn't separate, it's taking the tow vehicle out with it. Pity the bloke who is pulling 7,000 lb trailer with a tow vehicle rated only at 5,000 lbs in this scenario.

My strategy -- I would opt for the brakes to be applied while the safety chains are still intact. My opinion only, I know there are other theories and thought processes that would shoot holes in my thinking.

The above was written in less time than it takes to drink an adult beverage, and it's free, so that is about what it is worth. Each situation depends on the integrity and strength of the safety chains, the mounting and weld characteristics of the chain mounts, your tow vehicle, your trailer, and how you position your tongue in your mouth while you hook up the chains. Safety is the responsibility of the driver. The only way we can free ourselves of lawyers and politicians is to use a modicum of common sense in our daily lives, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. DON’T PULL A BIG TRAILER WITH A LITTLE VEHICLE. The life you save may be my own.

Thanks RoadKing Moe, John HD, Pahaska, Toaster, Pick, and all the rest. ALL good advice. Bottom line, don’t let yourself get into an emergency situation, inspect, double check, and don’t do anything stupid.
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:07 AM   #37
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Thank you, John and Bryan for your ideas. On my chain attachment. I will incorporate all.
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:10 PM   #38
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In the event of the above scenario no matter the speed.

It's gonna be a bad day!

So no matter how ya hook things up, and no matter how long or short the chains, power cable and the breakaway switch cable, it's gonna be a mess. So if in doubt about hitch equipment, replace it or park it. And do your best to tow safe.

>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 10-21-2003, 07:07 PM   #39
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An excellent discussion. Thanks.

Do I have to travel with my trailer battery switch in the on position in order for the emergency brake to activate?
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:28 AM   #40
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I'll add my 2 cents, FWIW...

I, too, attended the Reese Siminar @ the Region 6 Rally in Chattanooga. I believe the point the Reese Rep was making was that he had too much slack in his breakaway switch, which allowed for a small branch or limb to get caught up in a loop of his cable when turning in off the highway going into the campground; thus, pulling out the pin in the breakaway switch, causing a sudden and unexpected stop. Fortunately, for him, he was going very slowly, making a turn into the driveway, and didn't hurt anything, except to give him a few seconds of heart pounding and head scratching concern 'cause the rear end of his 34 footer was sticking out into the street. Based on this unusual experience, he suggested that we shorten our breakaway cable from the originally supplied length to prevent something on the road tangling in the excess loop. resulting in an unintentional stop. I think this was good advice, and I am removing some of the excess length from mine.

Jim
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:55 AM   #41
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Is it a good idea to "lock" the chains to the receiver for xtra safety
with a padlock or at least with a closed hook (mountain climbing style)

Hart
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:07 AM   #42
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Most padlocks will not meet the weight requirements from a saftey standpoint. I have used a shackle an a connector link like these. They are rated by weight and will not come off unless you take them off.
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