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Old 04-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
Dana Point , California
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Safety chain size & length

I am the proud new owner of a diamond in the ruff '64 26' Overlander. I'm getting ready to tow her off from the previous owner but want to replace the rusted safety chain with a couple new ones before I head out with her.

Can anyone make a recommendation on size and length?


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Old 04-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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2012 Interstate Coach
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Welcome to the AirForums!

Places that sell safety chain should have a chart that shows chain size and strength. Rule of thumb, you want EACH chain to have a breaking strength at least equal to the Gross Trailer Weight of your trailer, whatever that happens to be. This gives you a 2-to-1 factor of safety when both are hooked up.

As for length, that's a little tougher to determine. When they're hooked up, both should be about the same length, and neither should touch the ground, but otherwise they should hang at least halfway to the ground at the lowest point of the catenary (that's the shape of a sagging chain), to make sure you've got enough slack in them for turns.

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
Dana Point , California
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks for your helpful info.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Your chain length is a function of your hitch system.
Chains should be equal length and long enough to cross each other, as they are to be hooked to opposite sides of the receiver, just beneath the hitch with clearance below the hitch.

With this arrangement if the hitch fails the tongue will drop onto the crossed chains and should be be held off the ground as you come to a stop.

If the chains are not crossed they will not support the tongue during a failure and there may be a conflict during turns if they a short.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-02-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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One of the overlooked items is the way the chains attach to your TV. Make sure you use forged hooks. That is often the "weak link".
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