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Old 04-08-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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Breakaway Switch Cable Routing

What is the best way to route and connect the breakaway switch cable? On our 2007 Safari our Vegas Airstream dealer (now out of business) weaved the cable through the safety chain and attached it to the safety chain hook. When we hitched and unhitched we only had to disconnect the two safety chains.

On our new Flying Cloud the dealer, Airstream Adventures NW, told us the breakaway switch cable has to be independently attached to the hitch receiver in addition to the two safety chains. He said it was required (by law?) to be independent.

I had never thought about it before. What is the opinion of the experts? Is there a requirement that the breakaway switch be attached independently of the safety chains?
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:31 AM   #2
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...ing-79149.html
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:17 AM   #3
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According to DOT rules your breakaway cable must be attached to a solid mounting point seperate from your hitch. You cannot hook the cable thru the chains, to the chain hooks if they are attached to your hitch. or any other part of your hitch at all. The reasoning is if you have a catastrophic failure of the hitch and it was attached to the hitch then the breakaway possibly, could not function correctly; however if the cable was attached to something solid and not to the hitch then it should cause the breakaway to work as it should if something were to happen to the hitch. Also MAKE SURE YOUR BATTERY IN THE CAMPER IS FUULY CHARGED AND YOUR TOW VEHICLE IS KEEPING YOUR BATTERY IN THE CAMPER CHARGED WHEN HOOKED UP. If your battery is not charger your breakaway hitch wll not work, that is what causes your breakaway box to engage if it is needed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
What is the best way to route and connect the breakaway switch cable? On our 2007 Safari our Vegas Airstream dealer (now out of business) weaved the cable through the safety chain and attached it to the safety chain hook. When we hitched and unhitched we only had to disconnect the two safety chains.
I've seen that done before. It's irresponsible, and could kill someone. And it could rightly result in you getting a ticket if the cops see it. The breakaway switch won't function if the cable is set up this way.

Quote:
On our new Flying Cloud the dealer, Airstream Adventures NW, told us the breakaway switch cable has to be independently attached to the hitch receiver in addition to the two safety chains. He said it was required (by law?) to be independent.
He's right.

Quote:
I had never thought about it before. What is the opinion of the experts? Is there a requirement that the breakaway switch be attached independently of the safety chains?
Laws vary from state to state. What does not vary is that people are killed every year by trailers that have separated from the tow vehicle and crossed into oncoming traffic. Most of these crashes result from the coupler coming off the ball, but there are some where the hitch head comes out of the receiver or the receiver breaks free of the frame.

Ideally the breakaway cable should be independent of all these components. I have a footman loop on the tailgate of my pickup that I use as an attachment point. On my Suburban I've been using the bumper, which is separate from the aftermarket hitch.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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What is a "footman loop"? Do you have a photo you can share?

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Old 04-08-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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Like this:

http://www.cargosystems.com/store/images/P/43977-10.jpg

They're intended for holding straps for securing midsized objects, but they work well as a general-purpose anchor for placement on sheet metal. They won't poke you in the side like a screw eye if you brush up against them. I do have some paint wear from where the catch rubs.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
OrangeKid
 
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Thanks to all the responses. I will route the breakaway cable independently. I'll probably use the Zip breakaway cable mentioned in one the other threads.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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My breakaway cable has a loop in it as it came from the manufacture. I tow with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a lift gate. I use an Andersen hitch which needs a large socket wrench to adjust it.

So, what I do it put the big socket wrench through the loop of the break away switch, toss it on the floor of the rear compartment, and close the lid. The connection is completely independent of the hitch and cannot pull out. It also helps me not leave the wrench at the campsite.
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