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Old 07-18-2015, 05:11 PM   #1
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Proper Use of Safety Chains

My chains appear to hang too low when routed under the coupler. I have started routing them over the head as indicated in the attached pictures. Is there a problem with connecting the chains in this manner?Click image for larger version

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Old 07-18-2015, 05:18 PM   #2
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Pat why not either give them an extra twist or use a bungee cord to life up the sag? Looks like you might get some binding with them draped over the hitch.

Will be interested to see the rest of the comments. Put your flame retardant suit on
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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I would run them "under" as in the first photo, and then simply shorten the chains to the correct length using the quick links you have there at the ends of the chains.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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No, that is NOT a good solution to the problem. You need to shorten the chains. Are the quick links on the trailer rated for the weight of the trailer? If yes, then shorten the chains by moving them a few links. 2 or 3 oughta do it.

The chains are supposed to hold the tongue of the trailer up off the ground in case the hitch or ball fails. They way you have them over the hitch head, if the hitch fails, the head will dig into the road. Not a good thing.

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Old 07-18-2015, 06:15 PM   #5
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That doesn't look good. Also be careful making the chains too short. I twisted mine last time out a little too short and the were binding on tight turns.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:21 PM   #6
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Thanks folks! And no flame retardant suit needed! Maybe a knock in the head would be better! I have been towing off and on for a number of years and never knew about the the quick links. Moving it three to four should be plenty. Thanks for taking it easy on me!


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Old 07-18-2015, 07:42 PM   #7
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My chains are a little long. I just twist them to take up the slack.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:48 PM   #8
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I can't stand twisted chains. If they do get used, that increases the stress on the chains a lot. Granted, they probably won't get used and even if they do, they probably won't fail, but I'd still just shorten rather than twist.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:52 PM   #9
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I don't want to shorten them because the place I hook them is in a different spot on my different tow vehicles.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I don't want to shorten them because the place I hook them is in a different spot on my different tow vehicles.
Then use a proper rated quick links, and just let the extra links hang free when you need them shorter.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:08 PM   #11
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Pat just thinking while typing to get the correct length go to a parking lot, do a tight circle and then check length. That way you would have enough length not to bind while turning/backing.

But looking at your tongue length I'd hazard a guess that if you adjusted them to length for not binding that the head would still hit the ground due to the overall length needed due to the long shaft on the receiver.

And I'm going to take a look at mine again for the same reasons.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:49 PM   #12
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Our chains are "just" long enough to NOT BIND when turning. Still, they are near the ground,,, so, I hitch up then I have a bungee which I hook to chain and run over the hitch to the other side. I do that near the "midpoint" of the chains and it holds them at perfect length, keeping them above the roadway.

If I had multiple TVs I would have a simple "chain extension" which I leave on the " longer" reach TV
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:27 AM   #13
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How about multiple hooks to match the multiple tow vehicles, placed at different points in the chain?

When you need the shorter chain, double back and connect the end hook into the chain to keep from dangling.

Most likely not a solution if you have more than two tow vehicles, too many hooks.


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Old 07-19-2015, 12:31 PM   #14
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We had the same problem with the safety chains being a little too long. I solved it by using a couple of zip-ties to take up some of the slack. Just loop a zip-tie through a link of the chain near where it attaches to the A-frame of the trailer and pull in just enough links to keep the chain from dragging on the ground (but not so many links that you can't make sharp turns). This shortens the chain and if there is ever an emergency that requires the chains to go into action, the zip-ties will simply snap and fall away leaving the full length of chain available for use.
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