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Old 04-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #15
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Then you just have to weave them.
Weaving them is no better than twisting them, in terms of strength loss.

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Both of our Airstreams have two safety chains. One attached to the right side of the "A" frame and one attached to the left side of the "A" frame. Is this not the correct way for them to be attached to the trailer?
Every trailer I've seen has each safety chain attached at a different point, one on the left, the other on the right. That is the traditional way, and certainly correct.

That doesn't mean that a single attachment point underneath on the centerline is necessarily wrong. Depending on how far back on the centerline it is, the chains may still keep the tongue from plowing pavement, because the two sides of the A-frame might rest on the chains, instead of the tongue resting on them. But if they're too far forward on the centerline, ahead of the A-frame, they'd do no good in that regard.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #16
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OK, who's up for a test?!

Hook up your trailer as you normaly do, then unhook and set your tounge down on the safety chains. Do they really stop the tounge and the associated other stuff (sway bars, jack....) from hitting the pavement? What does happen to the sway bars?

Thinking through this some more, do you really even want the tounge cradled in the chains? When you realize the trailer is unhooked, you probably are goint to simutaneously crap yourself and slam on the brakes. Unless your trailer brakes are set perfectly, you are liable to introduce your propane tanks to your trunk!

I kinda think I would prefer if the trailer became "a plow", hopefully a somewhat controlled one.
That is frankly an irresponsible attitude and could cost you if your trailer gets loose and damages someone's property or (much worse) injures someone. You seem to recognize that slamming hard on the brakes with the trailer down on the chains is a bad idea, so just don't do that, or adjust your brake controller better.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:13 PM   #17
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Weaving them is no better than twisting them, in terms of strength loss.
Ok I should of added a smiley . I cross my chains on both the Airstream and the boat trailer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:41 PM   #18
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Personally in a catastrophic separation I would rather my trailer be " in my trunk" then in someone else's face. Oh, and bye-the-way I also cross the chains and connect the hooks from the top.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #19
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I cross the chains under the hitch, twisting them to get the right amount of slack, and I'm glad that I do. Last year, I went to hook up the trailer. I took the ball carrier out of my van, and inserted it into the receiver. For some reason, I was distracted at that point - phone call, went inside to get something I remembered, or something else. I backed the van, dropped the trailer onto it, and finished hooking up the chains and electric. I took off, headed for home. Crossed some railroad tracks, heard a loud noise, and saw that the Airstream behind me was at a strange angle, nose down. Pulled over to the side, and found that I had not inserted the pin to hold the carrier in the receiver! The carrier pulled out when I went over the tracks, and was now suspended in the crossed chains. Damage? Well, if you drop the nose of your trailer, it lands on the jack, which had gouged a groove in the asphalt. I was afraid that I had bent the jack post, but it worked fine. The bottom of the shaft was mis-shapen, which I later smoothed out with a grinder so that I could fit the foot on it again. Jacked the nose up, backed the van up a bit, removed the carrier from the chains and reinstalled it in the receiver correctly. Hooked back up and went on my way. Lesson learned.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
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Just to clarify, I never said to not use chains. Is the assumption that if the tounge hits the ground your chains fail?

I was just going thru the geometery of the failure in my head.

I suspect that 100% of the purpose of the chains is to stop your trailer from leaving your vehicle while you come to a controlled stop. How this best happens to prevent injury and lessen damage is my question.

Sorry for being irresponsible. And yes, I always cross my chains.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #21
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I cross the chains under the hitch, twisting them to get the right amount of slack, and I'm glad that I do. Last year, I went to hook up the trailer. I took the ball carrier out of my van, and inserted it into the receiver. For some reason, I was distracted at that point - phone call, went inside to get something I remembered, or something else. I backed the van, dropped the trailer onto it, and finished hooking up the chains and electric. I took off, headed for home. Crossed some railroad tracks, heard a loud noise, and saw that the Airstream behind me was at a strange angle, nose down. Pulled over to the side, and found that I had not inserted the pin to hold the carrier in the receiver! The carrier pulled out when I went over the tracks, and was now suspended in the crossed chains. Damage? Well, if you drop the nose of your trailer, it lands on the jack, which had gouged a groove in the asphalt. I was afraid that I had bent the jack post, but it worked fine. The bottom of the shaft was mis-shapen, which I later smoothed out with a grinder so that I could fit the foot on it again. Jacked the nose up, backed the van up a bit, removed the carrier from the chains and reinstalled it in the receiver correctly. Hooked back up and went on my way. Lesson learned.
Exactly perfect, EXCEPT for the "twist the chains to get the right amount of slack." There are better ways to get the right amount of slack, that don't weaken the chain.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #22
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Exactly perfect, EXCEPT for the "twist the chains to get the right amount of slack." There are better ways to get the right amount of slack, that don't weaken the chain.

Exactly perfect?

Except the chains did not bear the weight of the trailer. The jack did. Exactly my point.

So the reciever came out, dropped into the cradle, he hit the brakes, trailer went forward enough for cradle to drop. Jack drags while stopping preventing trailer from smacking TV.

Am I missing something here?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:10 PM   #23
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Personally in a catastrophic separation I would rather my trailer be " in my trunk" then in someone else's face. Oh, and bye-the-way I also cross the chains and connect the hooks from the top.
Sounds good to me.....

I think having the break-away connected to the vehicle bumper, whether it be an eye bolt through the license frame or some other manner may also be a good idea in case the failure is the entire receiver becoming detached from the tow vehicle.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #24
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Exactly perfect?

Except the chains did not bear the weight of the trailer. The jack did. Exactly my point.

So the reciever came out, dropped into the cradle, he hit the brakes, trailer went forward enough for cradle to drop. Jack drags while stopping preventing trailer from smacking TV.

Am I missing something here?
Sort of. I was describing precautions as perfect (except for the "twisting" part). The chains aren't adjusted tight enough to prevent the jack from dragging; I suspect that if you adjusted them that tight, you wouldn't be able to turn. But while the jack is designed for load-baring (while the trailer is parked) it's not a structural part of the trailer. Even if you snap off the jack entirely, you don't render the trailer untowable.

Having the jack plow pavement is a whole lot better than the trailer tongue plowing pavement. If the tongue digs in at high speeds, the trailer could pitchpole (like pole-vaulting over the tongue), not just drag, if it hits a pothole or something. I've only seen it happen once, luckily with a U-haul box trailer and not an Airstream, but that once was enough! I'm just glad it wasn't me that was towing!
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #25
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Would somebody with a late model trailer go out and take a look where the safety chains attach to the trailer frame?

Mine can't be the only one with one steel loop welded to the frame, and both safety chains attached to that one loop, or . . . is it? This is a 2012, my 2007 safety chains were attached separately.

There is no crisscrossing to form a cradle here.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #26
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Safety chains attached at same point at frame.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #27
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My question is where did you get the mounts for your flag pole holder?
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #28
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My question is where did you get the mounts for your flag pole holder?
"Sandlapper" a forum member makes and sells them as a unit with the 3 or 5 hole flagpole holder. They are sturdy, look factory, and fit perfectly.

Airstream Forums - View Profile: sandlapper

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