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Old 04-05-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
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Safety chain Hooks up/down?

I have the clevis type of hooks as supplied from Air Stream on our AS and was wondering, does it matter if the opening in the hook faces up or down, which method is the best?
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:36 AM   #2
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Hooks face down. Or to put it in other terms, attach to the receiver from above, not from below.

You want the strongest and thickest part of the hook to be load-bearing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:02 AM   #3
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Thanks, Protagonist.
Just needed to know the correct method, I've seen both ways and wasn't really sure.
Thanks again,
Denny
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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clevis pins

Facing up or down is misleading. When your clevis pins have no load on them the open end should face your trailer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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Opinions differ. Some trailer manufacturers agree with me, that in the event the trailer tongue comes off the hitch ball, you want the load on the strongest part of the hook.

Others agree with searcher, on the basis that if the hook faces down, a rock thrown up by the tow vehicle tires could hit the safety latch and cause the hook to come off. Or if you don't even have safety latches (open hook) that the rock could knock the hook off (more likely, in my book, but I don't use open hooks anyway).

I believe that a direct strike by a rock on the clevis hook's safety latch (you DO have safety latches, right) and striking hard enough to knock the hook off is a sufficiently remote possibility that I can discount it. So I hitch up with the open side of the hook facing down/forward.

I guess the final answer is, take your pick.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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Deep in the foggy haze of the past, I was told to put one hook 'up' and one hook 'down'.

I was surprised to learn that twisting the chain actually weakened the assembly. I am going to hook up today and shorten the chain to the proper length.

I wonder if the best safe solution instead of hooks is to use a properly rated clevis and safety wire the pin after putting it on the receiver?
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Latch/Open side of hook facing down. Latch hooks are much easier than the U-shaped link with the screw in pin.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
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We have always hooked the safety chains to the receiver from the bottom up. I don't really think that it makes that much difference. What is important that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the safety chains should always be crisscrossed. The safety chain from the left side of the trailer should be connected to the right side of the receiver, and the safety chain from the right side of the trailer should be connected to the left side of the receiver.

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Old 04-05-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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We have always hooked the safety chains to the receiver from the bottom up. I don't really think that it makes that much difference. What is important that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the safety chains should always be crisscrossed. The safety chain from the left side of the trailer should be connected to the right side of the receiver, and the safety chain from the right side of the trailer should be connected to the left side of the receiver.

Brian
Not too important on the crisscrossing of the chains on our new Airstream, the chains have the same attachment point on the frame, so it doesn't make any difference.

doug k
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Not too important on the crisscrossing of the chains on our new Airstream, the chains have the same attachment point on the frame, so it doesn't make any difference.

doug k
?? The chains should always be crossed for them to do what they are there for. If your trailer becomes undone, the chains will hold it up off the ground to keep the tongue from being a plow.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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?? The chains should always be crossed for them to do what they are there for. If your trailer becomes undone, the chains will hold it up off the ground to keep the tongue from being a plow.
If both chains are attached to the trailer at the same point, they can't be crossed; it's geometrically impossible. They form a triangle with the base of the triangle at the receiver, and the apex at the trailer tongue. You can only cross the chains if each chain is attached to the trailer at a different point.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #12
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If both chains are attached to the trailer at the same point, they can't be crossed; it's geometrically impossible. They form a triangle with the base of the triangle at the receiver, and the apex at the trailer tongue. You can only cross the chains if each chain is attached to the trailer at a different point.

Then you just have to weave them.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
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If both chains are attached to the trailer at the same point, they can't be crossed; it's geometrically impossible. They form a triangle with the base of the triangle at the receiver, and the apex at the trailer tongue. You can only cross the chains if each chain is attached to the trailer at a different point.
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?
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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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.
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