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Old 08-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #29
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Not all states require chains, not all require crossed chains. Some allow chain alternatives. The link below has state references in a pdf. I also found information stating Federal law requires commercial vehicles to have chains but there were also links for non-commercial vehicles. While I'm able to cross my AS's chains, the chains on my Ranger boat trailer cannot be crossed but there is a link a few inches in front of the trailer connection that serves the purpose by connecting the two chains under the tongue.

That being said, has anyone ever seen any chains on a tractor trailer rig that secures the trailer to the cab? I know that's a fifth wheel but it's still a trailer. I used to work for UPS many years ago and they had a tractor trailer rig leave one city and drive 80 miles to the next one before it was discovered the trailer pintle was just sitting atop the fifth wheel, not latched. There was no accident but still; wow!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...,d.aWw&cad=rja
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #30
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I was finding it difficult to believe that there would be laws regarding crossing of chains, so I did some internet research, and found this:
http://webspace.webring.com/people/j...yChainLaws.pdf
It looks like it is the law in Washington, and 17 states require a method to stop the tongue from dropping to the ground if it becomes disengaged. Also, although the verbiage is a little confusing, it appears that Washington doesn't allow chains to be connected to a single point like Idorba describes. That would be a problem for me as well, because the chains on my '62 Tradewind, with a Marvel coupler connect the same way he describes.

It looks like I'll have to avoid Washington.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:21 PM   #31
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I had flat bed trailer with ball hitch with skid steer loaded pop off over dip in road, crossed chains saved me from losing trailer or causing accident. Needless to say I installed pintle eye before went on road again, only my AS & basstracker boat have ball hitches. I also link boat trailer chains together.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #32
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I found another document, also by NATM, that says virtually every state requires chains. The earlier document was from 2007, this says it's from 2004. I'm more than confused but I would never tow without chains anyway. Seems like the NATM documents are in conflict with one another.

I'm sure you'll be fine if the chains are attached, no longer than necessary and prevent the tongue from dropping to the ground if the tongue separates from the hitch.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...XnyyJEntXJNA8A
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:44 PM   #33
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I think the question was should the chains be crossed, not if they were required. Jim
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:57 PM   #34
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I think the question was should the chains be crossed, not if they were required. Jim
What I found is the states' requirement that
"Prevent Tow Bar From Dropping to Ground if Disengaged"
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:05 PM   #35
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My 2013 25FB has its chains attached to a single point under the center of the tongue. But the chains are attached side-by-side, so I can cross them, though crossing will not help much, compared to a setup like mrprez has.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:15 PM   #36
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$20, and done.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #37
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I do believe the link damage is from twisted or kinked chain, as it is on 1st & 3rd link. The repetitive hammering or contact force causes metal deformation seen in the pics. It's like the end of a steel chisel or railroad spike that gets flared out from repetitive hammering. Steel is maluable of course with enough force. A road rash would have a mostly even flat surface and any flaring of it would appear on the tail end, or rear, as traveling distances in forward motion.

I too see that the chains may be a little long and close to the ground. I would shorten them to the correct length and try not to use links. And do watch out for the inferior cheap ones even though they are stamped with the load rating.

Get it fixed and get back on the road to enjoy your trailer.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:02 PM   #38
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I do believe the link damage is from twisted or kinked chain, as it is on 1st & 3rd link. The repetitive hammering or contact force causes metal deformation seen in the pics. It's like the end of a steel chisel or railroad spike that gets flared out from repetitive hammering. Steel is maluable of course with enough force. A road rash would have a mostly even flat surface and any flaring of it would appear on the tail end, or rear, as traveling distances in forward motion.

I too see that the chains may be a little long and close to the ground. I would shorten them to the correct length and try not to use links. And do watch out for the inferior cheap ones even though they are stamped with the load rating.

Get it fixed and get back on the road to enjoy your trailer.

The flaring you refer too is a result of displaced material that results from repeated impacts and is known as "work hardening" or "cold working".

Grinding also leaves a residual edge know as burring and the two are readily distinguishable. Work hardened surfaces are typically smooth and if freshly worn often appear shiny.

Ground surfaces take on a wear pattern consistent with the abrasion surface which can be smooth but a smoother grind usually yields little to no burring.

In this case it seems very clear that the wear face is rough rather as opposed to smooth. This indicates a course grind which is consistent with a paved surface. Burring that occurs as a result of grinding is not directional, but is a function of material geometry.

This is easily identifiable as road rash, not impact damage.


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Old 08-12-2014, 01:25 PM   #39
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Thanks everybody for the input. I'm inclined towards the "twisted chain" theory causing the premature wear on the upper links, and I'm more inclined to think I took ownership of the trailer last year with a damaged chain. There's just no way for the road to reach up to the hitch receiver area and cause deep wear to specific links while leaving its neighbor untouched. Might have even come from Airstream, or replaced at dealership before I picked it up. Its only a one year old trailer. I towed trailers for years with other trailers and never had such aggressive and random wear on a chain.

While I never expect to need the safety chain, I once lost a utility trailer loaded full of concrete blocks. It bounced off the ball as I passed over a sharp dip in the road. While the safety chain held, it whipped the trailer up and forward and pierced the truck tailgate then swerved sharply bending a wheel under the axle, then flipped over dumping most the blocks onto the roadway. Total fiasco.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:12 PM   #40
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Is those add a links ok to use? Are they as strong? I'd like to add a link or two to my chains cause I think the are little tight in a turn. I haven't used any of those before.
In general, the only coupling that will maintain the strength of the original assembly is a double clevis.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:20 AM   #41
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My 2013 25FB has its chains attached to a single point under the center of the tongue. But the chains are attached side-by-side, so I can cross them, though crossing will not help much, compared to a setup like mrprez has.
Yes, the same for us. We purchased the 2013 AS EB in WA. When I asked about the chain mounting points being different than on our 2013FC and with no "ears" on which to store the hooks when disconnected, I was told that AS outsources the frames and that it depended upon just where the frame was manufactured - as to what we ended up with.

Although our 2015 has "storage ears", the chain connection under the tongue is but a single point again. So, although I do cross the safety chains, there is really no chain crossing "cradle" possible on the current configuration.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:35 AM   #42
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Our Airstream has the single point attachment for the chains, the least of my concerns towing through any state.

It looks to me like it may allow a little less sway if the trailer unhooks.
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