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Old 03-20-2017, 07:40 AM   #1
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Safety Chains: Cross or Not to Cross

We bought a used 2014 Flying Cloud 27FB and when the hitch was set up the service department told us absolutely not to cross our safety chains. In watching various videos on the subject it seems many people cross the chains. Previously, we owned a small travel trailer and "back in the day" we crossed the chains. (We live in Florida...don't know if they have rules about such things??!!) Which is correct? Thanks for your comments.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:43 AM   #2
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cross
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
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Cross x2...
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:49 AM   #4
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If the chains are attached at or near a single point on the coach it doesn't matter if they are crossed or not.
I cross mine because they. Are a bit too long on one of my trailers, the other trailer has a single attachment point.
It's a personal choice IMHO
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:22 AM   #5
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WE have always crossed the safety chains on our Airstream.

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Old 03-20-2017, 08:51 AM   #6
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Crossed, that way the hitch is supported by by them if it comes loose
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:58 AM   #7
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It's actually the law in many states...I know it is here in Texas.

(b) Be crossed in such a manner as to prevent the tongue from dropping to the ground and to maintain connection in the event of failure of the primary connecting system. See Figure 1.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:20 AM   #8
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Crossed, to possibly catch in case of disconnection. Really good chains are getting harder to find also.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:56 AM   #9
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Crossed, that way the hitch is supported by by them if it comes loose
Right On....
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:01 AM   #10
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That person in your dealership's service department is a dangerous ignoramus. ALWAYS CROSS YOUR SAFETY CHAINS. This is very basic "Trailering-101" stuff.

Also, don't trust that person's advice ever again.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:09 AM   #11
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What AnnArborBob said.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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-- snip -- Really good chains are getting harder to find also.
Hit - could you expand a bit on this statement. I would have thought that good chain would be available from marine supply stores if the local hardware supplier falls short on quality product. Pat
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:39 AM   #13
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Hit - could you expand a bit on this statement. I would have thought that good chain would be available from marine supply stores if the local hardware supplier falls short on quality product. Pat
Chain is readily available from tractor supply stores as well. The trick is to get chain rated appropriately for your trailer weight and the connector link needs to be rated appropriately as well.

For OP...what hitch do you have? If you have a PP or Hensley, you probably need to lengthen the chains a few links, in order to have enough length to cross and accommodate the longer hitch assembly length. That is the only reason I could fathom that the dealer told you not to cross....still inappropriate advice and a "patch" for not lengthening the chains.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:40 AM   #14
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What your tech may have been trying to say was likely that you should not twist the chains. Some folks twist the chain to shorten it. This is a bad practice as it can weaken the strength by increasing the forces and stress on the links.

Crossing the chains is a good practice as others have indicated, because then the tongue will be caught before it hits the ground and catches on the surface. It is not a perfect preventative approach, but usually considered much better than not crossing the chains.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:41 AM   #15
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Cross


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Old 03-20-2017, 10:51 AM   #16
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Chain is readily available from tractor supply stores as well. -- snip --.
Is the TSS product quality chain? Much of the product I see there seems more inexpensive than quality. However, my TSS experience is significantly limited. In the sixties, there would have been no question and considering the issue now may be inappropriate as well. I just don't know.

My apology for the thread drift, but the strength of the chains is likely as important as the issue of crossing.

Thank you for the information. Pat
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:58 AM   #17
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Is the TSS product quality chain? Much of the product I see there seems more inexpensive than quality. However, my TSS experience is significantly limited. In the sixties, there would have been no question and considering the issue now may be inappropriate as well. I just don't know.

My apology for the thread drift, but the strength of the chains is likely as important as the issue of crossing.

Thank you for the information. Pat
I was using "tractor Supply" as a generic term for those types of hardware stores that cater to bigger machinery. In my area, I use Blaine's Farm and Fleet. I don't have a "tractor Supply Store" brand close to me and am not too familiar with them.

Now you've opened Pandora's box a bit. Some here will say that EACH chain should have a rating equal to the total GVWR of your trailer. I don't believe that is what the industry builds to. I believe, from observation and inspection, that BOTH chains ratings, combined must be equal to or greater than the trailer GVWR.

In my case, my AS has a 10K# GVWR so each chain, extender link and hook must be rated > or = to 5K#.

EDIT: I should be more clear here, so as not to add to the confusion. The issue is working load rating vs. breaking strength of the chain. My comments are related to working load rating. EACH chain should have a BREAKING STRENGTH of at least the GVWR of the trailer. Breaking strength is typically 3 times the WORKING LOAD STRENGTH of the chain.

My chains, links and hook are minimum (each component varies a bit) 5K# WORKING LOAD LIMIT...or somewhere around 15K# breaking strength each.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:33 AM   #18
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West Marine is an excellant source for quality high tensile/strength rated chain.
Back to the OP's question, CROSS.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:34 AM   #19
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-- snip --Now you've opened Pandora's box a bit. -- snip --.
No, just asked about chain quality from TSS. The Pandora bit is on you.

Thanks for the clarification. Pat
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:45 AM   #20
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Our initial set up for trailering came from a business that specializes in trailers.

Landscaping, pool supply, delivery, u haul experience, horse trailer, toy hauler and boat trailers is there speciality.

They are one of those small unassuming businesses that gently educates you as your business relationship goes along.

It was from them that we learned about chains. As with most manufacturing items the quality of product has degraded, also with chains. There are ratings for metals and strengths and weight loads that I don't remember the specifics on but buy good chains and compare the numbers before you grab the cheapest shiniest ones,,,at any store.

It was here on the forums that I learned about bolt quality. Buy a good part but go buy higher quality rated bolts to put your good product on. Throw the cheap bolts that came with in the spare parts drawer or the metal recycle tub.

Sorry for the generic answer I think you get what my comment intended.
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