Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-26-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Ariz-Pacer's Avatar
 
1958 17' Pacer
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 51
Thumbs up Safety Chains Really Do Work...

I did a search and didn't find anything related to my experience. So here goes.......

I went up to the mountains last Thursday (To escape our dry heat) and had my nephew help me hook up the Pacer. We always cross the safety chains and had the link bolts placed so they gave enough room to turn adequately and were not too loose (I thought).

We had just driven through 18 miles of washboard dirt road (a shortcut) and came out on an asphalt paved 2 lane mountain road. After going 15-20 mph for the last 18 miles I sped up to about 45 mph as dusk was approaching.
I had gone over a number of cattle guards so I thought nothing about the one coming up.

As I hit the cattle guard there was a tremendous bounce followed by a tremendous noise. The trailer started bouncing left and right (I actually thought it was going to roll over) and there was a horrific grinding noise. I thought I had blown a tire and was resisting the urge to brake and instead let off the gas and downshifted to slow down. In the meantime my nephew who was following me was yelling on the handi-talkie " Look out UJ, something's wrong and there are huge sparks and debris are coming off the Airstream"

As I finally brought the tow rig down near stopping speed I actually gave it a little gas to pull over to the side of the road to get away from the center, once I realized it was staying attached.

Once we got out and assessed the damage we saw that the hitch coupling had disengaged from the ball and hanging on the chains. While the safety chains had held, they were long enough that the tongue jack post (Which was fully recessed) had been gouging out big chunks of the asphalt for about 700ft or so. The trailer was sitting about 3 inches above the asphalt and dragging the road had ground about 2 inches off the bottom of the post. Whew!

It seems that while the hitch looked properly seated and locked it was not as the cattle guard later proved.

The good news is there does not appear to be any significant damage to the Airstream and I will be putting new safety chains on and keeping them a little tighter.

AZP
__________________

__________________
Ariz-Pacer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
bredlo's Avatar
 
1954 22' Safari
Deerfield , Illinois
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,419
Images: 23
Send a message via AIM to bredlo
Thanks for sharing! Glad to know safety chains aren't just for show, and it's wonderful to hear what we can expect if a catastrophe like this does take place.

Grateful your story has a happy ending.
__________________

__________________
Brad
bredlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
withidl's Avatar
 
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
The longer you survive .......... the longer you will survive! Thanks for sharing a reality I don't wish to experience. I'll probably hook up a little more methodically next time.
__________________
withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
casa3805's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 869
Images: 41
wow...glad for the happy ending. Reminders like this kind of force us all to take an extra minute or two and look carefully at everything. Not sure how you could have done anything differently to avoid it, but I guess I will grab connections and yank a little harder, and just stare at it all a little longer.
Thanks for sharing...
__________________
Chuck & Skye
Rock and Roll Will Never Die!

WBCCI 3805
AIR 54011 Since July 2011
casa3805 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
paiceman's Avatar

 
2017 30' Classic
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,433
Images: 1
Congrtes on the safe landing. Years ago while towing a 20' SOB in Norther Ontario we started a climb up a very steep hill, hit a large hole in the road, it was just coming up on dawn, heard a loud metal sound and the trailer dropped down a bit in the mirrors. But, she was still behind us, so I told my wife we were going to go to the top of the hill as I did not want to stop while going up. When we finally did stop and checked the hitch had torn off its rear mounting on the frame and was held on by four bolts towrds the front of the TV, the ball had come disconnected and we were pulling the trailer by the chains for about 1/2 mile up hill. Chains do work.
__________________
paiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
Whitefawn
 
whitefawn's Avatar
 
1978 Argosy 24
Scottsville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 97
Propane tanks bouncing off the freeway!

One of the last times we camped, we discovered that the lock for the locking hitch pin had fallen off and the only thing holding the hitch pin in was the weight of the trailer on the hitch. Luckily we weren't riding on cattle guards or dirt roads! Joe thought the lock had latched to the hitch pin- NOT!

We had the horrifying experience several years ago in a SOB of driving down I95 at 70 MPH and having the propane tanks bouncing off the road with sparks flying because at our previous destination the truck tailgate in the open position apparently had bumped the tie-down bar and dislodged it from one of the tanks. My husband would not tell me what was wrong when he first looked in the rear view mirror and eased us to the shoulder. I think he was speechless. The tanks suffered bad road rash ONLY and we lived to tell the tale.

Guardian Angels DO exist!
__________________
whitefawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 10:31 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
reddogfox's Avatar
 
2008 20' Safari SE
Thumb Area , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 95
Blog Entries: 4
Ariz-Pacer
Each time I lower the coupler on to the hitch ball I test the connection by raising the tongue and rear of the truck with the tongue jack to check that the coupler is properly locked. I do this before hooking up the weight distribution bars as their downward pressure can hold an improperly latched coupler on the ball until you hit a really large bump.
__________________
Richard from MI

20' 2008 Safari SE, Dill TPMS Silver Dog House
2007 GMC 1/2 ton Sierra ARE Cap
AIR # 10494
reddogfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
billiards's Avatar
 
2005 25' Safari
rochester , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 58
terrific...i have always wondered about the likes of accidental pull-off.....everytime i connect the chains i am sure i will think of your posting.
__________________
billiards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Max Well's Avatar
 
1971 25' Caravanner
Olathe , Kansas
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 214
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddogfox View Post
Ariz-Pacer
Each time I lower the coupler on to the hitch ball I test the connection by raising the tongue and rear of the truck with the tongue jack to check that the coupler is properly locked. I do this before hooking up the weight distribution bars as their downward pressure can hold an improperly latched coupler on the ball until you hit a really large bump.
What he said!
__________________
"Surrender is not in our creed. Let me hear you say that..." Gunny Hiway
Max Well is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
DanielB's Avatar
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,073
Blog Entries: 8
Debris? That's what he said? Debris? lol
__________________
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
- Andrew Carnegie
DanielB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Ariz-Pacer's Avatar
 
1958 17' Pacer
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
Debris? That's what he said? Debris? lol
You really made me laugh.......Debris......

What he actually said began with an
"S" and rhymes with Hit,
I just changed it up a bit,
family forum and all......

AZP
__________________
Ariz-Pacer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
pappy19's Avatar
 
2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,418
Did you cross the safety chains so the coupler would fall on the crossed chains? That's how I hook them.

Pap
__________________
2008 F-250 4X4 Lariat V-10
2002 Airstream Classic 30' w/SO #2074
2007 Kubota 900 RTV
1996 Ford Bronco
2007 Lincoln LT
pappy19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
1972 21' Globetrotter
nc , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 253
Images: 2
towed home from a camping trip one time and when i unhitched at home found out that i forgot to put the hitch pin in, safety chains held the hitch in the recever all the way home.
__________________
rock60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #14
;)
 
2011 27 FB International
Leesburg , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 24
The chains on my unit come from a single point on the a frame so they can not be crossed under to form a "craddle" like i do on all my other trailers. Is this how airstream does it or what?
__________________

__________________
2011 int 27fb serenity
2011 f250 CC 6.2L
27fb2freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for someone who does airstream restoration work in south florida or florida Laverne76 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 3 08-14-2017 10:10 PM
Hitch, chains and tongue. ShawnG17 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 1 07-19-2011 02:05 PM
Cleaning becomes a little work becomes a lot of work - 1964 GlobeTrottin 1960 - 1964 Globetrotter 6 04-30-2011 11:36 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.