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Old 01-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Not mine...
They cross fine

Bob
Well that's great for you. My trailer was built in 2013, and unless my trailer is a one off freak, there's probably plenty of others made where both chains are welded to the same spot in the middle of the tongue, and thus cannot cross chains. I wish it were different, but that's the way Airstream made it. So as advise to cross chains is promulgated, understand it only applies to trailers that are built in a way to have discrete left and right chains.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:21 AM   #22
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Consider this scenario... A person is towing their trailer on a 2-lane highway at 55 MPH, pavement is damp, towards a curve signed for 35 MPH up ahead. On the far side of the curve is a 400' cliff onto deadly rocks. As the driver applies the brakes to slow down he hits a hidden bump and the trailer pops off the ball. Fortunately the chains hold the trailer but the trailer's 7-pin pigtail is yanked from the tow vehicle during the ruckus.

Case 1 - Long Breakaway Cable. While following the tow vehicle the 7,000 lb trailer brakes are not activated. The drive slams on the tow vehicle brakes, the trailer slams into the rear of the tow vehicle pushing the rear end of the tow vehicle sideways. The entire rig enters the curve way too fast and out of control crashing through the safety barrier and down the cliff.

Case 2 - Short Breakaway Cable. The trailer brakes are activated while at the same time the driver is hitting the tow vehicle brakes. Maybe the trailer skids sideways off the road, or maybe not, but at least the rig stops prior to the curve. Worst case is dirty pants and an insurance claim.

I used to have one of those long red curly cables and was given advise by a respected service fellow in northern California to make my own straight cable as short of practical to initiate stopping asap. The way I see it, the moment the trailer pops off the ball the insurance company owns it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:15 AM   #23
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I have no illusions that in an emergency, I'll have the presence of mine to casually reach down for the brake controller.
I suspect I'll hold the wheel while shouting "Oh, S......."
Me too!
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:28 AM   #24
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When we picked up our Classic it had a lengthy cable for the breakaway so I basically doubled it still allowing for tight turns. At our last service appointment the Tech replaced the cable with the red coiled type saying we don't use that straight type anymore. I have not stretched it out to see how long it is, so maybe I should. Also agree trying to use the brake control if trailer disconnects would be futile since the plug would also disconnect. Thanks for the thread and info!
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:45 AM   #25
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The coiled cables were invented for the driver not the trailer...the trailer has no eyes and cares little how it looks😂.

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:56 AM   #26
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I have not stretched it out to see how long it is, so maybe I should.
According to the manufacturer, it's 4'. That's stretched to it's max. (coiled, it's about 4") Not sure how much effort is required to stretch it, but I hope it's less than the force required to pop out the emergency plug.
Since the breakaway switch is located on the left side of the A-frame, in a right turn that distance grows.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:12 AM   #27
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I am puzzled. Why would you want to lock up the wheels before accidental separation of the TT and chains? The breakaway switch is to stop a runaway trailer before it hits somebody or something. If the chains are crossed under the trailer tongue they will support the tongue if the shank (stinger) fails. You would then make a normal gentle stop of the TT & TV. A breakaway stop would be a jerk and probably cause the chains to break. Then you would have a runaway.
guskmg
this is correct!
You don't want to lock up trailer brakes while you still have some control. The breakaway only comes into play if the Chains let go and the trailer is totally free. Then you want complete lock up to stop the trailer from freewheeling into every one else!
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:42 AM   #28
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The fastway coiled 4" has worked great for us.
We. too, do not want lock up until after RV and TV separate.
Believe me... if the hitch fails or ball comes off, it is a scary situation. Fortunately, only the camper jack and bumper trim sustained damage when our SOB was retained by the safety chains. The jack ended up under the bumper!
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:50 AM   #29
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this is correct!
You don't want to lock up trailer brakes while you still have some control. The breakaway only comes into play if the Chains let go and the trailer is totally free. Then you want complete lock up to stop the trailer from freewheeling into every one else!
jcw
This is a good spot for me to jump in and tell my real experience.
We have a 125' driveway sloping down towards the street. While hitching up for a trip the neighbor stopped by to shoot the breeze interrupting me.
As such I didn't methodically go through my checklist and forgot to insert the retaining pin into the hitch and shank.
Jumped into the truck heading down the driveway. Everything seemed normal until after I made the turn out of the driveway and headed down the street. Than a big thump and ratatatat and my hearth sunk.
I came to a gradual stop got out and realized what happened.
The shank pulled out completely, was hanging down from the trailer hitch and the entire assembly was held up cradled by the chains real nice and snug.
The scraping sound was the shank dragging on the pavement.
So I am with you on this. It would have been a disaster had the trailer brakes locked up immediately.
It is important however to cross the chains. That is what made it work. I would advise everyone not having it this way to go to a welding shop and get it done right. It is a quick fix and not expensive.
BTW, I have the red coiled breakaway switch that came with the trailer and I intend to keep it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:20 PM   #30
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^
This is a good spot for me to jump in and say my real world experience was exactly opposite from yours...so who's correct?
What proof for the "disaster"? Could it not still have been a disaster doing it your way?

The nice part is... you are free to do exactly as you want...as is everyone else.

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Old 01-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #31
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I am with JCWDCW, mefly2 and franklyfrank also based on experience. The trailer hanging on chains of the correct length will follow the TV, with a fore/aft and side-to-side movement of only a couple of inches.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:27 AM   #32
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Me too!
You would be surprised.
I had to do an emergency crash avoidance at 70 MPH with the cruise on.
Lane switch and back, both sides of the trailer came up from to pavement.
I automatically hit the brakes but I backed off instinctively without a thought and my hand went for the trailer brake. I didn't need to use either. As the trucks engine brake kicked in automatically it slowed me down gradually.
It felt like someone else was in charge.
The Blue Ox worked beautifully keeping the trailer tracking.
Within seconds I was rolling along like nothing happened.
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