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Old 06-13-2021, 05:07 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Safety Chain Mounting To Tongue of Trailer

I am getting ready to repaint the tongue on my 1994 Excella and was looking at the safety chain setup.

The chains themselves are in great shape and don't appear to have ever dragged or been abused.

The mounting loops, however, are kinda shady. Both loops are pretty rusted, with a portion of the diameter gone. One is bent down at almost 90 degrees from where it started. I wouldn't trust either mounting loop to hold the chains to the trailer should there be a need.

So, what's the best way to remount the chains?

I don't have access to welding equipment, so I was considering mounting them with grade 8 bolts/nuts to the sides of the tongue just behind the hitch.

Will this work?
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:09 PM   #2
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Hi

Best bet is to find a welding shop and let them take care of the problem.

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:16 PM   #3
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Put a hook on both ends. Then you can remove them when not towing.
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:29 PM   #4
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My initial thought was to use 7/16" grade-8 bolts to hold the chain to the sides of the a-from immediately behind the hitch. Since the a-frame rails are 2" rectangular tubing, I was planing to run the bolts all the way through, with a steel spacer inside the tubing to prevent the bolt from deforming or crushing the tubing.
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:49 PM   #5
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1970 25' Tradewind
Smyrna , Georgia
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Tongue - Tow Chain

Since you’re looking at the chain - have a good look at the coupler. The original Marvel coupler on our 1970 Tradewind may be replaced soon. We use the Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch. This hitch put a lot of force on the “wedge” part of the coupler ball retainer.
I may have to take the walk of shame for doing this - go search the many Andersen Hitch forums.
Some Marvel / Atwood couplers ball / wedge design have been deemed unsatisfactory while using the Andersen Hitch.
Should become familiar with this critical piece of equipment.
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Ranch View Post
Since you’re looking at the chain - have a good look at the coupler. The original Marvel coupler on our 1970 Tradewind may be replaced soon. We use the Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch. This hitch put a lot of force on the “wedge” part of the coupler ball retainer.
I may have to take the walk of shame for doing this - go search the many Andersen Hitch forums.
Some Marvel / Atwood couplers ball / wedge design have been deemed unsatisfactory while using the Andersen Hitch.
Should become familiar with this critical piece of equipment.
Is this the same type of hitch which is on my 1994 Excella? How do I confirm hitch make/model? Is it on the hitch somewhere under the paint?
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:28 PM   #7
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1970 25' Tradewind
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A-Frame Coupler

Airstream installed couplers should have a stamped into the top manufacturer name and model number.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:32 PM   #8
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Andersen Hitch

This is the Andersen Hitch with the Marvel Coupler.
Note the angle of the chain - force on the coupler wedge.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:02 PM   #9
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View of coupler

Under side of couple. Inspect for excessive wear.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:54 PM   #10
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Don't use them. They are illegal in Europe, because in a rollover they will take you & your TV over, too!
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:50 PM   #11
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Properly welded is best, but if you use bolts, keep in mind grade 8 fasteners offer great clamping force, but are not best if subjected to shear force. Adequately sized grade 5 would be better for shear.....but have them welded. Did you see the recent thread with an F-350 hanging over a 100' gorge by one safety chain. Don't skimp.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghamr View Post
Don't use them. They are illegal in Europe, because in a rollover they will take you & your TV over, too!
What are you referring to?
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:36 PM   #13
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You can find a good welding shop or utility trailer dealer with a workshop that can do the loop replacement on the Airstream tongue. Should take 2-3 hours total wait time.

If you order these chain shackles before welding, they can make sure the loop is large enough to mount the shackles, and these allow easy removal of the chains when Airstream is parked.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076LZR9C3...ing=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:00 AM   #14
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The chains...
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghamr View Post
The chains...
As in the hitch setup in the picture, not safety chains. Correct?
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:59 AM   #16
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weld a single chain loop that you cut from chain on each side of A frame then use commonly called egg butt connector, to attach chains to loop instead of welding chains to A frame can replace chains w/out any cutting or welding in future. {Egg butt is a loop that is open 1 side that has sleeve that is attached 1 end opening then screws onto other end of opening pur. same size as chain links}. IMO having used many they are just as strong as welded links, also those that are afraid of thieves stealing AS by using safety chains, they are easily removable & reinstalling.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:27 AM   #17
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I've been doing lots of reading on this over the past few days, and for the life of me I can't figure out how welding loops to the frame for anchoring the chain is any more secure than connecting each of the chains to the frame by way of a properly-secured 7/16" grade 8 bolt.

Judging by what's left of the OEM loops welded to the bottom of the a-frame, they were not terribly thick or robust to begin with, and they were located in the perfect spot to be ground off in an heartbeat should the hitch ever fail and the a-frame hit the pavement.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:38 AM   #18
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No, the so called safety chains.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghamr View Post
No, the so called safety chains.
The "so-called safety chains" are required by law.

They are also a good idea, in my opinion. Doesn't seem like such a great idea to have the trailer free-sailing down the highway should there be a catastrophic hitch failure.

I'd contend that it's not the chains which flip the TV when the trailer flips - it's the trailer flipping and transmitting that slippage through the hitch itself. Not sure how safety chains could flip a TV.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:07 AM   #20
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I am sure I will take flak for my opinion but looking at latch and ball socket it appears there may be significant wear , the socket looks dry like possibly never lubricated , that being the case IMO I would replace the entire assembly along with new welded loops. Using WD devices certainly increases load and wear on ball and socket. It was mentioned grade 8 bolts don’t have the shear strength required. The cost vs risk factor I see only one way to be safe. In fact look at it this way , the softer parts wear the most , if the loops were thin how about the socket? - I never could understand not lubing ball and socket or for having to use band aids to tow. - there is a price for everything. I have never used a WD hitch- towed over 50 years. I simply buy enough truck. Go ahead tear me apart- just my opinion- thanks
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