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Old 06-17-2022, 06:54 AM   #1
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To cross or not to cross

My AS dealer said despite what everyone says, he recommends to NOT cross tow chains as the emergency brake works better.
Thoughts?
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:59 AM   #2
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Unless the dealer can give an actual explanation of the negative interaction between the chains and the brake system I will continue to cross the safety chains.
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Old 06-17-2022, 07:17 AM   #3
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Ask him to explain the logic…

So if the chains are not crossed and the trailer comes off the ball, the coupler would hit the pavement. If it drops into a pothole bad things are going to happen. I cannot think of any instance when you’d allow that to happen. The idea of crossed chains is to cradle the tongue if it comes off the ball.

Please ask him to explain his logic. Just curious if I’m missing something.

P.S.: Just saw you’re in Ottumwa, IA - say “hi” to Radar O’Riley if he’s still in town We lived in the Quad Cities for a few years.
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Old 06-17-2022, 07:24 AM   #4
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I think the break away brake is for when the trailer comes completely disconnected from the TV. Whether or not the chains are crossed will not affect that situation but crossed chains might help prevent it from happening. Simple. Ignore the dealers advise and cross the chains like almost all people towing do.
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bittner View Post
My AS dealer said despite what everyone says, he recommends to NOT cross tow chains as the emergency brake works better.
Thoughts?
Cross.
The chains form a cradle for the tongue should it come free.

Also if you cross the chains, they remain the same distance from the ground on sharp turns.

I'm trying to envision a scenario where the emergency breakaway works "better" without the chains crossed. I'm stumped.
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:10 AM   #6
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Will tell Radar "hi". And Tom Arnold.
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:26 AM   #7
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Cross
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:32 AM   #8
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IMHO,

Reasons everyone crosses chains are two-fold: (i) at a proper length the chains will 'catch' the trailer tongue and prevent it from dragging on the pavement (or as pointed out above 'catching' into a ridge or pothole with catastrophic results), and (ii) will lessen the amount of swinging or fishtailing of the trailer - uncrossed chains will swing in parallel.

The emergency break away feature needs to be adjusted so it will activate even with crossed chains. And the chain length also needs to be adjusted so they don't droop too much. The amount of chain droop will determine the increase in distance the tongue will be away from the hitch if it detaches...pretty easy to eyeball.
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Cross.
The chains form a cradle for the tongue should it come free.
That is the exact reason for crossing, and has nothing to do with the brake.
With crossed chains of proper length you will avoid the fireworks of your tongue scraping the pavement. I don't see the logic of not crossing.
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:52 AM   #10
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Crossing the chain is a must.
Ignore that poor dealer suggestion
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:58 AM   #11
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Cross or not to cross

Crossing chains is the law in many areas.
Find another Dealer!
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:01 AM   #12
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Some States require safety chains be crossed. Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington are three i can think of at the moment that have laws requiring crossed safety chains. I don't know of any states that mandate you NOT cross the chains.

I agree with others: disregard your dealer's ill-informed advice.
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bittner View Post
My AS dealer said despite what everyone says, he recommends to NOT cross tow chains as the emergency brake works better.
Thoughts?
Not so !
One day dye to being distracted by my neighbour I forgott to insert the pin into the stinger.
I had the chains hooked as usual crossing one another.
Since my driveway slopes away from the house nothing happened until pulling away on the street.
Next thing lot of noise and I see the trailer nose drop.
The chains being crossed cradled the stinger and the coupler..
Had it all crashed to the ground I would had a giant mess which would have happened otherwise.
All I had to do is extend the jack release the ball reinsert the stinger.
With the pin of course :-)).
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:28 AM   #14
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To cross or not to cross

Just my $0.02 and about worth the price…

We cross our chains, but never twist.

Crossing chains does two things: It aides in turning in that the chains tend to synchronize (both spans tend to stay the same length) rather than having one span lengthening while the other span shortens. Also crossed chains do act as a catch cradle. I know this works, have first hand experience. Not with our RV but we had a trailer ball failure while towing a fully loaded log trailer several year’s ago, and it worked as intended.

You should however, avoid twisting the chains in order to shorten them. Slight, or incidental twisting is fairly common and has minimal affect (5%-ish reduction)on chain strength. Severely twisted chain, as in multiple 360 degree twists, can potentially cause a strength reduction of 50% or more.
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:33 AM   #15
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Just remember that he is a salesman and probably has Never towed a trailer. Last week he was probably selling cars or insurance. Always cross those chains. I was taught that 53 years ago when I hooked up my first camp trailer.
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:37 AM   #16
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I've never heard this before. Sounds like the dealer has a personal opinion that is not based on appropriate expert opinion. My personal opinion is to cross your chains.
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Old 06-17-2022, 11:19 AM   #17
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My experience has been that most dealers do not have experience RV camping, much less pulling a trailer. Cross the chains
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Old 06-17-2022, 11:28 AM   #18
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Always cross and always lube the balls.

Then go smack the dealer upside the head for spreading poor information into the camping world. (In jest, no smacking anyone)
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Old 06-17-2022, 11:36 AM   #19
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State law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bittner View Post
My AS dealer said despite what everyone says, he recommends to NOT cross tow chains as the emergency brake works better.
Thoughts?
Some states including Maryland requires that the chains are crossed!
Like everyone else is saying, crossing the chains will or should prevent the tongue from contacting the ground and preventing catastrophic damage to trailer!
I will always cross my chains! Rick
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Old 06-17-2022, 11:57 AM   #20
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Seems like a good chat with someone higher up at the dealership is in order. If he's giving bad advice to customers, it needs to be reported to someone able to get things straightened out.
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