Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (https://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Hitches, Couplers & Balls (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/)
-   -   Safety Chains: Cross or Not to Cross (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/safety-chains-cross-or-not-to-cross-164153.html)

jimrosemergy 03-20-2017 07:40 AM

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.

dznf0g 03-20-2017 07:43 AM

cross

KSA63 03-20-2017 07:47 AM

Cross x2...

TG Twinkie 03-20-2017 07:49 AM

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

moosetags 03-20-2017 08:22 AM

WE have always crossed the safety chains on our Airstream.

Brian

Mattirs 03-20-2017 08:51 AM

Crossed, that way the hitch is supported by by them if it comes loose

cabinetmaker 03-20-2017 08:58 AM

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.

Hittenstiehl 03-20-2017 09:20 AM

Crossed, to possibly catch in case of disconnection. Really good chains are getting harder to find also.

tjdonahoe 03-20-2017 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mattirs (Post 1924935)
Crossed, that way the hitch is supported by by them if it comes loose

Right On....

AnnArborBob 03-20-2017 10:01 AM

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.

mccrosti 03-20-2017 10:09 AM

What AnnArborBob said.

PKI 03-20-2017 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl (Post 1924945)
-- 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

dznf0g 03-20-2017 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKI (Post 1924970)
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.

PKI 03-20-2017 10:40 AM

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

gandttimes 03-20-2017 10:41 AM

Cross


George

PKI 03-20-2017 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1924974)
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

dznf0g 03-20-2017 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKI (Post 1924980)
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.

AWCHIEF 03-20-2017 11:33 AM

West Marine is an excellant source for quality high tensile/strength rated chain.
Back to the OP's question, CROSS.

PKI 03-20-2017 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1924983)
-- 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

Hittenstiehl 03-20-2017 11:45 AM

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.

CRH 03-20-2017 12:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The flimsy looking split ring welded on the front of my trailer looks like the weak link in the chain set up.

m.hony 03-20-2017 02:08 PM

Absolutely cross!
Cross and cradle-
The reasoning/logic behind cross and cradle:
If the trailer becomes uncoupled from the ball, the crossed chains will catch the trailer coupler, a-frame, and tongue jack and prevent them from hitting the ground and causing more damage.
The chains must be just long enough to make sharp turns without binding.
If the chains are too long, crossing them will not do what it is supposed to do.
If the chains are to long, take up extra links by zip tying them together or using key rings to take up the slack in the chain links.

SCOTTinNJ 03-20-2017 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CRH (Post 1925006)
The flimsy looking split ring welded on the front of my trailer looks like the weak link in the chain set up.

Agreed!

TRizzuti 03-20-2017 03:11 PM

I learned to cross the chains in a boating class that had a section on towing safety. Made sense to me then, makes sense to me now -- cross the chains.

smlbob 03-20-2017 03:21 PM

I agree with others - chains should be crossed. I had a small utility trailer jump off the ball once, and the crossed chains caught the hitch and kept it off the ground as I came to a halt.

CRH 03-20-2017 03:24 PM

I had a 2500 lb trailer come off the ball at 70 mph. The cradled chains caught it. I was able to pull over safely and had no damage.

wildhorses 03-20-2017 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CRH (Post 1925006)
The flimsy looking split ring welded on the front of my trailer looks like the weak link in the chain set up.

Far from it, if the trailer separates from the TV it will drop. If this ring was welded to the top it would only rely on the welds, being welded on the bottom it now supports the tongue and the welds are simply to keep it in place. Chances are the rest of the trailer will disintegrate long before that split ring will separate.

Always Cross the chains

PS. All you have to do is watch "trailer races" on Youtube to see that the ring will outlast the trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTMlITafAJ0

kscherzi 03-20-2017 03:53 PM

My trailer chains are both welded to the same single location under the tongue. What's the benefit of crossing in this instance?

dznf0g 03-20-2017 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kscherzi (Post 1925091)
My trailer chains are both welded to the same single location under the tongue. What's the benefit of crossing in this instance?

Not much probably...other than the law in many (all??) states says they gotta be crossed.

MWBishop 03-20-2017 04:10 PM

The Trailer Races vid is awesome!
However:
1. Notice you DON'T see in Airstreams (for good reason, right).
2. At one time each and every one of those TVs and trailers were someone's pride and joy. How sad, but at least brought one last bit of joy in their deaths.
3. What a HUGE mess to have to clean up.

MelGoddard 03-20-2017 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925049)
Absolutely cross!
Cross and cradle-
The reasoning/logic behind cross and cradle:
If the trailer becomes uncoupled from the ball, the crossed chains will catch the trailer coupler, a-frame, and tongue jack and prevent them from hitting the ground and causing more damage.
The chains must be just long enough to make sharp turns without binding.
If the chains are too long, crossing them will not do what it is supposed to do.
If the chains are to long, take up extra links by zip tying them together or using key rings to take up the slack in the chain links.

"ZIP TIES"?? "Key rings?" THE chain will STILL be too long, when the hitch 'decouples'.
Cut enough links off to make a proper length chain.:doh:

dznf0g 03-20-2017 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MelGoddard (Post 1925163)
"ZIP TIES"?? "Key rings?" THE chain will STILL be too long, when the hitch 'decouples'.
Cut enough links off to make a proper length chain.:doh:

Uh, yup.

WindyJim 03-20-2017 06:57 PM

Mine came loose one time, pulling a 27' AS. This was after several years of towing. Definitely glad the chains were crossed!

Wanderer2604 03-20-2017 07:00 PM

Besides the unlikely need to catch the tongue if the hitch breaks, there is a more mundane reason to cross the chains when the tv anchors are spaced a little.

If you do not cross, in a turn the inside chain will droop and the outside chain will bind. By crossing, the chains stay closer to the same height.

m.hony 03-20-2017 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925165)
Uh, yup.



The logic behind cinching up extra links:
If you cut them to length for a certain tow vehicle, then it hey will be too short for another.
The zip ties will break if the trailer is uncoupled.
The key rings will distort/stretch/break.
Damage will still be minimized.
Airstream puts key rings on the chains from the factory.
Another option, though not recommended, is to twist the chains to make them shorter.
The reason they say to not twist them is that it supposedly weakens the chains, although I can't see how or why.

dznf0g 03-20-2017 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925189)
The logic behind cinching up extra links:
If you cut them to length for a certain tow vehicle, then it hey will be too short for another.
The zip ties will break if the trailer is uncoupled.
The key rings will distort/stretch/break.
Damage will still be minimized.
Airstream puts key rings on the chains from the factory.
Another option, though not recommended, is to twist the chains to make them shorter.
The reason they say to not twist them is that it supposedly weakens the chains, although I can't see how or why.

I disagree with all in this post. Proper length chains with no "cheaters" for each application is the only prudent way to ensure proper behavior during a disconnect. Just make chains for the longest application and move the hooks on the links to shorten. Use a clevis hook rated for the job.
Never twist chains to shorten. This reduces strength during high loads.

Silver.Sanctuary 03-20-2017 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925189)
The logic behind cinching up extra links:
If you cut them to length for a certain tow vehicle, then it hey will be too short for another.
The zip ties will break if the trailer is uncoupled.
The key rings will distort/stretch/break.
Damage will still be minimized.
Airstream puts key rings on the chains from the factory.
Another option, though not recommended, is to twist the chains to make them shorter.
The reason they say to not twist them is that it supposedly weakens the chains, although I can't see how or why.


A little off topic, but do you pull a 30 foot AS with a Tundra (I see them both in your signature block)?

m.hony 03-20-2017 08:31 PM

Safety Chains: Cross or Not to Cross
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925190)
I disagree with all in this post. Proper length chains with no "cheaters" for each application is the only prudent way to ensure proper behavior during a disconnect. Just make chains for the longest application and move the hooks on the links to shorten. Use a clevis hook rated for the job.
Never twist chains to shorten. This reduces strength during high loads.



Anther way to shorten without cutting:
Use one of those links with the threaded portion that can be opened to gather up the extra links.
Or is that a Clovis hook?

dznf0g 03-20-2017 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925219)
Anther way to shorten without cutting:
Use one of those links with the threaded portion that can be opened to gather up the extra links.
Or is that a Clovis hook?

No, a clevis hook is a hook for the TV end of the chain which attaches to the chain with a clevis pin. Yes, you could use a threaded link. Each piece, hook or link, should be rated at or above trailer gvwr for breaking strength.

Dennisr 03-20-2017 08:51 PM

You can twist the chain if it is to long as in touching the ground but you do need slack in the chain.

dznf0g 03-20-2017 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dennisr (Post 1925233)
You can twist the chain if it is to long as in touching the ground but you do need slack in the chain.

Please Google this for facts. Twisting reduces the breaking strength, which compromises their effectiveness in their intended purpose. Shorten to their proper length is the only answer.

thiel 03-20-2017 09:33 PM

From my youth I seem to remember that there are two types of hooks often put on chains... one type is for hooking onto a metal loop like we have on our tow vehicles and the other type is for hooking onto the CHAIN ITSELF. Seems you could put that second type of hook on, thread the chain through the loop and hook it back on itself.

Is this the difference between a "slip" hook and a "grab" hook?

And thus I have exhausted all of my knowledge of chains. Anybody out there to illuminate or debunk the above?

graysailor 03-20-2017 11:35 PM

They would only serve 1/2 the purpose if not crossed. Always crossX

SteveSueMac 03-21-2017 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925095)
Not much probably...other than the law in many (all??) states says they gotta be crossed.



Mine's the same way. You really can't cross them from that configuration without sort of twisting them together.

The Colonel 03-21-2017 07:23 AM

I'm late getting in discussion. I've always crossed chains for the reasons explained several times in this thread.

m.hony 03-21-2017 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925224)
No, a clevis hook is a hook for the TV end of the chain which attaches to the chain with a clevis pin. Yes, you could use a threaded link. Each piece, hook or link, should be rated at or above trailer gvwr for breaking strength.



Is "Grade 8" a term used to describe the strength/weight capacity of chains and hooks?
I really believe the weak link will be where the chains are attached to the trailer tongue/a-frame.

dznf0g 03-21-2017 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925435)
Is "Grade 8" a term used to describe the strength/weight capacity of chains and hooks?
I really believe the weak link will be where the chains are attached to the trailer tongue/a-frame.

Not that I've ever run across. There is a numeric reference to the material used as "43" among other numbers. I really haven't been able to correlate that to their "ratings". This is what I find frustrating with chains and their "accessories"....some listings online and the boxes they come in use terms like "rating" "capacity", etc. These are generic terms and don't tell use if they are referencing working load or breaking strength (tensile strength?).

It is important for us to know both working load and breaking strength in order to comply with the requirement or standard of using a single component or single chain with the breaking strength of at least the gvwr of the trailer. I get nervous when the item is marked, "capacity - 5000 pounds". What does that mean? Is that working load?...if so the breaking strength is between 2 to 3 times that spec, and it would be fine for my 10K trailer....but the package doesn't use proper terminology. I have found bulk boxes of chain which are as vague as the above terminology, as well as some that have working load, breaking strength, as well as the numeric "material coding??" That is where the frustrating hunting and shopping takes place.

This should help with your questions relative to material grading:

https://www.1st-chainsupply.com/aboutgrading.htm

Ah ha, this chart denotes working load limits and has a note about correllating breaking strength:

https://www.1st-chainsupply.com/WLLchart.htm

Now to just find boxes and links and hooks which warrant the same ratings!?!?!?

dznf0g 03-21-2017 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1925435)
Is "Grade 8" a term used to describe the strength/weight capacity of chains and hooks?
I really believe the weak link will be where the chains are attached to the trailer tongue/a-frame.

I'm not sure the tongue loop is a puny as we might think. I'd bet it is a "hard" material and meets the GVWR test, or they couldn't meet DOT and state retention requirements. But, I do wonder about the welding?????

PKI 03-21-2017 02:13 PM

Grade 8 is a bolt strength specification. The link above gives information on chain specifications. Quite interesting. Thanks for posting. Pat

Edit - chain attachment loop strength - a weld to a chassis is only as strong as the chassis material. Also, a high strength material which is heated must be annealed to eliminate stress from the welding process. Doubt very much that the loop is anything other than mild steel. From a positive perspective, the weld is long so it does cover a lot of surface area. Also, the chain does not have to lift the coach. It just needs to keep the coach following the TV if the coupler falls off the ball. There is the potential of shock loading, but less if the tongue is cradled by the chains. There are two chains and that helps with the safety factor up until and if one of the chains fails.

Bill M. 03-21-2017 03:37 PM

In TN if there are 2 chains each one must be rated heavy enough for the trailer. Since chains do not stretch it is assumed that only one will actually be carrying the load. The only reason for having 2 chains seems to be to cross them to hold up the tongue.

dznf0g 03-21-2017 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill M. (Post 1925500)
In TN if there are 2 chains each one must be rated heavy enough for the trailer. Since chains do not stretch it is assumed that only one will actually be carrying the load. The only reason for having 2 chains seems to be to cross them to hold up the tongue.

And if they are crossed, and if there is some separation on chain mounts, two will help the disconnected trailer from wagging as much as a single or un- crossed setup.

dznf0g 03-21-2017 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKI (Post 1925454)
Grade 8 is a bolt strength specification. The link above gives information on chain specifications. Quite interesting. Thanks for posting. Pat

Edit - chain attachment loop strength - a weld to a chassis is only as strong as the chassis material. Also, a high strength material which is heated must be annealed to eliminate stress from the welding process. Doubt very much that the loop is anything other than mild steel. From a positive perspective, the weld is long so it does cover a lot of surface area. Also, the chain does not have to lift the coach. It just needs to keep the coach following the TV if the coupler falls off the ball. There is the potential of shock loading, but less if the tongue is cradled by the chains. There are two chains and that helps with the safety factor up until and if one of the chains fails.

True, but I guess we can take comfort with all the YouTube videos showing a lot of still connected (both coupled and uncoupled, but chained) accidents....some with TVs actually suspended in the air.

Llando88 03-21-2017 03:53 PM

I feel like this is a good thread to ask this question.

Last year, we upgraded from a 27' FB FC to a 30' Rear Queen FC. Colonial moved my Propride hitch over in Lakewood from my 27 to the 30. Both were 2016 models.

Now, here is the question.

My chains were not adjusted going to the larger unit. Should they?

My crossed chains hang abou 1" below the main coupler. The ProPride manual says "this is as long as they ever need to be."

I am slow on the logic here: what does that mean? That the chains will drop down when the rig is turned?

Last question: since we got rolling here in 2017, occasionally I will hear a 'thump' from the location of the hitch when making a gradual turn. I am wondering if it is possible for my chains to be binding at the location where I route them (between the bars on the ProPride) and maybe I ought to lengthen them a bit?

Thanks for any guidance.

Rich

dznf0g 03-21-2017 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1925506)
I feel like this is a good thread to ask this question.

Last year, we upgraded from a 27' FB FC to a 30' Rear Queen FC. Colonial moved my Propride hitch over in Lakewood from my 27 to the 30. Both were 2016 models.

Now, here is the question.

My chains were not adjusted going to the larger unit. Should they?

My crossed chains hang abou 1" below the main coupler. The ProPride manual says "this is as long as they ever need to be."

I am slow on the logic here: what does that mean? That the chains will drop down when the rig is turned?

Last question: since we got rolling here in 2017, occasionally I will hear a 'thump' from the location of the hitch when making a gradual turn. I am wondering if it is possible for my chains to be binding at the location where I route them (between the bars on the ProPride) and maybe I ought to lengthen them a bit?

Thanks for any guidance.

Rich

A picture would help us answer, but on the PPP setup, as you turn the distance from the coupler to the receiver actually DECREASES, so you have a bit MORE slack than when going straight ahead. As long as there is enough chain length so that they do not interfere with the bottom of the stinger while turning, you're good. Oh, and be sure that the chains are routed BETWEEN the spring bars.

wildhorses 03-21-2017 04:27 PM

Another tidbit someone told me many moons ago about trailers:

"Chains First - Chains Last"

When connecting your TV to the trailer, hook up the chains first. When disconnecting, unhook the chains last. I can vouch that a couple of times the "Chains Last" has saved my butt because the trailer wasn't chocked or the chocks didn't hold.

m.hony 03-21-2017 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925453)
I'm not sure the tongue loop is a puny as we might think. I'd bet it is a "hard" material and meets the GVWR test, or they couldn't meet DOT and state retention requirements. But, I do wonder about the welding?????



I'm sure the loop itself is as strong as the chain links, but what about the weld?

Llando88 03-21-2017 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1925514)
A picture would help us answer, but on the PPP setup, as you turn the distance from the coupler to the receiver actually DECREASES, so you have a bit MORE slack than when going straight ahead. As long as there is enough chain length so that they do not interfere with the bottom of the stinger while turning, you're good. Oh, and be sure that the chains are routed BETWEEN the spring bars.


Thanks, I'll post a picture of mine connected up 'normally' tomorrow.

jimrosemergy 03-22-2017 11:57 AM

Thanks everyone for your advice. Crossed chains it is. As we enter the Airstream life we realize this is a deep well with much to learn, but we are eager. Thanks again, Jim and Nancy

zapper 03-22-2017 08:05 PM

If you still have low hanging crossed chains subject to grabbing onto anything beneath them try using bungee cords to bring them up a bit just in front of the hitch ball. Does away with possible binding from having them too tight.

Llando88 03-23-2017 09:17 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1925564)
Thanks, I'll post a picture of mine connected up 'normally' tomorrow.


Attachment 281929

Thoughts?

featherbedder 03-23-2017 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zapper (Post 1926064)
If you still have low hanging crossed chains subject to grabbing onto anything beneath them try using bungee cords to bring them up a bit just in front of the hitch ball. Does away with possible binding from having them too tight.

If chains are hanging low enough to grab any thing beneath them they are to long and worthless as to keeping jack post and coupler from hitting ground. This is the reason that they are crossed to prevent hitting ground. Chains should be just long enough when hooked up with little bit of slack to tv to allow turning w/out binding. I no for fact this way works as had skid steer trailer jump off ball on very busy street, there wasn't any damage or causing accident to other vehicles. When arrived home promptly ordered pintle hook eye, and will never pull any heavy trailer except AS w/out pintle hook set up again

dznf0g 03-23-2017 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1926226)

I'd prefer to see a pic looking straight from the side at tech same level as the hitch, instead of looking down. But it appears to be 1 or 2 links too long for my preference.

Llando88 03-23-2017 10:00 AM

Safety Chains: Cross or Not to Cross
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1926239)
I'd prefer to see a pic looking straight from the side at tech same level as the hitch, instead of looking down. But it appears to be 1 or 2 links too long for my preference.


I agree and plan to shorten them up.

I had been twisting the chains, but now that I know that is not a good idea, I will be removing the bolt at the hook end and moving the chains up at least a link.

I'll check the Propride manual again, but I am aiming for 1" space between the bottom of the main unit and the top side of the chain, right?

dznf0g 03-23-2017 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1926245)
I agree and plan to shorten them up.

I had been twisting the chains, but now that I know that is not a good idea, I will be removing the bolt at the hook end and moving the chains up at least a link.

I'll check the Propride manual again, but I am aiming for 1" space between the bottom of the main unit and the top side of the chain, right?

Yes, and you might want to bungee the umbilical up and out of the way. Also, be sure your threaded connector link is rated properly, as well as your added chain.

Llando88 03-23-2017 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1926247)
Yes, and you might want to bungee the umbilical up and out of the way. Also, be sure your threaded connector link is rated properly, as well as your added chain.


Ah. Ok. Yeah so on the umbilical, where would I route it? Maybe alongside the stinger?

I'll double check the chain and links.

Thanks. Much appreciate the info from those more experienced.

Rich

dznf0g 03-23-2017 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1926272)
Ah. Ok. Yeah so on the umbilical, where would I route it? Maybe alongside the stinger?

I'll double check the chain and links.

Thanks. Much appreciate the info from those more experienced.

Rich

I think I would look into putting a small loop in it way up under the front of the trailer, where it enters the belly (at least on mine). Or under the A frame..effectively shortening it a bit...but make sure you have enough slack for full swing of the trailer in turns, both directions.

Coloradobus 03-23-2017 11:09 AM

Several years ago returning from Hot Springs Ark we were on Okla 212, Cimmeron Turnpike. Rough roads had caused ballmount to wobble up and down. This movement slop in our receiver caused the main pin in shank to rotate causing keeper pin to pop out when it had ratcheted around the point it's end came in contact with molded safety chain loop. The main pin came out at 62 mph when we felt an unusual clunk during driving over bridge seam. Funny we were told leaving our rally by rally participant with our 29.5 ft Squarestream to NOT cross our chains. The crossed chains are what "cradled" ballmount from hitting the pavement. After feeling that "clunk" we slowly glided onto shoulder and got out. Boy oh joy. We were stunned to see ball mount, load bars, friction sway plate, all laying in the chains, yet off the pavement. Disassembled everything, jacked up trailer front and reassembled. We now use a locking ballmount shank pin to ensure not to repeat. Took our Sprinter passenger van to Mercedes dealer to demonstrate the factory receiver "slop" and got no where. So we now have a new Drawtite receiver using their "J" hook lock. All tight. No more slop.

dznf0g 03-23-2017 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coloradobus (Post 1926286)
Several years ago returning from Hot Springs Ark we were on Okla 212, Cimmeron Turnpike. Rough roads had caused ballmount to wobble up and down. This movement slop in our receiver caused the main pin in shank to rotate causing keeper pin to pop out when it had ratcheted around the point it's end came in contact with molded safety chain loop. The main pin came out at 62 mph when we felt an unusual clunk during driving over bridge seam. Funny we were told leaving our rally by rally participant with our 29.5 ft Squarestream to NOT cross our chains. The crossed chains are what "cradled" ballmount from hitting the pavement. After feeling that "clunk" we slowly glided onto shoulder and got out. Boy oh joy. We were stunned to see ball mount, load bars, friction sway plate, all laying in the chains, yet off the pavement. Disassembled everything, jacked up trailer front and reassembled. We now use a locking ballmount shank pin to ensure not to repeat. Took our Sprinter passenger van to Mercedes dealer to demonstrate the factory receiver "slop" and got no where. So we now have a new Drawtite receiver using their "J" hook lock. All tight. No more slop.

Great testimonial! That is exactly the outcome of proper chain setup is supposed to do. Kudos to you for having the presence of mind to NOT stab the brakes. At least not with your foot. I always tell my self that slight and slowly increasing hand application of the controller is what I would do in that situation.

memph 03-23-2017 11:04 PM

Cross. It can help catch tongue of trailer & keep it from digging into pavement of trailer disengages for some reason. That's what trailer technician told me.

Jeff K. 03-23-2017 11:56 PM

Well, thank you. I learned something. I always crossed them but didn't know why. Makes perfect sense.

Llando88 03-30-2017 04:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1926239)
I'd prefer to see a pic looking straight from the side at tech same level as the hitch, instead of looking down. But it appears to be 1 or 2 links too long for my preference.



Ok, I spent some time trying to adjust the chains before unhitching here in San Antonio.

How does this look?

Attachment 282416

I removed the Cotter pin from the shackle and loosened the threaded link.

I then slipped the links off, and then reassembled until the chains droop about 1" off the hitch unit.

This ended up at about 3 links; I think I had 6 before (too long).

Now, the catenary seems to droop forward if the hitch unit, but it looks much much better, and, then chains are no longer twisted up.

Thoughts?

Rich

dznf0g 03-30-2017 04:17 PM

That looks much better. Might try one more link and see how clearance looks. But you may be there now.

dznf0g 03-30-2017 04:19 PM

But before you do that, I would put the tv/as in a tight backing position and inspect for free hanging chain.

Llando88 03-30-2017 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1929675)
But before you do that, I would put the tv/as in a tight backing position and inspect for free hanging chain.



I'll try that exiting the park next week.

Appreciate the input guys.

I got some additional info: I was told to place the hook "up" as opposed to "down" on the truck receiver. I think I have been putting them "down".

What are the pros and cons of hook "up" vs. "down", and which way is best?

dznf0g 03-30-2017 05:35 PM

I have read discussions arguing both ways, but since you (and I) have the spring loaded closures, I don't think it matters.

PKI 03-30-2017 08:02 PM

The chain hook up is reported to be correct. Seems odd, but as stated, with the hook closures it seems not to matter. The reason told us was the potential of weeds and other debris pushing on the closure and opening it while pushing the hook up and out of the attachment loop if secured in the hook down position. So, maybe it does matter.

Also note your loose ends. There is a safety note out in states prone to wild fires asking RVers to not let chains drag .... ie ..... don't create sparks with your chains. So shorten or tie the loose ends up out of the way too. Pat

Llando88 03-30-2017 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKI (Post 1929739)
The chain hook up is reported to be correct. Seems odd, but as stated, with the hook closures it seems not to matter. The reason told us was the potential of weeds and other debris pushing on the closure and opening it while pushing the hook up and out of the attachment loop if secured in the hook down position. So, maybe it does matter.

Also note your loose ends. There is a safety note out in states prone to wild fires asking RVers to not let chains drag .... ie ..... don't create sparks with your chains. So shorten or tie the loose ends up out of the way too. Pat


Thanks Pat. Good info.

If the chains comment was to me, my picture shows my setup in "mid" adjustment. I'll definitely get the loose chain tied up with double ty-wraps when I finalize the length next week.

Rich

Llando88 04-05-2017 03:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Made the adjustment to three links. Chains now hooking "up". Weaved cable through new 'wire lock pin' thingy at top of ball latch.

Better?

Attachment 282776

Boxite 04-05-2017 05:05 PM

Bad idea weaving anything thru that "thingy" as a pull can open and dislodge it, leaving your hitch in condition to unlatch.

If properly-rated chains are used, twisting them to take up slack is not problematical, as the chains are not supporting the weight of the trailer, they are only supporting the weight of the tongue plus some portion of towing-load. (NOTHING like the GVWR)

Chain is rated according to tensile strength. When it states "Grade 43 Chain" it refers to tensile strength. The various Grades are 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100. The lowest grade chain suitable for towing is 43. The lowest grade chain for lifting heavy objects overhead is 80. A 5/16" Grade 43 chain has a working load limit of 3900 .bs. That is not a breaking strength,...it is a Working strength, breaking strength is 3 Times Working Load. This chain will actually stretch prior to breaking.

While twisting them does reduce their ultimate failure (breaking strength), it also provides a reduction in "shock loading" which is the other major failure mode. Since a 5/16" chain of grade 43 (the lowest grade for towing) has a WLL of 3900 (3/8" chain WLL is 5400 lbs) and a breaking strength of 11,700, the Standards and Specifications Chart on welded chain indicates a reduction of only 20%. I don't have a problem twisting my chains towing my 4K lb Bambi. YMMV

Therefore YOUR INSPECTION process should be to examine your chain to insure that the links are not stretched (easily done by comparison). If any are stretched, or if more than 10% of any link is scraped off by drags, cuts, etc., the entire length of chain should be replaced.

The hooks are usually Grade 80. They should be turned upside-down and pulled UP into the TV hitch-eye, then allowed to hang. That will prevent the hook from bouncing up and exiting the eye (even if it didn't have a latch on the hook.)

Hope this helps.

m.hony 04-05-2017 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1932307)
Made the adjustment to three links. Chains now hooking "up". Weaved cable through new 'wire lock pin' thingy at top of ball latch.

Better?

Attachment 282776



Where is your break away brake cable?

featherbedder 04-05-2017 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Llando88 (Post 1932307)
Made the adjustment to three links. Chains now hooking "up". Weaved cable through new 'wire lock pin' thingy at top of ball latch.

Better?

Attachment 282776

In pic. chains are to long, if trailer comes unhooked will not support coupler letting trailer hit ground possibly digging in causing many prob. and severe damage. Read my post #61 of trailer coming unhooked chains supported coupler end keeping out of oncoming traffic and no damage to any thing, and another person posted when hitch came out carried on chains until safe stop. If tie up slack in chains that are to long they are worthless.

Llando88 04-05-2017 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1932367)
Where is your break away brake cable?



Attached on the left (far) side. You can just about see the curly wire in the photo above the hitch, stretched taught without a catenary.

Llando88 04-05-2017 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by featherbedder (Post 1932388)
In pic. chains are to long, if trailer comes unhooked will not support coupler letting trailer hit ground possibly digging in causing many prob. and severe damage. Read my post #61 of trailer coming unhooked chains supported coupler end keeping out of oncoming traffic and no damage to any thing, and another person posted when hitch came out carried on chains until safe stop. If tie up slack in chains that are to long they are worthless.


How long is too long?

In other words, they are too long by how many inches, in your view?

Llando88 04-05-2017 09:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boxite (Post 1932351)
Bad idea weaving anything thru that "thingy" as a pull can open and dislodge it, leaving your hitch in condition to unlatch.



Here's the wire lock pin. Kinda hard to see how this is coming loose?

Attachment 282804

I certainly see where it could be a point of failure. I'll double check it tomorrow. I might re-insert the keyed locking pin I had, and use the wire lock pin as a cable guide only, on top of the locking pin.

Reference the other points, the chains I have came with the Airstream, so assume they are adequate.

I'm trying to adjust the chains' length, so I don't have to twist them. I get what you are saying, but I'm not sure why you'd insert a twist, vs. the option of setting the chains to the correct length 'once'. Seems to me it would make any discussion of weakness induced by twisting kinda moot. Ymmv I guess.

Boxite 04-06-2017 12:46 AM

Shortening the chains permanently means they may not work when I use a different hitch or tow vehicle. Twisting them allows them to be adjusted to any setup.
Ever notice that liability conscious U-Haul twists their trailer chains when they hitch you up to one of their rental units? That's allowable because the safety chains are greatly over rated for the task.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.