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-   -   Safety Chains: Cross or Not to Cross (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/safety-chains-cross-or-not-to-cross-164153.html)

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.


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