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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)

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?


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