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Old 05-06-2015, 01:31 PM   #31
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I have a small clarification/question.

In regards to twisting safety chains. They should not be twisted to shorten them but as far as I know the two chains can be braided or wrapped around each other. But an individual chain should not be twisted.

Is that correct?

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Old 05-06-2015, 02:00 PM   #32
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Good to know. Thanks!

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Old 05-06-2015, 02:19 PM   #33
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Cross the chains. The "X" in the chains will cradle the tongue of the trailer, keeping it from hitting the road in the event of a unhook. At least that was what I was always told.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:42 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Subaru297 View Post
I have a small clarification/question.

In regards to twisting safety chains. They should not be twisted to shorten them but as far as I know the two chains can be braided or wrapped around each other. But an individual chain should not be twisted.

Is that correct?
Correct: 'An individual chain should not be twisted'. It weakens the chain.

Correct: 'Chains can be wrapped around each other.' In fact, many of us here believe it is required to cross the safety chains once. It certainly seems to a good practice whether or not required by law. Crossing more than once would shorten the chains further, but should not weaken them. A better long-term solution would be to have the terminating hooks in a different link of the chain.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by oldmanAZ View Post
Correct: 'An individual chain should not be twisted'. It weakens the chain.

I intentionally avoided this discussion.

To me the "create a basket to catch" theory is a bit of a stretch. If the chains are called upon to do their thing there is not going to be straight back and consistent pull. The tongue will wander. It will also tend to run under and back out from the tow the vehicle.

I personally feel that crossing the chains puts a better stress on the chain anchor points and helps to keep hooks attached by tending to keep the tongue more in line as it tries to wander back forth.

That is one reason that I think using bungee cords to keep longish chains from dragging is a reasonable solution.

Twisting chains does weaken/de-rate them. If a rigger on any of my projects twisted a lifting chain to shorten it he/she would be put off the job. It just isn't done.

That said, I've watched two different U-Haul prep people at two different U-Haul businesses twist the chains on rented trailers to shorten them. The chains looked very over-sized so I never commented or questioned them.

In my opinion, the best answer is to use proper terminating hooks as oldmanAZ already mentioned.

FWIW. vic
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:18 AM   #36
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Another method to shorten safety chains is to use D-ring shackles or quick links.

Some info from recent thread.
Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post
Screw pin D-ring shackles will work. I've seen USA made screw pin shackles distort under load without failure. (Don't know if that applies to the typical emerging country products.) I recommend selecting a screw pin or bolt shackle, not a pin shackle that just uses a cotter pin keeper. Stainless steel may be a good option if sized correctly.

Clevis D Ring Shackles

Page 28 below


I prefer them to hooks for directly connecting chains to the anchor points. S hooks have been known to jump off. I loop the shackle over the hitch anchor loop and position the pin through the proper length safety chain link. I always orient the screw pin thread to be on the lower part. A bit of Vaseline or grease on the threads keeps things from seizing.

A hook will easily fit into a D-ring shackle if that is what you want to do.

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Old 05-29-2015, 11:08 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Angus View Post
Noob question. My deal told me that when my TT is plugged into my TV, the battery is charging. Is this true?
The tow's 12V supply to the trailer's battery is simply to keep the breakaway power supply topped up.

If you have kept your battery charged (plugged in, solar, etc.) you will find a fully charged battery at journey's end.

Don't expect your tow to recharge the trailer's battery after a week of boondocking.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:16 AM   #38
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Some additional EPDM roof comments.

Originally Posted by edatlanta View Post
The EPDM roof on my Designer was manufactured by Alpha Systems. During my last roof clean/treat it was noted that there was some "alligator skin" type cracking in some areas around the a/c units. I was concerned as this unit is approaching 5 years of full time use. I took pictures and sent to Alpha Systems and their response is below received in February 2015:

Hello Sir,

Your roof looks fine. What you are experiencing is the oxidation process that the roof membrane goes through as it ages and is exposed to the elements. It does get that Ďalligatorí skin appearance that you have. Over time the white layer will chalk and flake off exposing the black layer that is underneath. The white layer is considered cosmetic and the black layer underneath is the primary protection for your unit. Just because the white layer is going through this process does not mean the roof is going to fail, this is normal and expected. The roof is about 38 mils thick and the white layer is only the top 2 mils of this so you still have plenty of roof left.

There are roof coatings that can be painted on the roof to make it look new and white again, but typically those are only recommended once the roof starts to be more black than white. Until then just the regular cleaning is all that is necessary. If/When you do decide to recoat the roof you just need to make sure to purchase a product that is made for EPDM rubber roofs.

Some people choose not to recoat their roof and let it turn completely black, this is ok too. If you take this route you would just have to start using rubber roof conditioners to make sure the roof does not start to dry out.

Hope this eases your worries.


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If you decide that you need to coat your roof the comments here may help to select a product.

Originally Posted by spoon059 View Post
I don't really recommend roof coatings at all, I would be afraid they would just hide a problem and make it harder to find.

You can buy a liquid EPDM rubber however. It is a 2 part liquid that you mix together and let it sit for a couple minutes, then can brush or roll one. It is the exact same chemical compound as your sheet EPDM. It adheres to your old EPDM and creates a new section of roof, not a "patch".

My old trailer had a tear in the rubber and soft wood. I cut out the rubber over the bad area and put new decking down over the roof. I then "painted" the liquid EPDM over the new decking and overlapped the existing rubber roof. When it cured, it was a one piece roof again with no new edges.
For more information, clicking on the blue arrow icon within any quote box should take you to the original post/thread.

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Old 08-04-2015, 08:53 AM   #39
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Trailer Safety Chains!!!

I always fasten my crossed trailer safety chains when towing. When I replace safety chains I use shackles rather than the typical OEM "S" hooks. The original hardened "S" hooks cannot be bent open for re-use. I have more faith in screw pin shackles over "S" hooks. Shackles cannot jump loose like "S" hooks may. Good quality screw pin shackles will distort before failure. The shackle allows installation into selected links for chain length adjustment.

I covet any lifting equipment in my possession which is stamped "Made in USA".

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If your included "S" hooks don't have an OEM keeper I install them with a heavy rubber band keeper across the open end. Simply slip the multiple loops of the rubber band over the chain, install the hook on the loop, and then bring the rubber band out over the open "S" end. I most often use rubber rings cut from bicycle inner tubes. The rubber over the end helps to prevent jumping off. Electrical tape would also help if rubber isn't available.

We were returning from a regatta the other day when we had our sailboat trailer jump off the hitch ball. A J/22 keel boat approx. 2700# all up with trailer. I'm convinced that I didn't have the hitch properly seated down on the ball. Our hitch clamp is a bit finicky when the hitch is lowered onto the ball. If the hitch isn't kept back while being lowered, it is possible to trap the clamp rather than have the fork be properly positioned under the ball. We were first in to the boat hoist (we won overall with no need for the last race... sorry, bragging) and I went to pick up the trailer alone while the team got the boat lifted. I don't remember specifically looking under at the trailer ball clamp position which is my normal SOP. Operator error is the most likely cause.

Anyway we were traveling on the highway at about 55 mph when we hit a big dip in the road followed by a loud bang and horrible rumbling. I slowed (not braked hard) and slid over to the shoulder with a bunch of black smoke pouring behind us.

The crossed safety chains did their job. The trailer tongue surged under the van and back out while the trailer tongue skid loop dragged along the ground. As I have said all along there was no "basket catch" of the tongue by the chains. The crossed chains did keep the trailer attached and tracking properly while maintaining control. The smoke was from the galvanized tongue skid loop being ground down flat by the pavement.

With two people we were able to lift the tongue and swing the tongue jack back under. The backup plan was to lift the tongue using the small floor jack which I always carry.

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Visual inspection of the hitch clamp and other parts showed no damage. We reconnected and continued home without further incident.

Some things I learned.

The crossed trailer safety chains with shackles did their job.

If you don't panic and hit the brakes hard, gradually slowing down allows the chains to get you safely over to the side of the road. Don't be alarmed if you see some smoke when slowing down.

The crossed chains do not at all act like a "basket".

If your rig has a tongue skid plate be certain to check that it is in place and properly fastened. For a time mine was out of place. Fortunately I had repaired it. I'm glad that I did. I'm certain that it saved further damage.

Double, triple check that your trailer hitch is properly seated and clamped on to the ball.

Always connect your safety chains.

Note: Please take any trailer chain specific discussions to another thread than this New (Bee) thread.


P.S. - I was made aware that I misinterpreted the Goodyear Marathon radial "10 psi over" recommendation. It refers to 10 psi over recommended inflation, not 10 psi over sidewall pressure. Back in the days of towing with a station wagon we would run our tires over max inflation so being a bit over didn't seem out of place. I was wrong. (I need to find time to submit revision to a moderator.)
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:39 PM   #40
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Good info. Towing 40 FER first time after owning TT. Any need to secure residential fridge? Old TT had door latch. This one seems to rely on mag strips to hold doors closed. Thanks

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