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Old 05-08-2016, 10:55 AM   #1
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trailer brake safety cable...

does anyone not use that cable you hook through the chains and t your truck...??

i have been doing that but its been a PITA. i purchased my trailer at camping world and they ran it through the steel chains... but its longer by quite a bit so as i would drive it would get caught by the wind and move and more than once it was on the tongue jack stand... i also discovered the part that was through the chains would hit the ground with the chains at certain times and no the cable has been worn down almost in two pieces so its useless anyway.... for now i have just wrapped it to my trailer and tapped it there. in other words not using it at all.. at this point I'm more worried about premature use of the cable and it locking the brakes when i don't need it to....
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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I believe you should NOT "weave" the break away cable through your safety chains. Our new trailer also had an extreamly long cable. As soon as I could I replaced it with a "Fastway Coiled Breakaway Cable" no more worries of dragging the cable and no more trouble trying to route it. Cost was well under $20.00 and install was very easy. I am not affiliated with the company in any way but like their products.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:32 AM   #3
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Do not run through the chains, that defeats the purpose of the cable.

If it's two long you can twist a few times and they twist will shorten a bit. Or you can buy spiral ones.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:55 AM   #4
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That cable is a safety device, shorten the cable or buy a shorter one. IF you had an accident or the trailer broke loose guess who pays. Not matter who was at fault they will blame the disabled safety feature. Your own insurance may refuse to pay.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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Also, the break away cable should be hooked to the tow vehicle, not to the chains or even the hitch. None of that will do you any good if the hitch breaks free from the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy W. View Post
Also, the break away cable should be hooked to the tow vehicle, not to the chains or even the hitch. None of that will do you any good if the hitch breaks free from the tow vehicle.
they had it looped through the chains then you would hook it the same place you hooked the chains.. but still i need to find something better if its needed. doing it that way it ended up dragging on the ground until it broke.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #7
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I've only had my trailer for a month or so and the RV center where I purchased it did the setup for the hitch. They routed the brake safety cable through the chains, which I thought was odd and sorta defeated the purpose in case the hitch comes loose. I think routing it through the chains is a common but wrong typical procedure.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:22 PM   #8
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Where should the cable be attached? To the bumper?
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:27 PM   #9
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Good question and not sure. Mine is still through the chains but I've looked at it several times and tried to think on where best to attach and how long it should be. If the trailer hitch comes off the TV and is only held by the chains then it should be a length such that it would pull the pin while the chains are still attached, assuming they hold. If the chains were to break then I assume it would pull the pin regardless. My understanding, which may be wrong, is that it should pull the pin while the chains are still attached to the TV. Will wait for someone with more experience to reply.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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I'm convinced that breakaway switches are probably used wrong by at least 90% of the rigs on the road - and that's because none of the dealers or manufacturers take them seriously.
Almost all the TT's I see nowdays have the cable clipped to the loops designed for the breakaway chains. The rest have them someplace even worse - hooked over the hitch ball before dropping the coupler on it.
As someone who's had personal experience with a hitch breaking loose from a TV I can tell you neither of those are optimal. My hitch was an aftermarket - welded on by someone with insufficient experience in welding. It broke almost completely free before we managed to stop the rig.

But in today's world - almost all hitches are factory installed and bolted on. The probability of the entire hitch breaking free is probably statistically very very small. The biggest risk is that the hitch ball nut get loose and you don't notice (has also happened to me), or you forget to put the latch down on the hitch ball and even with the Weigh Distributing arms, the hitch bounces off the ball which I think would be very hard.

Not sure if the breakaway cable should be shorter than the safety chains - I've never actually seen one that was - all of mine over the years have been longer. It does seem to make sense but . . .

So it's probably fine to clip the cable to the same place you clip the safety chains/cables. However, I'm also a big fan of the coiled cables.

I wonder if any crash testing agency or RV manufacturer has actually tested what happens when a trailer breaks free at a high speed and stays connected by chains - I certainly hope so . . .
But a quick Google search turned up this rather radical web site: Dangerous Trailers - Saving Lives
Be warned the navigation is horrible.
If you dig around enough they are mainly advocating for federal standards for hitch components, state laws in all states on safety chains and breakaway cables and state inspections.
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