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Old 09-17-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
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To the California family in Michigan

To the California family in Michigan I ran into at the gas pumps Monday afternoon pulling JayFlight: I'm sorry that I didn't have enough time to finish explaining to the male passenger the function of the dangling breakaway cable you failed to connect to anything. I didn't mean to sound threatening when I mentioned that it may be a ticketable offense here in the mitten state. What I really wanted to explain to you was how horribly wrong every aspect of your round bar weight distributing hitch was set up for what I know was a very long trip for you and your family. The list was long:
-Four chain links on the bars
-Bars pointing uphill so far they were gouging the frame rails.
-the hitch head with absolutely no angle which was what necessitated the short chains
-the severe (and I mean severe) bend in the oem receiver due to the loads on it
-The lack of crossed safety chains (which IS a ticketable offense here in Michigan)

I wish you safe travels, but for the sake of everyone you share the road with, learn how to properly hitch your trailer before the rig fails you injure or kill someone!!
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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happens more often than you think....part of the blame is on the dealers handing over keys and not involving people in the hitch set up.

Although there were signs everywhere saying I couldn't be out in the shop when I picked up my trailer I didn't care and was going to be a part of the whole hitch set up
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:28 AM   #3
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I know. It pains me to see people so blissfully unaware of the 8 tons of rig hurtling down the road at break-neck speeds. It scares me that police and the owners themselves are so completely unaware of the potential for something to go horribly awry.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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You mention crossed safety chains. Could you explain the reason? I just hook mine straight and have been towing for 20 years
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismoore701 View Post
You mention crossed safety chains. Could you explain the reason? I just hook mine straight and have been towing for 20 years
it is so IF the trailer unhooks it will "cradle" in the crossed chains instead of the coupler hitting the ground which hopefully will replicate the control as if it never fell off.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nbhybrid View Post
it is so IF the trailer unhooks it will "cradle" in the crossed chains instead of the coupler hitting the ground
+1

Also it is illegal in many states to not have your chains crossed.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:59 AM   #7
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Just good practice although my utility trailer and most boat trailers I have seen with a single narrow pole have the chains attached from a single point on the pole so crossing them has zero effect.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tex1961 View Post
+1

Also it is illegal in many states to not have your chains crossed.
Done, I have now changed my connection arrangement

Thanks
Chris
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:56 AM   #9
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Indeed, it's a good practice for the reasons mentioned above, even if not required by law.

In Michigan, however, it IS required by law:
MCL 257.721(3)

On re-reading it just now, I realized that the federal requirement that this section references only applies to implements of husbandry, and, therefore, would NOT apply to a RV being towed by another vehicle.

That being said, I thought I was discussing this with a coworker a while back, and he had told me about having received a ticket for 'improper connection' or something of the sort for just this issue. I need to do some more digging...
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhybrid View Post
happens more often than you think....part of the blame is on the dealers handing over keys and not involving people in the hitch set up.

Although there were signs everywhere saying I couldn't be out in the shop when I picked up my trailer I didn't care and was going to be a part of the whole hitch set up
+1

Some of these dealers are just maddeningly cavalier about what they're doing out there. The seem to not care at all that John Doe and family are putting themselves and everyone else on the road in danger because the dealer technician "couldn't afford" to take a few extra minutes to explain proper setup. And these buyers trust the staff at the dealership to not put them in harm's way, and they constantly violate that trust. It just bugs me.

And I even questioned my technician about why my hitch was setup wrong. He gave me some BS response; I wasn't buying for a second. So I just fixed it when I got back home to my tools.

I constantly ignore those signs too, though I will usually ask the technician if I can watch, just to be polite. I've never had one tell me "no".
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