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Old 09-22-2015, 02:34 PM   #11
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I always hook up and then use the trailer jack to lift the suspension on the truck a bit before putting on the weight distribution bars. This method also allows me to verify the hitch is locked down correctly.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:41 PM   #12
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X2... Had a utility trailer unhitch on bumpy road and crossed chains cradled it and then kept the trailer from hitting the back of my truck while braking
I think with small trailers its works fine. But dropping the moving force of a 700# tongue or more, not so much.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:46 PM   #13
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The chains on my white hawk are connected at the same spot so there is no way to cross them.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:08 PM   #14
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I know that it is a law in some states to cross the chains. It is an excellent practice whether it is law or not.

The crossed chains are to help keep the tongue from swinging out further back and forth. Anyone that wants to can believe that it will cradle the tongue, but the physics of the situation don't support that. (Pun intended.) Please explain to me how the "cradle" works without constant tension on the chains. As soon as the tow vehicle speed is less than than the towed speed the tongue will drop.

Think about it.

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Old 09-22-2015, 09:28 PM   #15
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That part of 75 has been bad for years. Your lucky something worse did not happen. I have dropped two trailers. First was a 10 ft flatbed that the hitch mechanism actually broke. I was just pulling from a stop when that happened. Other was our 8 ft pop up when going over railroad tracks at about 20 mph. That one I did the same thing, had the latch locked but the mechanism was on top of the ball. That was scary enough, would hate to do it at 60.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:16 AM   #16
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Glad you are fine. The brakes are probably fine, but you will need new tires due to the flat spots.

AS for the hitching up issue. I have not looked into it. But that happened to me once. I even lifted the nose up so I could install the WDH bars and it lifted the TV. But as I was doing my double check, I noticed something looked wrong, it just looked like to much space between the top of the WDH and the bottom of the trailer tongue. I fully unhooked and realized that somehow that plate was able to slip somewhere and allow the tongue lock to slide into place. We never left the driveway, but boy did it make me nervous for many trips. I still double check for that scenario (most of the time).

Glad you made it home, hopefully the DW is not to traumatized.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:37 AM   #17
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Had that happen years ago on a boat trailer. That was pucker time!

The tongue did some damage to my truck lid and bumper before I could get stopped.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:52 AM   #18
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I go one better than just X'ing the chains I wrap them around each other several times think triple X. It provides a better cradle incase this happens.. As a safety check once the trailer is on the ball and locked use the tongue jack to lift the back of vehicle up several inches.. this will ensure it is fully engaged.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post
I know that it is a law in some states to cross the chains. It is an excellent practice whether it is law or not.

The crossed chains are to help keep the tongue from swinging out further back and forth. Anyone that wants to can believe that it will cradle the tongue, but the physics of the situation don't support that. (Pun intended.) Please explain to me how the "cradle" works without constant tension on the chains. As soon as the tow vehicle speed is less than than the towed speed the tongue will drop.

Think about it.

vic
It only works to cradle/catch the coupler if the lengths of the chains are correct.

Too long and what's left of the coupler will strike the ground. Bad situation just got worse.
Too short...Lots of problems: Can't install chains, sharp turns bend things. Poor operation.

Crossing the chains (no Ghostbuster jokes, please) helps limit side-to side swinging after coupler failure better than leaving them straight.

So, lets all pay attention to our hitching process. Double and triple check our work before driving off. Then again at every stop.

Lets keep the surprises in the 'Pleasant' category as much as possible?
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