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Old 06-10-2014, 01:05 AM   #1
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Safety Chain Length

I have a 2013 Ford F150 with a towing package and a 2013 Micro Lite 23lb and towed 3 times last year without a WD system. No sway issues, but the steering felt light and I wasn't comfortable towing. So over the winter I ordered a Equal-i-zer WD hitch. And now I have to setup it up. My issue is that the safety chains on my TT are just long enough to hook to the F150 with the Equal-i-zer WD hitch installed, but won't be quite long enough to allow for any sharp turns. The length of the chain from the hitch to the "S" hooks is 23 inches. Another few inches in chain length would cure the problem.

My first question:
Are the following "quick links", rated at 5,000 lbs., sold by Autozone strong enough to properly secure my TT to my truck if stuff happened (gross TT weight is listed as 4,718 lbs). I think the links are strong enough, but I value all opinions and experience (in other words...wisdom):

Reese/5/16 in. safety chain clip quick links (7007900) | Quick Link Trailer Connector | AutoZone.com

My second question is:
If the "quick links" are strong enough, would it be okay to hook them to the TV receiver and then hook the "S" hooks through the quick links? The reason I'm asking this is that I can't spread one of the "S" hooks to disconnect the original chain from it (I did get one hook spread enough). If I could, I would simply install a "quick link" to the last link on the chains and then through the the "s" hook, but it won't happen because of the one hook not spreading. If the quick links aren't strong enough I'll have to replace the original chains and have a welding or trailer shop thread the new chains through new chain supports before they weld the supports to the hitch. And that ain'ta gonna be cheap.

I'm sort of disappointed that Forest River would install safety chains that's so short they can't be fitted up to one of the more popular WD systems. Any answers and/or suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:59 AM   #2
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In regards to length of S Chains they should allow (Full arc-L&R) crossed to capture the Tongue of the trailer if separated,activating the E-Brake as well! The (Factory chains on ours have a Certification Tag on them,that states Strength # Info). The S-hooks on the chains (Cant) be easily Opened,if so they would be Useless! The (Factory chains) came Way longer than needed,they had to be set for the (Final TV setup). Youroo!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:32 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that safety chains should be crossed under the hitch to catch it in case the ball becomes disconnected for some reason and keep the tongue from touching the ground. The crossed chains keep the tongue contained in a saddle. If they are long enough to just barely let you hook them, they are long enough as the chains work in an arc when you turn and the distance from where the chain hooks on the trailer DOES NOT increase when you turn. If the chains are too long, simply twist them until you can just barely get them hooked.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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I appreciate the reply's.
The chains have certification tags:



I'm aware of the crossed chains to cradle the tongue in case of a disconnect and I've always done that on both my boat trailers and TT. And that leads to another question: On my TT the safety chains are connected to a single metal loop welded just under the ball receiver on the tongue. Because the chains are not separated at this connection point, it's impossible for them to form an "X" uder the hitch when crossing them, but I always cross them out of habit. On my previous TT the chains were connected to each side of the tongue, making the "X" when crossed. Here's two photos of my current chains:





The chains each have 18 links and are 23" in length, not including the S hooks. I'm wondering if all the Micro-Lites have a similar chain connection.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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Dats some good pics!
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
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Interesting. Yeah, crossing the chains will still result in a "V", not an "X".
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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The chains on my Roo are attached the exact same way...
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by force View Post
The chains on my Roo are attached the exact same way...
They will still catch the tongue. I always used a 3/8" gr 8 bolt on each side and cut the single attaching point off. Just the way I was "teached".
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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I guess part of my concern is with the chains getting hung up on the bottom of the Equal-i-zer hitch. That's why I wish they were a bit longer and hung a little lower, clearing the hitch. If, by chance, during my final adjustment of the new hitch, I have to raise the ball a few inches to match my leveled TT, I'm afraid the chains will be in even more contact with the hitch (raising the tongue also raises the chains). I did a "rough" hooked up of my TT, with my new WD hitch to the truck so I could take a couple of pictures of what I'm talking about:





Most of the replies stated my chain length should be okay. I'm probably worried over nothing, but I'd rather hear from some seasoned vets (as I have already) with their opinions on the forum than to go ahead a screw something up. I'll have to wait until a camping trip, later this month, to fine tune the Equal-i-zer hitch with a fully loaded TT and TV.

Also...thanks to all that replied...I value your opinions.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:32 PM   #10
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I think the chains will be alright. I don't have your kind of WD bars so I can't speak to that but it looks like the hitch is angled a little much. But I would try to get the safety cable away from all that to keep it from getting tangled up and accidentally getting pulled.

But what do I know.

Still great pics!
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