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Old 06-10-2021, 10:12 PM   #1
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breakaway cable, proper TV attachment

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Originally Posted by chriscowles View Post
The breakaway cable should not be attached to the safety chains in any way. It should be attached directly to the tow vehicle, not to the hitch, and free from any entanglement.
My dealer wove the breakaway cable through the safety chains multiple times then attached with the safety chain to the vehicle. If I unweave the cable it is significantly longer than the safety chains. What is the proper length and attachment for the breakaway cable? If I attach directly to the TV and the trailer were to come off the hitch a the chains would keep it from breaking away but the trailer brakes would never activate.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:22 PM   #2
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00718W3YK...lv_ov_lig_dp_i

This is what we use on our current trailer. We were told when we bought it was that it is illegal in Washington state to run the break away cable through the safety chains.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by OscarsMom2 View Post
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00718W3YK...lv_ov_lig_dp_i

This is what we use on our current trailer. We were told when we bought it was that it is illegal in Washington state to run the break away cable through the safety chains.
X2

One of the 1st mods we did.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyflotrtim View Post
My dealer wove the breakaway cable through the safety chains multiple times then attached with the safety chain to the vehicle. If I unweave the cable it is significantly longer than the safety chains. What is the proper length and attachment for the breakaway cable? If I attach directly to the TV and the trailer were to come off the hitch a the chains would keep it from breaking away but the trailer brakes would never activate.
If the trailer comes off the hitch and is on the safety chains then it has not broken away from the tow vehicle. You do not want the breakaway cable to be pulled at this point because it could lock the trailer brakes up, the trailer skids to one side and pulls your tow vehicle with it and you are completely out of control, possibly causing the tow vehicle to roll over.

The proper connection is that the shortest length is the safety chains. The next longest item is the 7-pin connector cable. The longest item of the three is the breakaway cable which should be connected directly to the tow vehicle at a point other than the hitch.

The sequence of events should be:
1. The hitch or trailer coupler fails.
2. The safety chains catch the trailer. Hopefully keeping the tongue off the pavement, but maybe dragging the trailer along with the tongue on the pavement.
3. The driver activates the trailer brakes using the manual override control on the brake controller, and to a lesser extent the tow vehicle's brakes to, hopefully, bring everything to a controlled stop. This is why the 7-pin connector cable needs to be longer than the safety chains.
4. In the event that the safety chains fail - or it is a complete failure of the hitch where the entire hitch separates from the tow vehicle, safety chains and all - then, as a very last resort, the breakaway cable pulls the pin and the trailer brakes are applied at full force to stop the trailer that has now completely separated from the tow vehicle.

Weaving the breakaway through the tow chains is wrong. I use a coiled breakaway cable so that it can be long enough without dragging on the pavement:
https://www.amazon.com/Fastway-Foot-.../dp/B00E4O8J4M
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:40 AM   #5
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We run ours through the hitch pin the onto the truck. Weaving it through the chains won't properly activate it, imo.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:24 AM   #6
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Here is an example of why this should not be done. We had a MH with a factory installed hitch and towed an 18' boat for several years without issues. Though the trailer did not have brakes, the circumstances are still pertinent

Returning from a vacation trip, we were on the Interstate about 18 miles from home. Traffic was moderate. We heard a noise like a tailpipe dragging the pavement and eased off the road onto the shoulder. It was more serious that a tailpipe. The hitch had failed and the boat trailer rode to a stop riding on the metal caster on the jack. I disconnected the trailer from the MH and lifted up on the trailer hitch. The hitch completely broke off the MH. The safety chains that were connected to what broke off. Had the trailer not had the caster jack, it would have been much worse. The state police assisted and managed to contact our relative to tow the boat home. The jack caster was trashed because it was not made to roll at highway speeds. Replacing the jack was way more palletable than replacing the boat, not to mention the serious danger to others that day. Luck was with us and those in our proximity.

So, to answer the question, the safety chains connected to a hitch that broke off served no purpose. And if a breakaway cable were attached in the same manner, it also would have been useless. But, this is only part of the warning. Routine inspections of the trailer hitch are necessary. Check for rust, failing welds and metal fatigue.
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:28 AM   #7
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Required Reading

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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
If the trailer comes off the hitch and is on the safety chains then it has not broken away from the tow vehicle. You do not want the breakaway cable to be pulled at this point because it could lock the trailer brakes up, the trailer skids to one side and pulls your tow vehicle with it and you are completely out of control, possibly causing the tow vehicle to roll over.

The proper connection is that the shortest length is the safety chains. The next longest item is the 7-pin connector cable. The longest item of the three is the breakaway cable which should be connected directly to the tow vehicle at a point other than the hitch.

The sequence of events should be:
1. The hitch or trailer coupler fails.
2. The safety chains catch the trailer. Hopefully keeping the tongue off the pavement, but maybe dragging the trailer along with the tongue on the pavement.
3. The driver activates the trailer brakes using the manual override control on the brake controller, and to a lesser extent the tow vehicle's brakes to, hopefully, bring everything to a controlled stop. This is why the 7-pin connector cable needs to be longer than the safety chains.
4. In the event that the safety chains fail - or it is a complete failure of the hitch where the entire hitch separates from the tow vehicle, safety chains and all - then, as a very last resort, the breakaway cable pulls the pin and the trailer brakes are applied at full force to stop the trailer that has now completely separated from the tow vehicle.

Weaving the breakaway through the tow chains is wrong. I use a coiled breakaway cable so that it can be long enough without dragging on the pavement:
https://www.amazon.com/Fastway-Foot-.../dp/B00E4O8J4M
So well written this should be part of the paperwork given to every new trailer owner, IMHO!
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OscarsMom2 View Post
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00718W3YK...lv_ov_lig_dp_i

This is what we use on our current trailer. We were told when we bought it was that it is illegal in Washington state to run the break away cable through the safety chains.
Agree. Make sure to get the 6' one.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:54 AM   #9
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The breakaway cable should be attached to the tow vehicle frame, not woven thru chains, nor attached to the hitch, as the hitch is bolted to the TV and could also come loose.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:53 PM   #10
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I made a small cable with loops on it, bolted it to the frame of the truck.

The cable tucks up behind the bumper when not in use.








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Old 06-17-2021, 09:20 AM   #11
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That is an awesome idea!!
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:45 PM   #12
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01 tundra, you've just relieved my worries of the coiled break away I ordered being too short. I can make a pig tail from the OEM cable. First time I noticed the cable wound through the safety chains I thought, how can that work ?
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:25 AM   #13
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01 tundra, you've just relieved my worries of the coiled break away I ordered being too short. I can make a pig tail from the OEM cable. First time I noticed the cable wound through the safety chains I thought, how can that work ?
I tried the 6' and is was way too long, the 4' Fastway coiled cable is perfect.

https://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-8...4026327&sr=8-1
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:52 PM   #14
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I tried the 6' and is was way too long, the 4' Fastway coiled cable is perfect.



https://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-8...4026327&sr=8-1
Good to know, that's the one on order. Been happy with my Fastway hitch so trusted the brand.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 01tundra View Post
I tried the 6' and is was way too long, the 4' Fastway coiled cable is perfect.

https://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-8...4026327&sr=8-1
All depends on your hitch setup. I got the 4 one and it was too short! I used the good part of the old OEM cable to splice a connection to the breakaway switch to avoid returning the 4 one.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:24 PM   #16
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All depends on your hitch setup. I got the 4’ one and it was too short! I used the good part of the old OEM cable to splice a connection to the breakaway switch to avoid returning the 4’ one.
Did you pull the 4’ until the pin released?

I ask because I thought ours was too short until I pulled it to pin release.

I’d be curious to see your hitch set up.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:34 PM   #17
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Did you pull the 4 until the pin released?

I ask because I thought ours was too short until I pulled it to pin release.

Id be curious to see your hitch set up.
I sure did pull it all the way to uncoil the new one. It barely reached and would have pulled the pin on most right hand turns as the truck frame attaching point is to the left of center.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:36 PM   #18
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Other than a breakaway cable of a ridiculous length you can't get one that's too long as long as it's not dragging on the pavement.

Breakaway is the LAST link in the sequence after the coupler has broken or disconnected, the chains have snapped, and the trailer is running off all by itself. Not there to save the trailer, it's to prevent the loose trailer from damaging other things.

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Old 06-24-2021, 07:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Freetyme View Post
01 tundra, you've just relieved my worries of the coiled break away I ordered being too short. I can make a pig tail from the OEM cable. First time I noticed the cable wound through the safety chains I thought, how can that work ?
Exactly what I thought when the dealership service manager did that to my new camper the day I purchased it.

After getting home .. I studied it a bit and decided that was wrong. Ordered the 6 fool coiled cable and tossed the factory bare cable.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:39 PM   #20
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I use a carabiner through the loop and attach it to one of the same loops on the hitch as a chain. I do not weave it through the chains.
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