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Old 08-22-2015, 01:30 PM   #1
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Check your tow chains on your TT

Just purchased a new Rockwood Minilite 2304KS, and went out for 2 days on its shake-down trip.

Had a few minor things to get fixed and had it at the dealers, and as I was disconnecting it from my tow vehicle I noticed "both" tow chains were not attached to the TT's tongue. Apparently the welded bracket holding the chains had broken completely off. Interesting that the chains showed no signs of being dragged. Glad I was at the dealers so they can fix this. I have never experienced this before or heard of anyone having the same problem.

Just thought I'd give everyone a heads up to check you TT.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:52 PM   #2
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We're the chains too tight? There should be to pressure on that plate during normal towing.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #3
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No the chains were not too tight. They were crossed and hung down like they should. No indication any force was applied to the tongue or chains.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:15 PM   #4
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They only tack welded it and forgot to finish the job.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:46 PM   #5
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The chains on my 2503S were too tight. It didn't appear that way, but when I brought it home from the dealers, i got the TV almost 90 degrees to the trailer backing it into my driveway. Heard a loud bang and you can see the results below. Had a local place reweld with longer chains.

I thought it was a fluke, but now I'm not so sure. I think you're the 3rd person with chain problems recently.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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I just had to lengthen the chains on my trailer, different model but same style connection. When hooked up they looked great but when I got the new TV the hitch stuck out a bit further so once I was in motion and moving they became tighter than I wanted. Replaced the chains pre-breakage luckily...
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #7
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Exactly why I don't believe that how the majority of the chains are attached would hold a heavy TT in the event of a disconnect. I would rather they be bolted to each side of the A-frame. That is provided the frame isn't made from tin foil.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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After dragging our chain for a few miles, we got the Fastway Chainup from Amazon that fits over the ball. Both chains slide thru the "wings" of this piece allowing them to slide if needed. Will not drag the ground. Very good product.
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:07 PM   #9
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Rockfordroo,

My tongue did not look like yours. No bent metal or chain attachment remains left on the tongue. It was like they were never attached. But the interesting thing was their was absolutely no indication the chains were dragged, (and they are long enough to do so) as they had black paint overspray still on the first 2 links where they should have been attached.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:43 PM   #10
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On my Surveyor 192T, I had a electric jack. The safety chain link got caught on the side of the jack and pulled chain mounting plate off the trailer. The dealer repaired at no cost, but it seems like a design flaw and I sternly suspect that in case of major TT separation you would find the chains still on the TV and attached to the mounting plate which came loose from the trailer. The trailer would be found somewhere down the highway, probably not in the upright position.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #11
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Try the Chains on a U-Haul Moving Trailer...

There seems to be some "New Standard" (according to 2x Rental Location Shop Managers): one 4ft and one 6ft long.

I had to work with the Shop Manager to radically Twist the Chains Link-by-Link, and they still dragged whenever hitting a Pothole...
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfarmcafe View Post
After dragging our chain for a few miles, we got the Fastway Chainup from Amazon that fits over the ball. Both chains slide thru the "wings" of this piece allowing them to slide if needed. Will not drag the ground. Very good product.
I don't think this would work for a weight distributing hitch.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:50 PM   #13
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The thin metal rod that the camper chains are mounted to will not hold the unit very long to the tow vehicle before the rod or the welds fail if the tongue comes off the ball. Most chains end up being have the slack tightened enough that the emergence brake cord will not be pulled until the chain connection on the camper breaks.

In my mind I have went over this a million times debating with 'My Self' for years (and years). "Do I want the emergency brakes to come on the camper,in the event of a TV and camper separation and have the TV pulled off the road and possible turn over because of the 'safety chains' or 'let' the camper go 'free' and crash by itself and have less harm to the TV and those in it." I have been told several times (by road safety people) that the 'safety' chains are not really for the 'safety' of the camper/TV, but for the safety of where that rouge run a way camper may go and hit other vehicles/people/property.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:04 PM   #14
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Safety chains by law have to be crossed. The reason being, in the event of the coupler detaching from the ball, the crossed chains will support the tongue of the trailer and centered with the tow vehicle so you can come to a safe stop. They only need to be strong enough to support the tongue weight and rolling resistance forces.
If your chains are not crossed, not only will they not support the tongue upon detachment but will also have a chance of being pulled tight on a turn ripping them off the frame.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:16 PM   #15
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Safety chains by law have to be crossed.
I checked and about half of the states require chains to be crossed, including Indiana. Even it it's not required by law, crossing the chains is still a good idea for the reasons 05CrewDually noted. The problem is that as designed, both chains on my Rockwood are attached at a single point under the hitch so it's impossible to cross them. It seems that Forest River produces trailers that are not legal in the state where they're made.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge Guy View Post
Exactly why I don't believe that how the majority of the chains are attached would hold a heavy TT in the event of a disconnect. I would rather they be bolted to each side of the A-frame. That is provided the frame isn't made from tin foil.

It is practically made from tin foil. I had the Lippert frame rails in my old TT rip through from the bottom of the rail to the top.


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Old 08-23-2015, 08:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbdavey View Post
I checked and about half of the states require chains to be crossed, including Indiana. Even it it's not required by law, crossing the chains is still a good idea for the reasons 05CrewDually noted. The problem is that as designed, both chains on my Rockwood are attached at a single point under the hitch so it's impossible to cross them. It seems that Forest River produces trailers that are not legal in the state where they're made.

Edited:
Actually I could only find 1 state that doesn't have an exact law on the books but regardless, that's what federal laws are for.

Check for yourself.
http://towingworld.com/towinglaws.cfm


Edit: I see now you are referring to the crossing of them. Most states I've seen do require it. Since its a federal requirement it's covered anyways.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:08 PM   #18
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I too have thought a lot about the safety chains, mostly thinking they would never be needed anyway, so no worries, just hook 'em up and make sure they don't drag.
However...
My brother calls me the other day and asks to borrow my 14x7 enclosed trailer. I'm busy doing retirement stuff, so I just say sure you know where it is. I give no thought to the fact that when I have gotten each of my trailers, I've made sure they all were hitched for the 2 5/8" ball.

Of course brother calls me a little later and wants to know why my trailer came off of his ball on the highway. Visions of carnage race through my addled brain as I gulp and ask, "Is everyone alright?" He says oh yeah, it jumped off his 2" ball and was cradled by the crossed safety chains until he was able to safely pull off the road.
I told him there is a receiver hitch extension in the trailer with a 2 5/8" ball already on it.
Said a prayer to the gods of towing right there, man...
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:23 PM   #19
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My chains were long to prevent them from dragging I took two bungee cord wrapped them around tow bar then hooked them into chain holds chains about 5" off road when I turn the bungee cords stretch and as I straighten up they pull slack out of chain.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:54 PM   #20
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When your chains are attached to the A-frame at essentially the same place, it's physically impossible to "cross" them. Best you can do is twist them and hope for the best.
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