What are the chances? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2007, 07:55 PM   #15
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(I'm assuming that this trailer had a breakaway switch and battery.)
It had neither, but in this case a breakaway switch, and subsequent brake lockup would have resulted in a trailer roll-over rather than a safe stop.

Roger
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:45 PM   #16
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I had a 21 ft Streamline come loose near Miami, Fla in '77.

The hitch on my old '69 Chev PU had been welded to the frame (instead of being bolted). It wasn't very exciting. Just coasted to a stop on the shoulder. The trailer had slid for quite a distance on the EZ-lift bars being pulled along by the safety chains.

I was able to lash the trailer tongue down on the pickup's step bumber and get off the freeway before any local gendarmes were the wiser.

Took the better part of a day to find a welding shop that would add "ears" to the hitch and bolt it to the frame as needed.

I've often thought that it was a good thing this was before the days of break-away switches. If the electric brakes had locked up the trailer wheels, I have a hunch there would have been a lot more damage done.

Loren
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:16 PM   #17
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Interesting... Roger's configuration would be illegal in some areas (no breakaway switch). Like Loren, I am not entirely sure that slamming the brakes on is the right thing anyway... it certainly is not the right response to most driving situations, although in the trailer case having some tension on the safety chains seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:20 PM   #18
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Would you be willing to share your checklist?
I think I should start a separate thread...
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:52 PM   #19
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It had neither, [b]but in this case a breakaway switch, and subsequent brake lockup would have resulted in a trailer roll-over rather than a safe stop.Roger
That is exactly what appeared to happen with one of our Casita members.

Rolled the truck and trailer multiple times. Fortunately, no serious injuries.

Apparently something snagged the break-away switch cable and activated them causing loss of control of the rig.

Bob
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:55 PM   #20
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Interesting... Roger's configuration would be illegal in some areas (no breakaway switch).
That raises a question:

If one has a trailer manufacturered PRIOR to when break-away switches were required, is the current owner liable to modify the trailer to conform to all of the newest regulations that apply to NEW trailers (such as break-away switches)?

Bob
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:07 PM   #21
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That raises a question:

If one has a trailer manufacturered PRIOR to when break-away switches were required, is the current owner liable to modify the trailer to conform to all of the newest regulations that apply to NEW trailers (such as break-away switches)?

Bob
Without looking at each state/province's law where breakaway brakes are required, I would say it's likely that the retrofit would be required for electric brakes because it is so much of an add-on system. The only messing with the original system is to tap into the blue wire on the trailer.

Ideally, the breakaway cable should be LONGER than the safety chains so it doesn't activate the brakes while the trailer is still attached, but the slack should not be hanging down where it can snag on something.

Gina, the friction sway control will just come apart (like it does when it slips in a hard turn) so it would be of little use as a connection between tug and egg, not much more than the electrical cable between the two.

I can think of a situation where the WDH would be of no use -- Some kid comes along, unclips the pin between the ball mount and receiver and pulls the pin out. The WDH keeps the mount in the receiver until you get to a series of bumps in the road and then the flexing up allows the ball mount to pull out, taking the mount, ball, bars, coupler and all with it. Now you are instantly down to chains and brakes.

BTW, I drilled a larger hole in my pin and put a padlock through the hole to prevent the above and also to prevent theft of my ball mount and ball.

Re: Safety chains, some states are quite specific as to the fasteners to be used, so consult your home state laws regarding this. The S-hooks that come as original equipment on many trailers are not the best way to do it, esp if they have been applied incorrectly (the end of the hook should come UP through the hole, not down through it -- Fasten one hook one way and one the other then hit them both up a couple of times and see which comes unfastened...).
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