Scamp 13' tongue weight and water tank - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-29-2013, 03:47 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Usual practice when disputing the authority of a posted source is to post a source considered to be more authoritative, and supportive of the opposing view.
Ideally, yes, but I didn't have any authoritative information sources handy, which is why I asked if anyone else had any.

Since then I did a bit of searching...

Chain and chain hardware manufacturers and suppliers
Peerless Industrial Group - Cautions & Warnings:
Quote:
Check #4 -Knots, Twists & Kinks - Make sure chain is not twisted, knotted or kinked before lifting load. Slings should not be shortened with knots, bolts or other make-shift devices.
Lifting Gear Direct (chain hardware supplier from UK):
Quote:
NEVER:
... Twist, tie or knot a sling.
Care and Maintenance of RUD chain slings (Australian chain product manufacturer):
Quote:
6. Ensure the chain is free of twists before lifting and is protected from any sharp corners on the load.
Government organizations
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety - Materials Handling - Chain Slings:
Quote:
Do not shorten a chain with knots or by twisting other than by means of an integral chain clutch.
(A chain clutch is a short section of chain with hooks at both ends, used to bypass some of the length of the lifting chain)

U.S. Department of Energy - PNNL Hoisting and Rigging Manual:
Quote:
Chain slings shall not be shortened or lengthened by knotting, twisting, or other methods not approved by the sling manufacturer.
These are all references to chains used for lifting. When strength is important and consequences of failure are high, the consensus seems to be that chains must not twisted.

Trailers and Towing
Since trailer manufacturers (of all types rather than specifically travel trailers, and in general terms) are dedicated more to cost reduction than anything else, they choose not to provide any method of adjusting safety chains to the correct length for the hitch configuration. As a result, they need some method, and they say to twist 'em.

Miller makes welders, and apparently found themselves giving advice on trailer operation because they sell trailer-mounted welders and needed to build an owners' manual.

The Miller manual posted by GeneratorJoe contains a reference to "Trailer & Camper Safety, Publication # DOT HS-802586, from U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, D.C. 20590"; however, the DoT's own Search DOT sites and the NHTSA equivalent yield nothing for that publication number. More general searches there such as for "trailer safety" yield an unworkable number of matches - I have not found what DoT/NHTSA really says to do.

I suppose that one can assume that our trailers' chains are grossly oversized (because we have light trailers and safety chains only common in one common size to handle everything up to 10,000 lb trailers), so they can be compromised without risk. And besides, they're not ever going to be actually used anyway, right?
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:22 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Ideally, yes, but I didn't have any authoritative information sources handy, which is why I asked if anyone else had any.

Since then I did a bit of searching...

Chain and chain hardware manufacturers and suppliers
Peerless Industrial Group - Cautions & Warnings:


Lifting Gear Direct (chain hardware supplier from UK):


Care and Maintenance of RUD chain slings (Australian chain product manufacturer):


Government organizations
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety - Materials Handling - Chain Slings:

(A chain clutch is a short section of chain with hooks at both ends, used to bypass some of the length of the lifting chain)

U.S. Department of Energy - PNNL Hoisting and Rigging Manual:


These are all references to chains used for lifting. When strength is important and consequences of failure are high, the consensus seems to be that chains must not twisted.

Trailers and Towing
Since trailer manufacturers (of all types rather than specifically travel trailers, and in general terms) are dedicated more to cost reduction than anything else, they choose not to provide any method of adjusting safety chains to the correct length for the hitch configuration. As a result, they need some method, and they say to twist 'em.

Miller makes welders, and apparently found themselves giving advice on trailer operation because they sell trailer-mounted welders and needed to build an owners' manual.

The Miller manual posted by GeneratorJoe contains a reference to "Trailer & Camper Safety, Publication # DOT HS-802586, from U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, D.C. 20590"; however, the DoT's own Search DOT sites and the NHTSA equivalent yield nothing for that publication number. More general searches there such as for "trailer safety" yield an unworkable number of matches - I have not found what DoT/NHTSA really says to do.

I suppose that one can assume that our trailers' chains are grossly oversized (because we have light trailers and safety chains only common in one common size to handle everything up to 10,000 lb trailers), so they can be compromised without risk. And besides, they're not ever going to be actually used anyway, right?
Lifting is a totally different consideration. Chains sold specifically for hitches come in different sizes for different trailer weights (classes I,II,III,&IV at least)
I don't twist trailer safety chains but I know plenty of people who do.
I use a small bunge cord draped over the hitch and hooked to the chains for slack control, that is after cutting the chain to the appropriate length.
This works great and looks good. The sun eats up the little bunge though, which eats up about 25 cents a year!
Also on my Scamp, I removed the original chain then went to a larger chain with separate tongue attachment points and spring loaded safety latches.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:29 PM   #45
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just use these, eliminates all the arguments. 40" Vinyl Coated Safety Cables with Clevis Hook (Qty. 2) by Dutton-Lainson, 6,500 lbs. Dutton-Lainson Accessories and Parts DL20119
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #46
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Lifting is a totally different consideration.
Like I said, it matters if a lift chain breaks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Chains sold specifically for hitches come in different sizes for different trailer weights (classes I,II,III,&IV at least)
You're right, Floyd, and my Boler has quite light chain compared to what I see in stores... but in the stores, there doesn't seem to be much selection if any. When I bought new chains for my very light utility trailer, all I readily found were much heavier than needed. All but one of the safety chain sets I just found at eTrailer have about 5000 lb capacity (leaving one too light for my Boler, and none for the very common heavier trailers). Do people really buy just the right size? If so, they might want to be careful about how they use them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Also on my Scamp, I removed the original chain then went to a larger chain with separate tongue attachment points and spring loaded safety latches.
Good idea. I was disappointed - but I suppose that I should not have been surprised - that the stock Scamp setup does not mount the chains properly at two points allowing for an effective crossing chains configuration to "catch" the tongue. Do they also not have safety latches? I think there are better places to save a few cents.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:17 PM   #47
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Fat chance...how do you shorten them?

Francesca
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #48
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Those are nice and just might be our next choice.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #49
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Fat chance...how do you shorten them?

Francesca
I think they are made to stay coiled up.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #50
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I think they are made to stay coiled up.
It's not just about slack- the crossed cables or chains have to be short enough to form a sort of cradle that will catch/hold the trailer coupler off the ground should the trailer bounce off the ball.

Hence the "how to shorten" problem.

I actually bought a pair of those cables thinking I could shorten them by doubling them back to the trailer, but the hook ends won't pass through the loops on my hitch.

Francesca
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:51 AM   #51
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When we picked up our Trillium we were given instruction on hooking up. We quickly discovered that there were no hooks on the safety chains. Even if there had been, they were too short. It was suggested that our draw bar was too long and that we really didn't need safety chains anyway. On the ride home we stopped at the first hardware store we came to and bought two short lengths of chain and four threaded links. The length can be easily adjusted by locating the placement of the link on the chain. I would like to think that the threaded links are also stronger than snap hooks.

The safety chain is welded to the trailer by one link placed vertically on the side of the frame. I suspect that is the "weak link" in the system as in use one side is in tension and the other compression. Both sides are in tension on the rest of the links. Is this how the safety chain is attached on other trailers? Raz
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:19 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
It's not just about slack- the crossed cables or chains have to be short enough to form a sort of cradle that will catch/hold the trailer coupler off the ground should the trailer bounce off the ball.

Hence the "how to shorten" problem.

I actually bought a pair of those cables thinking I could shorten them by doubling them back to the trailer, but the hook ends won't pass through the loops on my hitch.

Francesca
Good point, afterall the "cradle" is no good if it drags on the ground...Guess I'll stick with my chains. Also cables are more prone to deterioration and harder to inspect, especially in a plastic sleave.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #53
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Just want to throw this out there. Etrailer also sells balls with shoulders 1 and 2" for fine tuning on the ball mounts. I have used these with good results.
Ken
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
The safety chain is welded to the trailer by one link placed vertically on the side of the frame. I suspect that is the "weak link" in the system as in use one side is in tension and the other compression. Both sides are in tension on the rest of the links. Is this how the safety chain is attached on other trailers? Raz
Some jurisdictions require that safety chains be permanently mounted to the trailer, so welding on is very common among manufacturers. It would only be a "weak link" if the chain was undersized for the job.

Per placement of the weld:

The same underwelded loop method provides the chain mounting point on many receivers.

Francesca
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:35 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Some jurisdictions require that safety chains be permanently mounted to the trailer, so welding on is very common among manufacturers. It would only be a "weak link" if the chain was undersized for the job.

Per placement of the weld:

The same underwelded loop method provides the chain mounting point on many receivers.

Francesca
As I said, it is the only link where one side is in tension and the other in compression. As such it sees a different dynamic than the rest of the links and could very well be, as you suggest, "undersized" for the stresses involved. I simply suggest that's where failure will occur if anything fails. In the case of the hitch connection, I have a hitch like that. It is a continuous loop welded in four places across the receiver and approximately 7/16" thick while the chain on the trailer is 9/32". I hope I never find out if I'm right. Raz
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:09 PM   #56
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Guess you're a bigger worrywart than even I am...I've seen a lot of these setups on much bigger trailers, though. (see below)



Still: if you're worried about the angle of attachment, it would be real easy to change!

Francesca
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