propane tank the first thing contacting when in reverse - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
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propane tank the first thing contacting when in reverse

We have a Boler 1700, with, I think, the original tongue. We were never sure how long the chains should be, so were checking yesterday, and sizing it all up. I gather the chains function, in towing, is to prevent runaways?? I thought it would also prevent the trucks bumper from touching the trailer, especially when in reverse. But in our observations, the trucks bumper contacts the propane tanks first, which doesn't seem like a particularly safe thing! So, do our chains need to be shorter? I am now wondering if the tongue was modified. The double tanks are in front of the battery box, which is perhaps not the most sensible geometric placement... Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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We have a Boler 1700, with, I think, the original tongue. We were never sure how long the chains should be, so were checking yesterday, and sizing it all up. I gather the chains function, in towing, is to prevent runaways?? I thought it would also prevent the trucks bumper from touching the trailer, especially when in reverse. But in our observations, the trucks bumper contacts the propane tanks first, which doesn't seem like a particularly safe thing! So, do our chains need to be shorter? I am now wondering if the tongue was modified. The double tanks are in front of the battery box, which is perhaps not the most sensible geometric placement... Thanks!

Probably double tanks weren't standard when new. My guess is that new it had a single tank. The chains are to prevent the trailer from traveling on it's own if the ball/hitch should fail. Chains should be crossed under the tongue so if their is a ball/hitch failure the chains catch the tongue and keep it from digging into the pavement. Worst case the tongue digging in and the trailer flipping upside down on top of the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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I thought it would also prevent the trucks bumper from touching the trailer, especially when in reverse.
Um, no. The chains need to be "short" enough to not hang too far or drag on the road, but "long" enough to not bind when the trailer is following the tow vehicle through a sharp turn. If you are using them as mentioned, then they are probably too short.

It sounds like the double tanks are too far forward for your truck to turn very tightly. I would swap positions with the battery box, OR I would trade your two 20# tanks for one 30# tank.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Probably double tanks weren't standard when new. My guess is that new it had a single tank.
Actually, I am aware that Boler did this with their 17' trailers; placed double tanks in front of the battery at the factory. I know of at least one owner who has to make w-i-d-e turns because of this, to avoid just what Peggy is experiencing.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:51 AM   #5
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Actually, I am aware that Boler did this with their 17' trailers; placed double tanks in front of the battery at the factory. I know of at least one owner who has to make w-i-d-e turns because of this, to avoid just what Peggy is experiencing.
I believe they're talking about a 13' trailer. At least according to their profile it's a 13'.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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My B-17 also has the 2 20 lb "profane" tanx IN FRONT OF the battery- about the single most stoopid design I can think of as my truck's rear bumper also hits the tanks first in any kind of really tight turn (and sometimes when I am backing into a REALLY tight spot in the dark!)

I keep promising myself that I am gonna move the tanx back and put the battery box ahead of the tanx, with the battery sunk down on a shelf welded to the UNDERSIDE of the tongue. I have no idea why Boler came up with that idiotic design, but it is present on every single B17 (Bomber) I have ever seen.

And yes, the chains are NOT designed for keeping it from jack-knifing, but are safety chains to catch it on the highway when something else fails. They should not drag on the ground, but they also should never become tight when backing or turning in a tight space.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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They said when in reverse, that tells me that they do not have a lot of experience backing the trailer, they are jackknifing the trailer in reverse and hitting the bumper on the tanks. More practice backing and remember that the shorter the trailer is the faster it reacts to the steering wheel.
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