scamp safety chain safety - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2018, 07:45 AM   #1
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scamp safety chain safety

Expert advice for safely hooking up a trailer seems always to stress crossing the chains. On our 2014 scamp 13 the chains are fastened to the tongue with a single bolt so can't be crossed. I wonder how much of a safety issue, if any, this may be. I'm also a bit skeptical about terminating two chains with a single bolt, particularly since the load, if the chains are called upon to do their job, will create a sudden, perhaps extreme, bending force on the bolt.



I would like to think Scamp engineered this key safety element properly but it feels a little sketchy. Am I over thinking this or is it worth finding a welder to modify the chain attachment points?
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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They sell better chain sets with better connectors for under $15.
It is a simple matter to attach separate chains to the each side of the tongue frame if you are dissatisfied with the stock chains.
They are available for either single point attachment or double.
I too prefer separate attachment as shown below.
Notice I decided to bolt mine in place for easy replacement,even though I have a good MIG welder.



Remember that many trailers have a straight tongue on which the chain(s) attachment point(s) can't be more than a couple of inches apart to start with.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:46 PM   #3
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Chains

The best arrangement is two chains, each with its own bolt, mounted to the insides of the A-frame just behind the jack.
Drill the holes horizontally in the vertical center of the rectangular tubing.
Those anchor bolts should be equidistant behind the hitch ball as from the ball to the chain loops on your TV. Adjust the length of the chains to hang with a small amount of sag. with the chains crossed in the middle.
..Oh, and the bolts should be grade 8 for max strength. Use flat washers and self locking nuts.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
Expert advice for safely hooking up a trailer seems always to stress crossing the chains. On our 2014 scamp 13 the chains are fastened to the tongue with a single bolt so can't be crossed. I wonder how much of a safety issue, if any, this may be. I'm also a bit skeptical about terminating two chains with a single bolt, particularly since the load, if the chains are called upon to do their job, will create a sudden, perhaps extreme, bending force on the bolt.



I would like to think Scamp engineered this key safety element properly but it feels a little sketchy. Am I over thinking this or is it worth finding a welder to modify the chain attachment points?



You can still cross the chains, it may take a couple of crossings to provide the basket to catch the tongue. I've used mine for 13 years with a single attachment point and still able to make the crossed catch.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
You can still cross the chains, it may take a couple of crossings to provide the basket to catch the tongue. I've used mine for 13 years with a single attachment point and still able to make the crossed catch.
The chains are there only as a backup. As long as your hitch ball & socket are properly adjusted and locked down, it should never come apart.
I did experience the value of the chains - once - when I got in a hurry to hook up, and did not get the hitch all the way down on the ball. Lucked out though; it came apart going over a speed bump just as we were leaving the campground.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:54 PM   #6
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Interesting. What is the thinking about fore/aft placement? Floyd, it looks like your bolts are far enough forward that you can reach into the tubing end and place a nut so that the bolt is just through the coupler flange and one wall of the tubing. That seems a good mechanical fit. Wayne, as far back as you suggest fastening I assume it has to be a bolt through the tubing? Is that an issue compressing the tubing? Are there advantages to moving the chain attachment further back rather than close to the coupler?
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
Interesting. What is the thinking about fore/aft placement? Floyd, it looks like your bolts are far enough forward that you can reach into the tubing end and place a nut so that the bolt is just through the coupler flange and one wall of the tubing. That seems a good mechanical fit. Wayne, as far back as you suggest fastening I assume it has to be a bolt through the tubing? Is that an issue compressing the tubing? Are there advantages to moving the chain attachment further back rather than close to the coupler?
Yes, it takes longer bolts to go through both walls of the tube. No need to tighten them so far as to squeeze the tubes. That is why you use stop nuts, or a jam nut.
As to placement, the bolts should be as far behind the hitch ball as the chain hook points on your TV are ahead of the ball.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:30 PM   #8
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I agree with Wayne, grade 8 bolts, minimum 3/8 inch diameter and self locking nuts, commonly referred to as nylocks ( nylon lock nut).

This may help you find parts.


from the interweb


A nyloc nut, also referred to as a nylon-insert lock nut, polymer-insert lock nut, or elastic stop nut, is a kind of locknut with a nylon collar insert that resists turning.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
Yes, it takes longer bolts to go through both walls of the tube. No need to tighten them so far as to squeeze the tubes. That is why you use stop nuts, or a jam nut.
As to placement, the bolts should be as far behind the hitch ball as the chain hook points on your TV are ahead of the ball.
All good advice!

Although I preferred to place the bolt through the frame close to the box of the tube to provide better rigidity and allow the chain link to lay flat against the frame. I also went one up on the chain size just cause I liked them and they had safety closure clips.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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Thanks all. This gives me some direction. I think I'll be modifying the scamp single point of attachment with two bolt connections following the specific advice from all of you. Your suggestions are consistent with my intuition and it's great to get some confirmation from smart experienced people that this is a prudent way to go. Your advice is appreciated
.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:20 AM   #11
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I can say that the way scamp puts them, they still work just fine, it still creates a cradle when the chains cross to get to either side of the hitch. I'd rather not admit as to why I know they work ,but they do work.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
Expert advice for safely hooking up a trailer seems always to stress crossing the chains. On our 2014 scamp 13 the chains are fastened to the tongue with a single bolt so can't be crossed. I wonder how much of a safety issue, if any, this may be. I'm also a bit skeptical about terminating two chains with a single bolt, particularly since the load, if the chains are called upon to do their job, will create a sudden, perhaps extreme, bending force on the bolt.



I would like to think Scamp engineered this key safety element properly but it feels a little sketchy. Am I over thinking this or is it worth finding a welder to modify the chain attachment points?
You must have 2 chains and crossing, it's the law. If the tongue comes off the hitch, it should drop down and be supported with e cross 2 chains.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:41 PM   #13
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Engineering Theory

In our tractor engineering dept. we once had a young engineer designing the fasteners for the sheet metal. He decided that 1/4 inch bolts would be enough to hold all the hoods and shields in place.
A senior engineer reviewed the prototype. He told the rookie to use 1/2 inch bolts. When asked why…. the elder engineer said, "Your calculations are right, the smaller bolts will do the job, but it doesn't look right.
So, Scamp's chains would probably do the job. BUT, they just don't look right being fastened with just one small bolt.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
In our tractor engineering dept. we once had a young engineer designing the fasteners for the sheet metal. He decided that 1/4 inch bolts would be enough to hold all the hoods and shields in place.
A senior engineer reviewed the prototype. He told the rookie to use 1/2 inch bolts. When asked why…. the elder engineer said, "Your calculations are right, the smaller bolts will do the job, but it doesn't look right.
So, Scamp's chains would probably do the job. BUT, they just don't look right being fastened with just one small bolt.

Thanks for this story Wayne. My old-fashioned engineering training leads to similar conclusion. Do the math, but don't ignore your instinct of what feels/looks right.
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