Tow safety chains on Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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Name: Roamin
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Smile Tow safety chains on Scamp

Hi, I'm assembling a work plan for my Scamp 13' to be done as soon as the snow bank in front of it goes away, (so maybe some time in July?)
anyways, I've got the brakes to add, a shorter tongue jack to install, and I'm also wondering about a stronger setup for the safety chains. They appear to only be held on by a single bolt! That bolt looks strong enough to hold the chains on there, but not strong enough to hold if the trailer comes unhitched and jerks on it. Anyone have thoughts on this? It looks very inadequate to me.
Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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there was a discussion on this subject recently, I believe it was about the chains on a Parkliner. You may be able to find that thread for several opinions. One idea was to loop the chains around the jack before attaching them to the tow vehicle, assuming the chains are long enough. You could try setting it up with two bolts, one for each chain, even if it is one continuos piece.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:31 PM   #3
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Well if it makes you feel any better Scamp has done them that way for a number of years. Even my old 92 is done that way. I know in my time here we have had more than a few folks report that they have had their hitch jump off the ball of their Scamp and no reports of the chains not holding.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:54 PM   #4
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I'm one of the people that had the trailer come off the ball (due to a modification of a previous owner). We were on a Texas Farm Road with no other traffic and had just gone around a small curve, I would guess at 35-55 mph.

The combination of the chains and anti-sway bar held it together. The bar twisted, not structurally but physically on it's balls, keeping the anti-sway bar from separating. The trailer stayed perfectly straight behind our Honda though the trailer's nose hit the ground. No damage was done.

After that I added a break away switch to the trailer.

I considered leaving the bolt in place and welding a chain link of each chain segment to the A frame to allow more sensible crossing of the chains.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:23 AM   #5
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Safety chains shouldn't be welded, only bolted. Welding reduces the strength. Install them crossed with the open end of the hook facing back/up.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:51 AM   #6
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Thanks Jared, I wondered about that
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:27 AM   #7
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No problem. Sometimes a steel pin is slid through them and the tongue, then the pin is welded, etc. still other ways of doing it by welding, just not welding the chain itself.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
The trailer stayed perfectly straight behind our Honda though the trailer's nose hit the ground. .
If the trailer's nose hit the ground, the safety chains weren't properly adjusted for length. The whole idea is to form a sort of "cradle" that prevents the coupler from hitting the ground, potentially digging in. That's one reason for crossing them, another practice folks sometimes overlook.

Safety chains should be just long enough to allow for turning corners without binding.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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Ideally, yes. However, with some tow vehicles it's going to be impossible to do. It's no problem with the pickup, but impossible with the subaru. With the bumper and the raised drawbar, there's no way to shorten the chains enough.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Ideally, yes. However, with some tow vehicles it's going to be impossible to do. It's no problem with the pickup, but impossible with the subaru. With the bumper and the raised drawbar, there's no way to shorten the chains enough.
Really? Never had any problems setting up the Subaru Outback's chains in that regard. Suspect if one was attempting to tow with a Legacy with the back end and hitch sitting lower it might present a problem though.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:46 PM   #11
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Tow safety chains on Scamp

The receiver hitch is probably less than 6" off the ground. How do you get 6" safety chains to work? Even if I pulled the.l chains taut with the trailer straight, it would still hit the ground.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
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The receiver hitch is probably less than 6" off the ground. How do you get 6" safety chains to work?
the Subaru Outback returned and went and measured - actually 12" of clearance to the bottom of the receiver. Which is funny enough only an inch or so less than my Frontier.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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Uhaul chains

This is how Uhaul does it
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #14
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Another option

I got this chain off a shipwreck on the beach. Won't break this one.
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