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Thread: Safety chains

  1. #21

    Re: Safety chains

    Not on a bike but on my truck pulling a boat once.

    Older trailers can become worn in the ball area.
    I was going fishing and I hit a train crossing and the trailer tounge flipped up
    came down on the ball and bent at a 45* angle. Chains kept it right behind the truck
    till I got it stopped. So chains saved me that time.
    Had to replace the coupler So it can happen.

  2. #22

    Re: Safety chains

    in Ky I hit a railroad crossing so rough it almost took the hand grips from my hands at 45.

    Crazy rough crossing I think we get spoiled by the mostly very smooth one we hit most times.

    That one scared the heck out of me, it was almost dark, and did not expect one that bad.... slow down.

  3. #23

    Re: Safety chains

    ​I use a locking pin or plain old paddle lock on the coupler just to be safe. Side benefit is to secure the trailer in case I stay at a motel.
    Aspen Classic Camper, 06 GL1800

    My Pics: http://www.picturetrail.com/bvail My trailer forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/MCTrailertowing

  4. #24

    Re: Safety chains

    As far as the coupler hitting the tire; I guess it depends on the bike, but that seems avoidable. I have my chains set up such that the trailer can turn as tight or as far as it ever would (actually, much father; I can't imagine a situation, on a bike with no reverse gear, where the trailer would ever be at that aggressive an angle); but it won't be able to come forward and hit my tire. Worst case scenario is it would hit my rear fender; but it doesn't have enough 'room' to hit the tire.
    2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE | 2013 Haul-Master Tag-A-Long | 2011 Honda Shadow Aero (Wife's)

  5. #25
    American Gypsy privateer's Avatar
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    Re: Safety chains

    I put a small padlock through the hole in the coupler lever just to be safe. And agree, it helps secure the trailer when its disconnected from the bike.

    I cross my chains, but there is still enough slack to turn until I've turns too far, if you know what I mean. I've been able to use reverse and go full lock to lock on steering just fine. So far the bumper doesn't have a mark on it, and never felt it bind.

    I'm outside all the time. I live in the forest. So my chains are starting to corrode and even rust. Pretty soon I have to replace them, I'll put stainless steel chains on next.
    Gypsy JR
    2016 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
    2014 TimeOut Deluxe trailer
    Living the Gypsy Life... slow, lazy, happy, and don't give a damn

  6. #26

    Re: Safety chains

    Having had a very heavily loaded double axle trailer break the hitch ball completely off on a place where the highway crews had cut the highway down I can guarantee you that safety chains are very necessary. Just this weekend one of the safety chains on our Aspen Classic some how got loose. Being we pull it with multiple vehicles the chains need to be a little longer than needed behind the Gold Wing. I simply twist them to shorten them. Well my twisting was not good as one chain was allowed to hit the highway. After 2 hours of dragging on the highway it was ground into 2 pieces. Now we have new and a little heavier chains on it.

    I am a firm believer in crossing chains. However when they are bolted to the same location on the tongue it negates that idea.
    Two "OLD" people, a 2010 Honda 1800, a 2015 Aspen Classic W/AC and electric brakes. Living life while we can still remember it. Plus we are trying to keep up with Dusty Boots but legends are hard to catch.

  7. #27

    Re: Safety chains

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeytrucker View Post
    Having had a very heavily loaded double axle trailer break the hitch ball completely off on a place where the highway crews had cut the highway down I can guarantee you that safety chains are very necessary. Just this weekend one of the safety chains on our Aspen Classic some how got loose. Being we pull it with multiple vehicles the chains need to be a little longer than needed behind the Gold Wing. I simply twist them to shorten them. Well my twisting was not good as one chain was allowed to hit the highway. After 2 hours of dragging on the highway it was ground into 2 pieces. Now we have new and a little heavier chains on it.

    I am a firm believer in crossing chains. However when they are bolted to the same location on the tongue it negates that idea.
    Had you considered drilling a hole through the tongue/coupler and adding a pin to hold the chain up? Basically, you'd pull the chain in several links, run the pin through those holes and the links, and then your chain would be up off of the highway, no twisting necessary. Worst case scenario is that pin shearing; but then the chains are still attached. That's more/less what I do, except that I just use one of the bolts for the coupler to hold the chain back. If I were towing it with multiple vehicles, then I'd probably use a pin instead just for simplicity.

  8. #28
    American Gypsy privateer's Avatar
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    Re: Safety chains

    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    Had you considered drilling a hole through the tongue/coupler and adding a pin to hold the chain up? Basically, you'd pull the chain in several links, run the pin through those holes and the links, and then your chain would be up off of the highway, no twisting necessary. Worst case scenario is that pin shearing; but then the chains are still attached. That's more/less what I do, except that I just use one of the bolts for the coupler to hold the chain back. If I were towing it with multiple vehicles, then I'd probably use a pin instead just for simplicity.
    I just use very small bungee cords. I place one over the top of the coupler and down enough links on each side to make sure the chains don't drag. Works great. Gone thousands of miles and never even have to worry about it.

  9. #29

    Re: Safety chains

    Bushtec hitch on a 2005 Harley FLHTC

    On the Bushtec hitch I have the chains attach to the ball mount. I have pulled with this hitch over 50,000 miles and never gave it a second thought. Last year while riding 2 up in the Adirondacks the pin holding the ball mount into the receiver came out. After stopping I noticed that the trailer was still attached to the ball and the chains were in place. Luckily the trailer did not flip.
    Now I have changed our chain attachment...making sure they are attached to the bike and not the ball mount.

  10. #30

    Re: Safety chains

    A long time ago I was moving a horse and the trailer ball must've been worn as others have stated. I was stopping after traveling just a few miles to turn. The trailer didn't look right so I checked it and found the tongue was resting in the x of the crossed chains. While standing there thinkin how am I gonna get this squared back up, the horse shifted backwards and the receiver sat right back down in place. I checked the twist knob on the horse trailer and it was as tight as I could get it. I moved the hind keeper chain on the horse forward so he couldn't move backwards, which kept weight on the ball. Got the horse moved very slowly and THEN I cut that ball off. Replaced it, then told my Dad. I was heart sick thinking about what could've happened. I always use chains or steel cable now.

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