Trip Date 03/15/2018
Posted On 06/13/2018 11:21:53
Camping | trailer | hitching | safety chains | hooks | customizations | trailer hitching
If you are towing a trailer, I'm sure you know about safety chains and how to hitch up your trailer. This post, however, talks about one of the sometimes troublesome aspects of hitching the trailer - and how to simplify it.
Safety Chain PurposeAs you know, safety chains are intended to keep the trailer connected to the tow vehicle when going down the road, especially in extreme emergency situations. But, isn't that what the ball and hitch are for? Yes, the ball and hitch latch keep the trailer attached, but in the event of an extreme situation like fish tailing on a wet road, emergency braking, or a high speed turn, the trailer could jack-knife or rollover. Should that occur, the hitch could become detached due to lots of torque - and who wants their trailer flying down the highway without a tow vehicle to control (or at least anchor) it?
Luckily, I can't tell you about my personal experiences with that!
Bottom line, the safety chains keep the two vehicles connected. When connecting them, which you have to do every time you hitch, you cross the chains (and maybe twist them to the right length) before connecting to the tow vehicle. Of course, they need to be loose enough to make turns, but tight enough so they don't drag on the ground.
Some trailers have safety brakes which are triggered by a smaller wire cable threaded through one of the chains. If pulled tight (like if the trailer was actually dragged by the chain) the emergency brakes are engaged.
Hooking the Safety ChainsIn the process of hooking up these safety chains, the hooks in the end of the chains are hooked onto the loops on the tow vehicle hitch. These hooks sometimes have a spring loaded latch to close the hook to avoid it from coming accidentally unlatched on the road. Here's the troublesome part - the hooks for larger trailers are large, and when combined with the safety latches, they are difficult to hook through the loops provided on the trailer hitch of some trucks. You have to bend over or get on the ground, open the latch, angle it at the ideal angle, reach around the hitched trailer, avoid the hitch pin, and finally hook it up. After it is finally hooked up, you then have to find another ideal angle to get the latch to close.
Simplifying with Quick LinksTo simplify this process, I got some twist locking Quick Link connectors and attached them to the tow vehicle loops. This gives more room to attach the safety chains and saves lots of fiddling when hitching or unhitching. It speeds up the process - I can even easily do it with one hand while using my other hand to raise or lower the power jack (I have to hold the power jack button). Sometimes my wife helps to hitch or unhitch the trailer, and she is much happier now that we have the Quick Links.
Finding Quick LinksReminder: This Wordy Explorers post contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!
You can easily find these links on Amazon:
I hope these Quick Links simplify and speed up your trailer hitching process.
Hitching UpWhat other hints do you have for hitching up a trailer?
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