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Old 03-03-2016, 07:24 PM   #1
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5.0TA Hitch Safety Chains

So I realize there are three types of hitches; traditional kingpin, Andersen and the new Pull Rite Super Lite, and while I am completely confused as to which I will get and why, one thing I'm more confused about...

For the goosenecks, I understand that they need a safety chain in some states. I emailed Pull Rite today and got this response:

"Even though the Super Lite lets you connect like a gooseneck, we consider it a 5th wheel hitch. Even though Indiana is not a safety chain state, we are confident that the Super Lite is safe without them. We do understand that some states require safety chains and are currently working on a solution for that. Information on those should be available sometime next week."

My question is this, are safety chains any more of an annoyance on a 5th wheel as they are on a tow behind? And would they "bind" if turning a sharp corner, either forward or in reverse?

Not to thrilled about having to remember to unhook it before turning...I want it simple. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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In regards to Pullrite stating that they consider the Superlight a 5th Wheel hitch, do you want to be defending yourself in court relying on the manufacturer's opinion? If it is not a conventional 5th wheel hitch, many States require safety chains, period. And it is doubtful that they would be any more of an annoyance than on a pull behind. They are reguired with a gooseneck hitch which, like a conventional 5th wheel hitch is also in the bed of the truck.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
For the goosenecks, I understand that they need a safety chain in some states. I emailed Pull Rite today and got this response:

"Even though the Super Lite lets you connect like a gooseneck, we consider it a 5th wheel hitch. Even though Indiana is not a safety chain state, we are confident that the Super Lite is safe without them. We do understand that some states require safety chains and are currently working on a solution for that. Information on those should be available sometime next week.
That is as big a pile of steaming excrement as I have seen from a manufacturer. I may consider my car to be Formula One race car... but the fact is that it's not. To be fair, they do seem to have conceded that regardless of their opinion the chains will be required in some states (and although they are not considering the possibility of Canadian customers, the same logic would apply to provinces requiring chains).

Yes, the hitch is safe without chains... to the same extent that any ball hitch is safe without chains. If you latch it, it will be fine; if you don't the trailer could bounce off. Any hitch could break (although that's extraordinarily rare). This hitch is "inverted" (ball on the top instead of the usual bottom), but that doesn't make any difference.

If some state (or province) has a rule that says "safety chains are required for any hitch that Pulliam Enterprises thinks isn't safe enough", then that company's opinion matters. That seems unlikely to me. I think you'll find that the rules say either:
  1. safety chains are required for ball hitches; or,
  2. safety chains are required except for fifth-wheel hitches.
It is a ball hitch, and it is not a fifth-wheel hitch, so in either of these cases you would need the chains.

I suppose that it is possible that some jurisdiction has a rule that says you don't need the chains if the hitch is in the truck bed or over the truck axle, and in that case you wouldn't need chains to meet the rule, with any hitch system located there.

Any sensible rule would treat the Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection and the Pullrite SuperLite the same way, since both are located in the same place and both are ball hitches with manually engaged latches needed only to prevent the trailer from lifting off of the hitch.

I am disappointed, but sadly not surprised, that a company would design and build a product and offer it to the public without having even thought about such a basic consideration as whether or not a hitch requires the use of safety chains. Fortunately, you can set up chains without any provision in the SuperLite; the chains go from the trailer (where ever you see fit to attach them) to the safety chain loops provided with your under-bed hitch system. This is true of the Andersen Ultimate as well - you don't need to use their ring-equipped bolts.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
My question is this, are safety chains any more of an annoyance on a 5th wheel as they are on a tow behind? And would they "bind" if turning a sharp corner, either forward or in reverse?

Not to thrilled about having to remember to unhook it before turning...I want it simple.
The only additional annoyance of chains for a hitch in the truck bed, compared to a hitch at the bumper, is that you need to reach in to the safety chain loops to hook on the chains when hitching (and to unhook them before unhitching) - those loops are normally beside or just behind the ball, and well in toward the middle of the truck, so they could be tough to reach over the box sides, especially with the front of the trailer in the way. It can be annoying to bend down to the chain loops on the receiver under a bumper, but at least they're not a long reach from where you can stand.

There should be no binding if the chains are set at an appropriate length and attached to the trailer in suitable locations, just as there is no binding with a chains on a tow-behind... again, if they are the right length for the combination of trailer and tug chain loop location. If the chains were to bind in sharp corners, you would not be able to safely drive with them, so they would be entirely unworkable (not just inconvenient).
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not concerned about by the chains in principle, and I understand that the manufacturers want to market their hitches as the the best thing since sliced bread. I just was concerned that there would be restrictions in movement with the chains. I guess there might not be.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
So I realize there are three types of hitches; traditional kingpin, Andersen and the new Pull Rite Super Lite, and while I am completely confused as to which I will get and why, one thing I'm more confused about...

For the goosenecks, I understand that they need a safety chain in some states. I emailed Pull Rite today and got this response:

"Even though the Super Lite lets you connect like a gooseneck, we consider it a 5th wheel hitch. Even though Indiana is not a safety chain state, we are confident that the Super Lite is safe without them. We do understand that some states require safety chains and are currently working on a solution for that. Information on those should be available sometime next week."

My question is this, are safety chains any more of an annoyance on a 5th wheel as they are on a tow behind? And would they "bind" if turning a sharp corner, either forward or in reverse?

Not to thrilled about having to remember to unhook it before turning...I want it simple. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
I use safety chains on my Andersen, its does not hinder any movement at all, and its super easy to install and remove. The only time you need to disconnect them is when you are unhitching.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:31 AM   #7
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Mike,
Can you post some pictures of your chains/hitch while connected? Would be very helpful.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Mike,
Can you post some pictures of your chains/hitch while connected? Would be very helpful.
Currently I don't have any while connected of the bed and chains. I'll be hitching up next week or sooner and will post some then.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Mike,
Can you post some pictures of your chains/hitch while connected? Would be very helpful.
Here are photos of the Andersen safety chains:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0083.jpg (181.9 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0084.jpg (180.6 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0082.jpg (178.5 KB, 20 views)
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:29 AM   #10
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Thanks Mike, answers a lot of my questions.Where do you connect the emergency cable to the tow?
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