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Old 01-16-2014, 07:27 PM   #91
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I've had the same problem of the electrical connection coming disconnected. I've tried a number of fixes, all of which are a nuisance. It seems the little nub at the top of the vehicle plug shifts up and releases its very tenuous hold, and the plug just works its way out. Most effective cure has been a piece of light baling wire around the nub and the plug, but I really want to find a better, and easier to use, strap arrangement.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:33 PM   #92
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Yes, Fudge, I agree my use of Escape's chain links in the picture is wrong. Just returned from the hardware store. They didn't have the right Cevis hook, but did have them heavy duty (rated 900 lbs) stainless steel, spring loaded carbiner loops. I bought one ($8bucks). Will use it your way. Also got two Grade 8, 5/16ths hex bolts, one for the swivel wheel, one for the coupler lockdown.

I purposely installed a metal 7-pin receiver on my hitch instead of the black carbon/plastic ones you see everywhere, just because the spring lid is far stiffer and stronger and will hold the connection more robustly. That's the best idea I have for that.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:34 PM   #93
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While I have also converted to the clevis hooks fudge brownie uses, we use quick links quite a bit in theatre rigging. There are rated versions - for example a theatrical supplier called Rose Brand sells them.

The problem is there are also knockoffs that are not rated - you need to be careful which you buy. One other problem with them - if you put a strain on them while open, it will ruin them since the threads will no longer line up with the captive nut. Probably not a big problem when using them to connect trailer chains, but we used hundreds of them & it always seemed that the one you dug out of the bin was stretched out of line...
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:50 PM   #94
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I'd like to expand the conversation to include how to keep the electrical connection from TV to trailer secure. As mentioned, I've had mine come off several times. My buddy dropped his and wore the plug down so far that it needed to be replaced.
I have tried re-usable zap-straps to keep the cap pressed against the plug, but I'm still not satisfied.
Glenn - did your Rav come with a tow package or installed later? The 7 pin connection that came on my Tacoma clamps down firmly and has never let the plug slip out. Maybe you need to replace the connector on the RAV side.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:02 PM   #95
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The electrical was done at the dealership by a private installer that Toyota brought in for hitch install.

Back to the chains, what holds that latch closed on those clevis hooks pictured?
I looked up clevis hooks at Home Depot and they were just open. No latch.
My concern is that they work under tension when lifting a load, but with a slack chain that bouncing might allow the chain to come loose.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #96
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I also have had the receptical fail. The spring that forces the cover down on the plug corroded and broke. The replacement will likely also fail. Has anyone tried the EZConnector? http://ezconnector.com/

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Old 01-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #97
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These are 12600# rated and have a spring closure: Curt Manufacturing 81940 1/4 In Clevis Safety Latch Hook Are these the size people are looking at?
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:33 PM   #98
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Ok, just so there's no confusion on hookology ...
Re Clevis hooks without the spring latch...had the same issue. No latches on available Clevisis.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:04 PM   #99
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Ok, just so there's no confusion on hookology ...
Re Clevis hooks without the spring latch...had the same issue. No latches on available Clevisis.
The carabiner you show is not likely rated to carry loads such as from the safety chains. Both the quick links and the Clovis hooks would likely be fine.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:37 PM   #100
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Another, even better reason for not leaving a ball mount in the receiver long term, or really for any extended time when not towing is the bloody thing sticks out and away from the bumper and you never really appreciate that until your shins send you a painful message.
That's another reason I don't leave the ball mount in!

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Using a carabiner style clip for the cable loop through the chains hole and then connected to the chain? That, and what fudge brownie said, works for me...
Through the chain loop, yes, but why this obsession with interconnecting everything? Why not just hook the carabiner on one of the chain loops of the receiver? Simpler is better, and involving the safety chains in the breakaway cable configuration adds no benefit.

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At 50 mph if the coupler jumps off the ball and becomes cradled in the safety chains, in my humble opinion it is not a good thing for the trailer brakes to manually lock up. The trailer coupler will be nested in the chains, and I would want the trailer tires to turn freely while I slow down to pull over, not dragging half-hazardly on pavement.
I see the desire for automatic application of the brakes, but like Myron I don't want to drag a trailer with locked-up tires that is skidding out of control. The ideal would be to put a resistor in the breakaway electrical circuit to provide a more moderate level of braking, but I currently just connect it directly and risk the skidding... but I can't guarantee if the breakaway switch will trip before or after chain breakage.


As for hardware style, I was only suggesting the carabiner style for the breakaway cable, not the safety chains. If you use any kind of hook for safety chains, I strongly suggest any style with a latch so it will not fall off, rated as mentioned for the full weight of the trailer.
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