First time 21' observations……and emergency cable discussion - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-14-2014, 04:58 PM   #21
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Not sure how you could have the breakaway cable shorter than the chains. After all, the chains are supposed to cradle the trailer tongue, should it come off the ball. And that means they have to be short enough to prevent the tongue from digging into the pavement.
If you were then to make your breakaway cable shorter, it would likely release in a sharp turn.
Don't know how one would shorten that coiled cable either.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:08 PM   #22
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21 hooking up

Today I leveled the 21 with a level on the frame and also measured from the ground to the rub strip as was done to set up my hitch at Escape. My jeep has a set of the magic shocks that are self leveling, they move fluid to the other side when ever a load is added, it's too modern for me. With only our permanent items, no clothes or food and all tanks empty the tongue was 500#, I added 2/3 fresh water and the weight changed to 490#. We'll be leaving Thurs. a.m. and I'll once again check the tongue weight when all loaded for two weeks. My sherline scale appears to be working properly as I ad or remove weight. The top of the ball on the jeep is about 19 1/2 inches and that matches the trailer hitch quite close.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:14 PM   #23
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I am trying to visualize this all - If the tongue comes off the ball, the breakaway cable needs to first activate the trailer brakes, slowing the trailer, pulling the chains to their full extension and cradling the tongue as you say Glenn. So I think that the cable does need to be at a length so that it is pulled out before the chains are tight. Unless I am totally wrong, which would be far from the first time.....
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:22 PM   #24
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I was hoping that Doug and Paul would have a debate, but so far, I'm leaning to NOT having the breakaway cable release, as long as the chains are doing their job. Then, should the chains let go, the cable would activate the brakes on the trailer.
Of course, and I've thought about it in the past, if the entire hitch receiver lets go, it's probably not going to matter. Might as well just keep going.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:11 PM   #25
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Jack
That seems like a pretty high tongue weight. I would expect more in the area of 390#. Not sure what being empty or partially empty does. I had some high weights like that on my Escape 19, Reace said I might have been off by not having the trailer level. He could well have been correct. Something to do with the torsion axles. You said you used a level on the frame, did you by chance check the bubble level on the trailer?

Keep us informed after the next weigh in.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I am trying to visualize this all - If the tongue comes off the ball, the breakaway cable needs to first activate the trailer brakes, slowing the trailer, pulling the chains to their full extension and cradling the tongue as you say Glenn. So I think that the cable does need to be at a length so that it is pulled out before the chains are tight. Unless I am totally wrong, which would be far from the first time.....
It's never happened to me, but I'd prefer it to go like this ( if it had to happen ):
Tongue comes off the ball
Chains catch it and support it off the ground.
I realize sometimes wrong and lightly apply the brakes and ease off the road under control of trailer & tug.

If the emergency cable is pulled, the brakes will probably lock up and the trailer will be very hard to control. If it's wet out, it may try to pass you .

I think the emergency switch it there to stop the trailer if it separates entirely.

No argument. That's just the way I see it
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:14 PM   #27
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Years ago, I had a weigh wagon come off the hitch. I made the mistake of applying the breaks and the wagon smashed into the back of my van. I think nothing would have happened if l would have just coasted to a stop even though the wagon was doing a little whip lash action until everything came to a stop. The wagon did not have electric brakes.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:17 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I was hoping that Doug and Paul would have a debate, but so far, I'm leaning to NOT having the breakaway cable release, as long as the chains are doing their job. Then, should the chains let go, the cable would activate the brakes on the trailer.
Of course, and I've thought about it in the past, if the entire hitch receiver lets go, it's probably not going to matter. Might as well just keep going.
I was also waiting for a debate. My thoughts are that if the electrical connection to the TV is to remain connected and operating, after a failure of the ball connection, both the electrical & breakaway cable need to be longer than the safety chain. In the case of a total separation the breakaway cable closes the circuit between brakes and trailer battery. Another reason to have a trailer battery in good condition.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #29
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Paul you make excellent points.

I had the not fun experience of having one come loose (I let someone else put the trailer onto the ball and he didn't get it seated properly). Different situation though as It was a popup with no brakes, It was one of those experiences where things were happening a whole lot faster than I wanted them to. All I remember is suddenly seeing the trailer weaving back and forth. I got it onto side of the road, but don't think I would call it under control! LOL
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BRietkerk View Post
My thoughts are that if the electrical connection to the TV is to remain connected and operating, after a failure of the ball connection, both the electrical & breakaway cable need to be longer than the safety chain. In the case of a total separation the breakaway cable closes the circuit between brakes and trailer battery.
I agree, but I suspect that the real reason for breakaway switches is the complete breakaway scenario, in which the relative lengths don't matter.

The only aspect not covered in this discussion has been the relative length of the electrical connection and the breakaway cable. If the chains are long enough to allow the electrical connection to pull out, the breakaway cable needs to have already engaged the brakes, or you have a connected trailer with no brakes, which is bad.
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