First time 21' observations……and emergency cable discussion - Page 5 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:15 AM   #41
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Who are you quoting Doug?
I didn't find those passages in any of the posted references. Can you provide a link?

Here is a link to a blog article on the subject where the author discusses both scenarios. Guess she couldn't find specific guidance in laws or statutes either.
http://www.title-3.com/BreakAway.htm


Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:36 AM   #42
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Paul, just did a quick search, and found this right away. This is a topic well discussed in many trailering forums.

http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/ExtProg/Sa...ilerBrakes.pdf

I really don't understand the many folks here who are thinking that the breakaway switch should take effect, only if the chains fail. I have never heard of properly attached chains failing. I have heard of, and have had myself, trailers breaking away from the hitch. The idea is to stop safely when decoupling occurs, not to stop the trailer if it is going down the road on its own.

You need the trailer breaks to lock whenever the hitch accidentally becomes detached while towing, otherwise it will come slamming back into you when it does, potentially causing a very dangerous situation. If this was to happen, that would be your first indication that it became uncoupled, and any action of yours to manually apply the brakes would come way to late, even if it crosses your thought process in an emergency situation.

If the breakaway applies the brakes should the hitch decouple, the trailer will pull straight back, allowing you to stay in full control as you come to a stop, even on rain soaked roads.

Driving professionally with vehicles equipped with breakaway controller, it was one of our walk-around checks to make sure that it in fact worked, and that it would engage should it be needed.

I have to confess, I never bothered to set up my breakaway properly on my Escape at first (knew better, but figured nothing would happen to me), and did have it decouple on the road. Fortunately it was on the service road leaving the campground, and sure enough, even at a slow speed, the trailer rammed into the tow vehicle, leaving a canoe imprint on the front window rock guard, and a dint in the Pilot bumper.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:49 AM   #43
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Thanks Jim.
Guess I'll talk to Reace about it when he sets up the Anderson hitch on my 21.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:39 AM   #44
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As Jim mentioned, I can't imagine a senario where the safety chains or the actual trailer hitch that is bolted to the frame of my truck could fail. That is why I feel confident that securing the safety chains and break away cable to hitch will work well. To adjust the length of the cable so that it will be guaranteed to work properly is quite easy. Most hardware stores sell the proper cable crimping parts. To me its important that if the trailer comes off the ball that the trailer brakes engage to stop the trailer hammering the back of the truck which could easily cause the truck to be hard to control
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Excellent research Doug.
I would conclude then that the break-away cable shouldn't be attached to the same location as the chains ( the hitch receiver ) or the hitch pin.
One needs to find an attachment point on the frame ( which might be difficult, given few vehicles have frames these days ).
I guess one could have a ring welded to the unibody easily enough.
Problem is the terms used. If it's not to be attached to the ball or ball mount, would it be OK to attach it to the hitch receiver?
Hi Glenn

I think you would be safe attaching the cable to the receiver as it should be welded to the vehicle. Its usually the hitch itself that something goes wrong with that causes separation.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:53 PM   #46
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On our Ford escape we have the small hitch receiver (class 2?)which came stock on our vehicle--the breakaway cable gets put in there with a cotter pin. I believe Reace did this first when we got our trailer. And we do have a good sized loop in the cable...

Our class 3 hitch was added afterwards.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:02 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
...I have to confess, I never bothered to set up my breakaway properly on my Escape at first (knew better, but figured nothing would happen to me), and did have it decouple on the road. Fortunately it was on the service road leaving the campground, and sure enough, even at a slow speed, the trailer rammed into the tow vehicle, leaving a canoe imprint on the front window rock guard, and a dint in the Pilot bumper.
Jim, I am sure that with this past experience, you probably make a concerted effort to make sure things are coupled properly and working before towing. I find that I also learn best from the mistakes I make.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #48
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"Do it yourself" is the best advice I can offer. When hooking up, I take care of the entire process, so I know that everything has been done and done properly.
My buddy left it to his wife to drop the coupler on to the ball while he did something else. I came by and noticed that the coupler was actually sitting on top of the ball, even though it appeared latched.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #49
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Do the the trailer brake lights come on when the breakaway cable is pulled? I would expect they do but the trailer is in storage and I can't check. After reading Jim's post, which makes sense to me, I will be shortening our breakaway cable in the spring.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:05 PM   #50
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I just measured the distance for the cable, 12" from the coupler to the switch. I also measured my tongue weight, full propane, empty water and waste tanks, empty refer, otherwise ready to camp, 550#. Will measure again once I fill fresh tank 50% and with food in refer, ready to roll.
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