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Old 01-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #71
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Please explain... how does a wheel on the jack play any role at all contributing to decoupling when driving? Seems to me decoupling must occur first, in order for a wheel on the jack to ever touch pavement. Then, I think, you'd be glad it was there allowing the tongue to roll without friction and thereby saving the entire jack and coupler from serious damage.

Here's a picture of what a Scamp coupler looks like after it decouples at 55 mph and scrapes along the highway because the safety chains had too much play. My tongue jack at the time had a wheel on it but was folded parallel to the frame.

In a worst case scenario I think a good thing is to be able to field-expedient the problem so you can still get to a shop, or home, on your own. A destroyed tongue jack means no way you're lifting that tongue up and back on the ball without a separate, emergency jack, so there you are, staying put, hoping your cell phone works.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:16 PM   #72
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Maybe I'm one of those Obsessive/Compulsive types, but I've always tested how a tongue would actually hang in the crossed safety chains, simply by taking the coupler off the ball and lowering it down with the tongue jack. I drive with the jack pole up as far as it will go, and the wheel removed. If they're proper chains, they're unlikely to break, but the big risk comes in how they're connected. Too many people use good chains, but a poor quality hook and, in some cases, a carabiner-type connection with inadequate breaking strength. I'm also of the school that doesn't want the trailer brakes locking up after a decoupling that is only off the ball, and not completely free of the tow vehicle.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:32 PM   #73
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The jack post wheel I have is as likely to dig in as the post. It's quite reluctant to rotate.
When I picked up my trailer, I asked Reace why there was only one hole in the post, which prevented you from fully attaching the pin that holds it on. He said that was to prevent people from leaving the wheel attached to the post.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:35 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Please explain... how does a wheel on the jack play any role at all contributing to decoupling when driving?
It depends on the terrain ( ie. flow ditches across forestry roads or a steep driveway.
It may not decouple, but it would certainly put stress on the ball, the coupler, the jack post...
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:35 PM   #75
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Clevis Hooks

Bob,
I think anyone who spends the time discussing something as arcane as how long to make the break away cable on an RV trailer is a bit compulsive/obsessive. There seems to be quite a few of us present. Please a show of hands?

Since you brought up the carabiner-type connection used and I believe provided by Escape I thought I would share what I have done. The carabiner was a PITA, especially when raining or cold. So I went to our local farm store and bought a pair of clevis hooks. I made sure they were 5000# rated and had the spring loaded latches.

This is not the exact unit but a representation of what I have installed. I had to shorten the connection on the chains a bit. They are really fast for connect and disconnect and will stow on the bar from the safety chains up under the tongue when not in use.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:54 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Please explain... how does a wheel on the jack play any role at all contributing to decoupling when driving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
It depends on the terrain ( ie. flow ditches across forestry roads or a steep driveway.
It may not decouple, but it would certainly put stress on the ball, the coupler, the jack post...
Myron,
I was thinking along the same lines as Glen....
If you had any play in your coupler (not that You would) going into a gas station or similar uneven terrain could cause it to bottom out and put enough upward pressure to pop the coupler.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:59 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Bob,
I think anyone who spends the time discussing something as arcane as how long to make the break away cable on an RV trailer is a bit compulsive/obsessive. There seems to be quite a few of us present. Please a show of hands?


Ya, I think we need to go camping...
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #78
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Paul,
I believe Escape provided me the oval type that screw together, but those were the first things I replaced when I got my trailer home. Not only are they a PITA, but they'll jam up under sudden stress. California requires hooks with safety latches, either exactly as you've shown above or an "S" hook type. If I'd thought about it when ordering the trailer, I'd have requested those type hooks.

I guess I'm OCD partially because I had a small utility trailer come off the ball once when hitting a cattle guard too fast. Fortunately the chains held.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #79
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This is what came on my trailer - are these what you guys replaced? Seems like a very secure safe hookup and I've never had any trouble with getting them on and off. Is there some safety problem about these?

(I'm not OCD, but retired, snowed in and too much time on my hands according to Mary)
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:11 PM   #80
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Eric,
Yes, I replaced those. In California the connectors must have a breaking strength equal to or greater than the weight of the trailer. I don't remember if mine from Escape had a rating stamped on them, but I'd used that type on a previous, smaller trailer, and found that they often got very tight, so tight I'd need a wrench to loosen them. That was especially true when they were in the elements during periods of non-use. I got tired of that. And, If you ever do have a coupler disconnect, the sudden strain on that threaded connection could well jam up so that it would be very difficult to remove. That from a person who had been through the experience. The hooks Paul pictured are much easier to use.
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