Trailer Chains

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by TexasTRex, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. TexasTRex

    TexasTRex New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    My trailer came with chains but they seem to be very long. Is there a standard or measure that I should use to determine if they are correct? Obviously not so short that I can't turn it and they don't drag that I am aware of but they just seem long.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Messages:
    17,805
    Likes Received:
    3,286
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Waterford, Ct
    Get yourself some "quick links" and adjust/play with the chain length. You want to be able to turn but you also want the chains to catch the coupler from digging in the ground if disconnected. Be the way the chains should cross (like an X) to form a cradle.
     
  3. TexasTRex

    TexasTRex New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Oh yes, I've pulled enough cattle and horse trailers and I've even heard it's illegal in Texas at least to NOT cross them. I just never thought about the length of them. I will play around with it and see what I can come up with. Tight enough to catch and cradle it but not so tight I can't turn.
    Thanks!
     
    Raycfe likes this.
  4. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    2,401
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Location:
    Jackson Wyoming
    Everyone always says cross them. Well I have three trailers with chains and all three have both chains connected at a single point on the tongue. Crossing them does nothing
     
  5. TexasTRex

    TexasTRex New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Well, after researching, one thing it does is keep you from getting a ticket in most states.
     
  6. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    2,401
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Location:
    Jackson Wyoming
    Makes no sense. Being connected at a single point mean you can’t tell if they are “ crossed “ or not.
     
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,281
    Likes Received:
    2,405
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Yes, 2 out of the three campers we've had have had chains that were connected so they don't stay crossed, including our current one. We added a quick link near the couple which helps that issue. We also have had "cradles" to keep the chains from dragging, while allowing them to be long enough for any and all turns. We've had this style, the one we have is wearing out (cracking): https://www.amazon.com/Fastway-Chai...id=1641660315&sprefix=chain+up,aps,188&sr=8-4 We have a new one, which will not require remembering to put it over the ball before lowering the coupler onto it. (https://www.campingworld.com/gr-innovations-class-3-hitch-safety-chain-hanger-115747.html) We'll see how that works.
     
    NLB likes this.
  8. davez26

    davez26 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Mine are the same way on the 1991 Coleman from the factory. I always wondered about that.
    I am adding this to my 'fixit' list for the Spring.
     
  9. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    350
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2020
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ours used to fit,all of a sudden their too short! No criss cross for ours, weird.
     
  10. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    8,136
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Maybe take them off and un twist them. They can not shrink!
     
    kitphantom likes this.
  11. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    350
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2020
    Location:
    Minnesota
    That is funny, but they're not twisted. Weird conundrum!
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,281
    Likes Received:
    2,405
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    A photo of them would be helpful, I am stumped how they can have gotten shorter, unless they're hung up on something under the A-frame, or something.
     
    xxxapache and Sjm9911 like this.
  13. Sweetpea

    Sweetpea Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    171
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2021
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    You'll have to wait until the snow is lower. It's not my imagination they just don't cross.
     
  14. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,281
    Likes Received:
    2,405
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Ours didn't cross until we added a quick link, due to their mounting point. However, I can't figure out how your have gotten too short, if they once were long enough.
     
  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    8,136
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Right, not possable unless something is bent or broke off or changed. Steel expands at like 1 inch per 10 foot lenth at 1000 degrees. No way cold is going to shrink a chain or have heat expand it enough to have it not reach where it once did. Look to see if there is another problem. Unless you saying that the chain was never long enough to cross to begine with.
     
    xxxapache and kitphantom like this.
  16. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    562
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Yeah, there's no way they got shorter. That's funny. I'm guessing someone got a new ball mount that is a little longer.
     
  17. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    Messages:
    3,604
    Likes Received:
    856
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Chains that are too long can easily be twisted so they are the proper length and don't drag, or cut to the desired length and reattached. As many have said, the chains always seem to be attached at a single point. I was doing a different mod on mine many years ago, (swapping the 3 self tapping bolts that attached the tongue jack, into actual nuts and bolts and flat washers), when I noticed a single crappy little 5/16 bolt holding my chain on. I pulled that bolt, cut the chain so I could have 2 chains with separate attachment points on the frame itself instead of on the coupler, drilled new holes, and attached them with 3/8 bolts, nylon insert lock nuts, and flats. Now they can be crossed during hook up, (which I think is BS, but I do it to avoid a ticket), and have what I think is better securement. This was done when I used to pull with a Caravan. I was nervous as to the length of them when I moved over to my F150, but the chains are still the proper length for the truck.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    859
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    N. TX
    pull up - turn to the right and hook up one chain, pull forward to the left and hook up the other.
    I do this on a flat bed trailer, the hooks are big and need some extra slack to get them hooked.
     
  19. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    350
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2020
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Nope, I will take a picture just forget to. Snow and cold have a way .
     
    kitphantom likes this.

Share This Page