trailer safety chain question

Discussion in 'Road Safety Systems' started by TDS-MN, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey All,

    I recently picked up a hitch receiver extender, that allows for accessories such as a bike rack, to be inserted in an upper receiver, and the trailer to hook up to the lower. Seemed like a great idea, but it ran me into a couple issues that I still need to try and find ways to solve.

    1) My existing safety chains are NOT long enough to still reach the hitch on my tow vehicle. Right now they are a continuous length of chain, that is bolted to the trailer tongue at mid-point. There are open hooks at each end that attach to my receiver on the truck. If I need to replace these with a longer length, is new chain my best option. I was hoping to find a solution that would not mean that I have a lot of extra length of chain to try and hang when NOT using the extender. I've seen cables for this too, are they a better or worse option? Or does using this start to create a situation where I will need to change chains back and forth depending on if I'm using the extender or not? Someone out there must have one of these, I'd like to hear how you made it work for you.

    2) Related, but not exactly a topic for this specific forum section. I look to have interference between the tongue jack and any bikes on the rack. If you have any creative solutions, I wouldn't mind hearing those as well.
     
  2. bfahs

    bfahs Member

    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    You cod use locking o rings to extend the chains. Likely have to cut off the hooks and put them on an o ring. Then attach legnth of chain needed and o ring to existing chain.

    Make sure get hardware rated high enough.

    I personally don't like this as a bike rack solution. I want to be able to open back of my van.
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    7,410
    Likes Received:
    595
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    N. TX
    one length of chain and a couple of http://www.truckntow.com/p-10885-quick-link-05-mm-316.aspx

    When I did this I looped the extra length of chain through the vehicle hitch and then connected the free ends to the trailer chain.

    My extra chain and connectors were rated well above the existing trailer chain!
     
  4. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,009
    Likes Received:
    1,527
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
  5. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,582
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stillwater, MN
    I added chain to my hitch extender and hook the trailer chains to this extended chain. I use the hooks from the trailer chain and didn't have to do any mods to the trailer chains.
    [​IMG]

    I was able to weld a new connection for my bike rack that brought it closer to the hitch and raised it up more to avoid the battery and jack.
    [​IMG]

    I'm sure some will say I'm doing it wrong, but it works for me.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,967
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    You are aware that those hitch extenders can reduce your towing capacity by up to 50% ... So if your tow rating is 3500lbs without the extender it could be as low as 1750lbs, ....
     
  7. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    601
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    i have used the same extender berfore myself, and my chains length just made it, however dont really like to use that extender, make the ride more unstable, and alittle harder in turning radius, maybe it,s just me , but in my mind im constantly thinking the trailer is too far back parinoid i guess.
     
  8. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

    Messages:
    5,362
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Western MA
    One thing to also consider is that extending the location of the hitch ball decreases your tongue and tow capacity. For example, according to the regional rep for Cequent, putting the ball 1 foot further out than it would be normally will double it's effect on the tow vehicle. This in turn means that your capacity is cut in half. If you had a 500lb tongue weight capacity before extending it, you have 250lb capacity after extending it out a foot.

    Don't know how far out you extended it, but the above example uses 1 foot.

    For those that may say it has worked for them so far so it should be fine, doesn't mean that it's okay. You could probably smoke a cigarette at a gas pump 100 times without it causing a disaster, but we can all agree that doesn't make it smart.
     
  9. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    Shell Rock Landing, Hubert NC
    Don't believe it has any effect on how much weight you can tow but it does have an effect on the tongue weight. As mentioned it will reduce the tongue weight
     
  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    7,410
    Likes Received:
    595
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    N. TX
  11. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Location:
    Ontario
    To answer your first question, get longer chains, these should also be secured to both sides of the PUPs frame and attached to the TV forming an X pattern so the trailer rests on them in case it detaches from the TV. Securing the chain with one single bolt won't give you the X pattern and won't provide this extra safety feature.
    Check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsw0-q4oo_4

    Chains can be easily shortened by twisting them around a few times until the desired length is achieved.

    As per your second question, although I also believe the extender is not the best idea, replace the trailer jack for one that attaches to the side of the frame and folds away when towing.

    This pick shows the jack I'm reffering to and the chains attached to both sides of the frame.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,967
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Perhaps I should have said "extension will reduce your hitch's weight capacity by 50 percent." .... like the note on this listing for the same style extender from etrailer ...

    http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/MaxxTow/MT70070.html
     
  13. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    What does that really mean? Not towing capacity, is it?
    If you move the load toward the rear of the pup, will not negate this effect on hitch?
     
  14. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    251
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Carry a brick by holding it close to your torso. Walk across the room with it.

    Now carry it by holding it straight out in front of you. Walk across the room with it.

    Note the difference in how it makes you feel.

    By extending the receiver hitch assembly, you are increasing how the tow vehicle feels the load, in terms of the *apparent* tongue weight.
     
  15. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    I know that much. Does moving the load to the back (and WDH) help negate the leverage on "apparent tongue weight"? By doing so, is towing capacity unchanged?
     
  16. Ludercrous

    Ludercrous Member

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Yes, moving items to the back of the trailer would reduce tongue weight. BUT don't forget the rule, tongue weight should be 10-15% (I think) of your loaded trailer weight!
     
  17. bfahs

    bfahs Member

    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    What does that really mean? Not towing capacity, is it?

    Quite simply you have the same weight pushing down on your rear bumper from a longer lever. Remember the see-saw of your youth. To get heavier you slid away from the center point.

    By adding a hitch extender you slide the weight farther from the pivot point (rear axel of the tv)

    I need a bike solution myself but am leaning toward rack for tv or for tounge of trailer with bike rear tires on top of pup.
     
  18. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    With extended receiver, I think tongue weight should be kept less than 10-15% because of the leverage gained by the pup. Same tongue weight before now is being felt heavier by the TV with extended receiver hitch.
     
  19. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

    Messages:
    5,362
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Western MA
    Extenders reduce the overall capacity, not just tongue weight.
    http://www.etrailer.com/p-HE12.html


    Brophy Hitch Accessories - HE12
    Features:
    Prevents hitting trailer or propane tanks when making sharp turns while towing
    Extends hitch 14" from center to center of hitch pin holes
    Has powder coated black finish




    Load Rating GTW 3500 lbs; Tongue 350 lbs
    Load Rating with Weight Distribution Equipment GTW 7000 lbs; Tongue 700 lbs
    The limiting factor is the capacity of your hitch. Using a hitch extender will reduce your hitch's overall capacity by 50%

    HE12 Hitch Extender For 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver 14"
     
  20. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

    Messages:
    5,362
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Western MA

Share This Page