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TT and proper attachment of breakaway cable


pegwillen

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This question comes out of my attendance of the towing-4-down seminar @Escapade. There was a discussion re: length/purpose of this cable, and while I understand towing a TT is

different, I would like your experienced opinions.

 

This pic illustrates how the builder of my TT told me to attach the cable, hooked into a chain hook. I don't know how that configuration would activate the brake in the event of the trailer ball failing or even if the chains detach from the hitch. Please opine those of you with experience....appreciate the help always.

post-55056-0-27263600-1469889276_thumb.jpeg

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The ideal is to connect things such that the brake-away is triggered before the detached trailer reaches the full length of the safety chains. If the brake-away cable is of the proper length, it will be somewhat shorter than the safety chains to insure that happens and so keep the trailer dragging back hard on the chains, thus preventing the tongue from hitting the ground at highway speeds.

 

In the case of a 4-down vehicle the safety chains/cables should wrap around the tow-bar arms so that those will be held up in that situation and the brake-away cable should still set the aux brake before the end of the safety cables is reached, thus making the motorhome pull the vehicle until it stops.

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We have always attached the breakaway cable to a part of the truck not associated with the hitch.

 

The thought behind this being even if the whole hitch falls off the truck's frame you still want the cable pulled and brakes activated.

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I'm with Stan and Newt.

Way too often I see improper breakaway cables, either too long or connected wrong. I once saw one that was laced through the links of the safety chain. Stop and think about what it is supposed to do. IF (and lets pray it doesn't happen) your trailer comes loose and you are dragging it by the chains, if you have no trailer brakes, as you slow the trailer runs up and rams your tow vehicle. Your tow vehicle lurches forward for a brief interval and then gets hit again, over and over until you finally (and hopefully) manage to stop safely. Now, if the breakaway device had functioned properly and pulled (meaning it needs to be slightly shorter than the chains) then your trailer brakes are now applied. Your trailer will be braking as you slow your tow vehicle, giving you a much safer stop. If your entire hitch breaks (seen it happen) then the cable should pull, again applying the trailer brakes so it will (hopefully) stop fairly quick and not kill someone.

 

That is how it SHOULD function. For this to happen, as I said earlier, the cable needs to be long enough to not pull loose in a turn, and slightly shorter than the chains. Hopefully the chains will hold and if the brakes don't come on, then the breakaway device is useless. And it needs to be attached to the tow vehicle, not the chains or the hitch.

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I'm with Stan and Newt.

Way too often I see improper breakaway cables, either too long or connected wrong. I once saw one that was laced through the links of the safety chain. Stop and think about what it is supposed to do. IF (and lets pray it doesn't happen) your trailer comes loose and you are dragging it by the chains, if you have no trailer brakes, as you slow the trailer runs up and rams your tow vehicle. Your tow vehicle lurches forward for a brief interval and then gets hit again, over and over until you finally (and hopefully) manage to stop safely. Now, if the breakaway device had functioned properly and pulled (meaning it needs to be slightly shorter than the chains) then your trailer brakes are now applied. Your trailer will be braking as you slow your tow vehicle, giving you a much safer stop. If your entire hitch breaks (seen it happen) then the cable should pull, again applying the trailer brakes so it will (hopefully) stop fairly quick and not kill someone.

 

That is how it SHOULD function. For this to happen, as I said earlier, the cable needs to be long enough to not pull loose in a turn, and slightly shorter than the chains. Hopefully the chains will hold and if the brakes don't come on, then the breakaway device is useless. And it needs to be attached to the tow vehicle, not the chains or the hitch.

 

 

Just bought a new TT. That is how the dealer ran the breakaway cable. :rolleyes:

 

I need to fix that before we go somewhere.

 

Newt

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That is how it SHOULD function. For this to happen, as I said earlier, the cable needs to be long enough to not pull loose in a turn, and slightly shorter than the chains. Hopefully the chains will hold and if the brakes don't come on, then the breakaway device is useless. And it needs to be attached to the tow vehicle, not the chains or the hitch.

Which is exactly what has been stated in several other posts. Safety devices don't work unless used properly. :)

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