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 > Breakaway Cable on Andersen Hitch.

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JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 03/25/21 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thermoguy wrote:

JIMNLIN wrote:

If your replying to me you need to read what I said. I have/had and always have used safety chains on all my ball/pintle hitch trailers.


Your comment "and I do not want my trailers brakes applied while the chains are still hooked." is why I attached that video. The chains will stay attached to the truck and trailer, you need the brakes applied to stop the trailer when attached to the truck. The chains are not going to brake away from the truck, then the trailer brakes are going to engage. You need the brakes engaging before it hits the end of the chains... period...

This has never happened to me - knock on wood - but from my experience and seeing how you are supposed to set up your trailer, regardless of the trailer hitch type, if you have chains, the brake cable is shorter than the chains.

Well... its happened to me with a heavy pintle hitch trailer behind a 3500 DRW chevy and know the results. I was at the mercy of which ever way the trailer was headed. The trailer see sawed back and forth with the brakes locked....like a big fish on a small pole.
Luckily the truck was headed to the right and into the ditch and away from oncoming traffic.
I remember my first new entrant audit when I first got into hauling. The officer doing the audit made a comment the safety chains are there to keep the trailer attached to the truck...and the breakaway system applies the brakes on a runaway trailer. After what happened to me he made sense.

I'll continue to set my breakaway system the way the officer mentioned.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

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Njmurvin

Simi Valley

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Posted: 03/26/21 12:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking to be educated here. My trailer 7 pin cord is much longer than the chains. If the hitch lets go and the chains hold, then the trailer cord would still be attached and I would still have control of the trailer brakes. Is that better or worse than having the breakaway cable pull and automatically lock up the trailer brakes?

I always thought the breakaway cable was there for when a trailer becomes completely detached from the tow vehicle.


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Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 03/26/21 01:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From a website on how to hook up safety chains and brake away controller - even more important on a gooseneck as it will nose dive if it leaves the bed of the truck:

The 2-Fold Purpose of the Trailer Breakaway System
First, should the trailer ever come completely disconnected from the tow vehicle, the breakaway cable will pull the pin from the breakaway switch, turning on the 12 volt power from the breakaway battery, engaging the electro-magnetic drum brakes on the trailer. This keeps the trailer from running down the road causing additional damage after becoming disconnected from the tow vehicle.

Secondly, should the trailer ever become disengaged from the ball-hitch but stay connected to the tow vehicle via safety chains, the breakaway cable will pull the pin from the breakaway switch, turning on the 12 volt power from the breakaway battery, engaging the electro-magnetic drum brakes on the trailer and keeping the trailer from sliding into the back of the tow vehicle while you bring the vehicle to a stop on the side of the road.

The most important part of hooking up your breakaway cable is to insure that there is less slack in the breakaway cable than there is in the safety chains.

Njmurvin

Simi Valley

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Posted: 03/26/21 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess it's the "Secondly ..." point that I'm a still bit fuzzy on. I get that you don't want the trailer to collide with the truck. Having the trailer brakes suddenly and completely engage like that will put an immediate stress on the chains and their mount points. If they don't hold, well I guess you're into the "First ..." scenario above. If they do hold, you're asserting that you have more control over a trailer with its brakes fully locked up than you have by feathering the brakes using the brake pedal and manual control on the brake controller (assuming your 7 pin cord is still connected).

Njmurvin

Simi Valley

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Posted: 03/26/21 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Apparently, there is still some debate about this.

From etrailer.com's FAQs ...

Question: Should the cable be slightly longer than the safety chain not applying the brakes until after the chains broke or slightly shorter applying brakes if hitch came off ball but still attached by safety chains

Expert Reply: The best length for the cable of a breakaway system like the Tow Ready Trailer Break Away Kit # 50-85-315 that you referenced will be slightly longer than the safety chains. The breakaway cable should be longer than the safety chains according to RVIA Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. This will activate the brakes in the event you lose the trailer connection and the safety chains fail.


Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 03/27/21 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All I know is I have been hauling horse trailers my entire adult life. I've always been told you want the brakes on the trailer to engage before it brakes away.

If you look at the video from ID, would the trailer brakes have stopped the rig before it got to the bridge had they been engaged? Not sure if that is even an issue, not sure if the trailer broke away until after it hit the bridge so might not be a point here.

I guess if the trailer is no longer on the hitch, can your "feathering" the brakes bring it to a stop safely, the websites I read said you don't want the trailer to slam into the back of the truck.

Hope I never have to find out if one or the other is right, but for now, I will keep my brake away cable shorter than the chains.

ventrman

Mission, TX

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Posted: 04/28/21 01:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all of the replies. The ball was high enough that I was able to thread it through the bottom hole and lock the cable against itself.


God Bless!


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