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Safety Chains

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Hi, Everyone,

What length safety chains do you use to tow your Oliver? I went to a couple of stores today and found 36" and 72" chains, so I need some help from current owners.

 

Thanks,

Steve

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Hello Everybody,

 

Tom is right, whatever length safety chains you need they will be included with your Oliver. We just took delivery of ours yesterday (06-21-08). We had our frame construction modified at the factory and one of the mods was a longer tongue. Therefore we needed a different length chain from the standard. Don't worry, yours will be just like it needs to be....


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Seeing this is an old post and looks like Oliver has changed there safety chains to safety cables which I'm not in favor of, I just changed our cables out for chains. I personally thought the cables were in the way and hard to hookup and unhook, plus I didn't like the resistance that they have and always fighting them, it's probably just me, but I've been using safety chains for 50 plus years and never once were they needed, or should I say being in a situation where they were needed. One other thing I noticed was the Oliver cables hooks are too small and found then hard to hook and unhook from my Ram pickup receiver, the new chains have a larger hook and the safety latch is easier to release and clear the receiver hook points. All being said, it just worked better for me and my setup with the 2019 Ram.

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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I’ve noticed some folks replacing their cables with chains - if they’re more comfortable with chains, why not?  I’ve had no issues with the curly cables and I trust that Oliver right sized them to handle the unlikely emergency!  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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My only concern with the cables is that they hook to the tongue in one spot, along the centerline. Chains should attach further back with some left/ right separation, so that you can cross them under the coupler. That way the coupler will be cradled and held off the pavement if it becomes disconnected. With the central attach point, the coupler will hit the ground. Not good, but I am not going to change the design,... this is how it SHOULD be:

 

chains.thumb.png.6c2af9dae91e2e80e191007971039975.png

 

BTW I am unsure how Oliver gets away with their setup. I thought certification required criss-cross chains or cables....

 

I actually like how the cables stay up and out of the way. I feed the breakaway lanyard through the center of the loops of the left cable, very neat and tidy. With my Stone Stomper, dangling chains would just be in the way.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I prefer chains because they are much more easily adjusted for length, and a bunch of other reasons as well.

Safety chain length is a very important part of the system and is often overlooked. The chains, or cables, need to be as short as possible without binding up in a jackknife position. I'm in the process of doing this to my Ollie as I think  the supplied chains are too long. Back up your trailer in a tight turn as close as you can without TV/trailer contact. Stop there and measure the distance between the two mounting points, chains crossed. I will do this with the actual chain and connecting hardware I'm using. Leave just a little slack, maybe one link. I'm hoping that when I drop (lower gently that is) the trailer off the ball mount, the attached chains will prevent the trailer coupler, and the mounting hardware for the chains on the trailer frame, from ground contact. We'll see, there is only so much one can do if the design is off. This chain/cable length will be different for each TV/trailer setup. So supplying one length that "fits all" is not doing anyone any favors and could be hazardous in an emergency. If you have an articulating hitch, that could be very different, but I have no experience with those. Just my 2 cents.

 

Dave

 

 

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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John,

 

Thanks for providing another and better reason to cross the chains under the trailer tongue.  The drawing shows the concept perfectly too.

 

David

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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I just changed our cables out for chains.

Please post pictures, where did you attach them at the rear?

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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When I took delivery of my Ollie they said to crisscross the cables. It was some what of a pain to connect for the first time fighting the tension of the curled up cable.  I too prefer chains old school. There are different grades of chains. And hooks, anyone know what they might be?

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The hook and chain grade and size can vary depending on the rating target. The grade 70 x 1/4"  I used are rated for 7-12K trailers. A Grade 30 X 3/8" or grade 43 x 5 /16" might be similarly rated.

010303146e9c3082e5d9ea451a90f477c6aae3e807.thumb.jpg.fa0ddf704923096a5b97db441e7f850b.jpg

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The hook and chain grade and size can vary depending on the rating target. The grade 70 x 1/4″ I used are rated for 7-12K trailers. A Grade 30 X 3/8″ or grade 43 x 5 /16″ might be similarly rated.

 

 

Are those hooks being held by magnets? Need more info please on how you have those chains secured to the tongue.


Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax

 

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It appears a large rare earth magnet is glued to the head of the retaining bolts holding the safety chains.

 

Very clever solution.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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I replaced my cables with chains, just because they are much easier to use. I purchased a set from Ebay, they are 3/8" links and were 36" long with hooks that were larger then the size on the cables that came with the Oliver. I did have to purchase two quick links as the 3/8' chain would not go thru the U-Clamps that come with the Oliver trailer, just something else to deal with, well it's only $$$$. One thing that really worked out well was, the large hooks fit my new Ram factory receiver very well and were much easier to hook and unhook with ease. Since I just installed the chains I have not shortened them as of yet, but will do so with my next trailer hookup in two weeks, I will see what others have said about getting the correct slack and cut them for the correct fit.  I purchased these,  https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-35-SAFETY-CHAIN-3-8-SLIP-HOOK-CLIP-TRAILER-HEAVY-DUTY-TOWING-AUTO-PULL-145/132502180937?hash=item1ed9bed449:g:M8IAAOSw7p5agOMy:sc:USPSPriorityMailPaddedFlatRateEnvelope!76020!US!-1

 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Safety hooks on the Oliver cables are too fat and will not fit into the receiver hitch hole of my new 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax Diesel.  And with the u-bolt/clevis pin setup, the hook fits through the u-bolt, but I bent the spring gizmo latch part of the hook trying to get it to close.  Super-aggravating. Decided to attach safety chain hook to hitch by screwing and unscrewing clevis pin each time.  Not as graceful as hooking and unhooking, but, lots better than fooling with that spring gizmo (thought about taking it off and hoping the fat hook does not jump out of the hitch hole).  There must be a simple solution.


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Yep they’re  just some magnets (see picture) I found at a local hardware center.  Put a dab of Marine Tex epoxy and centered on bolt heads.   They work better than I expected.

DEB930FC-9ED3-4AF1-9DC3-E0CC7B08A2FE.thumb.jpeg.4ff74b95a52efe45587aca031b84a90d.jpeg

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I prefer chains because they are much more easily adjusted for length, and a bunch of other reasons as well.

 

Safety chain length is a very important part of the system and is often overlooked. The chains, or cables, need to be as short as possible without binding up in a jackknife position. I’m in the process of doing this to my Ollie as I think the supplied chains are too long. Back up your trailer in a tight turn as close as you can without TV/trailer contact. Stop there and measure the distance between the two mounting points, chains crossed. I will do this with the actual chain and connecting hardware I’m using. Leave just a little slack, maybe one link. I’m hoping that when I drop (lower gently that is) the trailer off the ball mount, the attached chains will prevent the trailer coupler, and the mounting hardware for the chains on the trailer frame, from ground contact. We’ll see, there is only so much one can do if the design is off. This chain/cable length will be different for each TV/trailer setup. So supplying one length that “fits all” is not doing anyone any favors and could be hazardous in an emergency. If you have an articulating hitch, that could be very different, but I have no experience with those. Just my 2 cents.

 

Dave

 

 

Dave, I also like what you said about hook attachment to tow vehicle in this thread

 

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/newby-question-hammerlocks-towing-hooks-ford-f150/#post-182187

 

I’m interested in how you are attaching the chains to your trailer.

 

SAE document J684 states that EACH component be rated, in our case (Class 4), to the GVWR of the trailer. The clevises now used have a WLL of 1.5T or 3000 lbs and I’m looking for a way to secure EACH chain to the trailer with a device rated for at least 6000 lbs. With the hooks (to fit a 2500HD hitch) and chain that I intend to use, the chain to trailer attachment will be by far the weakest part of the system. I understand that WLL is “approximately” 1/3 of the break strength but all we have to go on is what is actually stamped on the device.


Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax

 

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This is what I ended up with. I chose 3/8ths grade 70 chain and hardware. Grade eight fasteners with heavy washers. The black washers I made from 1 1/2 dia bar stock and are 1/4 in thick. The stainless washers I  cut from 3/16 plate. The large bar inserted into the tongue is 1 1/2 in thick stainless machined width to just tap into the tongue. The matching grade 70 hooks fit nicely into the Chevy 2500hd Duramax hitch. I think that EACH chain assembly is good for (WLL) is 6,600 lbs. Breaking strength is 4 X the WLL so 26,400 lbs of breaking strength.

D6D02984-59F2-4FB7-BF31-103A4F061553.thumb.jpeg.4097bb94e0b2e745a7a34a3d180d169e.jpeg

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ALAZARGAINKYMIMSNMNCOHOKTNTXVAWVmed.jpg

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Thanks Mountainoliver. That’s the best method I’ve seen. Are those 1/2 inch Grade 8 bolts?


Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax

 

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Yes, 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts and nylon locking nuts. My original coiled cables were attached to the tongue with 3/8ths grade 8 bolts. I wouldn’t use anything smaller than the 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts.

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ALAZARGAINKYMIMSNMNCOHOKTNTXVAWVmed.jpg

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I always buy grade 8 bolts and stainless screws for all my replacement needs, or new projects when needed. My wife just can't understand why I'm going to Home Depot all the time for new hardware, when I have bins full of it in my shop.

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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This is for Townesw,

 

Sorry for late response, I've had some family issues keeping me busy...

 

I attach my Grade 70 1/4" chains to my trailer frame with two bolt type anchor shackles as in this pic:

 

IMG_4954.jpg.b16ecf3301e06081edb99e42c885d445.jpg

 

Oliver has changed the design of the trailer frame since mine was built (2015), but shackles will also fit the new design as well. I used a quality, American made shackle. There are a few out there but I like the Crosby line of shackles. I also chose the bolt type pin over the screw in pin as I feel the bolt type is far more secure.

 

https://www.westechrigging.com/shackle-bolt-type-crosby-g-2130-038.html

 

The hole that was bored in the aluminum tabs welded on to my frame are 1/2" diameter. I really wanted the pin diameter to match the hole but that meant using a 7/16" shackle which is too large to fit through the chain link and also too big to fit side by side on the two welded on tabs. So I went with a 3/8" shackle with a 2000 pound WLL. BUT... Crosby shackles have a 6:1 safety factor, meaning the breaking strength of the shackle is 12,000 lbs., which is very close to my G70 1/4" chain (3150WLL x 4 safety factor=12,600 pounds). I also packed out the shackles with stainless washers (see pic) to tighten the gap between the shackle throat and the tabs, so there is very little to no slop. So that's where I'm at. The pin diameter of the 3/8 shackle is .44" and I'm hoping to sweet talk a friend of mine to turn out a bronze bushing  (7/16 x 1/2) to make up the difference. It's not much but I believe it would add some extra strength to the system by distributing loads evenly around the tab holes. Hopefully I'll never put it to the test! This has been a good thread lots of good ideas. Knowing you've done the best that you can to be safe on the road is a great stress reliever!

 

I understand that WLL is “approximately” 1/3 of the break strength but all we have to go on is what is actually stamped on the device.

Regarding this, as far as I know, the WLL is the first thing you need to know, but not the last. You also need to know the "safety factor" or "design factor" of the component, as all of the laws I have read talk about "breaking strength" of the component and not its WLL. I don't understand why this is. If someone else knows different, I'd sure like to know.

 

Dave

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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For a thief who bypasses the hitch because of a lock and uses the safety chains/cables to steal the trailer, is one better than the other to prevent theft? Or are they about the same?


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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From my use of chains back on the farm when I was young it was hard to break a chain. Sometimes pulling large trees with the dozer, or a large tractor you might break one. All being said, when used pulling (stealing) at travel trailer, you are pulling a free-wheeling object without much drag, so pressure on the chain is very little which makes one hard to break. I did install 3/8" safety chains on our Oliver and the tow weight rating was around 4300 lbs. each chain. I personally think that 1/4" would be all you need. I posted in an earlier post that I purchased these from Amazon, the hooks fit the Ram hitch perfect and were easy to hook and unhook with little effort.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-35-SAFETY-CHAIN-3-8-SLIP-HOOK-CLIP-TRAILER-HEAVY-DUTY-TOWING-AUTO-PULL-145/132502180937?hash=item1ed9bed449:g:M8IAAOSw7p5agOMy:sc:USPSPriorityMailPaddedFlatRateEnvelope!76020!US!-1

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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I was looking at mine the other day and while I don’t have too many reservations about the strength of the cables, there’s no way that they would serve to cradle the tongue in a separation. But then as mentioned above, I don’t think chains would either, given where they’re attached. They have to be pretty tight to begin with to have any chance of working like that, probably too tight even to pull the safety cable in a separation.

 

I think that if you really wanted the safest setup, you’d replace the cables with chains and also move their mounting points further back to the V in the frame. But of course then they’re getting pretty long. Maybe what we really need is a skid plate under the tongue, lol.

 

 


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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