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That looks to me as if it was tampered with. If it unscrewed by itself, which normally cannot happen, the last few threads would be stripped out where the metal there failed. Your threads are completely undamaged! These links are pretty foolproof, but I prefer to use a wrench to snug them down. This helps if somebody tries to mess with it.


Sabotage to your hitch is not unheard of. It is prudent to check your hitch pin, coupler and chains (as well as do a quick walkaround of the trailer) every time you approach your vehicle, especially if it was parked out of sight for a while.


Did you see any other damage due to the failed link?


I am having a real hard time believing that it did that to itself. Scary....


OTH they do have a load limit, a common 3/8” one from the hardware store has a working limit of about  2200 to 2600 pounds. I don’t know what the fail limit is. I use these but I half expect to strip mine out one day when I go through a really severe dip, the kind that tries to lift the rear wheels of the TV off the ground. That really loads the chains beyond their normal limits. When tensioned on level ground the chains have around 2000 pounds tension, each.


I would rather rip out a couple of links than wreck a more expensive part of the system. It is always good to make the weakest part of the system - the “fuse” - easy to swap and inexpensive to purchase.... Do you carry a couple of spares?


John Davies


Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I agree with John.  I've used links of this type in several applications over the years and have never had one come apart all by itself.  Yes, I've had several loosen but they never came apart.  However, I do snug mine up with a wrench.  Indeed, just one more thing on the check list.  Once installed and properly adjusted, these links will probably last the "life" of the system.  Perhaps a bit of "blue lock tight" just might be in order for those threads. Glad that nothing was really damaged (other than the link itself).



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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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