Need advice on safety chain attachment point on travel trailer
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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Need advice on safety chain attachment point on travel trailer

    Hey all,

    I know we have a bunch of hauling gurus here as well as some safety Sallys. The wife and I just purchased a used travel trailer, a 2008 Jayco JayFeather 19H.



    When I picked it up last week I did not really take the time to set up the WD hitch properly figuring it was close enough for the 15 mile ride home. I did however notice that the safety chains were way to short for my truck, if I do not line up perfect than there is no way to hook them or unhook them. This Sunday I took the time to properly set it up for my truck. While I was adjusting the hitch and I got to looking at the tongue of trailer. This doesn't look like what would would have come from the factory. If anyone has the same or similar trailer I would be interested to see what yours looks like.



    If you look close enough you can see that the bottom plate for the jack has been bent, not sure if I did it or the former owner did but it is no doubt from the chains being to short.

    Here are several other pics of the tongue to give you some idea of what I'm working with.



    I may try and take it to a Jayco dealer and see what they think, if not I will probably have some one weld of some sort of d-ring or other affaire along the same lines onto the frame.

    Also is there a good rule of thumb on how long the chains should be? I don't want to order way more than I need.

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2018-09-22 17.13.35.jpg   2018-09-24 13.21.01.jpg   2018-09-24 13.29.06.jpg   2018-09-24 13.28.54.jpg   2018-09-24 13.24.06.jpg  

    2018-09-24 13.23.49.jpg  
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    Hey all,

    I know we have a bunch of hauling gurus here as well as some safety Sallys. The wife and I just purchased a used travel trailer, a 2008 Jayco JayFeather 19H.



    When I picked it up last week I did not really take the time to set up the WD hitch properly figuring it was close enough for the 15 mile ride home. I did however notice that the safety chains were way to short for my truck, if I do not line up perfect than there is no way to hook them or unhook them. This Sunday I took the time to properly set it up for my truck. While I was adjusting the hitch and I got to looking at the tongue of trailer. This doesn't look like what would would have come from the factory. If anyone has the same or similar trailer I would be interested to see what yours looks like.



    If you look close enough you can see that the bottom plate for the jack has been bent, not sure if I did it or the former owner did but it is no doubt from the chains being to short.

    Here are several other pics of the tongue to give you some idea of what I'm working with.



    I may try and take it to a Jayco dealer and see what they think, if not I will probably have some one weld of some sort of d-ring or other affaire along the same lines onto the frame.

    Also is there a good rule of thumb on how long the chains should be? I don't want to order way more than I need.

    Thanks
    That trailer is light enough that you probably don't need a WD hitch.

    Looking at the pics i see everything but the ball mount. How far does it extend out. Maybe that is why the chains are too short. The chains need to be just long enough to hook them, while having enough slack to dangle below the tongue and allow turning and crossing them under the tongue in an x pattern.

    Dave

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    What Dave said. And the chains should be welded onto the trailer frame. I can't really tell what you have going on there.
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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddinham View Post
    That trailer is light enough that you probably don't need a WD hitch.

    Looking at the pics i see everything but the ball mount. How far does it extend out. Maybe that is why the chains are too short. The chains need to be just long enough to hook them, while having enough slack to dangle below the tongue and allow turning and crossing them under the tongue in an x pattern.

    Dave

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    Dave,

    The trailer dry weighs 3,565 lbs. with a tongue weight of 435 lbs. and GVW of 4,750. So, I would agree that I probably don't need the WD hitch. I did get the hitch with the trailer and it has an anti-sway device built in so would like to use it. The hitch is a Curt 6,000 lbs. model 17000.

    This morning I took a look and some measurements this morning and are as follows:

    • The chains extend 18.5in from the center-line of the coupler.
    • The Curt Hitch is 12.75in from the receiver pin to the center of the ball. (I have 2 other ball mounts for comparison are 8.5in and 10in from receiver pin to center of the ball.)
    • The safety-chain connection on my truck to the receiver pin is 3in.




    So basically I have less 3in of excess chain, it is not even possible to cross the chains under the tongue.
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    in ur first pics-is the chain welded behind the jack-or is it just bolted to the bolts that hold the jack?
    now in the pic u show of the curt WD -it clearly shows ur safely chains on outside edge of trailer hitch. that's the same place we welded my new chains too also. same place the factory had them from new.

    so maybe all ya need to do-to make them longer-is to remove them from behind the jack-like now---and have them welded to the outside of hitch-and i think then they would be long enough to cross them too. just my thoughts. or 2cts
    i went back and looked at the pics again--and i bet the owner had no welder-so they drilled them 2 holes in the jack stand plate-and bolted the chain to it-thus making the chains to short for say maybe another type of truck. unbolt them, and weld them on outside of frame rails of the trailer frame--
    Last edited by BigJim55; 09-25-2018 at 08:17 AM.
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    The chains need to be crossed under the tongue. This is the correct way to attach them as it allow for the chains to be the correct length for the tightest of turns without ever dragging on the ground in any position. If you're good with math, you'll understand the numbers behind why crossing them achieves this.

    The WDH extending out further than the stock position of a ball mount will mean that you need longer chains.

    Regardless of what you meant by it, referring to folks as "Safety Sally's" gives the impression that you are NOT focused on safety when towing - and you absolutely should be. Your life, and that of everyone on the road with you wherever you are, may depend on that focus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    Dave,

    The trailer dry weighs 3,565 lbs. with a tongue weight of 435 lbs. and GVW of 4,750. So, I would agree that I probably don't need the WD hitch. I did get the hitch with the trailer and it has an anti-sway device built in so would like to use it. The hitch is a Curt 6,000 lbs. model 17000.

    This morning I took a look and some measurements this morning and are as follows:

    • The chains extend 18.5in from the center-line of the coupler.
    • The Curt Hitch is 12.75in from the receiver pin to the center of the ball. (I have 2 other ball mounts for comparison are 8.5in and 10in from receiver pin to center of the ball.)
    • The safety-chain connection on my truck to the receiver pin is 3in.




    So basically I have less 3in of excess chain, it is not even possible to cross the chains under the tongue.
    It is typical of the WD hitches to extend further. That extra 4 inches makes a big difference. You will have to either use a standard ball mount or mount longer chains. Since the trailer is lighter than the tow vehicle i would go with a standard ball mount and forget about the sway bar. If the trailer was heavier than the tow vehicle i would likely want the sway bar. Just make sure the standard ball mount has a high enough rating for this trailer. Also the hitch ball. If you feel the front end of the tow vehicle bounces up and down too much, then you might want to reconsider.

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJim55 View Post
    in ur first pics-is the chain welded behind the jack-or is it just bolted to the bolts that hold the jack?
    It is just bolted with what looks like standard grade bolts, hence my concern.


    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    The chains need to be crossed under the tongue. This is the correct way to attach them as it allow for the chains to be the correct length for the tightest of turns without ever dragging on the ground in any position. If you're good with math, you'll understand the numbers behind why crossing them achieves this.

    The WDH extending out further than the stock position of a ball mount will mean that you need longer chains.
    I don't think if I used a standard ball mount that the chains would be long enough to cross.

    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    Regardless of what you meant by it, referring to folks as "Safety Sally's" gives the impression that you are NOT focused on safety when towing - and you absolutely should be. Your life, and that of everyone on the road with you wherever you are, may depend on that focus.
    I would not be here asking for advice on how to remedy the issue if I was not concerned with the safety of my family and everyone around me. So with said, with what and where on the trailer should I have chains welded?
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    It is just bolted with what looks like standard grade bolts, hence my concern.
    You -might- be able to get a smart phone positioned in there in such a way to take a picture of the head of the bolt. Look for markings that might indicate that it's either Grade 5 or Grade 8. Anything else, and the chains are probably not terribly useful because the attaching bolt would likely not hold up under any sort of strain.


    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    I don't think if I used a standard ball mount that the chains would be long enough to cross.
    Given that the entirety of the mounting and such appears that it may not be original, it's completely possible that the previous owner pulled the original chains and replaced them (possibly because they rusted out or were way too long and got ground down from being dragged).

    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    I would not be here asking for advice on how to remedy the issue if I was not concerned with the safety of my family and everyone around me. So with said, with what and where on the trailer should I have chains welded?
    I didn't say you weren't interested in being safe, I merely pointed out that your wording gave that impression.

    In terms of figuring out the situation and remedying it, there are some steps that I would take..

    - Call the person you bought it from (assuming it was a private sale). Ask about the chains, mentioning that they appear to have possibly been replaced and do they have any additional info they could share. Maybe ask who did or whatever since you may need to further alter for your own towing setup. If you approach it like "Hey, I'm hoping you could help me out" they would probably share. If it's more of a "WTF did you do?", they'll probably just hang up. lol

    - Find a dealer that can get parts. Research the original hitch pieces and chains, and see if they have exploded diagrams that show how they are to be installed.

    - Reach out to the manufacturer and ask about detail photos or exploded diagrams that show what the setup should look like.

    I found a manual online for that trailer, but they use generic drawings and it does not give any real useful info as to how the chains are supposed to be set up.
    ---

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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post

    - Call the person you bought it from (assuming it was a private sale). Ask about the chains, mentioning that they appear to have possibly been replaced and do they have any additional info they could share. Maybe ask who did or whatever since you may need to further alter for your own towing setup. If you approach it like "Hey, I'm hoping you could help me out" they would probably share. If it's more of a "WTF did you do?", they'll probably just hang up. lol

    - Find a dealer that can get parts. Research the original hitch pieces and chains, and see if they have exploded diagrams that show how they are to be installed.

    - Reach out to the manufacturer and ask about detail photos or exploded diagrams that show what the setup should look like.

    I found a manual online for that trailer, but they use generic drawings and it does not give any real useful info as to how the chains are supposed to be set up.

    The I asked the former owner why the chains were so short, he stated it was like that when he purchased the trailer 2 years prior. Sad thing is I think he purchased it used from a dealer.

    I put in a call to Jayco, we see what info they can provide when the tech calls back.
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