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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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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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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:dunno: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:munch:
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--
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
:dunno: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.


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.

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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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.


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).

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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- 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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A couple of things:

1. I would not weld chain unless it was highly derated. Chains are heat treated. Once welded, the chain looses strength.
2. My boat trailer (Four Winns), which is in the vicinity of 3000#, uses a set of coiled wire ropes instead of chains. They are awesome because there is never enough slack for them to drag on the ground as the coil nicely takes it up while allowing stretch for cornering. They look like this.

Al
 

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Personally I don't like the looks of how it is bolted on. Having the chain on top makes bending the plate when they go into use. I would not be afraid to bolt the chains on but I would at least use a Graded 70 Chain of 3/8" minimum and use 2- 3/8" Grade #8 Bolts and Grade #8 Washers and Frame Nuts on the top heads on the bottom. I would use a spacer so the chain can be bolted tight yet still be allowed to move but tight to the frame. I would have the chains bolted on so the pull is in Shear and used rated Grade 70 Snap Hooks with pin mount to the chain and a snap to keep them from coming off unless you want them off. As far as a dealer those guys are not qualified for safety stuff and what I have seen used for chains are a joke most of the time. You want that trailer to stay behind you if the ball stud breaks, coupler come up if you forget to lock it ect. That is what there for. Crossing them keeps the hitch off the ground if this happens and not allowing to have it dig in. I have had a ball stud break once on a rented trailer and there ball. I was lucky it broke when they removed it and both of us had a strange look on our face. Once a coupler was not right and it lifted up and dented a tail gate on a guys truck I knew he was glad the chains were strong and next time made sure the ball was the right size for the hitch. The grade will be stamped on the chain it should be High Test Chain. Saw a picture of a truck hanging over a cliff once the hitch kept it from going over! What is Grade 70 transport chain?
Grade 70 Transport Chain. Grade 70 Transport Chain is a high quality, high strength carbon steel chain, heat treated and used for load securement. NOT TO BE USED FOR OVERHEAD LIFTING Here is a link to Grade 70 hooks. Grade 70 Chain Hook with Latch | GEMPLER'S
Hitch.jpg
 

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Personally I don't like the looks of how it is bolted on. Having the chain on top makes bending the plate when they go into use. I would not be afraid to bolt the chains on but I would at least use a Graded 70 Chain of 3/8" minimum and use 2- 3/8" Grade #8 Bolts and Grade #8 Washers and Frame Nuts on the top heads on the bottom. I would use a spacer so the chain can be bolted tight yet still be allowed to move but tight to the frame. I would have the chains bolted on so the pull is in Shear and used rated Grade 70 Snap Hooks with pin mount to the chain and a snap to keep them from coming off unless you want them off. As far as a dealer those guys are not qualified for safety stuff and what I have seen used for chains are a joke most of the time. You want that trailer to stay behind you if the ball stud breaks, coupler come up if you forget to lock it ect. That is what there for. Crossing them keeps the hitch off the ground if this happens and not allowing to have it dig in. I have had a ball stud break once on a rented trailer and there ball. I was lucky it broke when they removed it and both of us had a strange look on our face. Once a coupler was not right and it lifted up and dented a tail gate on a guys truck I knew he was glad the chains were strong and next time made sure the ball was the right size for the hitch. The grade will be stamped on the chain it should be High Test Chain. Saw a picture of a truck hanging over a cliff once the hitch kept it from going over! What is Grade 70 transport chain?
Grade 70 Transport Chain. Grade 70 Transport Chain is a high quality, high strength carbon steel chain, heat treated and used for load securement. NOT TO BE USED FOR OVERHEAD LIFTING Here is a link to Grade 70 hooks. Grade 70 Chain Hook with Latch | GEMPLER'S
View attachment 650266
This

We've noticed every vehicle manufacturer has different positioning for hitch and hook locations. What might work on a Toyota tundra won't on a Ford Superduty. I wouldn't worry about how the PO did things. I saw a place behind the ball hitch you could attach the chains in the manner JD4044M suggested and fit the length so that that they can be crossed and the correct length for your vehicle. I'd also use the weight distribution if you have it. There's no downside really besides the extra time to hook it all up.
 
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