In this article, we will discuss: Are safety chains required on gooseneck trailers? We will explain what safety chains are and how to properly hitch a gooseneck trailer.
Are safety chains required on gooseneck trailers?
Yes, safety chains are required on gooseneck trailers. Safety chains are, well, metal chains. They are usually quite thick and strong and are used to connect a trailer to a towing vehicle.
Safety chains have quite an important function. You probably guessed it from the name, considering it bears the word “safety,” but these chains really keep towed trailers safe. Hope we can highlight the importance of safety chains on gooseneck trailers below:
- You see, these chains are normally used with the ball hitch. Ball hitches are good in theory, but they can’t work alone.
- A ball hitch attaches to the rear bumper of your truck, and just as the name suggests, it has a ball-shaped piece that sticks upward. These hitches can easily stay on a 247 vehicle, whether or not a caravan is being towed. But watch your knees when walking around the back of your truck.
- The trailer has a section of the hitch that looks like a hood. This piece is lowered onto the hitch ball until it completely covers the ball and presses on the ball and the vehicle. It is normal for the truck to sag a bit when lowering the hood.
- The reason the hood needs to press the ball and the truck down is that it creates pressure that keeps the ball on the hood during the ride, so what happens if the hood is not pressed? And if all there is a little ball that keeps the caravan in place, can’t it swing a lot?
That’s where security chains come in.
Safety is a big part of RVs and trailer tugs or other types of RVs and when you need to make sure the cargo is safe. When you hook up your trailer or RV, you need to create multiple safes to make sure your trailer stays where it’s supposed to and doesn’t bounce into opposite lanes of traffic. One of those safes that all RVers should be familiar with is the use of security chains.
Let’s take a look at how you should secure your security chains and answer questions on how to duplicate any security chain. The safer your RV practices, the more fun you can have on the road knowing that you and your RV are safe.
How to secure the safety chains
Any RV or towable hitch must come with its own set of safety chains. If you bought a used model that didn’t come with a chain, securing it should be one of your first jobs. Don’t even risk leaving the parking lot without chains secured.
Most security chains are simple. There should be two safety chains that come with S hooks or another type of accessory. Pass the chains from one end, such as the hitch, to the other end, such as the hitch.
Safety chains must always cross each other. Crossing the safety chains creates another fail-safe system and can act as a basket to catch or tow the trailer if your trailer somehow becomes detached from its hitch. There may be other tertiary ways that you can tie your chains more securely, but they should always cross each other.
Do you need to duplicate safety chains on a trailer?
If one set of security chains is secure, wouldn’t an additional set of security chains be more secure? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no.
Most hitches are simple devices and can only accommodate one set of chains. Trying to force an additional set of chains onto a hitch that is only intended for one set can actually do more harm than good as it could cause loose or missing connections and add tension that can cause the chains to pop out of their connected areas in a safe way.
Even if many chains appear secure, they can be pushed and loose while on the road. If your trailer or hitch only has room for one set of chains, don’t push it, stick with a normal single cross-chain setup.
If the hitch is configured so that you can add an extra set of chains, then please do so, but you should know that an additional set of chains on many hooks will not really be more secure but rather redundant. As long as the chains can accommodate the weight of your trailer if necessary, you shouldn’t have a safety issue.
So if your trailer has ample clearance or is even set up for an extra set of chains you can duplicate them, just don’t try to force anything or come up with your own system.
Instead of duplicating the safety chains, you could see if your trailer or hitch has any kind of additional safety accessories or if there are some aftermarket accessories that can make your trailer safer. Check manufacturer guidelines, towing vehicle manual, and resources, both online and offline, for the best ways to ensure your trailer hitch stays in place during your adventures.
In the end, duplicating your safety chains can do more harm than good, especially if the hitch is made for a single set of safety chains. Learn how to secure and cross your chains to make sure your trailer stays where it is supposed to stay while on the road.
Guide to hitching a gooseneck trailer
A gooseneck trailer is similar to a fifth-wheel trailer in that it connects to the centre of the truck bed through a special connection. This centres the mass of the trailer on the drive wheels of the truck to greatly increase the stability of the towing vehicle.
A gooseneck connection is typically used for larger trailers such as motorhomes, horse trailers, and large flatbed trailers.
- Aligning the gooseneck coupling with a truck hitch is the first step in connecting the trailer. After opening the rear door of the truck to lay flat, adjust the height of the gooseneck trailer so that it is a few inches above the height of the hitch. The trailer will have a crank raising and lowering mechanism for this purpose. Reverse the truck until the hitch ball lines up perfectly under the trailer’s gooseneck coupler.
- Once the coupler is in place on the hitch, connecting the gooseneck trailer is a simple operation, completed by lowering the coupler onto the ball with the crank mechanism. Lock the trailer coupler in place by pushing the mechanism toward the rear of the truck. Secure the mechanism in the locked position by lowering the locking lever into the hole and turning 90 degrees.
- Secure safety devices. A gooseneck trailer will have devices that ensure towing safety. Once the trailer is hitched, attach the trailer safety chains to the trailer hitch on the trailer bed. Attach the safety cable to the same hooks as the safety chains, then press the trailer’s electrical harness into the receiver on the truck.
- Weight and driving limitations. Trailer mass plus load weight must be less than vehicle towing capacity for safe travel. This information is found on the trailer data plate and inside the vehicle owner’s manual. Drive significantly slower, providing more room for braking and emergency situations.
Take wider corners than normal, while keeping your lane sill, to reduce the amount the trailer cuts the inside of the curve. Drive with caution as an accident with a trailer has increased consequences.
The bottom line
Finally, no matter what you hear, always put safety first. Safety chains have quite an important function, don’t ignore them and make sure you hitch your trailer properly, in order to avoid accidents and unpleasant situations.
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