How to Select the Proper Length Safety Chains for a Trailer


I will need to replace my current safety chains on my trailer because I am using a longer ball mount so I have a few questions about these cables. I measured and I will have roughly 12 inches of slack in the cable on each side once they are installed. Is this enough slack to make sharp turns without fully stretching out the cables? Also are the cables self coiling so they wont drag on the ground? Would I be better off buying a safety chain extension and not messing around replacing the chains?


Expert Reply:

It really depends on your setup, if the safety chain loops on your tow vehicle are spaced far apart then you will need more slack to make a tight turn then if they were closer together.

What I would recommend you do is connect your trailer to your tow vehicle, back your trailer up into a near jack-knife position and then use a rope to go from the safety chain attachment points of your trailer to your tow vehicle. Now measure the length of rope that was used and that would be the correct length of chain to use.

With safety chains you want to cross them underneath the coupler that way if the coupler was to become disconnected the trailer would land where the chains intersect and it would catch the coupler instead of just dragging it.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

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