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Towing...safety chain question

B.RAIDER

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Central Texas
I'm planning on building my own front bumper and flat towing the rig.
I plan on using the tabs on the bumper for the flat towing.
Where do some of you that flat tow attatch the safety chains to the towed rig since the tabs on the bumper are the main connecting point to the tow bar?
I'm guessing I will need to add some extra points to the bumper somewheres .... but I have not seen that (extra connecting points) on the custom bumpers.
 
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I dont know too much about flat towing (or anything else for that matter) but...

You might want to attach the safety chains to something other than your bumper.

Think about it, one of the main reasons you would have to use the chains was if the the primary tow bar came off. And I would bet theres a good chance if the tow bar came off, then the bumper is either gone too or severely damaged.

Then if the bumper is gone, what use are your safety chains that are also attached to it...
 
I'll be making the "extended" mounting brackets into the bumper...not likely for the bumper to come off (except in a very extreme situation)...so to say the bumper will come off under the mounting conditions mentioned will be unlikely.
I was thinking of extra "hooking" points just below or near the main tabs but still attatched to the extended mounting brackets in some way.
I have not seen any "safety chain" mounts on any of the custom made bumpers that allow for this option.
If anyone has seen something similar to what I'm saying....I'd like to hear or see a picture of how it's done. Just to get an idea of how to do it.
The bumper I'm gonna build will not be "light" duty by any means by the way.
Any input will be appreciated.............
 
Think about it, one of the main reasons you would have to use the chains was if the the primary tow bar came off. And I would bet theres a good chance if the tow bar came off, then the bumper is either gone too or severely damaged.

Then if the bumper is gone, what use are your safety chains that are also attached to it...

As far as I know safety chains are designed to keep the trailer attatched if the hitch comes off of the ball. If your in an instance where your bumper rips off you probably have some other important things to worry about.

As long as your using good bumper brackets it shouldn't be a problem.
Add some more tabs it will just look silly :)
 
^^^

Pretty much my thoughts - as I understood it, chains were for if the ball latch fails (or, worse, the ball proper fails.)

If you are that worried, use a closed tow hook (like the OEM goodies, but use a heavier bracket and probably a shackle tab?) and attach the chains there. You can use shackles and pull them when you're not towing.

But, if you lose the bumper, you will definitely have larger problems on your mind...
 
some page said:
Trailer Safety Chains
A trailer safety chain is a assembly which provides a secondary means of connection between the rear of the towing vehicle and the front of the trailer or towed vehicle. The purpose of a safety chain is to retain a connection between the towing vehicle and trailer in the event of separation of the trailer coupling from the hitch ball or the trailer ball mount from the hitch.


Installation Instructions
Connect the safety chain to the trailer.
Cross the two ends of the chain under the coupler and connect to the chain brackets on the hitch. This helps prevent the trailer tongue from dropping to the ground.
Loop the chains through the hitch brackets and connect the ends of the chains using quick links.
Tighten the hex nuts on the quick links.
Allow enough slack to permit turning of the tow vehicle and trailer.
Note: Make sure chain and quicklinks are rated higher than the weight of the trailer or car being towed.



X2 on the Clevis/shackle.
 
As far as I know safety chains are designed to keep the trailer attatched if the hitch comes off of the ball. If your in an instance where your bumper rips off you probably have some other important things to worry about.

As long as your using good bumper brackets it shouldn't be a problem.
Add some more tabs it will just look silly :)
I agree with you on all counts in your statements.
The people I talked to that sells towbars, recomended two 6 foot chains to hook to both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle.... they even recomended crossing them in a X pattern.
As has been stated ....adding additional tabs would look silly.
I don't know what the laws are concerning this...just want to be legal if the need arrises.
 
Thanks Albandit for this info...........
Originally Posted by some page
Trailer Safety Chains
A trailer safety chain is a assembly which provides a secondary means of connection between the rear of the towing vehicle and the front of the trailer or towed vehicle. The purpose of a safety chain is to retain a connection between the towing vehicle and trailer in the event of separation of the trailer coupling from the hitch ball or the trailer ball mount from the hitch.


Installation Instructions
Connect the safety chain to the trailer.
Cross the two ends of the chain under the coupler and connect to the chain brackets on the hitch. This helps prevent the trailer tongue from dropping to the ground.
Loop the chains through the hitch brackets and connect the ends of the chains using quick links.
Tighten the hex nuts on the quick links.
Allow enough slack to permit turning of the tow vehicle and trailer.
Note: Make sure chain and quicklinks are rated higher than the weight of the trailer or car being towed.
 
I agree with you on all counts in your statements.
The people I talked to that sells towbars, recomended two 6 foot chains to hook to both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle.... they even recomended crossing them in a X pattern.
As has been stated ....adding additional tabs would look silly.
I don't know what the laws are concerning this...just want to be legal if the need arrises.

And why do we cross the chains, class?

The "X" will be underneath the tow tongue; so that if the ball fails (however it fails,) the chains will catch the tongue and keep it from digging into the ground - bringing the trailer (and probably you!) to a screaming stop!

Leave enough slack to allow for turning tightly, but don't let the chains drag the ground. Figure that having the centre of the "X" about 6-8" below the tow tongue is plenty (it's what I usually do, unless I'm doing any heavy-duty towing with a lunette ring and a pintle hook - and a load of 10K#+)
 
And how many trailers are towed WITHOUT crossing the chains--to damn many!

Every time I pass an "exploded" travel trailer on the highway I wonder if the tongue hit the ground.

When we still had our service station I would "educate" many a driver in the summer months.
 
I have flat towed my XJ. I have a front draw-tite receiver hitch on my XJ, and had my tow bar attachments welded onto it. I connect my safety chains from the tow vehicle hitch to the XJ's front receiver hitch. Didn't do the "X" but that is a really good idea. My understanding (like other's have stated) is that they are if the ball fails or becomes disconnected.
 
there is a bracket that used to come with the factory tow hooks for the older xjs that ran along the frame rails to the bolt holes in the fender well, this not only reiforced the tow hook but also tied into the bumper so that the stresses were spread over the frame and you weren't relying on the crappy three bolts on the front sheet metal.

this would make a very nice reinforcement for your setup.

like these http://www.amazon.com/Rugged-Ridge-11236-05-1984-01-Cherokee/dp/B000FPY63M
 
For flat towing, look at craigslist and find a tow bar setup from some RVer that changed vehicles. These can usually be had for about 1/2 the price of new. Mary (Rightseatsis) flat tows her XJ behind her motorhome across country, she installed a brake application gizmo also so the XJs brakes and stop lights actuate when she applies brakes in the motorhome.

Having had a trailer separate from the tow vehicle on I-5 in the middle of no where, I'm glad I listened to our Dad tell me to cross the chains. It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not do this.
 
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