A safety chain coupled with a trailer hitch can help a traditional ball and socket stay in place should you encounter issues on the road. Anything from potholes to rogue speed bumps can cause the ball to pop out of the hitch, which can send your trailer away from your vehicle. This can cause accidents, injury and potentially death under the right circumstances. That’s why utilizing a safety chain can help keep its place and give you the time to get off the road and secure your trailer back to your vehicle.
Using Safety Chains to Secure Your Trailer and Vehicle
Using safety chains whenever you tow a vehicle is an additional level of security and stability you offer you and your trailer. A safety chain isn’t meant to be the only way you secure your trailer, it’s meant as an extra level of protection. If your ball pops out of the socket, the safety chain acts as a temporary stop-gap to keep the trailer from coming unhitched completely.
When purchasing safety chains, you want to ensure you’re picking up what’s right for your towing vehicle and trailer. Safety chains, believe it or not, come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and classes. Safety chain classes refer to heavy-duty chains that work for much larger fifth-wheel RVs, travel trailers and other trailer types. Refer to your dealer and trailer information to ensure you’re starting off with the proper safety chains for your trailer or RV.
Once you’re ready to hit the road and you have your hitch hooked up, you’ll want to install your safety chains. Saying you’re installing a safety chain isn’t as accurate as it sounds. You’re wrapping the chains around your hitch and then securing them to one another.
You want both safety chains crisscrossing one another under and over your hitch. This essentially “locks” around your hitch to help keep it in place long enough should something go wrong to get you to the side of the road. You can secure the chains together with wire, high-quality carabiners, and even locks. This isn’t a way to permanently tow your trailer or 5th wheel if it comes undone; it’s just meant as a stop-gap measure to get you safely pulled over.
If your coupler comes unhitched during travels, the safety chains will keep things in place for you to secure it once more into the receiver. The crisscrossing action also helps secure the tongue if the hitch comes undone, so it doesn’t get damaged smacking into the ground and being dragged.
A good, solid safety chain is an extra level of security all trailer and RV owners should take advantage of when hitching up their vehicle before hitting the road. That extra security can mean the difference between losing your trailer, RV or causing damage beyond repair.