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Safety Chain

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10 Mar 2015 @ 11:02:09 am
Graham
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Good Day Fellow Campers,I have 2004 Jurgens Penta which is not equipped with a safety chain on the hitch, but has that emergency brake cable attached.
I see that the newer models have gone back to the chain set-up. Any comments? Anyone fitted a chain.
Thanks, Graham
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10 Mar 2015 @ 11:04:15 am
W J
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Never been without a chain, i also but a chain on my a frameslaughing

How great is our GOD
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10 Mar 2015 @ 11:07:50 am
Hurricane
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My '95 Fleetline L came with a brake cable. First thing I removed and replaced with a chain, just make sure you use hi-tensile bolts(marked with a 8.8 on the bolt head) to fit the chain to the van's A-frame.
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10 Mar 2015 @ 11:48:03 am
chameleon
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Gramham its 50/50 the cable stops the caravaan if it unhitch and the chain drag it behind the choice is yours both are save

Camping is a collection of memories .... make each one count
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10 Mar 2015 @ 12:19:38 pm
Andre Smit
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Hi Graham,

Just remember one fact with the brake cable.

If the brakes on each wheel is not 100% in sinc with the other, when something goes wrong your van WILL end up on the side of the road or even worse, run into oncoming traffic if the right hand wheel brakes more than the left hand one.

The chain should preferably not hook over the tow hook but be of the kind where you have two seperate pieces of chain hooking onto two different hitching points on the A frame.

What is the use of hooking the chain over the ball of the tow vehicle and the ball breaks of.

Will only help, if your van for some or other reason un-couples from the tow ball.

As far as I know, only the Landrover Defenders makes provision, as standard to couple two seperate pieces of chain onto the tow vehicle. 

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10 Mar 2015 @ 13:04:06 pm
Marius
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The chain is there for exactly that, if the caravan decouples from the towcar. The chain must catch it to keep it attached to the car. The towbal will not brake off.

My Penta also have the cable type safety device and I am also contemplating removing it and fiting a chain.

My thoughts exactly like Andre, if one wheel brakes harder than the other, the caravan will swerve to that side and with no solid connection to the tow vehichle, it will end badly.

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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:07:53 pm
Leon
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It is a safety feature that has its positive points just as its negative. You must fully understand how the cable works and what is the situation when either the chain or cable comes into the picture.

The cable must be properly attached to the vehicle. As soon or when something goes wrong and the caravan gets detached in the process the cable will activate the brackes of the caravan and then will detach itself from the caravan allowing the caravan to brake on its own in the event that is stays on its wheels. This is probably more safe than a caravan that is still chained to the tow vehicle. As the caravan is the instability culprit most of the times. Now you will have a better chance of saving the lives of your family by just bringing the tow vehicle under control. The chain is attached to the handbrake lever by means of a steel ring.  This ring is just strong enough to activate the handbrake before it bends open and breaks away from the caravan.

With the chain the caravan is half dislodged from the tow vehicle, allowing for more instability.  The caravan is, I would guess 90% of the time, responsible for capsizing the tow vehicle because of the chain. If it happens that the caravan completly detach it self from the tow vehicle,  it is only the draging A frame acting as a brake.  If it hits a ditch or hole the van surely gona tip over.

So decide for your self what is best. To me the lives of my family or those in the vehicle  is more important than the caravan behind me. Thus I would pick the cable.

Remember that during a incident, the time when the caravan detaches itself from the towball, and either the chain or cable comes in to the picture, your combination is swaying in such a dangerous way, that anything but a miracle will save you then.

Ask yourself now which one do you prefer. Just my 2c

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:28:40 pm
JohanJ
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Please advise..with the chain i know where to hook it on on a trapesuim

Where do i hook the cable on ...the hook underneath the trapesuim??
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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:41:40 pm
Leon
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You can just hook it over the tow ball. The cable tends to unhook its self during turns if you use the hook under the trapezium. This is due to the cable not having much weight and the fact that it wants to be straight the whole time. The chain on the other hand has some weight that keeps it hooked.

Hooking it over the towbal will be good enough.

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:42:50 pm
Boens
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Interesting train of thought above. My question, why not have both? What I'll need is a van coupled at least with a chain to follow the car, but also braking. If no brakes and on chain, it may crash my vehicle from behind.

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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:44:36 pm
Marius
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Thank you Leon for that explination, Now that I know how the cable is suposed to work, I would rather stick to using the cable. Much better than having a swinging caravan hanging by a chain on my tow vehichle.

 

 

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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:47:49 pm
Karoo Klong
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Die veiligheidsketting het in die verlede my van groot skade gered, gebruik hom....dit kos nie geld nie.
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10 Mar 2015 @ 14:49:25 pm
Marius
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Interesting train of thought above. My question, why not have both? What I'll need is a van coupled at least with a chain to follow the car, but also braking. If no brakes and on chain, it may crash my vehicle from behind.

I think the whole idea is to have the caravan removed from the vehicle if something goes south, then you have a better chance of saving your family and your tow car. If everything on the caravan is working the way it should, the caravan should bring itself to a stop, hopefully still on its wheels in the road.

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10 Mar 2015 @ 17:14:07 pm
Somer Kamper
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I would go with Leon's argument and rather use the cable. In all likelihood either device will only save your caravan if it detaches at low speed when you have botched the hitching process.

If a caravan is so dangerously unstable that it detaches at speed, the cable might bring it to a stop hopefully without  hitting another innocent road user. The last thing you want is a swaying caravan jerking the rear end of your tow car around with a chain. The effect will be much worse than if it is attached to the tow ball, as the sideways swaying allowed by the chain can give the caravan more momentum and leverage. Unless that chain breaks, you will probably end up upside down next to the wreck of your caravan.

Drive slow enough and tow light enough to be safe. Check whether you have hitched up properly. Then check again!

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10 Mar 2015 @ 17:42:42 pm
Pontie
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Use Both, safer option. I had a issue on my last outing where the tow ball did not fit within the hitch, was fine when I left home but impossible to get back onto the tow ball.

Had to search for a shop to buy a new ball on a Sunday... In Nylstroom no such place.

Nothing that a 4 pound hammer and a piece of chain could not fix... kept the van on the ball all the way home.

 

 

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10 Mar 2015 @ 19:20:44 pm
pieterc
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We were the source of lots of laughter and amusement when we "lost" a caravan @ Mbizi years ago - not hitched properly.Luckily this happened at low speed inside the park.
The cable activated the brakes before the break-away ring opened, leaving the van behind pulling the electrical connection from the tow vehicle.The van came to a standstill in a perfect straight line within a few feet. It might have been completely different if it happened at a higher speed but i think it is a better option than a swinging van / trailer on a chain behind your tow vehicle. Even if your brakes does not brake 100% evenly at first, i believe that the brakes are applied so fast and hard during brake-away that both your wheels will lock up causing the van / trailer to stop or roll on its own with the tow-vehicle a safe distance away.

If the jockey wheel is locked in the "up" position facing to the left it should point the van / trailer away from oncoming traffic in the unfortunate event of a brake-away?
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10 Mar 2015 @ 20:37:48 pm
Chuck Norris
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Hy is daar met n doel, gebruik hom.
As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransmannetjie. (Parys - Frankryk)
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11 Mar 2015 @ 06:56:31 am
Leon
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As I said both devices has its pro's and con's. Currently my Classique has a chain on and I use the van like that.

First Penta I had made use of the cable. Why the factory went back to the chain they would only know. Possibly because "in the olden days every caravan had a chain on" and because of history and "old habits die hard" caravan users asked for chains.

I just would like to point out that if your caravan is fitted with a cable make sure it is out of the way and can not slip over the towball once you have unhitched the caravan. It happended to me and when I removed the tow vehicle I by accident found out how the cable actually work.

You have to buy a new cable because the steel ring are not available on its own. Its is also rather difficult to get the new ring attached to the bottom part of the handbrake lever factory way. Works on the same principal as a key ring but much thicker. I made use of a small d-shackle, was the quickest way.

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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11 Mar 2015 @ 09:32:50 am
JohanJ
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Thanks Leon for the guidance

Based on you commends it seems advisable to replace my cable. Somehow it became stuck and partly damaged between the trapezuim and coupling

Regards

Johan
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11 Mar 2015 @ 09:56:47 am
Hurricane
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In following the arguments here it is interesting to note how many people try to support their own particular view with "statistics" making statements such as "x percent of the time....", etc. This intrigues me, does any body actually have some real statistics to make such statements, or is it just a thumb-suck and being used to support a viewpoint where no or little relevant engineering/scientific test data is readily available?
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11 Mar 2015 @ 10:43:14 am
AndrewPhilip (sadly leaving SA)
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Leon, I need to query you on the idea of putting the chain OVER a Trapezium, rather then under. The system is designed for it to be underneath. If the chain goes over the top it restricts the movement of the whole mechanism, thereby reducing the efficiency of the system. 

I discovered this for myself a while back when my mate hitched the caravan for me, and I (stupidly) didn't check it. He put the chain over the top, and it was clanking and grinding away because it was getting stuck between the protruding bits of the mechanism that stick out backwards.

Remember the hook faces forwards, so if you are driving there is no way I can see that it would come off, as the forward momentum of the car would keep forcing the chain back.

The only scenario I can think of is maybe if you were reversing over a hump, but then you would crunch the hitch anyway, and most people would get out to check for damage.

 

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11 Mar 2015 @ 11:03:28 am
JohanJ
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Andrew

I think Leon was indicating the cable to be put over the trapezuim for those caravans with cables and
..in the case of caravans with a chain the normal hook underneath the trapezuim should be used
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11 Mar 2015 @ 12:32:35 pm
AndrewPhilip (sadly leaving SA)
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Ahhh, OK. . In that case, jammer Oom Leon!

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11 Mar 2015 @ 13:24:05 pm
chameleon
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Andrew ek dink jy's reg as dit n kabel of n ketting is en jy gooi hom bo oor  dan strem dit die werking van die Trapezuim het my kabel ook altyd onder gehak

Camping is a collection of memories .... make each one count
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11 Mar 2015 @ 14:17:07 pm
Leon
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I would just like to point out that when I used the % in my post I did mention that I guess it was 90% which would mean that it is not based on any facts.

Secondly my sugestion to hook the cable over the towball of the trapezium is correct. Due to the stiffness of the cable it does not get into harms way while the trapezium does its job. I did it that way when I used a Trapezium on a Ford Saphire 3.0 GLX.

And I did mean that if you have a chain you make use of the hook under the trapezium. Sorry if the way I said it had some of you thinking other wise.

I am Afrikaans and usually try my best to express myself correctly when using English.

Bear with me please.

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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11 Mar 2015 @ 14:36:07 pm
Graham
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Thanks guys for the very interesting comments, wonder what the caravan manufacturers have to say.
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12 Mar 2015 @ 13:32:13 pm
WilSur
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Wel ek het hulle gekontak en hier is die andwoord wat ek terug gekry het.

Hoop dit help ?  Ek dink net die gewig moet eerder nie groter as 1000kg wees nie.  Weet ook nie wat beteken daai snaakse woord nie "homologation" sien net die eerste 4 karakters ?

Hi Willem,

It is a homologation thing.

I stand to be corrected on the actual figure but if I recall the number is 1500kg. If a van has a GVM of less than 1500kg then it must get a chain. If it has a GVM of over 1500kg then it must get a cable.

The reason for this is that the that authorities would like the heavier units to break away completely from the tow car should the coupler come un hitched so as to not endanger the people in the car. (in other words the car can get away) The lighter units just to drop on top the support of the chain as their mass is still able to be controlled by the car to slow the rig down.

Seems a bit odd but that’s how the homologation rules are written. 

Regards
xxxxxx xxxxxx
Development Manager

Oppad na die volgende kamp.
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12 Mar 2015 @ 13:49:13 pm
AndrePrinsloo
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interesting rather break away than break your neck
"Nou gaan ons braai!!!! Kamp met oorgawe!!!!"
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12 Mar 2015 @ 14:02:26 pm
Marius
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Interesting thing is that the Penta is not close to 1500kg but has a cable? According to this reply from them it should have a chain.My dad's Wilk Amethyst is over 1500kg's but has a chain.

 

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13 Mar 2015 @ 09:12:57 am
AndrewPhilip (sadly leaving SA)
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All good Leon. Your English is 110% better than my Afrikaans!!

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13 Mar 2015 @ 11:11:55 am
Leon
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Wat ookal die vervaardiger se antwoord op die kwessie is hulle pas dit nie konsekwent toe nie. My Classique het ook 'n ketting waar ek 'n kabel sou verkies het.

Maar nou ja?!?  Is dit nie maar tewagte gewees dat die antwoord van Jurgens iets sal wees waarby hulle nie eers hou nie.

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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