1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Towing Rigs, Hitches, Weight Distribution, Sway Control
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nralifer
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1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by nralifer » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:47 pm

Ever since we got our Avion, I knew I should replace the safety chains because a previous owner had drug them on the ground and lost about 1/2 the thickness of one of the links. I gathered the adjacent links with a screw link/quick link, but I never really liked that solution. Those chains were attached to a welded loop on the underneath side of the A-frame/coupler area. I'm no engineer, but looking at that loop, I wasn't confident that it would hold up if it was ever really needed. I have seen folks anchor their safety chains to the side of the box channels and reinforce them with extra plates of metal. Was thinking of doing that on mine.

A week or so ago, I called Chuck Cayo (Mr. Avion) to ask him what he thought of that loop. He suggested something so amazingly simple:
Get a length of chain, loop it over the top of the middle frame member, suspend them from that original loop, then attach them to the tow vehicle. We both agreed that you'd be hard pressed to make a stronger connection if the chains were ever put to real use.

Here are some pictures of the results:
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Last edited by nralifer on Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

KYAvion
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by KYAvion » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:54 pm

That's a great idea and I'll have to do the same. My new Avion is missing the welded loop and instead has a pair of old rusty bolts and washers attaching the chain to the underside of the tongue. I was going to fasten new bolts to the side of the tongue, but Chuck's solution is much simpler.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

nralifer
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by nralifer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:23 am

I meant to list the parts used and where I got them:

8' of 3/8" hitest chain from Lowes, $31.04
2 - 5/16"clevis slip hook from Tractor Supply, item #3586673, $11.99/ea
The screw link was something I already had, purchased from Tractor Supply.... maybe $7?
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

Avionstream
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by Avionstream » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:00 am

My chains are much smaller than those, I guess I needvtonreplace them. Thanks forbthe heads up

nralifer
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by nralifer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:47 pm

Avionstream wrote:My chains are much smaller than those, I guess I needvtonreplace them. Thanks forbthe heads up
That might just be me..... typical overkill? I don't know...... I sure like them, though.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

Rostam
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by Rostam » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:01 pm

I followed Paul's instructions and replaced the safety chains today (Except that I bought the chains from Home Depot!). After removing the old chains, I applied anti-rust to the area, looped the chain around the middle beam (Per Chuck Cayo) and used new (stronger) nuts to fasten it to the bolts. I should have take a before photo, but I usually forget to do that!

P.S. I found an old photo of the safety chain. The new chain is much more stout than the old one.
1978 Avion 26-H (Rear twin beds, center bath, front dinette)
2012 Mercedes Benz GL 350 Bluetec, 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel, 3.45 Axle Ratio

RISK
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Location: Sunset Valley, TX

Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by RISK » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:13 pm

That's interesting, so it's one long chain? If so, how long is it? If not, I may be a bit dense due to the heat and the fact that I just finished my suspension job. Also a bit beat up crawling around on the ground and muscling old bolts and heavy things.

Ian

Rostam
Posts: 132
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by Rostam » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:22 pm

Yep, one 7' chain (I believe Paul's chain is 8'). Its bolted to the A-frame as before, but since it goes around the middle frame beam, there is a back up plan, so if ever (god forbid) the bolt brakes, the chain will still hold the camper.
1978 Avion 26-H (Rear twin beds, center bath, front dinette)
2012 Mercedes Benz GL 350 Bluetec, 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel, 3.45 Axle Ratio

RISK
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:50 am
Location: Sunset Valley, TX

Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by RISK » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:57 pm

Huh... what a terrific trick.
Thanks.

nralifer
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Re: 1987 34W - New Safety Chains

Post by nralifer » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:08 pm

I'm glad that helped you. I thought it was a terrific idea, and I wish that I had thought of it myself!
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

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