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Old 12-01-2019, 11:44 AM   #1
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Breakaway Cable

Hello,

I always have hooked the breakaway cable to the same spot where the safety chains go on the tow vehicle. Its the way I was shown when I picked up the trailer. This can't be right and has me thinking that if the hitch itself failed and broke off it would never activate the trailer brakes. So now, while the snow is falling, I am pondering if I should find a spot on the truck frame to install a hook to connect the cable to. Is this what you have done? Or am I over thinking this? There seems to be a variety of opinions on this.

Need to get the trucks hitch and frame inspected in the spring too. Getting pretty rusty under there. Midwest weather and road salt taking its toll.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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I used an eye hook in place of one license plate screw on my vehicle. That way the breakaway is connected to something that will never go with the trailer if it decides to part ways from my tow vehicle. Assume the worst - as unlikely as it sounds but the entire hitch mount fails at the frame and goes with the trailer.
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Old 12-03-2019, 03:10 PM   #3
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I have always hooked to safety chain slots on receiver.
Have lost a trailer once !! ( Never let somone else hook you up )
Trailer popped off the ball 90 miles into trip, safety cable was longer than chains ....
emergency cable would not disconnect. went for a hell of a ride trying to stay ahead of the trailer. Ended up applying trailer brake manually and hitting the gas to break the chains. Came loose, all over the road with trailer brakes locked up , came to a stop on the shoulder of interstate.
MO...breakaway cable a little shorter than your safety chains.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for bringing this up, gives me new insight when hooking up.
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Old 12-05-2019, 03:03 PM   #5
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I never thought of hooking it up to the license plate with an eye hook. Great idea and will look into that when we get ready for next trip. Just need to make sure that there is enough "stock" at that location I guess. Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gambler View Post
I have always hooked to safety chain slots on receiver.
Have lost a trailer once !! ( Never let somone else hook you up )
Trailer popped off the ball 90 miles into trip, safety cable was longer than chains ....
emergency cable would not disconnect. went for a hell of a ride trying to stay ahead of the trailer. Ended up applying trailer brake manually and hitting the gas to break the chains. Came loose, all over the road with trailer brakes locked up , came to a stop on the shoulder of interstate.
MO...breakaway cable a little shorter than your safety chains.
Once when my cable was too long, it dragged on the road and it broke in half. So, I shortened the cable. But then when I was towing the trailer, I heard a strange noise and found out that my trailer's brakes came on, due to the tautness of the cable being too short.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:03 PM   #7
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If you your hitch frame is bolted or welded to the vehicle frame utilizing place where the safety chains attach is very secure. I you are concerned how about the bumper of the vehicle as most hitch systems bolt to a different part of the frame.
Most license place bolts now are on a plastic grommet that would be far weaker and would break before the hitch.
Make sure that break away cable is near center as do not want it to pull out and turn on the brakes on a sharp corner.
The primary purpose is to brake the trailer when the coupler fails or is not locked properly and ball/king pin part ways with the receiver.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:53 PM   #8
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I agree that the breakaway cable must be as closely aligned to the center of the trailer tongue and hitch ball as possible for the reason you state. Most breakaways that I am aware of are failure to latch and pin the lever on tongue, mechanical failures of the ball mount, draw bar pin shear or retention clip failure that leads to the pin "walking" out. Very rare for frame mount failures, unless it's a bumper mount which see higher rates. With all that said, the only thing necessary to activate the brakes in a breakaway is pulling the plunger. That doesn't take much effort and my eye hook has a washer that is large enough to engage the bulk of the bumper behind the square plastic plug.
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