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Old 12-01-2019, 10:44 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, 02:35 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, 02:10 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, 07:15 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, 02:03 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, 11:17 AM   #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, 02:03 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, 02:53 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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Old 01-01-2020, 09:26 AM   #9
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I'm sorry I'm late to the thread with this post.
In some previous comments, it was mentioned to attach the safety cable to the license plate bolt, or somewhere on the bumper, with the idea that if the hitch were to break off the truck, you'd have a place that would not break off.
Well, I'm not sure how other manufacturers do it, but my 2005 and my 2013 Ford F-150 have the bumper attached to the factory hitch frame, so the bumper would come right along with hitch in the case of catastrophic failure.
I know this because I had the hitch frame crack (rusted), and had to replace the $800 hitch/frame.
If the idea is to avoid connecting to the hitch, the body of the truck would be the only option.
Happy New Year everyone.
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:41 AM   #10
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curious about other 5th wheel owners. I loop mine on the handle on the hitch....
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:26 AM   #11
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curious about other 5th wheel owners. I loop mine on the handle on the hitch....
Same Here.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:28 AM   #12
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I hook it there also.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:33 AM   #13
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I would not recommend attaching the cable to the hitch handle if you have a B&W 5th wheel hitch.

It would not have applied the brakes on this trailer that become detached from the TV.

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Old 01-02-2020, 08:42 AM   #14
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I would like to see the truck. Bet they were both on there side before it separated.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:55 AM   #15
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I would agree with you Dan. If you look close you can see what looks like the truck probably hit the bottom of the 5er when they went over.


I've seen pictures of semis where the tractor is hanging over a bridge rail with the the trailer still on the bridge. Still hooked up.


I really don't see why a B&W hitch would be any different then the others for letting go.
If that were the case, I might suspect the installation of the B&W.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:21 AM   #16
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Hard to imagine how the head could come off the base. It would take one very big jolt to get that much weight to bounce up to clear the base. I would say it was rolled.

In my experience it does not take much to pull the break away cable out. On one of our last trips a piece of firewood got caught on the cable in a tight turn and pulled mine out. Bit of a surprise.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:55 AM   #17
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I would like to see the truck. Bet they were both on there side before it separated.
Nope the truck did not roll over. The hitch could not handle a lateral force when the truck made an evasive maneuver to miss another vehicle.




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Old 01-03-2020, 08:02 AM   #18
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Is that a 1500? If so, that's a pretty light duty truck to be hooked on to a HH. Wonder what the hitch was rated for?
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:28 AM   #19
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I count 6 lug nuts so 1/2 ton. Not a good review for that brand of hitch. Not to sure the breakaway switch would have help much in that situation. Dont matter if the brakes work when its on its side.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:43 AM   #20
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Breakaway Cable

Dodge 1500ís have 5 bolt. Thatís at least a 2500 as I count 8
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