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Vet Man 06-08-2010 08:52 PM

Safety Cables
I tow 4 down behind my MH. Are the saftey cables required to be crossed, if so why. They seem to get tangled with light and brake away wires. I asked a local police officer about it, he is a fisherman and hauls his boat often. He said he knew of no law that required them to be crossed when towing anything, and did not cross his. Thanks

stuhly 06-08-2010 09:50 PM

Crossed Cables
The reason for crossed cables is incase the tow bar comes unhooked the crossed cables should keep the towbar from digging into the road and vaulting the toad.

FleetMan 06-08-2010 09:51 PM

The primary reason to cross them is so they do not bind in a tight turn. For grins, try it with two short chains, run them straight on each side and try some tight turns. Crossed, no problem. Straight, outside chain goes straight, tight and drags the front of the toad in the direction of the turn.

And, like stuhly said, it will cradle the tow bar if it gets unhooked.

Gary RVRoamer 06-09-2010 08:27 AM

The reason that many states have it in their towing laws is to catch the tongue of the trailer if the hitch or coupler breaks loose. It also helps avoid binding if the chains are a bit short, as Fleetman says.

If your toad towbar is the ball & coupler type, I would still cross them. If it is the motorhome mounted drawbar type, there isn't much point. However, I always cross mine, just from years of habit and good practice for other types of trailers.

wa8yxm 06-09-2010 11:03 AM

I have a copy of the Michigan Vehicle Code on this computer (in fact on all my computers) but I do not recall reading it in the "Civilian" code.. In the Commercial code though I quickly found it (That one is not on the computer)

As others have said, it is so the tong/hitch will be cradled by the cables and not dig into the pavement. Trust me you don't want to be anywhere near when a tong or hitch digs into the ground.

Page 2: Will those fairly light looking safety cables hold a 4,000 pound chevy Lumina

YES... They will

doc 06-09-2010 11:26 AM

Fleetman nailed it

Vet Man 06-09-2010 07:46 PM

Thanks to all that replyed. Does anyone know if crossing the cables is a law?

Vegasdan 06-09-2010 08:55 PM

It's the "law of probabilities". If you don't cross em, it's probable your toad will vault into the back of your motorhome.:eek:

Phil R 06-09-2010 09:34 PM

While towing a car with a tow dolly I actually had the ball pop out of the mount.Those crossed chains worked great. the tongue centered itself and allowed me to slow and keep the toad directly behind me until I could stop.
I would think anytime you could cross the chains it only would make sense.

Lorna 06-10-2010 11:10 AM

True story...
When we lived in SC, I was passing a truck pulling a little flat bed cargo trailer. I happened to notice his chains weren't crossed and said to my kids... "look, there's an accident waiting to happen". Just as I cleared the front of the truck, the truck hit a large bump in the road the trailer must have jumped the ball (it didn't look like it was "locked" on to the ball either) because the trailer dropped slightly wobbled a bit and did this beautiful triple somersault behind the truck. Trashed the little cargo trailer completely. Since then, I ALWAYS cross the chains and make sure the latch is locked down on the ball.

The tow bar we use to tow the jeep has a wire cable that I wrap around the tow bar arm a couple of times before attaching to the hitch. Just to make sure that the bar stays up if it should ever come off the ball.

Gary RVRoamer 06-10-2010 12:21 PM


Does anyone know if crossing the cables is a law?
What state? They are all different.

SeeTheUSA 06-10-2010 12:26 PM

Here's what Roadmaster says:

• Always cross the cables under the hitch receiver, as shown in Figure
4 under “Proper installation of safety cables.” In the unlikely event the tow
bar separates from the motorhome, crossing the cables will help prevent
the tow bar from dragging on the ground, which can cause the tow bar to
“pole vault” the towed vehicle.
End quote

Here's what Blue Ox says:

Cross the two safety cables under the tow bar.
End quote.

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