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Can I Add a Length of Chain to My Gooseneck Safety Chains to Make Hooking Up Easier

Question:

I purchased a Reese 16K Goose Box for my 5th wheel RV, a BandW turnover ball underbed hitch and a set of these chains. Im looking for an easier way to connect the chains to the trucks. As it is I have to climb into the bed of the truck with the camper connected to connect/disconnect the chains. Some folks are using lifting eyes on the Goose Box with another clevis hook on the chains. Connect the chains to the truck before moving into place with the camper and then connecting the other end of the chain to the lifting eye. My concern is lifting eyes seem to be rated for straight pulls and this wouldnt be. I was thinking of using a short piece of chain, 4-5 links, connected to the Goose Box as normal and then putting a shackle of some sort on this piece of chain to connect the truck chain to. I hope that makes sense. In any case a shackle rated to 16,000# is huge. So that got me looking at chain ratings. The best rating for any 5/16inch round link chain I could find was 5,700#. My goal here is to find something to make it easier to connect the chain to my truck and to the Goose Box, but I want to make sure what Im doing isnt the weak link. I tried calling Reese to see if they had any solutions, but I dont think the support person I spoke with had a clue what I was talking about.

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Expert Reply:

I don't see any reason why you can't do this as long as everything is rated equally or higher than your capacity. The unfortunate part is that we don't have any safety chains that are shorter than the Tow Ready 44" # 49150, so you would need to source the shorter chains at your local hardware store.

To connect the two chains, you can use a heavy duty clevis hook like the # TCSLIP-G70-13-L, which is rated for 11300-lbs per clevis, so a pair would be well over the capacity to use on your trailer and provide you with a spring loaded latch that will easily connect to a set of chains. Going this route will also allow you to use a much longer chain and just re-connect it closer to the Goosebox once you're coupled.

When it comes to lifting eyes, I don't know that I would go that route and would instead look to connect two properly rated chains with the clevis hooks. This will make for easier connection and provide the strength you're looking for in this application.

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