Safety cables -- how far do you go with it?

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KodiakRV

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Just had a Blue Ox baseplate installed on our 2002 Honda Civic.? I was looking through the materials that came with it and one item was a "Service Bulletin" dated 1/5/2006.? In general, it is 4 pages of safe towing guidelines that Blue Ox includes with every purchase, but one of the figures caught my eye.? It says, "PERMANENT BASEPLATE SAFETY CABLES NEED TO BE INSTALLED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BASEPLATE."? The figure shows "permanent baseplate safety cables to cross member or frame of towed vehicle."?

These are NOT the breakaway safety cables you connect from the MH to the toad, but permanent cables under the front of the toad connecting the baseplate to the frame.? The RV dealer that installed my baseplate didn't do this and I'm wondering if folks really do this.?

Is this just some liability concern run amuk?? How far do you carry this?? If you are inspecting the baseplate each tow day to make sure the bolted attachment is firm, the chances of the baseplate separating from the frame are miniscule unless there is some kind of accident, IMO.? And an accident of that magnitude isn't likely to be helped by a couple more safety cables.

It seems at some point in the unexpected & unlikely failure between MH and toad, you let the toad go and let the breakaway supplemental braking system stop it.
 

Tom

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I don't know about the Honda but, when I bought/installed the baseplate for our Suburban it came with an additional set of safety cables that bridge the smaller receivers attached to the baseplate. See this photo. I attach them every trip religiously, but I doubt they'd hold if the Suburban broke loose.
 

Marsha/CA

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We have the Roadmaster "Sterling" tow system and it came with cables to attach to the plate on the car to the base plate of the tow unit.  Every time we hook up we check to make sure those are in order as well.  For me every little added assurance makes me feel better.

BTW, We just did an extensive trip through CAnada.  We saw a number of motor homes towing a vehichle didn't have a "braking" system.  I was surprised because we were under the understanding that it's Canadian law that you have a braking system installed.

Marsha~
 

KodiakRV

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Tom said:
I don't know about the Honda but, when I bought/installed the baseplate for our Suburban it came with an additional set of safety cables that bridge the smaller receivers attached to the baseplate. See this photo. I attach them every trip religiously, but I doubt they'd hold if the Suburban broke loose.
Those small cables look like they connect two parts of your baseplate, not your baseplate to the frame of the Surbuban.  Am I seeing it wrong?
 

John From Detroit

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I had a situtation where my tow-system came apart and ... Well, the safety cables and systems did what they were designed to do.

With safety cables the damage (All to the towed by the way, none to the MH) was about 2500,  Without the safety cables the damage to the towed would have been loss of towed and contents (It's uses for storage when behing towed)

I not only believe strongly in proper safety cables... But found I can seriously trust mine.


As for folks who do not install supplemental and/or break-a-way braking systems on their toweds (I have, it's one of the systems that worked and helped limit the damage)

Well, every month I get a check from the state of Michigan, in fact for the next two years I get 2 per month (one is only about 85 bucks)

If it were not for crime, they would not need police, and the troopers would not need dispatchers, and I'd not be getting that check!!!


So, I thank all the idiots, morons, lead-foot-Larrys, no-brainer drivers and other criminals out there every month when the bank shows the latest deposit
 

KodiakRV

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I'm into safety as much as the next fellow.  I bought a supplemental braking system with breakaway.  I certainly have no problem with safety cables -- mine are 3X what is required.  The additional cables I was asking about, however, seem like safety cables on top of safety cables.  To put them on at this point would be impossible without tearing the whole front end apart again.  Tom's picture gave me a thought about something I could do, however...

 

John From Detroit

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Well, the problem is the front of the frame, where they hook up the base plate, in that car is likely not as "Sturdy" or else not as "Well connected" to the main frame as Blue Ox wishes,  thus they suggest backing it up.

I recall several years ago back when Audi was advertising on my then favorite radio station about "Audi Quality Watch" and how their cars were all inspected and top quality.

Got a phone call from someone who had a part fall off their car.  "The large part that holds the license plate" (Rear bumper?)

Ran the plate... It was an AUDI, original title issued 3 days earlier...

Those additional safety cables you cite would have saved Audi a lot of embarrassment had they installed them standard :)
 

KodiakRV

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RV Roamer said:
I too have small chains on my baseplates, linking the removable portion with the permanently bolted on part.

My baseplate is all one piece with no removable parts.  It has 4 bolts to the frame on each end and two bolts to the bumper in the middle -- 10 bolts in all.
 

Tom

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mfa said:
Those small cables look like they connect two parts of your baseplate, not your baseplate to the frame of the Surbuban.  Am I seeing it wrong?

As I said, they bridge the small receivers. No they do not connect the baseplate to the frame and I specifically did not suggest that. I attached the photo to hopefully clarify what I was saying. Apologies if it caused confusion.
 

KodiakRV

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Tom said:
As I said, they bridge the small receivers. No they do not connect the baseplate to the frame and I specifically did not suggest that. I attached the photo to hopefully clarify what I was saying. Apologies if it caused confusion.

No confusion.  It actually gave me an idea.  I can chain/cable between the "normal" safety cable tabs on the baseplate and two tow rings under the frame of the car about a foot back from the bumper.
 

Jeff

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MarshaLassen/CA said:
BTW, We just did an extensive trip through CAnada.  We saw a number of motor homes towing a vehichle didn't have a "braking" system.  I was surprised because we were under the understanding that it's Canadian law that you have a braking system installed.

Marsha~

Marsha:

IIRC the western provinces of Canada require supplemental braking on towed vehicles weighing more than 1500 kg.
 

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