I bought a '77 CeeBee Avenger Bubbledeck a week ago. Just getting some things replaced on the trailer. Bought a fiberglass repair kit for a knick here and there on the hull of the boat. Have some questions about trailers. Pic is from the seller's ad. See ya 'round.
I'm new to using trailers. I believe the trailer is original to the boat (so its old) lol. It only has one chain to attach to the towing car. It looks like it has one chainlink welded to the trailer. The chain is all rusted. The other chain must have ripped off at some point which doesn't allow me to put much faith in this one leftover chain. There are no other attachment points for new chains (I need at least a second one to tow properly).
I was wondering if it's acceptable to wrap each chain around the trailer bars and connect it to itself to "anchor" them. Is this bad? Do we need to install hardware to the trailer to have anchor points for the chains instead? ETA: I see one of the chains is in the way of a wire. I will correct that.
In the photos the rusted chain is pictured. The other nice chain in the back is supposed to be a failsafe for the winch (also no attachment point for this chain). Also showing photos of the underside of the trailer. You can kind of see where the old 2nd chain was welded and broke off. (In the front I just have them padlocked to the trailer so they don't get stolen for the time being).
So can I get away with this? It's not illegal or anything right? lol I'm in Utah. The boat and trailer with fuel only weigh about 1500lbs. And I don't have a garage full of power tools. ETA: The chains are "Camco Heavy Duty Steel 48" Safety Chains with Spring Hooks - Secures Tow Vehicle to Trailer | Class I 2,000 lb Capacity."
Last edited by kristie_b1; 07-17-2019 at 10:04 AM.
For the most part a chainlink welded to the trailer was and still is the norm. My first choice for your trailer would be to find a welding shop and have both safety chains welded to the trailer bottom. Make sure the chain welds are not the lowest point on the trailer bottom (will scrape off) If you cant find a local welder find a local welding supply store and tell them what you want, they should be able to recommend a shop or jobber. (should not be over $20)
Second choice would be mechanical fastening of the chain ends. Are there sufficient threads on the winch attach "U" bolt on the bottom to unbolt and put the end link of the chain on with a big washer and reinstall the nut. If not you could buy a "U" bolt to bolt to center 3x3 box or channel. Aesthetically your setup will work. You could also wrap them both around the center frame 3x3 piece. I would remove the S hooks and replace with Stainless threaded chain links. (upper left corner of picture) They will take a much higher shock load in case the hitch fails or trailer comes off.
If you have not towed a trailer the attach is one of the most important points. Do not run the chains parallel to the trailer. make an X with the chains under the hitch ball. This will keep the chains from having to be so long for turns they drag on the ground. The ball is the center point of the joint.
Good luck and the chains will vanish quickly if not attached with a hard mount.
Thank you so much for your insight! I'll make a visit to Home Depot in the next few days to get a u-bolt. I have one threaded chain link already and I'll get another one. That will do for this weekend (we're taking her out on the lake lol). And I'll look into getting the chains welded on after that. Thank yoU!