Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 9:09 pm Thread Starter
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Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

I just put a Bushtec hitch on my LT today and have a couple of questions.
If you pull a trailer with a ball mount, if you have a tip-over, what will it do to the trailer, bike, and/or hitch? With the ball mount, where do you place the safety chains?
Thanks

Greg and Melanie
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post #2 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 7:55 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

theres enough play in the coupler for the bike to swivel in the hitch,the chains hook to the eyes on the side of the coupler
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post #3 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 8:52 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

They do make a swivel mount (on the trailer) for the ball type hitch,
whether you need it or not is a subject of much debate,
check out the motorcycle trailer towing forum

When I hit an Elk while towing a Bushtec, the trailer broke of at the heim joint,
I'm of the opinion that's the "preferable" scenario,
I would rather the trailer "break free" and go it's own way
than add to my problems when I'm "tumbling" down the pavement.
The "safety chains" (on my bike) are only there to satisfy "the law"
I want them to break, keep that in mind when you install yours.


Hans
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post #4 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 9:33 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWWANDRR
I just put a Bushtec hitch on my LT today and have a couple of questions.
If you pull a trailer with a ball mount, if you have a tip-over, what will it do to the trailer, bike, and/or hitch? With the ball mount, where do you place the safety chains?
Thanks
Mine attaches with a quick link through the hole on the plate sticking out on the right side.
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post #5 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 9:35 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

I actually had a tip over using a Bushtec hitch and pulling a Bunkhouse pop up camper. I parked slightly nose down.....not enough that would cause a tip over without the extra weight of the trailer pushing. I did not have a swivel hitch and had absolutely no damage to anything. I thought it would have twisted the tongue, but it didn't.

There are varying degrees of tip overs and this time it went over more than on level ground.

I really wasn't a fan of that hitch after having a flat on the rear tire while in the middle of no where. I had everything I needed with me to make the repair but didn't have 2 9/16 wrenches to get the hitch off and remove the rear tire.

I do love the dauntless hitch that I now have installed.

Hope that helps,

Ron


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post #6 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 9:53 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
They do make a swivel mount (on the trailer) for the ball type hitch,
whether you need it or not is a subject of much debate,
check out the motorcycle trailer towing forum

When I hit an Elk while towing a Bushtec, the trailer broke of at the heim joint,
I'm of the opinion that's the "preferable" scenario,
I would rather the trailer "break free" and go it's own way
than add to my problems when I'm "tumbling" down the pavement.
The "safety chains" (on my bike) are only there to satisfy "the law"
I want them to break, keep that in mind when you install yours.
When my LT got blown over by a wind gust with the trailer attached the hitch popped off the ball - even though it was "pinned" by a purpose built hitch bolt and keyed lock. I never thought that could happen...

My tongue twisted a bit, it's actually pretty flimsy - just channel steel and not very thick either (Harbor Freight). I stuck a long pry bar in there and twisted it back.

I could see that happening again if I really slammed into a deep pothole or ran over a brick or something that size at speed. If I didn't use a safety chain and crashed at that point the trailer would be the:

wait, wait.....

last thing on my mind!

(but I see your point about why you would want the chains to break! I'm gonna' have to think about this some more)


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Last edited by RonKMiller; Dec 23rd, 2008 at 9:58 am.
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post #7 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 6:01 pm
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
If I didn't use a safety chain and crashed at that point the trailer would be the:

wait, wait.....

last thing on my mind!
Is that like what's the last thing that goes through a bugs mind when it hits the windshield? (his ass)

It's unlikely that a ball hitch would/could pop off the ball,
but......... if it did,
would you really want to still be "dragging the trailer" by a piece of chain?


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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post #8 of 14 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 7:13 pm
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

I think the intended purpose of chain is to keep the trailer from going off on it's own and killing some innocent bystander....


But that's just me...

John

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post #9 of 14 Old Dec 24th, 2008, 7:35 pm
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellenbenz
I really wasn't a fan of that hitch after having a flat on the rear tire while in the middle of no where.
I had everything I needed with me to make the repair but didn't have 2 9/16 wrenches to get the hitch off and remove the rear tire.
Ron
Sorry Ron, but I can't agree with this statement,
you did not have everything you needed to make the repair,
although pulling a trailer you certainly had the room for it,
so how can you find fault with the hitch for that?

Really, I'm just "jerking your chain" (pun intended)
What has "saved" me over the years is that
(even though I've got a shop full of tools)
I always do my maintenance with the tools I have on the bike,
that way it becomes obvious which tools I need to carry.
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Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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post #10 of 14 Old Mar 4th, 2012, 3:02 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

I realize this is an old thread, but to keep from covering old ground or duplicating threads, I'll chime in here, especially since it's related to another thread I recently posted regarding balls and pins.

As I mentioned in the other thread, there is suppose to be two safety chains for a trailer, and they are suppose to cross each other and attach to the opposite side on the hitch or bumper in the case of cars and trucks. If you don't cross the safety chains, they do nothing for you in the event of a decoupling. They're most often incorrectly connected in parallel with each other and the tongue, so when the tongue does decouple, it simply falls to the ground/pavement and gets drug behind the vehicle, being ground down like a pencil. Where's the safety aspect in this?

When the chains cross each other, they form an X, which allows the chains to "catch" the tongue and prevent it from falling and possibly catapulting the trailer.

That being said, any trailer with a single safety chain, including those towed by bikes has a useless piece of chain attached.

Watch the latest truck commercials where they're showing a boat or something else being pulled. One even shows the guy attaching the safety chains incorrectly. It's so sad that even some auto manufacturers are clueless. No wonder they're having problems.
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post #11 of 14 Old Mar 4th, 2012, 9:49 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Even though I've already stated my opinion on this I feel compelled to "chime in here"
everything you just said is correct........for cars and trucks
but does not make any sense for motorcycles


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #12 of 14 Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:32 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Even though I've already stated my opinion on this I feel compelled to "chime in here"
everything you just said is correct........for cars and trucks
but does not make any sense for motorcycles
I think Hans has it right here, just remember that most trailers you drag behind a truck or cars weigh at least 1500lbs and most are heavier. They need brakes and chains to keep things safe. ( I pull a horse trailer, with horses it can be 5000lbs.) If you take a look at the trailers our rides are pulling they do not come close.

John Baker

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post #13 of 14 Old Mar 4th, 2012, 11:55 am
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

You are correct about the much larger weights and masses being pulled with cars and trucks, but look at them as a percentage or ratio of weight pulled vs. weight of vehicle pulling it.

I've been looking at the various makes of motorcycle trailers, and some of them weigh as much as 250 lbs. and that's empty! I'm guessing there will be plenty of riders who will load their trailers to the max and so now your talking anywhere from 400 to 500 plus lbs. Now look at the weight ratios of these against the bike. The K1200lt comes in around 840 lbs wet, empty, and not counting the hitch. So, the ratios become comparable.

I said I agree and prefer a trailer breaking away in the event I end up laying down my bike. Don't need a loaded trailer compounding the problem and possibly winding up on top of me.
So, that being said, the one chain on a motorcycle trailer is useless, unless you're going to use it with a padlock to keep someone from stealing it while it's parked.

Even if you don't lay down the bike, if the trailer decouples, the tongue's going to hit the pavement, drag, maybe try to dig in like a boat anchor, and depending on the strength of your "safety chain", it'll quite possibly cause you to lay down the bike.

BTW, I've seen some of these trailers with electric brake options, so the weight must be a concern to some.

Common sense should rule here folks.

Jeff
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Last edited by bikerj; Mar 4th, 2012 at 11:59 am. Reason: additional point
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post #14 of 14 Old Mar 5th, 2012, 8:27 pm
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Re: Bushtec hitch with ball ?safety chain placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
What has "saved" me over the years is that
(even though I've got a shop full of tools)
I always do my maintenance with the tools I have on the bike,
that way it becomes obvious which tools I need to carry.
Hans, I like your idea of using your onboard tools to do all maintenance. What I want to know is where is you hammer, crescent wrench, and vise grips?

Ride Safely,
Steve

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