Should You Double Up On Safety Chains When Towing a Trailer?

A look at doubling up safety chains when towing

Safety chains
Some RVers swear by doubling up safety chains,others aren't so sure. Antonio Kr_mer /EyeEm/Getty Images

Safety is a big part of RVing and those RVers towing trailers or other types of RVs need to make sure that their load is secure. When hooking up your trailer or towable you should create several fail-safes to make sure your trailer stays where it’s supposed to and doesn’t go bouncing into opposing lanes of traffic. One of those fail-safes that all RVers should be familiar with is the use of safety chains.

Let’s look of how you should secure your safety chains as well as answer questions on doubling up any safety chains. The safer your RVing practices are, the more fun you can have on the road knowing you and your RV are secure. 

How to Secure Safety Chains 

Any towable RV or hitch should come with its own set of safety chains. If you bought a used model that didn’t come with any chains, securing them should be one of your first jobs. Don’t even risk driving out of the parking lot without chains fastened and secured. 

Most safety chains are simple. There should be two safety chains that come with S hooks or another type of attachment. Thread the chains from one end such as your hitch to the other end such as the hitch coupler.

Safety chains should always be crossed over each other. Crossing the safety chains creates another fail-safe and can act as a basket to catch the trailer or towable should your trailer somehow become detached from its hitch. There may be other tertiary ways in which you can attach your chains in a more secure fashion but they should always be crossed over each other. 

Do Safety Chains on a Trailer Need to be Doubled Up?

If one set of safety chains is safe, wouldn’t an extra set of safety chains be safer? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. 

Most hitches are simple devices and can only accommodate one set of chains. Trying to force an extra set of chains into a hitch that is only meant for one set may actually do more harm than good as it could cause loose or non-existent connections and add stress that may cause you chains to pop off their secure connected areas. Even if many chains appear secure they may become jostled and loose while on the road. If your trailer or hitch only has room for one set of chains, don’t push it, stick with a regular single cross-chained setup.

 

If the hitch is set up to where you can add an extra set of chains then be all means go for it but you should know that an extra set of chains on many hitches will not actually be safer but rather  redundant. As long as the chains are able to accommodate your trailer’s weight should they need to, you shouldn’t have a safety issue. So if your trailer has ample room or is even set up for an extra set of chains you can double them up, just don’t try to force anything or make up your own system. 

Instead of doubling up safety chains you could instead see if your trailer or hitch has any type of additional safety accessories or there are some aftermarket accessories that can make your trailer more secure. Refer to your manufacturer guidelines, towing vehicle manual, and resources both on and offline to learn the best ways to ensure your trailer hitch stays in place during your adventures.

In the end, doubling up your safety chains may do more harm than good, especially if the hitch is manufactured for a single set of safety chains. Learn how to secure and cross your chains to help make sure your trailer stays where it’s supposed to stay while on the road.