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Caravan Necessities: Dee Shackles on Safety Chains and Their Applications

Are you a novice when it comes to towing a caravan? Or perhaps you’re a pro but are trying to figure out the safest way to tow your items for the best possible camping experience? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the correct place.

To get the best experience while putting safety first, you need to know which safety shackles to use for different applications. Granted, nobody wants to get stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken shackle.

What is a D-Shackle?

To understand D-shackles, let’s start with shackles first. They are backup links that connect the safety chains on a trailer to the tow vehicle. We have 2 main types of shackles: D and O-rated shackles. So, what are D-rated shackles, and do you need them on your safety chains?

A D-Shackle (commonly referred to as Dee Shackle) is a U-shaped bolt with a removable pin secured by a nut. It is designed in a U-shaped manner as it is used for lifting or towing load-bearing chains, ropes, and metal bars from one place to another. D-shackles differ from bow shackles with a much wider flare that looks O-shaped. They have a wide range of uses thanks to their strength properties.

So do you need one on your caravan? Let’s look at their pros and cons before answering:

Pros of D Shackles

1). Good for Heavy Loads on a Straight Line

The shape of a D-shackle gives it its strength properties, especially on a longitudinal axis. This is good when you are caravanning on fairly straight roads. They can handle any weight you can throw them without any possibility of breaking or bending. They also make sure that they transfer all loads straight, which gives caravans good handling, especially at speeds above 60 kph.

2). Cost-Effective Solution For Small and Medium Weight Goods

They are very cost-efficient when towing light to moderate loads. A person pulling light to medium loads is not looking at investing in the best of the best. This is because you want to save money on equipment while at the same time having something that can do the job for you. D-shackles are usually much less costly and can do a great job to someone who is just travelling lightly.

3). Ease of Maintenance

D-shackles are much easier to maintain than bow shackles. All you need to do is simply apply grease and conduct visual inspections after every tow or before towing your caravan. What plays a part in their ease of maintenance is the fact that they tow well on straight lines and are used for light to moderate loads.

Dee Shackles on Safety Chains

Cons of D-shackles

1). Not Good for Bending and Twisting Action

D-shackles are probably not the best choice for you when you live in places with tight bending roads, twisting slopes, or even off-road surfaces. The thing with D-shackles is that they usually tend to break apart when they are subjected to bending and twisting loads and any lateral and sudden movements. Tight bends typically subject your caravans to this when towing, and broken D shackles can leave you stranded, especially in remote locations.

2). They Cannot Accommodate Wider Straps without Pinching

One common way people tow or lift their caravans and loads is by using straps between the chain and the D-shackles. The wider a strap is, the better it handles heavy loads. D-shackles have tight bends which pinch the straps and could eventually lead to fast wear and tear of the straps. This will mean much quicker replacement and more cost.

Final Thoughts

Now that we have seen the pros and cons of D-shackles, you may be asking yourself, ‘Do I need D-rated shackles on my safety chains?’ The answer is that it all trickles down to the application of your caravan. While D-rated shackles are best for light loads and inline towing, they cannot be used without presenting a safety hazard on heavy, bending, and twisting loads and with wider straps.

Visit RV & Caravan Centre for Your Caravan Servicing Needs

RV & Caravan Centre offers fit-outs as well as spare parts and equipment for all types of caravans to make your camping experience more enjoyable. Give us a call today if you have any questions about what shackles are best for your caravan, and we will give you our expert advice and a free estimate.

Please give us a call today on 1800 782 236 to learn more about our caravan services or leave an enquiry.


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