Monday, December 12, 2016

Tie Down Straps

Since started doing the RV thing have gone through a couple different sets of tie down straps and different methods of securing my scooter (and now motorcycle) to the RV.  Don't ask me why, but I entrusted my valuable Scooter to none other than Harbor Freight Tie Down Straps.  I, mistakenly, thought that all tie down straps were more or less created equal..  BOY, was I wrong.  I should've taken the leap much much sooner.....  And so should YOU!  In my opinion anyways.

The two, HF on bottom
I knew no better and didn't realize what true quality was.  I delayed the inevitable and have gone through a good 20+ tie down straps.  Probably should've gone through many more, though at times I'm a tad bit stingy...  Hence why scooter fell off back once.

As can be seen in the picture on the right, the Harbor Freight straps are on the bottom, and the new one is on the top.  Just looking at the side view, thickness of the webbing material is night and day.  Hindsight being as it is, the Harbor Freight one feels like paper compared to the cardboard'y thickness of the new one.  Granted, the new one is new and so will wear in time, though the quality difference is very visible.

The new straps are from Ratchet Straps USA,  It seems as they're a manufacturer of these, but at the very least they're a purveyor of fine ratchet straps...

My order consisted of two different items, the first was a set of straps, and handlebar wrap around tie down things, with the second being straps to tie down the rear of the bikes, plus a couple extra for grins and giggles.

Now, remember, I am very very very happy with these, but there are a few things I would've done different, hence this post.

For the Strap and Handlebar set, I would've done these things different, not that anything is wrong, just personal preference
  • Went with 6 foot straps instead of paying extra for 10 foot
    • Though 10 foot straps are more flexible in usage
  • Increase Handlebar strap length to 18+ inches
    • it's tight fitting when wrapping around handlebar, still works

A great thing I upgraded to was the safety hooks.  These are called Safety Latch S-hooks and cost an additional dollar.  What this does is make the S hook end be something similar to a carabinar, which will help prevent it from unhooking in times of crisis.  It accomplishes this by having a spring loaded piece of metal that closes off the opening.  Though anything can still happen, having this makes it a little less likely, more peace of mind.

Yellow = new
The other set of straps I ordered, in yellow, is just a standard run of the mill bunch of ratchet straps.  Nothing special and nothing out of the ordinary.  Like the strap and handlebar set there are a couple things I would've done differently...  Still nothing wrong, just personal preference again.
  • Would've chosen straps with a closing end, such as caribinar, snap hooks, soft loop, or safety S-hooks
    • Prefer safety S-hooks but couldn't find them..  20/20 vision of course.
  • Would not have purchased extra length and chosen 6 feet
  • Fixed end length might have increased a little, this part is irrelevant for my use
Am very happy I chose the somewhat heavier duty one inch strap.  It adds an extra little comfort factor.  There is a greater chance that the hooks will slide off without any safety features, as mentioned above, but don't envision that happening.

My order included 10 straps, four for the front (as part of the handlebar kit), then 6 for the rear, with four being actively used and the other two as backups.  Am still hanging onto the Harbor Freight straps as a backup backup with the hopes that will never go back to them except to strap stuff to the scooter for transport from store to RV.

If ever have the need for additional straps, one guess where I'll be ordered them from....

You guessed it, Ratchet Straps USA!

P.S. - Someplace, for at least some of their straps, there is an option to choose webbing made in the U.S.  Unsure where it could be.

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