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Discussion Starter #1
Through the years I've used a variety of tie-down ratchet straps to hold my bikes in place, coupled with the occasional simple cambuckle to keep the back from bouncing. One thing I always hated was trying to break those ratchets free once I was ready to get the bike loose. Even the expensive ones seem to lock on and not let go, no matter how much I pull the trigger or how far open I've got the ratchet itself. I've come to hate them with a passion.

Once in a while on the road I'll see someone who uses cambuckles exclusively to secure their bikes and thought it looked risky.

Anyone else prefer the Cambuckle over the Ratchet Strap? Are cams, indeed, just as good, if not better than a ratchet system? Pros and Cons?

CambuckleVsRatchet.jpg
 

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I use both! :p That is whenever I'm going on a 500 to 1000 mile trip at freeway speeds. For an hour enroute to some local ride, just cambuckles. One thing about the cambuckle is that if you always tighten it to the same spot it will eventually roughen to the point of being difficult loosen to remove. I replaced mine for that reason after four years. I never had them slip, and I think they are just as strong. I use a bit of old towel or sweatshirt under the straps where they contact so dust and sand can't turn them into sandpaper. :) For the ratchets I use a couple of loops of strap to mimic the strap/hook of the cambuckles like the orange ones in your pic. After around 30,000 miles of trailering or with the TW on the hitch carrier I have very little wear on the bars or the Cyclerack (which I only use 1" cambuckles on for the rear tire).

I agree that the ratchets can be hard to release and they can also bite you if your hand is in the wrong position. One thing that helps is not to tighten them too much, no more than a bit more than halfway from static to fully compressed, which is better for the shocks anyway. I think of the cambuckles as back up if one of the ratchets lets go. I do a couple of thousand mile trips a year at 70-80 mph....I'd rather be extra certain. If the bikes are inside the trailer, I use the only the ratchets because it is very hard to pull the cambuckles tight enough when you are lying on top of the bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys! I appreciate all the 'real world' advice. :)
 

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I use the ratchets all the time for all sorts of loads. Hard to beat for getting things tight. If you play with them enough it gets easier to back them down for removal, and its worth it for the security.
 

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My experience towing toys during a decade at Polaris Ind. (which required me to have a CDL) : GET GOOD, HEAVY DUTY RATCHET STRAPS!!!!

Something very bad could go wrong on the road and if you have Walmart 3,000lbs straps, well - expect the worst.

There is no such thing as too much strap when it comes to securing your load and safety.

We used something like these, because the price was right and they have 10,000lbs load rating: (only $13 a strap - cheap, buy 5! )

SmartStraps Double J-Hook Ratchet Tie-Down – 27ft. x 2in., 10,000-Lb. Capacity, Model# 262 | Ratchet Tie-Down Straps| Northern Tool + Equipment

Good Luck!

Post #250 for me - WHOO HOO!
 

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I have used both and prefer the cam. I also tie the loose end in a slip knot up against the cam.
 

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Get Good Cam Straps

I use and prefer cam straps, as the hooks on ratchet straps can come unhooked. I use a complete loop, doubling the strength. But I don't use just any cheapo cam strap. I get 1" polyester straps from Strapworks, and specify the "Moto Cam Buckle" at the dropdown under "Cam Buckle Styles".

CS1P-6774-T.jpg

This cam buckle is rather more secure than an ordinary one, as the strap threads through from the back side, however that does make them more of a pain to thread. Strapworks will make just about anything in many choices of length and color.

The straps are passed through a climbing-grade carabiner (rated over 5000 lb) which is attached to a tiedown strap ring

X001.jpg

which is attached to the triple clamp bolt.

On my rafting trailer I use a carabiner at the trailer end of the loop too, which is attached to a loop of 1.5" webbing, sort of like this:

2014-06-26 IMG_1376.jpg

Using the carabiners keeps me from having to unthread the webbing from the moto cam straps, which, as I mentioned, are a bit of a pain to thread. On the motorcycle trailer the loop can just go through the eye on the trailer.

This has worked perfectly for me for several years.

And by the way, I recently discovered the perfect way to keep the loose strap ends from flapping in the wind: I fold the loose end into about a 4" bundle and secure the bundle to the loop with these,

61jWeDCau-L._SL1000_.jpg

wrapped around several times and the ball end placed in the end loop.
 

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Yes, and if that rope is made of Hemp....you could always smoke it, at the end of the day. :p

A...not so funny....tie-down/securing the bikes to the trailer...issue occurred in Moab this year, as we were preparing to leave.

It was TWilight vs Placerlode vs Rhodetrip vs GHDave in an all out battle of the wits and spit to see WHO was going to get their way, when it came to securing those three T-dubs to my trailer.:eek:

In the end, I will "claim" I won, but not because I did anything better than the other three guys....it was because the other three were smart enough to throw their hands in the air and walk away...before beer cans started being thrown at one another. :p

Kudos to Placerlode, Rhodetrip, and GHDave for being the 3 Wise Men in this incident, leaving a pouting Electrified Giant Panda Bear to tie things down with the Bamboo TWigs he was munching on.

I didn't care how it was done, as it wasn't my trailer, they weren't my bikes, and I was traveling in the other direction. I've never been shy about expressing my opinion :) but as Kenny Rogers said, you've got to know when to walk away, know when to run. :D
 

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Like most anything, much depends on the the quality of the tool. I've had low dollar cam straps "let go" esp when the have sat out in the sun.
I've had cheap ratchets bind up/bend up. I also have a set of "Ancra" brand straps from the early days probably first used to secure cannons
in the Civil War. I still use them. Noticeably built tougher than the cheap ones. I pretty much use redunency on strapping down. With use of two sets of straps I can usually remember both sides. I am infamous for forgetting to "strap up" Makes a right darn embarrassing mess that does.
 

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I use cam style tie downs on all my bikes. The lighter bikes I will just use 2 for short trips. My Tuono gets 2 ties thru the triple tree with soft ties and 2 more to the frame in the middle of the bike...


I only buy quality USA made tiedowns such as Ankras, at about $20 a pair or more. I have about 20 pairs of them and as they age/wear out I replace them. THey seem to last about 5 to 7 years. The USA made ones are getting harder to find....Some of the wimpy Walmart tiedowns some of my friends show up with are just flat out scary...

I always pull up on the cam(reverse of releasing) to lock them in place. Even worn out ones will hold well if you do this.

For cars or tractors on my flatbed I use large ratchet style ties only.

The guy who got me started in trials riding used ropes only and taught me how to use them. If you know how to do it properly, they work great....just require more effort.
 

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I dislike recent experience with the ratchet type.
I have used Ancra cam-locks and/or rope happily for 40+ years and have learned a few tricks over the years. As Ibxr points out pulling up on the cam will set teeth into the webbing for a stronger bite. Tying tag end of strap at cam can prevent any cam slippage. With wear the webbing can get fuzzy but can be restored with a little flame melting. With wear the cam lock teeth can get dull but jeweler's files can sharpen them up. When really worn replace them and turn old ones into prussics (looped webbing for soft ties and other uses.
 
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