DO 35 dramas - time to move away?

Submitted: Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 10:31
ThreadID: 145040 Views:2862 Replies:19 FollowUps:34
My old camper had a Treg hitch, so when I found out I could get an option DO 35 on my camper in 2013 , I jumped at it. A DO 35 V2 as I now know.

The hitching method is much better.

But after a while the locking mechanism got blocked with sand, and on a couple of occasions, it got jammed with sand and was hard to uncouple. I sometimes had to take it apart. It was a really bad design.

Then the V3 came out. I debated getting it but it was expensive and maybe on problems were one off - even though the new version had a dust cover. Well one day, I was driving on a highway, turned a corner, and the hitch shaftbroke in 2 and the camper dropped to the road. I called Cruismaster who said they had never heard of that, but if I posted it back ( $80) they would consider a partial warranty discount off a new one. But I needed one right now. Would they give me the discount as cash? NOPE.

The new one was now advertised as stronger ( even though they never heard of a failure). Great. But it is very hard to get the cover on. I called and asked why. They said I was doing it wrong and it is easy if I follow the instructions. I also bought a pin security lock. That was 3 years ago.

Now the lock gets stuck, I called them to see what I can do, and they said they have a new version. I should get that one. I asked if I could order extra keys at the same time. Nope, they don't have a way to do extra keys right now. I asked if a locksmith can do it. I think so is the reply. So I asked how do I get extra keys. The answer was that a NEW version is coming out soon that has the ability for them to cut keys. So If I buy a lock now I am stranded with just 1 spare.

I also raised the difficulty with the cover. Ahh, we have a new version that is easier to get the cover on. There is even an upgrade kit. Really?

So each DO35 has had a lifetime of 2 - 3 years before it is replaced due to faulty designs that are really bad and they keep suggesting get the new version.

I have had it with Cruismaster. Their designs all have problems, and they dump the old products and expect people to buy the new version to fix it. All my other tow bars and hitches have worked for years without this trouble.

What have people found as alternatives? I like the pin system, but the D0 35 is poorly designed with no real support.
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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 10:56

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 10:56
Wow, not good to hear that.

Out Ultimate still has the tried and tested Treg and never ever let us down.

On one of our Anne Beadell trips a few years ago, we ran into a guy who ended up tagging along with us through to Coober Pedy.

When he tried to unhook his camper his DO 35 would not budge. We used a good part of a can of RP 7, let it soak in, more RP 7 and still would not budge.

We ended up getting a piece of Mulga wood that we were carrying and a heavy hammer and that ended up getting it freed.

At the time I said that I would never get one of those hitches, but others have said they have never had any issues, then I asked them do they actually take their campers off road, and you get that blank look.

So the sort of it, we still have the Treg and have no intentions of replacing it
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 09:54

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 09:54
Have had a DO35 hitch on my van from new, some 6 years now. I liked it so much I bought a second hitch to put on my off-road trailer. I have never experienced blocking by sand, or any other foreign matter.

I hated the treg coupling. My two friends have them and I generally have to assist them in aligning the couplings to insert the pin.

I "cheat" a little by employing a Couple Mate and have no trouble reversing back to and aligning the hitch, without assistance. The Couple Mate is a V shaped alignment bracket, generally used for a standard 50mm ball coupling, but I modified it to suit the DO35 coupling by adding a piece of rubber spacing and also modified a Stone Stomper bracket to include a mounting slot to drop the Couple Mate into for unassisted alignment and coupling.

I cannot see how a coupling can be completely blocked by foreign matter unless it bottoms out and buries itself in the ground and that would be most difficult in an off-road vehicle and van.

I love the DO35 hitch because it makes my life that little bit easier.
Bill


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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 12:16

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 12:16
The only problem I've ever had with the Treg ( no longer with us apparently), was when I left the pin on the spare wheel and lost it in sand when it fell off. ( Gibb river road , somewhere)
Spent a long time raking sand to no avail. Eventually drove to the nearest civilisation and a friendly chap found me a substantial long bolt, which did the trick admirably until we arranged another Treg pin to be sent.
Anything simple works in the bush.
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Jim
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 12:45

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 12:45
The moment I remove our Treg pin, it goes straight in the Ultimate boot for safe keeping.

You think that raking the sand would have found the pin, as it’s quick big and hard to miss.

Part of my kit, I carry a spare Treg pin, that is still unused and a lockable Treg pin, as I always use the Boy Scout Moto…..Be Prepared.

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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 13:12

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 13:12
"Raking" the sand ....... couple of sticks, and about 2kms of sandy/dirt track !!!
And yes, we now have a better "system", and an extra pin !!

Cheers
Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 14:36

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 14:36
Had a DO35 for around 8 years and never had any of the problems listed, and yes we go off road often. I always put the dust cap on the pin when the trailers not attached and keep the "O" dust seal in good condition, never had sand get into the locking mechanism.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:45

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:45
Leigh, I should have made it clearer, the original design didn't have dust cap. That's why I originally considered the newer version before the original one broke and my decision was made for me.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 15:03

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 15:03
We have a McHitch Autocoupler on our Karavan, having moved from a Treg. Coupling/uncoupling is the easiest it's ever been. There are no parts sensitive to dirt, dust or sand - it just works.

The only minus I can identify is that the ballweight is effectively moved about 120mm back from where the load on the tongue is usually taken - not a huge deal for us with 160kg ball weight but could be if you have a monster with 300 plus kg on the ball. Especially if the rear overhang on the vehicle is already large.

(Actually, you don't need a monster to put 300kg on the ball. There are some nice campers with long drawbars loaded with kitchen, fridge, batteries, etc that are up around that figure.)
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 17:54

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 17:54
Thanks, the McHitch looks interesting.

It looks easier to hitch and unhitch up.
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Reply By: Dusta - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 15:37

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 15:37
i clean my do-35 after every trip . never had an issue
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 17:12

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 17:12
Hi Tony,

Another vote for the McHitch Auto Coupler. Easy on and off, just need to have both the probe and the receiver at approx the same level. It also comes with a locking pin, and two keys.

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Follow Up By: Brenton B2 - Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 19:11

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 19:11
Hi Macca, each has its encumbrances, the receiver can get just as clogged and be careful not to burr the probe as it can also get jammed
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Nov 19, 2022 at 07:35

Saturday, Nov 19, 2022 at 07:35
Hi Brenton,

You may be right there, but in the 5 years I have had the McHitch auto coupler, I have not encountered any difficulties in the manner you have indicated. I do spray it with electrical contact cleaner, then “lube it” with silicone spray. Travelled the Oodnadatta, the GCR, part of the Gunbarrel, and to the top of Cape York and back.

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Reply By: Member - David H72 - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 17:13

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 17:13
I’ve had DO35 hitches on my last two campers over 10 years with absolutely no problems. Do you lubricate the sliding retainer and always fit the cap once connected? What about greasing the swivel shaft? I have no idea how you could possibly get sand in any part of the hitch if it fitted properly.
I have travelled the flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track, Binns Track, Tanami Road, Savannah Way and Central Arnhem Rd without the slightest issue. I regularly grease the pin and the shaft, spray the sliding latch with CRC and ALWAYS fit the cover once connected. Fitting the cap has a secondary function of stopping the sliding latch from accidentally releasing and should always be used.
Sounds to me like you’re not fitting it??
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:43

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:43
David, I should have made it clearer, the original design didn't have dust cap. That's why I originally considered the newer version, before the original one broke and my decision was made for me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 11:44

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 11:44
David H72, any chance you were on the Savannah Way in 2019?
Only asking because when we camped at Butterfly Falls campground, Limmen NP with our Patrol & Tvan in mid to late August 2019 we were one of only two campers there & the other was an AOR Matrix Poptop.

Just curious.
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Reply By: Rob A1 (SA) - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 18:14

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 18:14
Like others who have never had a problem with a DO35 regular preventative maintenance and ongoing checks is the key. Just like every item we take bush. We strip, clean and check after every trip, grease the pintle pin every week or so on a trip, we spend a lot of time off bitumen, and every time we hitch up a spray of the pin and eye with silicone spray keeps the gremlins at bay.

One constant we've found over around 15 years and four campers using DO 35 is that those with problems have always used an oil based lubricant. This is creating failure due to its ability to hold and cement dust into an unbreakable medium. The Vehicle Components website and user manuals all recommend the use of silicone sprays and are clear in their statements that the use of oil based lubricants will lead to component failure

As an example this years trip covered 14500km taking us to Katherine on the bitumen then along the Savannah Way and through the Gulf Country, along the way via Lawn Hill, Lorella Springs, Cobbled Gorge and the like. Then to Cape York and back to Atherton before the long bitumen based return to Adelaide. We travelled over 9000km off bitumen and used the hitch maintenance regime described above. At Lorella Springs we remediated around 5 or 6 DO25 failure all due to use of oil based lubricants and found more than that during our time on Cape York.

So while it may not be everyones cup of team it works for us and a call to the very helpful engineers at VC has always provide great and practical advice. And before the doubters start no I don't work for VC I'm just a very well travelled user of their products

Rob
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 18:48

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 18:48
Rob, what components in the D035 require silicone spray?

From memory their manual states to use Li grease in the cup. and grease the nipple We just changed over our 11 year old old manual Mk 1 (no dust cap) to the spring loaded Mk3 with dust cap.
Our Mk1 saw > 100 000kms and 9 years of service with the previous owner of our Hybrid with no problems including most of the above mentioned tracks.
Treg hitches are great up to 800-900kg trailers, as with our first CT when you can physically manipulate them yourself. I found it to be a PIA with our second CT, the 1600kg Kimberley Kamper whenever there was any strain on the coupling.
I changed our Mk1 on the hybrid van to Mk3 primarily from a preventative maintenance perspective and the dust cap which helps ensure you have the hitch locked.
The manufacturer of our hybrid said he had never come across a D035 failure in over a dozen years when he queried why I wanted to replace the Mk1 with the Mk3

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Follow Up By: Rob A1 (SA) - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:44

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 19:44
Mark you spray the pin as well as the locking mechanism. Operate the lock a couple of times to distribute the silicone over the system then hitch up. It’s simple & just forms part of our hitching up processIt ain’t complex, takes no extra effort & works for us. We use lithium grease in the gun for the pivoting body. All you need is a few pumps to see it emerging from both ends of the body to know the job is done. The whole process takes less than five minutes

Rob
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Reply By: Member - Walter B - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 21:02

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 21:02
Was taught if you have nothing good to say it's better not to say anything. So no comment on DO35 backup after the takeover
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 10:05

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 10:05
.
But Walter, isn't to say that you "have nothing to say" actually saying something? lol

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 13:33

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 13:33
Sounds like Walter would stand by and watch someone have something fail even if he as suffered the same thing so your a good person to avoid thanks for pointing that out.
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Follow Up By: Happy Explorer - Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 07:52

Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 07:52
Hi Walter
I thought your light hearted quirky comment was clever and made your point clear enough about their backup.
I have followed this forum for some time and find it a great platform for the transfer and sharing of knowledge, information and experiences. Thankyou Alan B and others for your many useful contributions too.
Let's hope this forum does not degenerate into the sleazy mess that so many other forums have become with personal and pointless attacks.
Hope to hear from you again Walter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 10:10

Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 10:10
.
Hi Happy,
I also appreciated Walter's witty comment so I responded in form. However sometimes a witty or tongue-in-cheek response is taken the wrong way and offends the recipient or even an onlooker causing a melt-down, but life should not be grave on the way to it.

( I wonder if I should have put a 'lol' after that? )


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Follow Up By: Happy Explorer - Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 10:22

Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 at 10:22
Thanks Allan

Good points

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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 21:08

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 at 21:08
Our Tvan had a MK1 DO35 on it when we bought it. It gave no problems whatsoever until I jack knifed the Tvan reversing out of a tight spot at Menindee Lakes about 6 years ago. This resulted a splaying out the fork either side of the sliding hitch section. It still worked but we changed it after getting home a few thousand dusty outback kms later. Imagine how foolish I felt when someone told me I had it on upside down. I thought they were taking the mickey, but sure enough turning it over revealed the legend 'Top'. More clearance that way up. Self inflicted damage which I was told was un-repairable, & potentially dangerous due to the length of pins vs the width of the gap.

So I bought a MK3 DO35 to replace it. This has now done over 5 years travelling, mostly (circa 80%) on outback dirt roads, dusty , corrugated, & including a good number of low range 4wd tracks. The biggest complaint I can level at it is that the red pin cap has cracked & turned black in it's constant outdoor life, but it still fits on & does it's job. The wire cable holding the grey plastic cap has lost some of it's plastic coating, but still does the job. In five years on the road I have applied a small amount of grease to the pin & the sliding mechanism 3 times & put the grease gun on the barrel nipple at the same time. The caps do an amazing job of keeping everything clean & dust free. I have *never* had to clean either the pin nor the sliding mechanism & have never had the sliding mechanism jam. Quite amazing given some of the long stretches of bulldust we've been through & the many dusty tracks where every horizontal surface always seemed to have a ½" to 1 " layer of dust on it. The grey cap is very easy to put on, but there is a knack to it. Having this thread to remind me I'll have another look at it in the next day or two, it's sat under a tarp in the rainforest since mid May, but we did go through quite a lot of deep water on the way here, so remiss of me not to have checked after we got here.

Given the sort of use our MK 3 has had & it's ongoing performance I couldn't score it less than 10 out of 10.
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Reply By: Member - Racey - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 09:19

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 09:19
I have had 2 versions of McHitch and found both fiddley to get off. 3 yrs ago I came across "Hitch Easy" at the Melbourne Leasure Fest. Hitch Easy The best hitch; never any issues hooking on or off.
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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 09:32

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 09:32
My CUB camper had a Trigg (not Treg) hitch. It's simply made, doesn't get jammed, and it's bulletproof.



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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 10:08

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 10:08
I have the best of both worlds, a McHitch adaptor to a Treg.

It will ALWAYS uncouple even on a slope. Just wind up the jockey wheel and it has to uncouple.
I have resisted a latest (horizontal) McHitch as I park my caravan on a slope and I believe that they are hard to uncouple on a slope. This has been corroborated by comments about the latest McHitch on product review..

The advantage of a mcHitch is that you do not have to be exact like with a Treg when coupling up. You can be several millimeters out and it will still join up. Even if you are too far out to drop the side pieces, a slight move forward will make it drop in, or often a kick or two.
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Reply By: Member - nickb boab - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 15:13

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 15:13
I think all these new systems should all be banned and only have the 50 mm.ball type or the
(trig treg) hitch that is foolproof for people that have just a little common sense .
Just how many different types of these new fandangle hitches are on the market ...
bloody ridiculous..
If I cast my mind back to a few years ago when we (not me) got bogged in a sand and the vehicle
and caravan were on a crook angle we could not remove the caravan from the car for love or money ...a trig treg hitch for me thanks
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 16:24

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 16:24
.
Nick, as you say, there are numerous hitches marketed and they keep coming.
As with any product, countless offerings of new variations occur when none of the existing ones fully satisfy the punters. So the innovators keep offering and the buyers keep investing..... to no avail.
If anyone ever does develop a perfect hitch it still will not satisfy everyone as it will likely be too expensive.

Me?.....It's simple.... I don't tow.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 16:58

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 at 16:58
Hmmmm, Trig/Treg?
I think I prefer my wife with all her fingers.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 00:14

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 00:14
Off-road Couplings - Have a look at that page. Clicking on the illustrations produces larger ones. Go through that list and find one that suits.


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Reply By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 05:57

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 05:57
I don’t know of any silver bullets. Like you I’ve had issues with the do35. Had a couple of tregs- hard work and useless with one bloke and a reverse camera, esp on a slope. I’ve seen numerous mchitch’s that have disintegrated (the whole trailer weight can get carried by a uni joint end cap-not how unis are ever meant to work). I currently have an ARK extreme off-road ball hitch mainly because I am lazy and have other trailers so it is simple - and easy with a reverse camera. It is by no means a benchmark product and it has lost most of its paint now. The hitch unlock mechanism also jams on the plastic keeper when operating on slopes. Not a show stopper but not impressive.
Good luck with the search, let us know if you find a unicorn.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:01

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:01
"(the whole trailer weight can get carried by a uni joint end cap-not how unis are ever meant to work)"

That's a downside to the Autocoupler I hadn't thought of, GBC. No issues for me after many years, but with only 160kg "on the ball" hopefully it will never be a problem. Perhaps it's a different story with 300 plus kg.
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Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:50

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:50
Yes I saw a destryed UJ in Kununura when my car and trailer were towed in. Mc hitch asked the mob who towed me to send it to them as they had not seen it before.

The other potential disadvantage of the Mc Hitch is that morons can strip the big thread on the "ball" as they did mine when they towed the camper trailer with a damaged tow tongue., and of course they were not available locally. I now carry a spare. Mc hitch were great and they airmailed one from Lithgow as soon as I called them.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:54

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 08:54
The owners of mchitch are well aware, I have spoken to them personally - that was the first time they’d heard about it also….. I am lead to believe that the design has improved as you would hope from the earlier ones.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:18

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:18
A lot of the reported failures with the McHitch Autocouplers after investigation was found to have been caused by “Jack knifing” to the extent that the drawbar made contact with the rear of the towing vehicle causing excessive strain on the “y” yoke. It is my understanding that whilst this was not a manufacturing defect, they were replaced by McHitch. The later versions have been strengthened.

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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:57

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:57
None of the ones I’ve seen were damaged in that way. Not trying to witch hunt anybody, the ones I saw were performing at the upper end of what you’d call normal - high ball weight and off-road with corrugations and/or dynamic load. Glad to hear they are stronger now.
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Reply By: Member - 2208mate - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 09:31

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 09:31
I'm still using V1 of the hitch.
Back 10 years or so ago I had the same problems as described by some folks. At the time was using heavy grease on the pin and WD40 compounds on the latch plate and normal greasing of the body via the nipples.
I opened that hitch locking plate after fighting the red loctite thread sealant and cleaned it out.
I thought this is a dogs dinner, what to do?
I decided from then on that the locking plate would be kept mobile with dry silicone spray and the towing pin the same.(towing pin seems not to have had any galling or extreme wear)
I've not had any trouble since and just give the hitch a squirt with water to get encrusted mud off.
When needed, the locking plate gets sprayed with electrical cleaning spray and then dry silicone to get back to square one.
The hitch load is almost always under 200kgs, mostly 175kg ish.
It is not a maintenance free hitch but I'm happy with it's performance. YMMV.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 15:12

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 15:12
Hmm... I have been watching this thread because the new Ultimate campers come with the D035 (no longer the Treg). Our first trailer had the ORAC (similar to Treg), our current Ultimate has the Treg, and our new Ultimate will have the D035. We have had no problem with the Treg - no issues lining it up, just takes a bit of practise.

A friend of mine I follow on FB posted this pic just a few weeks ago (not on an Ultimate, but a brand new Emu). They said they suspect they forgot to press in the red lock button before driving off. They went over a railway track and the trailer popped off the hitch and hit the dirt, shaving off the bolts holding the hitch onto the trailer. The image shows the importance of attaching BOTH your chains too.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 15:41

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 15:41
.
"they suspect they forgot to press in the red lock button before driving off".

A hitch worth its salt would lock automatically upon coupling and not require pressing buttons or other action which could be overlooked.
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Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 16:58

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 16:58
If the locking button is not released, they wouldn't have been able to put the dust cap on properly. Safety chains are also to long, I have mine set so that if the hitch comes off it drops down onto the safety chains.

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Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:02

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:02
The dust cap cannot be fitted on correctly if the DO35 is in the 'unlocked' position. IE press the lock button and the locking mechanism slides into place and the dust cap can click in place.
May be operator error Michelle.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:21

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:21
As an aside, the McHitch Autocoupler has an automatic secondary lock. The primary lock is the through-pin.
If you forget to insert it or it falls out because you forgot the R clip that prevents that, then the secondary lock that engages automatically when you couple up may save your bacon. I say "may" because it is far less robust than the primary lock, which is the through-pin.

I agree with LeighW - safety chains should be crossed and form a "basket" that will hold the drawbar off the ground in the event of a coupling failure.

Also, crossed chains won't bind and break something when you deliberately use extreme angles when manoeuvring. Ie, the "outside" chain will not tend to get stretched, so you can have chains short enough to create the above "basket" effect. Keeping the chains short minimises the thrashing about should a disconnect occur.
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FollowupID: 921531

Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:21

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 17:21
I also think you can release the lock when you unhitch and next time you hitch it will autolock. Personally I prefer that it locks open as then you don't need to push or hold anything when you wind the jockey wheel down and hands are clear of the coupling. Yes you could forget to lock it but then you would also have to forget to fit the dust cap. Then you could also forget the safety chains and to hitch the car to the camper and to apply the hand brake when you park etc etc etc or all of which could cause grief.

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FollowupID: 921532

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 19:32

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 at 19:32
That was part of the reason I upgraded from our 11 year old Mk I to the MkIII this year.
In the Mk I there was no "reminder" to lock the plate onto the hitch pin, as stated above with the MkIII if the dust cap isn't on there is a good chance you haven't locked the plate onto the hitch pin.
The previous owner of my Hybrid van made the same mistake and also came to grief going over a railway crossing at very low speed
In that photo did the breakaway brake mechanism get utilised/ engaged, and pull the vehicle up?
You can't tell from the photo, the cable looks very slack. Not sure if that's because it did work and it "pulled the pin" or if it the cable was too long and didn't activated?
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FollowupID: 921533

Follow Up By: Member - Christian E - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:49

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:49
Allan not sure of many main stream hitches "worth their salt that auto lock"?
Been a lot of 50mm balls that have been towing for years you need to manually lock
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FollowupID: 921537

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:54

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:54
.
That is my point Christian. None of the currently offered products seem to be foolproof.
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FollowupID: 921538

Follow Up By: Member - Christian E - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:59

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 17:59
Allan agree, name me a product that is human (fool) proof, joking.
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FollowupID: 921539

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 18:07

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 18:07
.
Christian, I was referring specifically to trailer couplings when I said "products".
In industry, there are countless machine devices which are essentially 'foolproof' in regards to safe operation.
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FollowupID: 921540

Follow Up By: Member - Christian E - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 18:14

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 18:14
Maybe we should agree to disagree, there is no such thing as fool proof or more to a point that systems and mechanical faults cannot occur regardless of design.
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FollowupID: 921541

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 10:41

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 10:41
"In that photo did the breakaway brake mechanism get utilised/ engaged, and pull the vehicle up?
You can't tell from the photo, the cable looks very slack. Not sure if that's because it did work and it "pulled the pin" or if the cable was too long and didn't activate?"
It looks clear in that photo that the cable is too long. You can see the end loop in the cable still in place behind the hand brake lever.

The biggest problem I see there is the other end of the breakaway cable does not terminate on the vehicle. It is connected to one of the shackles securing the safety chain.

Edit - I goofed this one, It should not have been a separate reply. It should have been a followup to the previous reply as an answer to Mark (Tamworth NSW)'s followup.


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