Can you "safely" invert a Reese Hitch

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:01
ThreadID: 101784 Views:20369 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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Simple question....
I am talking the standard hitch on the back of my cruiser, it is a "reece" ...
Can you safely turn a hitch upside down and use it, just to gain height thats all

Inverted hitch, (how i want it!!)


Normal hitch (how it is now)

Cheers
J&M
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Reply By: baz&pud (tassie) - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:09

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:09
Hi yu Joe,
It's not a problem, we tow a near three ton van with a near 200k ball weight and our tongue has always been inverted.
Cheers
Baz
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AnswerID: 509373

Reply By: blown4by - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:41

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:41
Yep, that's why they make them like that.
AnswerID: 509375

Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:41

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 11:41
My toyota hitch has instructions on using it both ways up and gives little pictures on how to do it.

So yes you can.

Cheers

Serendipity

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Reply By: Member - Rich - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 14:53

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 14:53
Hi
I contacted Haymen Reese about this a few years ago as had the same issue.

They said that the hitches that are at right angles can be done but not those on an angle as shown above should not.

Mind you a lot of people do it with the angle hitches.

I suggest you contact them for confirmation as thoughts and people change over time so you may get a different answer. The above hitch may have been made strong enough or made to do what you want.

I ended up getting one made by a local guy to suit my requirements. Was cheaper as well.

Rich
AnswerID: 509386

Reply By: Lyn W3 - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 15:45

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 15:45
Actually some Reese hitches are rated to work either way and some are not.

The Australian HaymanReese catalogue doesn't have much information but the US one does.

Here is the relevant section from it showing which are "UP RATED"

Reese Catalogue
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Reply By: scandal - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 16:37

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 16:37
I read somewhere that it could be inverted, but It had a different down force load rating, I cannot recall where I read that
AnswerID: 509393

Reply By: kev.h - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:37

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:37
From a technical side
The tongue as normal has the weld is shear ( the plate where its welded has the forces down at an angle parallel to the weld) meaning it has to shear the full length of the weld to break
The tongue as you want to use it has the weld in tension ( the load is trying to pivot and is stretching the weld at the top -ie tension which means it will fail at a lower load)
I would suggest you contact the manufacturer for a load rating
If you use it keep an eye out for small cracks in the paint at the top of the weld
Hope That helps Kev
AnswerID: 509398

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 21:09

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 21:09
tks Kev, my thoughts also ................. in looking at the way it is done I agree, perfect design for "shear" but invert it and it relies on the top weld only ????
J&M
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FollowupID: 787271

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:48

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:48
Yes agree in theory but if the weld can not withstand a 300Kg downward shear either way then there is a big problem with the design.

Both ways the weld would have to be in shear as the crack would develop on the top..... the upward force to produce a crack at the bottom would never be able to equal the downward force being generated....... in other word downwards force is greater than upwards force.

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Reply By: Mudguard - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 19:03

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 19:03
from a tradesperson & 4wder for some 40 years its not a problem, you have far more to worry about on incorrect loading/ballweight.
AnswerID: 509399

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 21:03

Saturday, Apr 20, 2013 at 21:03
thanks for the reply's ... all interesting, I agree about the point about the welds as that is exactly my thoughts, it is engineered to tow and load up to that point and is not designed to be inverted ...... the top weld will "tear" out .....
AnswerID: 509412

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 10:41

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 10:41
As far as I have seen the Australian supplied hayman reece hitch hitches are all welded at right angles...thus the stresses would be similar either way up.

Most of the new Australian supplied hitches have ball interlocks, so that the ball can be tightened with a single spanner....note that the hitches have this on both sides of the tongue

It is normal....no required practice....to invert the hitch to achieve the correct attitude.

Also..take what is on the american site with a grain of salt...towing standards over there are different.

Note that the american site shows safety chains dangling free below the coupling....Hayman Reece Australia recommend that the chains be crossed behind the ball on the information that comes with its bars.

The Australian regulations require that the should the trailer detached no part of the drawbar or coupling should contact the ground

just example of differences.

cheers
AnswerID: 509446

Follow Up By: Lex M - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:31

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:31
"The Australian regulations require that the should the trailer detached no part of the drawbar or coupling should contact the ground"

Please provide a reference to this regulation. I've been unable to find it.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 787344

Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:10

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:10
GdayLex


Vic roads on page 24 of the regulations does not mention the draging along the road of the draw bar , just the strength of the chains, and what they are supposed to do in a time of detatchment.



Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:02

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:02
Bantam,

In the USA it is required that ALL trailers have two safety chains whereas in Australia only trailers over 2500kg need two. Score 1 for the USA with better regulations. Despite the photos it is the law in most states in the USA to cross the chains.

Also in the USA the tow balls are much stronger than in Australia. for example a 50mm/2" ball with a rating of 3500kg/8000lbs is required to have an 1 1/4" inch shank compared to 7/8" in Australia. I could never figure out why the tow ball breaks here until you compare the shank sizes.

The USA has just as many regulations, but some are different. Parts have to manufactured to ISO standards. It is just that some ADR standards are different to ISO standards so it just adds to the cost. For example towballs must be stamped with ADR requirements for Australia whereas the rest of the world uses ISO stamping.
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FollowupID: 787374

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:11

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:11
the requirement that no part of the drawbar or the safety chains striking the ground is mentioned in a couple of places.

The different requirements will be in different parts of the regs.

I thaught it was in VSB01...this is only a summary...there is a passing reference concerning the attachment point of the chains not being able to come in contact with the ground.
VSB01 only covers trailer construction not use.

It is fairly well discribed in ADR 44/00 specific purpose vehicle requirements.

section 44.2.4 Combinations of Trailers and Motor Vehicles ( other than road trains)

"44.2.4.3.2.2. it will prevent the forward end of the `Drawbar' from striking the ground in the event of accidental disconnection of the `Coupling'."

I think you may also find the issue specificaly addressed in some state legeslation and in some state towing guides.

There are a great many trailers designed and built in the past where the chain is attached to the bottom of the draw bar or overhangs the bottom of the drawbar......

this is plainly unsatisfactory as if the drawbar strikes the ground the attachment will be ground off on the road in very short order....as a friend of mine found...it took less than 20 meters for the chain to be ground thru



As for the american trailer standards........I pointed out that they are different.....better or worse does not matter....no point refeering to American regulations or requirements.....they are worth nothing in Australia

As for the recommendation that chains be crossed behind the ball......this was on the fitting instructions that came with hayman reece tow bars.
At one time you could download the fitting instructions for all hayman reece tow bars sold in australia.....I cant find this facility now.

try as you might , on many rigs it is impossible to get the chains short enough to stop the drawbar striking the ground without taking the chain or chains behind the tow ball.

cheers
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FollowupID: 787394

Reply By: gbc - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:35

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:35
Depending on which 'cruiser' you have, there will be a placard with two different tow/ball ratings for the two different positions. We had this 'discussion' on here not that long ago. Most have the same rating either way, but some definitely do not. Best to check your individual bar.
AnswerID: 509463

Reply By: mike g2 - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:09

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:09
Hi Joe, seems like youve got lots of good answers..how about you try a height adjustable hitch. cant add pic as not financial memb yet. had one for my patrol for c/van. its basicaly a hitch with 90 end plate, like a T shape, 4-6 sets of holes and bolts for holding L shape ball plate to it. reading posts, the chains shouldnt touch ground any rate- would soon wear or catch something.
MG.
AnswerID: 509524

Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 18:26

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 18:26
you don't have to be a financial member to post pics on here Mike, unless something has changed recently that i don't know about. i've posted pics on here before and i'm not a financial member.
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FollowupID: 787439

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