Raising Hitch Height

Submitted: Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 16:33
ThreadID: 101892 Views:5896 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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I have a new Jayco outback Discovery with the 50mm ball-coupling located at the bottom of the A-frame.
In this position l can't get the van level when hitched. I tow with an NT Pajero and l am keen to get a suspension upgrade which would accentuate the problem.

I am interested in people's views in having a new articulating hitch installed at the top of the A-frame like the vast majority of vans. I know it is placed at the bottom to comply with the ADR regulations for 50mm ball mounts but l would be replacing the ball mount.

I have had a quote from G&S Chassis makers in Cambellfield.

Would this be legal? Ideas and views welcome.
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 16:58

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 16:58
It would be much simpler and easier to get a new hitch for the Paj assuming it is a Haymen Reece one. You can get the goose neck at different lengths to accommodate most hitches. There is even one that is adjustable.

.Like this One.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 509848

Follow Up By: garytee - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 17:42

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 17:42
My HR hitch is 14 years old - not compatible.
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Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 16:38

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 16:38
Go to an ARB , Opposite Lock or a Caravan Accessories place and they should be able to get you a goose neck that will do the job.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Member - johntoyo - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 17:48

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 17:48
Yes I would be making A frame modification as a last resort.

I assume when hitched your high at the front? As mentioned drop the ball height would be the first thing to consider in my view. Most 50mm receivers come in variety of variable height configurations.
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Reply By: Member - geoffqld - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:29

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:29
On my Jayco Outback Destiny all we needed to do is have the tongue of the towbar turned so that the ball was lower. I have 2 tongues for the towbar, one up and one down, I have other trailers that need the ball higher. I have a Hyland hitch.
Geoff
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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 19:02

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 19:02
Gary.

The problem you have encountered is as follows:

(1) Jayco have decided that the centre of the tow ball and subsequently the centre of the receiving socket will be no more than 420mm (This is from memory) from the ground when

(a) The towed vehicle (caravan, camper etc) is on level flat ground

and

(b) The aforementioned towed vehicle is also level.

To ensure being under this maximum ball height on some towed vehicles with high suspensions eg Simplicity Suspension, they(Jayco) have resorted to placing the tow hitch on the towed vehicle in the lowest place possible.

This invariably requires the said hitch to be located either on top of or underneath a plate welded to the bottom of the A frame. (depending on the type of hitch of course.)

I queried this when taking ownership of a new Jayco Base Station on a Simplicity Chassis and was told by the dealer customer service man - 'Ah! thats the law mate". When asked to produce the said legislation he muttered "well thats how Jayco make them. They are all the same"

Thats the best I could extract from him as he wouldn't budge an inch on the 'company authorised' line of spin. (LOL)

So there I was with a Troopy with a 2in suspension lift, a caravan mega lifted by a simplicity suspension and with a bottom mounted ball hitch that when hitched up looked it was about to sit on it's bum.

Solution:

(1) Bought the last Reese (Not Hayman Reese) hitch that they had and installed it. Lowered the Hitch bracket as low as it would go and tilted it back as far as it would go.

This reduced the problem by 50% and allowed me to drive home.

(2) Had an engineer weld a 10mm plate to the top of the A frame and re mounted the hitch on top of that.

That fixed the other 50% of the problem.

Never had a problem with it since that time and that caravan has been towed K's of Kms on made and unmade roads as well as extreme off road conditions on cattle/sheep station properties out the back of Wilcannia.

Why do Jayco do this - I suspect that as they sell all over Australia and I think O/S , they have set a minimum height of the tow hitches on their products as a cost cutting, mass production exercise.

So, don't think you are the only one with this problem.

DD
AnswerID: 509855

Follow Up By: steved58 - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 21:46

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 21:46
I think you will find that there are regulations that a ball hitch must be between 350mm and 460mm from the ground when the van is level it is a pain most off road vans with higher hitches seem to have treg or other offroad hitches as the regulations only apply to ball type hitches I think from memory it is australian standard 4177_3 Maybe one of the offroad hitches could be fitted to the top of the AFrame the mchitch cou
ling even has a adapter to take a wdh
All the best
Steve
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Follow Up By: garytee - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 22:34

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 22:34
DD,
Thank you for your extremely detailed reply.
Do you tow with ride levellers? I know you said that you fitted a Reese hitch but the workshop where l get my van serviced said that if l put the hitch on the top of the A-frame like l would prefer - my HR ride levellers may hit the side of the frame.

Gary
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Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 02:51

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 02:51
Steve d

Yep! I knew it was something like that, couldn't remember exactly what the customer service dude told me. Also your right re the other hitches, except the Treg Hitch is only rated for 2000kg. I know this as it was my second preferred option and Mr customer service dude was very quick to tell me that I couldn't use a Treg as the caravan was well over 2000kg.

I have piffed the ball hitch for a 'Hitch Master D045' hitch which is rated at 4.5t. Sensational hitch. Articulated the same as a Treg.

Gary.

The REESE WDH hitch is the Nth American hitch that the the Aust company Hayman-Reese produce. (Something like GMH in the USA and Holden here).

The ride levelers are 750kg ea which when tensioned up - level the whole rig nicely.

They have never been a problem re hitting the A frame.

I can't comment on the Australian built Hayman-Reese ones because I have never had any experience with them.

I do know that they are slightly different in design to the REESE product.

DD
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FollowupID: 787886

Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 17:49

Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 17:49
trailers are made with the plate at the top.

only regulation you have to worry about is the a frame strong enough, and the plate thick enough, and welded properly.

load of crap...

we have made trailers..
and fully passed the road worth checks when new AS IS

Id rather scratch the a frame than smash the bolts into the ground when it bottoms out !!
AnswerID: 509953

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