Coupling up to a Tregg Hitch

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 17:44
ThreadID: 84494 Views:5436 Replies:13 FollowUps:22
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I would be interested in your tips on how you go about hooking up to a tregg hitch on your own. Its ok on a flat hard surface as its a matter of backing up to my camper trailer hitch and then pulling it to the side to insert it into the receiving part of the hitch on the car. This becomes very difficult when the trailer and vehicle are parked on a slope or in sand as trying to manouver the trailer by hand to line the tregg hitch up to insert the pin is no longer possible.
So are you able to hook up to the Tregg hitch solo when parked in sand or on a incline and how do you go about this task ?
I am aware of other types of hitches such as the hyland $400 and of mechanical powered jockey wheels which dont appear to be available in a swing up version and I wonder if they will work for a 1000kg camper if its parked on a sandy spot.
I am using a tregg hitch lock and this Tregg pin does not have a taper at the bottom as it accommodates the lock for the pin.
So if you have mastered your solo tregg hook ups on a slope or in sand I would like to hear about it
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:11

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:11
Have you tried a smaller diameter rod about 600mm long to line the hole up in the hitch easier.

You casn also use a fence post, crow bar, or shovel to line the drawer bar up first.

Cheers.
AnswerID: 446072

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:01

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:01
Thanks for some good ideas. I will try the longer rod and see if I can use a long handled shove as well l to wiggle the trailer forward to line up the pin.
Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 11:27

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 11:27
kwk56pt,

Whichever way that you do it, NEVER stick your finger in the hole to see if they line up.

I snipped the end off of one of mine when it slipped off after some goose parked his tent right in front of the trailer while we were at Cape Trib' a few years ago, & I had an awkward angle to hook it up!

It made for an interesting trip up to Cape York with a dodgy left index finger!



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Follow Up By: BrownyGU - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 16:03

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 16:03
Oz,

Damm that story makes me angry just reading it, ignorant and thoughtless people very anoying, did ya happen to clip his tent on the way out?

Cheers......Browny
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 16:23

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 16:23
Hi Browny, (I'm also known as Brownie!!)

No but I did get some angry glances from some other campers regarding the somewhat colourful language that I was using.

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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:23

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:23
kwk56pt,

I don't say this to put you down or to make myself seem good but I have had a Tregg Hitch on my camper since 1996 and I have never had a problem. Mine is on a Trak Shak, fully loaded it weighs in at about 1100kg.

I back the car into place close to the coupling. I take my time with this to make sure I am as close as possible. I then adjust the height of the trailer using the jockey wheel. I have to hold the poly=block to line up with the other part of the coupling and then push it across with either a hand or my knee and then drop the pin into place.

I know it can be difficult to get the tow bar and the trailer coupling close together but with practice it can be done. I have learned the marks on the trailer so I can line it up from most angles and I know where my tow bar is on the car.

Perhaps if you are having difficulty you could place a hard board, plywood or similar on the ground under the jockey wheel. This would allow you to move the trailer around easily, at least a little. My other suggestion is to lighten the load on the jockey wheel. Even if it is only while you make the coupling.

Duncs
AnswerID: 446073

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:50

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:50
Ok, so I can get the car and coupling close. I can put plywood under the jockey wheel and pull it across into the jaws of the receiver on the vehicle. However I can not move the trailer forward if it is in sand to line up the pin holes.. So I now need to get the holes lined up. Assuming my trailer is on a slope or in sand how would you now align the holes to get the pin all the way through ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:58

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:58
Like I said, I get the two halves of the coupling close together so all I have to do is push it sideways until the holes line up and in goes the pin.

I still use the original pin adn the taper on the end of that takes care of the fine adjustment that is required.

I am sorry I can't be more help but it has never been a big problem.

The other thing that I do is avoid having to make the coupling in awkward country. I simply leave the Trak Shak attached to the car if I don't have to seperate them. A camper that can be set up while coupled to the car is a very good thing.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:11

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:11
I appreciate your help. Sounds like you have had plenty of practice. I find when I pull the hitch across into the receiver it might be 15 or 20 or 30 or even 10mm out which is not a problem on hard flat ground.But in sand or a slope I find it difficult to make the final line up for the pin. I I will try a longer rod with a taper to see if this helps to get it lined up as the locking pin I have has no taper on the bottom..
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:09

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:09
Move the vehicle back 10, 20 or 30mm & then drop in the pin.
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Reply By: disco driver - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:40

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:40
Hi kwk56pt,
This may help.
Using a 1.8metre lenght of dowel pushed vertically through the Tregg block hole on the trailer to indicate exactly where it is will help you to back up close.
Another hint you can use is to stand directly behind your vehicle and with a permanent Black Texta make a small mark on the back window directly above the centre of the tow hitch.

With practise you will soon be able to line the dowel and the mark up using the interior rearview mirror and just about drop the treg pin straight in.

Like many things "Practice Makes Perfect" and it certainly applies with backing up to a trailer hitch.

Hope this helps

Disco.
AnswerID: 446076

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:57

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 19:57
Sounds like I had better look at a new tregg hitch to see if mine is ok. It flops around so isnt just going to sllide into the receiver unaided. That is the block is always out of alignment with the receiver either pointing slightly up or down..
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Reply By: Member - troy s (WA) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:04

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:04
To centralise (if that's a word) the car to the camper, I just make sure there is an even amount showing in the side mirrors, obviously they need to be adjusted to show correctly, but it'll get you close enough. I then go slowly till I hit something, sometimes it's too hig or low and I need to pull forward, make adjustment, and try again, but usually give it 3 goes and it's done.
Luckily i'm slowly getting the missus to learn how to direct me, so it's becoming less of a hassle.
I also lube the pin and hitch with bearing grease which makes the pin insertion a whole lot easier when not perfect,
Cheers
troy
AnswerID: 446081

Reply By: Gronk - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:08

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:08
Reversing camera.....you'll regret not having one yrs ago !!
AnswerID: 446082

Reply By: Member - Gaz@Gove (NT) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:42

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 20:42
Can you get hold of a pin with a tapered end and try it? It will make things easier.
Cheers Gaz.
Mmmmmmmm, now where do we go next?

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AnswerID: 446085

Reply By: MarkSom - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:09

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:09
Hi K, got jayco dove outback 1300kgs full, with treg hitch, use a ratchet jockey wheel, on ply in sand or grass, turn wheel sideways when hooking up, have used 2 lengths of 1/2 inch poly tube thru tregg holes, line up side by side, crank jockey over & down, with ratchet jockey you can hold & guide easy on your own, great for adjusting van on small sites as well, get solid wheel if you do.....
AnswerID: 446091

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:43

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:43
The ratchet jockey wheel is another good idea. Sounds like it works for you.What made you suggest a solid wheel over a pnuematic tyre, its just I thought the solid wheel did not roll as well ? Does your wheel fold up or do you just unclamp it and store it ? The lenghts of poly are good idea as long as there is a clear view through to the rear.
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Follow Up By: MarkSom - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 08:21

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 08:21
Hi again K, struth has this created some varying ideas, the great australian past time...how to build a better mousetrap... yeah prefer solid flat wheel, weight spread more evenly than rounded pump up and...never goes flat at that critcal moment.....they clamp on, gives you more range for uneven ground
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Reply By: Member - William W (WA) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:18

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:18
I second the reversing camera and practice....
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:37

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:37
Go to Bunnings and get yourself a high capacity ratchet tie down strap, one with a large ratcheting handle. Connect one end to the trailer or caravan and the other to the back of the tow vehicle and ratchet away.

They cost about $25 to $30 and are better than any of the much more expensive options. I have been using one on my camping trailer for years and have been extremely happy with it.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:49

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:49
I have a old one in the shed from a tie down for a boat thats passed on so that makes a excellent suggestion. I will try that and a short length of rod to line it all up in those more arkward situations. Much appreciated as I figure the low cost options are the most attractive ones to try first.
I think these two suggestions will solve the problem for me.

Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:53

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:53
Make sure that it is a high capacity one with a long handle. The one I have will pull 1200kg up hill with ease.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:03

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:03
The one I have is 50mm webbing and the handle is 100mm long. How long is the handle on yours just to give me a idea of what works ?
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:27

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:27
Mine is 150mm long and had a full width handle, i.e. the full width of my hand. With this method you only need to get the trailer to within about 1 meter of the treg hitch,the rest can be taken car of with the ratchet tie down.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:40

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:40
Similar to what Disco said above.
I use a piece of old fibreglass fishing rod jammed in the coupling behind the hole, a small piece of electrical tape is positioned central on the rear window, another piece is central on the front of the C/van.
When reversing, line up the spot on the vehicle with the stick and the spot on the Van in the inside rear vision mirror.
With a little practice you will soon judge when you are nearly to the coupling, you then need to get out and adjust the height before reversing right onto the block.
I have hitched up by myself many times using this method on uneven ground, sand etc.
If you need to hitch up with the vehicle on an angle to the Camper, simply allow the spot on the rear window to be the appropriate distance to the side of the stick ignoring the spot on the camper.
As previously said, if you place a reasonable size piece of wood under the Jockey Wheel when you unhitch, it will help when hitching up.

Geeeez some things are hard to explain, I hope you get the idea of it. LOL

Clear as mud ??

Regards

Scrubby
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:57

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 21:57
Yes undersood that, a bit like lining up a gun sight. I have a space cab ute with canopy and time its loaded the view out the back often isnt there but I will try your suggestion and if I can make it work perhaps I can pack with a view out the centre rear window.
I appreciate you telling me your way.
Cheers Peter
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Reply By: 1533rl - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:32

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 22:32
Intitially we struggled to force receiver to towbar as you are, used a piece of plywood under the jockey wheel, then practiced lining up to tape marks, then tried the navigator high voice method, then tried with the navigator using the uhf, it all provided heaps of entertainment at CPs.
Best solution, saved the marriage as well, was to put a reversing camera directly above and inline with the towbar. Not a word needs to be spoken !! Even without help, it is so easy to line up perfectly and only stop to raise or lower the hitch with the jockey wheel.
We use a standard tapered hitch pin when towing, only set up the lockable when camper is parked up. One day you may need to unhook the camper in a hurry and finding the key may be too late !
Cheers (and good luck)
Peter
AnswerID: 446110

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 23:00

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 23:00
Reversing cameras seem a popular choice. I will have to keep that in mind when I get to the navigation stuff, it seems the screen that can be used for navigation via the laptop and used for a reverse camera is the go. So the reverse camera is something to think about. The rodeo i have is a bit asmatic when it sees a hill so thinking Dmax when they start coming through the auctions so I will keep the camera in mind. I must admitt I have found it a lot of time consuming work setting up a touring 4x4. The setting up thing makes changing vehicles not that easy.
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Reply By: Off-track - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 00:51

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 00:51
aligner
AnswerID: 446123

Follow Up By: Member Boroma 604 - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 19:45

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 19:45
Gooday,
Have you thought about one of these, (Hitch up Mirror), don't need electricity or a screen.
Maybe a bit difficult with your canopy , but you did say you could leave space for vision.Hitch up Mirror
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FollowupID: 718521

Reply By: Roughasguts - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 07:34

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 07:34
Surely it wouldn't be real hard to make a V block similar to the ball coupling hitch assist thats already on the market for normal trailer hitches.

Line the hitch up roughly! and back up until the V plate aligns the hitch! and sits snugly in the coupling then do up the pin should be easy.

Cheers
AnswerID: 446130

Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 07:50

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 07:50
Then again it could be a whole lot quicker and easier if you conect your safety chains !(provided there both central on the trailer and the car) then drive forward a few inchess, and then you will have the hitch central just line up the height with the jockey wheel reverse back and it should be done.

Cheers.
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FollowupID: 718426

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 20:30

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 20:30
We used a Treg for about 10 years on 2 campers (piece of cake compared to the 18' offroad van we know have :-o). I think the key to the whole Treg thing is to back the car to the point where the trailer's poly block needs only to be moved sideways into the hole line up. This necessitated the driver being directed by the other party to get the yoke on the car and the block on the trailer close, side by side (a big ask for some couples I know - I mean, I really know this, first hand :-o).The jockey was adjusted to the correct height and the poly block was wriggled across with my knee - even on problematic ground, or a minor slope, we got there each time. Our problems these days (Hyland Hitch) is that there is no wriggling sideways anymore - the van is too heavy on any surface. Re sand - only one wheel needs to advance a little as you swing the trailer with your knee that little bit for pin line up - just remove the sand in front of that wheel and maybe chock the other wheel. Of course, fingers are in huge danger with all this, but you knew that ..... as for pins... we only ever used the pointy original .... security was gained via other methods.
AnswerID: 446205

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 23:05

Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 23:05
Thanks for the info. Sometimes as a shift worker I use the camper on my own so I find it most difficult then when the trailer is in sand or on a slope. I assumed there must be a easier way hence my post to see how others do it. can I ask what security you used when you had your camper trailer ? I bought the talon tregg lock thinking I had to at least resist having the thing towed away when left at camp. It will probably take a extra few minutes to whip the lock off with a angle grinder.
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 at 08:40

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 at 08:40
Ah yes - if travelling solo, getting the two hitch points close is a pain - the only short way to success there seems the rear camera setup. Re security, couple of points I've seen here and elsewhere over the years stuck with me.....1. You can discourage opportunist thieves but only delay a determined and/or organised thief (unfortunately). 2. A quality chain and padlock kit is as good as anything.
While staying hitched, I simply fixed one of the HD safety chains to the towbar flange with an expensive HD padlock (Abus - from a Locksmith). As for leaving the trailer - a length of hardened HD lashing chain (not expensive) from a materials handling outlet, coupled with that padlock can be worthwhile. Around a tree, or through a wheel and around the suspension etc.......whatever security you chose, they can all be passed with an angle grinder.... that's the snag.
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