How does a Travelhome fifth wheel hitch and coupling system work?
At Travelhome, we often get many questions regarding our hitch system. In today’s blog, we are going to outline what a fifth wheel hitch is, how the hitch and Travelhome connects, and look at what the benefits are of a fifth wheel hitch.
Travelhome customers say they find towing a fifth wheeler much easier than the smaller caravan they previously owned. They feel safe and confident in towing a Travelhome as the aerodynamic design and hitch system, with the tow point and weight over the rear axle, creates a smoother towing and braking experience with minimal sway. Many customers have also commented on the great low-speed manoeuvrability of a Travelhome.
What is a Fifth Wheel Hitch?
Specifically designed for towing a fifth wheel caravan, the hitch for a Travelhome is placed in the back tray of the towing vehicle, where the load was intended by the designer. The location of the hitch enables the front of the fifth wheel unit to hang over the tray of the towing vehicle.
Potential customers often think that because of the hitch location and unit size, a tank is required to tow a Travelhome fifth wheeler. However, this is not the case. Our Travelhome fifth wheelers are manufactured in Australia utilising the latest technology in fibreglass composites and a full framed chassis. This results in an incredibly strong and robust product purpose built for Australian conditions. For example, our 26ft Travelhome has a typical tare weight of 2580kg.
The only requirement is that the towing vehicle has a tub back or tray due to the nature of the hitch placement. Hence, Travelhomes are almost exclusively towed by utes. Some of the suitable vehicles for towing a Travelhome include:
- Ford Ranger
- Nissan Navara
- Mazda BT50
- Isuzu D-Max
- Ford F250
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Toyota Landcruiser
- VW Amarok
- IVECO Daily.
At Travelhome, we manufacture our own ADR approved hitch and coupling, utilising a ball system to give maximum manoeuvrability. Our hitches are engineer-designed to Australian design rules and built here in Australia from premium materials. As an ADR approved hitch and coupling, this system can be installed in any state in Australia. A Travelhome hitch is secured in the vehicle tray by removable pins, thus allowing it to be removed when not in use, enabling the tray to be used for everyday purposes.
Our team can also fit a fold down ball system to most vehicles with a flat tray.
How Does the Hitch and Travelhome Connect?
Our ADR approved hitch and coupling system has been designed so that the connection job is simple enough to be quickly and easily completed by one person. In fact, the process is so quick and easy that here is the entire process from being disconnected to ready to drive away:
- Use the Travelhome’s electric lift legs to raise the Travelhome high enough to ensure the coupling clears the top of the hitch ball.
- If you have a tailgate, lower it, and then slowly back your towing vehicle up. Make sure to line up the hitch ball under the coupling.
- Slowly lower the coupling onto the hitch ball, stopping occasionally to check that they are lining up properly.
- Once lowered all the way down, ensure the coupling has locked on properly.
- After the Travelhome is coupled, turn off vehicle and attach the electrical connectors and brake away cable.
- Test your lights and double check the brake away line is hooked up correctly.
- Release the Travelhome parking brake, and/or remove wheel chock.
- You are ready to drive away!
What are the Benefits of Having a Hitch in the Tray?
The benefits of having the hitch in the tray of the towing vehicle include:
- Better weight distribution. The ball weight is closer to the axle giving a more stable towing rig.
- Reduced size of the entire rig when towing. With the front of the fifth wheeler hanging over the tow vehicle, the entire rig size is smaller than that of a comparable caravan and vehicle rig.
- Greater response when backing.
- Reduced wind side/sway.
- More controlled under braking.
- Better low-speed manoeuvrability.
At Travelhome, we have chosen and designed our hitches and van lifting systems for ease of use – hooking up a Travelhome really can be an easy, one-person task. In NSW, installing a fifth wheel hitch requires an engineer’s certification. Our specialist engineer assesses and certifies each individual hitch to guarantee compliance nationwide. When installing and certifying the hitch, no stone is left unturned.
We have only touched the surface with this blog. If you would like any additional information regarding our hitch and coupling system, please contact us via the form here or you can call us on 1300 785 495. You can also head to our hitch installation page for more photos.
Additionally, we also offer walk around tours and road tests of our Travelhome fifth wheelers so you can experience the drivability, comfort, and ease of towing that comes with a Travelhome. To schedule a test drive, call our team today.