HOOKING UP

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 22:39
ThreadID: 119768 Views:2501 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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Seeing several fellow BOGers are picking up their new vans shortly I offer the following. When I took delivery of my van it had an old type coupling which is not capable of taking load levelling(weight distribution springs) bars. I have since fitted a unit which Bushtracker fit to all new vans. They are made by Vehicle Components in Albion Brisbane and are excellent. They also designed it. I fitted mine upside down in that it sits below the mounting plate not above it. This gives the A frame more ground clearance. As I understand the new towing laws load levelling bars are mostly mandatory and I would not tow without them anyway. I tow with a GU patrol with rear barn doors. Setting up the hitch was not an easy exercise but I eventually got it right but not with a some modifications. With off road work you want to keep all equipment as far away from the ground as possible and the further away from the wheels the higher the better. Hayman Reese make the only hitching setup that I would recommend and buy the 750lb bars not the 500lb. The problem with barn doors is being able to open them when hitched up. The coupling is deeper(higher) than ball types and adjusting the Hayman Reese hitch to the correct angle and to be able to open the doors and maintaining good ground clearance is challanging. The other problem is with the bars(flat springs) themselves. With the hitch setup correctly the rear end of the bars ie the chain end, are much too close to the ground and would have dug into the ground when reversing. These hitches are manufactured to "one size fits all" and are just not suitable for setting up for off road vehicles without modification....cerainly not in my case. I fixed the problem by milling out about 10mm of bottom hole of the bar holder on the vehicle. This raised the backend of the bar about 200mm and is now working well. Also make yourself a longer bar lifting handle, theirs is far too short. Hooking up can be a challanging thing to do. I suspect it has been the cause of the ending of many a partnership and if you havn't witnessed it both personally or otherwise then I guarantee you will. The off road type coupling by its' design is more difficult to hook up than the ball type. Here's what I do. Get 2 lenghts of 19mm(3/4 inch) wooden dowel or metal about 1 metre long. Insert one in the van bit and one in the vehicle bit.They will be vertical. Reverse the vehicle until they are side by side ie in line laterally. It is then just a simple matter of the adjusting the jockey wheel for the correct height and moving the van over laterally with the drive handle on the jockey wheel. Works like a charm and especially for you sex life. If anybodys interested I will post a pic of my hitch setup. Remember...keep muddy or dusty Nomad(Ernie and Kay)
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 22:41

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 22:41
thanks ernie for this info. as you know all pictures gratefully received. angie loves pictures. angie
AnswerID: 558042

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