Couplings

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 00:15
ThreadID: 125094 Views:5132 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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hi
i am trying to decide on HYLAND or AT35 - so mush dribble on the net...i thought i may get some sense from this forum

please help
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Reply By: Leigh & Mita - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 01:30

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 01:30
Yep, your correct about the amount of rubbish printed regarding both hitch's. Seems there are quite a few people out there with their own agenda's that appears to revolve around crusifying one or the other product.

Personally I don't believe there is anything wrong with either.

I currently have the AT35 which I believe is the more capable hitch however what a PIA with hitching and unhitching especially if you're in dirt/sand etc.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Hyland either, a whole lot easier to use and also very capable. The only thing to remember with the Hyland is to ensure you are using the correct Tow Ball.

The bottom line - I'm changing over to a Hyland in the near future (as have quite a few other BT owners) as I don't plan on doing any extreme driving.

No doubt there will be other views which may contradict what I have said, however I doubt anyone could argue against ease of use of the Hyland.

Regards

Leigh

AnswerID: 576036

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 05:31

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 05:31
When we got the van in 2001 we had a hitch that had the same movement as the AT 35 but the pin went horizontal instead of vertical like the AT35. We then got the AT 35 so that we could use a weight distribution hitch which wasn't possible with the original hitch.

While the AT 35 operated without any problems there was always that bit or a hassle hitching and un-hitching by your self, especially if the ground was soft and the power wheel would not move the van that final little bit.

I then changed to the Pintle Ring with a cone shaped receiver. It was extremely easy to hitch and un hitch using a reversing camera BUT it did not have the articulation that the AT 35 has and as a result we put too much strain on the coupling and where the top plate is welded to the A frame the front of the welds started to crack. I know of 2 other vans with the Pintle Ring that have had the same problem.

About 2 years ago we changed to the Hyland Hitch. I believe that it has the same articulation as the AT 35 but the ball coupling makes it very easy to hitch and un-hitch.

As Leigh has stated above, many BT owners are changing to the Hyland hitch and while at the recent Rally a number of members were taking photos and obtaining the phone number of Hyland so that they could fit one to their van. The big plus is that you do not have to be anywhere near as precise with the Hyland as you do with the AT 35 and hitching up alone with the use of a camera is easy and quicker than a couple using the At 35.

Trakmaster, Kedron and Phoenix fit the Hyland hitch to most of their caravans, so there cannot be too much wrong with them.

Brian
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Reply By: Happy Camper - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 06:37

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 06:37
Sidewinder, a 14 Ft'er, same as me, we ought to start our own Sub Branch, you can be president, we could call it "Happy Camper Sidewinding Club" We'll be famous.... :) People will hold such high aspirations of us there'll be the chirp of chainsaws around all the big BT's whilst they carry out " Trims " just so they can join up...... :) I'm sure Willie will be in on the action.....

Al
AnswerID: 576038

Follow Up By: Willie - Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 04:41

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 04:41
Al ,
Have you been on that Leinster hooch again . His profile says it's a 17 footer . Counting the days ?
Willie .
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Follow Up By: Happy Camper - Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 06:40

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 06:40
Mate, I must've been, could have sworn I read 14 Ft'er and wouldn't part with it. Oh well, I'll crawl back into my little hole and wait for the sun to come up again... Yep counting the days...

Al
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FollowupID: 850189

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 17:51

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 17:51
hi guy's

thanks for all the replies; great. i had a chat to hyland yesterday and together with what i was told plus your responses i have decide to put in an order.

apprciate your time.

C U someplace i am sure.
AnswerID: 576039

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 18:11

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 18:11
An interesting read....seems the Hyland has some problems.

Site Link

I had some problems with the AT35 and had to rebuild it but I like the engineering and the functionality of it. I developed an aversion to ball type coupling a long time ago. So did the the brother in law who had his camping trailer try to pass him.

I've solved the issue of the precision required to hook up by using a removable reversing camera positioned about 600mm above the coupling. With this method the power jockey wheel is unnecessary.

Ern
AnswerID: 576040

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:02

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:02
Interesting comments, but I haven't noticed any problems like they mention on the Camper Trailer forum.

Brian
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:08

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:08
Without a doubt Hyland for us, had one on the Kedron and when we had the BT built i was having nothing other than the Hyland. All this talk about different height towballs has meant nothing to us, we use a standard height 50mm ball, the hitch locks on easily, there is no discernable wear happing inside the cup or on the head of the ball.

It is so - so - so easily connected & disconnected, and since using the Hyland on both vans we have towed approx 60,000klms on road / off road with no issues whatsoever.

The added bonus for us was we were able to do away with the 22kg jockey wheel which was a PITA and fit a Trail-a-mate hydraulic Jack in a more central position directly behind the hitch.


Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By:- Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 16:52

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 16:52
Mick there was some comment on that site re the use of WDHs. Would you care to comment on this with your experience.

BTW a friend has the jack as shown in your picture. He has had it rebuilt three times and has now been told they are not designed for constant use as a stand. Apparently heat cause the O rings to fail when under constant load. They are meant as a jack only for short term use....or so he has been told. With some of the fancy vans the whole chassis has to be lifted to allow the suspension to fall so the wheel can be removed from the wheel well. This is the use for which they were intended.

Ern
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 21:52

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 21:52
Hi Ern, sorry i don't know what comments have been said about WDH other than those that have them swear by them and others that dont seem to be happy. We have one and find it takes the slight pitch away on crappy bitumen roads we get out of the rig. But i have also towed 3000klms without it and the rig has never felt 'untidy' ... we have it so we use it.

Re: the constant load issue you mention, There are plenty of Trail-A-Mate jacks around now, like anything the more out there people are going to offer different opinions on their experiences. Ours is 3 years old and been well used, hasn't been touched inside. When we are not using the van i lower the jack so that there is no pressure on the hydraulics also angles the van nose down so water doesn't pool on the roof & runs off.

The kits are relatively in-expensive and their is a DVD showing step by step instructions on the rebuilds. I suppose i really should carry a rebuild kit. Even if i didn't use the trail-a-mate i would just clamp on a standard wind up jockey wheel, we only use it to hitch / unhitch and level the van.

We were able to use it with the Kedron to change tyres BUT it is definately no good for jacking the BT as the suspension has too much travel and would be dangerous, We use it only to hitch / unhitch and level the drawbar.

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By:- Saturday, Oct 04, 2008 at 15:48

Saturday, Oct 04, 2008 at 15:48
Thanks Mick for the heads-up on the Trail-a mate. I managed to find a pic of the kit you mentioned and passed it on to him.

WDHs are a great safety device and with some vehicles they are mandatory. Not only do they help to keep you in shape, if you have to make some unplanned funny maneuvers you will be much more likely to survive it.

Had all four wheel of the BT in the air once......yikes.....you should of heard the comment from the missus......I told here she would not go to heaven using such language.........only made it worse.

cheers and beers

Ern
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Follow Up By:- Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 04:53

Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 04:53
"the bars "graunch" against the bottom corner of the A frame"

The only way I found to solve this is to increase the distance from the horizontal centre line of the coupling and the top surface of the spring bars. I did this by using a 25mm spacer under the AT35 car fitting. This only left about half a nut on the fixing bolt so I welder the fitting to the hitch.

The A frame is 100mm RHS. The 150mm RHS now commonly used is more of a problem.

Ern
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 05:05

Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 05:05
Our bars don't touch the 150mm A Frame, we use 4 links on the chain.
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:42

Thursday, Oct 02, 2008 at 20:42
thanks

interesting 2 c u have the coupling mounted under the plate, did you have a specific reason for this approach?

cheers
AnswerID: 576042

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 01:53

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 01:53
No that was the way BT fitted it, I 'think' at the time there was concern for the Weight Distribution Bars hitting the nose of the A Frame which i'm unsure would have occurred anyway, but i like it the hitch is out of the way nothing fouls and still easy to grease the nipples, just do it upside down.

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Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: The paca people - Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 01:42

Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 01:42
Hi Sidewinder,
Whether you have the hitch [AT35 or Hyland] on top or underneath the A frame's plate is determined by the height of the tow hitch on the vehicle.

Our 18' and Patrol with Canadian(?) HR hitch receiver needed the AT35 under the A frame plate to get the vehicle and caravan horizontal when coupled and load bars fitted.

When a 100 LC replaced the Patrol, the AT 35 had to go on top as the hitch receiver "socket"on one vehicle was slightly downhill and on the other vehicle it was slightly uphill - had to look closely to see the difference but it effected the vehicle to van setup.

When the Hyland replaced the AT35 I tried the Hyland both on top and underneath but the best, for us, was with the head of the hitch [the bit which goes into the hitch receiver on the vehicle] having the longer leg upward to avoid ploughing bitumen on steep kerb crossings, and the Hyland mounted on top of the BT's A frame plate.
Yes, we always use load distrib bars and the only problem is that at extreme angles or sharp corners the bars "graunch" against the bottom corner of the A frame.

Cheers from Martin B currently in Boulia Qld.
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 06:28

Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 at 06:28
When we changed to the Hyland I found that it's connection point to the vehicle is about 30mm forward of the A frame than the AT35 and I had to move the WDH chain support brackets forward by that amount.

This longer coupling should assist in stopping the bars hitting the A frame.

Like Ern we have one of the earlier vans with the 100 A frame and at that time BTi strongly opposed the use of WDH. As soon as we fitted a WDH we also found that the bars bound on sharp turns against the A frame.

I solved this by having the steel mounting plate removed from A frame and a new one that protruded 100 mm in front of where the original one was. To strengthen this protruding section we have a piece of 50mm flat welded on edge under the centre of the top plate so that it runs from the front of the mounting plate to the rear.

This stopped the binding with the AT 35 coupling and for a time BTi started doing a similar extension of about 50mm without the strengthening flat steel under it.

Brian
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